On the days I work I have to be there by 5am. It takes me about 20 minutes to drive to work, so in order to be dressed and cognizant enough to drive I get up at 3am. After 15 months of this schedule, I wake up early, even on my days off, usually before the wakeup call I have set up on our voicemail.
I used to try to go back to sleep on the mornings I do not go to work, but have discovered to my dismay that somehow over the years my ability to sleep for hours on end has eroded to the point that I feel worse after additional sleep rather than better. Go figure.
Today is a day off, and I woke up at 2:58am right on schedule. Wednesday is the day the weekly 'sales' start at the grocery store, so I went to the website and looked at the weekly ads. Food City utilizes loyalty cards and also has coupons on their website that you can load onto your Value-card. I browsed the coupons, and the weekly as, then made my grocery list. As most of my readers know, I work at Wal-Mart. As an employee, one of my benefits is a discount on certain items. So strategy must be employed. First, I write down the paper coupons I have for the items that I need as well the coupons I have loaded onto my Value-card. Second, I make a mark beside the items on my list that would be eligible for my employee discount. Third, I try to remember the everyday price on items at Wal-Mart, and decide which is a better value. Ad-matching negates the employee discount, so I have to keep that in mind as well. Fourth, I mark beside each item with either a "W" or "FC", as well as a "c" if I have a paper coupon to use. Fifth, I notate the specifics of the items I choose from the weekly ads (such as size, variety, and price).
All of this takes me around an hour, but it is time well spent. Today's shopping trip was important because with Thanksgiving being just three weeks away, I wanted to buy most - if not all - of the food for our Thanksgiving Dinner.
We do not eat fancy, and I do not make homemade items as much as I would like, but even with just the two of us I feel it is important to make a special effort on holidays and special occasions. I planned the menu very carefully based on our likes and within our food budget. Buying the food early allowed me to take advantage of some special values, and not be stressed trying to shop for groceries just one or two days before the holiday. The only things I did not buy were heavy cream for a dessert I am making and sweet potatoes. I am still on the fence about the preparation I will choose for the sweet potatoes, so I am not sure if I will be needing fresh or canned.
Today I am thankful for being just OCD enough (and I do not mean to belittle anyone who suffers from OCD or trivialize the condition) to be able to spend our food dollars efficiently. We do not get extra dollars for special meals, so the heavy cream I would not normally buy means that the $1.50 coupon on trashbags enables me to stay within our means just a little bit more.