Friday Finals: Price-Matching edition

Other than my price-matching produce at Wal-Mart,

Total before price-comp = $18.50
TOTAL AFTER = $8.31

I did run to Publix twice to hit both sales weeks and got the following:

Trip #1

Lance Crackers x8
Wishbone salad dressing x7
Skippy peanut butter x3
Oscar Meyer bologna x2
Crisco Olive Oil x1
Campbell’s condensed soup x6
Quaker granola bars x6
Always x2
Tampax x1
Glue sticks x2
Elmer’s glue x6
Papermate pens x3
Publix american cheese x1
Powerade 8 pack x2

Total before coupons/sales = $130.42
TOTAL AFTER = $40.83 or 69% savings

I got a lot of snacks for school lunches and quite a few descent deals on school supplies

Trip #2 (not pictured because I can’t find the picture!!)

Bananas 4.79 lbs
Enteman’s donuts (treat!) x1
Card x1
Ronzoni x1
Barber stuffed chicken x2
Lysol all purpose cleaner x6
Del Monte veggies x4
Tombstone pizza x2
Valley Fresh canned chicken (chicken salad, my favorite!) x6
Smart Balance butter x1
Friendship sour cream x2

Total before coupons/sales = $81.85
TOTAL AFTER = $34.47 or 58% savings (you can tell I was exhausted and distracted during this trip! I got a lot more than I planned on getting, many without coupons, but all at least 50% off the regular price!)

Total for the week before price-matching/sales/coupons = $230.77
TOTAL AFTER = $83.61 or 64% savings!

8 lbs of meat, tons of produce, lots of staples and oodles of snacks for school lunches! I’m happy!

Confronting the Mess

Many things have happened in the past few weeks that have been… for lack of a better word… messy! Certain friendships, family relationships, the current (and possibly long-term) economic climate all have come at me, individually and collaboratively, to feel like one big mess! Sometimes when I’m in the middle of a mess, I start to feel overwhelmed by the utter hugeness of it all. It seems so insurmountable! I’ve really let it all get to me lately!

I was browsing through my friend Kelly’s blog earlier today (because I’m so glad she’s back from a long vacations!) and I was again captured by this post she did a couple of months ago. She really is a wonderfully gifted writer, and I was just as touched when I read this post today as I was when I read it earlier this summer. It’s about messes, big and little. Now, I know that many of you may not be Catholic, and some of this is about Catholicism, but I believe that it applies to everyone and it certainly gave me some perspective!

No matter the mess, God is bigger than it all, and he died to redeem it all. He can and will sort out the biggest of the Macro Messes, and when we turn towards him, we can find the perspective we need.

Publix, Bi-Lo and Food Lion

Today is Wednesday, which means new ads for Publix, Bi-Lo and Food Lion. Be sure and look closely at Bi-Lo’s ad. They recently changed their coupon policy to accept competitor’s coupons and they have a few nice deals when you use both them and manufacturer’s coupons.

Publix

Bi-Lo

Food Lion

I don’t normally publish Food Lion because I don’t usually see great deals, and I had not-so-good experiences the only two times I’ve gone, but they have a couple of good deals this week! I may have to try it, or at least price-match at Wal-Mart!!

Wisk $3.99
– $2/1 from 07/31 Redplum insert
= $1.99

Bulls Eye bbq sauce $.99
– $.75/1 from 07/31 RP insert
= $.24 each

Wishbone salad dressing BOGO $2.79
– $1/1 from 07/31 RP insert
– $1/2 Ecoupon
= $.14 each

Price-matching produce

One of my favorite things to price-match at Wal-Mart is produce! Save-A-Lot usually has GREAT prices on produce, but I’ve never been there to actually check out their quality, and I have a feeling that it’s not that great. Usually, I just take the ad that comes in the mail straight to Wal-mart and price match them!

I did it last night, and here’s what I got:

Green Bell Peppers (originally $.88 each) price-matched to $.33 each
Cucumbers (originally $.78 each) price-matched to $.33 each
Red Grapes (originally $1.98/lb) price-matched to $.98/lb
Bananas (originally $.52/lb) price-matched to $.39/lb

Total I spent $8.31 for 2.6 lbs of grapes, 3.75 lbs of bananas (most not pictured), 7 bell peppers, and 6 cucumbers!

News…

Well, I’ve been holding this one back because I was waiting to hear about the final results, but about a week and a half ago, I received a call from someone at All You Magazine telling me that I was one of the 10 semi-finalists for their 2011 Grocery Challenge. I don’t know how many people entered this year, but last year they had over 7,000 entries.

