Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ Resistance Is NOT Futile

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom

Cindy

Any fan of Star Trek or American pop culture has heard the phrase “Resistance is futile.” It was popularized on the TV show Star Trek when the Borg (human-machine hybrids) were about to assimilate (i.e., suck in, take over, and destroy) a new race of beings.

This phrase popped into my mind yesterday when I was perusing the sales flier for the big box discount store Costco.

Costco and its competitor Sam’s sell items in bulk – big bulk – in a warehouse setting and at discounted prices, often significantly discounted. Not only can you buy food in bulk, more than half the store is dedicated to non-disposable items such as kitchen appliances, electronics, mattresses, furniture, office supplies, and a huge variety of “storage solutions.” (Clever of them!)

It is not possible to keep / achieve a decluttered house without resisting the temptation to purchase more. Everything that you bring into the house indiscriminately is what later turns into stuff that needs to be decluttered.

Let’s walk through the sales flier together, and I’ll tell you what I’m thinking as we go along:

  • First page, TVs and electronics – “Don’t need any of these, keep going.”
  • Norton Anti-Virus, limit 10. “I wonder who would buy ten? Why buy the software at all? You can pay for it on your computer and download it directly, no software, box etc. needed.”
  • 4 pounds of jelly beans and 48 Pop Tarts. “No one needs that many Pop Tarts or jelly beans. No one.”
  • Izze sparkling juice, Kashi Go Lean cereal, Splenda. “Still have plenty of all of those. They’ll be on sale again. No need to buy today.”
  • Bottled water with and without vitamins. “Probably the number one source of plastic waste after plastic bags. Why do people buy it?”
  • Sonicare toothbrush. “I bought one of these for Audra for Christmas, because she’s such a tooth brushing fanatic. Wish I’d realized that the replacement heads are almost $10 each, though. What a rip off!”
  • Vitamins. “Have what I need right now. They’re always on sale.”
  • Various medications. “Don’t need, don’t need, don’t need.”
  • Charmin toilet paper. “Don’t need any right now. I hope they get the recycled kind back in stock.”
  • Paper towels. “I hardly ever use these, and only buy one roll at a time. I certainly don’t need a dozen.”
  • Ziploc baggies. “I definitely don’t need these! Still have some that I purchased 2 years ago. I wish I’d known how long it would take me to use them.” (I try not to use baggies, and when I do, I always wash and reuse until they fall apart or until I put meat in them.)
  • Venus razors. “Clara uses a Venus, but she just needs replacement blades. This has three handles, too. What in the world?”
  • Quicken. “Same with Norton Anti-Virus. Most software can be downloaded.”
  • Beds, furniture, giant playset. “No, no, no.”

So I’ve done it. I’ve looked through the sale flier of one of the stores that I frequent most often and found nothing new, special, or discounted that I cannot live without, at least until my current supply runs down.

How do I approach shopping in the store?

I start with a list. We keep a running list of things that are finished / running low on the refrigerator. Everyone in the family knows to add to this list. Things that are purchased at Costco are marked with a big C.

When I enter Costco,

  • I walk past all the electronics, furniture, appliances, etc. that line the left side of the store and head directly to the back where the refrigerated cases, bread, and liquor is. I pick up what is on my list, usually bread, Parmesan cheese, beer, and hummus.
  • I often buy apples (although the plastic boxes that the apples are packaged in bother me greatly) and a sack of oranges. It doesn’t matter that other fruit or vegetables are so cheap that a box here is the same cost as 2 or 3 pieces at the regular grocery; I only need 2 or 3 pieces, and the rest would be wasted.
  • I swing to the back of the store if I need toilet paper, dog food, cat food, or outdoor bird seed.
  • Then I hit the freezer cases (again, only buying what it on my list), and quickly make my way through the grocery area, avoiding any aisle that doesn’t contain items that are on my list. 
  • Occasionally I make a pass through the pharmacy section.
  • Last I hit the snack area and pick up a few things there. Then I check out. 

You’ll notice that I skipped the entire middle section of the store, where all the books, DVDs, seasonal items, clothes, and linens are stocked. Those are not on my list; I do not need to venture in there.

