Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kroger Shakedown!

shakedown graphic.indd

Geez Louise. You'd think that being the owner of my very own computer for the first time since college would afford me LOADS more time to blog.

Yeah, not so much.

Granted, I didn't go grocery shopping at all on Valentine's weekend. Anna Marie had two different performances in two different counties that day, in addition to church. I was going to go on Monday night, but my brakes were acting up on my van and the weather turned unexpectedly bad, so I stayed myself to home.

I did go to Walgreens, and got three boxes of Kellogg's cereal (two of which I gave to my sister) for $1.66 each and two boxes of Pop Tarts (for Jason) for $1 each.


This past weekend, I was determined that I was going to shop. And I was thankful that Uncle Sam had made a deposit into my checking account, because I knew I needed to spend twice as much for missing a week!

I will interject here that the cashier made some cryptic remark to me upon checkout, which I think she meant to say that people like me (with The Coupons) were responsible for grocery prices going up.

I don't believe that for a minute. I'm pretty sure the prices of raw materials, as well as the rising price of transportation, are what made the groceries get more expensive.

But I digress.

Here's the rundown for this week:

1 (8 pack) Bounty paper towels
4 bottles of Kraft bbq sauce
2 cans Chunky Healthy Request gumbo
1 box Betty Crocker muffin mix (paper coupon + Shortcuts)
4 bags Martha White muffin mix
1 box Capri Suns
4 boxes of Betty Crocker fruit snacks (paper coupons + Cellfire + Shortcuts)
1 box of Lipton pyramid-shaped tea bags
1 McCormick seasoning grinder
3 Chef Boyardee microwave bowls
6 cups of Yoplait (paper coupon + Cellfire)
2 (2 liters) of Coke Zero
2.11 lbs bananas
3.38 lbs. apples
1 package Murray sugar free cookies
2 boxes of Orville Redenbachers popcorn
4 packages of sliced meats (turkey and ham)(On sale, + buy 3, get 1 free coupon)
1 loaf Natures Own light bread
1 bag coffee filters
1 tub of Land O Lakes spread
2 cans of Suave Professionals mousse

Total before coupons/deals: $109.66
Total after coupons/deals: $57.13
Total savings: $52.53 (49 percent)

Kroger was running one of their "Buy 10 of these things, get $3 off" promotions, and I qualified for two of those (a total of $6 off).

On Monday, I went to our local grocery store here and picked up some reduced-for-quick-sale steaks, a small roast, some chicken breasts, a couple of cans of store-brand vegetables, a half gallon of milk, two boxes of Betty Crocker instant potatoes, and an 8 lb. bag of potatoes. I spent about $25 more on all that. I hate that I've spent that much on groceries this week, but I hadn't been in two weeks, so I guess it evens out.

We have our annual business meeting at church this Sunday, but I'm going to have to find time to shop because this is my week to work late every night (and Anna Marie has her basketball awards night on Tuesday, so I'll be out even later than usual.)

At least with my new netbook, I can surf the web from my bed when I get home!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Sweet lawd, I've had an awesome Valentine's Day. Or days, since my celebrations started Friday night.

(I know there are some anti-Valentine's people out there. I am very sorry for you, because even if you either don't have a sweetheart, or think a day of forced affection is dumb, you can still celebrate love in general. You do love SOMEONE, right? RIGHT?)

Friday, Jason had to work unexpectedly, due to Tuesday's "weather situation" here in the Midsouth. He came home from work and, in a surprise move, said that my mom had offered her babysitting services if we wanted to go out for an early Valentine's date.

(Mom offering her services wasn't the surprise here. It was Jason wanting to go out after he'd been at work since 3 a.m.)

Somehow, we gathered our collective strength and went out to dinner at Logan's. Man, I love a good steak and a sweet potato!

When we got out to the parking lot to go home, he pulled out a huge red bag. Guess what was inside - can you guess? Well, can you?

Here's a hint: I'm typing on it right now!

That's right - he got me a netbook! A cute little 10" emachines, and I love it so much I'd probably marry it if I wasn't already spoken for.

(KIDDING, dear!)

But seriously? Having my own computer rocks. So many times I have to wait for Jason or Anna Marie to get off the desktop or the laptop before I can do something I need to do. No more! This baby is all mine!

(He gave it to me Friday night, because he knows me pretty well after all these years, and he correctly guessed that I'd be too distracted by the thought of a new toy during this morning's service to get anything out of it. He hit the nail on the head, as usual.)

