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Friday, August 14, 2015

Another decent deal with a coupon

This has been my week for coupons!

In my post yesterday, I said I'm willing to pay more for a necessity than a want. There is something that's been a "need" for several years, and I've posted about it a couple of times -- our bedsheets.

The Cal King fitted bed sheet has been patched and patched for the last 3 years. I finally gave up on patching it sometime this past year, as it became uncomfortable to sleep on. Instead, I began using the flat, flannel sheet for that bed as the bottom sheet, tucking it back in on all sides, every morning, instead of a fitted sheet. Then using the still-good flat percale sheet for the top sheet.

Imagine how fine and dandy it's been sleeping on flannel in this hot, summer weather!!! Ha ha!

A month ago, I scouted out some sheets at Bed, Bath and Beyond, knowing that some time in August they'd be sending out coupons, as a back-to-school promotion, for university students going off to live in the dorms.

I got my coupon for 20% off and raced on over to BB&B, hoping they'd still have the color choice I wanted in a Cal. King sheet set. And yay! they did. Instead of paying $59.99 for a set, I paid $47.99. It's still a lot of money, but a necessity that I was willing to spend more for.

I had been going back and forth between buying a new bed (that was smaller, going for a Queen instead of this Cal King) and just buying new sheets. For now, it's a lot less expensive to buy a new sheet set, than a new mattress and box spring. And as frugal spinster pointed out, back in the comments in one of my "sheet dilemma" posts, I can always use these larger sheets on a smaller bed, by taking in the corners on the fitted sheet, to adjust the size. So, I'm not really wasting money, if in 2 years time we do downsize this bed to a Queen. I expect these sheets will last for another 8 years or so, at which time, maybe I'll be ready to make that decision to downsize beds.

Anyway, just thought I'd update you on the big sheet dilemma (because I know, "Enquiring minds want to know").

And if you are needing something from Bed, Bath & Beyond, you can get a 20% off coupon, for signing up for email offers. The coupon is good on one item. Also, check the glossy folder that your grocery ads come bundled in. That's where I found my 20% off coupon, in a bundle delivered a week and a half ago.


  1. We must live identical lives, Lili! It seems many of your "issues" are also many of my "issues" and this about bedsheets is a big problem for me.

    It always seem to be the fitted sheet that rips first leaving me with a very good flat sheet and no partner. But I also have an additional issue and that is I don't love the softy type of sheets. I want a crisp, cool, almost crackling sheet when I jump into bed at night (speaking only for summer sheets) and I just can't find these anymore. I find many softy, thin, weak-elastic sheets that just don't feel like "old times". I have a similar problem with flannel in the winter. They either give off so much lint or the elastics in the fitted are flimsy or the fitted sheet rips very quickly. I wonder if you have any good ideas on where to get really good quality sheets.

    I also like to dry my sheets on the clothesline to get them nice and crispy and not a clothes dryer soft feel which I just don't like.

    Anybody out there with some good ideas? I live in West Michigan if location would help me find what I'm looking for.


    1. Hi Alice,
      It's so frustrating that those fitted sheets wear out so quickly.

      For my flannel set, I bought it through Linen Source (a catalog and online store), but I haven't seen the sheets we bought 10 years ago, in recent years. But the quality was very good, nice thick flannel sheets, deep pockets and all around casing for the elastic, instead of sewn to the edge, or just on the corners.

      The sheets I just bought are Wamsutta. They have a feeling like a man's cotton dress shirt. And feel like they will get softer with years of wear. Being all cotton, they do wrinkle, but I don't care about that. I read reviews online to see what other people were saying. The biggest complaints with these sheets were that they wrinkled and that they weren't super soft right out of the package.

      When I bought the last set of cotton sheets for this bed, I found sheets labeled "hotel" sheets. I was looking for something durable that wouldn't pill, and those sheets lived up to that. They never pilled, and last over 9 years before the first small tear.

      Good luck finding something that works for you. Online is a great place to look, as you can read the reviews.

    2. Lili, I remember your patching solution--I'm glad you bought sheets--a good night's sleep is an investment in your health and you need comfortable sheets for that!

