26 May 2008

Is it Monday already?!


I'm way behind.

There are reasons, of course.

Stay tuned. I'll be back shortly.

22 May 2008

Good Deal Alerts.

At Target ...
Buy 2 Perfect 10 hair color kits. They're $10.99 each. Use the Buy One, Get One coupon from this month's Proctor and Gamble coupon insert. Then, get a $5 Target gift card for buying them. Yay!

At Meijer ...
There's a mid-week ad out good from 5/21 to 5/26 in addition to the regular ad, fyi.

* CHEAP Coke again. This time, 24 packs are 2 for $8.88 (or $9, as you may have read previously). There are $2/2 peelies on some of the cases. Keep your eyes peeled, because 2 24 packs for $6.88 is a steal.

* CHEAP ground beef from the meat counter. It's $1.69 per pound this week, and my good ole price book says that's almost as cheap as it's been in the last 3 or so years. If you're in need, now is the time. There will likely be similar sales throughout the summer, up to about $1.89 per pound. It may go down to $1.59, but no one can really be sure. Also, keep your eyes peeled late Saturday/Sunday for pre-packaged ground beef to be price dropped if they under sell what they expected to. They won't be orange tagged, just price dropped without other signage, so pay close attention to the price stickers on the packages for per pound pricing differences.

* CHEAP Chi Chi Salsa, especially if you have the recent coupons from this past week's inserts. The deal is even sweeter if your Meijer doubles. It's on sale for $1.

* CHEAP Pepsi 2 liters. It's pop sale time, folks. Pepsi 2 liters are 80 cents each. 8 cents cheaper than the Super Saturday Coke deal last week. Lipton 1 liter Green Tea is also included.

* CHEAP RC/7UP 12 packs. They're on sale 4 for $11, but you get a FREE one when you buy 4. This deal is also limit ONE per transaction, rather than customer, as is the case with the Coke deal. There have been rumors of peelies on the 12 packs for money off, so keep those eyes open. I know there are still $1/1 peelies for diet varieties for sure.

* CHEAP Hershey candy bars, especially if you have the 50c/1 gas station tear pad coupons. I think the candy bars are Buy 2, Get 3 Free (B2G3). They're normally 69(ish) cents each. That could be some super cheap candy when all is said and done. Who doesn't love cheap candy?!

* CHEAP Ballpark hot dogs. They're on sale Buy 1, Get 2 Free (B1G2). You pay for one and leave with three. What's bad about that? Plus, Meijer brand hot dog buns are 69c each. I forsee a lot of grilling in our future.

* CHEAP Snyder Tortilla Chips. They're on sale Buy 1, Get 1 (BOGO), but almost all of them have peelies on them for FREE salsa when you buy 2. Yay!

At Walgreens ...
Remember the May Easy Saver is ending soon, and it overlaps with June so you can use the coupons interchangably on those overlap days. There aren't awesome amazing rebates this month, so I'm not too excited. Check it out either way, so you don't miss out on something you're otherwise interested in.

And, a final note ... there will be NO coupons this weekend in the newspaper because of the holiday. If you have delivery, call and suspend it for a week to save the money. If you buy it from a box, don't.



21 May 2008

Good Meijer, Bad Meijer.

On the way home yesterday, we stopped by Meijer to get 2 24 packs of Coke for $6.88 (because I snagged awesome peelies last week). While driving down the aisle to find a parking spot, my eye was drawn to something on the ground. I made a very confused Be get out of the car and investigate, and I was right! On the ground, a $20 bill and two $1 bills!! Yay! Thank you, universe.

Then, during our weekly trip to our home town, we stopped by the new Meijer there. I am currently obsessed with stockpiling dirt cheap pop because I can't get out of buying it anyway (might as well be cheap), so I was going to pop in to grab another two 24 packs for $6.88. The Coke vendor (the guy that stocks cases and whatever else) was standing in front of the display when we came around the corner. I noticed immediately that the sale there was 2 for $9, not 2 for $8.88 (slightly annoying, but not world ending), and made a comment about it to my brother (who was with me). The Coke man immediately included himself in our conversation and informed me that no where was it ever at the price I said it was (2/$8.88). I politely said it was indeed, as I had seen it earlier that morning 45 minutes from that Meijer. Now, I know sometimes the different Meijers have different prices. Not a huge deal. On any other day, in any other circumstance, I probably would have just gone with it. Then I heard the horribly rude Coke Man again.

