October 6, 2008

Adventures in Discount Shopping

This is just a weird Monday.
2YO went to bed at 11:30 last night. She just wasn't tired and stayed up until David and I went to bed. (I blame the late nap!) She was up by 7:00 this morning, on her own. 5YO fell asleep at around 4:00 yesterday afternoon and woke up this morning at 6:15. I guess she needed her sleep or something!
Well, 5YO woke up in a great mood and 2YO was cranky again by about 10:00 a.m. This would normally be the day that I take 2YO to the library for storytime, but she was beyond unreasonable by the time we should have been leaving. So, 2YO went down for a nap. And, I felt a little strange. I can't remember the last Monday that we missed storytime, unless it was a holiday. Lots of holidays seem to fall on Mondays.
I had decided to stay home and get a bunch of things done while 2YO napped. I accomplished reheating some leftover lasagna and stuffing my face. Then, I made another one of THESE BAD BOYS and gave myself a stomach ache. I soooo have to get these carbs back out of my diet!
I had breakfast with a good friend yesterday that I don't see nearly enough and I went grocery shopping. Alone. I must say that that may very well be one of the most important parts of shopping on a budget: Leave the kids at home! I don't buy a lot of extra things when shopping with the kids. I don't care if they ask.....I am usually the queen of 'NO!' But, I find myself not thinking too carefully about what I put in my cart. I'm better at the beginning of my trip. But, by the end of the shopping trip, I'm trying to toss things in as quickly as I can on my way to the register. The kids are getting cranky/hungry/tired/bored by then and I just need to be done with it. This is when I buy things I don't really need or things that I could have gotten a better deal on had I just read all the prices to compare.
Bottom line: Kids make shopping cost more than it needs to!
That same rule can apply when shopping with husbands too, you know. I always buy more when David is shopping with me. I've already made my list and he makes suggestions as we go along. And our bill almost doubles in the process!
This is also the second week of actual, honest-to-goodness meal planning. I sit down before I go shopping and fill out my calendar for the week with meals to make each night. Then, I make my shopping list according to the meal plan and nothing goes to waste. I even plan for a 'leftover night' every few nights to make sure that everything gets eaten up. As I was planning my meals for the week on Saturday night (I know...does it GET more exciting than that?) David tossed out the idea of tostadas for dinner. I loooooove suggestions and am really finding that the actual work involved in cooking doesn't stress me out nearly as much as the actual process of planning the meals. Soooo, we are having tostadas for dinner on Wednesday and I'm delighted with the fact that I know somebody is actually looking forward to my cooking!
They should be grateful....I used to burn Kool-Aid!
I ended up buying the ingredients to make lasagna, tostadas, cream cheese chicken and shepherd's pie. I also bought lots of cereal for breakfast (we're big cereal eaters here!) and eggs AND all the fixins for lunches for the week. I spent $104.00 and came away with quite a bit of stuff. I wasn't able to used ONE SINGLE COUPON on this trip, but I did save 30 cents for using 5 of their reusable bags. The bags were 88 cents each and I think they've pretty much already paid for themselves. Those reusable bags are awesome and I seem to be a real sucker for them. I think I own them from almost every store I could possibly shop at. I my trunk is full of folding chairs and too many of those reusable shopping bags in an array of colors and sizes. I had a hard time remembering to bring them into the store at first, but now it's pretty much become a habit. And, 30 cents is 30 cents. I need to remember that many little savings amounts can add up to a big one.
I think, no I KNOW that the most I've been able to use coupons was actually at Target. I *HEART* TARGET! I bought a jumbo pack of Pull-Ups that was on sale for $10.00 and I used a $2.00 coupon. That was the best I've been able to save. I bought a few other things at Target with coupons, including a box of Cheez-Its. I saved a whole dollar, which made the Cheez-Its only end up costing $1.54. And we can definitely put away some Cheez-Its in this house!
Another thing we can put away is kettle corn. We had a bag of it last night and it didn't last long. David likes to call it 'puffy crack.' It really is, because every handful just makes you want 3 more! There is nothing like kettle corn from those little stands. The microwave stuff just doesn't come CLOSE!
Well, we have cheer practice and I have a meal plan to stick to!


Shakes said...

oh my gosh leann!! Puffy crack is right! the stands are the best, hands down! now in a pinch I will buy the microwave kind, mostly because it's too cold in the winter for them to be out selling it...

I need to start planning my meals again, there was a time D and I would make a plan for a month in advance... yes a month! we would do monthly shopping... then Mr Man got too big and started eating us out of house and home... and now with Little Lady, my little mini garbage disposal... we do about 2 weeks at a time and barely scrape by

SJSFalter+ said...

I could help but giggle at your comment on shopping with husbands. They do double the bill with all their "suggestions" or additions to the cart.