      Hi West Michigan Alice! I'm in Muskegon, and I have had similar problems locating sheets that are well-made--I know what you mean by "crispy" sheets, I grew up with those . Penneys, Younkers, and Sears don't seem to have those. Linda, below, suggested TJMaxx and I would second that suggestion, as well as Marshall's (I know there's one on Alpine Ave in Grand Rapids)--I have seen "hotel" sheets at both stores although it can be hit or miss. I would also suggest LL Bean or a similar company--check the reviews first--you may pay more, but if you get good quality, it might stand the test of time. As for flannel sheets, I have had fairly good luck with Younker's high end flannel sheets (bought at season's end--didn't get the pattern I wanted but they are covered by my quilt anyway ... worth the $20 for a queen set that I spent on them!). Another idea--if you are near a Field's Fabrics, I have heard that their fabric quality is much better than JoAnn's--maybe you could find good quality flannel there and make your own?

    3. We bought some fairly good quality Martha Stewart at Macy's clearance years ago that has held up very well. I don't recall if we used a coupon with that purchase (probably not because we were desperate to find twin xl sheets at a decent price and thought we hit the jackpot when we found a bunch on clearance), but this weekend (Friday and Saturday up til 2 pm) there is a $10 off $25 clearance coupon "on select home items". Awhile ago, I bought some picture frames from the home department clearance and used the $10 off coupon, so it may work with sheets.


    4. Hi Kris,
      It is so much better to sleep on a sheet that doesn't have a spot that I'm avoiding all night. The last tear was so large, it was unavoidable towards the end, hence resorting to using a flat sheet on the bottom as well as the top. I

      second the LLBean flannel sheets. I've slept on those and they're very good quality and last a long time. With flannel, you can compare weight of the fabric in ounces. With quality flannel sheets, they'll give you the weight of the flannel. LLBean does this and so do a couple of other online and catalog retailers. My flannel fitted sheet probably has one or two more years on it. I'll be looking for a replacement for it sometime soon, but am hoping to only have to buy the fitted sheet. Again, such a pain to have to buy a whole set just for the fitted sheet.

  2. Do you happen to have a TJ Maxx store nearby? I've found some great deals on sheet sets there. Plus, we have a Discover credit card from the store that we use for big purchases, like school tuition, car repairs, etc. We then get credit coupons based on what we've spent to use at the store. When I add those coupons to the already reduced prices I can walk away with some great deals. And thankfully, we have been able to pay off credit card purchases without paying interest, thanks to how we budget for the bigger items. So, all in all, it's a win-win situation.

    And cheap sheets are exactly! I have a set that I cannot stand to use on the bed and only do when I absolutely have to.

    But, am I understanding you correctly? You only have 1 set of sheets for your bed? And you expect them to last 8 years? How is that possible? How often do you wash them and what special care do you give them?

    1. Hi Linda,
      We have Ross and Marshall's near us. I did find 3 sets of California King sheets at Ross, but none at Marshall's. Cal Kings are hard to find here. I didn't care for the sheets at Ross.

      My thing with sheets is those that pill. I can't stand that texture.

      As for sheets lasting a long time here, I'd never thought about it, but maybe they do. All of our sheets have lasted a long time. My daughters had the same sheets on their beds (1 set, each) for 10 years, and they didn't wear out, but they no longer wanted princesses on their beds. I'm basing my hope and projected amount of time on these sheets on what my last set did. I bought them in 2003 and they got their first small rip (from pulling on them against something sharp when I was taking them off the line), in 2012, so 9 years, until the first patch job. I also used a set of flannel sheets in winter only for 3 years on this bed. I hope to buy 1 more set, identical to this one, with another coupon, soon (I just signed up for their email offers, and got my 20% off coupon to use on another set).

      Anyways. . .things I do that may help keep sheets in usable condition longer:
      --I wash in cold water, cold is supposed to help fabrics last longer

      --I use very little laundry detergent, and now use melted bar soap; a repairman told me that the number one wear on washing machines is from too much detergent, and that it also ages fabrics faster. When we were using only detergent, we used about 1/2 of the recommended amount.

