HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!
At our house, today has been a day of fiscal awareness. After a long, long, frustratingly long layoff, my scientist husband is on the eve of his return to work--part time, at first--in his highly technical field. We've been kissed by a blessed ripple of the sloooowly recovering economy.
Our good friend down the block, who, for two years after her layoff, worked as a transcriptionist in subterranean office (despite her law degree),
just this week returned to a decently paying job in her field--a job with benefits. Our daughter, meanwhile, is still scrapping together babysitting jobs and anything else she can get, waiting for the summer tourists to arrive with a healthy cash injection for the service sector. It's been a hard winter.
But we've learned a lot.
This morning, my daughter and I took her precious, limited funds on a grocery quest--in search of the best bargains in a number of crucial categories. Caitlin has a well-honed talent for comparison shopping, and she has a closet full of stylish, expensive-looking clothes from patiently monitoring the thrift stores and following strict guidelines. If she spends more than $10 on any item of clothing, it's either sensational or she's still feeling guilty about it. Most days she turns out looking like a supermodel in something she's put together for less than $20, earrings to shoes.
She's smart, and she's glam:
She's a fashion sleuth. But that's another post altogether.
So, anyway, armed with a list of "musts" and a few "wants" we headed out into the bleak February morning to work over
those supermarkets. We had a tight budget, but plenty of time on our hands and coffee firing up the old adrenals.
The rest of this is only relevant for folks who live in the greater Portland, Maine, area. But there are quite a lot of you, and most of you are not reading this blog, so if you are ARE, you get a special bonus. Here's what we found: First go to Shaw's. Get ONLY the specials: http://www.shaws.com/pages/onlineCircular.php Be sure you have a Shaw's card! There is no excuse not to have one, since you can even get one online: http://www.shaws.com/pages/cert/signUp.php and, once you have it, you can print out coupons to save you even MORE money: http://www.shaws.com/pages/coupons.php
Next, if you happen to be in the South Portland area, visit the justly famous Smaha's Legion Square Market (the place, it just so happens, where poor law students shopped for groceries 25 years ago. But I digress.....)