Here in the Valley of the Old People Sun, most of the grocery stores offer seniors a 10 percent discount on the first Wednesday of every month. For your edification, understand that the definition of “old people” is one day older than me, and it’s moving target. Ha. Actually, I think it’s +55, but I’m not sure since I’ve been +55 for quite some time and lose concentration easily.

Anyway, the seniors here take that day quite seriously. They line up to receive their 10 percent discount, having already determined which grocery store has Manwich on sale. I don’t really blame them with the cost of groceries these days. For my part, however, I pay no attention to what day of the week or month I’m shopping. As such, through my indifference, or simply through bad luck, I occasionally inadvertently stumble into a grocery store on the first Wednesday of the month. I should never be as surprised as I always am. I mean, you can’t miss the senior citizens’ buses in the parking lot.

Yesterday was one of those days. Surprisingly, the store where I chose to shop was not noticeably busier than usual. I did notice that I was nearly run down by a few shoppers, but that happens no matter what day of the week or month it is.

In fact, it wasn’t until I was at the cashier line that I realized what day of the month it was. I nearly always go through self-check, but chose to go to a live cashier (it seemed faster than going to a dead cashier) because among my purchases was a bottle of Tanqueray gin. Sometimes buying alcohol can get complicated at self-check if the person monitoring the area is distracted or disinterested in this particular job. The woman in line ahead of me had a cart full of items. Still, she was the only person between me and my forking over an unprecedented amount of money for my own groceries. Of course, I was watching as she loaded her items onto the conveyor belt, because that’s what I do. In fact, sometimes I try to figure out what people are making for dinner from what they are buying. It’s hard being me.

Anyhoo, I found her purchases interesting because she seemed to have two of everything. Well, she had four or six cans of Campbell’s tomato soup. But most of her groceries were in sets of two. Perhaps she was shopping for a friend, I thought to myself.

Then I heard her tell the cashier that she had laid out all of the buy-one-get-ones first on the conveyor belt, followed by all of the items for which she had coupons. She proceeded to hand her a stack of coupons that was at least a quarter of an inch thick.

I decided to settle in, knowing this was going to be a complicated business. The problem, you see, is that this process never goes smoothly. Some of the BOGOs don’t ring up correctly. Sometimes the coupons are expired or for another brand. I really didn’t get annoyed, however, because I had no where to be, and watching the process was entertaining. She ended up saving somewhere in the neighborhood of $100, what with her BOGOs and her coupons, and, of course, the store’s own items on sale.

Believe me when I tell you that I have nothing against using coupons. In fact, I admire the people who have the patience to search and clip and cut and download coupons. They undoubtedly save a great deal of money. I have had a number of times in my life where I have been determined to use coupons. I have even clipped and downloaded. But not one time have I ever remembered to bring the coupons with me to the store. King Soopers (the Kroger affiliate in Denver) sends me coupons in the mail every few months. Because they clearly monitor what I purchase, the coupons are always for things I buy frequently. Every time I see the coupons (once I have gotten over the creepiness of every coupon being something I purchase), I tell myself that this time I will use the coupon for 75 cents off a bag of chopped Caesar salad and the coupon for 45 cents off Land O Lakes butter.

Never happens. Well, it did happen once. I used a coupon for 25 cents off a can of Rotel tomatoes. I learned that in order to use the coupon, a King Soopers employee had to scan the coupon for me. Maybe that’s changed now, since I now can carry a computer on my wrist. That last attempt was some time ago.

I will admit to enjoying the 10 percent off my groceries yesterday simply for being +55.