Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shopping for Free

Wow, what a day.

I was up at the usual time, but I didn’t sit around in my recliner sipping coffee for very long.  We had a busy day planned, but before that got started I wanted to bake a loaf of banana bread for our neighbor.  When we pulled in here yesterday, the couple in the rig next door came over with about 5 lbs of frozen Tyson chicken wings.  I’m not real clear on how they came about these wings, but it had to do with parking next to a Tyson delivery truck at one of the local groceries.  Apparently, the driver was handing out packages of wings; our neighbors got about 15 lbs and gave us 5 lbs.  These neighbors are really strangers to us, although we were parked next to them last Thursday at Chattanooga South KOA.  Anyway, we remembered each other and they came over with the chicken.  It was frozen and has a sell date of April 3. I think it is fine.  What I was getting at is I wanted to bake them a loaf of banana bread for their travel day today.

After we got the bread delivered, we headed into town.  Our first stop was Starbucks.  We hadn’t been to Starbucks in a while and had a gift card burning a hole in our pocket.  We each had coffee and we shared a blueberry scone.  The coffee was good and the scone was excellent and the whole thing was free, thanks to Ben and Amber who gave us the gift card.

We walked across the parking lot to one of my favorite stores--REI.  REI is a co-op and we have been members for years.  Members get a small dividend on each purchase we make.  Since we have accumulated some of almost all the hiking gear on the market, we don’t spend much at REI any more.  However, our credit card is REI and, like cards offering air miles, we get a small dividend on each credit charge we make.  We use this card almost exclusively for gas, food, and campgrounds so our dividend at the end of each year is substantial.  Today we came out of the store with underwear and liner socks for Gene, a pair of zip-off hiking pants, a small shoulder bag, and new balance tennis shoes for me--all for free.  This is my kind of shopping.

While in REI, we had a lengthy conversation with one of the employees who is also in our hiking club.  It was good to see Sue.  Our good hiking buddy, Herb, picked us up and whisked us away to lunch.  He bought lunch.  That was a nice treat.  Thanks, Herb.

After he dropped us off back at our truck, we went over to my folks for the rest of the afternoon.  Of course, we stayed for dinner.  With the smells of roast in the crock pot and the sight of banana pudding on the counter, who could resist?

What a great day.  However, after more than 12 hours, we were glad to get home.  Peanut was glad to see us, too.  He had been wondering who was going to feed him.

Tomorrow, I’ll be sitting in my recliner sipping my coffee.

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