Paying for parking is the bane of every driver's existence. Nobody enjoys paying $30 simply to be there.
Instead of paying exorbitant prices for parking, here's a quick money hack if you need to get your parking validated. The is trick to get your parking validated with a product you can return at another point in time.
That is, unless you want to pay full price!
Ask which businesses offer parking validation.
If the establishment you're visiting doesn't offer validation, ask an employee which businesses might validate parking.
For instance, we recently visited a coworking space in Santa Monica which did not offer validation. The woman at the front desk was happy enough to offer some information.
The cool trick here? A nearby grocery store called Gelson's did, offering up to 3 hours of free parking with a $10 minimum purchase.
The choice was simple: It was either $10 for groceries, or $30, the maximum daily charge, for parking. We chose the former option.
Spend the minimum to get validation.
Most importantly, choose a store and/or a product where it can be returned later. Gelson's was the perfect choice for us.
So, we picked up a box of chocolates for $11.99, validated the ticket, and paid the remainder for the parking ($13). In total, we spent $25, as opposed to $30, and saved $5 on parking.
In another story, this is where the story ends, but for us, this is where it gets fun.
Return the item at another point in time.
I guess we could have made like Tom Hanks, but we're a little calorie-conscious these days (it is swimsuit season!).
So instead of eating them, we decided to return the chocolates at another Gelson's location.
Basically, we got $12 back, making the final tally $13 on parking instead of $30. Though it's not a perfect win in our solution (which is free!), it did save us $18 in parking in total. 💫