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Our Trip to the Grocery Store


The weather around here hasn’t been that great and we haven’t been able to make the trip to do our major monthly grocery shopping. That’s when we stock up on the essentials since they are cheaper at another store. We have been running out of things, so we decided to head to a store that is closer to us.

Some things we couldn’t bring ourselves to buy. $1.30 for a can of soup versus $0.79 is a pretty big difference. We’ll do without the soup for now. Other things, like eggs and cereal, we had to buy.

This story of our trip down the cereal aisle is fairly typical. All three of us walk down it and I ask our son to see if there are any cereals on sale that he would like. We spot one of his favorite cereals (Lucky Charms) and see that it is 2/$5.00 on sale. My husband heads over to the generic Lucky Charms and I stay by the brand name so we can compare the prices and ounces. We may not use walkie talkie’s like the Economide family, but we have a pretty good system for comparing prices and we make sure our son is involved.

What wasn’t so typical is what happened before my husband reached the generic cereal section. He was stopped by someone working in the aisle and asked if he would like to buy one get one free for Kellogg’s cereals. All you have to do is say “Buy one get one free” and my right ear moves for better reception (yes, I still do the ear wiggling!).

It turns out that he is affiliated with Kellogg’s and was working in that store. Thanks to his coupons, we were able to get large boxes of cereal for $1.50/box (the coupons were combined with cereals on sale). Not too bad. He made my day right there. That wasn’t all, he spent a few minutes giving us a head’s up on some promotions coming soon.

We didn’t notice him talking to anyone else. While we were with him his attention was 100% on us even though other customers were passing us by. Maybe it was because we were obviously trying to stretch our dollars. Then I remembered something. Back when I used to work in a grocery store (which seems like ages ago now), we were encouraged to help people find the deals. Some of us workers would tell stories of how we helped people save money. Believe it or not, there were customers who were offended when we mentioned an available coupon. So we kept an eye out for the people who were looking at prices or maybe had a coupon folder – some clue that they were price shopping. It makes me smile thinking back on how we had scoped out all of the coupons around the store (even by the wines – sometimes there were coupons for produce or meat with no wine purchase required!) and how we handed those out to customers.

Maybe that is why the man decided to help us out. I made sure to thank him plenty (I probably said it three times before we walked away) and I smiled at him and saw a smile back. Yeah, I think that’s probably why he did it.

In other grocery trip related news, I found myself walking up to the coffee and sniffing it longingly even though I’ve never really been a coffee drinker. I don’t recall ever having caffeine withdrawals more than two days (I’ve quit caffeine multiple times in the past). I’m on day three and it has been the worst day yet. I was so close to getting some soda. But I held out and raided our hard candy when we got home to take the edge off of it. I sure hope today was the worst of it and man, I hope this post makes sense! My head’s still a little fuzzy πŸ˜›


  • Reply Cathy Quik |

    That’s a cute story πŸ™‚ It feels so good to get personal service like that! I shop at a tiny little grocery store run by a quirky Greek family. They know that I’m a regular, so they always slip me some extra grapes here and a sweet potato there…it’s totally adorable!

    Good luck with the caffeine quitting! It is totally tough! I quit coffee a couple months ago and it was really hard. I just LOVE the smell of it! But finally I did quit, and now I don’t even think about it. You’ll get there, just be strong πŸ™‚

  • Reply get me out of debt |

    Don’t stop buying things simply because you cannot afford. With out getting into debts you can actually afford things. With little planning and following financial tips you can not only afford things but you can also get rid of debts.

  • Reply Tricia |

    The Shopping Sherpa – no soup making…yet. It’s on the agenda of things to learn how to do πŸ™‚

    But I took a peek here Oh my…looks very easy!

  • Reply Brett |

    Can I make a suggestion? Before going on your next monthly excursion, take a peek at http://www.mygrocerydeals.com. It’s the only way to find out quickly and easily where the deals are to found for everything on your list. It’s sort of like a grocery deals search engine that’ll help you save some serious money.

