I was just talking to my friend Debbie on the phone and somehow the subject of math came up (long story). I told her that I have a very interesting talent; when grocery shopping, I can mentally keep track of what goes in my shopping cart and, at checkout, come up with a total that is often within $15 of what the cashier tells me I owe, including tax and after subtracting coupons. In fact, on one particularly glorious shopping trip I was within one dollar of the total. (and I’m not talking about $20 shopping trips here; these are on the biggies: $150-$200!)

My “talent” comes from shortly after I got married; he was in the Navy and we were on an extremely fixed budget. I used to, when making my grocery list, pencil in how many of each item I would need and also how much (rounded up to the next dollar) I planned to spend on that item. I totalled it up and, if it was beyond my budget, made adjustments to the list.

Nowadays I don’t have to be quite as careful at the store, but I like acting like a circus sideshow and get extra joy when I have a shopping companion who can marvel at my ability. I no longer jot down how much I plan to spend on each item; it’s all mental now. It’s good math practice, I guess.

One of my favorite shows back in the day was this one.

My friend Dawn and I used to talk all the time about going on that show, because we were Super Shoppers! It’s too bad we never got to; we would have ripped the competition to shreds!