Not a very exclusive club. But why wouldn’t everybody have a club card to a market? The difference in price is amazing and I can’t believe that people wouldn’t automatically use a card, rather than pay $6.99 for a bag of flour or a box of cereal. With the card, these items are $3.99. And if you buy two, often less.

I guess the market can keep track of your purchases, but who cares? If Big Brother is watching me at the market, it really doesn’t bother me at all.

I just got back from marketing at our new super Safeway. It is so huge, you really have to allow a good hour and half to go marketing. Plus the aisles are crooked, so just when you think you have come to the end of that particular aisle, it jogs and becomes another one.

I was tempted to go today, as I had a $25 coupon good off of a $100 purchase. It is not too difficult to spend $100 at the market these days, especially if you want to stock up on staples like oil, flour and toilet paper.

It is a Tuesday and evidently that is not a very busy day to go to the market. I will have to remember that. I could stroll up and down the aisles almost alone and there were no lines at the checkout at all.

The other great thing about marketing on a Tuesday morning, is that there are no children in the store. Mostly seniors and very few of these.

Lately I have been doing a lot of my marketing at Costco. It is really nice not to be smashing into another cart, or waiting in line behind a person buying $300 of cereal, milk and snacks.

Also, Costco does not label their aisles with the product types. I don’t know the reasoning behind this, but I guess it is so you will go up and down every single aisle looking for the three things you really want.

Plus whenever I go to Costco, I have to go to a regular market too, as they don’t carry everything I want. For example, they don’t have brown sugar. Or anything smaller than a gallon of milk. Or five pounds of cheese.

It is also refreshing to have someone put all the items in little bags and not to feel like a criminal when leaving the store and having to have your receipt checked.

I am amazed at the variety of products and the selection available. I remember when living in Hawaii was like a third world country. There were so many things we couldn’t get in the markets.

Now there is an entire kosher section, a Mexican aisle, and a full bakery. When Safeway first came to Hawaii in 1972, it was a big deal. Up until then there had been no national chains.

I remember their opening ad. It was a full page with photo of a basket of strawberries. Twenty five cents a basket. Hoards of women flocked to the store. The lines were snaking around.

Today strawberries were on special at Driscoll’s two pound carton for $6. And now with hydroponic growing, you can get good strawberries in February and March, and not have to wait until July.

It was also the first time meat had been packaged and labeled, rather than dealing with a butcher. Even my children enjoyed rummaging through the steaks, to find just the perfect one.

Now, I get a cheap thrill looking at my receipt when I have checked out. It is a game with me. First I try to estimate the amount of my purchase and see how close I can get to the actual total. Then I always enjoy reading about my ‘savings’.

Today my total was $131. But my savings were $78 or 39%. Wow!