My life away from family, friends, country, peanut butter cups, chocolate chips, cooking spray, drinking fountains, and real hamburgers.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
How To Almost Get Free Groceries
Recently the lovely Kim wrote a post about how she realized that fear is optional. She gave a short list of things, large and small, that have triggered fear for her, including "Fear of the cashier listing my total and realizing I didn’t have as much cash as I thought I did."
This made me realize how fearless I am about things like that. So fearless, in fact, that Greg sometimes wishes I would develop at least a tiny bit of doubt or self consciousness. I'm quite a dork and it really doesn't bother me. Well, sometimes it does, but mostly I'm fine with it. When I read that item on Kim's list, I thought, "Well, let's see, I have to pick out food items that have already been bagged because they cost more than I have with me maybe every third shopping trip. I think my fear of this happening is a great deal lower than it should be. If I could only make that anxiety increase a bit, maybe I'd stop overfilling my shopping cart. Maybe it's actually my optimism that causes me to take more than I have the cash on hand for. Yes. It's my optimism. Not my idiocy.
The kids have been wondering lately why they need to learn math. David has assignments where a few items are pictured with their price and he has a given number of zloty that he is supposed to spend any way he likes. I need to explain to him that this exercise will come in handy in the future if he should happen to turn out like regular people who go shopping and buy the amount of food they have money for. Or, if he takes after me and is an optimistic shopper, he can use it the way I do: Fill the cart. When all food is bagged and its cost is tallied, take the amount that you have gone over the amount of money you have in your wallet and remove items from the bags that together equal that amount. Those math exercises really are useful for everybody.
And just one more example of why you should all hope to be seen with me in a grocery store. A few weeks ago I was shopping without kids, a rare treat. As I was bagging my groceries (in my linen grocery bags-see, I DO care about the environment!) the checker noticed my tortillas and mentioned her surprise that they cost less than 6 zloty. Poor lady! I had to go on and on to her about how, "Yes! Isn't it great! All the other brands used to be about twice that, and lately I'd found some for about 9 zloty, but this new brand was so much less expensive! I'm so glad because we use them all the time, etc. etc." (I was buying 5 packages, as you can never be sure in Poland if you'll ever see an item again, like the molasses that I was excited to see and didn't buy for three weeks, then on the fourth when I needed it, and went to get some it was gone, and I've never seen it since.)
We chatted the whole time I filled my bags and as I packed in the last few items, she asked what I do with those tortillas. I explained all about the fajitas* I was making for dinner, in maybe too much detail (but she was interested, I promise! She's from Mielec and has probably never had any sort of Mexican food) and when I had finished and answered all her questions, I smiled, said good bye and started pushing my cart away. She called after me, "Um, you didn't pay for your food." Oh yeah. Oops. I was far enough away at that point that I actually had to drag my cart a fair way back to pay her.
money pictured is Polish money, We won't convert to the Euro for a few more years.
* Love this recipe, although it has very unauthentic ingredients. I substitute the chili powder with cumin and double the marinade so I can throw a little over the chicken and veggies and saute for one last minute before serving