Club memberships

Nonmembers of Costco and Sam's Club often wonder if the $45 to $50 membership is worth it. I always say that it is, and here's an example to prove it. I recently took my current eyeglasses frame to Costco's optical department for new lenses. My optometrist wanted more than $400 for high-index, progressive lenses with anti-reflective coating. Costco charged me $191. Highly rated by Consumer Reports, Costco does good work. I was warned by the local technician that the lab may not accept non-Costco frames if they're not in good condition. (Costco charges $18 if you bring your own frame.)

Half off all used books

Biermaier's books, one of the oldest and largest used bookstores in the Twin Cities, will discount all of its 75,000 books 50 percent today through Saturday. If you need storage, not books, check out the several hundred wooden orange crates on sale for $5 at 809 SE. 4th St., Minneapolis, 612-378-0129.

GPS for less than $140

The Internet is a good tool for determining how good local prices are. Brand Name Deals (1000 E. Moore Lake Dr., Fridley, 763-572-9800, www.brandnamedeals.com) has the Nav Cam 7000 GPS system for $130. Online, the same model ranges from $99 to $299, but BND also offers a relatively hassle-free 10-day money-back guarantee (with receipt).

Get a discount for cleaning your closet

Herberger's annual Goodwill sale is in progress through Friday. It's a great way to get a discount on items that never go on sale, including cosmetics, certain designer brands and electronics. Donate any clean, gently used clothing or home textiles and receive coupons toward purchase of new items. Receive one coupon per item good for 20 percent off any item except electronics, furniture, luggage, mattresses, rugs, small electrics, cosmetics and Tech Trek, which get a 10 or 15 percent discount. The coupons may not be used on clearance or Incredible Values items. Donated items benefit Goodwill/Easter Seals programs in Minnesota. For store locations, go to www.herbergers.com.

John Ewoldt • 612-673-7633 or jewoldt@startribune.com. His articles are online at www.startribune.com/dollars.