A Weekend of Bargains!


I have to admit that last weekend was a bargain hunter’s dream.

First of all, we went to free event that was held at our not-so-local Sport Chalet store in Huntington Beach. The event was promoting and sponsored by the Steamboat Resort in Colorado and everything, I mean everything, within the confines of the arbitrary event boundaries was free: lunch, face painting, real snow for the kids to play in, balloon animals, snowboard lessons for kids, autographs from ski legend Billy Kidd, photos that put you on a slope in Colorado. It was definitely my kind of event and we all had a blast.

But the best part: spinning the wheel for prizes! There were no limits as to how may times you could spin the wheel so Anthony and I went back a few times. The result?

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In addition to ski hats, lip balm, Steamboat lapel pins and bandanas, we won about $30 in gift cards. You can’t beat that! Thanks to Sport Chalet and Steamboat for putting on such a fun and totally free event. You guys rock!

But before all that, I wanted to make a quick stop at the local Goodwill to see if I could find a copy of The Hobbit (the book not the movie, you silly goose). It was at this very thrift store that I found copies of The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers*, both of which I snagged immediately, so I figured I might have some luck.**

While I didn’t find it and will probably have to resort to buying it new, I did come across quite a few other things that a person on a budget was more than happy to purchase.

Lot 1: Contra Nintendo cartridge

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Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A. Everyone knows that code and here’s the game that popularized it. This game was one of many that were sitting on the shelf and knowing the value of it, I decided that dropping a mere $3.99 for it was indeed a bargain.

How much of a bargain? The current bid high bid on eBay is $15.50 with just over a day left and 10 watchers. Yes, 10 of them. I get the feeling it will be going for much more than I expected. Not a bad ROI if I do say so myself.

Lot 2: Brita Filters

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I have two Brita pitchers in the fridge and I use them daily. In fact, Monte and Steve will only drink water that comes from the pitcher and not spigot water. (My cats? Spoiled? Nah.) At any rate, Ann found this floating around the store and at $9.99, I also saw it as a bargain despite the box being a bit bent out of shape.

How much of a bargain were these? Here’s what they sell for at:

  • Walmart: $29.88
  • Target: $29.89
  • Brita (MSRP): $37.99

Holy buckets, I’m scoring stuff left and right here. These I will use for sure – no reselling.

Lot 3: Amphipod Hydration Belt

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When you run, you get thirsty and unless you are running an event where volunteers are handing out cups of water, you’re screwed if you suddenly become parched.

Sure, you can carry a bottle with you but that proves to be cumbersome as well as very cold on chilly mornings. That’s why hydration belts were invented. You fill up the bottles with water or electrolyte-packed drink of choice, clip them on, strap the belt to you and you’re good to go.

And once I started running longer distances, I realized how handy having one of these belts would be.

The problem: price. They can run a minimum of $30 for a low-end belt with only two bottles or up to $46 for the model you see above which holds four bottles as well a pouch for storing a snack or device.

I found this item just randomly thrown in with the toys as it’s my belief that the employees had no idea what it was. If they had, it would have been over with the sporting goods stuff but I’m willing to bet that they thought it was some kind of NERF gun accessory.

Either way, I picked it up and held onto it once I realized that it was. Upon inspection I saw that the Velcro fastener had come loose but it wasn’t anything Ann and her crazy crafty glue from unknown country of origin couldn’t fix, which she did once I brought it home.

Oh, and how much was this, you ask? Does $4.99 sound like a deal? Winner winner, chicken dinner!

Between the filters and the belt, I paid $15 for stuff that retails for $76 – or about 80% off original MSRP. Plus throw in the $30 gift cards we won and the profit I’ll make on the game and I’d say that Saturday was indeed a great day to be a tightwad.

Not that I am or anything…

*I am currently on The Two Towers. The last time I read these books was in 8th grade and I was overjoyed when I learned they were being made into movies in the early 2000s. I saw them first-run and own them all on DVD (and after reading them again, I still prefer the books). Bet you never expected that from me, did you?

**I later found The Return of the King at another thrift store but still no stupid, fat hobbitses…

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