      --we have soft water here;it could be that soft water is gentler on fabrics, as it's not depositing minerals onto the fabric, or it could be that we can get by with much less detergent b/c our water is soft

      --I never use bleach or fabric softener

      --I line or rack dry as much of our laundry as I can each week, including sheets, although I run sheets and towels through the dryer for 10 minutes to get start on drying, so they dry within one day, if it's not sunny out. Dryer heat is especially hard on the elastic on fitted sheets (or elastic on anything, really)

      --I do have a method taught to me by my MIL when first married, for loading sheets in a machine; I fold the top and bottom sheet separately, and place these sheet "parcels" on opposite sides of the spindle, then fill the machine with the rest of the laundry for that load. The sheets don't get wrapped around the spindle and pulled on during agitation, with this method.

      --finally, anything with a zipper gets fully zipped up and turned inside out for washing, and anything with sequins (yes we have 1 sequined top in the house) gets turned inside out before loading into the wash. Zippers and other scratchy things rub on fabric and prematurely wear things out.

      And as for how often, I admit, there was a time a few years ago when I only washed sheets once every 10 days. I do them once per week now.

      I also rotate the sheets and turn them inside out, to wear all surfaces evenly. I don't have a system, or schedule, but just as I'm making up the bed, I think if I should be using the sheets inside out, or should use the foot at the head and vice versa.

      Oh, and I have one other crazy rule (or actually two rules) for the bed -- no eating in the bed, on top of all the covers is okay, but no crumbs in bed, ever, both for comfort, but also so crumbs don't rub on fabric. And 2) if I take a nap during the day, pjs only between the sheets, otherwise I nap on top of the sheets with a throw over me. Again, this is in part so no "stuff" gets in the bed, but also may help with wear and tear on the fabric. Don't I sound like a fun person to live with -- ha ha!!

      I don't know if any one thing makes our sheets last so long, or if it's the combo of everything. But our sheets really do last and last and last.

    2. I still cannot get over how long your sheets last. Maybe 6 months ago I found a set of 600 thread count king size sheets at TJ Maxx which cost me about $40 after a coupon. They are luxurious to say the least and I'm hoping they last a long, long time. I would have never thought of turning the sheets inside out on occasion. That is one tip I will definitely try.

      I don't routinely wash sheets and towels on cold but everything else I do. From now on I'm going with cold for everything. And I might just consider a clothes line. We've talked about it in the past but haven't done it. I dry everything in the dryer, on low heat only, and the amount of lint produced is probably an indication of what the dryer is doing to our clothes.

      My mom taught me years ago to always zip zippers before washing, but I don't usually turn the clothes inside out as well. I don't use bleach or fabric softener either. The laundry detergent I use is homemade and I always use less than suggested.

      Lots of good tips here. Thanks so much for responding in such detail!

    3. Hi Linda,
      Thread count isn't everything in sheets. It's kind of a deceptive practice that manufacturers use, claiming high thread count, when the way they get that high count isn't really the highest quality of fabric. According to one article I read, anything over 400 thread count had to be constructed in a way that is not quite what the consumer is thinking it is (I can't remember the details, but just recall it was very deceptive of the manufacturers). More important are things like long staple of the fibers. The longer the fibers are, the stronger a yarn they make. Egyptian cotton and Pima are the ones I've heard of as being very long staple.

      The sheets I bought actually have a 5 year warranty on them. I'm hoping this means they will last much longer than the 5 years. But I take that as a good sign that Wamsutta would put a warranty on their sheets, they expect the sheets to last.

      The last sheets I had were labeled "hotel" sheets, which sold me as hotels care much more about how long their sheets last rather than how pretty, or even how soft they feel. Hotel sheets go through hot water laundry many more times per year than household sheets.

      It does sound to me like you're doing most of what I already do. A homemade laundry soap is already milder than commercial detergents, and low heat in the dryer is better for the clothes than high heat, and you zip stuff up.

      Do you know what I wish, I wish someone made a perfectly square bed, then sheets could go on anyway possible, and quarter-turned each washing. I hope your new sheets last a good long time and are super comfortable, too. Did they happen to have a warranty on the package?

      And I think you're right about how much lint in the lint trap is an indicator of how much wear the fabric is getting by tumbling in the dryer.

