Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dollars and sense

Today was a good shopping day. Using the grocery game and coupons to our advantage, we hit up Vons for the first time in 6 weeks. I replenished our supply of salad dressing, chocolate syrup, ground beef, baking items, and fresh fruit. I also scored some great deals on frozen vegetables and bought a lot of sell-by-today's date meat. The bill was originally $85, and it went down to $30. I couldn't believe it, and R was shocked when he saw all the name brand stuff-even more so when I told him the store brand stuff was 3x the cost, and that was w/o coupons! I do want to mention that I'm not opposed to store brand stuff, I buy it sometimes in a pinch-but I've found that I'm able to get better deals using the sales and coupons combined, and stockpiling, than just making a list weekly of stuff we need to buy. Flexibility is key-I may want specific brand items, (ie cookies, salad dressing, cheese) but if I can get a better deal on something that'll hold us over until the next sale comes along, we just wait it out. I finally got R to be on the same page-he was thrilled to get the chocolate syrup for half the cost its sold at Costco. I don't think we'll have to go there for another month at least, and even then, only to get these rock bottom deals.

We hit up Costco too. We thought we'd use many of the coupons in the latest mailer, but to our relief/suprise, we left many of them unused. I've found that many of the items that we once bought, I can either make cheaper, freeze ahead of time, or I get for mere pennies from doing the grocery game. I had my most recent list w/ me, and many of them items that we would have bought were definitely cheaper at my list store-but you'd never know it unless you knew how to work the sales. For the first time in a long time, it really felt good to know how to shop and stretch our dollars. We only spent $30 on need items.

Another list store netted me all the cold/flu supplies we need this upcoming year. I got ice pops, children's over the counter meds, and throat lozenges/syrup for free, after rebate. I also scored a ton of lip balms for stocking stuffers, all for free! The rebate system is super easy, I do it online, and it comes in the mail. I don't have to do anything else. Love it!

Overall, today's shopping went a long way, both in what we spent, and what we saved.

Finally, we hit Babies R Us to look at booster seats. I have a gift card that I can apply to one, but it was a bit frustrating since there are so many choices. We found one that's ideal-a Graco Nautilus and this would get us through until M was ready to sit w/o a booster. Part of me wishes we had bought this earlier-only since its also good as a regular car seat. We're going to think about it tonight, and I'm going to look at the reviews. I may order it online from another retailer, but we'll see what booster is best, and for the best price. Nothing compares to the safety of our kids.

Tonight we made dinner, played w/ the boys, and R put them to bed. I'm off to straighten up for tomorrow's playgroup, and then relaxing the rest of the evening. We have pumpkin pie that's calling my name, and some decaf coffee to go along w/ it. A perfect way to end a really good weekend :)

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