Couponing in Lissa Land: Week of 6/12

June 16, 2012

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.

$1.99

FREE!

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!
~Lissa

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