(Sunday Paper, Volume II, Issue 8)
A few years ago my wife went kind of coupon crazy.
She started reading these websites about people who used so many coupons the grocery store ended up paying them to buy stuff.
(Not really, I don't think. But it was close.)
I didn't really get it.
But then I was the one responsible for the weekly grocery shop.
Now I get it.
I hope you're sticking with me here, because I think this is a lot more interesting than it sounds.
I've become a coupon cutter. (Wait wait wait! I promise it's interesting! You might even learn something.)
And I love getting the supermarket circular in the mail. (Oh man. I know how this sounds. but I promise it'll be good.)
And sometimes when you combine the coupons with the deals the supermarket is already having, you can really save some money.
To wit: as you can see in the picture above, from the receipt and the supermarket circular, soup was marked down to 99 cents. I had another coupon that was $1.00 off 4 soups or more. So basically it was 4 soups for $3.00.
Here's a fact: a family of five goes through a lot of toilet paper. And there was a big sale on toilet paper last week. So I bought a couple of packs when I went to the store last week (I also had a coupon!), then a couple more when I had to stop in to pick up something for dinner on Tuesday, and then when Kathy had to pick something up for dinner before the weekly sale was over I told her to get two more packs.
Basically we're swimming in soup and toilet paper in this house right now.
But it's worth it. I've discovered the value in stocking up on stuff we'll eventually buy when there are sales.
One of my favorite things about going to the store I go to is at the bottom of the receipt they tally your savings. Last week I saved $50.83 on a bill that totaled $116.44 - that, I think, is the best I've ever done.
Another one of my favorite things about this store is they'll have a 5 for $25 deal on meat - if you buy at least 5 packages of meat all of the meat you buy is $5 each...which adds up to some savings. So we usually stock up those weeks.
And I'm sure I can do better. There are three supermarkets within approximate equal distance from me. They have different types of sales at different times. I have yet to cross-reference their sales and shop between the three stores to find the cheapest weekly grocery shop/stock-up in any given week.
More room for improvement: I know I spend way too much money on bread each week so I need to fix that.
And I'm struggling to find a day to consistently do my shopping. It used to be on Thursdays when my youngest was home because I wouldn't get much work done that day anyway, but now it fluctuates.
This week I went shopping on Saturday. And it was a weird mail week - our circular didn't come in the mail.
But as I went through the aisles I looked for the markdowns.
And I was prepared for any extra discounts I could finagle.
After all, I had my coupons with me.
*Friday is the deadline for the project I've spent the last two weeks on. The magazine I write for is putting out a special presidents issue (I think) and I've been writing little bios of 36 different presidents. It's a great assignment because part of my curriculum when I was teaching involved the students writing research papers about a president so I have a lot of background knowledge to use.
But I'm definitely running up against the deadline with the kids home this week...and that's been dominating my writing schedule for the past two weeks. But it's a great assignment.
*Because of the snow last week canceling a lot of comedy plans it had been a while since I'd gotten up on stage. So I was raring to get back up this week and it was great. Thursday night's show was fun with a lot of good comedians who I enjoyed seeing, and I shook off the rust. Then Friday night at the Hideout was unbelievably good. The crowd was great, I spent time with some great people, it was fun. The Hideout has comedy every Friday and Sunday at 8pm and they just added a 10pm Friday show too. It's a great spot.
*This week should be great - Monday night I'm at a theater in Lowell that's tucked away but is a great secret comedy space, and then Friday I'm on a fundraiser show at another great comedy stage at the British Beer Company in Walpole. I'm looking forward to those shows. Details are in the 'Comedy Shows' link at the top of the page, with more dates constantly being added.
What I've Been Enjoying
*This week I'm going to shout out the Boston comedy scene in general. I told you that in 2017 I'm trying to get out to more of the shows that I'm not performing on, and that can be overwhelming for me if I don't plan it out right. And the reason is there are so many options. Every night of the week there's something happening that's worth going to, and I need to pick one and commit to it so I don't waffle and end up becoming paralyzed by indecision and doing nothing. (I can't be the only person this happens to, can I?)
Some new shows - one monthly, one every other week - debuted last week, and there's always a new one popping up - I'll try to keep you informed about them as often as I can.
Anyway, this week kind of exemplified what's so great about this scene: Louis CK was at the Wang Theater all week, and on Tuesday night after his show he dropped in on the late show at McGreevy's (I've told you about that show before) on Boylston Street, and then on Wednesday he dropped by the comedy show at The Burren (a room I don't go to nearly enough) in Somerville. It is a credit to the people who work so hard to create these comedy spaces that someone as high-profile as Louis can drop in on an already-excellent show...and when people come out to see a show because they know he was there and where he won't likely be back to again anytime soon, they'll still see a great show.
Another high-profile name is coming to a cool venue next month - Robert Kelly will be doing a benefit show in Marlboro on March 18. Great comedians on that show - it's definitely going to be a good time. Check it out if you're able, and help a good cause.
*Do you have any grocery store deals you're super-proud of? Share your success stories either at the bottom of this post or in the comments on the Facebook page - I love getting the feedback we've been getting the past couple of weeks. Let's keep that up.
*I'm not sure why but it seems like the Facebook posts go in waves where no one sees my posts and then everyone sees them...we're riding a good wave right now, so hopefully you're seeing this one. (Holiday weekends tend to be dicey too.) Well, hopefully you see it and can weigh in. And if you came to the post from somewhere other than Facebook, please go Like the John Sucich page!
*Some of you may know this either through Instagram Stories or from seeing me in real life: I shaved the beard this week. It's nice to have my face back, and some people don't even really notice because it's kind of my default setting. But it's back to a full face shave once in a while, which was nice not having to worry about for two-plus months. The nice thing about having such a full beard for so long though is that I don't have to shave all that often for now - people are used to seeing me with something on my face, so a little stubble doesn't look all that terrible.
*The crazy thing about being so busy with the writing work this week is that I don't spend down time obsessing over how the comedy shows will go, so this week's shows kind of snuck up on me. Does that contribute to how good they were? I don't know. But I did do my share of obsessing: Friday night's show in downtown Boston provided plenty of anxiety about where I would park and how early I should leave to secure a spot. (I managed to find a spot within a mile of the venue.)
*Guys. I've been thinking about this snow melting thing a lot. I love that there was measurable snow from the two recent storms, and now I get to watch it melt away. There's something about the progress to track from the snow melting that is very satisfying to me. This one especially - there hasn't been rain to worry about weighing down the snow on the roof and it's been a steady melt-away...I like it.
*I'm hoping to get some Sunday Paper guest writers in this year. I'd like my brother to be the first, but my people are working with his people on just exactly when that can happen. You'll hear from my wife at some point, some friends, maybe even my kids...and definitely from some of the folks in the Boston comedy scene. I'm excited about getting some different voices into the Sunday Paper format.