Weis vs Giant – A quick price comparison

I have begun a new money-saving project inspired by a tip I read on the Couponing to Disney website.  It suggested keeping track of the price of grocery items at various stores, so you know what is a good deal and which stores have the best everyday prices.  I’m not quite motivated enough to track every item I buy, so I’ve stuck to the ones that I buy most frequently.  I will possibly write a more extensive post on this at a later time (I’m also considering starting a separate blog that will be strictly geared to money related topics… feel free to comment/give feedback on that idea!). 

For now though I’d like to post my recent cost findings on some items purchased at Giant within the past month compared to Weis this past weekend.  Each of these items was listed at regular price.

Store brand gallon water –   Giant = 85 cents   Weis = 99 cents

Turkey Hill half gallon lemonade –  Giant = $1.65   Weis = $2.19

Yoplait yogurt 6 oz cup –  Giant = 60 cents  Weis = 75 cents

Bananas –  Giant = 49 cents per pound  Weis = 59 cents per pound

Tuna kit –  Giant = $2.49  Weis = $2.49

Prego spaghetti sauce –  Giant = $1.99  Weis = $2.19

I could’ve saved $1.13 buying these items at Giant instead of Weis.  That doesn’t sound like much initially but given I bought multiple of some of the items and I buy most of the items on a near weekly basis, that can certainly add up over the course of a year.  I’m sure there are items out there that Weis has better prices on than Giant mostly if they have a sale, but I’m posting as proof that Weis is expensive overall.  I worked there a little over 4 years and always thought that the prices seemed high, but now I have proof.  Needless to say even if I’m in the area (as I was on Sat.) I don’t believe I’ll be shopping at Weis again.

One last note – Giant’s gas rewards program is so much better than Weis.  You accumulate points regardless of the dollar amount you spend which adds up to saving money at the pump a lot faster.  In 3 visits to Giant I had earned 90 cents off each gallon of gas.  At Weis you only earn 10 cents off each gallon for every $50 you spend, and points don’t accumulate, they must be earned in one transaction.  My visit there earned me 20 cents off; I earn roughly 30 cents off each trip to Giant and I’m not spending near as much money on groceries to do so.  Just something to consider the next time you’re deciding where to shop.

Debt Ceiling/Obamacare

Debt Ceiling/Obamacare

For the life of me I really don’t understand how or why Congress is allowed to draft legislation that has multiple things linked to it.  It makes absolutely no sense to me why when they are to be looking at the budget and working to raise the debt ceiling are they allowed to involve Obamacare.  I understand that Obamacare is related to funding from the budget, but the main issue is just raising the debt ceiling so that the US can pay its bills (as if we’d ever pay them all and get out of debt anyway).  Pass the legislation to raise the debt ceiling already and then if you want to continue to fight about Obamacare go for it.  I see as senseless given it’s already been deemed constitutional, attempts to overturn it have been defeated multiple times and even if legislation to defund it would pass Congress, Obama is not going to approve his own creation!

With that said, I still have yet to figure out why so many people are against Obamacare in general.  I’m not sure if it’s because they’re anti-Obama, if they’re just going by what the media tells them it’s about and not looking into it themselves, of if they genuinely think it’s a bad idea.  Personally I have found it to be a benefit.  I no longer pay for birth control pills (mind you at most I paid $25 a month anyway) which I have said all along should be covered.  If the government’s willing to pay for a woman to have a kid she can’t afford by creating welfare programs, then I think they can handle paying for those of us who are looking to prevent it.  It’s definitely more cost effective.  Obamacare also allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26.  While some may argue this is “babying” them, I wish it had gone into effect sooner so that when I graduated college I had the option.  Instead, given that I didn’t land a full time job for 2 years I had to pay for my own health insurance which ran me about $60 a month.  It would’ve been much cheaper and I would’ve had better insurance had I been able to stay on my dad’s plan.  Another thing Obamacare has done is eliminate insurance companies’ ability to deny people coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions.  When I applied for my own insurance after college I had to answer questions proving I had no current medical issues and if it was found later that I had and lied about it, my insurance would be voided.  This to me was just plain wrong.  Conditions developed that people have no control over hould not result in them being denied coverage.

With all of that said, if anyone can explain to me why Congress is allowed to lump various issues together in the same legislation (which does nothing but cause stalemates resulting in less progress) please enlighten me.  Also, if you’re against Obamacare please share your reasoning behind it.

Perception of Time

There is always 24 hours in a day.  Why is it then that so many different factors can cause us to feel as if we have more or less than those 24 hours? 

