Thursday, July 03, 2008

Almost anticlimactic

Well, I went shopping yesterday. Apart from my 99 Cents Only spasm, it was the first time I had taken out my wallet in two weeks.

We were out of margarine, and ran out of milk over breakfast, so Shopping Day arrived just in time.

I had a list of all the things I’d thought of that we needed – with an awful lot of those things crossed out. Having time to reflect, even if it was just overnight, saw a lot of nifty ideas nixed.

The night before, I made up a menu for the next two weeks and went over my pantry to make sure I had anything I lacked on the list.

It wasn’t as long as list as I expected. And I certainly didn’t think that I would do two whole week’s worth of shopping in less than three hours.

But I did. One hour online, a little less than two hours around town, done.

It was almost anticlimactic.

The longest errand was down to the city to pay for the second half of the summer camp the girls are attending…and to just add a heapin’ helpin’ of ludicrous to the whole thing, the reason I appeared in person was so I could get the sibling discount, which was not available online because their programmers suck the system doesn’t support the discount online. You have to appear in person, and wait in person, and go over each line in person, and discuss the heritage around your children’s names in person, and be witness to approximately thirty-seven impromptu staff meetings around how, precisely, one is supposed to enter these things into the computer, at which point you will be told, in person, that they can’t get the discount into the system either.

You’ll have to call Accounting on Monday and ask them to make the adjustment.

So glad I could learn all this in person.

ANYWAY. Apart from that little exercise in futility, everything ran smooth as melted butter. I’ve got a bunch of things being delivered (Treo accessories, clothing labels [don’t start me], replacement brushes for the Roomba [we’re trying to kill that little robot, I swear we are]). I hit up Costco and replenished the basic supplies – including a case of copier paper for $10 less than the same basic thing at Office Depot. Sweet.

A long dally at the city offices (grrrr!) followed by a swift dart through Longs Drugs and an even faster swoop through the supermarket and…that was that.

Done, until July 16th-ish.

It was suspiciously easy, this switch to bi-weekly shopping. I’m not quite sure I believe it, just yet. Thanks to my cheat last week, I got a one hour head-start on the whole thing, sure…but it still just went…smoothly.

Too smoothly.

Of course, one trial does not a program make. The real test comes as the weeks continue to pass, and Life does that thing it likes to do, throwing curve balls at every opportunity.

Not to mention those times when there is simply more that is needed. Nobody needed socks, or a new swimsuit, or had demands from their teacher for 144 cupcakes by Friday. No birthday party invitations came home in backpacks, nobody had to build a mission out of sugar cubes.

Just some groceries and household sundries, a few electronic gadgets and a trip to the city zoo offices.

I got a lot more done around the Den thanks to the increased time on my hands, we burned practically no gasoline, and by my rough guesstimate based on the items crossed off the list, we saved around $300 simply by having a cooling off period between thinking we needed something, and actually going out to buy it.

Which is good, because there is a pretty major lag going between getting back to work and getting paid right now. It’s a good time to hold onto the money I have, rather than spending it on things I {nudge-nudge-wink-wink} Neeeeeeeeeeed.


Siercia said...

I'm curious to see how this will go when you have back-to-school and all the chaos that entails.

Not that I think you can't do it - I just wonder how easily it will go.

Threeundertwo said...

Very impressive. Waiting for the other shoe to. . .er next installment.

Lydee said...

yeah! i cheated yesterday by clothes shopping for me. it started by a donation to goodwill, and a "while i'm out..." other than that, i'm loving this plan.

Fibra Artysta said...

You've got me thinking about doing this. I detest grocery shopping and would be quite happy if I only had to go every other week rather then it being a weekly torture appointment.

Thanks for getting the wheels turning! :)

Anonymous said...

Keep it up! You're doing great. I got groceries a week ago and other than one little blip (prescription refill, and the baking soda and ketchup I'd forgotten) we're still sailing along. I need to work on the whole menu thing but I can see this making life a lot easier. Thanks!!

(formerly) no-blog-rachel said...

$300 - wow - that's impressive. And the gas you didn't use, and the time saved. Nice work!

Aaron Dietz said...

Wow, to have to appear in person is pretty I think offers all their discounts through a promo code that you type in to their registration site. Hmm.... How hard could that be for their programmers?

Heidi said...

I started doing something very similar couple of months ago. I wait until I absolutely need something (milk, cereal) and as I am waiting I make a list. Before I go shopping I cross of anything that isn't absolutely necessary for living (cupcakes, etc) that seemed like a good idea at the time. When I am done I purchased only half of what was on the list. Works great.