By Ellen Lee, CNBC.com
Luxe for Less
Warehouse clubs are more than just about stocking up on paper towels and shampoo. Amidst the pallets of super-sized sodas and snacks, they also carry their share of luxury items for that can't-stop-myself splurge.
For example, Coach, Chanel, and Burberry handbags, Herman Miller chairs , and Waterford crystal have been known to grace Costco's shelves over the years.
In some cases, the warehouse clubs partner with high-end brands to offer its members exclusive products at discounted prices. However, some retailers may also obtain items through gray-market buying - a controversial practice in which retailers circumvent manufacturers and buy products through third-party distributors. Costco, the subject of a CNBC documentary "The Costco Craze," sometimes employs this strategy. That has led some companies to sue the retailer, but most have been unsuccessful.
Costco's founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal has no qualms procuring goods through the gray
Blog Posts by CNBC
By Ellen Lee, CNBC.comRead More »from 10 Luxury Goods for Warehouse Prices
By Cindy Perman, CNBC.comRead More »from Relax, America, the Bacon Crisis Has Passed
Gas prices may still be uncomfortably close to $4 but great news, bacon lovers - just in time for the summer BLT season, bacon prices have fallen back down to earth in the U.S.!
They go whole hog at the Sage General Store in Long Island City, NY. If you recall, last summer, we were approaching a bacon crisis as the price of pork bellies, where the bacon comes from, topped $150 per hundredweight (100 lbs), according to the USDA. Hog farmers had pared their herds due to high feed costs and retail bacon prices surged to near $5 a pound, with some projections calling for $6 a pound. Prices were so high it prompted a hog-stealing epidemic, or as we here at the Pony blog called it - The Great Bacon Crime Spree of 2011.
After peaking above $150 last August, the price of pork bellies this week has been between $86 and $88 per hundredweight, according to the USDA. And at the grocery store, bacon prices are back around $3 to $4 per pound.
"It's supply and demand," said Jason Mosley, the author of the Mr. Bacon Pants blog and co-star
By Colleen Kane, CNBC.comRead More »from Jobs that Make You Fit
Look, it's not breaking news that working as a physical trainer or fitness instructor makes you fit. Duh. In that line, it's an essential job requirement: "People will always judge you on your appearance," says certified personal trainer Joshua Margolis, of Mind Over Matter Health.
Additional no-brainers in this "fit jobs" category include dancers and athletes. Any active job requiring moving all day, like bike messengers, farmers, construction workers, and landscapers also come to mind. But for this slideshow, we went beyond the most obvious to find some of the less commonly cited occupations in the category-including one we can practically guarantee you didn't know was a legitimate job.
See the full slideshow: Jobs That Make You Fit
Flight AttendantFlight Attendant
The flight attendant lifestyle seems to be the polar opposite of the dreaded desk job. "Being a flight attendant keeps you fit! Not only did it used to be a requirement to stay within a
By Dan Fost, CNBC.comRead More »from 11 Greatest Baseball Attractions
The Greatest Experiences in Baseball
As the major league teams hit the road for the start of another baseball season, many fans are also ready to embark on their own baseball road trips. America's favorite pastime offers a great lens through which you can see the country.
While most recommended road trips will take you to major and minor league stadiums, we offer another kind of tour: businesses and nonprofit ventures that give you a different window on the game. If you time your visit to these places right, you will never be too far from a ballgame.
And if we've whetted your appetite for baseball's attractions, check out "The Baseball Fan's Bucket List: 162 Things You Must See, Do, Get & Experience Before You Die," by Robert and Jenna Santelli.
So, what are some of the greatest attractions in baseball?
See the full slideshow: Baseball's Greatest Attractions
Bergino makes baseballs — beautiful baseballs.Bergino Baseball Clubhouse
Location: New York
It's the kind of tiny treasure that you can only find
By Colleen Kane, CNBC.comRead More »from Best Educational Family Trips
Family Fun With a Purpose
For parents in search of excursions that provide a little more mental stimulation than the beach, the choices abound. It's just a matter of picking from the wealth of options. To narrow it down, we've picked suggestions for eight types of kids, from budding chef to history buff, to drama queen, to animal lover.
Here, assembled with input from Eileen Ogintz, creator of the travel resource Taking the Kids and the writers at Kids Can Travel, are plenty of ideas for educational family fun.
See the full slideshow: Best Educational Trips for Kids
Animal TrainerAnimal Trainer
SeaWorld has a variety of special "trainer for a day" and camp programs for kids age 13 and up that enable them to see what it is like to be working with the creatures that they love-what it takes to care for and train for them. There are also day-long and overnight programs starting for preschoolers, Ogintz says.
