I assumed it was temporary. I should’ve known better.
When the COVID lockdown began, I was tasked with the weekly chore of grocery shopping. Now, over a year-and-a-half later, I’m known as BOGO Man. And BOGO Man has learned a lot.
The main supermarkets in my orbit are Ingles, Publix, and Food Lion. We live about equal distance from each; I can do a 360 and hit all three. Also within the circle are Dollar General and Big Lots. (Unfortunately, we aren’t blessed with a Food City in our area). Wherever you shop, maybe you can take something from BOGO Man’s hard-learned lessons.
Lesson 1: The “grocery” bill isn’t just edibles.
I’ve often fussed at Margo about the size of our grocery bill. Even with three grandkids with us a great deal of time…how in the name of Cheerios can we eat so much!?
After I was assigned my temporary shopping task, I quickly discovered that a large portion of the grocery bill is money spent on non-food items such as paper and laundry products, first-aid items, and various other kitchen and household essentials.
Lesson 2: Bargain-hunting must be timely.
Based on Lesson 1, the moment our weekly grocery store ads arrive, I start my bargain hunting, beginning with the BOGOs (Buy One, Get One).
When we’re in need of a popular product, I’ve found I must do the BOGO Boogie quickly. Otherwise, the item is apt to be sold out. This timely boogieing earned me my esteemed moniker of BOGO Man.
Lesson 3: Don’t over-buy (and over-spend).
Just because an item is a bargain doesn’t mean I have to buy it. And I don’t have to buy two when we only need one. The stores will sell one item at half-price (with a few exceptions, such as soft drinks) and half a BOGO is still a bargain.
Lesson 4: Resist temptation.
Advertising experts tell us the older one gets the less likely he or she will be to sample a new product. The over-fifty crowd is “set in their ways.” Not so with me! Too often, when I see something new—especially if I can eat or drink it—into my buggy it goes. So I’m working on my impulse buying.
Case in point: Margo, the grandkids, and their dad went on a camping trip recently. I was ordered to stay home; someone has to water the flowers. I had the bright idea to reward my obedient nature with a nice ribeye I spotted in the meat case. My name was stamped all over it!
The son-of-a-bull weighed over a pound-and-a-half and cost almost 32 dollars. I’d paid no attention to the weight or price till checkout. It was over half the total bill. Pay attention, BOGO Man!
Lesson 5: Paper or plastic? Neither.
I recently read an article containing facts about plastic grocery store bags. 500 years to degrade. Terrible for the environment. Harmful to wildlife. And an aggravation.
My answer to the bagger’s paper or plastic question is simple: neither!
I always carry in my vehicle a couple of inexpensive handled totes and a freezer bag. After I pay for my groceries, I have them placed directly into the shopping buggy—no bags at all. I roll the groceries to the car, transfer them into my containers, and when I’m home, the loot is easy to carry into the house. Supermarkets also sell reusable grocery bags that are especially good when buying just a few items.
Lesson 6: Never fall for a “temporary” assignment.
I was once asked to “temporarily” host a weekend radio show, “until we can find a permanent host.” I hosted that show for 16 years.
So don’t be surprised when you read in the News & Neighbor about the BOGO Man who took his last breath in the aisle of a local supermarket.
After 57 years in the radio industry, Dave Hogan is enjoying his retirement in North Carolina. He’d love for you to say ‘howdy’ to him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.