Points for persistence

A few months ago, I embarked on an interesting experiment: I decided to only buy groceries once a month. Yes, this sounds like lunacy to many people I share it with. The goal was to spend an alotted amount on groceries once a month and just see what happened. If it didn’t work, I could return to the previous buy-groceries-whenever-the-cupboards-are-bare model I’d had before.

Obviously, there are some exceptions to this once-a-month grocery-buying thing. If I need fresh veggies (because buying once a month is not really realistic), I can buy them. Same goes for milk, other small purchases, and special ingredients for special things I’m making. . . like the Chocolate Disaster Cake. Overall, the experiement has gone well. I go to Publix for two for one sales. I pay attention to when stores have deals on sodas, meat, etc., and time the trip around then. I buy the family packs of meat and freeze them. Actually, my pantry is better stocked than ever before and it’s easy to buy groceries once a month if you’re willing to think about buying things that can be used in a variety of dishes.

Well, yesterday was May’s grocery shopping day. I decided to stop in at the Wal-Mart Supercenter down the road from my house, mainly because I saw that they were selling Coke product 12-packs 2 for $5, and I needed Cherry Coke Zero. So, I worked my way through the grocery portion and really didn’t need to buy much, since I’m fairly well-stocked and will be out of town a bit this month. When I got to the front of the store, I realized that while nearly every 20 items or less line was open, only about 2 regular lines were open. And the one closest to the door closest to my car was WAY backed up. I got in line anyway.

This is when things got interesting.

The guy in front of me turned and told me to go get in one of the 20 items or less lanes. Nice thought, but really, I had WAY more than 20 items. And because I personally hate it when people with more than the allotted number of items get in those lines, I was not going to be a hypocrite and join their ranks. So, there I was stuck behind this guy who had like six items in his cart and in front of him was a lady who was buying about 1 million items. I am not joking.

At this point, I started to wonder why the guy in front of me with only six items was waiting behind this lady with the gigantor cart full of stuff. Oh, I didn’t have to wonder long. He decided to tell me. He was waiting in that line so that he could speak with that particular check-out girl. He actually told me this so many times that by the time it was his turn to check out, I was ready for the show. I mean, he purposely waited in this line so that he could flirt with this girl. This was going to be good.

Except it wasn’t. It was painful. He was laying on his best lines—things like “How do you get so pretty? Every time I’m in here you just get prettier.”—and she just seemed embarrassed and not very interested. She wasn’t rude to him and didn’t shut him down, but she obviously wasn’t interested. And I sort of felt sorry for the guy because he totally was not getting the message of non-interest she was sending. By allowing him to continue, she was telling him it was OK and that maybe in some way she was interested. I felt sorry for the guy when he left, since he obviously thought he’d scored some points, when really, I think the girl was just embarrassed and uninterested, but kind enough that she didn’t want to shut him down and embarrass him in front of the whole store. Which I understand. Because I probably would have done the same thing.

So, readers, things we’ve learned at Wal-Mart:

• Wal-Mart needs to open more regular lines

• 2 for $5 on Coke brand 12-packs go FAST

• Flirting with the check-out girl may not work to your favor

• Most people don’t have common cart courtesy

• And an oldie but a goodie from a previous Wal-Mart experience: DO NOT EVER PROPOSE TO YOUR GIRLFRIEND OVER THE LOUDSPEAKER AT WALMART!

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5 thoughts on “Points for persistence”

  1. Or have the lady at the front door do it for you because you didn’t talk loud enough to go over the intercom!!!

  2. Ha! That whole scenario was TERRIBLE. I just remember turning to you and saying, “If anyone EVER wants to propose to me, make sure this is not the way they do it!”

  3. I’ve read the grocery shopping once a month strategy on a lot of personal finance sites. Does it seem to really save money or time?

    I’m just learning to do the whole make a list and just buy what’s on the list thing. It helps with the dieting aspect more than anything.

    When it comes to proposing, you can really see differences between guys and gals. I, for one, would find it so cool to propose on the scoreboard at a KC Royals game. I think my girlfriend would be mortified.

  4. I, unlike most girls, think proposing via scoreboard at a sporting event is cool. Most of my friends think I’m CRAZY! But, then, it would be a Cardinals game for me. . . .

  5. We have set shopping times/budgets as well. It used to be 1/month but now it’s twice (on pay days). It has helped us curb our spending. When the cupboards are looking scarce and there’s a day or 2 before shopping day, we just make it work with whatever is in there. I’ve thrown together some pretty good dishes…and of course some not-so-good…by digging in the back of the pantry or freezer 🙂

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