Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A quick trip (or two) to the grocery store

So, I just needed to pick up a few items on the way home from work after picking the kids up at daycare. Shouldn't have been a big issue, but it turned in to one. I went to the grocery store, twice. Yeah, I know you are scratching your head and asking, "Why Twice?". Well, the first time we didn't actually make it in to the grocery store, only to the parking lot.

Bless my son's little heart, he knows he's supposed to wait til I get around and open his door before he jumps out, but for some reason, he decided not to wait on me. By the time I got out of the car, he'd unbuckled and flung his door open. As I turned to head around the car to let him out, I saw him stand back up and start crying. Yes, he fell out of the car and hit his face on the concrete parking lot. Poor baby! He didn't scrape his nose or anything else, and I can't tell you exactly how it is that only his lip was bleeding and swelling. So, I checked to see if all of his teeth were still in place, made sure he wasn't hurt any other place and loaded him back in the car and went home to take care of my wounded boy. I cleaned him up when we got home and had him hold some ice on his lip. No teeth were lost or even loosened, so that was good. No other swelling, raspberries or bleeding showed up on any other part of him. We sat in silence for about 20 minutes waiting for the bleeding lip to stop bleeding and stop swelling. He's a trooper... He really only cried for about 2 minutes. I think he was more scared than anything. And I'd like to believe that he'll remember to wait for me, at least for the next day or two, before opening his door. I did put the child lock back on the door. I didn't realize it was off. They must have undone it the last time they did work on my car.

So, anyway, once Daddy got home and my boy got to tell him the perils of getting out of the car before he was supposed to, I headed off back to the store. As I said, my list was pretty short... 6 items... Bread, Milk, Kitty Litter, Cereal, Hair stuff, and Dinner. As I went up and down only the aisles I needed, I found Kitty Litter on sale and it had a $2 off coupon attached to the bottle. Yay! I grabbed Milk. I grabbed the hair creme for my hubby. I ended up remembering that I wanted to pick up an ankle brace because my ankle has been feeling somewhat weak, so I grabbed that (one item so far, not on my list). I got around to the bread aisle and grabbed a loaf. Then, it was off to the Cereal aisle. My kids go through boxes and boxes of cereal at what I think is a rapid pace, so when there's a deal to be had, I try to stock up. Bonus deal of the day? 4 boxes of cereal on special for $6 with a $20 purchase (usually the boxes are somewhere between $2 and $3 each)... And, I had 2 $1 off two boxes coupons. So, I picked up the obligatory 4 boxes and tore the required store coupon out of the circular tucking it away with my $2 off kitty litter, and 2 $1 off two boxes of cereal coupons. As I was walking out of the cereal aisle, I saw a new granola type snack being offered for 2/$4 with a coupon machine dispensing an additional $.55 off each, so I snagged 2 varieties of this new snack and two coupons. I glanced at the circular one more time to see if any other coupon deals had to be grabbed. I picked up a package of fruit cups for snacks for $1 with my coupon from the circular. Headed off to pick up dinner which ended up being a roasted chicken. Given that Mexican food had been suggested by my daughter in talks about dinner, I swung back by and grabbed some fresh tortillas and a bag of shredded cheese (also on sale) and then headed to check out. So, yeah, I strayed from my list a little. I try really hard not to do that. But I did score a few good snacks to stash away. And I have a much more supported ankle today...

So, here we are at check out. I saved around $22 with my coupons and store rewards savings... my check out total was around $46. I didn't think that was bad, considering that the brace itself was about $9. So, if you take that out and take out dinner items (which was somewhere around $10) my bill was about $27 for the 5 other items on my list, plus my snacks. Not a bad deal if you ask me. Saved almost as much as I spent on my list items and my additional snack stash items... And dinner for 4 was around $10 (with cheese, tortillas and chicken left over for another meal, YUM).

I headed home and my boy was no worse for the wear. He was snuggled up in Daddy's lap, waiting patiently for dinner to arrive. My daughter was sprawled on the couch waiting a little less patiently for dinner to arrive. Ha ha!

Not to bad for 2 trips to the grocery store (or at least to the parking lot of the grocery store).


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Samples, Freebies, Coupons, oh my

I've been busy getting kids ready for school to start and haven't been as faithful in getting coupons cut, sorted and organized, but my last two shopping trips for groceries have show that the effort pays off.

I started buying two Sunday papers every week. Yeah, it's $5 but in my past three shopping trips, I've saved over $65 due specifically to the coupons I've taken with me. It's great. I love being the lady who puts all that stuff on the belt to be scanned and then hands the cashier a fist full of coupons to watch with great anticipation while the discounts come off the grand total.

And I'm eager to get home and get the mail every day now because instead of just receiving bills and credit card offers, which I have NO interest in, I now usually get at least a coupon in the mail every day, if not a free sample or something along with it. My kids love to get the mail because they never know if there's gonna be some new brightly colored little box to help mom open when we get inside.

So, yeah, it's a good thing. I am really working to get a system down. I am also really working to find other ways to trim the spending. I thought I'd have time for email surveys, but I find I don't have as much time as I hoped to do them. I don't even manage to keep up with paid to read emails these days. So, I may step out of those. But coupons, those keep me challenged and I just love free money and things. I consider them to be free money because I just don't pay as much for things as I used to.

I do have to tell you that my husband is getting used to trying new varieties of things, but he's still hankering for his usual brands on some things. It all evens out though. If I can find a balance between the brands he's loyal to and some new and exciting brands that cost less and work better, it's a good thing. Every little bit helps!

So, there ya go. That's my update. It's late in coming and I hope to find a way to be more consistent. I need to do like so many of my online mentors do... take pictures of the free stuff, keep track of what I save, and detail out my shopping trips. I think I'll find more motivation to do what it takes to keep every penny that comes in to our accounts in our accounts instead of just blindly spending them.

Until next time...