Thursday, April 12, 2012

Grocery Shopping and Grocery Stamps

Our local grocery store has these little red stamps that you lick and stick onto cards.  Once a card is full you can buy certain foods for a discounted price.  For example this week a 2Lb bag of carrots is just $.29 cents with a filled grocery/gas card. 
I love these little stamps and I love using them!
I keep my loose stamps in my little red Pyrex dish on the counter.  Then every couple of months I take the time to lick and stick them to their cards.  It feels like a very "vintage" thing to be doing, so I usually throw on a vintage radio broadcast while doing so. 
Using these stamps makes a person feel like they're getting a great deal.  Not to sound like a pessimist, but lately I've been wondering about how good a deal it really is.  Are other items going up in price to accommodate the discount of other items on sale?  There must be a catch...a way for grocery stores to offer these stamps and "great deals" without "losing" too much themselves.  I'm supposing price hikes on other products is the way they do it.
I'm a "list" shopper and I always try hard to buy only what is on the list.
I review the sales flier before going to the store so that I know which sale items I need to stock-up on.
I steer clear of frivolous items such as donuts, chips and candy.  My husband is the opposite, if he's hungry for it, he buys it.  Fresh baked Carmel rolls for 5$?  Sure!  Throw them in!....That's so not how I roll.
I'm more the type of person who will go into the grocery store and stock up on items that are on sale.  I buy certain things at their regular prices, milk, hamburger, etc.  But when pantry and freezer items go on sale I stock up.  Yes, I'm "that lady" in the market line with the two cases of mac-n-cheese on the conveyor belt because they are down to 30 cents a box.  I rarely buy pantry items at full price.
I only buy the cereal I like most if it is on sale.  Of course with cereal rising up to almost $5.00 a box where we live, you almost have to wait for a sale.  Cheerios at 2/5$ will do just fine for this week.  The expensive kiddie cereal I love has too much sugar added anyways.  Ha!

I really don't enjoy grocery shopping all that much.  I do it mostly right after work during the 5:30 pre-supper rush or on the weekends when it is busiest.
Grocery shopping just doesn't seem friendly.  It's difficult to explain what I mean by that, but I'll try.  You see, not too long ago I had a very good experience while grocery shopping and no other time has ever lived up to that experience.  So apparently I just shop at the wrong times of day.  I would love to be able to shop during the week day, but we do what we have to do.
It was a clear and sunny, Thursday morning.  I had taken a vacation day and had just dropped Autumn off at her first day of school.  I went to the grocery store early and apparently it was Senior Citizens day at the store because most of my fellow customers were Senior Citizens.  (I capitalize Senior Citizens because it's a matter of respect.  If you've lived long enough to be a Senior Citizen you've seen your share of good times and bad, you deserve capitol letters.)  Most of the people my age must have been at their jobs, home or wherever, but few were shopping for groceries. 
The store was quiet.  People were courteous and said "excuse me".  There was no rush, no weaving through aisles trying to stay out of anyone's way.  And if there was someone else in the aisle they made notice and we both moved our carts to our side of the aisle.  No one hogged the right away.
No one lingered in the middle of the aisle, blocking the path while gossiping with someone else as their hooligan children ran around jumping in and out of those stupid, car carts. (Don't even get me started about the car carts.) 
There was hardly a line at all in the checkout line. I stood patiently waiting as a lady took out her precious coupons from her purse and lined them up one by one, and wrote her check ever so carefully and slowly. Had it been Saturday afternoon, I would've heard from others behind me, "what's the hold-up" or "what's the deal up there". I have heard these comments before and do my best not to say them myself. Whatever happened to being patient with people?  So many of us seem to be in such a hurry much of the time.  So many of us forget to be compassionate.  Sometimes when I'm feeling impatient I need to take the time to think, "maybe that older lady is taking so long to write her check because she doesn't see so well anymore." or "maybe that driver is driving like an idiot because he's not from here and the roads aren't marked as well as they should be".  Take time and think about what that other person might be going through!  It's not that hard.
That reminds me of a commercial I saw the other day for Liberty Mutual that made me think...take a look (pause the play list at the right so you can hear it properly.)
I enjoyed the commercial until the woman's voice said "responsibility".  And for some reason I said to my husband, "since when has common courtesy become responsibility?"  He actually laughed out loud, which I rarely get him to do.  He said, "you should put that on Facebook." 
When I think of the word responsibility, I think of a chore, something we are suppose to do put upon us by others.  The laundry is my responsibility,  mowing the lawn is Shannan's responsibility.  Helping my neighbor rake her leaves is not my responsibility, it is more a common courtesy. 
But, whatever, maybe I am off base on that one as it IS a national commercial and I'm sure their marketing firm knows more about the definition of responsibility than I do. Ha!  And I DID like the gist of the commercial.

How did I get here, when I was talking about groceries?  Uff-da poof-da.
Here is an advertisement to lighten the mood.  It's for A&P Grocery Stores and is from 1946.  French Frou Frou on Etsy has this advertisement for sale!
The mother and daughter are wearing the same outfit right down to their little basket purses and gloves!  I wonder if moms did that often?  I suppose it made sense to do so, especially for mothers who made their own clothes and had yardage left over.  And women wore gloves to the grocery store.  I know it was the fashion back in those days, but think of the practicality of it also.  They touched less germy surfaces!
Tomorrow, I will share my memories of the local grocery stores we had when I was young including  Epping's own "Friendly Village Market".
Have a Happy Day!

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