Monday, January 30, 2012

Back in the Game

Admission: this former coupon addict hasn’t used coupons or played the “drugstore game” since moving to New York City.  I tried a few times when we first moved here, but I was quickly discouraged.  I had a hard time finding my coupons, and the newspaper here is expensive.  The grocery store that accepts coupons isn’t overly convenient, and it doesn’t double any coupons.

I tried to score the free deals at CVS, RIte Aid, and Walgreens, but they were always out of the free items.  I guess it’s because there are so many people living here!  And, dragging two kids to the store when I can’t walk there and don’t always have a car isn’t easy.  So I gave up.

Entere Money Saving Mom’s new book, The Money Saving Mom’s Budget.  I got the book, and the audiobook.  With Ben’s recent unemployment and the tight budget, I knew it was time to get back on the frugal track.  I was still mostly there, but slightly derailed.

I found a local free paper that has the coupon inserts.  I made a coupon box.  I printed coupons online.  I planned my shopping list.  I signed up for the Grocery Game free trial.  I am going to try and shop at the supermarket near our church because they double coupons.  I will have to go on Sundays after church, though.

My kids have been sick this weekend.  After three days of throw up and diarrhea, I was ready to escape the house and responsibilities.  When Ben got home from church, I got to go out for a couple of hours – all.by.myself.  Hallelujah!  {Note: I love my kids, but shopping is SO much easier alone!}

I’m reading a book called, “Who got Peanut Butter on my Daily Planner?”  My mom sent it to me when I was expecting Elaine.  I’m wondering why I waited so long to read it!  I love what the author, Cindy Dagnan said on this topic.  It sums up my feelings exactly!

“Hit an all-night [grocery] center after the children are in bed.  I often do that in the summer, and my cell phone always rings at least once.  It’s my bewildered husband, worried about me.  Nothing’s wrong—I’m just having an absolute ball, shopping and browsing without anyone wailing, begging, or whacking another sibling on the head with a box of cereal!”

I got to hit CVS and Walgreens, and I was able to find all of the freebies/deals on my list.  I know that God was saving those last four bottles of Dawn on the bottom shelf just for me.  And thanks to a friend, I had four coupons to use on them.  You always have to put out a little upfront to get started, but now I have store cash for both stores to roll into deals next week.  I spent $11, saved over $35, and have $7 for next week.

I am proud to show you my first shopping trip, now that I’m back in the game!

First NYC Drugstore Game shopping trip
I really just needed the Dawn, but I made $1.50 on the eye drops, and the chocolate is for an event coming up at church.  And who can resist Hallmark cards, especially when they are FREE?  The redbox rental was also free, and my Starbucks drink printed a survey for another FREE drink!

First NYC Drugstore Game shopping trip

Elaine wanted in my picture and assumed this pose.  I think she was trying to get her mouth as close as possible to the chocolate!

First NYC Drugstore Game shopping trip

Nolan got to join the picture.  He went straight for the soap!

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