My cost cutting efforts continue … didn’t do too bad for the second week, lowered the overall total from the week before though didn’t quite accumulate as much in savings total. Got some fabulous deals though!
Shopping began mid-week when we had to head out to Ingle’s to pick up a gallon of milk for Jay. Normally during these mid-week excursions we end up buying more than what we go there for, but not this time, we stuck to the list and just got the milk ($2.05).
Jay had Friday mostly off because you’re not allowed to close the roads in Atlanta for construction on the Friday of a long weekend and Monday was Memorial Day. So it was a 4-day weekend for us. He had an early morning supervisors meeting at the shop and then he came home and got me and we headed out to Bold Springs Road so he could drop off a cheque to a guy whose fence they had to tear down on a job a couple of years ago. There are a lot of nice houses out there! We’ve been out there before to price how much the fence was worth. Each time the old guy meets us at the road in his electric golf cart. He is super rich and I guess his house is amazing but I never got to see it because it’s way off the road and hidden in trees. This is country with many horse ranches and goat farms etc. It would be nice to live out there.
As we were finishing up Jay got a call from one of his work buddies inviting us for a drink at his local bar. So we drove another 15 miles out of our way to meet up with him. Along the way though we saw a Walgreen’s (which was on my to do shopping list) so we stopped off there and picked up a few things. I was disappointed because they didn’t have some of the deals I was looking for (like 25 cent cans of tomato paste) but overall I felt pretty good about it. Jay got a new pair of sunglasses that don’t make him look like a mobster or a cop for $9.99 (no savings there) and I got 2 more hair dyes and a roll of Reynolds Wrap tinfoil … $15.90 total, $4.80 in savings. Not too shabby! And now I have 4 hair dyes stockpiled, won’t need to buy any in a good long while and won’t have to suffer through roots anymore.
The bar was called Rudy’s. http://www.myspace.com/rudysgrayson (trust me those drink pics on their MySpace are WAY too classy for the place! lol) Right by the highway, a biker place with pub food. Kinda dark and dingy and you could smoke in there. That’s something that has taken some getting used to here, you can still smoke at a lot of places, including the bar here in Covington that we usually go to once in awhile. And everyone smokes! It’s not the socially unacceptable taboo that it’s become in Canada. Drives me nuts! Apparently other states are more like Canada, but the south just hasn’t evolved there yet.
Our bartender was a 6 foot tall former Miss Georgia type who had spent so much time in the tanning bed it was hard to tell whether she was my age and looking a couple of years older or whether she was much younger and not aging very well at all. I was leaning toward younger because she kept saying she was looking into schools and deciding what to do with her life. Her long wavy ash brown hair had streaks of what looked like gray in the dim light, but not natural, like she had it highlighted that way. She was wearing a tight low cut red tank top (with fabulous push up bra that was working for her), a short pair of black cotton shorts, and leather chaps. She kept singing with the radio really loud, and she sounded like she could sing somewhat, she’s probably a hit at karaoke. For a long while, she and I were the only women in there. Then an older recovering crack whore Jane type came in with her husband for lunch. The burgers looked pretty scary rare, but you can order them that way here.
I had 2 glasses of red wine that was suprisingly not hideous and actually came out of a bottle (tho a single serving one). We hadn’t eaten anything all day though, so I declined a third glass and had a water instead. Jay had three drinks (doubles, you always get two shots here without asking, whiskey & 7-Up, commonly known as a Seven & 7). Then we bought his buddy 3 or 4 beers. Total bar bill $35.83 (including $5 tip). You can drink pretty cheap here, even when you go out.
