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"If you want that much ketchup, why don't you go to Costco?" I asked my father on the phone.

"You're missing the point," he said. Now that his daughters are mostly self-sufficient and he lives alone, he can afford bits of luxury. Dad's taste for discounts goes beyond a pressing need to save; he's gotten so good at getting deals it's become a rewarding hobby for him. He enjoys the perpetual challenge of getting more out of everything in life for less. For doing something he loves as much as volunteering at the airport (once a week he helps people find their way to wherever they're going in San Diego), he gets free tickets to SeaWorld and free parking right by the escalator.

Dad enters every contest he can to win free tickets (whether or not he's heard of the movie, show, or concert). This offers him the double joy of getting something for nothing and trying new things he might not have otherwise known about. I used to think Dad was cheating himself. But searching every corner of the globe for good deals -- from silk ties for a dollar in Korea, to shell necklaces in Hawaii for his daughters -- it turns out he's been living a rich and rewarding life...at a discount.

"Hey, Dad," I said, before letting him get off the phone, "is there any way we can get a deal like that for Heinz ketchup?"

"I'll look into it," he said. I'm sure he will.

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