BACON SCRAPINS: A Shopping Bonus


  • Opinion   Thu, Jun 16th, 2022   Barry S. Wolfe



Bacon Scrapins are the little bits of meat left in the greasy fry pan. They’re tasty, but the ‘nutrition’ needs searching for. This tale is a bacon scrapin.
My wife’s what my Scottish grandma would have called “a canny shopper”! She checks the flyers and then makes lists. Not just one. Lists! Another for each store where there’s the best deal for that item.
At the beginning of the week, we ventured into the city to that place where you’ve got to pay for the card, and show it at the entrance before they let you in to spend. I hoped there’d be fewer folks early in the week. Nope – the parking lot was packed as usual. She had 12 items on our list – those things where more or bigger is better. In most places, you buy an item as a single. At the big C, each is twice as big, or packed in 2’s, 3’s or 6’s. Cheaper by the dozen, I guess.
You need a plan or a map in there. I’m absolutely certain that they move stuff around every week, just to keep you guessing, or so you’ll put stuff in the cart that you didn’t know you needed until you saw it instead of what you were looking for. We had a simple plan. Walk up and down every aisle in sequence and hope we’d find it all. Didn’t work.
My wife decided she needed to go back and look for stuff. I generously offered to stay put up against a tall rack of various snacks and wait for her. Standing still, you get to check out your fellows.
I didn’t recognize anyone in there, but I was drawn to notice a couple doing their thing very efficiently. The husband pushed the cart and loaded whatever she directed. She, of flaming red hair tight in a barrette with a voice to be heard at the cash registers, operated her electric wheelchair like it was a dodgem car on a track at the fair. In and out between the buggies, up an aisle, stop ½ way, pull a tight 180º mid lane, zip back, then around the freezers’ corner. All the time, she’s on her cell phone, toggling the controller with her other hand, asking a friend if she wanted her to pick up some chocolate coated popcorn in a bag the size of softener salt, or some other rare item. She probably could cover the store three times, and I would still have yet to find my way back to the registers - only once through. Good entertainment she was!
We had 12 items in the cart when we finally got to the back corner, but still had only four items crossed off the list. Now I know why the average ‘big C’ shopper spends an average of $200 per trip, and no one drives a cheap car. You’ve got to have big money to afford to shop there when you come out with only 1/3 of what you went in for and still left them with $150. Maybe not so canny after all?
We live out a way, in a ‘9 stop-sign’ sized community between a farm and a golf course – ‘between the poop and a putt’, so to speak. So, mid-week, we drove the other direction into town to get the unfound stuff, plus those things on the other lists.
It turns out, in each of the places we stopped, we remembered where the items were – nobody had tried to trick us since last week. We got all the other needed items at a total price ‘the canny one’ was satisfied with. And I got a bonus. Two, really.
At my age, I know faces, but don’t always remember the name that correctly matches that face. What were the bonuses?
I didn’t fear getting run over in the aisles, and two, the gentleman in the drug store greeted me by my name.
I prefer shopping locally!