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"Brother, can you spare a quarter?" and other thoughts from tonight’s shopping adventure

In desperate need of groceries, I headed out to Aldi tonight, only to park and realize that I’d forgotten something very important.

No, I didn’t forget my supply of reusable shopping bags.

No, I didn’t forget my list.

What I had forgotten was much more dire, as had I forgotten my bags, I knew I could pick up some empty boxes in the store in which to pack my groceries. And my noggin had a fairly good idea as to what I needed, so I would have been fine without a list.

However, forget your quarter on a visit to Aldi, and you are toast.

Yeah, I forgot my quarter.

Dagnabit.

I needed to do a huge shopping, and without the quarter, I wouldn’t be able to get a cart. I really don’t need to explain this to those of you who shop at Aldi. Quite simply: no quarter, no cart. Unless you gain the sympathy of a shopper unloading their bags of groceries into their car by explaining that you forgot your quarter, thus inspiring them to sacrifice their quarter by graciously handing over their cart, there is no shopping to be done.

I just wasn’t up for pulling out the tin can tonight and singing songs by the entrance in order to earn my precious cart.

Decided to hit Target instead. Just for a few staples.

While in the Target shoe department (yes, I got sidetracked after stocking up on discounted cans of tomatoes), I heard a little girl wailing. Wailing. Not crying. Not sobbing.

Wailing.

MOOOOMMMMM! MOOOMMMMMM! MOM!!!!!!!!!! Why do I always have to get my clothes from Good Will and she gets to shop at Target!!!???”

She was mad. Her sister (I assumed) was quite gleeful about the new shoes she was getting.

Ouch.

It made me think.

When will my kids come to realize that what we call the “treasure store” is actually a second hand store? Will this scenario happen to me one day when my daughter, aghast, realizes that she’s been wearing previously worn (hey, if this verbage works for car dealerships, it can work here) Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirts? Will she ever care, as this girl so, um, passionately did? Just a few days ago, I took Harper on an outing to Good Will, as she really wanted a sporty purse to hold her wallet. We walked away with a Ralph Lauren Polo bag for 3.99.

Will there come a time when this will bother her?

I wonder.

This is what I do while shopping.

So, then, in the clothing department (after I had picked up some Asian noodle dishes for the kids that had been marked down – see, I did get some groceries), I found an amazing black dress for $6.24. Seriously.

Only, I couldn’t figure out how to put it on.

No, really, I tried three times to put the dress on, but couldn’t quite make sense of the layers and straps and the zipper and the sash . . . sounds complicated, right? It was. I’ve been dressing myself for years and don’t usually get so tripped up in this area. However, this joker of a dress completely humiliated my intelligence. It was like an Ikea project gone awry.

It looked great on the hanger.

What can I learn from my adventure tonight?

1. Keep an “Aldi” quarter in the car at all times.

2. Keep working the “magic” that is our “treasure store” and pray that my child grows up to learn the value of second hand and consignment shopping. Which reminds me that there is a new, designer, consignment boutique opening on 3rd street in September. I’m psyched. Maybe I’ll offer to work there a bit.

3. Avoid dresses that require instructions.

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5 responses »

  1. I've had that problem with clothing before, so don't feel bad! 🙂 It's so hard to resist when it is marked down so much but if you can't even put the thing on, can you really justify spending that money?Your adventure in Target reminds me of why I don't grocery shop in Wal-Mart anymore (one reason, anyway). I would always get side-tracked and end up buying stuff I really don't need (like shoes, or dresses, or office supplies). If I just stick to grocery shopping at the supermarket, I just get what's on my list. If you find yourself in the same position again, maybe just go buy a pack of gum at Target so you can get a quarter for the cart at Aldi!

    Reply
  2. Ah, one must carry cash in order to buy a pack of gum, thus making change for Aldi.Just grabbed my quarter. Off I go!

    Reply
  3. I forgot my quarter for the grocery store here and they had a special key to just give me a cart – love them!I don't know if Aldi will do that or not. They aren't very personable as far as I can tell.

    Reply
  4. You have to pay a quarter for a cart?! I've (clearly) never been to Aldi…never been to any store with a charge for a cart. Wow. I had no idea such a thing existed. Do you get your quarter back when you turn your cart in? Is that how it works?

    Reply
  5. yes, you get your quarter back when you turn in the cart. They also do not provide bags. you can purchase bags, but I just bring my own and grab up empty boxes as I walk through the store. It's one of the ways they keep costs down.I actually found, (did I already type this in the post), Cascadian Farms Organic granola bars this week. These cost $3-4 at Whole foods and here they were $2.Sweet.

    Reply

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