I don’t get it

no-saleLast night, I went to Big Y (a local grocery store chain with stores in Connecticut and Massachusetts) because they were having the Buy 1, Get 2 free sale. I love the B1G2 sale. I picked up 3 dozen eggs for 2.19. I got 4 lbs of ground turkey for $5. I got 3 lbs of pasta for 1.69. Everything I bought was onsale. Even the milk. In all, I got over $140 worth of groceries for less than $65. Saving more than 50% on my food bill makes me a very happy camper for the week.

So I’m standing in the dairy section, by the eggs and this woman walks right past the store brand large brown eggs that are B1G2 to buy the store brand white eggs that are not on sale. She even looked at the sale sign then looked at the eggs I was purchasing and kept on with her white eggs. It’s times like these that I want to take my fellow shopper and shake her. She really didn’t seem to be budget conscious at all, because after getting the eggs she bought refrigerated cookie dough, also not on sale. Many times I will say something to someone if they are buying a product and there is something identical on sale right next to it. I’ve even been known to give out coupons in the isles but I get a lot of strange looks from people since this is Connecticut and all. I think it’s Connecticut state law that you aren’t allowed to be friendly to people in a retail environment. So I just went on my merry way, annoyed with people who completely ignore sales. When I got to the cashier, the front end manager was explaining to a woman how the buy 1, get 2 free sale works. “If you purchase three of an item, you’ll get two of them free, but if you only purchase one of the item, it’s full price,” she explained. Is it that hard to understand? Really?

The cashiers are always amazed when I walk out of a sale like this. I’m not really sure why since most things I bought were at least buy 1 get 1 free and I had a bunch of coupons. I guess that’s why they call them loss leaders. Most people are lead into the store by them and then buy a ton of other stuff. I just buy the loss leaders and call it a day. Jeff was laughing at me as I mumbled something under my breath about paying full price for eggs.

Am I the only person that reacts like this? I can’t be the only crazy one at the grocery store. Someone tell me I’m not the only one. Please?


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Falling off the frugal train

Sometimes we all have a bit of a stumble. This month, I felt like we had stumbled a bit. Why haven’t I posted a meal plan lately? Because I haven’t had one. The last few weeks have been really hectic. Last week, we had events every night from Tuesday to Sunday. This week, I haven’t been feeling well. I haven’t gone grocery shopping in about two weeks. We’ve been eating out in some respect a lot this month. Last night, we got pizza from the grocery store (way cheaper than getting delivery). I felt like we’d fallen off the frugal train.

Then I ran the numbers. Remember that I download everything into QuickBooks to match it against my budget. We are actually doing a lot better than I thought. I’m over budget on a few things this month. I’m $17 over budget on my repairs and maintenance budget (we needed weed killer and we recalked the shower in the master bedroom). I’ll take that out of my furniture replacement budget. We are $24 over budget on our entertainment budget. I’ll end up taking that out of the vacation budget.

Our food budget is actually under budget by $56. This really surprised me. I thought we were already way over budget. $56 is plenty of money to get me through the rest of the month.

The moral of the story is don’t beat yourself up before actually looking at the numbers. If you do fall of the frugal train, dust yourself off and start again next month. One of the reasons that I love my monthly budget is that I can always start over next month. Plus, since I budget for everything, even things like furniture replacement, if I go over budget on repairs and maintenance, I don’t overdraw my account. I can just reallocate money from another account. It makes me feel better to know that I have the extra money in the budget incase I need it.

To start my reform effort, I’ve got pork chops defrosting in the fridge for dinner tonight. I’m going to get all my coupons clipped from last week and from the package that my mother-in-law gave me. The store sales kinda suck this week, so I’ll take an inventory and probably head down to the PriceRite to pick up some staples for next week. If I slowly get back on the train, I’ll be fully back on the train for next week.

Have you ever had a frugal slip? How did you get yourself back in the game mentally?

This week’s meal plan and grocery shopping results

I had a great week at the grocery store. Big Y is having a buy 1, get 2 free sale. Plus there were three double $1 coupons in the flyer. Here are some of the deals I picked up:

3 dozen large eggs – 1.99
6 cans B&M baked beans (the larger cans) – 1.99 (B1, G2 plus a 1.00 off coupon when I bought 4, which the store doubled).
3 packages of bagels (6 in each package) – 3.79
3 bottles of BBQ sauce – 1.99
3 boxes of pasta shells – 1.99
3 bottles of cranberry juice – 5.00
3 large bottles of pancake syrup (for Jeff, I use the real stuff) – 5.19
3 bags of salad mix – 3.59

I think the deal of the week was this one: Hormel pork chops were B1, G1. I bought two small packages, each containing 2 bone in pork chops for 3.82. I had a $1 off coupon which the store doubled. So I got 4 pork chops (roughly 2.5lbs) for 1.82. That works out to about 72 cents a pound. I don’t know how things are where you live, but that is wicked cheap around here.

