I just got home from the grocery store. We have Safeway here (among several others), but sometimes it pays to be loyal to a store so you can accumulate points for discounts, etc. So I have pledged my loyalty to Safeway, at least this week. It is a technologically complicated task these days to buy groceries. You have to have a loyalty account and the corresponding app on your phone. Then you must check the weekly circular and click to add items to your list. This part is so easy that you have to maintain some degree of discipline or you will add a bunch of stuff you really don't need to buy...
Then at the store, there are deeply discounted items for which you must scan the attached bar code, using aforementioned app, which then adds the item's coupon to your device. We even had one paper coupon today which saved us $3.00 on dishwasher detergent.
So, while we spent $98.00 on groceries, we saved $44.00.
I have mixed feelings about this.
While there was a smidgen of gaming to using the technology this way, and it was fun to max out our savings, I sort of long for the days when everything had one price. Now I do remember the days when my kids were little that we would sometimes go to two or three stores to benefit from the sales items at each one. But overall there used to not be any clubs you had to be a member of to reap the rewards and discounts. If you were to go into a grocery store these days without a club card? Well, this experience would have cost me $44.00 this morning.
And what about people who don't have cell phones, or don't speak English, or are afraid that the government is monitoring and tracking their every move? They just cough up the extra money.
It is a bad feeling to be on the losing end of this situation. For example, when we moved to Washington, I had to transfer our prescriptions. Thankfully we are healthy and don't have many to transfer, because I learned that this is not a straightforward process. Since all of our meds are generic ones, I assumed, mistakenly, that they would all be priced at around $10 for a ninety day supply. I am still not sure why, but the prices were as high as $45.00 for some of them! Sometimes insurance helps, sometimes not. You have to get the GoodRx app and be a good consumer! And there used to be a Washington drug card that would bring the price down, but now you have to venture to Oregon and get a card there, and... well, it just borders on the ridiculous!!!
Again, I ask, what happens to the people who need prescription drugs who are not able to do the research and make these decisions?
Maybe I am just getting old and cantankerous, but I worry about my being able to do these things as I get even older. We bought a new computer and printer last week and I had a moment of panic when it came to setting it up. It turned out that I was up to the task, and I could have had my son come help me if needed, but it made me think about the necessity of keeping up with technology and a few other things that, while they streamline life when they work smoothly, they also complicate life tremendously.
By the way--the computer we bought (through Amazon, of course...) was a refurbished Dell OptiPlex Windows 10, 1 TB HDD, Core 2 Duo 3.0Ghz, 8GB, with 20" monitor, complete with keyboard and mouse, and was WIFI ready, loaded with software, and it cost less than $200. We bought this package based on the recommendation of our son. And I am so thankful that we have him to turn to when we make these decisions. On top of that he found us an HP color printer for $2.00 at the local thrift shop! So, while I almost never have to actually print anything these days, I can do it now!
I know we all deal with the same kinds of challenges, and with regard to the big picture, these are small things. And what I was getting at from the beginning of this blog entry is that we do indeed have the ability to either be bitter and defeated by life, or uplifted and thankful.
Writer Siri Hustvedt says, "Each person does see the world in a different way. There is not a single unifying, objective truth. We're all limited by our experience."
My goals for this week are to have a positive frame of mind and to do something nice for someone. Small things? Maybe. Maybe not. And I plan to keep my mind busy and growing. So I will be reading Siri Hustvedt's book, titled Living, Thinking, Looking. I will report back and let you know what she has to say...
Until next time--