O.C. Bargainista: Love is in your meals

February 10, 2011|By Candice Baker

Last week's grocery store bargain roundup seemed to be very popular with readers, so we'll continue this week with a surprising newsflash: There's an asparagus price war going on at many of the major supermarkets. Vons/Pavilions, Stater Bros. and Fresh & Easy, which opened a new branch at Newport and Harbor boulevards Wednesday, all are offering the fresh, rumored aphrodisiac just before Valentine's Day for less than $1 per pound. No, that's not a typo. Want more desire-enhancing menu options? Consider the following commonly cited items, which also are on sale this week: cinnamon, honey, almonds, oysters or dark chocolate — and no, you don't cook them all in the same pot.

Love for Forever

It will be too late for frantic Valentine's Day shoppers, but we've finally received word that Forever 21's 43,000-square-foot mega-store, which will move into part of the Sears property at South Coast Plaza, will open March 25. The company's larger stores are known as XXI Forever, and contain all of the brand's more hard-to-find lines, including 21 Men, Twelve by Twelve, Heritage 1981, Love 21 and Faith 21, as well as the new younger girls clothing line, Forever 21 Girls. Want even cheaper prices? Try Forever 21's location at Anaheim Plaza, which takes up an entire former Mervyn's store; about half of the second floor is an unofficial Forever 21 outlet. Visit


Party for these deals

Two gift- and party-oriented stores in Laguna Niguel are closing in the coming weeks.

Party Avenue, a party supply and gift store at 28241 Crown Valley Parkway No. B, is liquidating all of their remaining merchandise and fixtures. The store anticipates closing on Feb. 25; call (949) 831-1405 before going, to ensure they are still open.

Just a couple of miles away, the magical Bears, Buddies & Toys shop at 27911 La Paz Road, Suite C is letting go of more than 4,300 square feet of children's merchandise; all fixtures, display units and equipment also must go by Feb. 20. Call (949) 643-5000 or visit

A little history — on the cheap

Freebie of the Week: Rather than spending the President's Day holiday doing something completely unrelated to the day's namesakes, consider a free trip to the Nixon Library & Birthplace, 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, which is offering free admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 21. Tour the museum, the farmhouse where President Nixon was born, his gravestone, a 12-foot section of the Berlin wall, beautiful gardens and the presidential limousine and helicopter. The typical adult admission price is $9.95. Presidential reenactors like Washington and Lincoln will be on hand to meet with kids; there's been no mention of a Nixon reenactor, though. Too bad. Visit

Have a hot sale tip, or know about a great local business that you think deserves a little attention? Contact the O.C. Bargainista at And remember — never pay retail!

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