Anna Marie had a look I can only describe as "crestfallen" when she saw it and realized it wasn't for her. I've never actually seen her so openly envious, and it made me very sad. I explained that it would keep her from having to wait for me to get done with one of the other computers, and that if I took good care of it, it might be passed down to her one day.

She was down with that.

Today, we had church, and Amanda met us at Cici's afterwards for lunch. We had some really good coupons (naturally) and I figured it was Anna Marie's turn to get a Valentine's treat, so we went to one of her favorite places. Amanda brought the dozen toffee bars I'd ordered Jason from her job, and surprised me with a dozen of their famous "pucker up" lemon mini cupcakes and Anna Marie with a little apron and a box filled with "love potion" cookies and a "baby pie."

Yes, we're all going to have horrible sugar hangovers in the morning. Did I mention that I'd already gotten Anna Marie a little box of chocolates this morning, or that she had a whole bag left over from school Friday? Or that Jason asked me to bake him a caramel cake last night?

We're all going to need a detox tomorrow. This might possibly be worse than Christmas.

Anna Marie also had her dance class's annual performance at a nursing home, and a handbell/choir concert tonight. Amanda came down to do laundry and spend time with The Kid, and they had a couple of rousing games of Battleship between them.

We have been busy, busy folks today.

It's raining/snowing again outside, and I'm not even sure if we'll have school tomorrow. The temperatures are supposed to drop into the mid-20's, and I'm a little worried about all that precipitation on the roads freezing.

At least if we get snowed in, we'll have plenty of sugar calories to sustain us.

Editor's note: Don't worry about Jason only getting toffee bars while I got a netbook. He's got a surprise winging its way from, if the weather will allow it to come through!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Kroger shakedown!

Yep, I went shopping this week. But this weather has us all thrown for a loop, so I'm just now getting around to posting my list.

I didn't get to go on my normal day, Sunday, because we were CRAZY busy. Our service at church was (way awesome and) football themed. Then, Anna Marie had a cousin's birthday party at a bowling alley. And finally, our small group had a Super Bowl party that night.

Like I said, crazy busy.

So, I had every intention of going Monday night, but when I stepped out the door headed towards the gym on Monday morning (in an attempt to work off the pizza/hotwings/brownies of the day before) I was greeted with the aforementioned snow. And I was all, "Huh? It wasn't supposed to snow!" But it did. And it was way messy outside. And I only worked for three hours, because I had AM with me while Jason went to Memphis.

And then when he got home after lunch - he took me to Kroger! Honestly, we didn't HAVE to have food on Monday, thanks to my stockpile. But it sure was nice!

Here's how my trip went:

3 boxes of Nature Valley granola bars (paper coupons, plus Cellfire/Shortcuts)
1 box of Capri Sun Roaring Waters
1 bag of Ronzoni whole wheat egg noodles
1 jar of Hardeez Salsa
1 bottle of Country Bob's steak sauce (for my dad - it's his favorite, and I had a coupon for a free bottle!)
2 packages of Kraft 2% cheese singles
1 box of Philly 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 bottle of Softsoap
3 Cadbury caramel eggs (guess who THOSE were for?)
1 bottle of Sunny D fruit smoothie
2 bottles of Big K Diet Ginger Ale
3 2-liters of Pepsi products
1 20 oz Coke Zero (to go with his caramel eggs, of course!)
3.45 lbs of "ripe" bananas (at 39 cents a pound, and some were organic)
2.97 lbs of jonagold apples
2 bags of Green Giant steamers broccoli and cheese
4 boxes of Toaster Strudels (I'm set for about six months now)
2 bags of Chex Mix (paper coupons plus Cellfire for these)
2 boxes of Pop Secret 94% fat free popcorn
1 bag of Poppycock
1 package of Butterball turkey smoked sausage

Total before coupons: $88.34
Total after coupons: $40.76
Total savings: $47.58 (56%)

They were having their Mega Event again this week, so I saved $10 right there. I got home and realized I could have had a couple more Cellfire and Shortcuts coupons loaded on my card, but that would have been another $1.00 or so, and the trip was really a spur-of-the-moment thing.

One of the other "perks" I've noticed to all this couponing (besides eating at home more, because we have food available to us) is the savings on gas. Kroger gives 10 cents off per gallon with every 100 points you earn, and I get points based on my before-coupon savings, not my out-of-pocket expense. So Jason fills up at least once a month on the cheaper gas. Score!

