This is a story about lettuce.
But it’s also the story of the rumpus.
And it could potentially be considered a story about labels, both real and metaphorical, self imposed and assigned.
Also, in another, truer, sense, it could also be a story about Gummy Worms.
There’s definitely an element involving salty cheese, but that’s a subplot more than anything. This is definitively not a story about salty cheese. But it is a story that contains salty cheese. It is salty cheese adjacent.
Our story begins like all my stories seem to begin lately: me standing in front of a sold out food, asking it to be in stock. This week’s shortage was lettuce. Lettuce! I eat a lot of salads, so this was a dire situation.
Flashback to over a year ago: the rumpus has not yet happened, and people are running around within three feet of each other, sharing the same air, shaking hands and giving hugs and generally doing things that when I see them now in movies or tv shows of olde, I freak out and scream at my tv, “YOU’RE TOO CLOSE TO PAM, JIM. STOP PUTTING YOUR GERMS ALL OVER RECEPTION. ESPECIALLY SINCE YOU ARE STILL DATING KAREN.”
Anyway, this flashback takes place over a year ago, when there were no food shortages and I was only on my 7th rewatch of The Office. Innocent times. I had purchased what I thought was Green Leaf Lettuce, but I learned later was called Boston Lettuce. Which I definitely misheard as “Butter Lettuce.” And to be real, butter lettuce would have fit because this letter was the bomb. It was soft and almost sweet, with robust, round, beautiful green leaves that looked like the leaves out of a Tinkerbell movie. You know, the ones they make all the working fairies fashion their own clothes out of? While the lazy light fairies are wearing like, buttercups. This lettuce was like that.
And so Mr. B was all, “Get that lettuce again” and I was all “yeah” but then when I went to the grocery store the Green Leaf Lettuce looked nothing like the lettuce we ate. And so I asked an employee because this was back when grocery store employees had time to talk to a nutty lady about lettuce for three minutes. (PS: It’s been a minute, but let’s all take a moment to show grocery store employees mad love because man, they are like, holding our society together. Thank you, grocery store employees!)
The Kroger staff member is like, “It sounds like you are describing Butter Lettuce.” (He really said Boston, but I heard Butter. I was probably distracted by the nearby cheese.) So I scan the shelves for Butter Lettuce. None. I go home, I tell Mr. B: “I could find the Butter Lettuce nowhere.” And I never found it again. Every so often over the next year he would be like, “Remember that Butter Lettuce we had once? That was so good.”
Okay, so now we’re back in the present day. There is a rumpus. Food regularly has shortages. I’m learning to be the kind of person who adapts to food shortages instead of spinning out into an existential crisis because there is no ground sausage. I’m at the grocery store, and there is no lettuce. Here is proof.
I look over to my left, where they keep the pricey organic stuff. Okay, looks like a pound of organic romaine is $1.99. That’s not so bad. In fact, it’s only $.30 more than I pay per pound for the red or green leaf. I can cope with that. And then my eye catches something. Something green and fluffy. Something almost magical. BOSTON LETTUCE. It’s here! A quick glance at the price. $1.99. Well, gosh, I was going to pay that for this romaine I only kinda wanted so you know I’m down.
The Boston Lettuce is little, round, and perfectly cute, like a hobbit version of lettuce. I put five perfectly rounded little mini heads in a bag. I conduct the rest of my grocery trip like the champion that I am, secure in the knowledge that my husband will be so happy to eat a salad with his beloved Boston (Not Butter) Lettuce. And oh, how we shall laugh about me misunderstanding the name! What fun we will have. Huzzah!
I get to the register feeling the kind of confidence I rarely feel when shopping during these rumpus times. I’m really feeling myself because in the clearance section there were organic gummy bears and gummy worms on sale for 75% off. At only $.45 each, I was able to buy enough bags for each of the girls’ soccer teams when it is my turn for post game treats. So not only was I the best wife, on account of the lettuce, but I could now also add “best mother” and “best soccer treat getter” to my resume. I’m invincible!
Then I glance at the cashier as she counts my Boston Lettuce. What is going on here? Why isn’t she just weighing the lettuce? What is she counting? Why is she typing in “1.99 x 5”?? Oh no. Oh dear. Oh butter.
The lettuce was not $1.99 a pound. It was $1.99 each.
TWO DOLLARS FOR EACH OF THOSE TINY MINIATURE LETTUCES.
Which is how I spent $9.95 on lettuce in one trip.
For those following along at home, that’s a little less than two months worth of normal lettuce purchases. The rumpus makes grocery fools of us all.
- Avocado (4)-$3.56. In-store sale, $.88 each.
- Bananas, 3.07 lb-$1.81.
- Beechnut Baby Food Pouches (4)-$3.16.
- Black Forest Organic Gummy Bears (18)-$8.10. Manager’s Special, $.45 each.
- Blueberries, 18 oz-$2.99.
- Boar’s Head Pepperoni, .75 lb-$7.21.
- Boston Lettuce (5)-$.9.95.
- Clementines, 3 lb-$2.99.
- Fuji Apples, 2.99 lb-$3.86.
- Johnsonville Sausage, 1 lb-$3.50.
- Kraft String Cheese, 12 ct-$3.49.
- Kroger Ground Turkey, 3lb-$1.99. Manager’s Special! Only sixty six cent a pound!
- Kroger Sausage, 1 lb-$3.49.
- Manchego Cheese-$3.39.
- Merry Estate Gouda-$3.06.
- Nectarines, 2.07 lb-$2.05. In-store sale, $.99 a pound.
- Parmigiano Reggiano-$3.68.
- Pepper Jack-$3.56.
- Private Selection Bread (2) -$3.98.
- Private Selection Honey Turkey, .75 lb-$6.78.
- Private Selection Maple Ham, .5 lb-$3.84.
- Private Selection Roast Beef, .25 lb-$2.85.
- Red Gold Canned Tomatoes (2)-$2.
- Red Plums, 1.39 lb-$1.38. In-store sale, $.99 a pound.
- Roma Tomato, 1.62 lb-$1.60.
- Shrimp, 2lb-$9.98. Shrimp4Eva.
- White Peaches, 2.42 lb-$2.40. In-store sale, $.99 a pound.
- White Nectarines, 1.66 lb-$1.64. In-store sale, $.99 a pound.
- Apps I’ll submit to: Fetch Rewards, CoinOut
Total Budget: $104.57
Total Spent: $101.65
Rolled Over to Next Week: $2.92.
Second week under budget!
Have you ever misunderstood the label on an item and been shocked by the price when you got to the register? What’s the most you’ve accidentally spent on an item? Let me know down below!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey five years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!