Similar trainer for a day programs are offered at various tourist
By Daniel Bukszpan, CNBC.comRead More »from Money-Making Athlete Wives
The stereotype about professional athletes' wives is they're not much more than gold-digging arm candy, with few accomplishments of their own. The stereotype no longer applies today, thanks to the efforts of some high-profile women who established themselves well before they married their famous husbands.
Many of the wives of today's professional athletes are entrepreneurs and business professionals. Some of them have been so successful in their chosen fields they are as famous as their husbands. Sometimes even more so - everyone knows Carrie Underwood but not everyone knows the name of her husband, NHL player Mike Fisher.
What follows is a list of the wives of 10 athletes who've made names for themselves as columnists, models, designers and more. They may have married famous men but they may have successful careers ahead of them long after their husbands have retired.
Read ahead to see which wives of professional athletes have made lives, careers and
By Michelle Fox, CNBC.comRead More »from 10 Unusual Retail Experiences
Most people go to a store to buy what they need, and call it a day. However, there are some retailers who are going the extra mile to capture customers. It may include selling unexpected items or giving their customers an unusual experience.
Costco, for example, employs the first strategy by offering customers a treasure hunt of sorts. While the warehouse store, which is the subject of a CNBC documentary " The Costco Craze," is known for bulk items like pallets of toilet paper and big boxes of cereal, it also sells thinks like diamond rings and coffins.
Other retailers have taken it a step further by offering something outside the shopping experience that visitors can enjoy while they are bouncing between aisles or hopping from store to store. Their business strategy is simple - lure as many people into their shops as possible. The result: malls and stores that have become a combination shopping/entertainment destination.
So what are some of the most
By Joseph O'Dell, CNBC.comRead More »from 9 Outrageous Bars in America
Unbelievable Theme Bars
It's the weekend and you're ready for a night on the town. So you might just go and pull up a barstool at your favorite local pub - like you do every weekend - and maybe that's worked for you for a long time.
But like any good relationship, sometimes you need to spice things up with your nightlife. You need to go somewhere different. Somewhere outrageous. Somewhere you can you tell your friends about tomorrow.
What'll it be tonight? Do you want to hop in your time machine back to the 1920s and sip absinthe? Or are you feeling like going to a place that's been described as a "temple to rum?" Maybe you want to spend the night in an ice chamber. Or maybe you want to go someplace that's as hot as "Heaven and Hell."
Grab your wallet and your ID, we're about to try something a little different.
See the full slideshow: 9 Outrageous Themed Bars
The Edison Lounge is set in an old power plant in downtown L.A.The Edison Lounge
Theme: Early 20th century
Location: Los Angeles
Drink to try: Edison 77
By Katie Little, CNBC.com
A Splash of Bacon, a Sip of PB&J
Stir in one part candy store, one part alcohol and a splash of cocktail risk-taking. For many vodka producers, this is a recipe for success, as they seek to capture the American consumer and draw attention to their brands through creative new flavors.
Flavored vodka accounts for approximately 27 percent of leading brand vodka volume, and continues to grow in popularity as total vodka sales also increase, according to market research firm Technomic.
In 2011, David Ozgo, senior vice president of economic and strategic analysis at the industry's trade group, the Distilled Spirits Council, counted 115 different flavors in the vodka market.
"They included everything from the basics, like orange, vanilla, and lime, to the more exotic: ginger, pepper, horseradish, bacon, and wasabi," Ozgo said. "Such flavors allow trained mixologists and at-home bartenders alike to develop new and interesting cocktails."
By Lisa Flam, CNBC.comRead More »from Box Store Weddings
Despite the tough economy, American couples still managed to spend, on average, slightly more than $25,000 on their weddings last year. And when every dollar counts, many turn to warehouse membership clubs to stretch their wedding budget to help bring their dream day to life.
You may be surprised how many wedding-related items are offered at warehouse stores around the country. There are flowers, wedding rings, outdoor equipment, food and baked goods, alcohol and table linens, all to help make your big day special.
Whether you're working with a wedding planner to create a grand event at a luxury venue or you're a do-it-yourself couple putting the event together, there may be something from a warehouse club that fits your wedding style and helps your bottom line.
See the slideshow: Box Store Wedding
At Sam's Club, diamond engagement rings are appraised at up to two to three times the purchase price.Bridal Ring, 1.26 carat
Price: $5,775 at Sam's Club
Stores: Sam's Club, Costco
For brides who don't need their diamonds to come packaged in a little blue box,