How do I deal with the ladies passing out yummy samples? I hardly ever refuse them, but I don’t buy the item on impulse. It wasn’t on my list; it will be there next time; waiting keeps me from bringing home two dozen servings of something that no one may want to eat after trying the first one or two.

To reiterate:

  • No shopping for non-consumables that aren’t my list. No looking even.
  • Buy only what is on the list.
  • Remember that even if I like a product, I may not like a 4 pound package of it.
  • Don’t shop in aisles that don’t contain goods on the list.
  • Don’t wander. In any store, the more you wander, the more likely you are to buy what you didn’t intend to purchase.
  • No impulse purchases from samples.

Resistance is NOT futile, and if you do it right, you feel like an efficient and smart shopper, not like someone who is about to be assimilated by the Borg of consumerism.

Today’s Mini Mission

CDs and DVDs are another thing that we can tire of over time. Flick through your music and movie collections and decide whether they are all loved enough to keep. Sell or donate the excess.

Eco Tip for the Day

Save petrol by making do with what is in the fridge and cupboard rather than taking an unnecessary trip to the store.

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow


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  • Day 214 Supply and Demand There is an election going on at the moment here in Australia. The politicians often jump on the environmental bandwagon to win votes. The issues they promise they are going to address […]

Comments

  1. This is a good one Cindy. My mom is a “looky lou”. She has to look at a lot of things. She isn’t too interested in the middle of Costco or Sam’s but she likes to go up and down the aisles in the food sections. She no longer goes shopping. It’s for two reasons really. It wears her out and she always buys things that are not on the list. I do the shopping. Like you I am in and out because I have a list and I stick to it. We have the second largest Wal-Mart there is. We buy most of our groceries and things there. I can be in and out in less than an hour after buying a months worth of stuff. I’m not bragging here. It’s just because I have a list, I know the layout of the store, and I move along swiftly. Since I dislike shopping, I’m always glad to spend as little time at it as possible. Grin.

    • The last person I dated prior to meeting my husband was a Lookie Louis. Every aisle of every store every time. Nearly drove me insane!

      • I’ve been with my mom and finally gone to sit in the car because she has to look at everything. Drives me insane too. I remember when we lived in one town that we usually had three stores we had to go to in order to get the months groceries. Mom would go and be gone half the day and get to one. I would go to all three and be back in 90 minutes. I came back with what was on the list and she came back with $75 more than was on the list. See why I do the shopping? 🙂

  2. When we moved last Summer, we found out we were not getting any newspapers here. No newspapers = no flyers = no sudden desires for things on sale. After the initial reading withdrawl I discovered that my impulse shopping has all but disappeared! I get weekly flyers emailed from my favourite grocery store and that’s all I need to do menu planning for the week. Needless to say, we haven’t called to request the papers.
    (It probably helps that we don’t have cable TV either, I haven’t seen an ad for ages other than the ones online)

    • That is brilliant creative me. I keep telling people these flyers are trouble but so many just can’t resist the temptation to look. Well done you.

      • We don’t pay for the paper and don’t even have a TV. You are right, Creative Me, it means a lot less impulse shopping. It also helps that I am gluten-free, dairy free because that means I shop around the edges of the store and not in the middle where all the processed stuff is and that’s what most of the coupons/sales are for.

      • You mentioned once that Australia gives people the option of labeling their mailbox, letting you opt out of junk mail. I wish they offered that in other places. Over the years it would have helped me by not getting advertisements, and certainly it would help the environment.

        • Jen – I have a “no junk mail or free newspapers” sticker – apart from a free newspaper that keeps turning up in my mail box every Thursday, it has been respected. We were getting a full letter box full every 2-3 days of advertising. So no temptation with shopping mailers for me. I receive one by e-mail from a supermarket but that is so I can plan which supermarket I am going to that week and the other supermarket I log onto their website and check the specials page.

          My husband used to hate me getting my paws on all the advertising as he knew it meant shopping/spending.

        • New Zealand lets you put “No circulars please” or “No junk mail” on our letterboxes, and it has to be respected – cuts what comes into the house down to what is folded inside the daily newspaper – no way out of that without losing the newspaper!
          Also, online you can opt out of telephone marketing – with limited (but still, some) success.

