Spend one day at a big amusement park or Major League Baseball game or anyplace they have you “captured” and you will appreciate the art of savvy shopping.
I love roller coasters and baseball as much as anyone, but paying five or six dollars for a soda or three dollars for some water will jump on you like a tick on a fat dog really quick.
My family and I are on vacation in sunny Florida and having a wonderful time, but the costs add up quickly when you are trying to feed five. It seems like I could be feeding 50 for what some of these places charge. I understand. As a matter of fact, I probably am feeding 50 – so I guess that is good.
In an effort to feel better about my situation, I decided to feed my family from the local “dollar store” one morning while we were on vacation for my youngest children’s spring break. Opportunities like this are viewed as a game (to me). The rest of my family usually just rolls their eyes.
Hopefully most folks have heard about Jesus feeding 5,000 folks and still having leftovers with a couple of fish and five loaves of bread. I’m not saying that I am as good as Jesus, I don’t even come close.
However, I did do pretty well one morning for breakfast.
The eggs and frozen potatoes were real, the bacon was turkey bacon and the loaf of bread was wheat, rather than the pita bread Jesus probably passed out.
The way I figured it, the eggs were around 12 cents, the bacon was about 11 cents a slice, the potatoes were close to 12 cents per serving and the bread was a little less than a nickel a slice.
Based on what my family ate, I was feeding them for about 50 cents apiece. My son probably cost me a dollar.
The important thing was that I was feeding my entire family breakfast for less than the cost of a cold soda water at the Universal Studios theme park in Orlando.
It was miraculous, not as much as Jesus and the fish, but it was still a significant accomplishment for a nerdy math guy who embarrasses his family by wearing a fanny pack to theme parks.
Just to worry my children, I started figuring out how many meals I could get out of the price of admission to one of these theme parks or a Major League baseball game. They just scratch their heads and roll their eyes, but in the end I hope they remember the lessons.
So many folks these days seem to have a hard time understanding how much things cost or should cost. They also seem to have a hard time understanding who should pay for everything. I’m a firm believer in helping folks, but I’m also a firm believer in paying for what I “have to have.”
As any parent will tell you, children and even a lot of adults have a hard time understanding the difference between things we need and things we want.
The dollar store is a great place to teach children about these types of situations and also teach them a little math. You never get too old for a little math.
I’m not saying that everyone should shop at the dollar store, or carry their coupon notebooks or take advantage of the senior citizen discounts – but if you do, that is just fine by me.
I’m not old enough to take advantage of the senior citizen discounts yet, but when I am – I will.
I will leave you with a little dollar store math based on the Orlando dollar store where I shopped. A six dollar soda water (Coke, etc.) from the theme park is equal to 48 eggs, 54 slices of turkey bacon, 120 plus slices of wheat bread or 6 bags of frozen tater tot things.
Not miraculous, but not too bad…
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