I looked at our credit card bill recently and said to my husband.
“If we stop feeding the kids, we will save a lot of money. This is all grocery bills.”
My husband was not at all open to the idea of not feeding our children. It’s so sad when people can’t think outside the box.
Instead we are trying to figure out how to spend less money on food. For many years I believed that you had to spend money to save money! But alas it turns out, you have to actually not spend money to save money.
There is a certain grocery store in our town that is like the grocery store mob chain. They are in practically every shopping plaza and have somehow prevented all other competing food stores from opening up.
They have great food, excellent customer service and with no competition, way too high prices. They seem to have lots of “Buy one, get one free” sales but somehow that just means I end up with 16 cans of hearts of palm and still a $4,000 (approximately) grocery bill.
But I am on a mission to find discounted food and I am willing to search from sea to shining sea to find it. Or you know, drive 20 minutes.
Unfortunately, I decide to go to a wholesale grocery store at 5 pm on a Sunday with 16 month old Cash in tow. There are several problems with this scenario. 5 pm at any grocery store on a Sunday is usually mad craziness. Plus, I was navigating an unknown store with a toddler at dinner time. (I always seem to suffer from passionate, misguided ambition.)
Despite discontent from my toddler Cash, I was doing a pretty good job of making him laugh by pretending to steal his pretzels while finding what I needed in the store. That’s the thing about buying in bulk – it’s just not that hard to spot a container of pretzels the size of an elephant.
But for some reason, I can’t find the dried seaweed. My kids love this stuff so I’m not leaving without it. Around and around I go but it’s nowhere. I ask a few employees who give me vacant looks and mumble something about only doing produce or meat or whatever. Apparently seaweed isn’t big enough to get its own guy.
Then I have the best idea! Ask a customer!! They’re the ones who know where everything is!
So I see this couple and say to them, “Hey, do you happen to know where the seaweed is? I can’t find it anywhere.”
And the guy responds in this not so nice tone, “In the ocean!”
And then his wife starts cackling ridiculously hard as if she’s married to Jimmy Fallon.
Now in my younger days, I would have had some kind of snappy come back for these insensitive clods who clearly weren’t understanding the desperation of my situation with a whiny toddler and the need for this seaweed that keeps all my children happy and I’m hoping healthy.
And I don’t really appreciate being mocked when I just drove three towns over to get some discounted food.
But I have softened in my years and realize that life is too short to get into a shouting match in the middle of bulk dry goods. I believe in peace, love and forgiveness. Plus you never know who might be carrying a weapon in South Florida so better to steer clear of the haters.
I just smile politely at this guy’s self declared comedic prowess and walk away. I did find my seaweed and everything else on the list. Of course, the bill was huge. But you know what they say – you have to spend money to save money.