I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 102 - Eat Like A King, Spend Like a Pauper (Part 2)

Daily Kup (What I Did On My Reality Vacation)
The heat is getting to us. By the time the temperature climbs to the upper 80's, not much more is getting done until later in the evening. Cats sleep on their backs on the tile floor with their legs strangely splayed. Before it got too hot, Attila the Son and I spent part of the morning doing a community project at the elementary school. He was somewhat more excited about helping out before he found out that the project was ... wait for it ... weeding.

Freshly Ground
I went grocery shopping in the cool of the late evening. There are fewer people, the Muzak sounds particularly mournful bouncing off the frozen food cases, and -- of course -- Wednesday is double coupon day. Before starting out, I gathered my rudimentary price book, the store ads and then made my What To Use Up (WTUU) list on the back of the shopping list. It takes five minutes or less to look through the organized refrigerator and cupboards to spot items that are going into the sunset and what there is plain too much of.

For example, I have four bags of Great Northern beans. I'm either ready to perform an ode to a defunct railroad or it's time to make bean soup. Beans are on the WTUU and carrots, the only thing that I need to make the soup that I don't already have, are checked off on the grocery list. Since the cost of throwing out unused food almost always is higher than coupon or sale savings, I look at what I have to use up first. After that, I cross-check the sale ads against known good prices from the price book and note what seems like a good deal on the grocery list. This week, there was a good price on stew meat. Since I'm already buying carrots and we have onions in the garden, I'm feeling a mock Beef Bourguignon coming on. I'll plan on making up the bag of rice that's also WTUU and serve the beef over it, reserving the balance of the rice for a rice pudding. So I add raisins to the grocery list. It takes much longer to describe the thought process than to actually do it. The whole thing should take about fifteen leisurely minutes, including clipping out the store coupons so that you aren't trying to score and rip them while shoving groceries on a moving checkout line Lucille Ball-style.

Some people will tell you that strictly following a planned grocery list is the key to saving money by avoiding impulse purchases. That part seems to be true but too much structure also means that you miss exceptional deals because you aren't thinking on your feet. So I use the grocery list form to note things that we definitely need for which there is no reasonable substitute (the coconut we volunteered to buy for the daycare class, cat litter, eggs, etc.) and those that are suggested by the WTUU and ad review. Then I go to the store and wing it.

Not counting the cat litter and the donation coconut, I spent $34 for four days worth of meals for five people that included T's requested large quantities of pop and desserts. Ditching those latter items would get rid of 25-30% of the expense but I haven't found a way to do that yet short of electroshock. Still, four bags of groceries for thirty-four bucks is pretty good.

Here is the grocery list template that I use. I would give credit to whomever originally developed it but I don't remember where on the Intranet I got it from ten years ago. I modify it every few years as our tastes and family structure change.

Grocery List

Many people are familiar with the "clowns in my coffee" reference as a misheard lyric from the Carley Simon song, "You're So Vain." I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee ... The definitive archive of misheard lyrics is KissThisGuy.com, named after the line in Purple Haze where Jimi Hendrix sang, "Excuse me while I kiss the sky."


Corsair, The Mostly Harmless said...

Followed by, "Dude Rocks Nero, Got Scars in his eyes."

(Juke Box Hero, Got Stars in hie eyes)

Burning Khrome said...

Playing Rock Band has revealed to me the gaps in my comprehension. I swear I thought the lyric from Duran Duran's "Hungry Like The Wolf" was "disco and rhyme." I can do a reasonable Kurt Cobain since I can mumble but the actual words to "Smells Like Teen Spirit" were a surprise. I usually sing the Weird Al version.

And not to forget this Christmas classic: "Round John Virgin. (Deep breath in) Mother and Child."

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