"It is only 12 cents." (include eye rolling and disgusting tone of voice)

Excuse me?!

If it's not a huge deal, how about your discount your prices 12c? Or, how about when I get to the register and am 12c short of paying my full grocery tab, how about Meijer just writes it off since it is only 12 cents. What about 13 cents? A quarter? A dollar?

I'm sorry, dear Coke Man, but 12 cents is 12 cents to me. I'm the girl that picks up money on the ground, even if it's only a penny. I am the girl that compares per ounce prices in the middle of the grocery aisle. I stop sometimes on the drive home and snatch up cans that can be returned for deposit that others have carelessly discarded on the side of the road. Most importantly, it's MY 12 cents, and I will do with it what I please.

Any other day, I would have swallowed hard and bought them anyway. I was ok with parting with an extra 12 cents for each one. It really wasn't that big a deal. Yesterday, however, I promptly pushed my empty cart to the front of the store. I was not giving money to those not grateful for my business. I don't deserve to be treated poorly because I don't like unnecessarily giving away my money (no matter how much it was). If Coke Man had kept his idiot mouth shut, his company would have made another $9 that day. Call me crazy, but I refuse to do business with rude people. No, thank you.



18 May 2008

A Shopping We Will Go ...

Meijer, 9am.
Returned $71.70 worth of empty pop cans. My records keeping is a little lax, because I wasn't working alone ... a huge bonus as the job of taking in that many returnables is a pain by yourself.

Meijer, 949am.
4 Coke 2 liters @ 88c each
6 Country Time Lemonade Mix @ $2.19 each
Total: $4.30
Saved: $22.04

Meijer, 950am.
4 Coke 2 liters @ 88c each
6 Country Time Lemonade Mix @ $2.19 each
Total: $4.30
Saved: $22.04

Meijer, 1035am.
26 Coke 2 liters @ 88c each
Total: $24.48
Saved: $19.48

Meijer, 1038am.
28 Coke 2 liters @ 88c each
Total: $27.44
Saved: $19.88

Meijer, 1208pm.
1 Purina Healthy Cat Chow $1.89 (FREE!)
2 Aunt Millie's Bread (BOGO) $3.19
9 lbs Boneless Chicken Breasts $17.92
2 Ortega Taco Seasoning 88c (FREE with coupon!)
1 can Meijer Organic Baked Beans (FREE with coupon!)
4 2 liters Coke Products $3.92
1 Snyder's Pretzels 2.19
2 French's Honey Mustard $5.38
6 Ekrich Hot Dogs $4.98 (B1G2!)
3 Ekrich Bologna $2.99 (B1G2!)
2 Aunt Millie's Hot Dog Buns $2.99 (BOGO!)
2 Johnsonville Brats $4.99 (BOGO!)
3 French's Spicy Brown Mustard $3
2 French's Yellow Mustard $2 (FREE with coupon!)
6 Cattleman's BBQ Sauce $6
2 jars of Vlasic Pickles $2.34
2 24 packs Pepsi products $12.40
1 12 pack Pepsi product $4.87 (FREE!)
44 lbs Purina Dog Chow $15.99

Total: $78.64
Savings: $74.26

Meijer, 1210pm.
1 can Meijer Organics Baked Beans 94c (FREE with coupon!)
4 2 liters Coke products $3.92
2 24 pack Pepsi products $12.40
1 12 pack Pepsi products $4.87 (FREE!)

Total: $17.26
Savings: $12.25

Walgreens, 1248pm.
21 Soy Joy bars clearanced to 35c each
2 Palmolive Dish Soap
1 Gillette Body Wash $3.49

Total: $3.95 (all paid with FREE gift card cash!)
Savings: $26.35

((We came home and unloaded. I went to work. Others continued shopping on my behalf.))

Meijer, 526pm, 527pm, and 528pm.
12 2 liters Coke products $3.92
6 24 pack Pepsi products $12.40
3 12 pack Pepsi products $4.87 (FREE!)