His buddy was an older guy, in his 50’s, tall, originally from the west like Jay. He had that deep slow cowboy drawl Sam Elliot type voice, even though he’s been in Georgia for years. He’s known for his joke of the day. Every morning he tells the boys a new joke. So Jay made him tell me a few. I only remember one … in class one day the teacher was explaining to her students how the human race is the only species on earth who stutter, little Susie quickly raised her hand and when called upon said, “But that’s not true, Miss, humans aren’t the only species that stutter. My cat stutters.” The teacher shook her head and said no, that was impossible. The little girl persisted, “Well, I heard my cat stutter! One day the big rottweiler who lives next door got loose and jumped the fence into our backyard. When he went for the cat she arched her back, all her hair stood on end, she went, ph…ph…ph… and before she could say fuck you the dog ate her.” Made me laugh, though maybe you have to hear him tell it in person.
After we left the bar we took a different way home and drove past Oprah Winfrey’s house. I’ve been wanting to see it for awhile now. She has a huge piece of ranch property surrounded by white fence and an iron gate. The caretaker house on it’s own is huge, and her house looks wonderful. It’s like a villa, all stone and archways. I took a couple of pics from the road, but we didn’t stop, so they didn’t turn out too well.
Yeah, not the greatest pics, lol, but we were driving past & I was too engrossed to properly snap, so they’ll have to do.
On the way home we went to a new Publix, which I didn’t really like as much as the one by the bank that we went to last week, but we tried it anyway. I got 2 pkgs of Oscar Mayer Angus beef franks, 4 ribeye steaks, 2 lg tubes of Colgate Whitening toothpaste, a 750 ml tub of sour cream, 4 boxes of Green Giant frozen veggies, 2 1.5L bottles of wine, and 2 lg (36 oz) bottles of Heinz Ketchup … $51.95 with savings of $31.65. The steaks were on sale for $7.19/lb which is really good! And doesn’t happen very often.
On Saturday we went shopping to get Jay some new clothes. He was in desperate need because nearly all of his stuff has been worn to work and just won’t come completely clean anymore. Plus he’s shed some pounds and a lot of his pants and stuff are getting pretty baggy.
We went to Old Navy because I had a $5 off coupon. He got a new pair of black jeans to keep for good (in a size smaller than what he would normally buy) and a gray polo-shirt (also in a size smaller than usual) … $36.92 total after the $5 coupon and I got another coupon for $10 off good through the end of next weekend, doubt we’ll use it though, need to make a minimum $50 purchase.
Then we did one of our Wal-Mart excursions. These are always expensive. My Qpon mentor, the original Qpon Qutie, doesn’t shop at Wal-Mart because they don’t do coupons. She shops at Target instead and finds inventive ways to get brand name clothes on the cheap, which she then resells on EBay when she’s done with them, as opposed to buying cheap clothes on the cheap that are worn out and worthless after awhile. But we’re not going into this savings thing so deep, so we’re doing the Wal-Mart thing! lol
We got a 10-pk of socks for Jay, 4-pk of t-shirts with pocket to wear to work, 2 pairs of jeans (also for work), a large bag of Sevin dust to put around our camper and keep the ants out, 2L bottle of Sprite Zero, 4 ears of corn (only 19 cents each), a gallon of milk (yes, he drinks a lot of it! and this is him cutting back!), Sophie Kinsella paperback, new shower curtain, and the Sunday newspaper, which came out early on account of the holiday and was rumored to have some coupons in it (it did, but none I’d use, all high carb stuff like cereal) … total cost $63.04, which is bit better than our usual hundred dollar trip.
Then we hit Golden Corral for lunch … $18.05 for two all you can eat buffets & beverages. They never seem to have very good stuff on the lunch buffet for some reason, it’s much better to go for breakfast or dinner. I filled up on salad and veggies mostly.
On Sunday we went back to Wal-Mart (a different one, Saturday we went to the black one, this was the white one … yes, I know this is a bizarre classification) so Jay could get a haircut from the girl who cut mine a couple of weeks ago. She did a pretty good job on his, not as good as mine, but better than the regular chick he’s been going to the past year. We also bought two new king sized pillows and pillowcases (we didn’t have any big enough to fit the pillows). Not sure how much this cost altogether. The haircut was $19, pillowcases $6, and pillows were $10 or $12 each, I forget and receipt has gone missing in the abyss that is Jay’s front jeans pocket.