  3. Great suggestions! I also try to avoid certain areas of stores.

  4. I always fall for the fancy sauces in grocery stores, but this year we hosted the family Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, so I had to declutter the fridge. I’ve planned a lot of dishes to use up sauces, which my husband grudgingly tolerates, and now most of the items that have stay in the fridge long term live in the door so the main body of the fridge has lots of space. But I’ll be glad when the extra sauces are all gone and I can stop planning meals around them. 🙂

    I’ve taken two trunkloads of stuff to the thrift store in the last week. We need to do more decluttering of books, clothes, papers, childhood stuff and house supplies, but the home looks better than it ever has, and every storage area has extra room.

  5. Oh, some days I just love shopping and I wander a lot. However, I’ve become quite good in not buying anyway. In my head there is meanwhile a rather strict distinction between “looking/window shopping” and “buying”. Sometimes I’ll go into a supermarket, get the groceries on my list and spend another 10 minutes “looking”, but don’t add anything of those unwanted things to my cart. Today, I spent half an hour trying on clothes but not buying any. It may be rather strange, but works for me. I’m usually not reading or watching adds, so this “window shopping” is how I get to know what’s in the stores or in fashion and like today, I tried whether this year’s spring colors suit me or not, which makes it easier for me to know where to buy something when I really need something. However, maybe I’m just a “looky-lou”, so it’s mainly fun for me. As long as you get the buying part under control, looking isn’t that bad. 🙂

    • Such good self control in the face of temptation Sanna.

    • That said, I go to a market that sells excess food (mainly veggies and fruit) regularly. They sell what they couldn’t sell to supermarkets in huge boxes for about nothing. Like, 20 apples for 1€ or 8kg pumpkin for 1€. Of course, as they only sell leftovers (in good condition mostly, though there might be 1 damaged apple amongst the 20), you can’t shop with a list, ’cause some weeks there’s pumkins and some weeks there’s oranges and another week it’s fennel bulbs and zucchini. This usually is the basis of my weekly food plan. We go to that market and see what’s on sale, choose some sorts of veggies and/or fruit that look appealing and don’t rot easily and make a weekly menue revolving around these. I don’t buy 4kg of strawberries unless I plan to make jam the very same day, but carrots, leek, zucchini, apples etc. can well be stored for a week and are so versatile, so we always manage to eat them and they ensure both a variety (okay, one week it may be a lot of fennel, but it’s different veggies every week, and sometimes I freeze leftovers) and that we eat a lot of vegetables. This is the only kind of bulk buying we do and it works fine, because we plan around these veggies and aren’t buying bulk “just in case” or for storage.

      • Sanna, you are a strong lady to be able to go and do all that looking around without buying. I wish we had a place like you do for buying veggies and fruits and things. We don’t have anything like that right in this area. I also miss the vegetable stands by the side of the road in farm country. They don’t do that as much anymore.

        • I really do like farmer’s markets etc. Even the supposedly expensive organic food isn’t that expensive there, especially as little farmers often sell not-perfect-looking veggies (the kind you can’t even find in a modern supermarket) for discounted prices as well, and I like to know where my food comes from.
          I’m happy that we have farmer’s markets four times a week in walking distance in my city (and also very happy that they’re open till 4 or 5p.m – where I grew up, farmer’s markets closed at lunchtime). I do hope for a revival of them in areas where there aren’t that many left. I strongly believe in buying locally and seasonally.
          Lately we have a boom of wholefood supermarkets that only sell organically grown products, but as much as I like the sound of it, I found, they are still mainly modern supermarkets that sell (organic) chocolate spread, potato chips and other junk food, (organic) food that has been transported around half the globe and (organic) superfluous cosmetical products – overall they still sell much too much “stuff” for my taste – and expensive stuff as well.

          • One thing I like about Sprout’s (our organic/health food/??? market) is that most of the veggies and fruits are local. While they have some things that come from all over the country and the world many of them are from the area and it’s better than the regular grocery.

          • Sanna, what I like about the eco supermarkets though is that food often comes in much more reasonable sizes. Of course that is mainly due to the higher prices (I believe) and not to protect the customer from overconsumption – but the effect still is a positive one, at least for me. I buy smaller amounts and not much impulse or bargain (bulk) shopping takes place there. Thus said: you are totally right that they try to trick the customers into overconsumption and spending and desiring more than planned just as any other big store. I don’t really like that, too. But after all being a responsible customer is our responsibility really, not the store owners’. What I’d love to see would be better labeling laws, information about the products’ (real!) carbon footprint, information that let’s the customer make better and easier decisions. There’s too much guesswork, half knowledge and misleading information in retail. And most of it unfortunately is perfectly legal.

