2017-11-02 Thu

Observations on Saving Money

It is easy to save money. It is not difficult not to spend money. Remember those flyers that urge you to “Save 79c” which you can do if only you will spend $1.23?

Metro(Dominion) supermarket. I always start by checking out the price of the 2 litre brick of Chapman’s butterscotch Ripple ice-cream. $3.99. About the best value in ice-cream you’re ever going to get from Metro.

Packet of those chocolate-covered mint wafers? So I wandered down to the cookies aisle, no sign of chocolate-covered mint wafers, so I wandered down to the packaged-candies aisle, no sign of chocolate-covered mint wafers, so I thought I’d go visit Sobeys, upstairs, and more expensive.

But there was Dollarama, so I wandered in there looking for chocolate-covered mint wafers, but saw no sign. Still, I thought, I should check out exercise books now I that I have taken up French and Spanish on alternate days. Basically, sheets of lined paper, bound or un-, are one cent per sheet, and I have plenty of unlined scrap paper at home. Frankly I’d rather go back to Metro and blow my money on ice-cream.

Upstairs in Sobey’s I idly looked for berries – all gone at this time of year (but I bet I could find some tomorrow on Church Street near Dundas) and I didn’t bother checking ice-cream prices, but I did wander along the cheese aisle, and cheese is, of course, way more expensive than the same brand of cheese in Metro, and even in Loblaws.

But by this time I was tired, so I wandered home via Rexall Drug Store. Their range of ice-cream is limited to tablespoon-size cartons at the price of a four-litre tub in Metro, and they didn’t have those chocolate-covered mint wafers.

I waited while a rather plump women selected something to drink, and after she had moved on I checked out the price of her small bottle of sugar-flavored pale blue water - $3.99; same price as the ice-cream in Metro, but by this time I was tired of wandering without success, and since I was at the corner of Bay and College, I strolled home.

Three mint-less minutes later I was in my apartment, realizing that I had had a very successful shopping trip. And thereby added four dollars towards my funds for next year’s holiday in Slovenia, France, England or Alabama.

Observations on Saving Money

I have been coached in Rain-Checks which were until today a mystery to me. After this afternoon’s coaching session, I wandered over to a local supermarket armed with this week’s flyer, with four items circled in pencil to make it look as if I had been sent out shopping.

My goal was to get a rain-check. I figured that with luck, this late on a Saturday night everything would be out of stock, specially the specials.

It didn’t go as I had planned.

First off I wandered over to the fish counter, the scene of Friday’s failed attempt to secure some Norwegian Cod. This time I am hunting for Rock Lobster tail at $3.99 a shot, but as I approached the area I could see four people waiting at the counter, most of the counters trays cleaned and sanitized, and the fishmonger walking through the swing doors out to the back.

I’ll come back, I told myself, and headed off to the cheese counter where Swiss Cheese is a mere $1.99 per 100g.

Two ladies busy wiping down counters, their backs to me “Well, why don’t you go on home; I’ll finish up here”. “No, Edith, there’s not a lot to do and I’d probably just miss the streetcar and I’ve nearly finished this one”, and so on.

You’ll note that I am in no hurry. I don’t really want to buy cheese anyway, not at $1.99/100g, and I could see only Havarti, but before I could escape thin-one-with-bun-hairdo whips around and asks “Yes fear, What can I get you?”.

I ask “Please do you have any of that Swiss cheese at 41.99 a hundred grams?” Well, yes she does, and we slide sideways in harmony to the end of the display case where she quickly hauls out a huge block of Swiss and “How much do you want?”. Well, I don’t want any. I was hoping that they would have sold it all off, for my purpose tonight is not to spend money, but to gain rain checks.

With some difficulty I wriggle out of the predicament by saying that I was waiting for the fish man to return to his post, which throws Edith into a loop. She is fifty five if she is a day, and this is the first time in her career that someone has asked if she has Swiss Cheese and then said flatly that they don’t want any. That’s not in the script at all, at all.

I flip open my flyer and try to look like a hen-pecked husband who has been turfed off the couch and sent on incomprehensible errands during the hockey game.

Off to b=vegetables and fruits where, to my delight, they are all out of raspberries and blackberries at $2.99 per 170g, how ever many pints that is. I will be able to obtain a rain check from the service counter after all.

Finally it is off to the meat shelves looking for Pork Rib Roast at $2.99 per pound. Not only do they not have any there, they don’t have any seriously big chunks of meat at all. Just individually wrapped chops and steak. No legs of lamb of sixty-pound turkeys. Must be back in the fish service area, so back I go and mirable dictu at the end of the fish packets fridge is a freezer with big slabs or ribs and something else, but no sign of Pork Rib Roast.

This means I’ll be setting off home with two rain checks.

I notice that at the adjacent fish counter the nice “Norwegian Cod didn’t come in” man is back, and he remembers me.

“I see that you are out of Rock Lobster” I say, dreaming of three rain checks. “In the bin behind you!”, and sure enough, there are five packets of Rock Lobster tail at $399 a pop, and I say pop because they are slightly bigger than my thumb, and I could pop a complete one into my mouth.

I didn’t want expensive Rock Lobster anyway. I can get that with a gidgie just off the beach at Bluff Point, about two miles north of Geraldton in Western Australia.

So there we are:I ran away from the cheese, and the rock lobster, but found that I couldn’t find berries or pork. Two out of four ain’t bad, eh?

Back through the crisps aisle and what do I see at the service counter but a line-up (Aust: Queue) with eight people in it, so I tucked the folded flyer in my inside jacket pocket and walked home.

I might try again if I wake up at three in the morning and don’t feel like going back to sleep.

And then there’s always the NoFrills flyer on Monday.

Monday, October 30, 2017: Well. So! Off to NoFrills I was around lunchtime, armed with my NoFrills flyer that said raspberries could be had for two dollars, but happily, they couldn’t. Ou’ o’stock, Guvner. Din cummin. (I have been watching Ronnie Corbett far too much lately). Well. Can I get a rain-check? No, we don’t do rain-checks, but you might find a competitor that would honour the price.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017: Well. So! Off to Metro I was around lunchtime, armed with my NoFrills flyer that said raspberries could be had for two dollars. I chose some more frozen salmon, cheaper than last time, and a bag of apples for my drive tomorrow, and approached the Service Desk.

Well, who would have guessed it, they sell Toronto Transit Commission tickets there, so I bought a sheet. Saves heading off to the subway station kiosk fifty yards away and standing in line for a second time

Well, who would have guessed it, they don’t do Price Matching. So I bought my NoFrills flyer home and made myself a lunch of micro-waved oatmeal and a fresh apple.