It's been widely reported that cotton prices have gone way up, but manufacturers and retailers have absorbed the increases so far, as I wrote about Tuesday. Expect things to change in late summer or early fall, though, when consumers should see higher prices.

You can beat the increase on fabric at Calico Corners (7101 France Av. S., Edina, 952-925-5600, Save 20 percent on everything Friday through March 26.

Tuesday Morning stores (10 Twin Cities locations, have a nice selection of all-cotton bedding and towels on sale. It's a good time to bag a great value on luxury linens from Sferra before prices go from outrageous to stratospheric. The company's most expensive sheets are Egyptian cotton (Pima is second best) made in Italy. (Sheets made in Portugal and China are of slightly lower quality.)

Several discontinued king and queen sheet sets are priced at $340 to $880, regularly an eye-opening $930 to $1,915. Only Tuesday Morning locations in larger metro areas typically get items this expensive, so check the online store.

Less expensive lines from Sferra called Linea Casa are also available at $120 to $140 per set. If you like Sferra quality, this sale represents one of the best selections I've seen, especially online, which has blankets and matelasses, too.

Jeans, usually made of 100 percent cotton, will be one wardrobe staple to see definite prices increases by fall. Levi Strauss has already raised some prices, but you can save big by buying vintage jeans, including Levi's, at Tatter's (2928 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-823-5285, During its semiannual sale Saturday and Sunday, save 50 percent storewide on '60s and '70s clothing for men and women. Before the discount, Levi's are about $28, T-shirts $16 to $24, and leather jackets under $200.

Light bulbs for a buck

Get a variety of compact fluorescent light bulbs for $1 each at participating retailers. It's part of an Xcel Energy program to help customers use energy efficiently. To get maximum savings, replace lights burned most often -- in the kitchen, living room, bathroom vanity and outdoor porch lamps. Participating dealers include Ace Hardware, Costco, Home Depot and Sam's Club, but check stores in your area by calling 1-800-895-4999 or going to Special prices are available while supplies last.

John Ewoldt • 612-673-7633 or If you spot a deal, share it at