John Ewoldt
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Storewide after-Christmas sales

Judith McGrann (4615 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park, 612-922-2971) discounts everything in her gift boutique 50 percent, including women's clothing, jewelry, gifts, books, cards and seasonal items Saturday through Thursday. ... Half-Price Books (seven locations, discounts everything 20 percent from Saturday through Wednesday. ... Discount 70 (4027 Central Av. NE., Columbia Heights, 763-781-8922) takes 50 percent off clothes, jewelry, housewares and more at the surplus shop Sunday through next Thursday. Selected but not all furniture and electronics in the annex will also be discounted. ... If you're stocking up on wrapping paper at an after-Christmas sale, look for solid blue, silver or gold to be able to use it year round.

Room & Board clearance

Anyone who complains about retailers that have too many sales can easily get behind Room & Board (7010 France Av. S., Edina, 952-927-8835, The company generally only discounts floor samples and discontinued pieces during one big sale of the year, which starts Saturday. Save 20 to 50 percent on discontinued furniture and accessories, including floor samples and back stock. Also check the clearance section online, which might have a slightly different assortment. Items labeled "limited" such as the Mondo bedroom dresser will be on clearance if you want an online preview.

Nordstrom men's sale

Nordstrom's Half-Yearly men's sale (Mall of America, Bloomington, 952-883-2121) starts Saturday. Nordstrom often gets scrutiny immunity, probably because of its generous return policy and customer service, but has anyone else noticed the amount of special purchase merchandise at the department store sales? I think it dilutes the strength of the brand. Outlet stores such as the Rack and Saks Off Fifth have always had a lot of special purchase merchandise that is less of a true bargain. When you see a full range of sizes and colors on the table or shelf, pass it by and look for better deals.

Comcast offers a new cable package

Regular readers of my column know how I like to mention Comcast's little secret, aka, Basic 1 cable. It costs about $15 per month in Minneapolis although some suburbs charge up to $26 per month. It's a good deal for channels 2 through 23. But Comcast recently added a new package called Digital Economy for $40 a month which includes Basic 1 channels and an additional 20 channels such as A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, BET, CNN, Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, Discovery, Disney, Hallmark, History, Lifetime and USA. (It's $30 a month for customers who already have high-speed internet or digital voice with Comcast.) Digital Economy is cheaper than Digital Starter at $59.45 per month effective Jan. 1, but Comcast is running a six-month special on Digital Starter plus HBO for $30 per month for new customers. After the promo period ends, consider downgrading to Digital Economy or Basic 1.

John Ewoldt • 612-673-7633 or If you spot a deal, share it at