Saturday, February 26

how (not) to buy cat food

I ran out of cat food (again!) and made a grocery store run, which cost about $60 for 3.5 pounds of dry food. In addition, I got about $56 of free groceries. Well, that's one way to look at it.

I stopped at the Tom Thumb grocery and used my monthly "$5 off $50" coupon from the Entertainment Book. Those coupons alone make the Entertainment Book a good deal. The trick to maximizing that $5 coupon is to have $50.01 after the other coupons (including those doubled if less than 51¢) have been deducted; it's not always an easy calculation. Most of the time I end up guessing way high - like $75 or so - and I have never guessed below $50. Today (after coupons, before tax) I had about $53 in my basket, so I am Very Pleased With Myself. The grocery carts used to have calculators built into the handles, but they're not as common as they once were, and I never found them very useful.

The best grocery POS (point of sale) system is the Shop 'n' Scan that's in the Albertsons stores; you can keep a running total as you shop (but I'll admit, I've not tried scanning coupons into that device). Their system ain't perfect; if you use it in conjunction with the self-checkout lane, the voice system will nag you -- multiple times -- with "unexpected item in bagging area" while you bag your items. That feature is very annoying.

Anyway (back to today) .. Tom Thumb didn't have Purina Cat Chow - Vitality Formula, so I had to stop by Kroger for only the cat food. While checking out, the coupon printer saw that I bought cat food, so it printed a $3.19 off (!) coupon for Iams Savory Sauce, which is the equivalent of nutritious (?) gravy for your canine. I wonder if Beta (the wonder dog) would like it. Silly question, indeed.

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