Friday, February 22, 2013

Pinch-a-Penny


We had been living in Florida for awhile and I had seen several Pinch-a-Penny stores while driving around the state.  At that time their signs read simply, "Pinch-a-Penny," with no further explanation.  We did not own a swimming pool back then.

I thought Pinch-a-Penny was, like the name suggested, some kind of discount store.

One day while out for a drive, we saw a Pinch-a-Penny store and I asked my beautiful spouse if we should stop and see what was on sale.  She said, "Sure!"  Hah!  When we got close, we realized that it was definitely not a discount store but rather an outlet for pool and spa supplies.

Chagrined, we drove away and didn't go back until one day some 20 years later when we foolishly bought a home that included a swimming pool.  Perhaps you've heard the expression: "A swimming pool is nothing more than a hole in the ground into which you pour money. "  That's the truth!

And yes, we became very familiar with Pinch-a-Penny.  We filled their cash registers with a substantial amount of our money for chlorine and all the other chemicals a pool requires on a regular basis.  We gave Pinch-a-Penny money for filters, for pool gadgets, for thermometers...and the list goes on and on.  Our pool required a new pump, a new filtering system, and the thing had to be patched.

Every once-in-awhile, we swam in it.

Finally,  I called a large local pool company and asked what it would cost to fill the damn thing in with dirt.  I swear I heard raucous laughter but in a few moments the lady who answered the phone very sweetly informed me that it costs just about as much to fill in a pool as to build a pool.  Aaargh!

We no longer own a pool.  We now have a hot tub/spa.  On the lanai (patio).  It's much less labor- and chemically-intensive.  But I'm still giving money to Pinch-a-Penny to keep the hot tub afloat - about $400 in the past three weeks.  Is that a good deal or what?

21 comments:

longbeachpeninsuladailyphoto said...

It sounds like a good deal to me, but only because I love hot tubs! I also love pools, but they sound like a lot of work. From what you've just said, the name "Pinch-a-Penny" is a complete oxymoron. :-)

To answer your question on my blog: I think I'd love that kind of rescue work. It would be rewarding and exciting, but from what I've heard about the training, I doubt I'd even make it through the first day.

Kate said...

With all due respect, my dear ex-Minnesota friend, I recall the following adage: There's one born every minute....(grin).

Linda said...

Lovely photo, Lowell! I would have thought that it was a dollar store of sorts myself!

Jack said...

Let's not talk about this. I use Pinch a Penny, too.

That was from behind the house, no golf yesterday. Just a night of tossing and turning and getting up early enough for the sunrise.

You turn off anonymous comments and still get spam? Oh, my. Maybe I spoke too soon.

Randy said...

Nice shot. Laughing at Kate's comment.

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

Interesting story about your pool. We rarely use ours. The previous owners had a big gas heater system installed, as they were snowbirds, coming to Arizona only in the winter when the pool would otherwise be too cold to swim. We have never turned on the heater.

In Arizona there is a business called Park Your Pool that specializes in removing swimming pools.

We have some friends who are big gardeners and they just had a big back yard garden party to celebrate the removal of their pool and their re-do of the back yard. IT is so much nicer with walkways, desert plants, lighting features, etc than a bug pool lthat all you could do is walk around it.

brattcat said...

i have a dear friend who chose to fill her pool in. i never could quite understand why...until now.

Birdman said...

Not CHEAP, I'd gather.

llandudnopictures said...

Pinch a Penny clearly does EXACTLY what it says on the tin!

SRQ said...

I ended up using Pinch-a-Penny when I lived in Tampa because at the time they had an absolute genius who worked there and could solve any pool problem. A friend just fill in her spa, but kept her pool.

Sharon said...

Your story made me laugh. When I first moved to Arizona with my family, my parents had a pool added to the house they bought. I think my dad regretted it almost from the start.

Judy said...

I would have thought "Pinch-a-Penny" would be a thrift store. That little story made me chuckle. Lots of unused pools in "The Valley of the Sun".

Small City Scenes said...

We have a bath tub---who needs a pool. LOL
One daughter has a huge above ground pool for the kids--they only used it in the summer---still spendy and finally they just let the algae grow. No pool no more. MB

RedPat said...

I've always liked the idea of a pool but not the maintenance. A hut tub sounds good but still costs $400 lately - hope it is all fixed now!

cieldequimper said...

Oh Lowell, you make me laugh!

Sharon said...

Hi Lowell, yes those bells are very expensive. The one I bought was only $63.00 but most of the ones you see on that rack ran around $90 to $150. The bigger ones to the right in the photo were around $400.00. I actually saw some that were over $1000.00.
Yes, we swam in the pool and so did our St. Bernard much to my parent's dismay. That long hair was always clogging the filter. Mom took to arranging all the lounge chairs at the stairs end of the pool to keep the dog out and one day she watched him go all the way to the back yard fence and take a running leap over the chairs and into the pool. Who knew that St. Bernards liked the water? I always thought it was just snow and brandy.

Kay said...

Yep. It sounds like they're pinching plenty of your pennies alright. My husband worked for a while with a friend who called himself the Hot Tub Doctor. It led to hubby resolving we'd never ever own one of those things, or a pool. End of discussion. We now have a nice soaking tub with no jets or bubbles, just a spout for water and a drain. It does the trick.

cieldequimper said...

Nope, no 503s for me today. But it happens quite often which makes me go wild!

Halcyon said...

I grew up in a house with a pool and enjoyed it alot as a kid. But as an adult, I wouldn't want the cost and responsibility. I love that most neighborhoods (in the US anyway) now have pools that everyone can use. I think it's a good way to share the costs and still benefit.

Bibi said...

Ha. Definitely an unusual name for such a store. Should have been called The Money Pit.

magiceye said...

Pinching the penny sure hurts!!

"Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again." — Henri Cartier-Bresson