Friday, February 3, 2012

I made my standard Friday night grocery run after Squirt was in bed tonight. She doesn't really nap at daycare, so she's usually in bed no later than 6:30. Tonight it was 6:00. That may seem like heaven, but it actually makes me sad because I only get to spend a couple hours playing before bedtime.

Anyway, I digress...

So, shopping. The sales this week were pretty blah, so I didn't anticipate having a good run. Plus, I needed dog food which always throws off my total. Still, I like to make a night of it because it's generally the only time during the week I have to myself with no one saying, "Mrs. Merrill, Mrs. Merrill, Mrs. Merrill..." or "mamamamamama." I know, I've reached a new low when grocery shopping is relaxing. But it really is! And I love competing with myself to save money.

I started out at Target, as usual, as went straight to Starbucks, as usual. I had not so much as made it to the freezer section when my latte, completely unprovoked, JUMPED STRAIGHT OUT OF MY CART AND ONTO THE FLOOR.


I took a deep breath, acknowledged that it was purchased with a gift card from a student (one over $10, but he moved this week, so I'm pretty sure it was ethical to accept it) and went on with my life.

Scratch that, I'm still upset.

I should have taken a picture of my cart before I checked out. I didn't have that many items, but they included:

  • a 33-pound bag of dog food
  • three large boxes of diapers
  • a large box of wipes
  • a jumbo pack of toilet paper
That's just the big stuff. I had regular groceries too! I was convinced the whole thing would come crashing down before I reached the checkout. After all, that's how my night was going. But I made it all the way to the car sans catastrophe.

Grand total at Target:
Spent: $199.72
Saved: $78.87
Gift cards for future purchases: $20

Not bad, considering! The dog food is usually the hardest thing to get a good deal on, but tonight wasn't bad. On a normal run, I get the 20-lb bag of Iams for $17.89, or $0.89 per pound. Tonight, I got the 33-lb bag on sale for $29.99, plus I had a $3 Target coupon and $3 manufacturer coupon, for a total of $0.72 per pound. Win!

However, my favorite deal was on a pack of Archer Farm coffee. It was regularly priced at $6.89, on clearance for $3.44 (pretty sure it's been there since November, but the expiration date is in July. Probably won't last a week at school), plus I had a $1 Target coupon. Final cost, $2.44! I also got Alexia sweet potato fries (Super Bowl snack) for $1.09.

Next stop, Publix. My goal at Publix is always to save more than I spend. It's a lot easier to do there than Target. I had to buy formula, so I didn't think that was going to happen. Plus I bought alcohol (Mike's Lite Hard Lemonade was on sale. Like I wasn't going to buy some? I have to have something to drink on Sunday.)

Grand total at Publix:
Spent: $78.51
Saved: 79.30
Gift cards for future purchases: $10 (I was able to use the $10 off $100 coupon because my total before coupons was over $100)

My best deal was on a bottle of method baby shampoo. I love method products, and this was marked down from $5.29 to $2.65 and I had a $1.50 coupon! $1.15? Yes, please!

I also got 8 jars of Beech Nut baby food for $0.70 total (regularly priced $4.40), Ritz munchables for $0.50 a box (regularly priced $3.00), Oikos vanilla Greek yogurt for $0.20 (regularly $1.75 each), and Frizz-Ease styling spray for $1.38 (regularly $5.50).

So all in all tonight I spent $278.23 and saved $188.17 (including gift cards I'll use later this month). That's a 40% savings! Definitely worth the hour I spent planning.

If couponing sounds interesting to you, check out local coupon guru Laurie's site at You can also coupon with my friends and me at school at 3 p.m. on Thursdays if you're around. Or just ask for help one-on-one. I love talking coupons. :)

Good deals make me happy. Spilling my coffee does not.

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