Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saving money, ditching sanity

Why did I go anyways?!  I really shouldn't have.  It defied all logic.  But when I have a plan for the day in my head, I have a really hard time shifting gears.  Bad move.  BAD. 

A bit of background.  L. and I are trying to cut costs around here.  We are a one income household, who due to flip-flopping in and out of school for most of our adult lives, do not have the savings or you know, plan, lots of folks our age do.  In short, we're kinda broke-assed.   Not broke-broke, as in poor.  But broke-assed as in, we're just making it.  Most of the time.  Let's just say we're the folks the bank calls from time to time to ask us if we realize that we don't have any RRSPs.  (And as an aside, what kind of idiot wouldn't know this information?  Oh, shit!  Really?  I forgot to pour all of my copious amounts of wealth into a retirement plan?  YES a$$holes.  I am really, astoundingly, acutely and terrifyingly aware that I have no retirement plan.  So not to worry, I haven't squirreled anything away with the competition.  Whew.  Time to digress.) 

Anyhoo - because Boy-o has started semi-private school, (because as I've previously mentioned, we won't send him to public school in this silly redneck Bill 44 loving province) we're paying an extra 300$ a month that we don't really have.  Which brings me around (ever so slowly) to London Drugs expedition.  (Yes, I promise, there is a point here somewhere).   I have started actually reading through the plethora (and I do mean a forests' worth) of flyers that come around every week, and have been shopping around to stock up on the cheapest prices in town.  This is a serious pain in the arse - (and soul-crushingly house-wifey-ish) but it is also saving us some cash.  Hopefully, when combined with my newfound commitment to cooking at home more and eating out less, and L's and my attempts to kick our latte habits, around $300 a month's worth.

London Drugs had our preferred cat litter for dirt cheap.  It also had some really yummy fair trade organic coffee for half price (which, if you buy fair trade organic coffee, you will agree is a pretty darn good deal), and cheap Kleenex, which really appealed to my sick, runny-nosed self.  So I called L. to tell her that she should meet us there after work so she could avoid taking her second bus and help me carry the
several containers of coffee and cat litter I was about to purchase.  All good. Except that a few hours later, L. calls me to tell me she missed the bus and traffic is really backed up.  She doesn't know if she's going to make it.  I tell  her that's okay, we'll go anyways.  And I pack my cooped-up-inside-all-day-because-it's-pissing-rain children into the car to go all by my lonesome.  As Julia Roberts got famous for saying: BIG MISTAKE.  HUGE!

Picture this scenario.  Sick, snotty, head-colding Mama.  Cooped up, razzed up children (baby wearing no socks and boots because she pulled them off in the car on the way and I can only find half of each).  No f*cking loonie to get a  f*cking cart.  Drenched from running from car to store.  Trying to buy multiple containers of cat litter, organic coffee and bulk kleenex.  What did I smoke to make me think this was a good idea?!?!  Even without the dirty details of what transpired - which, suffice it to say, were not pretty and are highly unflattering to everyone involved.    Let's just say there was some running and some crashing into things and some yelling and some screaming and possibly some flailing and wild gesticulating too.

I got the damn stuff.  I saved 40 fricking bucks.  (I also got a lot of chocolate, which likely cancels out a chunk of that savings).  I got really especially dirty looks from extremely unhelpful store clerks, who also felt the need to let me know that I had too much stuff and I wouldn't be able to carry it all out myself.  For serious.  I let them live. (Though it was touch and go, I'll have you know.)  But only because had I openned my mouth to speak, I would have howled out tears and snot and spit and stuff.  You know, in the ugly crying way, not the I'm-such-a-pretty-girl-sniffly-moviestar-crying way.  I decided to put half the stuff by the doors and come back for it after I'd straight-jacketed the children -erm - I mean after I'd gotten the kids in their carseats.  And I set into the parking lot, dragging cat litter and children with snot (from the cold) and tears (from the cold and the grrrrrrrrr) and rain running down my face, likely looking and sounding slightly demented.

And then, an angel of mercy descended.  She came in the way of an average looking young woman who ran out behind my screaming tots and my-about-to-lose-it-self (um, okay, maybe my losing it self), and offered to help carry out half of our stuff in the rain.  And bless her heart, she did just that.   She even loaded it into the back of the car with me while I strapped the kidlets into their carseats.  For real and for true. 

So, just in case you, like me, are often struck by the utter craptastic-ness of the world around us - remember the Angel of London Drugs.  People really do do unnecessarily kind things sometimes.  (Cause believe you-me, it would have been far easier to walk away thinking: "God help those children, their mother is bat-shit crazy.")

So - random young woman who ran after us in the parking lot, aka the Angel of London Drugs.  I love you.  A whole lot.  You are the cat's pajamas.  I am sending you out ridiculous amounts of goodly, lovely karmic wishes.   You saved the day of a mama who made a bad, bad choice to go on a solo mission to get, of all things, cat litter, coffee and Kleenex, against all good judgement, in order to save 40 bucks.  (You may have also saved the life of her kids.)


  1. Awesome. I have been in your shoes too many times to count. And after having a horrid dinner out and shopping spree with the kids on Friday, I can totally relate to how hard it is to keep yourself looking sane out in public sometimes. ;)

  2. I'm sending good thoughts her way, too.
    I have met her sisters and brothers on occasion in my life and am eternally grateful.

    And sending some good thoughts in your direction, too. You have a lot going on and despite your declarations to the contrary, I'm willing to bet you're handling things with grace quite often.

  3. Stacey - yup - as they say "my mama always said there'd be days like this" :)

    Ami - thanks! I will admit to occasionally having a spot of grace here and there - but it doesn't make for nearly as compelling blogs as the times when I don't ;)

  4. Oh yes! Kindred spirits again!
    Living Cheque to Cheque

  5. P.S. money sucks plain and simple. wished we made better decisions in the past but we didn't so we are where we are. we both have good paying jobs but we still should have more in savings than we do. ugh. just wanted to let you know you're not alone.

  6. I've said it before and I'll say it again: "Bring back bag boys!!" Remember those mumbly, pimple-faced young men who used to carry your merchandise from the store to your car? They were providing an essential service! I'm glad the London Drugs Angel was on hand to help you out, and hope you're feeling better soon.