So, I shop regularly at +WinCo . It's a no-frills grocery store that is probably one step up from WalMart, but they offer good food at low prices. And I think I may have mentioned before that I'm a sucker for a bargain. So even though they make me bag my own groceries, I'm a WinCo fan.
WinCo keeps their prices low by not accepting credit cards. I know. It's nuts. REALLY? It's 2013!! Who doesn't accept electronic money these days? Well WinCo doesn't. So I traditionally bring my checkbook and cut a check (the ONE check that gets written on our "checking" account each week) for our groceries.
Last week I ran out of checks. Huh. I thought long and hard about how I use checks. I buy groceries and pay my hairdresser. That's about it. Do I really need to buy more checks?? Naaaahhhh. I can use my debit card. The debit card just collects dust in my purse because I never use it. I pay everything with the credit card. Hello!? Free sky miles!!
Well, here's the lesson I learned this week. My debit card is apparently linked to only one of our checking accounts. And it's not the one with loads of cash.
Here's when I learned the lesson....at the WinCo check-out counter after the clerk had rung up $182.54 worth of groceries.
Well, I knew the money was there, but the card just wasn't talking to the right account. I thought about explaining that to the clerk but realized that made me look like an even bigger loser than I already appeared to be, trying to deny the fact that I had "Insufficient Funds" to bring my groceries home. I played it cool, put on my game face. "Clearly, this is a silly misunderstanding" is what I was trying to say with my confident expression.
So then I get the brilliant idea to go to the ATM (conveniently located inside the store) to withdraw money for my groceries. Because if my ATM card doesn't work at the checkout counter, maybe it will somehow magically work at the ATM?? Oh geez. I was grabbing at straws, people!! It was a busy Sunday afternoon at the grocery store and I had no money to pay for my food. Turns out the ATM didn't have a better answer for me because the card was still talking to the wrong account.
I told the clerk I would have to call my husband to bring me some money.
I called my husband. He didn't answer.
My in-laws live approximately one mile from WinCo. Hmmmm.
I did it. I called my mother in law and asked her to bail me out at WinCo. "I'll be right there!" she said.
Bless. Her. Heart.
Meanwhile, my grocery clerk was due for a break, so she was busy explaining to the clerk in the next lane that I had a "situation" and my husband was on his way to bring some money.
In walks my father in law, debit card in hand. Perfect. Now I'm a deadbeat with no money married to a senior citizen. Totally awesome.
I started to sweat a little as Steve swiped his card, realizing that $182 worth of groceries might be putting a bit of a strain on his checking account. I mean, I don't know...how much do people generally have in a checking account?? For the record, I have less than $200. How fun would that be if my Hero for the day came up insufficient also?!
The clerk swiped the card, the receipt spit out and I was home free.
And the moral of the story is...plastic can't save you in every situation but family can.