          • I agree that those eco supermarkets are better than the ordinary ones. I get certain things there, too, and I am also aware that their pure existence makes people think about where to go to buy their groceries.
            Maybe, I was a little shocked by the last time I was there and all people in line before me just spent huge amounts of money on sweets and stuff, wrapped each apple singularly, while just 400m from there was perfectly organic and more local fruit at a farmer’s market for much less money. However, probably for these people it’s not about “where do I get my organic food from” but more about “where do I shop most conveniently and feel good about it”, so I think I should be happy they bought their stuff there instead of another supermarket.
            Most food isn’t imported from very far (like other continents), but still farther than I’d like it, like they ship organic milk or organic lemonade to our eco-supermarkets from about 400-500km afar, while there are producers of both within a distance of 10km. However, those locals sell their produce mostly via ordinary supermarkets or farmer’s markets.
            So, you’re right, Ideealistin, it’s still our own responsibility to choose what we buy.

          • Ideealistin, I agree with you about labeling. We learned here in the US just a couple of days ago that there are many products that still have hidden ingredients in them and many aren’t good for us. No wonder we all have so many health issues.

  6. We know someone who works at Costco and they are amazed at how many people buy the the items that are sampled each day. Last week, we were in Costco and they had an older lady buying purple licorice that was a sample that day. I can’t imagine that she had purple licorice on her list that morning. We rarely buy groceries at Costco. The packages are just too big and we can get better prices on some things elsewhere by watching sales. UCLA did a study about families and clutter. It was amazing how buying in bulk was one of the problems. People have more then they need for a lifetime sometimes. I buy lettuce and yeast, not much more.

    • Hi Spendwisemom, once again you prove your wisdom. I found Costco to be the same when I living in the US. I didn’t like the large quantities the items came in. I found I could by my cleaners and toiletries in Target at just as good a price, less bulk and it was only five minutes away. Most of my food at Safeway by buying when on sale ~ meat especially was cheaper to by this way. The things that I did make the thirty minute trip to Costco for was printer cartridges, photo paper, batteries, razor cartridges and ibuprofen. Oh and Lindt Lindor Balls, how could I forget those.

      • I don’t even have a membership to Costco and while I have one at Sam’s it is mostly because we can buy our vitamins and some products in bigger sizes there than anywhere else. I go once and month and am in and out in about 15 min. My aunt and uncle “live” at Costco and are always buying something. I think they are addicted.

    • The Costco sample people actually have targets for home much of their product they are supposed to sell.

  7. We don’t have Costco but I have seen it on TV, one of my favourite sitcoms has an episode where one of the characters visited a Costco for the first time in his life and he went crazy loading up the trolley and then another and another……

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I couldn’t but notice how big the boxes and containers of food are? Is that correct? The biggest box of cereal that we have (just going by my purchasing) has 500g (half a kilo) of cereal, most are smaller.

    We’re pretty good about sticking to a list unless my husband is along on the shopping trip. Then its a slippery slide to trolley overload. So I prefer not to take him.

    At the moment I have slipped into returning to the supermarket for ‘top up’ items. It isn’t quite as bad as it sounds, we’re at the end of the summer school holidays so having kids home and their friends visiting can be a bit like have locusts, plus we’ve had a lot of visitors lately. But it is something that I’m going to work on in Feb.

    The other thing is that we have two supermarkets in our area and both have items that the other doesn’t, yes I can buy a similar item but it just isn’t the same. So I have saved all my supermarket receipts for Jan to try and work out a better system so I’m not visiting both supermarkets each week.

    • Yes, Moni, Costco and Sam’s both have big containers of all sorts of things. It is supposed to be a place for small businesses to buy in bulk but then they decided to open it to people who buy a membership. Personally, I have found that most of the things that are there are not that good of a buy. The one thing they do have is some items you can’t get anywhere else.

