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Supermarket Savvy: guest posted by Smart Shopper

Some of us are short on time; some of us are short on money; and some of us are short on patience. I happen to be short on all three. One thing I'm "long" on is food. I have my coffee, but it must be accompanied by something to munch on. This is before I even get to work. Once I get to my office and sit down, the absence of my three troops and their morning mayhem reminds me that my prior lukewarm coffee and half danish did not suffice. That's when I think of my beloved peach Chobani yogurt or Breakstone's Cottage Double perched on top of my handbag. Both are approximately the same price when on sale, roughly $1.25--expensive in my mind, for a single serving yogurty item--but how long they keep me satisfied (over 10g protein!) puts them at the top of my food priority list.

So between my work schedule, budget, and dwindling patience, I make it my business to know what's on sale at my local supermarkets. I sit down on Saturday nights, go through all the circulars that got tossed onto my driveway--yes, that bag that most neighbors let biodegrade all season, and I plan my Attack. I chart each supermarket's best offers, and then make an educated decision as to which one deserves my business. Then I flip through my tattered coupon organizer and pull out every pertinent coupon. Even the expired ones...shhhh. I don't do movies or date night on Saturday nights. I strategize.

Then, at some convenient point during the week of that sale, I will go "Power Shopping", as my 8-year old calls it. Cart loaded, coupons clipped to my list, I am a savings savorer. I won't even give the checkout guy my club card on my keychain until the deed is done. I pretend it's not in reach. When my total rings up to $165.08, I get that Vegas feeling in my stomach, hand the guy my keychain, and watch my total fall to its knees right in front of my eyes. $109.14 isn't brutal enough, so I hand over my killshot stack of coupons and wait. $92.57 works for me, so I swipe my rewards Visa and sign. Then, I run outta there like a bat outta Hell.

I've told my friends how much I save when I Power Shop, and they laughed, "you have no life!" My answer to them was, "I've fed my family of five for the week, filled up my car with gas and had a mani pedi, all for less than you pay for your food bill." Who do you think had the last laugh? Now they bring in their bag of circulars instead of letting it biodegrade on the driveway, and they all want me to tell them whether Tide is on sale for a really good price or a dummy price.

Saving money on such a necessity as food means there is often an extra few bucks left for self-reward/indulgence. And it's the little pleasures in life that help restore my patience.

1 comment:

  1. Chobani (vanilla for me) is the most amazing breakfast! 16 grams of protein and only 120 calories. I agree it is expensive, but totally worth it. By the way, there are 30 cent off coupons on their website, and many grocery stores will double or triple them.


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