Coffee coffee buzz buzz buzz, and the limitations of paring down

Today was a great day for being a tightwad, and it wasn’t too bad for biking, either – despite the thunderstorm warnings, 90-degree temps and humidity. Granted, I only biked about 8 miles, and it rained lightly for part of that, which helped cool me off. Then again, it got a lot hotter and more humid after the rain, so it might have been better without the brief wet respite.

I went to a Walgreens about 4 miles from my house that I had hit on my “1 day, 6 Walgreens” 20-mile bike ride on Monday. During that epic trip, I noticed that said Walgreens had put its boxes of six Taster’s Choice single-serving packs on clearance for 65 cents. I thought I remembered something about a 65-cent coupon for said coffee, so when I got home I looked it up. Not only were there coupons for 65 cents off; there were also buy-one-get-one free coupons.

So I went to Walgreens today with four of each coupon and asked the cashier if I could use them all to buy eight boxes. (Basically, buying four of them with the 65-cent coupons and getting the other four free thanks to the buy-on-get-one coupons. Walgreens policy allows you to use a cents-off coupon with a buy-on-get-one coupon when you’re buying two of the same item, but I don’t like to fight with cashiers, so I let them know what I want to do and leave it up to them to decide.)

The cashier said it was fine, but that he couldn’t ring up a transaction with a total of “zero,” so I needed to grab something else. I knew this wasn’t true, because I’ve been rung up at “zero” at Walgreens before with no problem, but the bananas by the counter had the perfect amount of green on them, so I grabbed one and didn’t push him.

After that I went to Roundy’s for the buy-5-boxes-of-Post-cereal-for-$10-and-get-$5-certificate-for-your-next-purchase deal. I don’t like cold cereal for breakfast, but I do like raisin bran as a quick calorie source after a long bike ride, or in the middle of the night when I wake up hungry.

Of course, there were only two boxes of Post Raisin Bran on the shelf, and the clerk at the service counter told me there were none in the stock room. She couldn’t write a raincheck that would produce the $5 certificate if I spent $10, she said, but would it be okay if she wrote one for 5 boxes of cereal for $5?

Um, yes! I refrained from telling her that was even better than the original deal, because it didn’t involve converting my cash into a store credit that I may or may not want to use in the next three weeks before it expires.


On the home front, I’m planning for another garage sale on June 18. It’s a neighborhood garage sale and therefore doesn’t require my full participation – I can leave if I get bored, and/or my neighbors and I can take turns watching each others stuff. At the last garage sale, it was cloudy all morning and then rained for an hour. I made $69 (dudes!) and change, most of which I spent on dinner with companion that evening. It’s nice to be the sugar mama every once in a while. You just have to not obsess on the thought, “That’s what I spent on groceries last month.” The last $20 or so dollars has carried me through the past couple of weeks – I still have $10 left. Maybe I can stretch it to the next garage sale.

So the question is what else to get rid of. My place is always cluttered, but I think it would be even if I had only three pieces of furniture and no framed pictures, because I toss books and papers and laundry and keys and paperclips and sewing projects in piles on every surface imaginable. They would go on the floor if there were no couch or kitchen table to put them on, even if I had an entire empty bookshelf.

Well, I think that’s what would happen, since that’s the way I’ve been organizing my stuff since I was at least 7 years old. When my sister and I shared the attic of our house in Rotterdam as a bedroom, my sister got so sick of my piles that she put a string down the center of the room to indicate a pile-free space on the side where her bed was.

So, would getting rid of the cute Hungarian wind-up toys help the decluttering process, or would it unnecessarily remove some of the fun from the house?

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