Yesterday started out great. My 18 month old woke me up at around 6:10, and even though I had only gotten about 4.5 hours of sleep, I actually wasn’t at all tired. I got little-man situated, made myself some coffee, and decided to bake banana muffins for breakfast. While he was playing and the muffins were baking, I worked on invoice sheets for a bit.
My husband and daughter both got up right around the time the muffins were done baking, and we all ate breakfast together as a family. Shortly thereafter we went for a 2 mile family run, came back, and then quickly got ready and left for church.
Fresh muffins. The promise of future payment. Great Workout. Inspiring Mass. I felt fantastic yesterday, like my body, mind, and soul were being taken care of, and I was in a great mood.
Then I made the decision to stop at Food Lion on our way home from church.
Before walking into the store, I knew my budget would be about $25 and I had a list of the basic items I needed: bananas, eggs, milk, etc. On the way into the store, I noticed that cereal was on sale for $1.74. That’s a great deal, especially when it’s one of the few items your 18 month old will actually eat for breakfast.
Anyway, I walked down the cereal aisle, found the shelf with the advertised cereal with big red arrows exclaiming “GREAT VALUE” “ON SALE” etc. and picked up a box off of the clearly marked shelf. I grab my other few items, wait in line, pay, and head out to the car, at which point I noticed that the cashier hadn’t rung up the cereal box as on sale.
My receipt listed it for $2.99 instead of $1.74. So I went back in the store and asked the same cashier why it hadn’t rung up as on sale. Her reply was that only the 12 oz boxes were on sale. I had bought the 9 oz box. I said, “Well, the store clearly has this box labeled as on sale.” To which her response was, “Someone must have just stuck that box there.” To which I replied again, “No, really. It is very clearly marked on that shelf that all of this size box is on sale.”
Long story short, I left the store very angry, with absolutely no help from the cashier who very clearly didn’t care at all that I had just paid $1.25 more, for 3 fewer ounces of cereal than the on sale box.
I was fuming, steaming mad when I got home. I was putting groceries away with much more force than necessary, all while snapping at my family. I realized how crazy I was being and wondered how I let myself get so angry over a box of cereal.
Instead of punishing my family for something that was clearly not their fault, I tried to use that negative energy for something productive. I finished my invoices, and then we went for a walk down to the park for some fresh air and to let the kiddos play for a bit before dinner and bedtime.
As much as I really want to blame the store, because someone clearly didn’t properly label the sale items, I should have double-checked the bar-code before putting the item in my cart. I really shouldn’t have gotten so upset over $1.25. I was about to let a fantastic day get ruined over something as trivial as 5 quarters.
So today, with just an ounce of bitterness, I will sit and enjoy a box of my not on sale cereal at the crack of dawn, with my sweet 18 month who I love to pieces. I will be grateful that I have the money to put food on our table and in our children’s bellies, and I will never let $1.25 almost ruin my day again.
I learned a valuable life lesson yesterday: don’t let savings, or a lack there of, decidedly ruin an otherwise great day. It’s just not worth it. I choose to be grateful and learn from my mistakes instead.