Wednesday should be “grocery ad day”.  The one day of the week when the city paper presses so tightly into it’s plastic sleeve that it seems almost impossible to free.  Sales circulars for every store spilling out into my coffee as I plan for the week to come.

DH starts his mroning with the headlines; at times I’m not sure if it’s the double strength coffee or the vapors from the newsprint that finally pry his eyes open to the day that awaits.

But all that has changed.

Today’s paper is thin.  Food section recipes have been replaced with comics and movie schedules.  The plethora of grocery ads are missing.  Instead, I’ll have to drop by each store individually on my way home from the City to pick up each ad.

Of course, I can bring up the flyers online, later in the week.  Each stores sale starts on a different day of the week, and they won’t be available instore, or online, until the sale starts.  Visiting each web site is not a great way to start my day, either: magnifying glass in hand to read the fine print, neck strained, nose up as I squint through reading glasses I refuse to accept I need.  Printing out lists, making notes on sticky paper and scraps that I might not find again, hoping to remember which savings require coupons to be clipped from the ads and presented at the register.

Priorities.  There aren’t any grocery stores nearby.  So, planning is required to find the ads, too.  I must drop by Safeway, CVS is on the other side of town, ShopRite is in another county all together.  Agh!

Sadly, sales are not the only part of the paper that has gone missing in action.  The entire paper is shrinking, and with it a key point of view.  Multiple sides of critical issues, journalist facts, insider information on political issues, the global economy at a local level.  DH just found a way to decrease our electric rates by 24-50% using an alternate supplier recommended by our paper.

But, this is the reality of our current world.  As much as I love our paper, I need to save money, too.  Reducing paper, recycling, and going green are also important.

So, here’s my new budget plan.  Our newspaper subscription runs $20 – $25 a month for home delivery.  But, for $1.49 a week, I can receive Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday papers, including the weekend insert coupons and whatever ads might still be available.  The savings, $20 or so each month, can be used to purchase additional weekend papers if the coupons are great that week. 

If not, the savings can be used for groceries and emergences.  Emergencies are the one thing that seems to remain in abundant supply right now.

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