Outhustled to 6 cents by an 80 year old man

Yup, I was outhustled yesterday afternoon. I had stopped to get some gas, and after filling up, I did my normal jaunt around the pumps, checking for coins. I went one way, and then I was coming back to my car when I spotted a nickel and a penny on the ground.

But so too did an old guy coming out of the building and heading to his car. And he was closer, so he bent down (without throwing out his back) and scooped em up. Oh well….

But nevertheless I was not daunted, and went on to hit the coin cycle yesterday, my 2nd in 3 days! And with the $3.15 in coins I found on Saturday, I am now up to $96.12. I am on pace to hit $100 on the 22nd – 15 more days!

In which I invite the lady behind me in line at Staples to shut right up

So I took the kids out to the mall-ish area this evening to give their mom a break. And to look for coins of course!!! (6 quarters, 3 dimes, 1 nickel and 8 pennies – the coin cycle baby!).

Also I wanted to stop by Staples. I had gotten a $10 off $10 coupon for Office Max in the mail. I was going to just put it on eBay, but I saw that there were tons of them on eBay and they were going for about $3 or $4. Not bad, but then I got to thinking and decided to buy stamps there. I like Staples more than Office Max (and it’s more convenient) and they all take competitor’s coupons.

So we got there and originally I was going to buy envelopes along with 1 book of stamps (to get over the $10 limit) but the cheapest envelopes at Staples were $6.99?!?!? So instead I decided to just buy 2 books of stamps.

So we’re checking out and first there was a delay because they only had 1 book up front so some guy had to come with more books. And then the cashier was having math trouble figuring out how much to charge for each book (he couldn’t just take the $10 off the total – he had to price adjust the books themselves for whatever reason). So we’re causing some delays which I am of course used to, and then the lady behind me pipes up with

“I thought it was illegal to use a coupon on stamps – a federal law”

Umm hello – way to dealblock me lady, to paraphrase a somewhat lewd term. And hence the title of my post. The cashier starts saying yeah I don’t know maybe you’re right. And he double checks the back as I point out – Nope nope nothing on the back that says you can’t use them (lots of times there are exclusions on stamps)

But I was just annoyed by this lady’s piping up. I didn’t say anything to her there because a) I’m a wimp and b) I didn’t want to make any kind of scene because I was hoping to stay under the radar so the transaction could proceed.

In the end, it all worked out and I got my 40 stamps for $6.80

Another change spotter

Check out this article from CNN.  A Staten Island family has found over $1100 in 3 1/2 years.  I did look at their blog, which is at changepot.blogspot.com, looking for ideas, but didn’t find any. I’m sure they get more just from being in NYC where there are just more people.

Good vomit story

So – classic story that I want to share. We have recently been sick in our family, of the vomitous variety. As many of you undoubtedly know, one of the downsides of having multiple children is that they all get sick. And they don’t even have the consideration to all get sick at once. Nope, one gets sick, then they get better and get the next one sick, who in turn infects the next, etc. And sometimes by the time everyone’s done, we’ve caught something else.

So yeah, recently several of our kids had gotten sick. Carolyn and I managed to avoid the illness, most likely becuase we do silly things like “Don’t drink out of the cups of people that are sick” and “Wash our hands” – you know, crazy wacky wild ideas like that. So I took the last remaining non-sickie to Cub Scouts and on the way back (after eating pizza and Gatorade), he tells me as we’re driving back “I don’t feel good”. I ask him if he’s going to throw up and he says yes. So we stop the car, get out, and he barfs all over the side of the road.

On a side note, let me just tell you how refreshing it is to actually have some children that can throw up in the toilet. As opposed to, say, wherever they happen to be. I’d say we have 2 1/2 kids that can manage that right now. As a 2nd side note, if you’re walking around Hyde Park, I’d avoid Paxton Avenue, IYKWIM.

So yeah we get back in the car and flee the scene before anyone comes out and notices us. He says he’s feeling better and you know how you get after you throw up – you feel a little better having cleared things up, so to speak. So I decide to continue on with our grocery shopping. In hindsight this was a clear “Dad” move.

So we’re at Sam’s Club and we had just finished checking out and he again says that he’s not feeling good. So I’m like “Alright” and we start busting for the bathroom. Really it was a pretty convenient time – we had already checked out, and we were up at the front of the store near the bathrooms. So we were booking it – I’m pushing the cart and he’s right there with me. I get to the bathroom and stop to leave the cart and get him into the bathroom when I look back and notice he’s a few steps behind me. HE HAD STOPPED TO PICK UP A PENNY THAT WAS ON THE GROUND!!!!! This was a crucial delay and cost us – as he threw up in the foyer by the water fountains and then again at the entrance to the men’s room.

So clearly I am doing a good job of teaching him the rules of coin picking up, I am not doing so great a job at teaching him the rules of vomit / bladder control. As anyone who has thrown up and/or nearly peed / pooed their pants knows, any delay can be crucial. And most importantly, once you feel it is “safe”, then your body just starts going. That’s why so many people have accidents right when they get to the bathroom but before you make it to the actual toilet (or get your pants down). You have spent so much time, effort, and mental concentration getting to the bathroom that once you make it, your mind is like “Ahhhh we’re safe now”.

Anyway just thought I’d share

Milk weirdness

So I’m a comparison shopper as you can probably imagine.  I regularly go to 3 or 4 stores during the week.  Since all of our grocery stores are within a mile or so, the dollars you can save by shopping at the places with the lowest prices on the various stuff are more than worth the pennies it takes in gas.

I usually take a kid or 4, and we make it an adventure.  Plus, this gives us plenty of places to look for coins :-)

So while I was out today I noticed some weirdness in the prices of milk.  While I was out at Walmart earlier in the week, I noticed that milk was $2.48 a gallon, so I put that on the list to buy there.  But when I went to buy it today, I saw that only Vitamin D and 2% were $2.48.  1% was like $2.69 and skim was $3.00!  So that’s weird but not unheard of.  But then a bit later when I was at Sam’s club, I noticed that skim was $2.62, with 1%, 2% and Vitamin D all progressively more.

In other words – the complete opposite?  That made no sense.  I could believe it if you explained it to me that the extra fat in the 2% and Vitamin D made it more expensive.  And I suppose I’d consider believing if you explained it to me that the extra fat came naturally and it cost more to take it out for the skim or 1%.  BUT I’M CERTAINLY NOT GOING TO BELIEVE BOTH OF THOSE!!!!!!!

In non-related news, while I was at Meijer, someone had left a $5 bill in the cash return of the self-scan machine.  I waited for someone to come back and claim it but nobody did, so since there was nobody really to return it to, I kept it.  Too bad that doesn’t count for the change race!