Cheap Life: Gas, Laundry and Other Necessities...

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2015 Cheap Eats Guide to 165 Portland Eateries

The Bins

When regular Goodwills are just too pricey, pay by the pound for clothing (and lots of other stuff) at the Goodwill outlet, better known as "The Bins" (1740 SE Ochoco St., Milwaukie, 230-2076). Here, you can find screaming deals on winter clothes in the summer, and summer clothes in the winter. There's also that ironic, long-sleeve Austin Powers shirt from Hollywood Video with Beyoncé on it that you can sell to an overpriced vintage store on Hawthorne when it has faded just so. Whatever you do, wash those items before use, unless you enjoy slightly irritated skin and the smell that comes from the thousands of fingers that passed over it before tossing it back in the pile. PARKER HALL.

Southeast Tool Library

If you live in Southeast—and more of you do than anywhere else in this city, S-E-P! S-E-P!—there is very little reason to go to the hardware store. Why, when you can borrow a lawnmower, saw, hedge clippers or pretty much whatever else you need from the Southeast Tool Library (2800 SE Harrison St., It's inside an Episcopal church, and they will ask for a utility bill to prove you're not Irvington trash trying to sneak in and steal our tools like the dirtbag criminal we know you are. Also, it's only open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Many of the good tools are gone early. Donations suggested. Still, it's one of the perks of life south of Burnside and east of the river. MARTIN CIZMAR.

North Portland Tool Library

They don't have any gas tools, so you won't find a pressure washer, but the North Portland Tool Library (2209 N Schofield St., 823-0209 does have all the electric power tools and push mowers you need to keep up that rental you pay too much for, or to cut some boards for those raised beds you always wanted. Just like at the tool library in Southeast, bring a piece of mail as proof of address to join, or have your truck-owning girlfriend register with her car's title, and borrow tools using her ID number, you know, like you do with books in a normal library. The suggested donation is $1 per tool, and the library is open 5 to 7:30 pm Tuesdays  and 9 am to 2 pm Saturdays. Just don't hide out with the miter saw too long—borrowed tools have late fees, too. PARKER HALL.

Cheap Laundry...

When your clothes are worn, they get dirty. While it would sometimes be cheaper just to buy new ones at The Bins, many people prefer to launder them. Here are the best deals we know of for doing that. ENID SPITZ.

Eliot E-Mat Cafe

2808 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 280-8889, 8 am-9 pm Monday-Friday, 8 am-6 pm Saturday-Sunday. $1.50 wash, 25¢ per six minutes of drying.

This laundromat keeps a low profile, with the only street signage boasting of bagels and "Eliot's famous subs." Well, they also have the cheapest washing machines we found in town and free Wi-Fi, so your leftover quarters can go toward bagels, sandwiches and beer. 

Spin Laundry Lounge

750 N Fremont St., 477-5382, 8 am-midnight daily. $3.25 wash, 25¢ per six minutes of drying.

Leave it to Portland to twee-ify a corrugated iron warehouse into Spin "Laundry Lounge," complete with candy apple IKEA stools, teal accent walls and chalkboard cafe menus (you can order a coconut muffin and sip coffee from branded mugs). The quick and basic wash is $3.35, but it's a huge machine that can hold up to 70 pounds of clothing, meaning it's still a bargain. And you can drink a beer while your Dockers dry. 

Alpine 24-Hour Laundry

231 N Lombard St., 289-7529, Open 24 hours daily. $2 wash, 25¢ per seven minutes of drying.

One of the only 24-hour laundromats in the city, Alpine is also among the cheapest: Washes start at $2, and a quarter gets you seven minutes of dry time instead of the usual six. North Lombard might not be a prime 2 am haunt, except here: The computer corner alternately attracts homeless and hordes of small children watching Dora on YouTube. There is a massage chair (use at your own risk), a high-def big screen playing TV ministers or Lifetime miniseries, and one summer they raffled off a pink beach cruiser. Local churches and groceries sometimes drop day-old donations at the dry-cleaning desk that are up for grabs. 

Cheapest Gas...

Gas prices are a mercurial thing, of course. So it wouldn't be prudent of us, as a newspaper fixed in time, to tell you the cheapest place to fill up—especially when there's an app for that. Gas Buddy ( is basically the Yelp of filling stations, minus reviews of the snack-shop hot dogs and complaints about attendants not smiling enough during service. It sticks to the most useful information, including amenities and regular user updates on shifting petrol prices across town. A quick perusal suggests the farther east you go, the cheaper it gets, so keep that in mind when planning your next day trip to Gresham. Viewable at MATTHEW SINGER.

Cheap Beer | Cheap Foodstuffs | Breakfasts Under $4 | Cheap Gas, Laundry, etc. 

Cheap Massages, Acupuncture and Haircuts | Cheap Gyms and Yoga 

  Cheap Fun and Games Cheap Movies  | Free Pool Tables

WWeek 2015

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