  3. Instead of a king, we have two twin XL that we literally tie at the bed posts together (husband has an adjustable XL for his back and GERD problems and mine is not). The sales person at the mattress store helped find the two matching bed sets. Being we each have our own bed, we also use our own favorite bed sheets. Never mind they match or not. I love flannel even in Hawaii's hot humid weather. It actually feels cooler to me, and never softens to the point where it feels ugh. Husband likes his cotton sheets. I bought a king bedspread so we could throw over to look decent but most nights we just cover the bed with our top sheets, not matching either lol

    I think the difference between my frugality and most others is I don't have a high standard of "gracious"....just the basics is enough lol


    1. HI YHF,
      My parents had 2 XL twins when they were first married. My dad was a tall man and a standard King wasn't long enough for his comfort. So they did the same thing, pushed the two beds up against each other. When they'd been married a few years they bought a Cal King (the bedrooms set I inherited).

      I can understand needing two completely different beds and sheet types. Sleep is so important, and if one person needs one type of bed or sheet for good sleep but the other needs something else, someone will suffer, unless they do as you do. I don't see how it's any less "gracious". Beds are practical items.

  4. Glad you were able to find some new sheets. I third the recommendation for LLBean flannel sheets (I have no experience w/ their cotton ones). I LOVE vintage sheets, and am thrilled when I find them, new in package at thrift stores. They last and are cheaper than buying new. I have been lucky in getting like new LLB flannel sheets at thrifts; we do have a LLB store locally, so these may have been returns that were later donated. Bottom sheets wear out here first, then cases, then the top sheets. When possible, I make cases out of the good parts of worn sheets.

    1. Hi Carol,
      The sheets we had as kids lasted forever. I think part of that was they often had some polyester mixed into the fabric, instead of the popular all-cotton sheets. The vintage ones you find in thrift stores may be of that generation.

  5. My sheet complaint is that we don't have a deep mattress, thus everything is too big and big wrinkles form. When they say fits 6-18 inches, they really mean fits 16-18 inches well. We've been talking about getting a new mattress for a while, but it hasn't happened yet. We're extending it's life with a topper, but that still doesn't add enough depth to make the sheets fit any better. In the meantime, I guess I could get out the sewing machine and try some alterations.

    Also, the male members of my family REALLY don't like sleeping in PJ's. I think their body oils wear the sheets out faster.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      That is a problem, with the sheets too big for the depth of your mattress. And I think you're right about body oils possibly wearing out sheets faster.

  6. This is such a fascinating comment thread to me! I actually have more sheet sets than we need. We inherited a LOT of things when my MIL passed and I donated many, many sets but saved a few for when ours wore out. We have been married 8 years and most of our sheet sets in use are either those we had when married (so around 10 years old now) or were wedding gifts. I have only had two sets ever get tears in that time. One is a lovely high thread count set that tore not long after we received it. And the other is a set I've had since moving down here and just recently started to tear a little. It is the set used most often on our guest bed; while we don't have guests all the time, I do probably wash those sheets more often per use. At any rate, I have kind of been waiting for some of these sheet sets to bite the dust so that I can put some of the others into rotation and make a bit more space in my linen closet. We have an HE washer, I wash only sheets (sometimes with the mattress pad) and always dry them in the dryer, usually on medium. I use a number of different detergents depending on what is on sale. I rotate two sets on our bed and use just the one set on the guest bed. I think maybe sheets are something that are relatively well-made nowadays?

    1. Hi Laura,
      Well, at least you are not needing to spend money on new sheets! They'll wear out soon enough, and then you'll have more space in your linen closet.

      I've had the exact opposite problem -- we inherited a bed (of a size we'd not owned before), but with no sheets! We do have one bed in the house that does have several sheet sets, still. It was my childhood bed, and is still being used by one family member. But over the years, we have whittled down the sheet sets to just a few, now. And I've been glad to get more linen closet space, as a result.

  7. It's so great when you can combine a sale with a coupon and get even more savings on something you NEED. Glad you were able to make it work for you. I am going to sign up for that coupon. Thanks for mentioning it. :)

    1. Hi Belinda,
      I was thrilled to be able to replace those sheets, and have a coupon to make it more affordable! I'm using my second coupon to BB & B to buy a second set. I'll be able to line dry sheets completely with a back-up set.
      Hope you find something you need at a good price with your coupon!


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