Comfort Inn Midtown
Basic but clean rooms start as low as $89.99 until March, when the lowest rate goes to $139.99 (travelers over 50 get an additional 10 percent off). Free wi-fi, free Continental breakfast, and free local calls round out the bargain.
129 W. 46th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-221-2600
USED LUXURY CARS
Kings Auto Show
This dealer buys repossessed cars from the bank, fixes them up, and turns them around for prices at or below Kelley Blue Book on many models. BMWs are particularly good. A 2003 745Li with 46,230 is $50,995. A 2002 Lexus IS300 with 38,000 miles is $21,995, compared with $22,385 in Blue Book.
5815 Church Ave., at Kings Hwy., East Flatbush, Brooklyn; 718-345-1600
200 Lexington Avenue
The official policy at this building full of high-end furniture and home vendors is “to the trade only,” but many showrooms will sell to regular consumers. You might not get the straight list price that designers do, but you’re not paying their markup, either, and you’ve got access to incredible brands like Dennis Miller, Stephanie Odegard, and Keilhauer. If you like a sofa but the showroom won’t play ball, go to Interior Options on the fourth floor and grab one of the in-house decorators to act as your middleman. They get a 10 to 15 percent trade discount; you pay them; everybody’s happy.
200 Lexington Ave., nr. 32nd St 212-726-9708
Room & Board
You can get a kiln-dried hardwood frame sofa for $899; $300 less than Pottery Barn or Crate & Barrel’s opening price. And Room & Board delivers for just $69 in many parts of the tri-state area, whether it’s just one lamp or a houseful of furniture.
105 Wooster St., nr. Spring St.; 212-334-4343
Gothic Cabinet Craft
You can’t beat $199 for a 12-by-60-by-36 unfinished wood bookshelf ($75 extra for finish). The best selection is at gothiccabinetcraft.com.
195 Lexington Ave., nr. 32nd St.; 212-252-8478
LAMPS & LIGHT FIXTURES
You already know it’s cheap, but Ikea’s good-design-plus-low-price formula ascends to a new high in its lighting department. Designs that rival (or might be inspired by) expensive Italian companies like Flos or Artemide run $24.99 for a vintage-modern-style pendant, $19.99 for a 28-inch track light with three halogen spots, and $6.99 for a first-apartment basic Noguchi-esque lamp.
Elizabeth Center 1000 Ikea Dr., Elizabeth, N.J.; 908-289-4488
Martha Stewart’s 5-Star sheets are the best low-end deal. Woven sateens are 100 percent combed cotton, and there is also a pima sateen; either will cover a bed for $50 to $80. For committed high-enders, regular visits to Century 21 can pay off in savings ranging from 20 to 50 percent off names like Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan; department stores generally clear out their stock in January and July.
250 W. 34th St., nr. Eighth Ave. 212-760-1188
Pearl Paint Home Design Center
At $20.75 a gallon for Benjamin Moore 2720, Pearl beats Janovic Paint House ($24.79), and while there isn’t a huge variety, penny-pinchers will be thrilled by Bruning paint at $12.63 a gallon. Bring your student, faculty, or contractor ID card for an extra 10 percent off, but the salespeople can also be persuaded to just give you the discount.
56 Lispenard St., nr. Broadway; 212-431-7932
General Art Co.
You could get a premade $25 job from Pearl Paint Frame Shop, but you won’t get the same quality: This store uses only domestic maple wood that resists chipping and warping, four-ply or better matting, acid-free museum-quality board, and ultraviolet-protected glass. An eight-by-ten photo can be framed with three-inch four-ply matting, contemporary molding, and glass for approximately $75.
180 Varick St., nr. King St.; 212-255-1298
Stainmaster carpeting is about $35 a yard here ($37 at Home Depot), and, unlike other retailers, that includes padding, installation, delivery, and warranties, which range from five to twenty years depending on the brand.
815 Amsterdam Ave., nr. 100th St.; 212-663-3700
Drimmers Major Appliances
They’re cranky, and distinctly lacking in phone charm, but with deals like a stainless-steel KitchenAid from the Superba series for $863, including free delivery and service for a year (a $300 saving on the chains), who needs manners? Drimmers also caters to the top of the market, carrying esoteric fridges, like the Sub-Zero 611, that aren’t available at chains.
1608 Coney Island Ave., nr. Ave. M, Midwood, Brooklyn; 877-338-3500
National Wholesale Liquidators
Cooking connoisseurs flock to Broadway Panhandler’s annual June sale to save up to 70 percent on high-end cookware like Le Creuset and All-Clad. However, National Wholesale Liquidators is still the cheapest place to outfit an entire kitchen. Daily shipments ensure the availability of $9.99 Proctor-Silex toasters ($12.99 at Kmart) and $9.99 George Foreman grills ($14.99 at Amazon.com). Look to the left for cookware as low as $9.99 for a three-pan set, only $3 more than the price of the smallest pan in the Bowery’s cheapest kitchen-supply store.
632 Broadway, at Bleecker St.; 212-979-2400