Sunday Diary #3- Sam’s Club (Round 2), Estate Sale & Soda Tax?

Sam’s Club (Round 2)

So full :O!

When Sam’s club announced their first closing, they backed it up with a 25% off sale. Last week, we waited in line for 15 minutes just to check out the fuss. I waited in the Sam’s Club line for 15-20 minutes this time, just like the first time. My goal was just to walk around the store and peep at whatever was directly useful to us, i.e. food.

Sam’s marked up the rest of the inventory to 50% off. Half of the store was blocked off. The shelves were emptied except a few selected regions of the store.

Now I know what exactly doesn’t sell at a wholesale club. At 50% off there were still lots of clothes, boxes of candy, cookies, toys, snacks and tons of adult and children’s books left over. So the lesson here is if you buy these at your wholesale club at regular price, stop being a sucker. It’s not a wholesale deal get 50% off.

At half off for everything remaining in the store, things seemed to be quite a steal. Although we lived close by and I could have called my father for back-up, I didn’t. I didn’t feel like making 2 trips either. We just needed food, I didn’t need those Frozen Elsa sleeping bags.

If anyone is in the market for a shopping trolley, buy my Rolser (affiliate link!) because it’s awesome. It’s 30 step above the Walmart crap. The carts are made in Spain.

I purchased large bulks of burgers patties (15 pounds), dog treats (4 pounds), hot dog buns (24x), ketchup (3x), brown sugar pop-tarts (36x), box of deli spiral sandwiches, refried beans (9 cans), large jar of pickled jalapeno, 2 jars of tomato salsa, honey bun cakes (24x) and 4x compressed air/dust remover for computers.

In total, I purchased $116 worth of groceries that went down to $58. Got it all home car-free. #frugalwins

Our First Estate Sale

I have never been to an estate sale before. It’s basically what happens when a person passes away and the living members do a clean out of their possessions. I believe the elderly neighbor passed away and her children held the estate sale to declutter. It was a few houses down from ours.

They started yesterday but I missed it…despite walking by the sign several times…d’oh! Today, they were only open until 12 noon. We literally came 2 minutes before noon. The estate sale family welcomed us in and said we can have a few more minutes to pick at the striplings as they pack up.

We were interested in some “overpriced” painting and frames that didn’t sell. I was thinking of haggling, thankfully I didn’t have to. We came so late and the dumpster bins were looking hungry outside. The estate sale woman took a glance at our collected stash and said we could have everything in our arms for $20. Sweet!

3 Monet prints + gold frames
Silver frame Monet, frame, thank you cards and a picture collage.

I have 3 observances here:

1. Those Monet paintings and frames were not overpriced. They’re overpriced in terms of “garage sale/estate sale” prices at $5 to $12 each. But compared to an average retail store like Hobby Lobby or Target, those frames would go for $15 alone without the Claude Monet reprints. So a consumer would have to take situational framing (yup, that’s my joke for the day) in mind.

2. We’re too cheap to buy retail frames and prints. They are so expensive for something unnecessary and super common! That’s why the walls of our home are so bare. Frames are common, reusable and permanent. They are difficult to break and do not expire. Supply and demand…which beg my question…why are they so expensive??? Plus you have to pay money to buy hanging hooks with the intent to destroys your walls! Madness! Oh and don’t get me started on the reprints themselves. Cheapest Monet reprints on Amazon go for $10 a pop.

It’s only a matter of time before I find this stuff left out on someone’s lawn or wasting away at a garage sale nearby. Muahaha, just like that sweet table we found last week. My frugal math never fails!

Our new, free table put together.

3. It doesn’t matter how many possessions you have. Buddy, you best know you can’t take a single thing with you!!! Before you’re even buried, the kids will sell a pound of stuff for $10 per pound, divide up the money and throw the rest into a landfill!



Related: What I Learned From A Fear Of ‘Stuff’ This Christmas

Wtf, Soda Tax?

