I was so nerdily pleased about this that I made my housemate listen to the whole thing, and now I’m gonna make you. I don’t think I can inflict it on anyone else because how excited I was about it makes me sound like a total loser.

It is very cloudy and overcast here for months on end in Low COL City, The Upper Midwest, and the librarians at my university told me a couple of weeks ago that everyone here just takes Vitamin D pills all winter. I have no idea whether this will really help or not, but I figured at least it wouldn’t be expensive and probably wouldn’t give me cancer, so I decided to buy some last Saturday at the grocery store.

The first aisle I checked didn’t have Vitamin D on its own, only combined with calcium. I threw it in my cart, but then in the next aisle I found the Vitamin D (on sale! 2 for the price of 1!) and put that in the cart, meaning to return the calcium combo….well, of course I got home and discovered that I’d never taken the calcium out of my cart, and it was $6.50!!!!

Fast forward to today’s weekly shopping trip. Not only did I remember to take the calcium and the receipt back so I could get a refund, but here was what I had on my list to purchase:

Sweet potatoes
Sour cream*

This added up to a grand total of…. $6.50 exactly. So basically, I am eating for free this week! And am a gigantic nerd, but who cares, I’m a gigantic nerd with $60 of this week’s grocery money left over in a month that I badly need available cash for holiday stuff.

[*I am not eating these four items only this week. I’m trying to use up everything perishable in the house and some of the freezer/pantry stuff too before I leave to see my folks, so I decided to throw a bunch of stuff I already had — lentils, sausage, tomato paste, carrots, celery, garlic — in a pot with the sweet potatoes and onion and some water and make soup. It’s not bad at all. That takes care of lunch for the week. I also have enough apples left over from last week’s purchase to have one for an afternoon snack every day. I’ll make a pot of oatmeal (already have everything I need for that) on Sunday night and that’s breakfast for the week. I’m going to Christmas parties at least two and possibly three nights this week, so there’s not much dinner to worry about, but I have some leftovers and I can always make some ramen or something in a real bind. The sour cream is to make rhubarb muffins to bring to a potluck on Thursday — I’ve had the rhubarb frozen since the late summer so it’s time to use it. I had all the other ingredients for those in the pantry or fridge. Et voila.]

[ETA: I wrote this post then went out to the farmer’s market and spent $2 on kale, $2 on a stocking present for my SIL, $4 on a present for my housemate, and $20 on my brother’s birthday present (another vintage book). So now I only have about $30 in my pocket, and I’m probably going to spend it all this week between the $10 admission show I’m going to tonight, postage, and buying daily coffee, but hey, at least I shouldn’t have to dip into slush and I can use that for the various expenses I’ll have on vacation. And I’ve now prepaid birthday presents for my mom (February) and brother (April); just need to think of something for my dad, in May, and then nothing to worry about until late fall 2015.]

7 thoughts on “Grocery TRIUMPH

  1. I’d be excited too! How awesome 🙂

    1. I’m glad at least a few other people on the web are as nerdy as me 🙂 I’m excited partly because it’s evidence that I’m really changing the way I think — I no longer just let dollars, let alone six of them, float away out of pure indifference or laziness.

  2. Haha, nice! Glad I’m not the only one who returns things I don’t need to the grocery store :). The store always kind of looks at me oddly, but, they accept the returns. No sense in paying for something you don’t need.

    1. I’ve always been good about returning non-grocery stuff when it turns out I don’t want/need it (Target, etc etc) but returning things at the grocery store is a relatively new practice. I’m pleased because it means I’m not just letting dollars flow away without keeping track of why exactly I spent them and how I’m using the thing.

  3. Hah, I love that it worked out to exactly what you overspent. I’ve been working on cleaning out the fridge and freezer, but now we are down to bare necessities in the freezer, so I sm headed to stock up on chicken breasts for cheap. But your post reminds me I need to return canned tomatoes I bought – grabbed the wrong ones that weren’t on sale, and only noticed when I checked the receipt.

    1. There you go! Cheaper tomatoes today, more debt repayment tomorrow 🙂

  4. CheapMom says:

    Sweet, sorta free groceries!

    We don’t usually return things, but we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again!

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