      I know what you mean about going to several different stores. I hate that the one place I can get this one type of vegetable blend is Safeway. So I go there for that one product. There is another store where I also only buy a few items I can’t get anywhere else. Like you I am trying to find a way to consolidate. One thing I have done is to plan to visit the two stores with only a few things when I am out on another errand–like coming home from Bible Study or something like that. I’m trying to make my trips count.

    • Might you be referring to the episode of Modern Family where the couple stops to buy diapers?

      I too found that I was shopping at multiple stores per week so that i could get X product form one store and Y product from another. Now I just keep a running list on the refrigerator and when I naturally make it to a certain store, that’s when I buy the things specific to it, and not before.

      • Cindy – yes that’s the episode.

        I don’t think I’m going to get out of the two supermarket idea for a while – they have better butchery specials in one and better fruit & vege in the other, and pluses and minus across the board ie one doesn’t do shampoo & conditioner in family size bottles (this is the store with the better butchery specials) and as three of us have long hair, it is a consideration.

        One of my friends is making her Feb mini-lution is to only buy grocery items that are on ‘special’ (we don’t do coupons here in NZ, each supermarket chain announces approx 100-200 items reduced in price each week which automatically scan at the reduced price at checkout). I think it could be an interesting consumer challenge and I may join her on it. As she grows her own veges I’m going to have allow myself an exception on fruit and vege.

        • The reduced price mini-lution sounds interesting. I can’t do it because of my weird diet but that would sure be fun. Bet you could find some really interesting meals to make with that challenge.

          • Deb J – I still have my ‘no food gets wasted’ mini-lution going which I’m going to run thru to the end of March, if not forever. Its made me really have to step up my game on kitchen management but yes my cooking repetoire has expanded – Adrian feels a bit like a forced-fed guinea pig but he says he is very happy guinea pig. So far the only wasted food is 2 chocolate chip biscuits which were discovered in a lunch box under the bed and a few stringy beans. I have had to expand my pantry ‘basics’ a bit but I am enjoying the challenge.

            Lena suggested I do a gardening mini-lution and plant something (and not kill it) and the other one under consideration is to reduce the amount of rubbish going to the kerbside each week, we already have the smallest wheelie bin in the street but I’m sure there is more room to improve.

          • We are a “no-foods-get-wasted” house already. We also have little waste that isn’t recycled. We are trying to get better at that too. When I buy the groceries I don’t use bags for the fresh stuff and I try to find recyclable containers, etc. I would like to have a bigger selection on the menu but we are still trying out things. Gluten-free, dairy-free takes a lot of re-educating of the cook and the eater.

  8. Great minds think alike Cindy. I wrote this blog post way back on day 135 http://www.365lessthings.com/day-135-resistance-is-not-futile-against-retail-assault/. All those days ago and I am still living by it. I have a birthday coming up soon and Steve has asked me a few times what I want. I don’t want for anything material that’s for sure. I think a gift certificate from my favourite spa would be nice. A little pampering sounds good.

  9. In defense of Sonicare toothbrushes: Yes, the replacement heads are expensive but cost significantly less than dental care. My experience and that of my dentist is that people who use electric (powered) toothbrushes have cleaner teeth thus requiring less dental cleaning and other procedures. But yes, who needs more than one?

    • I don’t have a sonic care but I do have an electric toothbrush. The dentist is amazed at how little I need cleaned off my teeth. I didn’t have dental insurance for a while and went 3 years with no cleanings. When I went back he said it looked like I’d had them done a few months prior. It was because I use an electric brush and use it well. The heads are expensive but I have found you don’t have to exchange them as often as they say either.

    • Agreed on the Sonicare, Marilyn! In fact I have one on my shopping list right now, although I don’t know when I’ll be able to purchase it because they are extremely expensive in New Zealand. I need somebody to post one over from the UK. My current one is starting to perish at the bottom of the handle and it smells really unpleasant no matter what I do. Anyway they are expensive but I am absolutely certain that my Sonicare has saved me from much expensive dental work over the years. Last time I saw my dentist he didn’t even clean or polish my teeth because he said it couldn’t improve things 🙂

      We have a No Junk Mail sticker on our mailbox and it works apart from one catalogue which somebody keeps delivering. I put it straight into the recycle bin every time.

