The best $5 I ever spent

I’ve been thinking about starting this topic for awhile.

One time I got SO much more than I paid for was getting to see Lily Tomlin workshop a then untitled work (it would later be titled The Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe). There was a lot of audience interaction, and several things that didn’t end up in the final film. It was a very special thing that I often look back on fondly.

So - tell me about times when you got a lot more value than you paid for something.


Covered (!!!) previously here:


I can think of a five dollar…99 cent album on iTunes in early 2006.

Mtv Dance GIF by Tears For Fears


This is probably going to sound dumb, but I joined one of those book clubs when I was in high school where you get 6 books for the price of one and then you have to buy something like three more books before you quit. Doing that allowed me to get The Hobbit, the omnibus of The Lord of the Rings plus it got me to try out authors I hadn’t heard of before and got me more into scifi and fantasy. So while I know those things were a gamble, it actually paid off for me and I look back now and think about how I lucked out.

I did the same with Columbia and got some great CDs with a similar thing.


The Science Fiction Book Club! Oooo, I was a member too! Found all sorts of great books that way. They had David Eddings’ Garion series in two hardback omnibuses that I literally read to pieces. (Seriously the books fell apart I read them so many times.)


Yes! I couldn’t remember the name of it.

1 Like

About a year ago, I was with my daughter at a used record store. I found a few albums for $1 each, including this one:

Ronnie Milsap reminds me of when I was a kid, I bought it to hang on the wall in my office. After hanging for about 6 months, it fell off the wall one night. I slipped out the record to see if it was broken – it wasn’t, thankfully – and out popped an autographed photo of Mr. Milsap himself.

Not bad for a $1 purchase!


Anything I’m still watching and listening to, gave me more than I paid for them. Though I’ve since upgraded, those old Beatles records cost me around 4 to 5 bucks in the 70s, and I played them to death - hundreds of times, goes into $5 to make… what would that be per LP?

I remember I went to Goodwill with mom and grandma and found the Monkees first 4 records at 75 cents apiece. 3 bucks for 4 perfectly good albums, you’d have thought I struck gold for how happy I was.

I don’t know what else there would be, most of the time you get what you paid for, instruments, vacations… I can’t recall what it cost to go to Beatlesfest, but I had the time of my life, so no matter what I paid for it, it was a bargain.


That thing is still around?

I have a bunch of hardcovers that my late boomer brother got through that club in like 1978 or something, I figured it was no more.

1 Like

This would be my dad, not me, but I reaped some of the benefit- My dad got an original King Kong poster from a movie theater that was closing down. They knew he was a film historian and had a bunch of classic film posters (many of which I still have) and gave them to him.

Decades later, my brother got a job at Sotheby’s in their IT department and somehow the topic of the posters came up and someone there decided to inspect the poster collection. They not only put a few of the posters in the upcoming poster auction they were having, they put the King Kong poster on the cover of the auction catalog.

All of the posters sold well, but the King Kong poster? Not joking here- $70,000.

The only poster that sold for more at that auction was a giant banner for The Wizard of Oz.

Some of the other posters I still have are probably worth something decent too, just not enough for an auction house like Sotheby’s to take an interest.

And there’s a very strange postscript to this- a few months later, someone sends my dad a comic strip clipping from a comic called Crankshaft in which one of the characters sells a King Kong poster at an auction for a huge amount of money. It wasn’t the right poster, but I can’t believe that was just a coincidence. The artist must have heard about the auction. My dad had the comic strip and a facsimile of the check they were given framed on the wall.


Picked up a brand new Blu-Ray copy of Goodfellas at Dollar General for $3.75


I went looking and yeah, it is!

I was a member in the late 80s early 90s, but it looks like they are still around in website-form these days.


SF book club is how I got the first of the HHGG books back in the day. Surprised they haven’t fallen apart yet, or even after the first reading. I’ve seen 100 year old books that were in better shape than new book club editions.


I’ve got the entire E.R. Burroughs Mars collection, some with Frazetta covers, they came from that club.

1 Like

Does something free count? If so, one of the best Craigslist Free things that we got (when we first got married, we parused the free section a LOT. Our best “win” was someone was getting rid of a deep freeze for free. Not a chest style, but dorm fridge style and size. That thing gets to -20°!! 12 years and still running great!


I was a member in the mid-90s when I was in high school. The deal they’re offering isn’t quite as good as it used to be.

1 Like

I think when I started it was pick six (or maybe eight) books free then purchase six (or eight) more over the course of the next year. I was a member for maybe seven or eight years?

I did get some sweet freebies once. Someone else’s order came to me by mistake. (some Star Wars and Star Trek manuals and a nifty dragon figurine) I contacted them asking how to return the stuff, they said don’t worry about it. Keep it.

1 Like

Well, legally, if someone sends you something through the mail you didn’t order, it’s yours to keep. They can’t make you pay for it.

So they really weren’t being generous.

You were being nice and honest, though.

Yeah but did the other guy ever get their books and dragon?

I signed up for that, too! It got me into the works of Terry Pratchett, Larry Niven, Douglas Adams and so many more quality stories and sub genres!

The Columbia club … eh, it was ok. I got some cool COMPACT DISCS!!! but it wasn’t as life changing as the SFBC.