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Saving Money in the Spokane Valley

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                    Below are Money Saving Tips that have appeared in The Spokane Valley Scoop



Cheap Views                                                                                                                                                                                   The River Park Cinemas is only $5 on weekends for the first matinee. The best deal around, though, is Post Falls Theater which is only $4 for showings before 6 pm on weekends.



         Save Money Where Your Mouth Is

   Not long ago one of our little darlings had an abysmal check up at the dentist office. The estimate to take care of 11 cavities came in at $3300! Since we are self-employed,we gave up dental insurance years ago, and so this was quite unwelcome news.
   Luckily, a friend told us about the Dental Hygiene Clinic, a part of Eastern Washington University located downtown. Their estimate came in at $1,000. They have a done a great job and saved us a ton of money. Their number is 368-6510.
              Valley  Drug  Wars

   We learned it really pays to shop around for prescription drugs recently. Last month Elaine went to Walgreens and got a prescription filled for $426 and we were only getting generic. The real stuff was over $900! So when it ran out after a month,she complained to the doctor that it seemed rather expensive.
   On the doctor's advice she called around and found that Costco price was $216 and Wal-Mart was $202. As she stood in line at Wal-Mart, the elderly man in front of her said
that he was going to switch to Costco for his prescription
because Wal-Mart's price was $49 after co-pay and Costco's was $19. But when he asked the Wal-Mart pharmacist to transfer his prescription to Costco, he was told they would match their price.
   "When I asked the guy why they didn't let me know this before," the old man said, " he said it was because I hadn't
asked before!"

Beauty For Less

    Need to  get your hair colored but can't justify the cost? The cosmetology school at SCC is normally about half the price for such services as pedicures, manicures and hair cuts.
Call for an appointment 533-7288

Four Eyes For Less
My reading glasses are either hanging from my neck waiting or else they are on my face (more and more it seems). Being a carpenter and needing them every time I measure or make a cut, I go through at least one pair a month.
   Luckily, someone once told me about the Dollar Store, which is where I now buy them by the bushel for $1 a piece.

Triple Play In Coeur D' Alene

   A friend of mine told me about an overnight fun getaway he recently treated his family to. The cost for a room for six at the Holiday Express on Highway 95 was only $179. He was then able to pay $100 more to get enough vouchers and passes to the attractions to keep them all busy during their stay. This great family place has an indoor water park, 2 miniature golf courses, an 18-lane bowling alley, laser tag and more.
   On top of all that, they serve a killer continental breakfast.
  I know that I have had to pay more for our family of six just to get a room without breakfast,let alone a day of fun.

         Consider Classy Rack for used cars
We have a frugal friend who has done a lot of horse trading for cars in Spokane and his favorite place to start looking is at the Classy Rack at Sprague and Union.
   After buying 3 cars there in recent years, he pointed out that all the cars are donated and usually come from estates where they were driven by elderly people who drove them sparingly and maintained them well.
   The Classy Rack is non-profit and they donate all proceeds to the Union Gospel Mission.
   Our friend says they clean them, fix them and put gas in them. He said he has often found that some used car lots neglect to do.
           A Great Deal on Movie Rentals
   Hastings is the place to rent new releases. If you return the film any time the next day before they close, they give you a $2 credit toward your next rental. Their full price for a new release
is $3.99, while Hollywood and Blockbuster both charge $4.29 and no longer give a credit for new releases returned the next day like they used to.

Bargain Furniture

   Everyone knows about Liquidation World on Sprague, but have you ever tried Complete Suite on Trent? This store, located just west of Pines has incredible deals on furniture that might have some problems in shipping, but have no problem making your home shine on the cheap.
Try out the Rack at Nordstrom's
   Noone has a better return policy than Nordstrom's and you can take advantage of all the items they take back no-questions-asked in the basement floor of the downtown Nordstroms.
That's where they resell their returned items for at least one-third the original price.

   Saving Money in the Valley

Horizon Furniture

  A friend of ours recently purchased new high quality dining and living room furniture for $10,000 from Horizon Furniture. She said she shopped for a long time locally and on the Internet and finally determined that Horizon saved her hundreds of dollars.

   Fix Fido For Less
License your pet at S.C.R.A.P.S  on north Flora and they will give you a voucher to have your pet sprayed or neutered at Petsavers on Trent for 70% off.
Here's the Deal on Cereal    
   The escalating price of groceries always seems to have cereal breaking the trail, boldly charging more and more per box than anyone thought possible. I believe the problem lies in packaging and advertising. We spend a lot of money to buy that comfortable box with the Sugar Bear or the Leprechaun smiling back at us. And I believe  the answer lies in thinking inside the box. That's where the bag is and that is how you need to buy cereal.
   Malt-O Meal and Western Family make all the popular cereal types for less than half the price. They come in a bag and have goofy names, but they are just as good.
   At Rosauers, for example, Cap'n  Crunch with Crunch Berries ( my favorite as a kid) costs 35.2 cents an ounce while Berry Colossal Crunch costs 14.4 cents.

