April 14, 2016

Various AND Sundry

Last night, the kids watched "A Doll's House" and then "Scarface".  You can't say their tastes aren't eclectic.

So, THIS happened.  There is now NO denying
that I am middle-aged
(not that I was denying it).

As part of our "watching our pennies", I've been buying the big 2.5lb bags of coffee beans from Costco.  This is great, except that if I'm ordering through Google Express*, they arrive at my house as whole beans, not ground.  With our "classic wedding gift" coffee grinder, circa 1995, this takes forever and makes quite a mess (especially if I'm the one doing it).  I am NOT one to grind my beans every day.  I'm just not.  Andrew and I had been discussing the most efficient method, and he decided that we just needed a bigger coffee grinder.  For only $20, he found this on Craigslist (used).

My New Best Friend
No, it does NOT live on my kitchen counter
It lives in the garage, to be pulled out
when needed.

* I had a "try it for three months for free" promo code, so I signed up for Google Express.

What I love about it:
  • the wide range of stores participating
  • the same-day delivery, even if you order in the afternoon (I'm sure there's a cut-off time, but I have yet to hit it.)
  • being able to "go to Target" or "go to Costco", getting ONLY what's on my list, instead of going, seeing all the other cool stuff, and being tempted to over-buy
  • only having to buy $15 worth of stuff to get free delivery
  • amassing a good-sized collection of paper grocery bags to use when needed in our 4yo - kindergarten kids' class at church
  • not having to sign for delivery, so I don't have to sit at home, waiting for the delivery
What I don't love about it;
  • not being able to buy perishables (I'm sure this is a function of the last item on the above list.)
  • having to buy $15 worth of stuff to get free delivery (When I've needed < $15 of stuff from one store, I may have succumbed once or twice to the temptation to pad the purchase up to $15 just so I could avoid having to go to that store in person.)
Overall, I love Google Express.  I can see how it would be a total godsend for couples who both work.  Why waste your little free time running around when you could get the same stuff for the same price delivered to your door for free?  I don't know that I would pay $10/month for the privilege, but if I were in that position, the $10/month would be worth every penny!

What I'd love to see:
  • some way of being able to buy perishables (Maybe a second tier of membership or something?)
  • having the $15 limit be total combined purchases, not per store (This is probably a pipedream and not practical, but a gal can dream.  Me, I just need to wait until I have $15 worth of stuff to get, and if I REALLY need less than that RIGHT NOW, drag my butt to the store.)
Safeway, do you want to stay competitive as Google Express grows?  Then give me more ways to get free delivery - and no "fuel surcharge"!  The convenience is fabulous, but not enough to add that much to the purchase price.  (I did, however, recently score enough promo codes to save MORE than the cost of delivery & fuel surcharge, so was able to justify placing an order.)


HOW could have I forgotten to mention this?  Big News:  We paid off our debt!  Yupp, we paid off that second mortgage, and we have been consistently zeroing out our credit card.  This is HUGE.  It took basically all of Andrew's bonus and our tax return to get the last bit of it knocked out, but we did it.  We have vowed that (barring unforeseen weird emergencies) this is the last time we will use the bonus and return to pay off debt instead of saving or enjoying them.  Sure, we have other concerns (house needs to be painted, will need to replace the Civic soon, etc.), but this is a giant load off our minds.  Now, to stay on-track....

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