After Wal-Mart I was starving and didn’t want to go do the weekly Kroger grocery shopping on an empty stomach so we treated ourselves to Mexican at El Charro. I ordered a glass of red wine and they brought me some kind of crazy blush that tasted like a super dry Boone’s wine or something. Blech! It was most hideous! I should have noticed on the menu that wine was only $2 a glass … you get what you pay for! lol So I forced a couple of sips and then just ordered a jumbo frozen margarita. They do a fabulous margarita! Yum, yum, yum!
This was our cheat meal for the long weekend, no carb off limits! So we enjoyed some tortilla chips with salsa and bean & cheese dip, though we both ordered entrees that didn’t come with rice. He got the Texas Fajitas (shrimp, chicken & beef strips with bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, guacamole salad, beans &, pico de gallo). I got something called a quesadilla enchilda or vice versa which was one big tortilla filled with chicken, peppers, onions, pico de gallo, guacamole, lettuce, etc. It was really good. I only ate about half of it and we brought the rest home because I really wanted to save room for dessert.
I ordered the deep fried ice cream and it was so so soooo freaking fabulous! Not as large as the ones Maizie makes at Maizie’s Kitchen (thank God, cuz I couldn’t even finish this one!) but still pretty good size. They don’t offer choices of toppings, it just comes with caramel, whipped cream and a cherry, served in a baked tortilla bowl, but DAMN! It was awesome! Definitely the best treat I’ve had in a long time. I’ll be doing that again for sure.
Then it was off to Kroger for the regular groceries with a really full belly so I wouldn’t be tempted to buy stuff we don’t need.
We got 2 cases of water, a six pack 500ml bottles diet Pepsi (1 pop/day for J at work … I’m working to wean him off the pop, but it’s hard), another gallon of milk (yes, I DO realize we just bought one but the man drinks some serious milk sometimes), 2L of Sprite Zero (he also drinks some serious cocktails sometimes lol), 2 pkgs of sharp cheddar cheese sliced, box of 100 tea bags (I drink some serious tea ALL the time!), a 3lb box of bacon (ends & pieces for salads), double box of tampons (that time is coming again), head of romaine, 2 pkgs of boneless skinless chicken breasts (6 breasts total), a 1 lb bag of whole almonds (snacking on nuts is good for you in moderation), one pkg of fresh mushrooms (whole), a bag of onions, 2 cans of pinto beans, a box of pads (sometimes my flow is too heavy for tampons), and as a special treat since he didn’t enjoy dessert at the restaurant Jay got a box of 100 calorie packs of cookies (which he later tried, hated, and gave to Brad across the street) … total cost $56.14, with only $14.26 in savings. That was a little discouraging on the savings front.
Monday we didn’t go anywhere, just hung out at home. Jay sorted out some old boxes from under the bed so I could finally put my suitcase away. He also did a couple of loads of laundry for me. And he cooked dinner … well, he grilled the steaks, I made the sides. Same thing last night.
I was a little bit worried to figure up our total shopping this week because at the end of the day it didn’t seem like we got a lot of savings and we seemed to spend a lot of money on the weekend. I can justify the extra stuff like going to the bar, eating out, and buying new clothes etc. because we had originally planned to go away for the weekend, which would have surely cost a lot more, plus he really needed the clothes. I totaled just the grocery/pharmacy type stuff and left off all the extras (to be comparable with last week’s total) and was pleasantly surprised! Our total savings were a little less, only $52.67, but our overall spending was also a little less! Only $133.24. Not too shabby at all! Definitely an improvement. It’s hard to save when you buy so much meat and produce.
Apparently this week’s Sunday paper will be absolutely stuffed with coupons after a long weekend without any, and because it’s a new month now all the online coupons have been renewed. So maybe this month will be a great month to save money! I’m optimistic.