I’m a little behind in my weekly shopping posts, so here is last week’s. It was a pretty quiet week really, primarily just picking up my reclaimed boxes and being very very lazy. Hey, it’s my vacation!


Albertson’s – $0.57

Just a quick stop to use the last of my Essential Everyday coupons before they expired. Also I took advantage of a gift card deal: Buy $100 in selected gift cards (I chose Lowe’s cuz I would need to spend money there for house stuff and/or gardening supplies anyways) and get $20 catalina. Woot! Basically that is $20 FREE of groceries!  Even better- the rewards points from buying the gift card put me over 5000 points so I earned a $5 rewards coupon. See next week’s post for how I spent these. 

Petosas’s – $0.84

Reclaimed food: FREE!

Another winning week in Adventures in Produce!

7 ears corn (took to a BBQ along with another 6 ears I got on Saturday)
7 tomatoes (oven-dried for salads/pasta)
2.5lbs grapes
3lbs strawberries
4 apples (dehydrated)
6 heads green/romaine lettuce (honestly, 3 of these just went in the trash. I have a surplus of lettuce. Need to find out the apt. # for the neighbor who has a tortoise she can feed it to)
1 artichoke (I steamed and ate this but I either did it wrong or it was too far past it’s prime. not very good)
2 bunches Kale (some in salads, made Melting Tuscan Kale)
1 bunch dinosaur kale (this went bad before i figured out what to do with it, sad)
14 russet potatoes (made roasted potatoes with 2…..maybe make some mashed potatoes to take to work? We’ll see what happens)
1/2 carrot (poor lonely carrot)
handful raspberries/blackberries
and……..almost 3 pounds of Rainier Cherries!!

Seriously…..the street value of Rainier cherries is $6/lb right now. That’s $18 in cherries that there is no way on earth I would have bought otherwise. Not to mention $6 in strawberries and $5 in grapes. And free corn to contribute to a BBQ. It’s INCREDIBLE! I can’t wait to see what the box holds tomorrow. 😀

Elsewhere: $13.95
A small bottle of rum and a bottle of wine

Weekly Total: $15.36!
Obviously, another week where it would be nearly nada without the alcohol. I swear, I’m working on it.

Happy Hunting!


This was a much busier week, grocery shopping-wise! Lots of small trips and did a big multi-stop shop on Tuesday after my massage. It’s such a good time to do that because I have to get out of the house and I can take a route back home that hits all of the major stores so I’m not going out of my way at all and wasting gas money.

Birthday was ok. I wish I could say I was super excited and it was awesome, but really I just felt kinda bleh about the whole thing. It was my 30th and while I did go out and have dinner and drinks with a couple of friends, my head just wasn’t really into the party spirit. Dinner was nice with a friend I haven’t really gotten much chance to hang out with outside of work, and then drinks started out pretty good with a couple other friends. But drinks was the sole activity (no darts, pool, etc) so I just literally sat at the bar drinking rum & coke after rum & coke and chatting a bit. The two friends didn’t know each other so that can be a bit challenging conversation wise. I dunno….it was basically just drinking with the sole intention of getting drunk….which I did magnificently. Pretty sure I was shoveled into the car by my friend Craig and shoveled into bed at home. I have a feeling that I wasn’t too good of company for him all in all, which is too bad. My personal life is in SUCH a stall right now, birthday celebrations just felt a little forced. Hopefully things improve in that department soon.

Ok, back to groceries! I definitely have THAT department all figured out! Here’s the week in pictures:

Safeway: $6.05 & $6.10

More cheese! Apparently the $2/$10 e-coupon is still on my card, so with a printed $2/$10 Lucerne products coupon, all these dairy items were 40% off! $0.75 per 80z bags of cheese (since somehow apparently I ran out of mozzarella), more feta and cottage cheese. Free silk almond milk singles too! And onions that were basically free from a Just4You pricing error.



Albertson’s: $6.87 OOP,  $1.87 actual cost!

