Little Things Part 3 – Budget Practice And Correcting Mistakes

by Debt Destroyer on February 24, 2009

nachos-cheese-chipThis is the 3rd chapter is a series of posts showing how the little things can add up.

Here is part one & part two.

You might have missed it, but I dropped some subtle hints in my recent snowblower post that I can from time to time, be a pretty big baby.

Well one night after a frigid shoveling adventure, my wife took pity on me (FINALLY!).

I told her that I’d like nothing more than to have that night’s hot chocolate to be accompanied with some nachos.  But you need chips for nachos and we had none.  Luckily for me, my beautiful loving bride volunteered to venture out in the freezing cold to get some (which was nice because I already had my pajamas on).

She returned (quite a while later) with not only chips but with a few other items as well.  She told me that she was shocked at the total of $20 for 5 things and that was with her taking advantage of a 2 bags of chips for $5 offer.

So we checked the receipt.

She ended up paying $5 each for the chips instead of getting both bags for $5.  The deal was for two small bags, and she got two big bags (a mistake I might add, that she’s made before). I suggested that before she takes her coat off, she should take them back.

She gave me a rather perplexing look, but then agreed that we didn’t have $5 to waste on chips.

To make it up for her, I was the one who made the hot chocolate that night (a little groveling might have also took place, hard to say for sure).

While we were savoring our beverage watching Letterman, I rubbed some salt in her wounds by reminding her to take money out of the “grocery” envelope before going shopping.  Otherwise it defeated the purpose of the envelope system (This too might have been followed by some groveling, again it’s hard to say for sure).

Now I know some out there would scoff at a going through such an ordeal for only a $5 savings, but if you add up a few of them together, you can start to see some significant savings.

And who out there couldn’t use an extra $15?

You can buy your wife some nice flowers with $15 :)

Until next time,


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Helen February 24, 2009 at 2:07 pm

I don’t think the amount matters at all. The more important issue is to get into the habits of sticking to the envelope system, not buying anything other your intended purchase, and also – CHECKING THE RECEIPT!

I myself have been guilty of not looking at prices when shopping and not checking the receipt, but I’ve trained myself to do so and was shocked at how often errors occur at the checkout line. I find the easiest time to review your receipt is right after you get it AND before you get in the car. It’s easier to get the amounts corrected at that time and you don’t have the laziness factor of having to leave the house, get in the car, and drive back to the store for a $5 refund.

An even better way (and I find more stores doing this) is that as the cashier is tallying your groceries, you can look at the display and see if any discrepancies occur.

It does all add up!


Discover February 25, 2009 at 1:58 am

I agree with Helen. Always check your receipt as you leave the store.

It does add up, but I do think it was a little too much going back to the store for the $5, when you factor in the gas and prize per oz for the chips. 2 for $5 does not sound like a great deal and you probably got close to twice as many chips in the big bags. If it was something that could have been returned on the next trip to the grocery store it would have been a different story.


Debt Destroyer February 25, 2009 at 11:13 pm

Thanks for the comments.

@ Helen – I do almost all of the grocery shopping, so that is why my wife went off the system without thinking twice about it.

I agree I usually check my receipt as soon as I get it. Plus I pay pretty close attention to what the items ring up in the first place.

@ Discover – The store is only 5 blocks form my house, so the gas shouldn’t have cut into the $5 too much. The time and hassle are bigger issues. I hate to say it, but part of me was teaching my wife a lesson.

And that lesson was to never be nice to me again :)


snocon February 26, 2009 at 3:44 pm

I agree, it does add up. However, considering you got two bigger bags, was it really worth taking them back? Even the 5 block walk (or drive, but I hope not) to the store isn’t worth the couple bucks to me. Unless these mistakes are happening all the time, it’s not really an issue.


Tim February 28, 2009 at 12:55 pm

You’re absolutely correct. Wal Mart makes billions per year on items that cost under $10.00. Small things add up to big things.

The last time we moved, we realized that we had an entire room’s worth of boxes filled with junk we’d bought from WM, Target, etc. that we never really wanted, but was cheap.



Debt Destroyer February 28, 2009 at 6:11 pm

@ snocon – I agree $5 is only $5. But like I said earlier I was trying to teach my lovely wife a lesson. By making her go back to the store that night, I was hoping that she will pay better attention next time. If I let it go, she’d probably similar mistakes again and again.

And remember, the little things add up.

@ Tim – I never thought of it like that before.

We have a bunch of stuff too that must have been impulse buys due to it’s cheapness. Although lately we’ve been on the receiving end of an endless supply of crap (which will be a future topic of a post).


Katrina March 7, 2009 at 7:26 pm

I am all for saving and budgeting, but sometimes the though is worth more than saving a few cents! As a wife who has tried to do something nice for my husband and ended up failing in some way, I am glad my efforts were not met with a judging eye. Instead of sending me back to the store to “teach me a lesson”, my husband hugged me and thanked me for my thoughts.

Remember that the majority of fights in marriages are over money. Don’t forget that your wife and her feelings while trying to scrimp and save!


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