There’s something very Big Brother-y about the Seattle soda tax. Soda tax could be a new idea in some regions of the US but in places like San Francisco and Chicago, it might not be, because they’ve already passed there too.

I love how Costco called it for what it was. My grocer labeled it a “bottle” tax, can you be transparent with people dillweeds?

The Seattle soda tax is a tax of $0.175 per ounce of any sweetened beverages such as soda, sweetened teas, lemonade etc. The tax excludes drinks smaller than 40 calories as well as any drinks that containing mostly milk such as Starbucks Frappuccino (even though it has as much sugar as a regular soda.) Looking into the details, hubby read the actual ordinance, 20% of net proceeds will fund administrative purposes. The rest goes to food banks, Fresh Bucks program, public health, childhood education about nutrition etc.

I treat myself to soda sometimes and my Airbnb guests’ fridges are usually stocked with a can or two for hospitality. Still, it hardly affects me as much as other real businesses. Restaurants hate it because drinks are one of their biggest profit margin products. This will lessen consumer demand for drinks. To enforce it, they randomly check restaurants and their distributor to see if they are paying the taxes.

P.S. Martinelli’s Apple Cider is NOT affected by the soda tax because apples are just naturally sweet! There is justice!!! If God made it sweet, it’s OK. If Man made it sweet, no go.

This tax impacts the poor huh? Because rich people don’t drink soda. Rich people can go to Starbucks which is excluded from this tax. And we all know rich people would be most likely to break open a bottle of Martinelli if they wanted something bubbly.

Sugar is pretty awful for your health although the “hand-holding” policy makes me feel uncomfortable.

Hubby: “First, they tax our cigarettes, liquor, cannabis and now our sugar!”

FYI – we’re losers. We don’t do any of those things…Jared never even drinks soda, he’s a Ned Flanders.

Me: “They’ve done worst! I haven’t gotten over property taxes yet. We’re paying for something we already own, year after year after year…”


That’s it for this week’s wrap up. Did anyone wait in line for half off Sam’s? Have you been to an estate sale? Does your city or county have a soda tax? What do you think about government taxing certain goods?

7 thoughts on “Sunday Diary #3- Sam’s Club (Round 2), Estate Sale & Soda Tax?”

  • I like local public services like schools, libraries, and roads (as well as services I don’t use like subsidized housing and health insurance) so I am fine paying my fair share of the tax burden.

    Our city doesn’t have a soda/sugar tax yet, but I hope it instates one and juices are included in it too. Government intervention, including levying hefty taxes, helped to drastically cut smoking rates in the US, which I see as an unabashed win for public health. It’d be great to see something similar with levels of sugar consumption.

  • I have no problem with a tax on sugary sweetened beverages, especially if the tax is going to a worthy cause. These things are unhealthy and contributing to our obesity epidemic.

    I wouldn’t tax it at a super high rate though because these “vice taxes” generally disadvantage the poor low-income people disproportionately.

    Also, I wish the government would stop heavily subsidizing the sugar, meat, dairy, egg, and processed food industry. This is a poor utilization of our tax dollars that is contributing to the poor state of our healthcare..

  • I’m glad you guys got some great goodies at such a great price. Whenever I hear that a store is going out of business, my first thought is feeling bad for them. But then I would start thinking about what deals they have.

    The garage looks huge! Hope it’s not decluttered. New space!

  • I’m on the Pacific NW too. Was wondering if you have any hacks/recommendations for spring/summer days when you want to have a car to do the hike at a nearby mountain/woods/get away from the city. Although I have car2go, it does get quite expensive if I rent the whole day (~$75). So I was thinking if I wanted to rent a car for a solid 2 or 3 months or every single weekend in the summers, or for getting out of the city, I’m thinking traditional car rental company is the most economical means?
    There’s zipcar, modo, and some other ride sharing companies around too, but for a full day/weekend/week of rental, I can’t think of any other opts besides traditional car rentals.

    Financial Orchid recently posted…Comparison: working from home vs commuting to work

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.