Grocery shopping --  01/12/06

I did a huge grocery shopping on Sunday. I'd read the advertising flyer for Shaw's supermarket (in 2004 Albertsons purchased the Shaws chain from the British Sainsbury's chain) and I actually went through the Sunday paper, clipping coupons. Normally I don't care to bother with coupons, figuring that my time is more valuable than the few dollars I would save, but this week there were lots of things on sale that I could stock up on and lots of things that were on sale for which I could also find a coupon.

As I've probably mentioned before (but here I go again), somewhere around twenty or twenty-five years ago I attended a talk on saving money given by some expert (whose name I probably forgot somewhere around twenty or twenty-five years ago minus a couple of days) in which he suggested not just buying things on sale -- he suggested making note of how often supermarkets put various items on sale. For example, if you notice that your favorite brand of peanut butter goes on sale every six or seven weeks, then when it does go on sale, buy enough to last you until the next time you expect it to go on sale. He went on to say that people will complain to him that they'd love to do that but they simply don't have the storage space to be able to do that. His response, he told us, was to say suppose he drove up to your house with a pickup truck loaded with groceries and he knocked on your door and told you that he had wanted to give you the entire truckload of groceries for free, but he knew that you didn't have room to store all that food, so he wondered if you could suggest which neighbor might have enough room in their pantry so he could give all that food to them. And you would say "No, wait, I can find room!"

Do you recall back in November when I had some pictures of my pantry? Almost all of the food shown in those pictures was purchased at sale prices. (And when I say almost all, I mean more than 95 percent.)

So on Sunday I really loaded up my shopping cart at Shaws. As I was checking out, about three-quarters of the way through my order, the cashier pointed out to me that one box of cereal in my order was not on sale that week and I told him that I knew that, but I had a coupon for it and he said that he had just wanted to make sure, because he thought that was probably the first item in my order that wasn't on sale that week! So I spent $182.... but that was after deducting $96.60 in savings and coupons.

And then, after leaving Shaw's, I went shopping at the CVS Pharmacy in town, and then to Belmont's Market (because hadn't bought any produce at Shaw's -- Belmont has much better produce) and then topped the afternoon off by stopping at my favorite package store to buy some wine. (Vocabulary note: in most of the New England area, liquor stores are called "package" stores. Oh, and in Rhode Island, package stores are the only places that can sell beer and wine -- no beer or wine in supermarkets or convenience stores.)

Jill told me today that rumor has it that Whole Foods Market is supposed to move into this area although the closest soon-to-open store that I can see on their Web page is in Cranston. Once upon a time I would have been pleased by that news, but now I'm concerned that it might hurt business at Belmont's Supermarket which has become my favorite place to shop and which is truly a locally owned business, not part of any chain. [Hey, Stefani, while Nancy and I were in update NY at New Years, we stopped in our old Wegman's -- you upstate New Yorkers are really lucky -- I wish they had a store in Rhode Island!)

So I was too tired to workout before dinner on Sunday -- and that evening I logged on and put in a couple of hours of work. And then Monday I started working a bit past seven o'clock, as usual, but then after dinner I was back on the computer and worked until past midnight -- at which point I decided that I was too brain-scrambled to be productive -- and Tuesday morning was back at it around seven and worked until past six, with just a quick lunch break, and then the same thing yesterday. But now that backlog of work is past, the fires have been put out, etc. The trouble is, I missed four straight days of working out. Ah, well, all the more reason why I need to be more diligent in not skipping workouts. Today I went for a nice run at lunchtime, mostly along the bike path, three and a half miles total. It was mild, in the low fifties, more like springtime than mid-January.

By the way, where the heck did this week go?

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