                         A Break at Breakfast
   While Denny's Grand Slam breakfast choices are often sale-priced and hence a good bargain, they have always been the breakfast of gluttons. You have to put in a 10 hour day of hard labor to work one off, which is difficult to even begin because you are too stuffed to move. The "light eater's choices" on the menu at the Cottage Cafe is much more reasonable, calorie and penny wise.
  For $4.95 they give you three selections. One features hot cakes,a meat and an egg, another has french toast. My favorite is half a Belgium waffle, a one egg cheese omelet and hashbrowns. The best part is you leave totally satisfied without having consumed 2/3's of your daily calorie allotment.


                         Triple A, A Great Gift
   No one should be without AAA. For roughly $40  a year it has saved our distressed butts repeatedly through the years. Beyond roadside emergencies such as dead batteries, no gas, locked-in-keys or what ever they also give you discounts at hotels.
   A Triple A membership makes the perfect gift for any single woman in your life, especially if you are the one that she would be calling to rescue her.
   We gave it to our son for Christmas at a cost of $31 and received near immediate payback when he broke down in Wallace last week on his way back from skiing at Lookout. How much time and money did I save by not having to drive over there in the middle of the night just to tell the knothead his radiator cap was loose?

                      Golden Rule In More than Name  

    You are always looking for repair places that have a heart and Elaine found one last month at the Golden Rule on Pines when she needed to get her brakes done. The quote the manager gave her over the phone after inspecting her car was fair and so Elaine agreed. When Elaine mentioned that the cost was really going to hurt the old pocket book, he told her he would give her a $100 coupon that the store had been running even though it was one the customer was suppose to bring in themselves.
   On top of that, he reused as many of the old parts as he could to do the job even lower than his original quote.

                             Bargain Sports Gear
   The Bargain Hunter located at 16413 East Sprague behind the Paul Mitchell Beauty School is a great place to check out if you need anything related to the outdoors. They have a huge store full of items for fishing, camping, hunting, archery and horse riding.

  Half of the store goods are consignment, a quarter is liquidation items and the other quarter are new wares direct from the manufacturer. They have a "wish list" where customers can let others know what they are looking for.
   Owner Jeff Wright said they opened in March 09 and have been growing ever since. They plan on turning their expansive second story into an archery range.  

                   The School Is Cool
   The new Paul Mitchell Beauty Salon school on Sprague in the old Kmart building is a great bargain. We normally pay $20
to get our girls' hair cut but there it is only $9.
   Beside a shampoo and cut, they also give you a little massage!

                   Get a Load Off Cheap
The other day I tore the stucco off a wall at Halpins and was dreading taking it to the dump because it was so heavy. A friend of mine told me the landfill at Chester had opened back up so I went there. Judging by the pull the trailer put on my truck, I would guess I had at least a 1,000 pounds which would have cost about $50 at the dump but they only charged me $5 at the landfill.
   They take glass, asphalt, concrete and clean dirt and are open 8:30 to 4:30, Monday through Friday. Just go down Bowdish past Dishman-Mica and they are located on the second curve past the store.

            Less Dough for the Doughnuts 
    When the lights are a flashin' don't bother knockin' at Crispy Creme Doughnuts, just go in and buy a dozen glazed doughnuts for $5.
 Usually around 8 pm on weekdays and 8:30pm on weekends the store will start flashing the lights on the roof, not the red doughnut sign, to let people know they are ready to sell the day's surplus doughnuts at $4 dollars off per dozen.



                       Carpet Remnants
  If you need to carpet a room it is a good idea to go to the back of Lowe's and check out their selection of remnants. We recently carpeted a bedroom with good quality carpet that we found there for $66.

Meat Lovers Special

If you are a prime rib enthusiast, Ringo's has the best price in the Valley. Their 12 oz. cut runs $12.99, and their 16 oz. cut is $16.99 on Friday and Saurday nights. Next best is Dave's. On Monday and Wednesday they run a special offering a 12 oz. cut for $14.49. By comparison, a 12 oz. cut at Stuart Anderson's cost $20.99 and their 16 oz. costs $23.99. 


