July 22, 2012

My credit card was not stolen, I'm just stocking up for the year

On Thursday, we bought almost everything we need for the year. Living in China, many items are just not available, or if they are, they are five times the cost. For example, brownie mixes are $1.50 USD here in the states but $6.00 USD in China.

We panicked on Thursday morning when we discovered that Corbin had deleted our shopping list from M'Lynn's iPhone. Now I don't know if the 15 minutes of peace and quiet while Corbin played Angry Birds was worth the panic of the deleted list.

During the 1.5 hour drive to “town,” we scrambled to remember everything we had written down on the list over the last six months. I hope we remembered it all.

What "home-town-special-foods" did we purchase on Thursday?
  • Kraft Blue Box Mac & Cheese
  • Dream whip (whipped topping from a packet similar to Cool Whip)
  • Worcestershire Sauce (main ingredient for homemade hamburgers)
  • Sweet pickle relish (fun and simple to have in the fridge)
  • Vanilla flavoring (a must for baking)
  • Yellow mustard
  • Maple extract (to make our own pancake syrup)
  • Caramel sauce (for homemade lattes)
  • Diced Jalapenos (for homemade salsa)
  • Black icing tube (for birthday cake details)
  • Coffee
  • Spices (nutmeg, paprika, seasoned salt, fajita seasoning, taco mix, beef stew mix, Alfredo mix)
  • Pepperoni
  • Chocolate chips
  • Chai drink mix (a splurge that wasn’t on the list)
  • Sprinkles (for sugar cookies)
And then there are hard-to-find/super-expensive-in-China toiletries. M’Lynn stocks up on make-up, face wash, moisturizer, antiperspirant and sunscreen while Jeremy buys enough deodorant and aftershave to last all year. We switched contact solution last year and complicated things further as the new brand is not sold in China.

It was time to re-stock the medicine cabinet, so we purchased NyQuil, children’s Tylenol, cough medicine, ibuprofen, and allergy meds.

Not to mention the year's supply of clothing we purchased for ourselves and the kids. Again, we could buy clothes in China (at least for the kids), but we’d get half the quality for twice the price! So, we stock up on pajamas, shoes, jeans, boots & t-shirts that are not China-fabulous with sparkles and rhinestones.

Our financial account monitoring service is not impressed with our summer buying habits. It has been sending us emails informing us we have several out-of-the-ordinary charges. One year, our credit card company cut us off right in the middle of our shopping spree because they thought someone had stolen our card!

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