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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday Savings: thrift shops and gas

A couple of money saving (or not so saving) things for the week:

Monday, Sept. 3, 2012 is Labor Day in the US, and a popular day for thrift stores to have 50% off sales on clothing.

All US Value Village stores are advertising 50% off clothing, shoes, accessories, bed and bath (this excludes jewelry, new merchandise, books and housewares/furniture). Open 9 AM to 9 PM.

Many Goodwill stores, Salvation Army stores, and St. Vincent de Paul Thrift stores across the US are also advertising 50% off sales on clothing on Monday, Sept. 3, 2012. Do a google search for the thrift shops in your area to see if they are participating in these Labor Day sales.

In less pleasant news, I was at my local Safeway store getting gas the other day and was told that the 3 cent per gallon discount for Club Card members is gone. No more gas discounts at Safeway, here.  Which leads me to two questions. Where are you finding the best prices on gas in your area? And how are you hearing about those prices?

If you're in the greater Seattle metropolitan area, you can check gas prices at Seattle gas prices *dot* com. And just for your information, the national average on a gallon of regular is $3.80, and on Friday, crude oil was trading at about $96 a barrel.


  1. We were in the path of Hurricane Issac earlier in this week, so local gas stations used that as an excuse to raise the price of gasoline. Once Issac moved far north of us, prices came down a little bit, but not down to the price before Issac hit. Hopefully it will come down more now that Issac has moved on past.

    1. Hi Belinda,
      isn't that the way it always seems to work, prices on something go up quite a bit due to a disaster or crop failure, then they never seem to come back down all the way once the disaster has passed.

      Here in the Seattle area, we had a refinery shut down due to a fire, last spring. Our gas was much more expensive than the rest of the US for months on that one. I think we're still higher that a lot of the US. We are right at the $4 mark for the cheapest around our town. We do the best we can. I'm looking around for the cheapest stations that would still be on my regular route.

      Thanks for your comments!

  2. I never realized that many thrift stores have a 50% off sale on Labor Day. I volunteered in one located in Houston area for years and we didn't do that. I just did quick google search and none of the stores around here say anything about a Labor Day Sale. I wonder if its a west coast thing.

    As for gas, I just watch the prices on my regular route and buy something reasonable there. I try to buy at the station closest to my house if I can. I like to support my neighborhood business. I don't worry about a couple of cents difference/gallon because it really doesn't make much difference. For example, if I fill up with 15 gallons and the gas cost .02/gal more, I'm only saving 30 cents. Money to be sure, but not enough for me to spend much time and energy on.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      This has been a key part of our clothing strategy for years. Value Village, nationwide, has these 50% off sales on or around several of the major holidays -- Labor Day, Veteran's Day, Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day and 4th of July. My favorite sweater came from last Memorial Day's 50% off sale. I think I paid $3 for it, and I wear it in cool weather all the time.

      The other really great thrift clothing deals we've had lately were from the nearby St. Vincent de Paul -- every Sunday, all clothing is 99c per item.

      I don't know if you have a Value Village in your area, maybe not. But the online ad was for all US VV stores.

      I wonder if there is more regionality about these sales. I did see a couple of major east coast cities when I was searching to see which Goodwills and Salvation Armys were having a big sale on Monday.

      Thanks for your input!

  3. I wish our op shops (thrift stores) would have 50% off sales. The best we have is coloured tags on the clothes and every week one of the colours is 50%. But it is the stuff that's already been there for more than a month, so there's not much good stuff left.

    I can't help you with the gas stations, but we have a similar system with the supermarket here where we get 4c off per litre, however the nearest service station is too far away to make it worth going to. My gripe is that the petrol (gas) prices here are 20c higher per litre than the city my parents live in, for no good reason. We are lucky that we live very close to a bus stop that takes us both to work, so we don't use the car much :)

    1. Hi ecomonies,
      We have the tag sales as well. I have occasionally found something I liked on a colored tag day, but as you said, it is the stuff that's been hanging around a while. In the kids section, however, there is so much stuff there all the time, my daughters have always been able to find items they liked on colored tag days. So, those colored tag days may work better for families with kids.

      Where we live, there is a large lake which breaks up the populated areas. We live to the northwest of the lake. I have never been able to figure out why the east side and to the south of the lake, their gas is as much as 20 cents a gallon less than ours. It really can't be transport costs. The major refinery is closer to our area than theirs. Just lucky them, is all I can think.

      When I do have to be down south (that's where the airport is) or on the east side, I try to fill up at one of the less expensive stations. And I keep thinking, "wouldn't it be nice to go electric and not have to deal with these price fluctuations."

      Thanks for reading!

  4. I read your information about the thrift store sales and started laughing, is there anywhere that doesn't try to use a holiday to get us to spend. I rarely shop and only when I need something so I don't even watch for the sales. Fortunately, for me, our thrift shop sells all clothes for 25 cents so a sale wouldn't make me rush out any way.

    As for gas, I no longer drive, I gave up my car this summer finally. Our gas is currently at $3.79 which seems crazy. My children can't choose to drive or not, they live too far from their jobs. My one son works just across the border of our state which has cheaper gas so he gets gas when he goes to work, my other son I introduced him and his wife to the Country fair gas card. It's a prepaid card that when used saves you 5 cents per gallon. It's the best we can find right now, although I also donate my grocery store fuel perks to my kids to help them as well. When I get close to a dollar off a gallon I give the card to one of them to use, they sure appreciate it.

    1. Hi Lois,
      Wow! 25 cent clothing at your thrift shop -- I want to shop there! But you're right about retailers using every last holiday to promote spending. I think you just have to be savvy about it, and not buy when you don't need, but if you're looking for something in particular to keep your eyes open to deals and value.

      I'm sure your sons appreciate your gas rewards from your grocery shopping. I've not heard of the Country fair gas card, but will check it out. That would be a savings.

      We can't really choose to drive or not, either. So we do the best we can. We carpool, take the bus, plan errands around other drives (I do my grocery shopping en route to my daughters' school), and walk as much as possible. The transit system in the Seattle area is really pretty good. When we want to go downtown for an afternoon, we can take a bus with just one transfer, and few stops along the way. I lived here for a few years when I was single, without a car and relied solely on the buses, and it was pretty decent.

      I'm glad for you that you were able to give up your car entirely. It's one less thing to worry about, take care of, watch depreciate, etc.

      Glad you stopped by!


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