Spring Cleaning, Part 1

Every year, as soon as Spring as firmly established its presence with warmer days conducive to long walks, I head up to Dyker Heights to check out the 99 cents stores along 13th Avenue.

First, the exercise does me a world of good after winter months in which my outings are limited to within a few blocks in Boro Park. Second, it gives me a chance to check out any new stores that have opened up and make note of stores that have closed up or moved away.

This past Saturday, I found my Spring cleaning supplies at BJ99 99 cents and Up Discount Store. I hadn’t planned to make this store the first stop. The variety of merchandise offered, though, made it worthwhile to go into the store and shop. The prices, too, make the experience easier.

The only drawback in BJ99 is the presence of the New York State Lotto machine. Often there are people crowding near the register with only one focus: redeeming a winning ticket or buying another ticket. Sometimes there are so many that the shoppers end up waiting for a long time.

When I went this past Saturday, I was thankful that there were only 2 people buying Lotto tickets. This left the front of the store easy to get through and shop in the aisles and the back room.

Dust Wand from Pride Products.

This dust wand from Pride Products sells for $3.69 and is well worth the money. I’ve already used it to dust off the woodwork near the floor, around the doors and also the ornamental molding in my foyer and living room. It picks up stray hair and dust that the electric broom does not. I’m sure I’ll find other uses for it. I’m happy it’s working out so well because I really do not like the bending and kneeling down that cleaning woodwork involves.

Static Duster.

I was very happy to find this Static Duster for only $1.00! The static duster is good for cleaning wicker bookcases, baskets and furniture. I often use a static duster in between weeks when I’ve given the furniture a good dusting with a treated dust cloth. The static dusters are lightweight and do not require the kind of elbow and wrist motions a more serious cleaning of furniture requires. They do a good jog of top cleaning.

Feather duster by My Helper.

For cleaning little figurines and collectibles with lots of surface details a feather duster is a good choice to use on a regular basis. It will remove surface dust in a short amount of time. I also use a feather duster like this to clean out the inside of the curio cabinet my later Mom left me. It’s light enough to do an adequate job of keeping things clean when I don’t have time to remove everything, wipe it off and get into the inside of the curio cabinet with a treated dustcloth. This feather duster by My Helper costs $1.39

BJ99 99 cents and Up Discount Store is located at 7111 13th Avenue in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, N.Y. All sales are final.

Note: I do not have a relationship to any manufacturer or store mentioned in the postings. No goods or services are received for any product I mentioned in the postings.


Spring into a new you!

Spring is finally here! All the heavy layers of clothing worn during the bitterly cold winter of late 2013 to early 2014 are no longer needed. Not having to wear a hat outdoors or a headscarf indoors feels as good, especially when a warm, Spring breeze is blowing. I love the feeling of movement and lightness these Springtime walks have.

I also looked into the mirror and realized it’s been weeks since I colored my hair!

And was I ever surprised at how the prices of haircoloring sold as supermarkets and chain drug stores is going up, up and away! When a hair color or color mousse carries a price tag of $15 and up it’s time to start looking elsewhere. For me, there are some weeks where $15-20 is half of my weekly grocery outlay (I’m a vegetarian and eat very simply).

True Color by Lucky.

I’ve seen the True Color line by Lucky at supermarkets and some 99 cent stores selling for $1.99 and up. Yesterday I found it at a price even lower than that at BJ99, 99cents and Up Discount Store in Dyker Heights. I decided to give this product a try. I’ve used less expensive hair coloring products like Revlon’s ColorSilk and had very good results. I do not think the Lucky True Color product will disappoint because I use this company’s lines of liquid hand soaps and hand lotions and am very satisfied.

I think most of the expense attached to the more upscale hair coloring products have to do with the Research and Development costs incurred to develop new modes of hair coloring that require special dispenser bottles and which utilize new forms like mousse or foam and have shorter development times. Then there is the beautiful packaging where a generous amount of cardboard is used to display the glossy photos of how you’re hair will look after using the product. While all this newness leads to shorter developing times and more convenience, I’ve actually found that the more expensive products like Perfect 10, which colors and covers gray in only 10 minutes, dry my hair out more than the less expensive ColorSilk by Revlon.

Contents of the True Color hair coloring kit. Left to right: The box, the color cream, developer, instructions. Front: Conditioner packet, plastic hair coloring gloves.

I plan to give my roots a chance to grow in a little more so that I can better judge the quality of coverage Lucky’s True Color gives. I’d be interested in hearing from anyone else who has used this product how well it worked for them and what the price runs in their area.

I bought my box of Lucky’s True Color at BJ99, 99 cents and Up Discount Store located at 7111 13th Avenue in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Important note: I am not affiliated with any manufacturer or store. The purpose of this blog is informational, to inform readers of what is available at reasonable prices in Brooklyn, N.Y. Different people have different reactions to hair coloring and cosmetics. Know your skin type and sensitivities. Always do a patch test before using a new brand of hair coloring.

Sweet Treats

With the prices of food continuing to rise it becomes difficult to purchase an occasional sweet treat to enjoy during coffee breaks or tea time. I’m sure you’ve all had to decide on what was a more worthwhile purchase with $5. Would you use it to purchase two loaves of bread or a jar of marmalade?

I’ve given up on prepared coffee cakes, muffins and tea biscuits whether they’re from the supermarket or the local bakery. When tea biscuits went up to $1.25 each I decided at that point to make my own.

Still, there is a desire from time to time to use jam or fruit preserves. Yet, I balk at spending over $4 for a jar of Smucker’s Fruit Spreads. It’s not that they aren’t tasty but they do lack the refinement of an English marmalade or an imported fruit preserve. The domestic variety of fruit spreads, jams and preserves are too sweet for my liking.

It was by accident that I made a wonderful discovery in a little shop right around the corner from where I live. Kek Duna is a Hungarian deli filled with fresh cold cuts, cheeses, and imported cakes, crackers, pickled vegetable salads, coffee, tea and other items from Hungary, Germany, Poland and other parts of Middle Europe.

Opposite the counter and against the wall, in the middle of the tiny store, are rows of fruit preserves and jams. The rich red color of the Zentis Strawberry preserves attracted my attention.

I was so pleasantly surprised to find the price at only $2.99 that I decided to buy a jar.

When I got home, I buttered a roll to have with my tea and opened the jar of fruit preserves. The consistency is very good, thick but still spreadable. And the flavor is lovely. You can taste the strawberries without the overly sugary sweetness that exists in an American product.

Zentis fruit preserves are made in Germany. At the company’s website you can learn more about their operations in the U.S.A. as well as their product line. The website is at http://www.zentis.de/cms/us/Industrial-Business/Overview-of-Our-Locations/Zentis-USA

I plan to purchase other flavors in this product line, as well as check out other offerings at Kek Duna Deli more often. It is a little gem of a store with a wide variety of good imported foods at reasonable prices. Kek Duna is located at 5802 13th Avenue in Boro Park, Brooklyn, N.Y.


Please Note: I am not affiliated with any store or manufacturer mentioned in these blog postings. The purpose of this blog is to share information about getting the best buys possible in and around Brooklyn,