Guest Post by Jerry Robbins
Even though they usually can afford better, seniors are cheap shoppers. And the classic case is coupon shopping. Since I have taken up shopping with my wife lately I have learned first-hand about this special kind of shopping. The idea is to clip as many coupons as you can find that might be valuable someday for buying something to fill in some space in the pantry for some meal in the future.
Two-for-the-price-of-one seems an especially prized finding, especially in a supermarket. The other day my wife fairly beamed when she found a large bottle of cranberry juice, two-for-the-price-of-one. She plopped two in the cart with the enthusiasm of a kid who has snatched the last video of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. “Look at that,” she said proudly as if we had gotten it for free.
Caught up in the fervor, I push the cart down the aisle looking for the best buys. Pickle rings seem to be down a few cents. Campbell Soup is two for $1.00. My joy soars when I find two packs of Oreos for $5.00. Smoked ham hocks at $1.09 /pound sounds good. All that could make an interesting meal, or not. Anyway, I feel that I am getting the hang of economy cuisine.
I learned that the customer doesn’t stand a chance. Great mountains of Pepsi, stove-top stuffing, and canned green beans loom at the ends of the aisles. There are tempting sales wherever I look. A lady stands at a table handing out samples of crab dip, cheese spread, and some kind of party dip, all at phenomenal savings. Little paper cups and little spoons offer a taste, and some shoppers seem planted at the table trying all three. They are goners for sure with no hope of escaping a purchase.
That night at super my wife announces, “You are going to love what we are having, and I saved $14.87 on the meal.” She rolls out a casserole of sweet potatoes, not my favorite, but who could be sullen with such a prize purchase, I am soon to learn. “Bought a big bag, and saved $1.50 on that,” she says. They will be around for several meals. Next comes a plate of two-day old rolls so hard they could knock out a rhino. Finally, the piece de resistance, boiled ox tail covered with cream of mushroom soup.(She found the Campbell’s shelf.) “The ox tail was moving so slowly (she chuckles at her pun) they marked it down 30%,” she announces. “Saved $1.85 on that.” For dessert we spoon up a tasteless dish Izzy Ice Cream, the “best ice cream buy” in the supermarket freezer.
After the meal as we sip bargain basement herbal tea, I feel an inspiration come over me.”Let’s go out for dinner tomorrow evening.”I suggest. “Treat ourselves to something special, “Good Idea,” my wife responds. “The Courtyard has good food, and I’ve heard nice things about Blackwater Inn, too.” “I was thinking more like Winn Dixie,” I said. “Eight pieces of chicken, slaw, potatoes, and, here’s the best part, for only $6.99. Or, I have a $1.00 off coupon for Perkins, if you would prefer. Or, we could try Kim’s Pizzeria, $2.00 off for any 16” pizza, or Golden Corral has a senior buffet for only $4.99, or…â€
Jerry can be contacted atÂ email@example.com