Lots of great freebies at Albies with the $1/1 Albertson’s brand coupon: pasta, ketchup, mustard, marinade. A catalina deal on the razors + deodorant, I took my $5 catalina coupon to Fred Meyer’s since I was doing some gardening purchases. See below! $1.99 baguette to take to work with bruschetta from my reclaimed produce boxes – yum!

Fred Meyer: $0.54!

I took the $5 catalina that I earned at Albertson’s from the razor deal and used it at Freddy’s for a hanging plant bracket that I needed anyways.

Target: $6.12

Ok, because I am TOTALLY lame and ridiculously frugal (and maybe just not feeling my birthday), I took the $30 giftcard that my mom sent me to Target for my bday and used it on pet supplies. Hey! I NEEDED dog food and cat litter and I was just gonna buy them at Walmart instead. Probably got a better price at Target combining store and manufacturer coupons…..$3 off the dog food, $3.50 off the 35lb cat litter, $3.05 off the cat food. Plus a lonely can of enchilada sauce for $0.57 to make layered chicken & black bean enchilada casserole with. Truly though, I have been very pleased on how much I have been able to save with my pet supplies lately by thinking outside of the box. Just in the last 3 months I have:

-Bought dog & cat food at Rite Aid capitalizing on manufacturer coupons + my 20% wellness discount and using UP rewards that I earned in moneymaking transactions to pay the bulk of the rest of the cost – paying nearly only tax OOP.
-Bought cat litter at Albertson’s on sale + manufacturer coupons + doublers + catalinas = cheap!
-Bought cat food at Fred Meyer’s using manufacturer coupons and paying with catalinas earned at Albies and Rite Aid
-Bought all of the above at Target combining manufacturer and store coupons and using a gift card to pay the majority of the balance!

By doing this, I have vastly reduced my OOP expenses for these items – which would typically run $40-50/mo – to less than $10-15/mo! Pet supplies are kinda like cheese and meat — always needed, generally can’t get for free, and a good place to use UP rewards or catalinas earned from other moneymaking transactions!

Rite Aid: $49.57 OOP, $45.57 actual cost ***

***BUT that includes the purchase of a $50 gift card to Lowe’s! (See the next pic for what an awesome haul I got!) So reaaallly it’s like $0.43MM oop and $4.43MM actual cost.  The $50 gift card had a promo where you get $10 UP, bringing the true cost of it down to $40 for $50 of merchandise. Sweet! An excellent way to save money on gardening supplies that i was going to buy anyways. Other highlights:

FREE big bags of sour patch kids!
$0.49MM Kotex liners
$0.39 sink stopper! (unadvertised UP + wellness discount – sweet!)
More $0.05 Milano cookies 🙂

Lowe’s: $0.38 OOP ($50.38 actual cost)

Sooo…..after picking up that handy $50 gift card at Rite Aid, I wandered around the garden department at Lowe’s. I knew I wanted a few things: a hanging basket, some more strawberries, and 1 or 2 hanging baskets of flowers. Here’s what I got:

Lovely hanging basket of petunias – $20
Empty hanging basket (to plant big strawberry plant in!) – $6
BIG strawberry plant with lots of strawberries already ripening (the less likely for me to kill it off) – $5!
Medium cherry tomato plant – $4
4-pack of broccoli (I fully expect to kill this within a week or two) – $2
Small trellis for snap peas or tomato – $4
Garden twine – $2
Hand trowel – $3

I am now ready to plant! I have 2 hanging plant brackets to install, one for the petunias, one for the big strawberry plant in new basket. I have another round planter to put the tomato plant and small strawberry plant in. I have a long rectangle planter to put the snap peas & broccoli in. And lots of organic potting soil from a couple of weeks ago! I think I will stick with just this for this year. Though I *may* get another flower basket. And I’ll probably stalk for more veggies later in the summer if I don’t manage to kill all of these ones. This is definitely my most ambitious gardening year ever!

