Photo courtesy of David Shankbone, whose name totally sounds like a Mafia nickname.
It all started when LO wouldn't take a nap. Normally, I wouldn't particularly care that my child won't nap. The more wakefulness, the merrier! But my child being the stinker that he is, he was refusing to take a nap when he really really needed one. So I was stuck with a pink-eyed, whining screecher who bore some resemblance to my son.
The solution, of course, was to drive to Indianapolis.
LO does fall asleep to the soothing rhythm of a 14 year old car driving at highway speeds for about an hour. Since I didn't want to get all the way to Indy and then turn around and drive back, I decided to make the nap a side-effect of our trip to Trader Joe's. There is no TJ in Lafayette, and I sorely miss the Hawaiian shirts, the inexpensive and (relatively) healthy groceries, and the free samples. So back on a Sunday in December, LO and I took a trip to Trader Joe's to stock up on 3 Buck Chuck, brie, fancy crackers, guacamole, and of course, something chocolatey and delicious. LO got a two hour nap with all the backing and forthing.
The following week, LO was again cranky and again folding his arms and exclaiming that sleep was for suckers, so I strapped him back into the car and headed off for Indy. I didn't really need to go back to Trader Joe's again, but the child really needed a nap.
When he pulled the same trick on the last Sunday in January, J and I decided to make LO's nap a family trip to Trader Joe's.
Since we were just finishing the financial fast for the month, we went a little overboard. Before we got to the checkout, J estimated that we spent at least $200. I countered that it couldn't possibly be more than $160, and we shook hands on a gentlemensch's wager. (Hint: don't bet against the one who does all the family's grocery shopping). Our total came to about $140 or so. In addition to being impressed by my knowledge of grocery prices, J was also really taken by the reasonable prices. "We should do this more often," he said.
There's a slight problem with that plan however. We have to drive two hours round trip to get the cheap groceries, thereby negating their cheapness.
And this is where it helps to have friends. We asked our neighbors if they'd like to do a Trader Joe's exhange. We'd each do the shopping for the other when we go about once every four to six weeks. By splitting the cost of gas that way, we're still getting tasty eats for less (I think!). They took the first shift this past Saturday, and were pleased to note that their baby also took a nap on the way there. We were all happy to eat like kings over the weekend.
The only problem with this plan is if LO continues to forgo his nap. I don't think driving to Trader Joe's once a day will be helpful to anyone's finances.
Well, except for Joe's.