Monday, December 6, 2010
Why glory? I'll be happy to explain what happened on December 1, using photos taken in available light and lots of words shaped into sentences. Let's start here, just inside the front door of our apartment. You see here the rolling black bag, handle up. The black and white bag with the circles functions these days as my purse/carry-all, while the pink and white black with the huge black circles is a thinly insulated bag that I bought recently at Fred Meyer after Fred Meyer decided to never-ever-again use plastic grocery bags. (I knew I'd never-ever make it home with loaded paper bags because the handles just might come unglued--besides, why take part of a tree every visit to the grocery store?)
First I carried the thinly insulated bag into the living room, set it down on a chair beside the table and unloaded it: broccoli crowns, bananas, potatoes, a Golden Delicious apple, two Bartlett pears, two bags of Hershey's Kisses, two boxes of Lipton Cold Brew family-size teabags, four boxes of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, one box of Apriva sweetener instead of Splenda which was not on sale, a can of Private Select organic pinto beans and one of a three-bean combo, also organic. In the top left corner you can see Mama's hand as she's trying to put the lid back on the Skippy peanut butter. It takes her a few seconds to realize that she's got the two flat items where she places our daily vitamins, not the lid (see it there--it's blue). Did she ever laugh broadly at herself when she realized what she had done!
She picked up the lid, continuing to laugh. So good to see her laughing! I took this blurry photo, laughing myself.
The packed rolling black bag sits on the chair. I had bought this bag in October, 2009, in particular for our trip home last year. It's one of those with the zipper all the way round that lets it expand, depthwise. I like that in a bag, but more than that I adore a zipper that stays attached to the cloth of the bag and wheels that stay in one piece despite rolling lots and lots on Portland's sidewalks and crosswalks. This bag doesn't have that sort of zipper or wheels. Every time I take it to work empty on grocery shopping day, I pray over it several times: Please let your zipper zip and your wheels turn. So far, so good.
The groceries from the rolling black bag: three frozen Green Giant boxes of vegetables, two healthy weight, one healthy heart, all with sugar snap peas which we had recently in another Green Giant veggie dish and Mama discovered that she liked them; a Pillsbury Simply Rustic French Bread; four Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, Original; a half gallon Fred Meyer Lactose Free 2% Reduced Fat Milk, a half gallon Darigold 100% Lactose Free Milk, a half gallon of Breyers Lactose-Free All Natural Vanilla Ice Cream; a Lil' Butterball turkey, a bag of Fred Meyer Baby Lima Beans (thanks be these exist at Fred Meyer), a bag of Kroger Cut Okra (I haven't found whole frozen okra here and have only found fresh okra once at the farmers' market), a pot roast, bag of Farmland Fully Cooked Cubed Ham (more about that later), two packages of GenTeal Liquid Drops for Mama's dry eyes brought on by Sjogren's Syndrome, two packages of Werther's Chewy Caramels, two bags of frozen Grands Southern Style biscuits (thanks be for these tasty beauties), and two bags of Chex Mix, Traditional. You can see that Mama's drinking tea and that she's emptied our pitcher. You can see the Skippy Peanut Butter jar now has its lid. See the yellow circle to the left of the jar? That's what she had in her had, trying to put it onto the jar. It's a yellow-plastic-microwaveable chili lid, resting inside a paper-hotel-glass cover, those ones that are sitting beside the ice bucket in your room when you check-in. She puts my vitamins in the yellow one and hers in the white one.
Now, for the rest of the story. A bit of background first. At the first of November I vowed to pay attention to coupons for our grocery shopping. During that month, on three trips to Fred Meyer, I saved a total of $60.75. A little over $18 of that was from having always used my Fred Meyer Rewards card so that I got in the mail the $18+ gift card as well as four other $2 coupons relegated to specific categories--these come three or four times a year, I can't remember which.
So, without that ace in the hole, I wondered how I would do in December. I used the rewards card, thereby activating the coupons downloaded to it. I used coupons I had cut from the booklet in several Tuesday newspapers. I used coupons that I printed from several Web sites. And I used one that I got from the end of a can of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, Original. When the young man finished scanning all of the paper ones and the computer finished telling the cash register about the electronic ones, I had saved $23.65. Glory be! Better even than saving that money, though, is the fact that I didn't buy anything that we wouldn't end up eating. None of this getting tempted by a coupon for us!
Finally, about the cubed ham. Last night I stirred two thirds of the package into a boiler in which I had already put the two cans of organic beans. I had one box of the Jiffy corn muffins fixed and baking in the oven. I made a fruit salad from a banana, an apple, some raisins and some mayo. As we got situated to eat, I stirred my version of ham and beans one more time. What? Oh, no! I bent over to get a better whiff. Oh, no. I opened the frig and opened the bag with the rest of the cubed ham. Oh, no. The ham had gone bad. I didn't smell anything when I had opened the bag earlier, so applying heat must have activated the yucky stench. So, I'll be taking my receipt from Wednesday, December 1, right on back to Fred Meyer to let them know how that ham was on December 4 as well as the fact that it ruined two cans of beans. In fact, I'll be taking the rest of the package of cubed ham with me. It'll be on Tuesday, December 7, because that's the day I can shop and save an extra 10% on many Fred Meyer/Kroger store brand items, all because I was born before 1956.