Saturday, October 22, 2011
You Want HOW MUCH for Peanut Butter????
Justin and I are having a bit of a disagreement about the grocery shopping. I am trying to take it off his hands and he is resisting because he's better at it.
Justin is a coupon and sales shopper. He's one of those people who can save amazing dollars at the register between our bonus card and the coupons he gets from the Sunday paper. Every week for the past few years, he has sat down with the scissors and the sale ads and clipped coupons and made his list. And every Sunday morning, he goes out first thing to avoid the crowds and does the shopping. If you've been reading my blog, you also know that he does a lot of the cooking, which works out well when you are doing the shopping. Menu planning - it's a good thing.
For a couple of weeks (or longer), I have been trying to take over this task for him. He's busy at work - way too busy - and I feel like maybe this is one thing he shouldn't have to worry about. For the record, I am also trying to work on my cooking (we'll see how that goes). Because he does a much better job at keeping our money in our bank account every week and stocking up on things when they are on sale, he is, for good reason, resisting giving up this task. I am a notoriously bad shopper.
I buy things on impulse.
I buy things that aren't on sale that I realize we need when I see them.
I buy produce - way more than we can possibly eat.
I buy junk food. Okay, he buys junk food too, but he plans it around the sales. We can have the same list and come back with totally different food and he will have spent maybe 2/3 of my final grocery bill.
I know that it's hard for someone with a Type A personality to hand over the reins of anything. When they know that they can do it better (and cheaper), it's really hard to let it go. But I say how am I ever going to learn this skill if I don't practice it?
This morning, I insisted on going to Food Lion to get the majority of the groceries. He made me a list and I promised I wouldn't buy milk there because he really doesn't like the taste of their milk. I can't tell a difference, but he drinks more of it than I do, so I give on this issue. I followed his list to the letter and should have ended up with an additional $5 off the total grocery order because I followed the list. The deal was that if you bought 10 items of a certain brand of food, you would get the $5 off. Somehow, I didn't get the right combination and missed the boat on the coupon when I got to checkout.
Also, his list said Jif Creamy Peanut Butter (2), so I bought the size we usually buy. Since there was no coupon and I didn't see it on sale, I figured he wanted me to get what we usually buy. Turns out, it's $6 more for the double pack at Food Lion than it is at Martin's and there was supposed to be a smaller size on sale, 2 for $7.
So yeah. I spent a lot more than he would have on the groceries and there was still some stuff we don't have. (Not a lot, but some.) And I took the peanut butter back when I found out I had paid way more than I should have. And I told them that they were overpriced and what their competition was charging. I don't think they really cared, but I told them anyway.
Grocery shopping of any kind exhausts me. I can't stand the larger stores because they are overly bright, overly crowded, and the sensory assault just kills me. I come out hyperventilating and in the midst of a panic attack every time I go to the larger store. But the smaller store, where I am more comfortable and don't need anti-anxiety drugs, is overpriced.
I think tomorrow morning, when he doesn't have to go through the horrendous motions of shopping for food for five people who all want different dinners every night, he is going to appreciate the over-priced shopping I did today. I know that this is something I need to get better at, because obviously it's important not to overspend. But there has to be a compromise in there somewhere.
After I returned the peanut butter, I went over to the pet store because we needed both cat and dog food. I had a coupon for a free bag (that's free, people) of cat food that was worth $22 because I had bought the last 10 bags at the same store and I had a $4 off coupon for the dog food. The bill would have been $88, but it was $57.
I think I made up at the pet store what I overspent at the grocery store. But if we had gotten the better prices at both stores, clearly that would be better. I will learn Justin's shopping method and try to make peace with the fact that sometimes I will have to go to the larger, more anxiety provoking grocery store. And I will make mistakes. And sometimes I will buy ice cream bars. Because they are there.