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Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

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Royalty Free Photo by Bill Longshaw courtesy of Free Digital Photos

I love summer for a variety of reasons. Being financially obsessed as I am, the top reason I love it are the Farmer’s Markets! Living in a cold, northern region as I do, at no other time throughout the year can I get the same great price deals on so large a quantity of food.

The appearance of the Farmer’s Market is a good boon for the local consumer, no matter what. Even if you choose not to stop and see what they have to offer, (though shame on you if you do not), it means the local stores also have to lower prices in some areas to stay competitive.

You still have to savvy of course. Here’s an example: yesterday I stopped in at the Farmer’s Market and got a great deal on potatoes. (No lie – $0.75 for a 10-pound-bag of russet potatoes.) How awesome is that? Its the first time I have ever seen that many potatoes for so low of a price. They weren’t malformed, half rotted, or anything else to make them less of a good deal.

However, at the same market they also had watermelon for $5. Now I already knew from my shopping earlier this week that the local grocery store was selling watermelons for $4. I could have taken the $1 difference hit, but the grocery store was on my way home anyhow. So a dollar not spent today is one more dollar I have for tomorrow. It may seem small, but it can add up.  On a shopping trip for a week’s worth of groceries, little differences like that can add up to savings of $10, $20, $30 or more.

So keep your eyes open, shop around and appreciate the economic value of the local Farmer’s Markets, whether you choose to shop there or not.   🙂

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Who reads receipts anyway?

I can’t tell you how many times I have gone shopping at the grocery store and told them to toss the receipt.

To me, a receipt was nothing more than extra paper to be thrown away later.  I didn’t want to bother.  As for checking the receipt, who had time for that? I already knew what I’d bought, so why look at it again.

Reality check!

I know, even I am slack jawed at my own naiveté!  It is almost painful to think how unblissfully ignorant I have been when it comes to finances and frugality.  But this morning I had a real wake up call in “the value of keeping receipts” department!

On my way to work I stopped at the grocery store to buy a couple last minute things for the day. I picked up a yogurt cup, a bottle of juice, a snack bag of pretzels, and a lunchable. I was paying with a debit card and in my haste, I never even looked at the cost of the groceries! I just swiped the card, grabbed the bag with receipt inside, and walked out.

WTF?

Once I got to work, I took a minute to log onto my bank account to check the numbers and balance my checkbook.  Low and behold, it was then that I saw a charge from the grocery store for $14.62. WTF?

Since when should it cost over $14 dollars for one of each: yogurt, juice, pretzels and a lunchable?  Since never!   Breaking with my own tradition, I fished the receipt out of my bag to double check.  And this is what I saw:

The “clincher” was that this particular store doesn’t give you cash back on purchases with a debit card ~ ever! I knew the cashier hadn’t given me anything but the groceries and a receipt.  No money that is for sure.

Lessons learned

Thankfully they were nice about it and refunded me the extra I’d been charged. But what if I hadn’t looked? If I had waited two or three days to check my bank account and balance the checkbook, I would have seen the $14 charge and never questioned it. I would not have remembered what I bought at the time, and I would have assumed it was right! I wouldn’t have double checked the numbers on the receipt that’s for sure.

Reformed!

I am a receipt slacker no more! I have been transformed.  Never again will I casually toss the receipts without a second thought, nor will I hastily agree to pay whatever number the cashier says without doing my own mental calculation.  I have joined the world of receipt checking adults everywhere who prefer not to lose anymore money than they already have too, thanks to overpriced goods. (But that is the stuff for another article.)

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