Saturday, October 29, 2011

Shopping Saturday

Having already discussed my Grandpa Bean and his owning a General Mercantile, I thought I would touch a bit on my memories of shopping when I was a child.

Being that my Dad was in the US Navy, we did most of our grocery shopping at the Naval Base's Commissary.

Since when I was very young Dad only got paid once a month, we went grocery shopping just once a month. Meats and breads were immediately put into the freezer. Mom purchased powdered milk so as not to have to run to the store frequently [I didn't have real milk at my house until 1998 when I married Texican! He insisted on the real stuff. Now I can't even imagine going back to powdered milk!] Even margarine was stored in the freezer until ready to use!

Once I became old enough to get a Military ID card, I was brought along with Mom to do the shopping, which had by this time increased to twice per month.

I was first used to simply push a second grocery cart so Mom could get everything she needed. [Usually there was one cart filled with the items that could mash or "smoosh" up, such as breads, eggs, and the like. The second cart would carry canned good and meats.

After a while, Mom decided that this was an excellent time to teach me abit about household economics. I began to help her make a grocery list [when using a grocery list, one seldom spends more than their budget!]. I began learning about comparison shopping, checking the prices of one brand against another. This was at a time before the comparative labels were put on grocery shelves! [You know those little labels that will tell you how much you are paying per ounce, pound, container, etc.] So, Mom had me practicing mathematics at the grocery shelves! "See Cyndi, this one is 6-ounces for $1.00, but if we look over here we get 12-ounces for $1.50. So which one is the better price per volume?" She also taught me how to check eggs before buying them, as well as tell when bread was fresh. As I got older she would hand me the money to pay for the groceries and it became my job to make sure the groceries came to the estimated amount we had planned on, and that the cashier gave me the correct amount of change.

All in all, it gave me an excellent education on grocery shopping that had me prepared for a tight financial budget when I first married [I was still a teenager!].

Today it is simply second nature to me [I've been using these practices, along with couponing, for over 40 years!], and many times it has been the difference between getting by and doing pretty good, simply because I knew how to budget and prepare a shopping list.

Did you help with your families grocery shopping when you were a kid? Do you do the shopping today?

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