Total: $52.56
Savings: $37.11

((Then, after I got out of work, I kept shopping ... because I am a lunatic.))

Meijer, 859pm
4 2 liters Coke products $3.92
13 bags Meijer frozen veggies $13 (Yay! Mealbox coupons!)
2 24 packs Pepsi products $12.40
1 12 pack Pepsi products $$4.87 (FREE!)

Total: $26.50
Savings: $24.20

Walgreens, 922pm
1 Gillette Body Wash $3.49 (FREE with coupon!)
1 20oz Mt. Dew $1.59 (long day, I was getting a little ragged)

Total: $1.80 (paid with FREE gift card cash!)
Savings: $4.99

Meijer, 954pm.
4 2 liters Coke products $3.92
6 Country Time Lemonade (B1G2!) $4.38

Total: $4.30
Savings: $16.04

Meijer, 956pm.
2 lbs Hard Salami $2.55 (thank you closed up leftover deli bags!)
6 Country Time Lemonade $4.38

Total: $3.02
Savings: $18.44

Family Fare, 1049pm.
6 Hamburger Helper at $2.19 (BOGO)
10 Campbell Select Soups at $2.29 (B5G5)
2 1 liter bottle Lipton Green Tea at $1.34 each (FREE with coupon!)
2 LiteHouse salad dressings at $2.99 (BOGO)
4 12 packs Pepsi products at $5.89 each (BOGO)
2 El Matidor Tortilla Chips at $3.19 each (BOGO)
4 Jays Potato Chips at $3.29 each (BOGO)

Total: $38.95
Savings: $49.85

Total for the Day: $281.75
Minus Bottle Return Money: $210.05

Saved for the Day: $346.93!

Plus, I'll get $49.90 back when I take these empties in. Meaning, really, I only spent $160.15. We now have an entire basement full of pop at what is usually the rock bottom price here. Yay! I also have another $70+ worth of empties that didn't make it to the store yesterday, and a raincheck for basically free Country Time.

Who's up for a store run?

After yesterday, I don't know that I am.



16 May 2008

Good Deal Alerts

If you're going to be out and about shopping tomorrow (like I am), check out the following ...

* FREE Gilette Body Wash at Walgreens. You buy the first one, then it prints cats for the freebies on and on into oblivion. They were not highly overstocked for this promo, though, so you may be out of luck this late in the week.

* CHEAP Country Time Lemonade at Meijer. They're Buy 1, Get 2 (B1G2) Free this week. That's a pretty solid deal in and of itself. Buy 6, get a catalina for $4 On Your Next Order (ONYO). That means, you actually pay for 2, get four of them free, and get paid $4 to do it.

* CHEAP Cattleman's BBQ Sauce at Meijer. They're on sale for $1, and there were 75c/1 coupons out not that long ago. If you're somewhere that doubles, use the 50c/1 and get it doubled to make it free. If you're not, like me, pay 25c. My family loves this stuff, and we're out. Perfect timing!

* CHEAP Coke 2 Liters at Meijer. Friday and Saturday, 88c Coke product 2 liters. With the deposit, they're cheaper than the regular Meijer "Sale" price here. Limit 4, of course. I'll be in and out of Meijer all day if you're looking for someone to hang out with.

There are other deals out there, I promise. That's just my top four for this week. I probably shouldn't have waited until Saturday to go shopping, but I hate the Meijer by work after dark. I'll be out and about, scoring deals all day Saturday. Care to join me?

Frugal Friday

I wish I had a great breakdown for you this week. My transition back to work has thrown a bit of a rock into the gears, but we're getting it worked out.

Sunday, Mother's Day, we had Be's family over. I made chicken bowtie alfredo with carrots and broccoli, garlic bread, salad, and a strawberry jello shortcake dessert. Yum. It ran about $23, served 7 people dinner that night.

Monday, we ate leftovers.

Tuesday, we ate leftovers and pizza rolls ... adding an extra $3 to the week.

Wednesday, we ate leftovers and hard boiled eggs ... an additional $1.50.

Thursday, Be finished the leftovers at lunch and I made chicken fried rice for dinner. Total cost for that was $5.

Tonight, we'll be eating left over chicken fried rice for sure.