Reclaimed Food: FREE!

Another different week in Adventures in Produce. A fairly standard, though smaller selection from the local grocery. And at the natural foods co-op – fairly quiet except for the HUGE berry score! I just had an ice cream maker given to me from a coworker so I am SO making some strawberry sorbet! Oh yes I am.

10 ears of corn – frozen
4 heads of lettuce
4 tomatoes – oven-dried for salads
6lbs of strawberries – 1/2 for eating, 1/2 for sorbet
2lbs fresh green beans – I need to find a good recipe using these
one sad carrot
one white potato
one head of garlic (yay!)
one bunch  parsley – dried
8oz raspberries – snacking
a few blackberries – ate them!

I am making a chicken, black bean and corn layered enchilada casserole this weekend. It’s awesome to know that the tortillas were free, the black beans were $0.25, the enchilada sauce was $0.57, the chicken will be about $0.80, and all the rest of the produce was FREE! So that’s $1.62 for a 5-6 serving meal or ~$0.30 per serving! I LOVE couponing!

Ok, even more shocking, I didn’t buy hardly any alcohol this week. Granted, it was my birthday Sunday and I knew I’d be going out drinking (and having it paid for/comp’d) Which was lovely. Happy hour dinner and a glass of wine my coworker friend paid for. One free drink from the bartender I know there. And then all my drinks at the casino were free because the bartender is the boyfriend of my other friend from work who I met there. So FREE birthday outing = yay!

Weekly Total: $24.71!!

I am so excited that even with all those stops AND cheese stocking up I still managed to stay under my $25/wk budget! Course, no alcohol helps with that. Wait….there WAS a bottle of wine…..

As you may have noticed, I did NOT include the gardening supplies in that total, I just didn’t think it was fair to put it in this category. For budgeting purposes, it will go under home improvements.

Gardening supplies: $50.95

I am now officially on vacation for the next 10 days! What will I do? Well square dancing tomorrow night, next Saturday my friend is having a Pride party, I plan to actually plant and situate my balcony plants, and spend plenty of time in the sun in the park and at the beach (if we actually GET any). Of course, the grocery adventures won’t stop either!

Happy hunting!

Ugh I am already so over this weekend. Like many of  my weekends (which are Sat-Tues FYI), I accomplish darned near nothing until Tuesday and then feel like I am constantly running out of time. Big (ironic) problem this week? I actually stayed on a graveyard sleep schedule…but I have to get up at the crack of dawn tomorrow for a stupid leadership seminar thing for work, rather than my normal graveyard shift. I am bitter about this for many reasons: A. It’s a LEADERSHIP SEMINAR. B. It completely messes up my sleep schedule this week. C. I have to drive all over kingdom come to get to and from the thing. D. I lose out on about 3-5 hours of shift + differential pay. For those counting, that’s about $100 pay cut for the day for a STUPID mandatory seminar of which I will see no use.

Me = pissed.

Good thing I’m saving tons of money with couponing and grocery shopping and free-produce-gathering! This week was quick, simple, and great. Check out the rundown:

Fred Meyer: $14.95

Bottle of rum….I HAD to! It was the first day of privatized liquor sales!

Rite Aid: $3.67

Another quick little trip, mainly to roll UPR forward. Nair, paying tax only of  0.47 and 4 packs of Milano cookies for $0.05 each (woot car snacks!) + cheap-o bottle of wine, of course. (was way underbudget again this week despite bottle-o-rum so said “why not?”. Elsewise would have skipped.

Albertson’s: $0.27

Yup, that’s right – 27 cents! While definitely not my most amazing Albies trip (and DEFINITELY not the trip I planned to make THIS weekend) I am still quite happy with what I managed to accomplish with just 3 (THREE!) doublers.

