Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sales and Soliloquies

On the best coupons/savings blog in the world, http://www.moneysavingmom.com/ , a reader mentioned she'd found books at 75% off at Kroger's. Hmmm...we don't have Kroger's out here in Colorado, but King Soopers is owned by the same corporation.

And I did see (and get) some great books for my piano students at 50% off the other week...

We ran out of milk, and I made a quick trip to Soopers. Sure enough, the same table was now 75% off!

Not only that, but summertime glasses, trays, grills and a wide variety were also marked 75% off. I got some Christmas presents, as well. (I won't say what, because Daughter #1 occasionally reads this blog. But they were Good Stuff.)

Didn't get home until after midnight. But my present box is full!

* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Don't miss this very thoughtful post on Salon.com --what it feels like to go to a soup kitchen:

http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2008/08/18/heather_ryan/index.html

I don't think Heather Ryan's reasons for going are entirely as forced as she tries to make them sound. (More on this below.) But her account is surprisingly descriptive, and certainly conveys the desperation she felt.

What surprised me, though, was her lack of initiative in finding other food sources. She's a clever, well-reasoned writer. Couldn't she have done some research, tried other options? (According to Ryan, her income was too high for food stamps...many people, myself included, would be wayyy too proud to accept those, anyways, unless we'd exhausted every other possibility.)

She could have:
*Taken advantage of marked-down items at the store (I just checked the bins last night at Soopers -- and another girl was right behind me, doing the same thing.)

*Purchased bulk items or cooked from scratch more. Oatmeal and other lower-cost items would stretch her budget. She could have also baked her own bread, purchased fruit from an orchard or farmers market...

*Grown her own vegetables and greens, either in pots or a garden plot. (And if you can't do it outside, you can definitely grow sprouts. Frugal Babe has talked a lot about this lately:
http://frugalbabe.com/2008/08/25/the-cheapest-health-food/

I'm not that big on her enthusiasm for 'green smoothies.' (Ergh) But sprouts do wake up a sandwich or stir-fry, and they're jumping with vitamins.

*Used the Share program, which is a godsend. Order a package of different foods, including meats, fruits and veggies that's 3-5 times the value of the price you pay: $25 or less. Our version is called Share Colorado, but it's active in plenty of other states. Find out more at
http://www.sharecolorado.com/

Angel Food Ministries sounds very similar. Although I've never tried this program, I've heard good things about it. Perhaps it's available in your hometown, when the Share program isn't:
http://www.angelfoodministries.com/

"Right," someone may say. "Take a potshot at the girl when she's down. After all, you don't know what it's like. You never had a near-empty pantry, no money and kids to feed."

Oh, but I did. Not now, not for years...but trust me. I know.

3 comments:

Allison Ann Aller said...

Cindy, I didn't know you teach piano! So you are a musician as well....
My dad sent me a piano (he plays very well) when I was 38 and I dutifully took lessons for 4 years. I was not a natural musician...and in fact sold the piano and turned it into a Subaru...but I did notice during those years how a mysterious and here-to-fore buried part of my brain got activated by my music studies. It felt so good.

And...I can sure appreciate Glenn Gould now more than before!!!

frugalbabe.com said...

I think my enthusiasm for green smoothies is relatively uncommon :) But I feel great when I have them, and I've even gotten pretty good at making most of them taste pretty good too (my husband lets me know which ones are tasty, and which are strictly health food!)

Cindy Brick said...

Allison, yep -- had 10 years of piano lessons way back, and stopped after high school...but never stopped playing piano. I still do it now and then for our church worship team. But husband Dave plays more than I do -- he also had a decade of lessons. But he doesn't teach piano...just yours truly.
And Frugal Babe, I love ya -- I love to read your posts. (In fact, I tend to check every day to see what you posted lately.) But you and you, I guess, are fated to see differently on green smoothies! :) But if you're talking spinach soup or vichyssoise, I'll be first in line. I know -- it's not consistent...but what can I say.
Keep blogging!

Zzzzzzzz...

After four hours at Tuesday Morning's checkout line today, I can honestly relate. Okay, maybe a nap AND a cookie.