The Perfect Storm – A Short Story

It had the makings of the perfect shopping trip. Husband and toddler were fed and baby was also fed giving me a window of maybe an hour to walk the grocery store aisles in peace. I kissed my boys goodbye and got in my car where the tune of Justin Timberlake’s music made the trip to the store short.

With my grocery list in hand and coupons and wallet in my pocket, I grabbed a grocery cart and started roaming the aisles. I knew my time window was getting smaller so I had to make the most of it. I picked up the items on my list and headed to check out. I asked the girl if I could please do two separate orders, she gently obliged.

My first transaction included 6 bags Flat Earth chips, two gallons of milk and a gallon of OJ. She gives me the total: $36. I promptly handed her my first stack of coupons. Total after coupons $9.80 and a coupon for $8 off my next shopping order. Luckily, my next shopping order was already on the belt waiting to be scanned. Vegetables, toothbrush, 1 lb of butter, 18 eggs, 9 lbs chicken breast and beef liver (yes, I am weird I like the stuff) all get scanned and I get a new total: $33.25. I hand her my second stack of coupons (it helps having them ready), new total: $9.29. So $69.25 worth of groceries for $19 out of pocket. I load up my car and start heading home.

I am suddenly at a crossroads, to the right the way home, to the left Walgreens. I check the clock, the grocery trip only took me 35 minutes. I have an eternity in “mom time” (20 mins tops) to spare, let’s grace Walgreens with my presence. I start by picking up some tea, at $0.45 per 20 bag box it’s a bargain considering my toddler thinks he is British and loves to drink tea. I can’t help but roam the aisles while caressing my coupon binder, will I find a deal too good to resist? As I am about to bypass the paper goods aisles (after all I had loaded up on toilet paper earlier in the week), out of the corner of my eye an orange clearance tag catches my attention.

There they are, what I had been looking for in other stores: four-roll packs of Charmin toilet paper clearanced at $1.5 each, perfect to go with my $1/1 coupon that is about to expire in two days. But the five packs available wouldn’t fit in my hand basket and as if send from above an empty cart is only three steps away. Divine providence I am thinking. But my time is running short, let’s take one last look at make up. Physicians Formula eye shadows clearanced @2.19 with $3 off coupons attached to them. Could this be too good? I decide to not tempt the gods anymore and head home while I am ahead. I leave Walgreens after paying $6.77 for $48 worth of stuff.

I get home to the sounds of nothing! Baby is asleep while husband and oldest son are curled up on the couch with the dogs watching a show. A perfect evening many moms will agree.