Friday, October 24, 2008

Getting back into the swing of things.

So once again I apologize for my sporadic appearances of late. Think I’m finally getting back into updating my dear little blogging world. And so to celebrate, I thought I’d do a shopping post!

You may (or may not) remember near the end of August where I talked about wanting to try to start focusing on really cutting down on our shopping budget now that I’ve gotten the hang of this whole couponing game. Well, September was a bit of a disaster. I stayed within my old budget (not my new, aimed for budget); however, really cutting back was not much of an option as all sorts of things that I haven’t been planning for kind of blew my smaller budgeting dreams to bits. Another lesson in the necessity of planning ahead.

However, this month, I’ve done much better, and actually am quite excited to see how well I can make this work for the rest of the month! I will give a full report next week, and I’m hopeful that it will be at least close to what I want to see.

Shopping this week was very interesting. Because I spent some extra money last week, I really only had about $15 to work with. Fortunately, we’re well stocked up food-wise, and it happened to coincide with a not-so great deals week (at least nothing that I couldn’t live without) at Dillons or other places, so I’ve actually managed to stay (mostly) within budget.

Went to three places: CVS, Walgreens, and Akins (one of the health food stores here in town of which I have become a regular customer).

CVS: While there weren’t a whole lot of deals I wanted to take advantage of this week, the ones I did tackle were very nice. I was working very hard on disciplining myself and staying within my budget limit (which basically was about $1 out of pocket this week!); however, I unexpectedly ran across a really good deal on an electric razor (which Chris has desperately been needing a new one of), so I had to cut out a couple of things and go over my budget a little bit to secure the razor. In the long run though, it’s a cheaper deal by buying the razor now than it would have been if I’d waited until his razor actually died and I was forced to pay full price!

Always Infinity Pads. $4.99 minus $2.00 coupon making my total $2.99 and then I got $1.00 in ECBs back (bought two sets of these)
MaxFresh toothpaste - $2.99 - $1.00 coupon = $1.99 with $2 in ECBs (essentially making it free!)
Quattro for Women razor $9.99 - $2.00 coupon - $7.99 with $3.00 ECBs
Another good deal that I wound up not getting because I wanted the razor for Chris was Listerine Agent Cool for $4.99 - $1.00 coupon = $3.99 with $3 in ECBs. As we weren’t in desperate need of Listerine, I decided to pass on this deal so that I would have less to pay out of pocket at the end.

End result:
My total was $32.95.
Take off $5.00 because of a simply charming $5.00 off $30 total coupon that printed out for me!
Subtract $7.00 in coupons.
TOTAL: $20.95.
I then paid out $14.00 in ECBs leaving me with a total of $7.43 out of pocket! Like I said, a little bit over my $1.00 budget, but worth it in the long run. And besides, I got back $7.00 in ECBs for next time.

Walgreens: Just a few items here; however, I didn’t actually spend anything oop because I’ve got a gift card with my rebates on it from last month. If you get your rebates put on a gift card rather than as a check, Walgreens will throw on an additional 10% to your total. Not a lot, but hey, every penny counts, right!

Drano (desperately needed) - $4.99 with $1.00 rebate
Lysol toilet bowl cleaner – B1G1, so I bought two, paid $2.79 – two $0.50 coupons = $1.79 or $0.90 each!

Akins: This is where my shopping costs go up quite a bit. I bought sesame oil (I like this for a lot of my cooking as regular vegetable oil tends to be full of soy and other scariness and this oil really doesn’t leave much additional flavor unlike olive oil). The second item I didn’t actually need but wanted to try and since I was being scatterbrained this morning and completely left without a lunch, I decided this was a good day to try it. Annie’s brand (organic type stuff) has recently come out with a microwave-dinner mac’n’cheese that’s gluten free. So I tried it. Pretty good. I’m not a big fan of microwave meals; however, the occasional quick meal is a necessity, so it’s nice to know I’ve got at least one option to fall back on that can be bought in a store!

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