Shopping List

Mostly Eastern Iowa based business that I like doing business with. Even though I did create a page on Non-commercial values if I have to buy something these are the places I would. another

page for getting started in life on the right foot 

Page I setup for where to Donate Things but also could be a good place to get things Free or cheap :)  

Page I added for Student Discount

Page for  Low Income  Resources 

I based the below list off of this the list on this website

and also

"The number of options are simply overwhelming. Even if you somehow have money for all them, you don’t have the time. Here’s a sample:"

Health care

I have a page all about this called get health get food.


Bauman & Co

A small independent shop that has been around since 1909 they have good quality clothes and a nice amount of big and talk since it will fit someone over 6ft 5 and large :) 

(319) 895-8692

124 1st Street SW

Mount Vernon, IA 52314 


They make good work clothes for men women etc...

 JC Penney 

 khakis - Foundry or Levi’s New Freedom Big & Tall Men (flat front)

 Gold Toe white quarter socks size 12-15 ( in black too & crew) 


Khakis - Croft & Barrow Big & Tall Men (flat front)

100% cotton sheets (best), not microfiber (cheaper)

100% cotton quilt (cool, not hot) - polyester is hot

Online clothing options 

They have good amount of plus size options.

environmentally friendly clothes for men.


Inspired to sew has a good mending class lots of resources in Cedar Rapids. 

I have an old Husqvarna Viking model 5000   I went to some meetings of the local chapter of the American Sewing Guild  they all spoke highly of the Vinton Sewing center for low cost and helpfulness. 

Inspired to sew

Phone: (319) 373-0334 

 Vinton Sewing Center

(319) 472-2660


Barbers Etc. great prices, great people, have been going for years By Appointment Only  (319) 393-7981  I also built this website. If you would like a website like the barbershop reach out to me :) 

Computer & Electronics

Used Tech

Midwest Computer Brokers Link

for used computer & accessories you can get a good used laptop for $100

Located in Walford you can call them at (319) 845-2075

  Darrel's Video City

Specializes in used & New TVs along with repair they closed :( 

They are in Marion you can call them at (319) 377-5621

TV I have Samsung 40" TV is UN40H5003AFXAZ This is the only TV I have ever bought and its in my living room hopefully it will last a long time.  

New Tech

Kirkwood Eagle Tech

a great place to buy a New Apple product or other new tech thing with a warranty & discounts

"You'll get them tax-free and at the same academic pricing we offer our full-time staff, faculty and credit students."


Cell Phone Service

is one of the cheapest phone providers out there. I have them along with a Free Google Voice  number I mostly use Google Voice because it integrates with Google hangouts so I can use it cross platform. 

$327 upfront for a year of AT&T Cellphone service unlimited talk and text and 8GB of data a month. 

Why would I pick AT&T I like their network and to have them as a backup to my T-mobile hotspot 

The other options I would think about would be Tello I think its around $7-10 a month for service with limited data or Red pocket 



The best deal out there spend $750 get Join the Calyx Institute after the 1st year its $500 each additional year for unlimited 5G internet. On the back end it runs on T-Mobile network

Two Independent service providers 

South Slope Cooperative Communications A member owned co-op that offers fiber to the home.

ImOn has Fiber to The Home (FTTH 

Otherwise see if your town has a co-op. 

Other main providers in Iowa would be Mediacom they used a  hybrid fiber coax or (HFC) built plant. A lot of times their network sucks because the last mile of connection is on a shared bandwidth pool and when little Johnny is playing world of Warcraft or some such game good luck watching Youtube etc..

CenturyLink was Northwest Bell back in the Ma Bell days in pre 1980's divestiture era. The staff was union and they were the only choice for phone service there was no cellphones. They offer DSL service and if you are close enough to a CO or central office you can get some good speeds but if you are far away then good luck.

TV Movies & News  

Over the Air TV is a great way to get free content after a cheap setup. If you can get a roof antenna your picture quality will greatly improve

getting some sort of DVR could be good. I used the one below but I don't really DVR much. I mostly watch live weather

Simple and cheap offline DVR setup that can be setup for under $100 

WH 150 Homeworx DVR 

misc. free TV and data

free to air international channels FTA via a Ku band dish

Dreamcatcher satellite data radio on L band 

Eating out Grocery stores free food etc... 

 If its at a restaurant or grocery store etc. here is a link to the page I did on getting food and getting health 


Bus Service

 I cover this a lot more in the Student Discounts page. 

Cedar Rapids City Bus Website

info about times rates etc... 

After Hours bus services 

NTS (Neighborhood Transportation Service) operates a curb-to-curb van service, and provides affordable night and weekend transportation to work, school, or life skill classes during times when the fixed route city buses do not operate.