Albies released doublers in the Friday papers – instead of on Sunday due to the privatization of liquor release on Friday. Seems all good… until you remember that many couponers (like ME) get multiples of the SUNDAY paper in order to maximize on the coupon inserts and Albies doublers. All well and good except no one knew until Sunday that we wouldn’t be getting doublers ALSO in the Sunday paper. To be honest, I didn’t try very hard to find Friday papers to buy, just checked the recycle bin at the apartments carefully through the weekend. But the end result? Only the 3 doublers from my own Friday paper. Sigh. And it was SUCH a GOOD weekend for doublers!

2  Tribe hummus – free
1  Albies vinegar – free
1 Albies WW pasta – free
4 Kraft dressing – $0.27 total (after overage from the hummus)
= a pretty darned good trip of all useful stuff


Reclaimed food:  FREE!

Wow! Another great (and different!) week in Adventures in Produce! So I still have to look up some recipes and figure out what to do with the leek and the peppers, but’s here’s the rundown:

5 ears corn – boiled, cut, will use in salads/sides
14 tomatoes – will make pico de gallo, cut for salads, + oven dried
4 hearts of romaine – eat them! these are excellent for snacking 🙂
4lbs strawberries- eating UP! I am SO LOVING the all-you-can-eat summer of strawberries! I didn’t eat nearly enough last year- hah!
2 – 8oz of blueberries – have to do something with these….
2 bunches broccoli rabe
3 cucumbers
8 chili peppers
5 jalapeno peppers
1 pablano pepper
handful of snap peas – used in chicken noodle soup
1 head green lettuce – will take to work
1 leek
1 orange
1 tangerine
1 peach – ate!
2″ ginger

– phew!

Weekly Total: $18.89

Another under-budget week, once again would be negligible without the alcohol. No dining out. Next weekend is my 30th birthday so there will not only be plenty of drinking, but definitely dinner on Sunday. Stupid leadership thing tomorrow, then a short 2-day week! One more week, then 10 day vacation, 2 more weeks and then I’m onto part-time! Yay bring on the summer!

Happy hunting!

Well this week was a quiet one! No grocery shops, just a quick trip to Rite Aid to use some expiring UPR, my 2 boxes of reclaimed foods, and some alcohol. Not even any dining out!

Rite Aid – $2.11 OOP ($6.11 actual cost)

$0.49 tampons to go into boxes to send to soldiers in Afghanistan + cheap potting soil. Plan this weekend is to actually PLANT some plants with the soil on the balcony. We’ll see how that goes. So far I haven’t managed to kill off the sugar snap pea and strawberry plants I got from work for Earth day. So I’m one up on last year.

Various locations: $18.27

Bottle of wine, champagne, and small bottle of raspberry vodka. What can I say?

Reclaimed food: FREE!

I had SUCH issues getting pics to attach and the computer to cooperate with this post! It was a great week in Adventures in Produce though! Here’s the final tally (and what I did with it!):

2 eggplants – making eggplant lasagna using some of the homemade tomato sauce and free mushrooms. Yay!
10 cucumbers – lots of raw snacking! + in salads
4 zucchini to go with those from last week. – made 2 loaves of zucchini bread to share at work, plus lots of roasted zucchini with meals!
1lb carrots – snacking + in homemade chicken noodle soup
1lb broccoli – snacking + roasted veggies
2 orange bell peppers – yum! raw snacking
1 bunch parsley – dried
1.5lbs apricots – made a wonderful apricot crisp and took to work
2lbs red grapes – soooo delicious! ate them 🙂
a few rasperries/blackberries – ate them too 🙂
9 heads of leaf lettuce – gave 5 to a neighbor for her turtle
12 ears of corn – boiled and cut off cob. 1/2 frozen, 1/2 eaten as a veggie side through the week
3lbs strawberries – ate them 🙂 – I am definitely getting my heart’s content in strawberries this year and I LOVE IT!

Weekly total: $20.38
Obviously would be nearly nothing without the alcohol. Oh well! This week is looking very good in the grocery budget department too. Catch you soon!