Mama Loved to Clip Coupons and Grocery Shop
There is one field in which I do not take after my mama. I do not like to grocery shop. But, my mama was a fanatic grocery shopper, and she knew how to make her dollars stretch. It started with her paying a quarter for the local weekly newspaper.
She then poured over the full-page grocery store ads looking for the "specials." As she made her lists she pulled out her little coupon organizer and compared them to her list of specials, noting that on her list. Where she really hit the jackpot was in the stores that paid double, sometimes, triple for coupons. She actually made money on a few items at those stores.
We lived in a small town, so driving to three stores to shop was not all that time or gas consuming. Which is exactly what Mama did, with lists, coupons, and checkbook in her purse she hit every store in town. It was a social event as well. The grocery store was where the ladies in our town met and exchanged gossip as well as information about what store had the best produce and meats.
Once when a new grocery store opened in our town Mama won a shopping spree during their grand opening. The rule was you could not pick up duplicate items within the allotted time limit. For example you could pick up one package of ten pork chops, but not two packages with five in each.
Mama was the most excited I'd ever seen her. My cousin was visiting us for summer vacation. She and I were allowed to run around the store and help Mama shop. The idea was to get as big a tab as possible in the time limit. Mama headed straight to the meat department and got the biggest ham she could grab, then a turkey, a roast and so on. My cousin and I ran for the snacks and goodies department. Being kids what else would you expect? Mama gathered $150 in groceries that day, which back then was a huge amount.
No, I don't follow in Mama's footsteps when it comes to grocery shopping. I clip the coupons, but then forget I have them. I don't have one of those little coupon organizers that look like a miniature file folder. I do make lists, but I seldom read the ads in the newspaper. Most of the time I buy the store brands, assuming they are cheaper. And worse of all, I only go to one grocery store; the one closest to my house. I think I'll make it my mid-year resolution to buy one of those coupon file folders and start reading the store ads. I might even check out one of the other grocery stores in town. I hear there is a new one. Well, it's been in business three years, but I haven't been yet. I guess if Mama could see my dash-and-grab method of grocery shopping she'd wonder how she could have raised such a child.
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