Total before savings and coupons: 142.76. I paid 69.23. Savings 73.58. Plus I got a $5 off coupon for next week. We had a ton of groceries so the next few weeks should be light. Just meat and veggies unless the sales are good. My pantry was pretty well depleted before this trip. I’m still low on a few things so hopefully the sales and coupons will be good for the next few weeks.

This week’s meal plan:

Monday – Spaghetti and Meat Sauce You should really try this one. It’s so easy and so good.

Tuesday – We are going out with a friend tonight. Last minute plans so things are getting moved around a bit. We were supposed to have sweet and sour chicken. I guess we’ll make that next week, which is a good thing since I used the onion and pepper I bought to make the sauce last night. Oops.

Wednesday – Pork chops, rice-a-roni and salad. I’ll probably just marinate the pork chops in BBQ sauce or sprinkle them with grill seasoning.

Thursday – Beef stroganoff, made with leftover london broil from Sunday, egg noodles and salad.

Friday – Pizza with salad (gotta get rid of all that bagged salad!)

Saturday – Cornish Game Hens, stuffing and, you guessed it, more salad!

Sunday – Chicken Tetrazzini and if we have anymore left, how about another salad? I love this chicken recipe since it’s really easy to make. I don’t use as much chicken as Susanne uses to help keep the cost down. I generally make this when I have a small chicken breast or two and cut the chicken up really small. There are a ton of creamed chicken variations on this page so check it out.

If you don’t feel like cooking restaurant.com is offering another great deal. This time, 80% off the certificates. It’s pretty early in the month so the selection is still really good. Just in time for father’s day!

80% off of $25 Gift Certificates when you use code PRESENT.Pay $2 thru 6/15/09 only at Restaurant.com.

Don’t forget to check out all the new coupons at coupons.com. I’ve gotten some great ones this month.

Menu planning, grocery shopping and a dead battery

I was giving a final exam yesterday, so I decided to bring the Sunday coupons for clipping and do my meal plan. I’m pretty sure my students thought I was crazy, clipping all these coupons, flipping multiple times through the Price Chopper flier and every so often beaming when I realize what I great deal something will be.

I made the menu plan for the week:

Tuesday: Chicken fajitas

Wednesday: Jeff’s on his own. I’ve got a business women’s networking meeting.

Thursday: Pizza

Friday: Chicken and mushroom alfredo, salad

Saturday: Hamburgers

Sunday: Steak, potatoes and corn

I made a huge list of all the awesome deals at Price Chopper this week (Thanks to Wicked Cool Deals for an awesome list of sale items and coupons!) That reminds me! If you can’t find your grocery store on one of the big grocery store watching websites, look for a smaller site. Wicked Cool Deals is an awesome site with great deals. I don’t know how she does it, but it’s a great site.

So I’ve got my list and I purchase all my stuff. I’ve got Suave deodorant, 2 of them for 38 cents each. I got the Suave shampoo, 6 of them for 30 cents each. I got the Knorr pasta side dishes for 60 cents each (I like those for lunch). I got the Wheat Thins for 50 cents a box. I got the Friendly’s ice cream for 99 cents. I also got two bottles of Wisk detergent for 4.68. I got five 12-packs of coke for $11.  I even got two boxes of Superpretzels for free.  The Superpretzels were B1G1 then I had two coupons for 75 cents off one box and Price Chopper doubled them. I got $146 worth of groceries for $72 and I got a coupon for $7 off my next trip because I spent $20 on Unilever products. I spent more than I normally do but I got to stock up on some things I needed. Next week, I’ll use my $7 to get some meat for the freezer. Free meat is always a good thing. I take my very full cart of groceries to the car and lug it all into the house.

I get everything home and “stage” my groceries on the kitchen table. I barely get everything to fit. I’ve got cases of coke stacked up with shampoo and conditioner bottles on top of that, boxes and bags of things all neatly displayed. I run upstairs to grab the camera and I realized that after spending all that time… the battery is dead. Sigh. So no picture of all my awesome grocery deals. Technology defeated me yesterday. Note to self: always put the battery back in the charger when done using the camera.

So my question today: have you found any awesome blogs to help you with your grocery deals or good coupon summary sites? I had a lot of coupons printed off the internet this trip which saved me a ton. I had $31 worth of coupons this week, which is a lot for me. Internet coupons rock!