This week I decided to see what it was like to bargain shop for groceries. There is nobody better to guide me along this cost saving journey than my father, who knows which grocery stores offer the best price on almost any item. My Dad is a good ole boy that has always clipped coupons and ad matched before ad matching was a thing. He has no debt and has lived in the same house since I was born 48 years ago. He is a simple man who doesn’t worry about home decor, stylish clothing or having new vehicles. In fact, my Dad still drives a 1995 Chevrolet truck, which he often tells me will be my inheritance. It is neon green and when you turn a corner you hear water from the air conditioner swishing around like a waterfall. Dad often reminds me that I have owned more cars and lived in more locations than he has as a 78 year old man. I didn’t inherit the frugal gene, so as a part of “not being myself”, I thought I would ride along with my dad to witness first hand how he saves money when he buys groceries.

Dad did his research to decide which store offered the best deals for each item on his list. He gave me tips such as using only cash to buy gas since there are usually fees added to gas purchased with a credit card, Food Town offers the best prices on water, and buy birthday cards at Dollar Tree, which Dad refers to now as Dollar and a Quarter Store since nothing there is actually a dollar anymore.

While this trip down frugal lane was supposed to be a lesson in learning how to become a budget shopper, I learned even more valuable lessons by spending the morning with my Dad.

  1. Spending time with my father was well worth driving to 5 different stores. While riding in the car, we laughed and shared stories. We were discussing how today was Abby’s 21st birthday. Dad told me that when he was 21, he was in the Air Force stationed in Germany as a Nato Crew Chief. I only remember my 21st birthday as celebrating with friends having drinks at our favorite hang out spot, Fajita Flats.
  2. Grocery shopping with Dad was like old times. I used to grocery shop with my Dad as a kid. He would always buy me an ICEE and Tiger Beat magazine full of teen heart throbs. It was our Saturday ritual.
  3. Dad makes up funny quotes that are actually life lessons. Today, while getting his “Aldi Shopping Cart Quarter” out of his pill bottle in his car, I laughed at this quarter. He said to me that I think this is funny because I think I am a high roller, but I have no roll. That is a pretty fair statement, as well as humorous.
  4. Dad shared past grocery store adventures with me such as how he got a warning for going 50 mph in a 35 mph zone. He told the police officer that he was going with the flow of the traffic. The police officer responded that there were no other cars on the road at that time. Luckily, the police officer gave him a warning.

All in all, the purpose of the Budget Shopping Adventure was to get a lesson in saving money, which is not like myself, since I usually throw caution to the wind and buy what I want most of the time, without ad matching or shopping at different stores. However, I gained way more than I could ever save with ad matching. I got to spend quality time with my 78 year old father. We laughed, told stories, and enjoyed each other’s company. I felt like I was about 10 years old again hanging out with Dad, sans ICEE and Tiger Beat Magazine.

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  1. Oh my goodness! What a beautiful journey I took by experiencing your grocery shopping date with your dad. I love the humor you so effortlessly provided through your story. One thing is for sure; you have one special dad with whom you share the most important trait of all, LOVE for each other. And I, the reader, was blessed to share in your incredible bond through this poignant and heartfelt story. Thank you does not seem adequate for the joy I received from your shared experience. ❤️

  2. Robin what a great experience and something you will treasure forever. It’s funny sometimes that we have a “plan” but of times that “plan” turns out so different but so much more than we ever expected. Sounds like an awesome day. Keep up the posts! Proud of you!

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