money diary day 2. on credit.

30 09 2009

didn’t get a chance to hit the ATM before going to fat boy yesterday, so had to borrow from the bf. also, supposed to pony up some gas money for some burlesque oriented travel (3 hours in the storage locker pulling costumes). all in all $15 owed to boyfriend. $0 delivered. will distribute today, along with scoring what i think will be a sweet sweet zyrtec deal (to be detailed later) at rite aid.

weekend economy.

29 09 2009

cheeriosi don’t exactly need cereal right now, but i did get a couple of totally sweet cheerios coupons in the mail on saturday. $1 or more /1 coupons off cereal are basically the golden door to never having to pay more than $.99 a box for premium cereals. i’ve been noticing that the freebies seem to be pretty lame these days, i haven’t signed up for one in over a week. even when it’s just a tiny sample, if it’s not something that i generally want to try- or want a coupon for, then i don’t bother. and right now, soy-nut butter and foot ointment just aren’t doing it for me.

the fliers this week were kind of bunk. not a thing to be found at hannaford, and i decided to skip the vaseline lotion deal at cvs because i don’t really use body lotion, and i don’t really think that the preble street resource center  is really that concerned about dry elbows. i’ve been watching a lot of the hoarders on a&e, it’s terrifying me into trying to be more careful about what i bring into my house.

i’ve also been thinking a lot about the state of my economy, and trying to break my habits of pecking away at my funds with snacking and impulse purchases. i tried hard this week to choose foods that will keep me from straying to my local convenience store (like bottled poland spring water so i can stop buying vitamin waters whenever i’m  thirsty in the car). also, shaws had some really good deals this week that fit the bill pretty well:

092709decided to forego the walmart shop this week and stay in town instead. the sopo shaw’s had some pretty good 10/$10 deals this week.  i stocked up on these sabra hummus snack packs with pretzel chips (very delicious also). the little containers are pretty cute. i think i might refill them with other jazz (peanut butter & celery, or cucumbers & taziki?) once they’re gone. or i might be lazy and buy more… but at least they’re cheap. also got a couple of odwalla bars to help me combat post-pilates pre-dinner hunger that causes me to grossly overeat, and 2 boxes on ronzoni healthy harvest pasta for $1 each. i had a $1/2 printable, so $.50 each is pretty good . the real centerpieces of the grocery shopping experience for me this week were a couple of $off bonus coupons from the weekly flyer, and one from a healthy harvest coupon book that i received in the mail. 

deal #1. $4/ $10 worth of select general mills products. it would have been amazing if i had $1/1 coupons for everything (or $.50 coupons that could be doubled)… but all i had were 2 $1/2 coupons for the 4 boxes of nature valley granola bars. still, $1 a box is good stuff.

deal #2. $4/$15 from the wild harvest area. i bought baby spinach @ $3.99, 2 odwalla bars @ $1/ea., 2 bags of veggie booty for $2/ea., and 2 boxes of kashi crackers for $3/ea…. i used a $1.50/2 kashi snack coupon, and a $1/2 booty coupon… bringing the whole shebang to about $9.50. which for  natural food section goods, is pretty damn good.

i think that maybe a lot of other people are able to save more at the checkout than i do, but i also don’t eat a lot of processed foods… and i don’t buy meat- which makes things a little trickier. i also don’t ever have more than 2 sets of coupons at a time. maybe there are more dramatic saving websites hosted by at-homers with unlimited time and  coupons… but i like to think that i represent a more moderate view. possibly a more realistic view?

good mail day.

25 09 2009

DSCN1930let it be known that the world of coupons extends far outside the newspaper and the internet. actually, the very best coupons come via snail mail. sure, becoming a really great couponer involves learning the rules, searching for great deals, having a good organizational system… and so on.  however, regardless of how well you’ve trained yourself, the  most amazing deals can only be had when you have kick ass high-value coupons.  these coupons are scored in a couple of ways:

product testing. i love vocalpoint.  it’s a product testing community (ok, for moms, but the coupons are really awesome) where they routinely send you a free sample, and/or a fistful of high value coupons (that you’re probably supposed to share with your friends, but probably won’t). apparently you can also get similar stuff from pssst and other product review websites that are attached to specific brands like kraft first taste.

magazines. specifically, all you magazine is built for couponers (and extremely geared toward style-less stay-at-home mommy types, so proceed with caution), and has relatively high value coupons on pretty much every other page. yes, the actual magazine is kind of terrible, so i don’t actually attempt to read it as i would a real magazine. generally i just flip through, scissors in hand, and suck it quickly dry of all its bounty. you can currently get a one-year subscription on amazon, for about $20. totally worth it. on a side note, most women’s magazines (glamour especially) will have a coupon or two hiding inside. look carefully through the magazines that you actually buy, and the doctor/dentist’s office is a great place to mine for freebies in magazines that are better left on the rack.

online freebies. no need for hunting down individual deals, leave that to the stay-at-home moms! in the coupon/freebie universe- someone else has invariably done all the work for you. i like, but there’s a ton of websites that compile all the current going free stuff that you can get.  it sort of sucks at first, but if you diligently apply for a few a day, eventually, your mailbox will be a playground for sexy free samples and accompanying coupons… i’ve gotten cereal, soap, condoms, tampons, you name it.  as a matter of fact, today i received free travel deodorant (+ $2 coupon), a sample of granola (+ $1 coupon), and some random sale coupons from the gap. it really pads the disappointment from the bills and junk mail.