Slim and Franke

Slim and Franke
Happy New Year

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


 Can you tell there are FOUR carts in this picture?  It is an invasion!

My husband has not been able to walk very far since his radiation and chemo treatments.  For that reason I have done all the shopping. Yesterday he  got in one of those motorized carts at WalMart and shopped for the first time since January.  I thought we were going to have to call the paramedics to revive him.  Not from the exertion of the event but from the extreme shock he experienced in seeing the prices since his last visit ten months ago.

What are you doing to stretch your dollars and what price increase has caused you to stop buying certain products?  Are you wasting as much as you did a year ago or have you become more frugal and in what way?

Shoot, I should have saved this as a QOTW. (Question Of The Week).


I cautioned Ron about using the cart and reminded him of how rude some cart drivers are to pedestrians in the store.  I gave him all kinds of tips (my usual helpful advice) about giving the walkers the right-of-way and reminded him to be courteous to them.  We managed to obtain the last available motorized cart and while I was attempting to read the instructions and get him to try it out gently,  Ron took off in a flash leaving a trail of dust in his wake (and a few people fleeing for their lives).  I also believe I heard scary laughter as he embraced this new found freedom. My shopping time was spent pretending I did not know him.  He got back to the van and griped about all the people that got in his way.  Oh dear, he is ONE OF THEM now.


  1. Funny about Ron and his cart driving. :)

    I am making an attempt to only buy food that is not commercially packaged. I find that the organic rolled oats at the natural foods grocery only costs about $1.80 for a large bag as opposed to the pricier oats in the round box with a Quaker man on the front. That kind of thing.

    Although I draw the line at making my own yogurt. I buy that Stoneybrook brand.

    Yes - everything is so expensive. A worse problem for me is gasoline. I drive 20 miles to work and back and during the day must do a lot of running around in the car. Plus mom lives 5 hours away - so I'm just visiting her once a month. Thankfully sis lives a few minutes from her and can get by more often to the ASF.

  2. Yes, totally blown away by grocery prices and I'm so glad we are now empty nesters instead of having 3 birds needing a constant food/snack supply. I've always had to live on a budget and I've always been obsessed with nutrition and healthy living - both food and exercise. My food choices have pretty much stayed the same, but the dollars it takes. OM Goodness!!!! I just paid $1.19 a pound for apples yesterday to make homemade apple butter. That freaks me out because 10 years ago we were paying .29 a pound. Now, the household income did not increase by much, so how do we all absorb that into our budgets? I worry about my kids, especially the one in California that pays more for everything and she has two little ones and a husband that works full time and side jobs just to make ends meet. My poor daughters have this economy to deal with after they've made such good choices in their lives and they have so much stress..... :(

    Great question, as always!

  3. So funny. I hate those cart racers and actually was almost run over by one a few years ago on the sidewalk.

    Inflation is in full force and going to get worse. Many of the FDA inspectors were pulled for homeland security in the past, and therefore, just one of the reasons for high cost of food has been an increase in new diseases and pests that have come into the country and are now destroying or reducing our crops.

    The CPI is not valid (has it ever really been?) and if it was we would be shocked at how high inflation has become and COL increases would not be so unrealistic.

    Gas in my area has spiked again without reason.

  4. I had to laugh at your statement that you spent your shopping time pretending you did not know your husband! Don't we all do that at one time or another. You may have created a monster by introducing him to the luxury of shopping scooters! He must enjoy his newfound freedom.

  5. I had to laugh at your statement that you spent your shopping time pretending you did not know your husband! Don't we all do that at one time or another. You may have created a monster by introducing him to the luxury of shopping scooters! He must enjoy his newfound freedom.

  6. Annie,

    Sometimes there are so many electric carts driving around our store here, the place looks like the Demolition Derby.

    I just get out of the way and "Let'Em Rip." I figure anybody who has to use a cart to get around deserves to have some fun and I say, "go to it"......

  7. After I broke my ankle I had to drive one of these for a while and you know what.....they are fun:)

  8. I look to see who has the specials I want and then check to see if I have coupons and buy as much as I can afford that day. (I always think it will cost more next time.)

  9. LOL about Ron and his driving! I go to Trader Joe's - do you have those stores there? They are pretty natural in terms of ingredients but pretty reasonable. They won't buy an item if they can't get the prices they want.

    I shop at a couple of other stores and use coupons, but I am a vegetarian which I suppose saves money, too.

