BEST CHEAP THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW YOU COULDN'T LIVE WITHOUT (2009)

Marukai 98 Plus Store

Impulse buys. They're frequently the bane of our existence and the source of inexplicable shopper's delight all at the same time, whether it's a giant tub of Gummi Bears from beside the checkout at Bed Bath & Beyond to a $5 copy of Uncle Buck at Target. It's a rare form of excitement, then, that comes from entire stores crammed to the rafters with impulse buys, and such is the Marukai 98 Plus Store, that bargain-basement cousin of the Japanese version of Costco. You don't need a member card to shop there, but you do need a big cart and maybe a modicum of restraint, if you can resist the lure of nifty Asian pottery, dishware, kitchen implements (What does it do, though? The labels are all in Japanese!) and more fantastic foreign snacks than you can shake a stick at. Be forewarned, not everything is 98 cents, but a few things will set you back more than a couple of bucks. 22850 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance. (310) 791-3919. Also at 1360 W. Artesia Blvd., Gardena. (310) 516-8160. —Nicole Campos

Location Details

22850 Hawthorne Blvd.
Torrance CA 90505
310-791-3919