  • Reply Kimberly |

    The next time you’re craving a soda (or pop, since you’re from the Midwest), drink a glass of water. You’re probably just thirsty, and your body is used to getting your hydration from sweet drinks, so that’s what it craves.

    Maybe the coffee just smells good. I’ve known people who are not coffee drinkers but wish they were because they think that aisle of the grocery store smells so good.

  • Reply Margot |

    Glad to hear that some store employees really want to help people!!

    Regarding caffeine, why don’t you try drinking tea if you decide you really need/want it? Green tea even has health benefits, and there’s black tea and other types with caffeine. It’s MUCH healthier than soda, and it’s also a fraction of the price. My tea bags work out to as little as 5 cents each.

    Regarding health and finances…I wonder if a good new year’s goal for your son might be switching him to healthy breakfasts. Cereals like Lucky Charms are a health disaster for kids. Instead, you can make oatmeal incredibly cheaply and it’s healthy. Buy a tub of oats or buy them in bulk. Mix some oats with water and microwave for a minute or two. It’s almost as fast as pouring a bowl of cereal. If your son still wants something sweet, you can mix in a little brown sugar, raisins and cinnamon. Your son’s long term health will benefit so much by starting the day with actual nutrients!

  • Reply Tricia |

    Margot – the health factor is a biggie for this New Year – for all of our sakes. For our son, we are working to cut the sugar. Some substitutions have went well. He’s pretty picky about his cereal, though. But mom got a deal on some healthy cereal and I like it – I think he will like it too.

    I’ll have to do some experimenting with preparing oatmeal. That’s a great idea!

    About the tea, I replied about that yesterday in a comment. I still have green tea in my house that I haven’t touched.

    I’m very glad to report that I feel soooo much better today! Yesterday was the lowest and finally my head is clearer and I’m getting a little happier. I was not too chipper for a while there LOL.

  • Reply Emmi |

    You have the same withdrawal schedule as me. Day three is always the worst, four is sorta okay, and five is totally back to normal, if not better, because you’re off the coffee roller coaster.

  • Reply Samdy |

    You might want to make your family’s breakfast with milk added to the oatmeal instead of water. Just microwave the mixture then stir in just a little bit more milk after it is cooked. It tastes much better and helps toward meeting the daily calcium needs that are so important for strong bones in children AND adults.

    Nuts, applesauce, cinnamon, apple bits, and other fruit all make the oatmeal more enticing. And remember, blueberries added before microwaving are an especially good and healthy choice.

  • Reply djc |

    A great thing to have if you can stretch to one is a small stainless steel pressure cooker. I have the Presto 6qt one and I made ham stock from a ham bone over the Christmas break that is currently in the freezer. It makes home made stock in less than 15 minutes, and I always buy dried beans, pressure cook them, then pack them in serving sizes for the freezer for convenience. It will tenderize cheap cuts of meat, and make great soups and stews. Once you start eating homemade soup, you’ll probably find that you can’t stand the commercial fillers and seasonings in the canned stuff anymore. Home made is so much cheaper and better tasting.
    If I buy rotisserie chicken, I use the bones and scraps to turn into chicken stock for the freezer – just strain and cool and store in freezer zip lock bags.

  • Reply Ian |

    It’s nice to hear about someone wanting to be helpful. You don’t always get too much of that these days.

    Good luck with the caffeine, soda was really hard for me to give up.

  • Reply The Shopping Sherpa |

    How to make soup (a vague guide to show how easy it is!)

    1. Fry onions and garlic in oil or butter.
    2. Add stock.
    3. Add veges/ beans/ pasta.
    4. Boil til cooked.
    5. If you want to get fancy, blend it before you serve it.

    (Actual times and ingredients depend on what sort of soup you’re making)

    My fave recipe is a quick and easy alphabet soup which takes 15 minutes from start to finish and uses only butter, stock, small pasta, potato, carrot, celery, onion and a tomato.

So, what do you think ?