  10. As far as shopping goes, the only thing that has changed is that my DIL does most of it, since she prepares Hut's meals now. As far as the cart goes, Hut is also "one of them". He usually uses a cart because he is still very weak after his days at work. So I feel for ya, sistah.

  11. I relinquished grocery shopping four years ago. My husband is a coupon fanatic so we are well stocked for quite some time. I honestly don't remember prices but things do seem higher than they were back when I was pushing the cart. I've always had to pinch pennies so we frequently have left over nights or I will prepare a large meal with the intent to freeze half.

  12. My gripe is the the shrinking container size. A pound of coffee is now 13 ounces, a half gallon of ice cream is now 3/4 that and the prices have increased.
    As far as Ron and the electric cart - GOOD FOR HIM, GOOD FOR HIM!

  13. My husband loves Walmart too. My strategy is to limit shopping to what we need and then shop around for the best deals. That you help us pull through the resession:0

  14. Okay - glad he is out and around and I bet he took off like a flash. hehe

    And the price of food shocks me too.


  15. Hello...I found you via...oh my goodness, I've forgotten already..oh wait, LL Cool Joe - you had commented something about signing your name with C.F.G.H. - chicken farmer goat herder! :) Being a chicken farmer myself I was intrigued...(well, my husband takes care of the chickens - I just cook their eggs...) I've enjoyed scanning your blog - and will keep your husband in my prayers! God bless you!

  16. I watch out for those cart drivers when I shop! Sounds like Ron didn't need your instructions, or didn't want to hear them anyway!

    I get sticker shock too. It's really terrible how things have gone up at the grocery but the pay increases do not go up. I am trying to cut back and cooking more pinto beans, making a big batch of something and freezing some of it, etc. I would love to be one of those extreme coupon people but I seldom see coupons for the things I buy. I also watch for sales.

  17. A friend after his triple bipass was racing around like that too-

    I started getting most items at the Dollar Tree. I stopped buying $10 12-hr pills n get 2 $1 4-hr equivalent per week. Getting the cheaper eye-drops too. Stopped buying good cereal bars, oat cookies for lunch (Dollar Tree now). Get whole-grain bread n produce on discount rack only. Buy alot of $1 meals. Drive less, do less, walk more. Still don't have enough bill money anyhow!
    Crazy prices on the must-haves.

  18. Lynn – We try to buy generic brands and that does help. However it seems to me that organic brands are among the highest priced foods. Maybe I’m wrong. Gasoline was about to kill us with our 170 mile daily round trips to Ron’s treatments. Most of our doctors are still in Tulsa and we’re going to have to make some changes soon to cut the remaining travel expenses.

    Marla and Steve – We are empty nesters too and it is easier on our pocket books but it kills us to think of our children trying to feed our grandchildren and put gas in multiple vehicles. Pretty soon they are going to have to give up food totally in exchange for transportation costs. We have a single-parent daughter in San Diego with three teenagers (and all their friends) so I know what you mean about California costs.

    Tabor – I guess the funny thing (not so funny) is that Ron and I both have cursed the cart drivers. Suddenly it was wiped from his memory in exchange for the luxury ride.

    Pat MacKenzie – To be honest I didn’t have to pretend not to know him. He took off and I never actually saw him again until he called me on the cell to tell me he was ready to leave. Yes, I was thrilled for his freedom and access to roaming the store aisles once again.

    Nancy – Yes, now we know how much those carts are really needed by most. I know I will be a little more patient with them from now on. But you are so right about the Demolition Derby. I was shocked to find that picture above with four motorized shopping carts. If I saw those guys coming at me I would surely panic.

    Changes in the wind – It did look like fun and maybe I was a little jealous that I had to walk. LOL

    ancient one – Because we usually buy generic it is difficult to find coupons that help enough. However there are times when coupon savings on a known brand will come out cheaper than the generic. It all has to be watched so carefully.

    Riot Kitty – Hum, I’ve never heard of Trader Joe’s. WalMart is a lot that way and some products won’t sell to them because WalMart sets the price. We have a place around here called Cheapo Depot and can often find excellent bargains but we can’t plan to find that same item the next time. They will buy out the inventory of a business that is closing and fill their shelves until those items are gone. Sometimes their shelves are stocked with items that are near (and sometimes past) expiration so you take your chances.

  19. Bonnie – I can’t believe your DIL does the shopping. Which one? That has to help both of you a lot.

    qandlequeen – By saying “with the intent to freeze half” does that mean you sometimes eat it all before you can freeze it? Ron is a much better shopper than I am. I still am an impulse buyer and that is a very bad thing. I do find it much easier to stick to my list if I eat before we shop. I still cannot comment on your blog posts and it is driving me crazy. Hopefully I will replace my laptop this week and that might make a difference, though I don’t know why. There are three others I cannot leave comments.

