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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Frugality 101: Keep your Eyes Open

This afternoon, Mr. FS and I took our dear daughter to a fried chicken place for a parking lot rendezvous. She met up with a friend for a ride back to college.

Moments before we left, Mr. FS noticed that he had left his cell phone in his cycling gear, which was floating in a bucket awaiting a wash. OOPS!!!

Since the fried chicken place was across the street from Wal-mart, we decided to get a replacement cell phone there. And pick up some tortillas.

I am usually not allowed to go to Wal-mart, since my trips there used to be followed by a lengthy comatose state and depression. No kidding. But we decided to take the chance. Of course, the cheap cell phone we wanted was out of stock. On to the tortillas.

To get to the bread area, we passed through produce. I stopped short: sweet potatoes at 15 cents/pound! I assigned Mr. FS the task of picking out some sweet potatoes. Then, after picking up the tortillas, I remembered another rule of Frugality 101: if one thing is marked down, so is another. Hence we discovered celery, string beans, and broccoli crowns, all for ridiculously low prices.

Total price for two packs of tortillas and assorted vegetables: $5.00. Mostly for the tortillas.

I asked Mr. FS if he would have noticed the sweet potatoes, since he goes to Wal-mart solo, on rare occasions. He said that he didn't bother looking when I was around, since he knew I would notice anything of interest.

So the third rule of Frugality 101: let the experts be experts.

That's the report on my post-Thanksgiving shopping. What could be better than vegetables?


Shelley said...

Veggies are the best, I agree, particularly sweet potatoes which are a 'superfood' and celery is at its best in November. I love tortillas, too. My ex-husband worked with some (illegal) Mexicans who taught him to roll up just about any old leftovers in a tortilla to make it a feast. I've tried making them a couple of times, but they come out too crispy to roll properly. Not given up on it yet, though. In the meantime I stock up when they are on sale. They also make great takeaway food for eating on the road. Taking food with me was one of the last tightwad things I learned to do.

Shelley said...

And, BTW, thank you for the tip about more than one thing being marked down. I shall look out for ways to use that information.

Duchesse said...

These are almost incomprehensibly low food costs for us here in Canada.

I take food with me when shopping! Even a PB and banana sandwich on whole grain is better than a restaurant- except the high end, where I would rather have a leisurely meal with a friend or my lovely spouse.

SLF said...

Yeah, these food costs are just shockingly low. I can't think of a single thing over here in France that comes close to costing so little. In some ways, I think the low cost of food in the US encourages a lot of our waste and our bad eating habits. People wouldn't eat such a meat-centric diet if even ground beef cost $11+ / pound.

--Frugal Son

Funny about Money said...

Hmmm... This would mean that whoever picked those sweet potatoes did it for significantly less than fifteen cents a pound. So did the grower, and the guy who trucked them and the people who warehoused them and the Walmart employees who priced them and sorted out the spoiled ones and put the ones that were still good on the counter, and the Walmart checkout clerk.

You'd have to grow, fertilize, water, pick, clean, sort, truck, store, display, price, and check out an awful lot of sweet potatoes to make a living wage, at that rate. I wonder if any of the workers involved in growing, harvesting, taking those potatoes to market, and selling them made a living wage today?

Not to be's been one of those days. ;-)

Frugal Scholar said...

@Shelley--I want to learn to make tortillas also, but I am bad with dough of all kinds. My son has been experimenting in France and claims to have succeeded.

@Duchesse--These were post-Thanksgiving overstock prices. Ridiculously low, even here.

@SLF-Hey there! Can't wait to see you, dear son.