Monday, April 18, 2011

Confessions of a Couponaholic (Winco has opened!)

I went over my grocery budget this week.  Not a whole lot over but nonetheless over.

It all started on Thursday when I went to Albertsons to pick up a few items and spent just over $15.  I needed milk and decided I might as well get a few sale items while I was there too.  I got 2 cans of Spam (apparently it is the state meat of Hawaii so we thought we'd try it out before heading over), 4 boxes of cereal, 2 dozen eggs, 2 bottles of Tropicana and 1 lb. of cream cheese.  I spent $15.67 and saved $29.10, a savings of 65%.  Pretty good and I would have been good for the week if the milk at Albertsons hadn't been so expensive. It was $2.69 per gallon and I just couldn't bring myself to buy more than 1 gallon at that price especially because I had noticed that Safeway was advertising milk for $2.49 per gallon.  $2.49 per gallon is not a great price either but it was better. I told myself that I'd go to Safeway when the 1 gallon ran out.

Saturday morning the milk ran out. I added Safeway to my list of errands and skimmed through the ad  quickly.  Boy, if I had taken a better look at the ad earlier I would have totally skipped Albertsons altogether: there were some great deals. Besides the milk, I added to my list 4 Kellogg's 20 oz cereals ($1.99/box-$2 in manuf coupons), Hamburger Patties ($1.50/lb), 2 lb bags of fish (for $2.99 ea), grapes ($1.29/lb), mangoes (2/$1), and Fresh Express spinach ($1/bag-.50 manuf coupon), and a few more items. I spent a total of $48.47 and saved $55.20.  A savings of 53%.

At that point I was just under my weekly allowance.  I had everything I needed for all my meals for the upcoming week and I felt pretty satisfied that I had planned ahead, even beyond the week.  I now had plenty of fish and hamburger to last me until I moved out of the house. I pulled into the driveway, honked for the kids to come and help me with the groceries and I walked down to the mailbox. In it I found . . . .

The brand new Winco grand opening sales flyer! I quickly hid it from myself pushing it to the bottom of the pile of mail.  I plopped the mail on the counter and put away the groceries but darn it the whole time I was putting away stuff it was right there calling to me from beneath the bills.  I tried to concentrate as I pulled everything from the bags but  I couldn't resist and pulled the ad to the top of the mail pile and left it there.  I put away the cereal.  I glanced over and then opened the full spread of the first page.  I put away the produce.  I heard it louder and tried to casually browse but the front page immediately sucked me in.  It was full of coupons!

There were coupons for 12 packs of soda for $3.98, Kool-Aid Jammers  98 cents per box, and spaghetti sauce 98 cents per jar--the good stuff!! I could feel my heart rate increase and my mind began to race, "do I have manufacturer coupons for these too? Could I fit this in today? I'd already spent my budget for the week, could I make an exception?"  I carefully read the ad and found that the Grand Opening was Sunday and the coupons were good through the following Saturday.

"Oh good" I thought to myself., "that means that I can do my shopping on Wednesday or Thursday, the beginning of my weekly grocery fiscal budget. I won't screw up this week's budget at all."

That's what I thought until this morning.

I have had a headache since last Friday.  Though I had a decent weekend I have not slept well and have not felt on top of my game.  I hardly slept at all last night.  This morning when I got out of bed I was looking forward to getting to the doctors office, a visit I had scheduled weeks ago, in hopes of a new prescription. I got up did the usual routine getting kids out the door and realized that the bread I had started yesterday I had never finished.  The cold dough was fully risen in the refrig and waiting to be formed into loaves. I formed the loaves and let them rise knowing full well that this meant I would have to get the bread baked and cooled and lunches made and delivered all before my doctor's appointment. I was cutting it really close but did I have another option? No.

(In all actuality I realize that, yes, I do have another choice, two, in fact.  I could 1-send the kids to school with lunch money. Elementary lunches are $2.40 these days and High School lunches are well over $3.  My homemade lunches top out at about 50 cents per lunch. The kids get plenty to eat, they have healthy options and they never  rarely complain about their home packed lunches. I hardly consider sending money for school lunches an option unless it is a major emergency.  Besides, have you seen what they serve at school? Yuck! I could 2-not send anything.  I am a responsible mother therefore this is another option that I would hardly consider feasible.)

Anyways, I had a lot to get done before heading out to the doctor's and the second thing on that list, right after forming the loaves and setting them to rise, was driving Kirkham to school.  He had a huge baseball bag and a project to carry besides his backpack.  I had agreed to take pity on him and give him a ride. But where were the keys?

We searched the usual spots in the front entry, in the purse, in the room.  We searched the car and laundry and the couch cushions.  We searched inside shoes and under my blankets (Kirkham thought maybe I had slept with them all night and hadn't noticed) and the drawers in the bathroom.  The keys were-----OH NO! The last time I could remember using them I had placed them on the table at Grandma and Grandpa's when we visited last night. I called them and left a message.  I called Dave and pleaded for him to bring me a spare sometime in the next 90 minutes so I could get to the doctor on time. I turned to Kirkham gave him a hug and kiss goodbye as well as a note explaining his tardiness and sent him walking.

While waiting for Dave I showered and got dressed, took the bread out of the oven and set too cool, cleaned the house, started some laundry, put in a load of dishes.  Dave called to ask me to meet him at the street.  I ran out to get the key from him and reported that I would drop the lunches over at the school on my way out to the doctors office.  I ran in with the key and tested the bread to see if it was ready to cut yet.  Still too warm.  I finished my hair and makeup and gathered up my things. Tested the bread again, still warm but it  would have to do.  I couldn't wait any longer I was cutting it really close. I quickly threw the lunches together and headed out the door.

Within 10 minutes I had all three delivered and was heading to the freeway. I computed the time it was going to take to get to the docs.  I was going to be 5 minutes late.  At a stoplight I rummaged through my purse searching for my phone; I wanted to call the docs office to give them a heads up that I was coming in a bit late. No phone. Headache, late lunches, lost keys and now my phone was missing.  Did I leave it at one of the schools or at the house?  I think the house.  I hope the house.

OK, now this story is getting really long and it could get even longer if I describe my entire trip to the doctors office.  Let it suffice to say that the traffic was horrible. I forgot that there was construction and I had to take a detour.  I got lost taking the detour.  When I finally found my way to the office building I couldn't find any parking.  All of this and I was ONLY 15 minutes late. I walked into the office building and looked up onto the directory to find the docs suite number (the building had been remodeled) and found that the doctor's name wasn't on the directory.  I asked at the customer service desk and found out he moved to a different building 17 blocks away! I asked to borrow the phone, called the doctor's office and they told me I'd have to reschedule, obviously.

By this time it was 30 minutes past my appointment time. I was frustrated and upset and feeling crappy and tired.  I kinda wanted to cry but refused to give into the sensation.  I marched back up 4 flights of stairs to my car on the top level of the parking garage.  I hopped into my car, dug through my purse and pulled out the ad and decided I needed some coupon therapy.  Watch out Winco here I come.

Tomorrow I will review my trip to Winco.  (What a bummer! You read through this whole post and didn't even get to hear about Winco. tee-hee-hee)

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