In which groceries give me a headache

By Mir
October 20, 2004

Wednesday is usually a good day to play Meat Lottery. The “Manager’s Special” coupons abound, as the previous weekend’s rush is over and the stocking up for the coming weekend has not yet begun. Today I didn’t spot a single coupon. Perhaps my fellow Lottery lovers beat me to the butcher’s case.

But! No matter! Because I was armed with my coupons. Oh yes. Not just my regular coupons–which I carry in a stupid little accordian-style cardboard case like the geek that I am–but additional coupons that came in the mail because I am so special. Every so often my store sends out four weeks’ worth of coupons, with identical dollars off coupons slated for each week. And $10 off of $100 is found money, baybee. The cupboard was bare when I set out this afternoon, so I was ready for some serious shopping.

Did you know that Wednesdays are now “Cheap Chicken Wednesdays?” Well they are. Doesn’t that just make your whole week? I know it does for me. Not just because I’m happy to get a nice rotisserie chicken for $3.99, but because “Cheap Chicken Wednesday” makes me giggle. Perhaps because I am something of a cheap chicken, myself. I am still waiting for someone to give me my own day, however. Anyway.

I spent about fiften minutes figuring out the relative cost/benefit ratios of the various granola bars, while simultaneously remembering that I had neglected to pack Chickadee a snack. Oops. Perhaps it was because my mind had blown a circuit when she requested–in all sincerity–a cup of mandarin oranges be included in her lunch today. I’m sure she lived. Anyway, I did recall my oversight and experience the appropriate guilt while I tried to compare prices, and coupons, and keep straight which bars come 8 to a box and which come 6 to a box. I think there should be an International Granola Standard, by the way. It would make things so much easier.

Then–head still throbbing from Granola Calculus–I found myself facing the Popcorn Debacle. Pop Secret was buy one, get one free. And I had a coupon. Great, right? No! The coupon was for $1 off 3. And it was buy one, get one. My head almost exploded right there in the snack aisle, I tell you. I finally settled on buying 4 boxes, but there were no less than thirty-seven varieties of popcorn from which to choose, so that took another 15 minutes.

Oh! Look! Hummus is on big sale! So cheap! So delicious! I could send it in the kids’ lunches instead of ranch dressing, to dip their carrots in. Yes, it was there in front of the six different varieties of hummus that I officially lost my mind. Have you met my children? Hummus?? What exactly was I thinking? Well, the good news is that I will happily be eating hummus for months.

Onward I forged. Salad dressing. Juice boxes. Milk. Bread. Cereal. All that good stuff. In no time at all, my cart was full, and I was really having to throw my weight into it to make it around the corners. Excellent. Time to check out.

Total Bill: $105.44. Woo! Except: $24.74 in Rewards Savings, and $5.00 in Manufacturer Coupons. Bringing my total to $75.70… too low to use my $10 off coupon.

Yes, I briefly considered how many more chickens I would have to buy to get up to $100. Alas. These are the trials and tribulations of being on a budget; I wanted to save that $10, but I just didn’t need that much more stuff. Hmph. Such is life as a cheap chicken, I suppose.


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