Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Price of a Good Bargain

I just filled my gas tank up for $16.15! I don't remember the last time I did that - at least not on an empty tank. I have a credit card that I use only for gas and pay off each month. The reason I use it at all is because it gives me $.05 off a gallon. Gas here is $1.65, so got it for $1.60. The perverse part of budgeting means that I am actually looking forward to getting that credit card statement this month. Like everyone else, each fill up has cost me progressively less over the past month, so it will be fun to see November's bill come in under budget - December's too, if this keeps up. I never thought I would look forward to getting a credit card bill before but, here I am.

My other bargain for the day was transferring a prescription from the mega-grocery store across the street to a Rite Aid pharmacy. Rite Aid was offering a $30.00 gift card in exchange for transferring a prescription, so since I had one to be filled I transferred it over. The prices are the same, and in fact, the one prescription I have that isn't covered by insurance was actually $2.00 less than what I paid at my old pharmacy. I took a portion of my gift card and picked up a couple of stocking stuffers, and still have over $20.00 of it left. So, for transferring over my prescription and paying slightly less, I also get $30 in merchandise... not bad!

There is a downside to these bargains though -

In order to get the $.05 off gas, I have to go to the company my gas credit card is through. Oh, I can use it at other stations, I just won't get the discount. That isn't really a problem where I live, since there are a lot of these gas stations around, but it is minor inconvenience.

The Rite Aid card was more of a hassle. For one thing, there are only a couple of Rite Aids around me and neither are terribly convenient. They aren't bad, it isn't like I have to drive across town or anything, but they are located in places that aren't on my normal route. If I continue to leave my prescriptions there, I will have to make a special effort to go pick them up. Then there is another little quirk - the Rite Aid closest to my office is a bit of a fussy old store where all the elderly shop and work. Now, I don't mean to be ageist, but I have to say, today going to pick up my prescriptions was a testament to my patience. I watched a salesclerk ring up a senior's order and mess it up not once, not twice, but three times. Not because the clerk was particularly dumb mind you, but because they were busy chatting. She said over and over, "Oh my! It looks like I was distracted, I guess I goofed this up." Grrrr...... Other "long time" customers walked in front of me in line to chat with the sales clerks on their way out - it was like a big social club, of which I neither wanted to witness or be a part of - all I wanted was to get out of there and back to work.

Of course, it was probably partially my fault by going in the middle of the day on my lunch hour. Perhaps next time I'll plan on swinging by on a Saturday when I have more time and more patience. By then it will be January as well, and that might be better. I may still be stuck in line, but hopefully not also stuck listening to singing stuffed reindeer!

Photo by: Lost in Transit

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