We're all bargain hunters. It's even more true in these tough economic times. We love to find something we need at a price that's really right. East Contra Costans talked about the best bargain they ran across so far this year. They all found something and their answers cover a lot of different things.

"Garage sales and church functions are good for bargains," said Jimmy Reizenstein of Brentwood. "You can find stuff that's new or almost new for little money. I needed an office chair I found one for just $10 at a garage sale."

Jessica Wilson of Brentwood chimed in with, "I got a new $50 purse for $5 and some new clothes for just $3."

Andy Elwess of Antioch said refinancing his home amounted to a tremendous bargain. "I lowered my monthly payment by $500," he said. "Most of the savings goes toward paying off debts. Some of it is being put away for the future, when were ready to buy a new home. It's a big load off my mind and I enjoy having less overall stress."

Brentwood's Kris Morena happily delights in small bargains. "The best one this summer was scoops of free ice cream at the Streets of Brentwood celebration. All the moms and kids thought the ice cream wasn't only free, it was great. That little bargain perked up the event."


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Ken Meyer of Oakley goes for bargain gas. "I buy gas with cash. I look around for the stations that offer special discounts for drivers who pay in cash," he said. "I saved about $80 so far this year and it's helped in debt payments. The other thing I do is buy gas only on Wednesdays. They say gas is a little cheaper on Wednesdays."

Denise McCown of Oakley went to two baseball games in Stockton. "We had a wonderful time watching the Stockton Ports beat Visalia twice. For an $8 admission we had excellent seats," she said. "The $8 taco salad was delicious and fed our two grandkids. Kids got free Frisbees and we caught foul ball. We enjoyed four hours of great fun costing a total of $70 for the four of us, including parking."

Dale Ghornburg of Oakley bought bargain boots. "They were perfect boots for me. I got them in Livermore for just $119. I usually pay at least $250 for good boots. If I had the money I would have bought more. I'm on my feet and usually wear out a pair in six months," he said.

Julie Miller of Brentwood talked about four nights at Tahoe that cost very little. "It was our anniversary and the housing cost nothing. We got a time share bonus and also a $100 gift card for meals and activities. Dinner and a casino show made for a very happy anniversary evening."

Wally Sousa of Discovery Bay laughed when he talked about his bargain. "We spent two nights free at the Reno Peppermill Hotel. We got it because we're on the hotel's preferred visitor list and get treated very well," he said. "Of course the money we saved ended up in the casino. But we had a wonderful time without it costing too much."

Antioch's Sonia Rogers found a highly discounted washer-dryer. "We saved at least $400," she said. "Now we're looking for a good deal on carpets. The bargains are out there. You just have to find them."

Ed Arnow can be reached at BrentwoodBuzz@aol.com.