Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Truth Or Dare

Disclaimer #1: If you’ve never been to Cheap But Not Easy before, and discovered it as a result of watching Kare-11 last night, please rest assured that no, I don’t write about naughty topics all the time. This site is (normally) completely appropriate to read (i.e. waste time with) at work and contains no icky photos or bad language. Unless you count bad grammar as bad language, in which case, you’re out of luck.
That being said, yes, today’s post IS about the deals you’ll find at Fantasy Gifts.

Disclaimer #2: Today’s post may be unsuitable for children under the age of 18, my parents, my big brother, and my former real estate clients. So, STOP READING. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Tip Of The Day: Truth be told, I can never turn down a good dare. One reader challenged me to find under-$20 deals at Fantasy Gifts – our local chain for “marital aids” and bachelorette party goodies. And guess what? Good deals abound in Fantasy land!

Tip For Tomorrow: I have a dream… and in that dream I am WARM. Or at least, I am TAN. How to (cheaply) achieve that golden glow without leaving MN or incurring skin cancer.

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: Last Friday, I was loitering about with two friends, drinking a very civilized cup of tea and discussing all things blog-related, when one of them asked me, “So, when are you going to blog about the $20-or-less things you can find at Fantasy Gifts?”

I don’t know if she was joking, serious, or issuing a dare, but I assumed the latter. I also don’t know if she really wanted an answer, but too bad! You’re getting one anyway, missy! So read on!

Before I accepted her challenge, I did think it through. Would this be valuable information for you, my dearly beloved readers? Do you need to know about inexpensive sexual aids? I think yes, you really do.

And here’s why – many of us learned everything we know about sex toys from watching Sex and the City. In short, we all heard about the Rabbit. And the Rabbit will set you back about $200. NOT FRUGAL. Nor was the “personal hand-held massager” Samantha bought at Sharper Image – that puppy was well over $100.

Spending that kind of money on an item which truly defines ‘frivolity’ is an anathema to frugal folks everywhere. And that’s where Fantasy Gifts comes in. Who knew grown-up toys could be so inexpensive?

I went to the shop in Fridley, located on Central Avenue in the Moore Lake strip mall. The staff could not have been friendlier, the store was spotlessly clean, and there were no creepy loitering creeps creeping about. In short, it is a pleasant place to shop.

According to the helpful staff member I chatted up, most people come to Fantasy Gifts to buy favors for bachelorette parties. My favorite goodies include the baking pans, cookie cutters, and pasta, all shaped like a man’s lower extremities, all under $15. Talk about having your cake and eating it, too…

Obviously, Valentine’s Day is a big shopping day at Fantasy Gifts. They sell lover’s gift packs, cute and racy undies for under $20, and my personal favorite, the candy bra for $9.95. Now, edible underwear totally skeeves me out. But an edible bra is fun AND tasty – the candy doesn’t touch anything unmentionable, and it’s the same candy they use to make candy necklaces. Yum.

Speaking of food, maybe flavors are your thing. Fantasy Gifts carries a large assortment of flavored oils and lubes. Don’t know which one tastes the best? They also have sample sizes of many of their products, so you can do a test run before you commit to a full-size tube or bottle.

Now, let’s return our focus to the Rabbit for a moment. Let’s say you are in the market for a toy or other “marital aid.” Can you find one for less than $20? Actually, you can find a whole bunch of toys – for men and women – for less than the price of a so-so dinner out. Many toys are in the $7.99 - $16.99 range, and many are even waterproof! Which, I guess, is SO important! Also, did you know you should boil silicon to sterilize it? Just in case you were wondering.

Fantasy Gifts also carries instructional books, many for under $20, videos (no, we know they’re not for you, they’re for a ‘friend’), costumes (they cost more than $20, but some are only $24.99!), fetish items like jewelry (for places I personally will NEVER put a shiny object), and more fun and sexy stuff than you can shake a riding crop at.

For those folks too timid to actually step foot in a Fantasy Gifts, never fear! They have a fantastic website, so you can shop from the privacy of your own home. They will also do at-home parties for you and your like-minded friends. Sure beats Tupperware.

Where To Go:
Fantasy Gifts website,
Fantasy Gifts in Fridley, 1031E. Moore Lake Dr., 1 mile North of 694 on Hwy. 65, 763-572-1075
There are six locations throughout the Twin Cities.
They also have Fantasy Gifts in New Jersey, for those of you who live out east. Or are going out east in the future. Whatever.


Larue said...

I believe you have made me speechless. Me. Speechless. Plus, I never watched SATC. Charmed, yes.

But it was totally a dare. I was there. I should know. Now I have to think up other things to dare you with in regards to frugality...

Norwego said...

If you want to make an investment in high quality toys, lube, etc., I recommend Smitten Kitten in Uptown. The staff are super friendly and nice and highly educated on what they sell. Also they sell non-glycerin lube there, which is important.

jilly said...

I did find you from Kare 11, My boyfriend and I were watching last night and really enjoyed it. I love your blog too!

I have a friend who works for Fantasy Gifts and truth be told, when I first met him and he talked about where he worked I thought he was like a singing telegram messenger or something like that, I had no idea. I love the idea of the cookie cutters though!

I planned a girls only wine tasting for Lillian's for my wine club last summer, I am hoping to do the same with the Fun Sisters.

Question for you, are you able to find $20 under fine dining deals in the Twin Cities?

The Cheap Chick said...


I need to do another food post - I haven't in awhile. I know fine(r) dining for cheap exists in the TC. One of my favorites is Brasa Rotisserie in Nordeast. It's not a super-fancy atmosphere, but the food. Oh. My. God.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your bit last night on KARE 11. Do you bike?
Ever been to the Cannon River Trail. A cheap way to get a great workout. Plus there is ice cream in Welch.

Tundrababe said...

This video makes a great companion piece to this post.

I was just going to order some stuff on Drugstore.com (which also has discount "marital aids"!), in particular some Neutrogena face stuff I recall you mentioning on here. They have a lot of face stuff though, and I don't remember where it is in your archives. Do you know what I'm talking about?

Marketing Mama said...

Great post - I love the SATC references. I, too, would love to see some of your thoughts on eating out - good food for cheap (beyond the dollar menu at McDonalds, of course). Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday. :)

kristine said...

Alright - hoping I can find some GREAT tips on here. I had to write down your info immediately after seeing you on Kare11 last night!!! With 2 kids - I will need to save money whereever possible! Thanks for doing this. Helps so many other people out, I am sure.

Anonymous said...

What is Larue talking about speechless ... It's a very important topic. I mean, God may have intended the "pleasure moment" to be for free, but sometimes a little acoutrement will set you back. You have provided an excellent public service. I think Lori and Julia need you, now.