That brings my total for the week to $27.50. Yay!

13 May 2008

Are you kidding me?

A couple days ago, I posted about the TV news and their Super Saver program featuring "savings services". I just popped by the TV news website to check out a headline I missed part of on the noon news, and what do I see?

The one program they specifically targeted are advertising sponsors on their website. Ick. Way to go news station, way to pretend for a second that you weren't just furthering the needs of your advertising department. I wonder how much this company had to pay for that segment? I'm even more convinced they're scheisters now.

Now I'm crabby.



Instant Gratitude!

Thank you world, for ...

... gorgeous sunset tonight, wispy clouds with pink and orange highlights.
... quick and steady night at work, not too rushed nor too painfully snow.
... great leftover strawberry shortcake jello dessert from last night. Yum!
... reruns of Jon and Kate Plus 8 on TLC right now. I adore this show for some reason I am yet to comprehend.
... my adorable Be and his smiling face.
... cuddly kitty making me feel like the only human in the world that matters.
... apple tree blossoms and the promise of fresh produce soon.
... my worn in but not worn out birkenstocks.
... peanut m&ms from a machine for 25c, a perfect handful to satisfy the otherwise insatiable desire to eat nothing but peanut m&ms.
... my hilariously precious niece in her XL Hulk tshirt and baby pants, sleepy eyes, messy hair.



09 May 2008

Frugal Friday: Scheister Edition

The early evening news last night had a segment about saving money at the grocery store. The anchor met with two women, armed with coupons and magical lists. They spoke of rock bottom prices and stockpiling. I was stoked, for a split second, to see someone validating the adventure that is frugality.

And then I got annoyed ...

Apparently, the only way to be frugal and save money on groceries, is to enroll in one of the unfortunately popular online ad/savings services, and PAY THEM to tell you what to buy or not buy at the grocery store. The program that was most highlighted in the segment runs $19.95 for a month of database and list access. The other runs $10 for 8 weeks for one store, an additional $5 for every store after that.

Now, on face, I can see how these services could seem appealing. It's awesomely easy and brainless to just print off lists and buy what you're told. The time saving factor is probably the biggest draw. Americans like to talk about not having enough time on a regular basis, though I'll be slow to agree with the reality of their assertions while the average amount of TV hours per week is still so astronomical. We probably all have an hour somewhere in our week to take care of grocery saving business, and that's all it takes once you get the hang of it.

I also understand that deal finding can initially be a contrary way of thinking about shopping. What do you mean I only buy one can of soup? or 32 boxes of pasta?! It would make sense to pay for the training or knowledge of deal finding if you wanted to get started. There are tons of free resources on the internet, though, and neither of these services actually teach you to figure these things out yourself in the future. You're beholden to their databases and lists and color codes forever, and since it keeps you writing a check, they like it that way.

I am all for responsible consumerism, deal finding, stockpiling, and paying the lowest possible price or scoring goods for free (even better!). I am not, however, at all a fan of people capitalizing on that endeavor through 'communities' of dutiful check writers. It's entirely contrary and makes my heart hurt a little. Like ... if someone would just show them, they'd save so much more money. Creating a pricebook is probably the best way to get started, and all it takes is a spiral notebook and a pile of receipts.

I suppose scheisters and con-men exist in every arena. They will until people stop paying them to. Don't help them out. Don't pay for advice that it otherwise provided free in the same medium, and is almost always better advice in the first place. Find a free community online. I suggest http://www.hotcouponworld.com/ for starters. Lurk there awhile, learn something.



06 May 2008

Instant Gratitude!

... fabulous Hershey's Kisses from holiday clearance, tucked away in my desk drawer, just waiting to make my day.
... whomever did the dishes last night while I was sleeping. Yay dish fairy!
... a freshly cleaned house, and the fabulous smell of citrus and bleach.
... sunshine!
... a day off work to get stuff done I was otherwise ignoring.
... my adorable Be.
... tiny gestures, difficult to catch, but oh so meaningful.
... every single day I get to wake up a piece in this crazy mystery.



05 May 2008

FF and Set Up delayed ... again.

Friday was a crazy busy day here, and I didn't even turn on my computer but to see the radar for the storms we were expecting. It was nutso.

