Monday, November 19, 2012


Last Wednesday was the monthly visit to Mankato for my sister and I.  We live an hour and an half from the closest “cheap” stores.  Mankato and Marshall have Walmart and great grocery stores, but only Mankato has a Sam's Club.  And it’s got a great pet store.  Our closest stores are: fifteen minutes to a so-so-price store and half an hour to a little-bit-better store.

So once a month, I drive over to pick Candy up and then she drives my van.  (She’s the youngest ... I get to be pampered! ... Well, actually, she likes to drive and I drive if I have to.)  It’s a day out without the boys telling us where to go and what to buy.  It’s a chance to have a fun lunch and look at things we would buy if we ever win the lottery.

It’s a chance to catch up on happenings around our homes and with what is happening with our hubbys.  Not that we don’t talk or see each other more than that once-a-month outing but we don’t tend to talk DEEP thoughts at other times.  Three hours in a car (round trip) gives us a chance to do so.

We always stop at Lake Crystal (a little more than half way) to get something to drink and a doughnut and, sometimes, gas for the van.

The schedule is almost always the same .... small store shopping, lunch, grocery store, Sam’s, Walmart, home.  This time we went to Cubs, which had been my grocery store of choice when I lived in the Cities.  However, this Cub was a disappointment this time ... we get fresh veggies and fruit and deli meats and meat at either Cub or Hy-Vee.  The meat department was a total loss.  I wanted sliced ham for lunch meat and all they had was “processed” ham - no “real” ham unless you bought a ham with bone.   So next time we will go to Hy-Vee and see if they are better.

Lunch is a fun time.  We have so many choices for eating.  Sometimes we splurge and go to Olive Garden; once we went to Old Country Buffet for their lunch special, but never again.  Even though you are limited as to WHAT you get, you are not limited to HOW MUCH you can get and we both suffered greatly afterwards ... it’s so hard to say “enough!” there.  There is a Panera’s, a Culvers, Godfather’s Pizza, Pizza Ranch, Arbees, Taco John’s.  All kinds of choices!  In our little neck of the woods, there is McDonalds and Hardees and one Happy Chef.  So we find a fun place and sit and relax, have good food and talk some more before heading out for the rest of the day.

Sam’s is great because we can get things in bulk and (most of the time) it’s cheaper than anywhere else.  But you do have to watch prices because sometimes they sneak something in that is cheaper elsewhere.

Walmart is not our favorite place to shop.  I don’t like the attitude of the owners towards their employees, I don’t like that you can’t get “other” stuff.  In fact, Mankato’s Walmart has dropped their greeter; no longer is there a retired or handicapped employee at the door to show you where things are, put carts away, etc.  They put one or two brands on the shelf and there is very little choice.  Mankato has re-arranged the store and it doesn’t make sense.  Candy comes out of the Walmart in a bad mood every time, because it’s so hard to find things or there is nothing on the shelf.  We go there, mostly, because the dog and cat food is cheaper there.  We do not get many meats, no fresh vegetables or fruits.  And we do read labels so we only get American made products.

Then it’s time to head home.  I get two big York peppermint patties for energy for the way home and to thank Candy for driving, we usually grab a water each and then take off.  Wayne meets Candy at the door and we get her unloaded.  Norm is usually home before I am so he meets me and helps me unload.

Once in a while, Norm or Wayne want us to stop at Menards to get something but unless it’s an emergency, we refuse.  The van is so packed with STUFF that we normally don’t have room for any extraneous stuff!

Then it’s store-bought pizza for supper and we’re done for another month.  A fun, busy day.  I wouldn’t change the shopping time with my sister for the world!

A light day of shopping!  Usually it's twice as much or more.  Notice the dusty van!  Gravel roads will do that to a car.

It’s a beautiful fall / spring day here today.  You have a beautiful day.

1 comment:

Mary Ann said...

What a wonderful post! You are so lucky to have your sister to shop with, and the trip sounds like fun!