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Hawaii Steals and Deals

We may be in the midst of an economic slump, but that doesn't mean you have to hold yourself up in your home for the duration. We found 53 ways to shave the costs off retail therapy, sprucing up your home, collecting art, grocery shopping and more. All without breaking the bank.


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Warehouse manager Parker Mossman, with some of the recycled building materials the nonprofit Re-use Hawaii has in inventory.

Photo: Mark Arbeit

Fixer Uppers

Re-Use Hawaii

A DIY job doesn’t always require buying new materials. With a mission to curb waste, the nonprofit Re-use Hawaii performs deconstruction projects across the state.

“One of our goals is to provide affordable building materials,” says Selina Tarantino, co-executive director of Re-use Hawaii. “We’ve got doors, windows, lighting, hardware. Lumber is our biggest seller, and it’s all affordably priced.”

Tarantino says the best way for treasure hunters to find out about unbelievable deals is to visit the downtown warehouse. In addition to the goodies from deconstruction projects, she says materials left over from huge construction projects—like Waikiki hotels—are often donated. “We have, for instance, really cool marble backsplashes for a sink,” Tarantino says. “We’ve got tons of them from Trump Tower. They were $50 each and we sell them for $10 each.” If you want to turn your castoffs into write-offs, Re-use Hawai‘i also takes tax-deductible donations. 30 Forrest Ave., 550-4441, reusehawaii.org.

Home Matters

Need advice on home decor  or want to learn how to tile your floor? Look no further than Home Depot. Part of the Home Improver Club, the store (with locations in Iwilei, Pearl City and Kapolei) offers free DIY workshops every Saturday and Sunday, including keiki activity classes the first Saturday of every month. Participants learn how to install floor tiling, shop for countertops, fix troublesome toilets or learn fire prevention tips—October is fire prevention month—and ways to save energy in your house. “It’s all about empowerment and the realization that these projects aren’t as difficult as you think,” says assistant manager Stephanie Kishaba. “You can hang a ceiling fan, you can fix your leaky toilet.” The workshops are taught by industry experts; sign up online or just drop by your nearest Home Depot. The store can also deliver your wood tiling or lumber to your home any day of the week for $79, and offers free delivery on all appliances. homedepot.com.

Throwing a Party

Photo: Courtesy Island Events

When it comes to planning  and throwing a party at your home for your friends and family, Frank Robinson, the founder and president of Island Events, says the first step is defining a budget. “It’s important to save money when you throw a party, without losing your sanity.”

Robinson organizes about 40 luxury parties a year, so he knows about organizing and money-saving tips. He suggests a hybrid of services. For renting equipment you’re not likely to use every day, such as 20 chairs, colorful linens or outdoor lighting, he recommends using Royal Party Rentals and adding the materials you already own, such as stemware and china. “When you’re entertaining at home, if you have stemware and china, use it. It adds personality, especially if there’s a great story behind those pieces.” Rather than getting your party catered, Robinson says you can save money by cooking dishes yourself, and, for larger parties, having chefs deliver premade dishes. “You don’t have to hire a 30-plus cooking and wait staff, but you don’t have to do it all yourself either.” Lastly, add a personal touch to your party, such as a signature cocktail, or homemade parting gifts such as chocolates. “People remember the little things.” If you’d rather Robinson handle the party, Island Events offers a full range of services, and, he says, discounts come in the form of his negotiating power with other companies. islandeventshawaii.com.

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Honolulu Magazine March 2019
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