The one about the supermarket stamps …

It’s been a while, and I apologise!  Things have been a bit hectic around here with the start of kindergarten for the girls, some medical issues, a family holiday and well, general laziness. Mostly general laziness.

I’ve talked about shopping here several times.  Mostly here and more recently, here.  And then there’s the dierenkaartjes craze.  (Which in it’s latest incarnation, dinosaur stickers I got totally sucked into because of the current love of dinosaurs here. Still have a huge bag of stickers here that noone else wants.!)

The collecting craze doesn’t only extend to trading cards for kids here.  Occasionally there’s deals where you can collect stamps for a free dinner, or a 2 for one day trip, or the one that I’m here to talk about today – plastic storage containers.  That’s right, I got sucked into the world of spaarzegels hard.

It’s not like I didn’t need them. Our IKEA ‘tupperware’ was ok, but it didn’t really do the job properly.  And when your supermarket is offering you super awesome quality containers for only 99 cents, (with a completed stamp sheet!), it seems like a bargain.

I diligently saved and filled sheets with stamps.  10 stamps to a sheet, and 1 stamp for every 10 euros spent.  I filled 12.  I researched and compiled a list of the containers I wanted, and then one morning, I dropped the kids at kindy and went to trade my stamps in for my prizes.

Of course, my path to the prize was obstructed by shopping carts and people squeezing fruit, chatting to their neighbours and a favourite Dutch pastime – just standing in the way.  I ducked, weaved, elbowed and pushed my way over to the display – only to find it obstructed by 2 older ladies having a conversation.

Undeterred, I skillfully started selecting my goodies around them. I should add that by this time the stand was almost empty, and the containers I wanted were already in short supply.  The women noticed what I was doing, and between themselves were already panicking, because that woman was taking everything.  Still, I managed to get almost everything (only one container was short) and with my full  basket, and amidst a lot of tut-tuts and dirty looks, I made my way to the register.

Here was where I proudly unloaded my 11 new pieces of kitchen storage containers, and checked and double checked my vouchers. For once, I was the person holding up the line!  The grand total? 18.88, and that included the awesome vacuum pump thing that was supposed to make your food last longer!  Amazing!

Suddenly the realisation hit me. It hadn’t cost only 18.88 for my goodies.

1 stamp per 10 euros.

10 stamps per sheet = 100 euros

12 sheets = 1200

extra outlay? 18.88.

1288.88 for storage containers? Should have stuck with IKEA.