Soooo, first, the recap.

Monday we had shepard's pie as planned. I made a huge pan of it so it would carry over a few days. Three pounds of ground beef was $3 from my freezer stash of clearance meats. Assorted veggies were either from remnants left in the fridge (celery, carrots, onions), or from cans (tomatoes, kernel corn) for a grand total of $2.30. The mashed potatoes were probably 50c or so since I had to use such an enormous quantity to top the entire pan. All that for $5.80. Yay!

Tuesday was leftover shepard's pie because I was a bit on the lazy side as far as putting the chicken in the crock pot. Oops. Oh well, total cost? $0

Wednesday was chili as ordered. I started it in the morning before I left for work, and it simmered all day. Oh how I adore the crockpot for chili making. The house smelled great even before I left for work. Mmmmmm. The ground beef was $2 (the rest of my freezer tube from Monday). The black beans, tomatoes (diced and crushed), and whole kernel corn were $2.47. We didn't have cornbread. Total, $4.47, which also served another couple lunches and leftovers.

Thursday was supposed to be all leftovers. The shepard's pie was gone by Thursday, and we were down to a single bowl of chili, which Be wanted. So, begrudgingly (ha!) I swung by the chinese take out and got myself veggie lo mein. Twist my arm, right? I also got Be some crab rangoons, which I think are inherently disgusting. Total, $13.18.

Friday was grill night. We hit the meat counter in the afternoon and nothing looked good, so I had the meat cutter lady cut down a bigger hunk into 1inch steaks. They wound up running me $26 ... which is not the best, but a pretty darn good deal for 7 giant steaks. We also grilled up some sliced new potatoes with butter and garlic ... an entire 5lbs if you can believe it. What's better? That 5lb bag only cost me $1. There were also grilled red and green peppers, though more green ones than red by the time they were done because a certain someone kept stealing the red ones while raw. They were about $4 total. There was also garlic bread made on the grill, using Italian loaves we found on the day old rack for $1.34. Grand total, not including the new thing of propane we had to go get immediately after we put the steaks on, $32.34. Find a steak house with that kind of deal for 6 people! Ha.

Total for the week, $55.79. Pretty darn good, considering there was steak involved.

As for the menu, I have no idea. Nothing. I'm tired. I won't be home most nights this week. I may see if the boys can figure it out in favor of starving. The menu will be back next week for sure.



04 May 2008

Silly Mistake

"Hey, let's go to Walgreens, I have this Register Reward that's expiring."

(wander around Wags for 40 minutes trying to find a way to roll it, and finding none, then attempting to find something to blow it on)

Cashier Boy: "You saved pretty well on this."

"Well, yea, I had to use my RR before it expired."

"Oh, that coupon didn't expire until the 7th."


I was crushed. It could have been the perfect start to rolling the Crest RR. Grrrr. I am a sad, sad, girl.



01 May 2008

Top 'o the Month!

It's our first Top 'o the Month on this blog. Yay! Basically, I like to keep an ongoing progress report on the first of each month to see how far we got toward our goals (primarily: debt pay off) in the preceeding 30ish days. It's not always a giant improvement from month to month, but we're on this mission for the long haul. We'll get there eventually.

Is under $1000. Boo. I had to cover a gap student loan payment, plus it was already down from waiting on stupid reimbursement checks from Be's company. They should be here by the 5th, lest they start paying penalties on the amount owed, and that should bump us back up to where it's supposed to be.

Dream Savings:
Per the ticker today, is at $124.63. I cannot tell you what it's for yet. It's a secret.

Jeep ... 9 payments and the misc. amount to clear the loan to go. We won't get to this on the snowball before it's paid off regularly anyway. Ah well.

GP ... $6158.50. This actually includes 5 cards, one of which is under $40. Yay!

C1 ... $465.29.

AV ... $800 and change. I don't have the exact amount because we just cleared our special financing account with them (It was at $$1900 last month. Ick!), but we're getting there.

VSA ... $82.xx. This should be gone already, but someone keeps forgetting to pay it. Oops.

Fix the VSA account, which should be paid off already.
Keep rolling the snowball, adding in as much as possible through snowflakes and the like.
Pay everyone on time.

More next month!