  The Finder's Market
   There is a new thrift shop in the Valley next to Spokane Art Supply at 14401 E. Sprague. Pam Hansen just opened up March 12. She has a lot of great stuff with prices that reflect that she understands that this is the Valley and not the best of times.
   Some of her pieces are on consignment, others she has skillfully and tastefully reconditioned herself. When I found the place I saw two things right away: The prices were great and Elaine was going to love it there.
   Minutes after I told her about it, Elaine was there and made her first purchase and was scheming how to buy this odd tin pig as soon as she could. The next day she was back to take her little piggy from the Finder's Market but she had to go wee, wee, wee all the way home because it was already gone. So the moral of this place is finders keepers, losers weepers.

The Finder's Market has moved to the Valley Mall.

The Bestway to Buy Screws and Nails

I hate buying a few screws or nails of a certain size at Lowe's or Home Depot.
They package them up in little boxes and charge too much.
Go to Valley Bestway and in the back corner they still sell fasteners from the same bins they have for decades. You scoop out what you need, sack it up and pay a fair price.  SaveMore on Sprague past Sullivan also sells nails and screws this way.

  Save On a Coupon
There is a website called
Restaurant.com where you can purchase gift certificates for local restaurants at great discounts. For example you can buy a $100 gift certificate for Conley's for only $40. Also- Another way to get ahead when dining out is to go to Ambrosia Wine Bar and Bistro at the Argonne Village. (You've got to try their Bread Pudding or Crab Ravioli ). The good deal  there is that you get high-quality, chef-prepared meals that would cost about 30%  more downtown and about 200% more  in Seattle. Besides the better prices, you save a lot of money in gas.
   Of course you could get a lot more to eat right next door at the Timber Creek Buffet and walk away  with a whole lot of gas at no extra charge.
For Your Convenience
Believe it or not, The Holiday convenience stores are a great place to buy trail mix, or gorp as it used to be called. They have four really tasty varieties and the price is about 25% less than at any grocery store this side of the big W's (Wal-mart and Winco).    
   Also on the convenience store beat, Sam's Stop and Go at Sprague and Bowdish is the place to buy energy drinks. They charge just $3 for
two on almost all brands this side of the big RB (Red Bull).

Best place to stay on the cheap in Seattle
It is unbelievable how many hotels downtown Seattle has to offer. Unfortunately, none of them are cheap offers. But downtown is the place to be and so we scoured Expedia, Travelosity, and Hotwire to see if we could find a bargain for our trip last weekend. Turns out those are all pretty phony which shouldn't be surprising considering how much they spend on advertising to get us to use them. We could find nothing with 2 beds for under $190. Finally, I just started Googling and found a great motel in the heart of Seattle.
The Sixth Avenue Inn is right across the street from the Westin Towers whose $400-a-night price for the room we needed towered high above the lowly inn price of just $131 with a AAA discount. The rooms were clean, the location perfect and by booking direct we saved $25 a night over what William Shatner was able to do for us.



It was interesting to me that Expedia and the rest gave this place a 2-star rating out of four while the guest ratings that I found online gave it 3 stars. For price and location the Scoop gives this place 5 out of four stars. Click to read "From Westin go east in Seattle for a reasonable nights sleep" , a blog post covering our recent trip there.

Cheap Eats
  You don't have to drink alchoholic beverages to make out like a bandit in bar, you just need to be in the bar. Unlike in the past, now days nearly every bar and lounge with access to a good kitchen offers great appetizer specials for around $5 during their designated Happy Hour, which is roughly 4 to 6 in the afternoon.

     Personally, I see the word appetizer read "dinner" when I go to Charlie P's and get two of his bbq ribs that are to sleep for, meaning I look forward to sleeping the night before I so that I can dream about what they will be like the next day. The ribs come with a hearty,though bad for your hearty, basket of  fries and so where the ribs don't get me the fries always do.

   Done correctly, two people can eat for $5 or $6. The other day Elaine and I shared 3 sliders - pulled pork, sweet thai chicken and a fantastic loaded burger- at $1.50 apiece and got two wings for $1.50. So we had a tasty little dinner for $6.

   The Black Diamond is another place with great specials. We ate their nachos for $5 and had enough for a fair-to-middling to-go box left over, but nachos don't travel well for us. It helps to be light eaters occasionally, which is one of the ultimate money saving tips.

   It is probably nothing to be proud of that I often plan many of our dining out experiences with happy hour bargains in mind, but I must admit to having squired my woman on a few dinner dates for Monday free pizza at the Iron Horse. Nothing gets me more in the mood than the word "free", but I mostly save those special occasions for the fall when there is Monday Night Football on t.v.. That really helps the romance.




























   Saving Money in the Valley

Horizon Furniture

  A friend of ours recently purchased new high quality dining and living room furniture for $10,000 from Horizon Furniture. She said she shopped for a long time locally and on the Internet and finally determined that Horizon saved her hundreds of dollars.

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