We already know that George is a grocery store super hero. I like to think of myself as his little apprentice, the Robin to his Batman, perhaps. (He'll never let me live that down, but I'm too lazy to come up with another example so I guess it serves me right.) Now and then, if I’m running errands, G will ask me to pick up something for dinner, but almost always follow the request with a: “Don’t pay more than X for it!” So, my fellow savers in training, I quizzed George on our collective behalf and now present a few standard examples from his “Don’t Pay More Than” rules:
Seltzer: $0.50 – We drink so much seltzer that we’ve nicknamed it “water treat.” I can’t even explain or defend that name, so I won’t try. Water treat is often tagged at around a buck a liter. Pay it, and you’d be a fool, so says G. Potential annual price (five bottles a week): $260. George’s annual price: $130.
Cereal: $2.00 – Every morning, like clockwork, I eat my cereal with my boyfriend Matt Lauer. (Sorry, George). A box of cereal retails in the ballpark of $3.99 - $4.49, but George says cut it in half or leave it on the shelf. Potential annual price (one box a week): $230. George’s annual price: $104
OJ: $2.50—I feel like at least one time a week Matt Lauer (Heaven help me, cause I can’t help myself) tells me about a crisis with the orange crop, resulting in ridiculously high prices for this Vitamin C-loaded deliciousness, which often rings in above $4.00 per half gallon. I can’t stomach some of the super off-brand stuff, so George gives himself a relatively high limit of $2.50 and just picks up whatever drinkable bottles are on sale in a given week. Brand loyalty be darned. Potential annual price (one bottle a week): $208. George’s annual price: $130
Jarred pasta sauce: $1.50—Sure, often it’s tastier, cheaper, and healthier to make your own, but some days, we just don’t have the energy. George’s rule? Don’t pay more for the pre-packaged stuff—which usually averages about $3.49 at our store— than it would cost to make your own. And have an extra gallon or 12 of water treat around to counter the sodium content. Potential annual cost (one jar a month): $41.88. George’s annual cost: $18.00
Tissues: $1.00—Okay, this one kills me. As a result of my Urkel-like allergies, I am literally sneezing 99% of the day, and sometimes G’s super-saving results in me more or less scraping sandpaper across my face. Maybe when we’re in Morocco I’ll decide it’s been worth it, but I kind of doubt it, as you can get a decent box of tissues for like $1.69 at Target. Potential annual cost (one box a month): $20.28 George’s annual cost: $12.00
So there you go. Now you can see just how much you can save if you set yourself some cheap-o standards. Nine times out of ten, George can find at least one particular brand of a product within his price guidelines. If he sticks to his rules, he can save up to $366 annually on just these five items, which would retail for about $760 at the rate we’re buying them. Plus, he’s super aware of their standard prices and drills them into my head, which means I am TOTALLY WINNING THE PRICE IS RIGHT one of these days. SHOWCASE SHOWDOWN! HURRAH!