Gray hound 

Megabus to Chicago or most other major Hubs around the Midwest Website

Flying Service

Cedar Rapids Allegiant Air is a low-cost airline that flys out of 


Hotels Service

 Super 8 

Its interesting on how the pricing and deals work out with out with different hotels 


Board Games & Comic books

Alter Ego Comics

Independent comic book shop in Marion

Mindbridge Game Library 

a nonprofit group that promotes gaming website

Furniture & Appliances

I try to look at the utilitarian value one receives. I buy as many things as I can used.  I have only bought my bed, recliner & Cosco tables new everything else I have i got for next to nothing.   

Beds are used a lot of hours so are desk & chairs  if you are at your desk at a computer. 


I have about a half dozen of these tables I use them as most of my table tops. 20" x 48" Vinyl Upholstered Steel Frame Folding Table Black 


Lebeda Mattress

Marion Iowa based Mattress company good quality beds.

Office Equipment

Welter Storage Equipment Co Inc

Good deals on new & used office equipment based out of iowa

Iowa City futon

Full size house special... not sure if they are open but replaced my mattress with them.

My chair

The Joshua rocker recliner from La-Z-Boy is

Stuff etc and Salvation Army are good places to look for used furniture. 

A Green Lawn solution Lawn Mower Fiskars reel mower Link to Review.


the company that is great for putting 

The best type of roofing materials malarkey class 4  shingles they are well built and get you an insurance discount after the derecho of 2020 I paid an extra 2k over what insurance was going to pay to get them upgraded 

Gifts & Holiday stuff

Balloons Etc. And The Costume Emporium

Independently owned and operated over 3,000 thousand costumes & lots of other interesting things.

Sporting Equipment

I bought a bowling ball & shoes some years ago from a Bowling Shop in the area the shoes have paid for themselves with not having to pay shoe rental fees.

other low cost sports to play.

Home Gym or Membership etc.


Low income under 20k a year $26.60 a month or $300 a year.   


the MAC the best gym in the CR area. 

You should also  check  this plan with the  for the discount plan  Its $28 s month with that discount 



I love the Public library network in the area great books lots of education to be had :) 


Overall I avoid magazine or many other types of monthly Subscriptions. I use Free email subscriptions.

Music & Dancing 


Iowa Public Radio nonprofit noncommercial radio YouTube has some of the best music and its free and easy to download the videos as MP3 files to listen anywhere.

Dance places around CR 

Phone  319-365-1275 

I wont shop at... 

I would not say I boycott but I tend to go go other places if the option is there.  I added this after black Friday 2023. 


Target has higher prices and less section than Walmart they act like they are the better place to shop but are still very exploitive and leave lots to be desired. They also are so woke but then they are weak they back down and just piss everyone off ;)  I have bought many things online from Walmart and amazon and have not had many problem overall but the few times I have gone on site or bought online from Target it was just a lame frustrating time.

DO Not shop here you can find it at better prices and easier at other places. 


I bought a few $100 dollars worth of things from them between super bowl 2023 and the summer of 2023 the more I learned from what they did and the quality of the products the spyware of the apps etc I stopped buying from them I bought some hats glasses etc but I got electric toys some tools etc I think most of it I bought because it was so cheap it was not things that I was looking to get so it mostly added more junk in my house so not sure what the value of that is. 


I really wanted to like this place I have only been here 2 times in my life and only bought one thing from them. I think they get good quality stuff and pay living wages etc... but I had a problem with my membership I order the product below and Discover Card canceled that order I called Discover up and had them allow that order to go thru but they still had my membership canceled which I did not know at the time. I then went to Costco a few months later and wanted to get my member card printed and it was there that I found out I  was not billed and did not have a membership. I am closer to Cedar Rapids than I am to Iowa City so it is easier for me to just go to Sam's and that is what I do.  I have a lot of info about getting the most out of Sam's club on this page how I get free memberships etc...     

Firman 7500W Running / 9400W Peak Tri Fuel Generator link 


I only go 1 or 2 times a year on site to Walmart in Cedar Rapids or one of the "Big Cities" in Iowa. I still order things online and have them dropped off at my house about once a month or so. I will go to some of the small town ones when I am out and about in those areas but I don't make a special trip for them. *so online only and small towns.   

I will add more to this list as I think of stores or businesses I will not do business with. 

Utility Discounts

A program that can save you money on LED light bulbs.

Save even more with Be Bright: Iowa utilities’ lighting discount program Be Bright is a program sponsored by participating utilities.

 Bankruptcy Planning & Advanced buys  

I have a page all about this topic.   



I have a number of pages that can help with this 

When money is tight checkout my Free page and my Low Income page

I am working on a Cremation and Celebration of life page on the site for setting something like that up. 

Death and celebration of life of life planning page  

Donate your body to U of Iowa  

prepaid burial plan from Iowa cremation 

for under $2,500 you can get this paid off and taken care of. 

Things that pay for themselves & Saving Money too

 l setup a page about the above topic too.