Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Why is My Cereal Bossing Me Around?
Mr. Spock says disobedience
would be irrational.
This morning, as I'm preparing my breakfast, I read the back of the cereal box -- as you do. And I realized that there are instructions on how to save money on the back of the box. Now clearly, the producers of the cereal know their audience. This is the Safeway, store-brand version, a poor (wo)man's Grape Nuts called Crunchy Nuggets. Never mind that this cereal's name makes more sense and is a little less suggestive than Grape Nuts, it's still the dollar-or-two-less-a-box brand, and Safeway has a good idea who's buying it.
On the back it reads, "Saving Money Can Be Easy!" and there's a cartoon depiction of a "typical" American family -- Dad, Mom, one boy, one girl, all white. Dad's wearing a shirt and tie; Mom has on some frumpy housefrau dress. The kids are dressed in clothes that could easily have come from the local second-hand shop or Salvation Army or possibly the "ironic" bin at Old Navy -- hard to tell.
And the advice? Genius stuff, really: stock up on regularly purchased items when you find them on sale. Generate a budget and adhere to it. (They use neither "generate" nor "adhere," but I have more faith in my audience than they do in theirs, apparently.) Get a subscription to your local paper -- not so you can be up-to-date on news, don't be silly, white trash doesn't vote -- but rather so you can clip out the coupons for foods that are probably overpriced by at least that $0.65 anyway. Compare prices when shopping! Save money from your paychecks! Keep a "loose change" jar!
There's nothing inherently wrong with any of these ideas. I just found it a little weird to be getting advice on fiscal responsibility from my breakfast cereal.
Posted by Shannon Perry at 10:33 AM