Monday, January 16, 2017

Let's Do Lunch--Got Three Dollars?

It's mid-January, and much of the annual bad economic news for retired geezers is in. The meager cost-of-living increase in my annuity and social security payments was eliminated by increases in medical insurance premiums. Gasoline prices and our annual auto registration fee soared, courtesy of hefty tax increases imposed by our Michigan legislature. Property taxes also increased. Yes, state and my local governments are under complete Republican control. Those are the same guys who preach, when running for election, that they will spare no effort to cut taxes.

Lesser items not subject to political control also increased in cost, or are projected to do so. What's a poor retiree to do? Of course, it's the American way to combat bad news by ingesting a heavy dose of comfort food. That's just what I did, although to feel completely comforted I had to hold the cost to a minimum to blunt effects of the rising costs of just about everything else.

Aided by some advance actions, my net cost was $3.18 (including sales tax) for a very satisfying (and
What made America fat--hard to resist at any price.
quite unhealthy) midday meal at the local Burger King. The lunch featured a Whopper sandwich (regularly priced at $4.48), french fries, and a good-sized coffee blended to my specification.

Normally, that meal would have cost nearly $7.00. How did I get it below half price? First, I spent about five minutes filling out an online customer satisfaction survey after a previous visit to Burger King. That got me a coupon for a free Whopper. Then I used a gift card bought online at a 13 percent discount to pay my tab. Next month, I'll knock another 1 percent off the meal cost because I paid for the low-cost gift card with a credit card for which I always get at least 1 percent off all purchases by paying my balance every month.

I had to visit a store right next to Burger King for a necessary purchase, so no transportation costs were involved in getting to my comfort luncheon. And, on the way out I picked up a free copy of the local weekly newspaper, courtesy of Burger King. It costs 75 cents at the supermarket next door. So we might say my net luncheon cost really was less than $2.50. But that's a bit of a stretch, so let's stick with $3.18.

Don't worry, I'm not going to reduce my life span by changing to a diet dominated by burgers and fries, even at three bucks a meal and no matter how tasty the comfort food is. I'll keep my healthy standard items on the menu--tuna or chicken chef salads. Now where can I find discounted gift cards for tuna and chicken? 

8 comments:

Rummuser said...

Lucky you!

PiedType said...

Hard to beat a good burger and fries. But I find it increasingly difficult to get a really good one. I like a really fat, juicy diner style burger, and not cooked to death like the govt now requires. Missing the old onion burgers from Okla. City. There'd been a rumor that In-and-Out burgers were coming to Denver, and everyone raves about them. But last night the news reported it was just a rumor; they aren't coming. Perfect start to a week to be filled with bad news ...

Jhawk23 said...

Good show! It's amazing what discounts can be had in our society, especially by seniors, with just a bit of effort.

Dick Klade said...

JHawk: It's also fun spending a little time ferreting out big bargains. The only folks who seem to have problems are those who buy stuff they really don't want or need because the price is right.

Alan G said...

I don't eat out at all anymore so admittedly any coupons I run across end up in the recycle bin. Too bad you don't live closer.

I shop at Kroger (don't know if you have one of those there) and because I use one of their saver cards I often receive great coupon deals in the mail since they can monitor your purchases via your saver card. That's about the extent of my "good deal" life...

Joared said...

Congrats on your bargain coup! I, too, occasionally venture into the fast food arena. Usually I get a McDonald's fish sandwich with shredded lettuce & tomato, telling myself that's part of having fish regularly. Then, another time, I really slip the traces, heading into In 'N Out but usually restrict myself to a simple cheeseburger. Rarely I come across any coupons or discounts fo them. Our Burger King closed. Months later Starbucks remodeled and opened -- hardly a place for bargain anything. So many coupons I see for various other places specify full price with half off for a second person plus each must purchase beverages -- aren't really designed for singles. Some of us do like to spontaneously go out on our own as the spirit moves us to not cook, or create a bite at home, and would welcome a little discount.

Kay said...

We try to eat healthy too, but yes... it's true. We do indulge every so often and surprised at how cheap fast food can be. No wonder America is becoming obese.

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

Salads...the necessity of life. I can take the tuna on crackers, but hold the salad, please. Yes, the CPI is a joke these days and with the tightwads in office who don't seem to understand that every dollar the send to seniors is pumped back out into the economy, making a great economic stimulus, we seem to have no immediate relief.