Thursday, January 8, 2009

What am I going to be like when I'm old?

My husband and I rarely disagree. All those fights about money and sex that magazines tell me we're supposed to be having? Not here. Time to clean the cat box? Eh, I'll do it. Garbage reeking? Go for it, honey. But there IS one issue in our house - a bone of contention that pits man against woman every single week.


We spent a lot of money on groceries. Next to rent, it is our single biggest expense. It's not that I don't try to be frugal. When it comes to saving a buck, I'm a touch OCD. My typical Saturday involves dragging a rickety cart through Times Square, down the subway steps, into the pee-soaked subway elevator, onto the train, then braving the line at Trader Joe's, heading back to the subway, up the pee-soaked elevator, onto the train, and through Times Square, all so I can save the $20 delivery fee.

It takes approximately 3 hours.

Matt and I go around and around about this.

"You spent HOW MUCH on groceries?"

(Even though I go to a place that sells $3 wine, our total still seems to cost the equivalent of a lap dance.)

"If you lose your day shopping for groceries, is it really worth the money?"

(Organic bananas for $.19 a pound! Organic whole chicken - $12.99! A tub of organic yogurt - $2.99!)

"You do realize that there's a store right downstairs."

Ah yes, the STORE DOWNSTAIRS. How it mocks me with its convenience. Want to know what convenience costs? $.79 per pound! For non-organic bananas! It physically pains me to pay that much when I know that only 3 hours away I could save sixty cents.

Okay, perhaps it's time to give this a re-think.

Still, there I am every weekend, cart in hand, grump on face. I can't not go. It's the same feeling I have whenever I see money on the street. I'm not saying that I've fished a quarter out of a very sketchy pool of sidewalk water (at least I think it was water) but hey, that's why God invented hand sanitizer.

What do you do to save a buck? Collect cans? Reuse dental floss? Or do you throw caution to the wind and let the non-sale items fall where they may?
10 points to the person who does something even more ridiculous than me.


Missy said...

I think I am pretty much on the opposite pole from you on this one.

I absolutely DESPISE grocery shopping. I have since I was a kid and had to endure twice monthly trips to the store that took HOURS with my parents, because my mom liked to browse and look at all the crap and ARRGGHHH! I still get irritated just remembering it all.

Therefore I honestly do not pay much attention to the price of what I am buying. I got my list, I get it and get oooouuut. No patience to hunt for bargains, see what is on sale or traipse to three different stores to get the best price. I got to get this over with before I lose my shit.

That is why MY grocery bill is ridiculous. I do use coupons for the granola bars we are addicted to and buy three(YUP 3 boxes!) of every week.

We had a particulary low yield for a high price last week and I have lately thought that we need to seriously re-vamp our system.

Schlepp three hours to save 60 cents? No way in hell. I give my props to ya though. It probably would do my checkbook good to be more like you.

margot said...

Trader Joe's cannot be beat. That's all there is to say. Now, a 3 hour trip, that sucks. Any way you could save money somewhere else so you could either pay the delivery fee (and maybe limit your TJ deliveries to once a month?) or take a cab to/from the store? There has to be a better way to go than schlepping on the subway. Saving $ is great, and TJ's food is great, but saving a couple hours would also rock--for you, the hubs, and the kid.

Michael said...

Sorry, I must take myself out of the running due to regional differences, Here in the rural midwest ( Missouri ) there are 3 supermarkets within 1 mile of each other. So on a typical early Saturday morning (6:30 a.m.) I can shop all three stores with the best prices in your 3 hour window, put all of them in car and spend $115 on a weeks worth of groceries.
But, I can go to Walmart and buy tampons,a car battery and underwear. Although , somewhat disturbing, even for me. I can buy fried chicked at a service station.

Dan G said...

You're out of your mind.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

I - I don't know what to say to that.

There's no way in HELL I'd take 3 hours to get somewhere to go shopping. My time IS worth more than that! Also, I don't clip coupons because there are never coupons for the stuff we buy: meat, veggies, fruit, etc. We don't buy a lot (if any) pre-made food.

Besides, Costco doesn't TAKE coupons! : )

Missy said...

Where ARE the coupons for meat, fruit, and veggies??

That is some crap.

elisava said...

we get coupons for "X - ammount of pork / beef /chicken" sometimes. they come in the mail from the grocery store we drop most of our cash at. they've also generated some for herbs.... but that's about it for veggies.

Colleen said...

I'm pretty much with Missy here. My husband clips coupons, I forget to use them. Or try to use them and they won't take for some mysterious reason and I get ticked. I spend WAY too much on groceries because I think Walmart literally makes me ill. If I'm in there longer than an hour I feel like I'm going to pass out. And we are always hungry when we go, big no-no, so the cart ends up full of all sorts of junk that only sounds good when you're starving.

The only concession I make to bargain hunting is that I go to Walmart for most things, b/c it's cheaper for most things than Dillon's. But I will only drink Dillon's milk so have to go there a few times a week, too.

I can't imagine what a hassle it must be to have to schlep your groceries all over town. No wonder New Yorkers are all in shape! And here I'm always bitching and moaning about having to carry the stuff in from the detached garage and up the stairs. I'm going to quit bitching about it for a while in your honor!