I'd also like to give a "shout out" to my college chum Kathy Garvin, a fellow English major who started with The Grocery Game this week. She saved over 50% on her first trip! She's promised me her first-born son as a thank-you, but I'm sure she's gotten pretty attached to him by now - and I haven't clipped any Pullups coupons!

They're forecasting more snow for this weekend up here. I don't know what I'm going to do if Anna Marie has to miss any more school - at this point, we'll be looking at making the days up on Saturdays!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

So much for "GLOBAL WARMING."


Someone needs to tell Al Gore that his little "Oh, no, the earth is about to burn up" scheme isn't working so well.

Anna Marie just had her FOURTH snow day of this year - as in, 2010.

School has been in session for just about a month, and already they've spent four of those days at home due to snow. She went back today, but some of our surrounding school systems are still out.

Currently, it's about 20 degrees COLDER than usual out there. It's barely above freezing.

As in, it's really, really, ridiculously cold out there - not above average. Not even average. Just really, really cold.

What do you have to say about that, Mr. Gore? Hmmm?

Maybe when it thaws out a little bit around here, we can have a little chat.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

So, on Tuesday I knew…

What lies in the shadow of the statue.

On Wednesday, I knew…

not much else.

I don't know how many LOSTIES there are reading this, so all I'm going to say about this subject is that, while I did learn a few things from the premier, I was not as blown away by awesomeness as I was when I watched last season's finale.

I'm trusting that the writers know what they're doing. WE SHALL SEE.


What I did know on Wednesday, though, was that I'd apparently only gotten three hours of sleep.

Someone asked me if it was caffeine, or maybe LOST, and someone else asked me if it was anxiety. Honestly, I don't know. It's just that sometimes, when I lie down to sleep, my heart starts to beat really, really hard - not fast, just HARD - and it keeps me from settling down and resting.

In retrospect, I think it was probably adrenalin. I had been going hard at it all day Tuesday. I had more to get done than I had time to do it, and miraculously, it got done.

Observe my schedule:

• Get Anna Marie off to school
• Find her a belt, because the pants she was wearing were too big and she forgot to grab one on the way out. I went back home and couldn't find one either, so, in the 15 minutes I had before I had to be back at the school to read to a couple of kindergarteners I help on Tuesdays I ran to Walmart, picked up a two-pack, and got to the school ON TIME.
• At the school, I had them summon Anna Marie to the office, and while she was putting on her belt she reminded me that I'd forgotten to give her any lunch money! "It's OK, mom, Ms. Sandy (her teacher) said she'd pay for it." Well, I had my checkbook, so I sent her back with her lunch funds for this month. Thanks, though, Ms. Sandy!
• Read to both of my kindergarteners
• Ran to the vet's office to pick up some Heartguard for the dogs
• Made it to work by 9 a.m.
• Wrote some stuff, answered some phone calls, sent/received some emails
• At lunch, I ran home to give the dogs their meds, and eat a bite myself
• Went to my favorite consignment shop to try and find Anna Marie a football team shirt to wear for our special service on Sunday (no luck)
• Drove across town to a sporting goods store, found her an Ole Miss shirt on clearance for $6
• Made it back to work ON TIME.
• Worked a few more hours, and went to a city board meeting which, miraculously, let out in time for me to get to my Women's Ministries meeting at church
• Drove half an hour to the town where the church is, grabbed a sandwich at Subway, and made it to the church (just about five minutes late)
• Spent about half an hour after the meeting, discussing my passion for saving money (and sanity) with coupons
• Drove home
• Hurriedly laid out my clothes for the next day, started a load of laundry, fixed my coffee pot up, and spent the next hour and a half watching LOST on the DVR.

Is there any wonder why I had trouble calming down after all that? My last cup of coffee had been around 4 p.m., and it was nearly 11 when I got to bed, but Amanda assures me that caffeine can stay in your system up to 12 hours.

I took two Benadryl last night to help my system calm down, and I did sleep better, but I'm still recovering from Tuesday.

If anyone has any suggestions as to what might be happening, I'd be glad to hear them!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I know…

What lies in the shadow of the statue!

Yay for the LOST premier - and since I'll probably be watching it on the DVR later tonight, I'll be avoiding the internet from the time it starts until I see it!