August 17, 2007

Gas in California for $2.70/gallon!?

A few months ago, in the renaissance that seems to be engulfing Alameda businesses, the Bridgeside Center opened with just a few stores. Most of the spaces are taken now, and the centerpiece of the center, Nob Hill Foods, is alive and well.

I usually did my grocery shopping at Albertson's, living pretty central to the center of the island and passing Marina Village on my way through the Tube home from work. But curiosity and a great marketing ploy have wooed my cart over to Nob Hill.

I mean, how can you pass off 25 cents off per gallon of gas?

The deal is that when you spend at least $50 on groceries (some items, like lottery tickers, don't count towards the total) you get a barcode on your receipt. The Nob Hill also came with an Aisle 1 gas station, which despite the discount has the lowest priced gas in Alameda anyway. When you scan this barcode at the pump, the price per gallon is reduced by 25 cents. So I filled up at $2.70 per gallon. The added bonus of using the Aisle 1 station, besides it being brand new and everything in nice, working condition, is that they have a brushless car wash. And it's only $5.

It's all about the Hamiltons, baby. $5 even for the super duper premium wash? I'm there. Especially since it doesn't use those nasty rubber sponge things that could damage the precious new paint on my precious new car.

There was only one downside to this situation... the 45 minute wait to get into the car wash. By the time I'd decided that it wasn't worth waiting anymore, I noticed that I'd pulled just far enough into the curbed off area and it was impossible for me to back up or get out.

So 45 minutes spent waiting for the car wash, but at least it go my car clean. And the moral of the story? Their marketing ploy worked.

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