To be picked as one of the 10 semi-finalists is a huge honor, and I was honored, I am honored, but I have to admit I was really hoping to be one of the top three, especially the winner because they win a $1,000 award. The winner is also featured in their magazine, and I had high hopes for where it would take this blog that I have been working on and gone back and forth with for so long, from feeling encouraged about where it’s going to discouraged about where it isn’t at.

According to the entry, I should have heard about the results if I was in the top three by today, and I didn’t hear anything. It’s hard. After I got the initial phone call, I had a prayer time and I asked God to take this in His hands, and do with it what he will. If he wanted me to win, then let me win, and, if, for whatever reason, he didn’t, that I wouldn’t. I think I’ve had to put it back into His hands about a thousand times since that initial prayer, and I will probably have to keep doing it, but it is what it is. I can’t change it, even if I wanted to, and I wouldn’t really want to, because I trust in the Lord and His plans for me.

I am honored by being chosen as a semi-finalist, and I am seeking His will for my life and for all of my endeavors. I thank you all for your prayers for this as well!

Saving Star ecoupons!

I’m finally jumping on board with the new Saving Star ecoupons, and I LOVE IT!!! Basically, it works at a few participating stores, including Bi-Lo, CVS, Kroger, Food Lion, and Rite Aid, and attaches to your loyalty card. Then, instead of the coupons coming off of your order, they will be ‘deposited’ into your account. You can then redeem them to get certain rewards, like Amazon gift cards. The best part is that it doesn’t take the place of your regular coupons, so you don’t have to worry about spending more money upfront to save. It’s pure gravy!!

Now, you need to have your cards in front of you so that you can register and load the coupons onto your loyalty cards, so gather your key tags and click HERE to start your account! It’s yet another way to earn some free money towards Christmas presents!

A bad investment

A non-resiliant houseplant is always a bad investment for me! Thankfully my nice little peace lily doesn’t mind if I neglect it temporarily! It dutifully pops back up after a little water and attention!

DIY Monday: Butterbeer

If you’re a fan of the very popular Harry Potter books, you’ve been hearing about all the delicious treats available on the Hogwarts train and elsewhere. Personally, I’ve always been wondering about the Pumpkin Pasties, Chocolate Frogs, and the Butterbeers! I especially want to try the butterbeers!!

Here are the top ten recipes for butterbeers. I think the first two are especially appealing and sound like my idea of a butterbeer. It also looks like a nice little treat for kids to enjoy!

Frugal Hats

Looking for a frugal hat? Try a pull-up! It’s cheap, fast, and pretty cute! Wouldn’t you agree? The only real problem would be the leg holes, which, unless you’re using it on a dog and could repurpose them as ear holes, would have to be closed or patched, but a piece of colored duct tape would do the job in a pinch!

Friday Finals

I kept things easy this week, going to Publix, CVS, and Walgreens.

Publix

I made two trips because of prescription problems, so only one is pictured! I stocked up on Pop-Tarts, especially since I had Publix coupons as well as a couple of manufacturer’s coupons. I also stocked up on Go-Gurt, since it’s a major staple in our house. I also got 5 lbs of carrots, some sour dough bread fresh from the bakery, two frozen pizzas, and a couple of boxes of Little Debbies, some Cover Girl eye shadow, Always, Tampax, and some free scissors. Other than the bread, carrots, and yogurt, it wasn’t the healthiest of trips, but we were in need of replenishing our snack/convenience food stock.

Total before coupons/sales = $132.62
TOTAL AFTER = $44.94 or 66% savings

CVS and Walgreens were good trips! I got everything I wanted, so I’m thrilled!

At Walgreens I got Crest toothpaste, Gum flossers, W tampons, Scruncis, crayons, and Sharpies.

At CVS I got Crest toothpaste, Oral B floss, pens, U by Kotex, Bengay, and Renu contact solution.

Total cost before was = $52.50
Total after was $0 or 100% savings!

Total for the week before = $185.12
Total after = 76% savings!

My trips always end up looking odd, especially grocery store trips because I’m focusing on stocking up on the best deals, not buying what we need to eat every week. This week, it was mostly pop-tarts, yogurt, toothpaste, floss, and feminine products! It’s a different way of thinking, shopping 90% for stocking up and 10% for necessities, but it’s how you save the most!

I also transferred two prescriptions to Publix pharmacy, and used two prescription transfer coupons, so I left with $50 in gift cards as well that I’ll use the next couple of weeks.