Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The grocery run

The grocery store is an interesting place at around 8pm at night.

First, the place is nearly empty-- of customers AND employees. The shelves were not well stocked and the lone stocker, a manager, was grumbling that one of his stock guys hadn't come in. I was lucky to be able to get most of the items on my list (I was short a brownie mix because there were only two left, and I couldn't use the walnut version since a) I hate nuts in brownies, and more importantly b) I'd hate having to jab my son with a giant epi pen if he ate walnuts.

So I bought two boxes even though the coupon required me to buy three and worked it out with the cashier.

Did you know they put away the produce at night? As I was scurrying to get strawberries and lettuce, the lone product kid was loading grocery carts with cabbages and grapes to take to the walk in cooler. I'm not sure what you would find if you worked the second shift and needed to buy produce at midnight or 2am. I think your choices would be potatoes and hard squash.

I needed to shop Tuesday night to take advantage of all the 4 day sales. There were tons of BOGO offers on large items like turkey breast and pork loins that I need for the family and Easter and guests this week, plus I had several catalina deals to combine with coupons. I spent about an hour organizing my list, coupons and laying it all out based on store sections to maximize the trip, but still was surprised it took an hour and filled the cart.

At the check out my choices were few. Self Check (can be a pain), the teenager who gets off at 9pm and the senior guy, about 80, who I know from experience is the worlds SLOWEST checker. He scans and then looks at every item before moving it along. I think this old habit comes from days when price stickers were on every item. I think he's convinced the bar code may not actually be correct, and he's looking for the price sticker to confirm it.

I went with teenage boy on aisle 3.

Teenage boy on aisle 3 did not have a bagger. In fact, I did not see any baggers.

Wait, I lie. I did get a bagger eventually. But he only had one arm.

Then came the bill. Hubby had wanted to come to see the spectacle which is checkout for me. I had a stack of coupons almost an inch thick plus electronic coupons stored on my preferred customer card.

Total savings: $130, plus received $6 off my next trip. That was a savings of 47% on 81 items.

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