A friend of mine in high school who was very into and good at science once tried to explain to me how time can literally speed up or slow down.  It had something to do with the shape of the universe and space bending.  Something strange and far beyond my brain’s ability to comprehend.

I raise the question as fall approaches causing the sun to set earlier and also from the fact that my work schedule has now become 9:30-6 after enjoying a wonderful summer of training on a schedule of 8:30-5.  I now feel as though I have less time than I did a few weeks ago.  My evenings now feel shorter and more rushed to try to get in cleaning, cooking dinner, a shower and time to relax.  Some might say well you can stay up later and sleep in later with a change in your work schedule.  Psychologically to me though it doesn’t work that way.  I had a set routine all summer of what I did at what time and now that it’s been disrupted I must adjust and create a new schedule. 

I think most people would agree that most often we have less than 24 hours in a day when we have a lot to accomplish that day.  When I think back to my one semester in college I literally don’t know how I fit in everything I did.  I went to classes, then went to the high school to coach, then went to work.  When exactly I ate and did homework (which I definitely did my homework, too much of a “good girl” not to!) and showered is beyond me.  Some days I’d drive into college for class, drive home to coach, and drive back in for a night class.  It’s a good thing gas prices weren’t what they are now or I would’ve been broke.

A day off from work also seems to feel as if 24 hours pass differently than when are at work.  Many people say vacation goes by too quickly, but for me it usually seems to slow down to be the right amount of time to really enjoy things.  If you’re off due to sickness though that can make a day feel extremely long as misery sets in and you want nothing more than to feel better.  I’m sure anyone who has dealt with sick kids would also say time seems to slow down even more.

Whether the perception of time is influenced by changes in the universe or if it merely is our psychological interpretation, I think I can speak for most when I say I really wish there were more than 24 hours in a day.

Self Censorship

Censorship is often addressed in media outlets… books, TV shows, music.  Various viewpoints have to be considered as to not offend any particular groups or risk backlash.  How often though is the idea of self censorship looked at?

How often do we bite our tongues for risk of offending someone?  How often do we not express deeper emotion for fear of rejection?  How often do we keep our opinions to ourselves for worry of ridicule if we differ too far from the mainstream in our thinking?

Many times we want to speak up or speak out against injustices whether they are personal or much larger.  Too often our words are never spoken though.  I know I am extremely guilty of this.  My sensitiveness and lack of confidence in confrontation makes me often keep my thoughts to myself.  The few times I have attempted to speak up has normally resulted in my words falling on deaf ears, a mere response to humor me, or an unintended escalation that left me upset and wishing I had kept quiet. 

There are many people who are stronger than me in this area.  Those who can stand up for what they believe in regardless if they’re deemed wrong.  How often does our society strongly judge these type of people though? We call them “loud mouths”, “troublemakers”, “crazies” or “conspirators.”  Anyone who speaks against the norm we tend to disassociate with even if we may agree with what is being said.  We think of ourselves, our jobs, our families.  We can’t risk losing anything that we’ve worked so hard to gain.  I fall into the category myself.  I do wish I had the confidence, the boldness and willingness to take a risk that some others do though.  To those people I give props for being able to overcome their self censorship.

A Runner’s Itch

Tonight I completed my last run before my half marathon on Sun.  Although it was only about 3 miles, it was one of the most mentally tedious runs I’ve ever completed. 

I have never completed tapering (the process of scaling back mileage prior to a race to allow the body to fully recover) on my own.  In high school my coaches designed the workouts, so I just did as they said.  Mind you in track I often had to be told more than once to stop doing run-throughs of hurdles the day before a meet, but either way someone else was forcing me to stop training.

Tonight I had to force myself to stop.  At least 3 times I contemplated making my run longer or faster.  All I kept thinking was “This feels like an itch I can’t scratch.”  While I could have made the run as long or as fast as I wanted, I had to keep the higher interest in mind.  I just kept repeating “Save it for Sunday, save it for Sunday.” 

I truly believe now that tapering is as equal in mental preparation as it is physical recovery.  It makes you want to run even more.  It’s like denying yourself dessert all week just to indulge in something decadent on the weekend; it makes it taste even better.  I have never been as mentally psyched about competing in a race since I qualified for districts in track my senior year of high school.  I have never prepared as hard for something either.  To think at the start of the summer I wasn’t even sure I could train because my knee kept acting up makes it even more gratifying that I’ve logged so many miles. 

When I line up with those other runners on Sun. morning I know that I will be ready, both physically and mentally.  It has been a great summer of training and now it’s time to reap the self-satisfying reward.