      I also found that I was spending a lot of money on impulse buys because of mailing lists for special deals that I got every day. I’ve unsubscribed from all of those now, and only go looking for a deal if it’s for an item I am going to buy anyway so I just want the best price.

      • Jenny – I unsubscribed from 1-day and grabadeal mailings too. I have a friend who got her sonicare off flybuys for free and another friend traded in ASB True Reward points for a voucher to Noel Leemings and got hers, if that is any help to you.

        • Thanks but I don’t think we’d ever have enough reward points saved up! We rarely purchase anything that earns them. I did save up FlyBuys and get a magnetic LED flashlight to stick on the side of the fridge in case of power cuts 🙂

          Sonicare brushes can be had at about half the price in the UK that they are in NZ if there’s a sale on, and the power supply is the same, so I’ll ask a friend to get me one at some point. I’m trying to convince myself that the smelly perished-handle one does just as good a job so it’s silly to replace it while it still works, but that may not last much longer…!

  10. I try to have a list any time I am shopping for food. I tend to shop in the same store for the bulk of my groceries, but I will look in additional store circulars to pick up sale items. It helps out, since I pack lunches everyday for my kids. I have tried in the past to utilize the big wholesale stores, but I found that I did not shop there enough to justify having a membership. On occasion, I will go there at the holidays to look around, mostly out of curiosity. Most of those stores will allow you a free visitor’s pass to look around the store without buying anything. However, if I wanted to purchase something, I would also have to purchase the membership. I hardly ever find anything that I absolutely have to purchase. Overall, I do think that they have quality items for good prices, though. When I make my food purchases, I stock up a little, but not to the point that it will be wasted.

    Truly, when it comes to being a consumer amidst trying to declutter and reduce the amount that you own, you have to make a conscious effort to think about what you are bringing into your home. It has to become like second nature to question your purchases, especially if you want to live better with less stuff. We have to purchase food, but do it in a way that isn’t wasteful. There are so many distractions in every store, that if you are not diligent about going in and getting only what you need, you will easily be looking at things that are not on your list.

    I am not a minimalist, although I do admire those who are able to take on this lifestyle. I did, however, realize that I had too much stuff that was not being used, that had no specific purpose or simply I didn’t love it in my home anymore. I was also tired of cleaning those things and I was tired of moving it around. As I am decluttering, I had to make a change in my thinking. To avoid going back to that chaos and waste, I think about purchases (especially non-food purchases) before I commit to them. I ask myself, “Do I really need this?” or “If I get this, what am I willing to get rid of?”. It may seem silly to some to do this, but it helps me. Like someone else mentioned, I can window shop too and be content with just that. If I am contemplating an item, I can go home and within a day or so, it has lost it’s appeal. I am doing whatever it takes, to transform my home into what I want it to be.

    • I find that the “wait on it” technique works beautifully for window shopping. The vast majority of the time, I literally cannot even remember what it was that caught my eye.

  11. I get twice weekly offer updates from Lidl and I used to see loads of things I’d feel I really had to have. Now I write a list of things I think I’m interested in and leave it till the weekend after the updates come in and by then the need’s usually miraculously worn off!

    I’ve also recently started getting my grocery shopping delivered – I choose from my favourites every week and purposely don’t peruse for goodies – I can get my weekly shop done in 10 minutes now and we only have the food we know we’re going to eat and the household/toiletry product etc we’re going to use and I only replenish once something is running low (at the start of the last toilet roll etc). I used to hate the idea of the same meals on the same day each week, but now find comfort in it somehow – I like the routine, I like knowing what I’m having for tea and I especially like the time I’m saving not shoppng for groceries! We mix it up a bit at the weekend with treat food from Markys, but the weekdays have a nice familiarity to them. Must be a sign of settling into middle age! I used to be criticised and frequenly asked how I could afford to do my shopping in Markys as it is more expensive than your average supermarket, but my justification is that the higher prices make you much more careful about what you buy and not just keep throwing random things in the trolley that look nice.

    I support Colleen on eCloths, since getting them with our new kitchen I’ve barely used a single chemical cleaning product since – just vinegar and tea-tree. Plus special stainless steel wipes but only because they came free when we got the kitchen appliances, once they’re done I’ll be using baby oil/olive oil.

