Sunday, February 1, 2009

You know you're a die hard couponer when

you willingly take three young children out for an afternoon the day of the Superbowl, load them in a grocery shopping cart, and say, let's find some deals. Make your way with $50 of meat, cereal, and soda, to realize, wait a minute, I left my wallet at home. Yeah, the wallet that contains cash and debit cards. All I had on me is the one credit card that is no longer good, but I'm carrying around as a reminder of what changes I want to make in the upcoming year. Proceed to pay for a dozen bagels with a few bucks that were scrounged from the bottom of my purse (the boys ate a few already in store-it kept them quiet, thankfully), and made our way back home. All while waiting 10 minutes in the express line, with figity children, and a whine for a spinning lollipop.
Drive 24 minutes home, retrieve wallet, and proceed to the store again. This time, with husband in tow. He understood why I went back after I bought $200 of groceries for under $80. That includes six tri-tips averaging $8.50 each (two meals from each one), six boxes of Cheerios (1.54 each after sale and coupon, plus a $1.50 off pampers coupon on each box, score!), 10 8-packs of diet dr. pepper and mt. dew ($1 each, breaking down to .12 per can, cheaper than anywhere else), 6 bags of toasted wheat thins (.69 cents after sale and peelie coupon), two free pizzas (5.99 each), 2 bottles of apple juice ( .99 after sale and coupon), 2 2lb-bag of shrimps for ($4.99/lb after sale and coupon, multiple meals here), 2 dozen more bagels ($3 per dozen-cheaper than Costco and freezes well for meals and snacks) mayo ($2 for Best Foods after sale and coupon, orginally $4.49 each, yikes!) and $20 off for spending $100 ($10 off each order of $50). Yeah, it was a good trip.

Stopped off at the local supermarket for fresh chicken breasts and thighs at .58 cents a lb in a 10 lb bag, which at $5.80 I bought two, divided the packages, and now have a nice stockpile of meat in our freezer.

I know stocking up like this may lead to one major pitfall-having to miss deals that ramp up in the middle or end of the month. However, I'm determined that by stretching our dollars now, and eating at home, if and when deals come, I should still be able to get those deals too. However, shopping like in the past has also shown me how we only go out weekly for perishables (milk, eggs, fruit/veggies) the rest of the week, if not biweekly, depending on sales and what items we already have at home. This brings me to my next thought.

I came across MomAdvice's No Spend Challenge (off of $5 Dinners, one of my new favorite resources) and am going to participate in the challenge. I don't know if I posted this already, but R cut up his credit cards, and we're repaying our debt hardcore. We're also adding to our savings, one dollar at a time.

Its a scary financial world out there, and things are looking bleaker by the minute. Latest we heard is anyone with less than 11 years in the department is facing layoffs, and R has 13 years on the books. Adding to it, there's also word that if the paycuts work out, that it could last as long as 7 years, not 18 months like originally thought. My line of work has also taken a hit, the county is doing furlough days, paycuts, and froze hiring new staff. Non-profits are getting hit hard too, some even closing their doors to communities. Needless to say, changing our mindset now is better than being caught offguard in a few months, or even a year from now. So that being said, I'm excited to see how we do in February, one day at a time.

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