    Ralph – GOOD FOR YOU! GOOD FOR YOU! Ron likes you to stick up for him. LOL And coffee is the one that shocked him the most. Double the price since January.

    Munir – Welcome Orange County, NY. I was happy to see you here. Can’t wait to visit your blog FOCUS. Thanks for dropping by and keep on searching for those deals.

    Chatty Crone – Yes Sandie you would have laughed to see him blaze a trail through the aisle.

    Deb – Welcome Pennsylvania. Thanks for dropping by. I saw that you have MANY blogs so I picked one to read and can’t wait to take a look at Deb’s Random Thoughts. Let me know if I should pick a different one. I love our chickens, guinea fowl, goats, cats and one dog Slim. Also it’s good to know you follow LL Cool Joe. He really is a fine writer.

    Rachel – It’s more like “didn’t want to hear them…” LOL The price of dry pinto beans is still within reach but greatly increased from previous low costs. Potatoes too are rapidly becoming a luxury.

    Snaggle Tooth – I don’t know much about Dollar Tree but I do know that Family Dollar is about the same as WalMart and sometimes a bit higher.

  20. Most definitely have gotten frugal. Since we are down to one paycheck (mine), I do the bulk of my food shopping at Big Lots. I used to do the other part at Aldi's but I switched back to Price Chopper 'cause they offered 10 cents off on a gallon of gas for every $50 dollars spent, pluse I have coupons that I would like to use that I can't use at Aldi's

    I still got to Aldi's for certain staples simply because if I need a loaf of bread, a dozen eggs and a gallon of milk, I would rather spend a total of $5.30 versus $8 at Price Choppers.

    Congrats on introducing Ron to the joys of thuggery driving (of which I am a proud proponent of). :D

  21. I've noticed how much more expensive things are in Wal-Mart now! Mind you it's the same in the UK too. I make more effort to buy things that are on Special offers, and even I'm cutting back on new clothes. Ha!

  22. G -- "Frugal" is a much better term than "Cheap". My spouse taught me frugality and it comes easily to him but I must work on it to get it right. "Thuggery driving" is a wonderful term for electric cart drivers.

    LL Cool Joe -- It is my best guess that when you purchase something new that is on sale, it is a good excuse for you to buy something to go with it since you saved so much on the first item. Am I right? LOL

  23. ...just a note to let you know that our bank reversed half of the charges...meaning we bank with a friendly, down-home, locally owned bank which started in our town and has now grown to be way too big for their own good...and I have been their customer a long time, and am rarely if ever overdrawn, for having substantial monies in their bank (nope - all my substantial monies are in the other bank which is the one I was supposed to use to pay our bills!) ...and as for the board...nope...don't know anybody. I think I may seek them out and befriend them...just in case there's a next time! ;)

  24. Your husband's driving gave me a good laugh. First time here, nice blog.

  25. Deb -- Thank you so much for reporting back. Just goes to show that it pays to deal with a local bank. Glad you got some of your money back.

    Monalisa -- Thank you for stopping by. I recently was taken by a comment you made on another blog and was going to be in touch with you. Cool huh?

  26. Monalisa -- Right now I cannot comment on your blog and hopefully when I replace my laptop I will be able to. This was what I was going to say to you: "Have no fear. We women have been doing this since the dawn of time and usually have more than one child by choice:)"

  27. Congratulations to your husband on his newfound mobility! He must be thrilled to be out and about. And you must be tickled to have his company outside the house.

  28. Sparkling Red -- There are two sides to having him with me. One, I have missed him coming along but Two, I have to be a lot more frugal in my shopping when he is with me.

  29. Dear Annie ~~ Hopefully Ron will learn to drive safely. I think it is wonderful that they have those vehicles for needy people to drive around. Prices here are terrible too.
    Seem to be up every shopping day.
    I hope your husband is feeling much better after the treatments - you have both been through a lot.
    Take care dear friend, Love, Merle.

  30. Funny we used to do a HUGE yearly shop at BJ's and Costco mostly because i just HATED shopping....we used to wish we had the money to do just shop at Trader Joes but believed it was way to expensive for a routine shop.....but since moving over to organic and similiar foods we've kind of shifterd over to Trader Joes and similar stores and we actually find it's not that bad price wish plus we're not paying for pesticides and hormones any more LOL