Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Our local 'dented can' store and why I should go there more often ..

We happen to live in the town of Aurora, Missouri (pop. 7,478).
We happen to be among the cities 'poor' elite.
We happen to FINALLY understand the meaning of pinching a penny 'til it screams.

Ever since the silly Dutch guy became unemployed in early 2008, we gradually resorted back into the 'poor phase' we had to live with while in Holland many moons ago.  Needless to say, what I thought I learned across the pond certainly didn't prepare me for having to go above and beyond what I was used to during this recession.  Even though I thought I was pretty good at pinching pennies, one of the things I began to realize was how much food and money I was wasting, which is foolish whether rich, middle class or poor:
  • Buying items only to end up throwing them away due to spoilage.
  • Stocking up on certain items thinking I'd find a use for them and then, after 3-4 years, never using them at all and need to throw it away (those cans of coconut milk and the jar of tequila soaked green olives in the jar certainly need to be pitched but, I hold onto them like gold).
  • Bulk up on items since they were on sale or priced cheaply and let them sit on the shelves until the opportunity comes to raid the pantry for items to donate to the postal carriers during 'Stamp Out Hunger'.  I wasn't using it so, why not give it to someone who could REALLY use it
  • Eating out 5 times a week because I was too tired to cook.
  • Not brown bagging lunches for work and using the vending machines for snacks and drinks during breaks.

I'm not the most diligent in frugality by any means but, I'm certainly trying to learn along the way.  It's only a matter of time before I'll feel I've accomplished my ideal of frugality and get back on the 'back to basics' bandwagon.

I was curious about my fellow poor brethren among us here in Aurora so, I began to look things up online.  One of the many things I learned while researching the poor in Aurora is that compared to the Missouri state average, it shows the median household income in Aurora to be below state average.  The breakdown of poor married-couple families by work experience is as shown:

  • Both didn't work (51%)
  • One full-time, other didn't work (16%)
  • Both worked part-time (14%)
  • One part-time, other didn't work (14%)
  • One full-time, other part-time (5%)
  • Both worked full-time (0%)
Wouldn't you know we'd be second on that list.  And even though silly Dutch guy was working at a video store, his hours are now null and void.  Zip.  Nada.  Unfortunately, his employers have filed for bankruptcy at this time.  So, while he's looking around for yet another job, we're back to square one:  I'm, yet again, the only bread winner in the family.


There's a lesson to be learned in all this and now, I'm open to learning something good in this situation instead of getting myself in a depressed funk.  I only like my funk to be musical, not emotional!

So now, after all that .. here is my subject:

B & P Discount Grocery!

B & P is a 'dented can' store which is located on the corner of
W. Olive St. and S. Washington Ave. in beautiful downtown Aurora.

The silly Dutch guy got his first job working here when he arrived in America 4 years ago.  He loved his job but, hours were few and far between so, he sought out greener pastures.  There are days when I wish he was still working here because we got a sweet employee discount.  I love this store because sometimes you can find things you normally wouldn't find in our small town.. In fact, I once found a box of Droste cocoa, Douwe Egberts coffee and a package of speculaas and thought I was in Dutch heaven!

I have a few friends who frequent here and even let me know their finds just in case I want to go and see if there are any left for me to pick up.  I have to refrain lots of times for this is the one place I will go overboard on my 'interesting' finds.  I have to be a good girl, and that's certainly hard for me!

So, on our most recent excursion, we found lots of goodies (it figures) and I found the one thing I've been craving to make at home for some time now .. cupcakes!

Just look at them price labels!
confetti cake mix - .79
can of reduced sugar frosting - .89
baking cups (in tres chic Halloween style) - 50 ct. for .29

This mix made 24 cupcakes for about $1.83 + tax.

Now, I could have made them from scratch but,
for this price, I felt like I deserved to be lazy just this once!

During their Christmas clearance sale, I purchased a
Christmas cupcake baking set at Wal*Mart which offered
3 6ct. aluminum cupcake containers with baking cups included.
Since I have my lovely halloween ones to use,
I'll still have plenty of Christmas cupcake baking cups
around for years to come ..
'cause that's just how often I make cupcakes at
Maninteld Manor.  I'm determined to get them used up though,
you just watch!

I bought these nonpareils at B & P probably
about 5 years ago, still in the package,
still with the safety film intact.
They were .79 when they were purchased ..
and I hardly used any of them during the making
of these fun and fabulous cupcakes.

Oh my gooooodnesssss!
Who cares if the paper cups are halloweenish?
They just get pulled off and thrown away around here,
I'm not impressing anyone important!

Well, perhaps this little fella ..

.. and this sweet faced boy over here ..

So, thank you B & P, for giving me 24 cupcakes of pleasure for under $2 .. you certainly made my day!  I really should be frequenting you more often during these trying times ..

1 comment:

  1. I love Funfetti cupcakes! Those look great! And what great deals you found!
    Thanks for joining in the fun at Cupcake Tuesday!


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