The main grocery store here in Austin is H-E-B. It's a pretty good store. My favorite is still Winco in Portland, but H-E-B is definitely better than HyVee (sorry Minnesotans).
One cool thing about H-E-B are the "Buddy Bucks", when you go to check out they hand your kid a wad of Buddy Bucks that they they put in a machine (one of those ones with a claw to retrieve a toy, etc.) where they can fish around until they get a little plastic container with a sticker in it. Gwen loves it. I always thought it was weird that the stickers had numbers on them instead of pictures or whatever, in fact one time we got one that said Bonus on it and had a 20, normally they only are 1-5. Keep this in mind. . . .
The other day I received my first HEB dollars in the mail. Think of it kind of like the Smith's Fresh Values Card, except you don't get special deals, you accrue points for every dollar spent, etc. and every quarter your points are exchanged for gift certificates to H-E-B. They only do this at one of the H-E-B Stores in town (technically it is called H-E-B Plus!). Luckily it is close to our house, but going there is like going to Disneyland. I have never parked less than about a mile away (or it least it feels that way) and you have to meander through the whole stinkin store, which is enormous. So it is kind of a pain, but free money? I'm all over it. Just last quarter I earned $6 H-E-B bucks. It was great.
My dear friend "R" did not know what I was talking about when I mentioned my $6. I thought this was weird since she is a dedicated H-E-B shopper. In fact I laughed at her. I was not nice.
So as it turns out, the joke was really on me.
At my baby shower, my other friend "G" was mentioning that she cashed in her "Buddy Points" for a box of animal crackers. I assumed she meant her HEB bucks, but it didn't make sense because she said it cost 30 Buddy points (even the best animal crackers are not worth $30). So apparently the little stickers that Gwen wins from the Buddy Buck machine and later proudly displays all over her clothes until we throw them away, are really Buddy Points, that can be saved and redeemed for all sorts of good stuff, who knew???
So yesterday I go to H-E-B and find the little pamphlet where you collect the stickers and buddy points. We used Gwen's Buddy Bucks and were able to retrieve about 11 Buddy Points, I put them in the pamphlet. Gwen freaks and starts crying "You took my stickers and wouldn't give them to me??" the tears well up in her eyes, "WHY? Why did you take my stickers????" I want my 5". And so on until I had to rip the stickers out of the pamphlet and stick them on her shirt.
What I have decided is that I will fork out the $1.06 for animal crackers and let Gwen keep her stickers. Ignorance was bliss :).
Four more days, at the most. . .