Let’s play a game

If you watched Sesame Street as a kid, this game will be familiar. It’s called “One of these is not like the others” and the goal is to identify which item in a set is the odd man out, the one that doesn’t belong, the one that is not like the others.

One of these is not like the others, one of these just doesn’t belong….

1. Which of the following prices is NOT one that I saw for standard 12 oz. of bacon at Giant this week?
a. 6.69
b. 5.99
c. 2.79
d. 5.29

2. Which of the following prices is NOT one that I saw for a plain old loaf of bread at Giant this week?
a. 4.99
b. 5.59
c. 4.89
d. 2.99

3. Which of the following items was on sale at Giant this week?
a. hotdogs: 5/pack of 8
b. milk: 3.79/gallon
c. strawberries: 4/quart
d. coffee: 8/12 oz. bag

OK I don’t want to play anymore because I just realized that this game is about as fun as shopping at Giant. Lots of stuff around here is expensive–and even in the old hometown there were stores and accompanying prices that made my eyes bug out–but I don’t think I blinked once while my eyes plastered themselves open at the horror of Giant’s prices.

When we first arrived in this place, we shopped at Harris Teeter. Expensive, mostly, but they had great sales, and the produce was excellent. After a few months I realized that what I couldn’t get at Target could probably be had at the Shoppers Food Warehouse next door, and sure enough, I was right. So then we started shopping at Shoppers and our debit card thanked us.

Then we moved to Alexandria, saw the Safeway around the corner, and asked someone about it. She said it’s the strangest layout you’ll ever see in a store, and to go to the Giant that was just a little further up the road. We went on Sunday evening for a few essentials and last night I went back for more long-term food, only to leave the store practically in tears (if my eyeballs hadn’t dried out from staring in terror at the prices) as what should have been, in a normal person’s world, $25 worth of groceries rang up twice that. And I used their bonus saver card and bought the off-brands.

Yesterday’s shopping trip brought on my first sense of impending doom, my first inkling of panic that being one-income in this area was going to be impossible, that we are going to starve and never have a couch. Then I remembered that God hasn’t left us hanging yet, and He won’t start now. Turns out there’s a Shoppers about two minutes down the road from the Jolly Take-Your-Green Giant, and yes, everything we need this week, from fruit to bacon, is on sale.

I also calculated my final paychecks from the new old job incorrectly, and I get one more than I thought I did. Hi couch, we’ll see you in two weeks.

Of course I’m still looking for work but I’m going to a volunteer meeting at a pregnancy center two weeks from now and who knows? Maybe they’ll need a new office manager or front desk person. I’m friendly, I can answer phones, and who wouldn’t want another pregnant lady relating to them? I ask you.

In the meantime, I’m going to contemplate putting my lovely work clothes and shoes on craigslist, make my Shoppers grocery list, and see what Target has on sale this week to fill in the gaps.

Answers: 1-c, 2-d, 3-a and c. Yes, they sell regular old bacon for almost $7/package and $4 is a “sale” on strawberries. It’s funny, now that I know I don’t have to shop there.

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