No, you don’t have to check your calendar. It isn’t November, and it isn’t Black “Saturday.” Yesterday, Josh had to go to work at 10 a.m., and Muffin woke us up at 5:15. I decided that if I got ready, and left right away, I could make it back home by the time Josh had to go to work. I had it all planned out. I would stop at Wal-Mart first (since they are open 24 hours and everything else doesn’t open until after six) and buy the things I hadn’t already designated for one of the other stops (including the fruit that Josh recommended on my way out the door), then I would go to Albertson’s (mostly because they weren’t Kroger-where-I-was-buying-ice-cream), after that Kroger (because of said ice cream), and on the way home (since it doesn’t open until 7 and is actually the closest one of the four to my house) CVS for the 12 packs of Coke.
I learned something very important today. It is best to go to Wal-Mart (at least ours) before dawn on Saturdays. No traffic, for one thing (when I went back to Wal-Mart later that day because I had forgotten two items, there was A LOT more traffic). Also, that is when the stockers are out. The stockers are a gold-mine resource. I was in produce when one of the gentlemen was listing what he needed to stock. I was trying to find organic carrots (which are the only organic item I buy–not because I’m yay on the organic bandwagon, but because that is the only produce item where I can taste the pesticides if it is not organic) which happened to be the only organic item that resulted in an empty hole (all sold out). So, I asked him if he was going to be stocking any organic items soon. He actually stopped what he was doing, went to the back, and brought me out a package of carrots. That, alone, would have made my day. Then, I went to the refrigerated meat section. After witnessing a near fist-fight between two stockers (shopping and a show!) where another stocker gently guided me away (because I thought they were just joking in the beginning), one of the near-fighting stockers answered my burning pepperoni question. Family members know this: my non-picky eater son who can literally if-not-stopped swallow a cup of salsa with no ill effects has started to complain about things being “spicy.” While still guzzling salsa down his gullet (and I’m not talking the mild stuff here!). He literally went from pepperoni-is-my-favorite-pizza-in-the-world to “It’s too spicy!” (and guzzling salsa down his gullet the next day) Two weeks ago, he finally ate pepperoni pizza again like it was no big deal (at Sam’s…I had told him he could just take the pepperoni off and give it to someone else). So, I was in search of pepperoni. I didn’t really want Hormel (which had their $2.98 bags in no less than 3 places in Wal-Mart). I wanted something…well…cheaper. So, I asked a guy. (One of the two about to exchange blows) He led me to the pepperoni section (Did you know Wal-Mart doesn’t make pepperoni under its Great Value label?) where I ended up purchasing Armour, I think. I also wanted to buy salami (which was right buy the pepperoni, go fig!) because we are going to make bmts/pizza subs on Tuesday. So, he chatted about the merits of this type of pepperoni vs. that one (really liking the Tabasco pepperoni, but I told him that I like Tabasco all over my pizza, especially the cheese. Hmmm…Tabasco-laced mozzarella…I wonder if anyone at Avery Island’s thought of the concept yet?) and introduced me to a new product that I’m planning to use for next week’s date night (cheese platter with savory edibles) a BBQ honey smoked turkey made by Tyson. Lesson learned: crawl Wal-Mart pre-dawn on a Saturday and utilize the amazing knowledge of the stockers. They put the stuff there. They know where (and what) it is.
Albertsons and Kroger went by with no problems (I can only imagine what would have happened if Muffin were there!)–except Albertsons was out of the twenty-five cent taco seasoning and I expected that. Then, came CVS. Now, let me preface this by saying that I was going to the “new” CVS. This was my second time to frequent that CVS. The first time I was pleasantly surprised that they had the items on sale in stock (the one close to the previous apartment had salespeople that looked at you funny if you asked about an item in the ad and said that they never get the items in the ad). I wasn’t expecting miracles, though. I figured that was a one-time thing, being a grand opening and all and having the items in stock. I walked in with another woman who was also looking for the Cokes. We walked over to the drink section–no 12 packs of Coke, except an open box of Sprite. Then, she (the other woman) saw it: stacks of cases of Coke at an end cap (although just enough for both of us to get four). She was looking for Coke Zero more than anything, so she asked the saleslady. The saleslady gestured to an aisle a few aisles away (and it was like the clouds parted to let the sun through after a torrential downpour, the angels in heaven singing an aria, sunflowers on fast-motion-photography stretching to the sky): a wall of Coke!
That was enough to make me do the happy dance, scoop up a small bottle of Palmolive (which had a coupon in the coupon printer), print out my coupons, and head to the checkout. I looked down while the lady who entered with me was checking out…and jackpot! Candy bars on clearance–29 cents for Starburst, 47 cents for king sized Milky Way Simply Caramel and PB Twix, 47 cents for King Sized Hershey Drops, and the sweetest deal: 37 cents for clearance out Orbit gum (when the coupon printer had just printed out a fifty cent coupon)! Overage! Now, I really did the happy dance (looking like the old Hamster Dance–you know you remember it!) and pretty much danced my way out of the store.
What should I do for date night was still on my mind–Saturday morning. Tune in next time to see what I planned out.