Monday, November 03, 2008

Potpourri - Posted by Lisa

I'm a (shopping) rock star! Yeah, that's right. I admit it. Here's the proof:

I saved 70% off my total grocery bill at Kroger today. SEVENTY PERCENT. What would have been roughly a $75 bill came out to $22.45. And $10 of that was on diapers. Total savings: $52.17. Yeehaw!

Now, I will admit that 1) this was not my total grocery bill for the week (I did the majority of my shopping today at Meijer), 2) I bought no meat at either store (we buy meat in bulk and freeze it), and 3) a portion of this trip was on items not originally on my shopping list. BUT, the items that weren't on my list came to ridiculously low prices, and will definitely be used. I may not need 6 cans of evaporated milk, but who can resist when they're FREE? (combined with a store promotion, I had a '50 cents off 2' coupon, and found 2 more of the same coupon sitting on top of evap milk at the store!). I have a casserole recipe that calls for it, and Christopher already wants me to make pumpkin pie, so there you go. If anyone else needs evaporated milk, let me know. :)

At Meijer, I didn't fare quite as well, but still did pretty good. I only bought 2 items not on my list, and saved about 39% on my total bill. I also went to Walgreens for one item (that I ended up passing on), but came away with almost $40 worth of Halloween decorations for $13. Now, that is not as frivolous as it sounds. Chris and I were absolutely planning on taking advantage of the after-Halloween sales to get decorations, not only for the house, but also for our yearly "Halloween" camping weekend (which we do in September). For $13 I got 6 sets of ghost lights (10 lights/pkg), a plastic "dripping blood" tablecloth, two packages of spider webbing, four 22 inch jointed cardboard "monster" decorations (a skeleton, a witch, a vampire, and a pumpkin guy), and two black masquerade masks. The boys already have gotten their 12 cents each out of those masks pretending to be Batman.

I could claim all the credit, and say that I spent many hours scouring ads and rummaging through stacks of cut coupons to find all these bargains, but I'd be (mostly) lying. My "secret" is I saw the woman who runs this site on Oprah, but didn't hear her mention the site there. The url was mentioned in a newspaper article on saving money, so I tried it out. I've been using this method and collecting coupon circulars now for about four weeks. It has made an almost immediate difference in our grocery bill, and a permanent change in the way we shop, I promise you that. I highly recommend trying this site (or others like it). I'm learning as I go, but if any of you have sage advice you'd like to share, please do.

Some of you know, and others may not, that Ian is in the midst of potty training. Scratch that. Let's just say that the family is in the middle of potty training, because what the toddler does affects the whole family, and well...really, the parents get trained during this process about as much as the kid does. Anyway, we are all about the pee & poop lately in this house. And things are going surprisingly well for a boy of two-and-a-half. If we get him to pee every two hours, he will almost always stay dry throughout the day. In fact, he did remain dry for at least two days in a row this weekend. Today, not so much dryness. In fact, he went through 3 clothing changes before two this afternoon...but that is deceptive. Two of those times, he was wet enough to need a change of pants (under and outer), but he let me know of the accident and proceeded to pee a bunch in the toilet. One time he saturated his entire outfit (even the shirt???) and had no more left in his bladder. On the flipside though (ummm, literally), he had two poops in the toilet today. One was by chance as he sat there while I fetched dry pants for him. But one time he actually let me know he had to go in time to get to the bathroom! Hurrah! If you are not a parent, or have not gone through this process before...that is BIG.

So far we have only been using a diaper at night, but remember that brand new package of diapers I mentioned earlier? Tonight, of all nights, Ian decides that he doesn't want to wear a nighttime diaper anymore. Heh. The bed is double-sheeted with puppy pads in between, in case you were wondering. ;-)

Update: About 10:45pm, Ian soaked his pants. Off with the pants. On with the diaper. Thank goodness we double-sheeted that bed. Strip off the top sheet and puppy pads, and done.

Now, GO VOTE. That is all.


dawn said...

I've been doing the coupon clipping for more than five years and it saves me soooooo much money! Lately, I go to check out the Publix area for grocery deals before I even go. It's nice to see the ad each week early to decide what I might need to stock up on. Plus people will post where they found coupons at (like on the packages or on the "blinkies"). Now I hate paying full price for anything.....

Anytime I need to buy something online I go to to see if there is a coupon code I can put in to get a discount. I also love