    • Oh my, Mags!! I wish I could get my groceries delivered. I’d do it in a heartbeat. At least the major stuff. I would probably go to our organic/health store to get the veggies and stuff still. We tend to make the same things every week too. I’m not sure why but we do.

      • Deb J – I often do online grocery shopping though usually during school term time and especially in Winter, during school hols I try to work reduced hours and we need to top up more often especially if the kids friends have been over or have had visitors etc. It is very convenient but I do feel a bit bad when I live so close to two supermarkets but if it takes a bit of stress out of a hectic week or means I can stay out of the bad weather, its worth the $8 fee. I still end up going to the other supermarket but I’m going to look at being a bit more organised on that front – I’m going thru the till printout receipts and see what items I’m going in for and look at a better system ie can I get it all at once?

        • Moni, the only place that delivers groceries here is expensive and doesn’t have much of what we like to get. Everything they do have is about 50 cents more per item. Ugh! Can’t do that. I have been trying to figure out how to reduce the amount we buy but since we eat the way we do it isn’t easy. Gluten-free and chemical free food is more expensive. So I am looking at all the sales receipts like you and seeing what we can cut.

        • There’s no place in Austin that delivers groceries, although I don’t think I’d do it anyway.

  12. My first thought was “People still buy Norton? Really?” I dislike that antivirus program. Ugh.

    On the Sonicare toothbrush: my dental hygenist suggested I use one because plaque builds up easily and quickly along my gumline. Most of the (cheaper) other brands of electronic toothbrushes don’t have the same cleaning power as the Sonicare. It’s made a huge difference in the health and cleanliness of my teeth and gums. Replacement heads for the toothbrush are cheaper than a root canal. ^___^

    Bottled water. Oh, I envy the people who can tolerate their tap water. Our tap water is disgusting. Even filtered and/or flavored, it is nasty. That is coming from people who like most tap water. And when it doesn’t taste terrible, it smells of chlorine – like a freaking swimming pool. ::shudder::

    I don’t shop at Costco or Sam’s. We don’t use things quickly enough to need to buy them in bulk.

    • Replacement heads are cheaper than a root canal and buying them is a lot more pleasant! I am such a Sonicare fan. I used to have a Braun but it was never as good and now I’ve stuck with Sonicare for the last decade at least and don’t plan to change despite the cost of the device and the brushes.

    • Have you tried a Britta or something else for filtering your water? If you’re always using bottled, I hope you’re buying it in gallons, or even 5 gallons, rather than by the individual, small bottle.

  13. It’s good to hear that I’m not the only one who is bothered by the excessive plastic packaging that Costco uses for its produce. Until recently, I had a membership and could not bring myself to purchase apples in those awful, wasteful plastic clamshell containers. As my family crept further toward buying organic and local, I realized that it just wasn’t worth belonging to a warehouse store. Plus, with two young kiddos in tow, it is always nice to be able to eliminate an extra grocery stop.
    Good tips, though, for those who do want to shop at Costco while maintaining some semblance of will power and sanity.

    • Melissa, My mother pointed out that because the clamshells are hard, it keeps the apples from being damaged, which prevents food waste. My youngest used them to make a wonderful little diorama for some tiny glass animal she has collected. Nonetheless, I don’t like ’em.

  14. I DID need that many jellybeans – ok not THAT many, but I did get a friend to get them from costco for a cheap Kris Kringle gift! But I’ve never been to Costco myself. Even usual groceries I just go to the aisles I need… no browsing!

    Wow y’all are so chatty since I was last regularly here! It’s lovely!

  15. Thanks for such a detailed, thoughtful description of what’s going through your mind at these times.

    I have many similar tendencies, but picked up some great tips.

    One tip I would suggest: don’t read the shopping catalogue at all. Ours go straight from letter box to recycling bin.

    • Mark, we got ourselves have gone online and gotten off the catalog list. If something comes unexpectedly I immediately go to the web site and asked to be removed. It’s really nice to get no catalogs. The only things we get are the ads put out in the mail to those who don’t get the newspaper. You can’t get off that list–I’ve tried. I just take them right out and dump them in the recycle bin that is right by the bank of mailboxes thanks to our community. Don’t even have to take them home. Love that.