Published May 23, 2008
My wife and I mapped out some general ideas for summer travel.
Of course, it all involved spending money. So I wondered how short of money I'll be given current gas prices.
Here's what I figured for this summer: I'll spend $525 more on gas for normal driving.
That's using AAA averages, my two-car family, and our normal driving patterns.
That's $525 for three months. Annualized, that's $2,100 in increased costs.
If you want to get more crazy about figuring out the impact of the new gas prices on your wallet, try this site.
I don't even want to figure the increased food costs.
A Vindy reporter was working on a story this week about coping with the rising prices. She was at Goodwill in Boardman talking to shoppers, and bumped into, of all folks, my wife. She was shopping for a school costume (Wilbur Wright).
With these prices, she'll be shopping there for another character — me.
We're well-groomed for Goodwill. My mom has bought from Goodwill for years and years. In fact, I bet there's at least 10 things now in my closet or dresser from "GW," as my mom calls it.
For years when we were kids, GW was "mother's little helper." She did whatever she could to not let us know something she gave us came from GW. The quality was such, we could never challenge her.
But as her finds got better, and we grew out of taunting teen years, GW finds grew to be a norm in our house, as was my mom's other favorite store, which she called Sally Ann's (Salvation Army to most of us).
Mom's thrift store stuff has now become a Christmas Eve staple for our family — cousins, aunts and uncles included. After dinner, my mom dives into her upstairs closets as we sit downstairs in the dining room awaiting her return. She comes back with a year's worth of finds in her arms.
The finds over the years have included Coach, Gucci and Valentino purses, valued from $300 to $1,700. (All mint condition) A Lladro figurine valued at more than $100, Prada shoes at $400. And more. Her cost? Mere dollars; no more than $10.
She's even gone high-tech – at least for her standards. When she finds something she thinks is of high value at GW, she reaches for her cell phone and calls my dad, who is never more than five feet away from his computer. She'll give him the product name. He'll cruise the internet and call back with a value.
(That is literally the only time her cell phone is used. If she has 15 calls per month, 14 of them bounced off the cell tower nearest the GW.)
The guys in the family get treated OK with GW stuff — T-shirts, belts, windbreakers, etc. But as shown above, the ladies cash in on my mom's finds. She's even converted a niece into a GW expert of sorts.
Mind you, she knows her GWs. In the five cities I've called home, she's shopped at GW in each of them. Based on what she sees at a GW, she could spit out an economic report on a region that would rival anything from The Fed.
My wife will likely become one such expert, too. I'm ready. It's 3.1 miles from my house to the Boardman GW. On a gallon of gas that costs $4, we're there and back four times.
For the record, my mom, "The Queen of Goodwill," says the Boardman GW is the best she's seen.