Times are tough and some folks recognize that their everyday spending habits need to be reigned in.

It sounded as though the woman was saying something about the economy was in trouble.  She was strolling down a grocery aisle pushing an overloaded shopping cart while, of course, chatting on her cell phone.

Instead of her hands being on the cart handle, one was holding the electronic gadget to her ear and the other had an opened-out flyer that touted the store’s special prices for the week.  This woman was slowly and miraculously guiding the cart with her hips and part of her upper torso.

Quite a dance and quite a sight to behold.  But her cell phone conversation topped the physical performance.

On the canned food aisle, where I spotted her,  she was telling her phone buddy, the cans looked about the same, but then she exclaimed that every one she reached for seemed  smaller than her last purchase.

Ms Shopper didn’t bother to read the label that would have confirmed her suspicion, because two full ounces were indeed missing from what used to be, and the price had not lessened to reflect this diminished amount but had instead increased.

Canned goods didn’t make it into her cart which was pretty much filled with non-nutritional items.  There was lots of bottled juice; well, let me correct that statement, there was lots of fruit juice cocktail touting something like 12% juice.

The juice cocktail was listed with the specials in  the weekly flyer, but it wasn’t really much of a bargain when its 12% juice content is compared to a bottle of 100% juice.

Just as the shopper slapped her last can of corn back on the shelf she sent a loud burst of profanity into her phone.

One of her beautifully-decorated 1/2-inch acrylic nails chipped off a finger on the hand that was holding the flyer and that was moving items around on the shelf.

The economy is tough on folks and it’s even tougher for folks who are faced with the dilemma of having to arrange priorities and to cut corners when they’ve spent a lifetime doing as they please.

The cost of repairing that broken nail is considerably more than the increased amount for the can of corn.

The cost of maintaining those nails may be pretty close to what the grocery bill is for the month.

Now, the cell phone unnecessary chit-chat is another cost too many folks haven’t yet realized they could live without.

Yup, the packages in the markets are smaller and the cost is higher.  No, juice cocktail is not the same as juice.

But If we don’t start paying closer attention to what we’re spending our little bit of money on, the trouble our national economy is in will be nothing when compared to the havoc we’re creating in our own  households.