Consumer Habits

I have not posted in almost a month now. That is not because I am abandoning this blog. Just been busy with the usual data mining and number crunching. Hope to have some more results to blog about before the end of the year.

Wrote an email to a friend yesterday. Occurred to me that said babble might be suitable for the blog. So, “It’s story time again,” as Tom Waits used to say. I have a story to tell you about my consumer habits. Hope you all will find it at least moderately amusing.

Back before I moved this spring, I used to buy cases of Milwaukee’s Best from Rite-Aid for $12.49 apiece. Not a bad price. Best I could find in the near vicinity. (Not owning a car, “near vicinity” means within carrying distance.)

After the move this spring, I was disconcerted to see the price for that same case at $13.49 at the nearest convenience store and nothing cheaper anywhere within range. Rite-Aid was a little too far to carry a whole case home too.

There is a Liquor Barn in the opposite direction about two miles (near the library and a Subway, and so I go there at least once a week). Was pleased to see that they had 1.75-liter jugs of vodka for $9.99. The best Rite-Aid ever did was $10.99 (and frequently higher). So that was a good deal.

Liquor Barn also had cases of 30 cans of Milwaukee’s Best for $13.99. That was considerably better than 24 for $12.49 (or $13.49). Only problem was transportation. Worked that out. Believe it or not, 30 cans of beer will fit into a backpack. Better than lugging it in your arms for two miles anyway.

Went to Liquor Barn about a month ago and was disconcerted to see that the $13.99 cases of Milwaukee’s Best (30 cans) had disappeared. However, they did have something called Steel Kettle (a light beer brewed in Rochester, New York) on sale for $2.97 a 12-pack. Regular price $5.99. This was a close-out price. So I picked up a case of that and carted it home (a 12 in my backpack and the other 12 in a sturdy cloth shopping bag; that was a better means of transport than all 24 in the backpack).

Don’t ask me how the stuff tastes. I don’t drink it straight. I use it as mixer (and assorted sodas as well) for my vodka.  It serves my purpose just fine. I can’t tell any difference in the taste of my drinks overall.

So I went back up to the Liquor Barn both Monday and Tuesday of this week and carted home another case each day. Good excuse to go for a trot and get some exercise. I was also thinking that I might as well buy up as much of this bargain as I possibly can before it is all sold out.

Two days ago I had lunch with some friends. Yesterday my monthly cleaning lady came over. Or else I might have trotted back to LB both days. I told my cleaning lady about that $2.97 bargain on 12-packs of beer and that I wouldn’t mind gaining a monopoly on the available product. She came back about three hours later with four more cases of the stuff for me. Retail value $25.19. I wrote her a check for $30 (on top of the earlier check for $75 for the monthly cleaning).

So right now I have 151 cans (six cases plus seven cans) of Steel Kettle squirreled away for future consumption. Do you blame me at $2.97 a 12-pack?????? She reported that after her purchase today there were about 15 12-packs left. Might have to trot up there again soon and cart home a few more of those 15.

OK, maybe I am excessively (obsessively) frugal. That frugality is what enabled me to retire at age 55 (more than three years ago). Better excessive (obsessive) frugality than running up a debt of $17-trillion. I name no names.

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