I bought a home about eight months ago. Subsequently, I live at Lowe's. They are a great one-stop-shop, with excellent prices, for any home-related, repair-related, oh-my-God-something-else-broke kind of problem. They have a friendly staff, some of whom are more helpful than others, and tend to be open late for night owls like me.
The pros of West Coast Vinyl are obvious: they have a great product, they do their own work on your house and they bring samples to you to pick out.
However, they are extremely expensive (quality = cost, I guess) and their salesmen are pushier than anyone I've ever met.
When I dealt with them, my original quote ended up around 15K; I wasn't sold and the price was dropped to 12K. I'm still not a spur of the moment gal and said I'd call the next day to let them know after sleeping on it. When I spoke to a different rep, the price quoted for my house was 8K... The discrepancies, plus the extreme pushiness of the original salesman turned me off so much I went with a different company.
Emery's is a great resource for outdoor plants. Every purchase I have made there has simply thrived in my home garden. It's reasonably priced and has a great selection made even better by their helpful and extremely well informed staff.
For a range of fabrics, sewing supplies and quilting crafts, JoAnn's Fabrics is reasonably priced and offers a decent selection.
Their staff, however, leaves much to be desired... In my recent visits, I have routinely found long checkout lines while employees were idle in other areas, and had difficultly finding knowledgable employees to help me with selections or cutting fabric. Bolts of fabric are frequently stashed in incorrect places, resulting in different costs than shoppers anticipated.
Overall, I found the experience to be more of a hassle than it was worth.
Fred Meyer tends to lump in with the other megamarts (you know what I mean: KMart, Walmart, Target) in terms of good prices, mass production and ho-hum quality.
That said, I would say that FM tends to be ahead of the game in it's garden section: good price/quality and a range of organic products I hadn't seen at non-specialty stores at a nice price.
I thought I was dreaming when I first went to 1/2 Price Pots. The prices, quite literally, are exactly 50% off of whatever it says on the label (65% during their customer appreciation sales). The selection is great: mostly ceramic and terracotta pots in a range of sizes, colors and designs.
Gardening can be expensive. Garden accessories, even more so. 1/2 Price Pots is a god-send for any budget garden.
Sky Nursery is one of the best places to go and just wander around to get inspiration. Their plants are gorgeous and healthy.
I'm not terribly impressed with their prices or with their (very basic) classes, but that hasn't kept me from returning again and again.
I drive at least 25 minutes to get to Molbak's Nursery, and it is worth it. They have a great selection of plants, very reasonable prices, a friendly, welcoming and knowledgable staff and a fabulous site. There's truly nothing not to love!
If there's one thing you shouldn't bother buying new, it's a book. Half Price Books has both new and used books, all "at least half price," hence the chain's name. The used books are a great bargain, and the clearance section is a fabulous find.
One caveat: if you're looking for a specific book, or a newly released book, you may have to go elsewhere or be patient while the book is transferred from another store. But, for those of us with a little flexibility, Half Price can't be beaten.
My usual vet has standard hours. My kitten didn't realize that when she pulled out all her stitches and got an infection...
Five Corners provided excellent emergency care; the "kennel-side" manner of assistants and vets was comforting and professional. My kitten is happy and healthy again, and I'm glad that Five Corners turned out to be such a great experience for us both.