It was not a great week for shopping. I guess people have more money at the first of the month so stores have no incentive to have really good sales … so I’m learning by reading other people’s couponing blogs & based on how much we spent this weekend, I’d have to agree. We got some good deals for sure, but overall our spending went back up, which is kind of disappointing.
Thursday night we were supposed to go to CVS to take advantage of some of their Extra Care Bucks sales, but I wasn’t feeling up to it by the time Jay got home, so instead we just returned our movies to Blockbuster and came right home. We had rented “It’s Complicated” with Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin & Steve Martin, “Valentine’s Day” with a huge ensemble cast that included Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Beel, Jessica Alba, Jamie Foxx, Kathy Bates, Queen Latifah, Patrick Dempsey, Topher Grace, Julia Roberts, and many others, and the first season of “Deadwood” episodes 1 & 2. Jay hadn’t really watched any of them. He watched a little of the “Deadwood” episodes, but never seemed to be in the mood to get into it, which is odd because he likes westerns.
I was really disappointed with “It’s Complicated” because normally I really enjoy Nancy Meyers movies. I dunno what was off exactly … I think it was the casting, lol. Wouldn’t it have been so much better if Dianne Keaton had played the Meryl Streep part and Jack Nicholson in Alec Baldwin’s part? Maybe so, I’m not sure. I mean I love Meryl Streep but I just wasn’t feeling this or something. Plus I had seen all the really funny parts in previews and there didn’t seem to be much more. I did love John Krasinski’s role! He was the best part of the whole movie … that and the set, lol, Nancy Meyers always has the best houses and kitchens!
But overall I was left wanting and a bit disappointed.
I really enjoyed “Valentine’s Day” though. There were a lot of funny scenes I hadn’t seen in previews. The soundtrack was really good, lots of good songs. And there was even a moment that brought a little tear to my eye. It’s a Garry Marshall film, and you pretty much know when you can get so many big name actors to sign on for little roles that you’ve got something pretty good going on. I’d definitely watch it again. Plus you know I love anything with Ashton Kutcher!
We don’t rent very many movies these days because it’s Nascar season with races all weekend long. This month though Redbox is having a special, rent 2 movies get 1 free. I don’t know if they have this kind of thing in Canada yet, but Redbox is pretty cool and practically putting Blockbuster out of business. They have these little kiosks in the entryways of various stores like Wal-Mart & Kroger. It’s like a vending machine where you can rent a movie for a buck for one day, which is WAY cheaper than any of the rental stores. The late fees are really good too. We rented a movie one time and kept it for 3 days and they only charged us about 80 cents extra, which was cool because we expected to pay at least a dollar a day. So we might be picking up a few more movies this month to take advantage of the special deal.
Anyway, on Friday night Jay needed milk again, so we headed over to the Ingle’s by the bar. Once upon a time we couldn’t go there without my husband pleading to go in for a drink, but he didn’t even mention it this time. We haven’t been in about a month or more. YES! We’re breaking his bar habit he developed after years of living on his own. The man used to go every night after work, and when I first got here I did good to cut him back to 3-4 times per week. I wouldn’t mind if it was a nice bar, with nice people, but it’s just such a scuzzy place with so much drama. All the bar flies sleeping with one another’s husbands and boyfriends etc. etc. It’s just not my scene. So yay we don’t go so much anymore! I don’t mind going in on a Sunday afternoon once in awhile when it’s really quiet and having a drink with the old man (Ron), but I’m glad he doesn’t want to go all the time anymore. It’s also a good way to save money … and not get caught for a DUI after a couple of drinks 🙂
The cheapest place to buy milk is Kroger, but Ingle’s is closer to us, so that’s why we always go there if we just need to nip out for a gallon. This time we didn’t just buy the milk though. We got 2L of Sprite Zero, a gallon of skim milk, 3 packages of clear plastic forks (Jay uses them in his truck for his work lunches and they were on 3 24-pkgs for $4 which was a pretty good deal), a huge package of very meaty Texas ribs (pork), and 2 packages of split chicken breasts (5 big breasts in each package) that were reduced for quick sale … only $2.79 each! Total bill was $19.82, no coupon savings but sale savings noted on the receipt was $8. Considering how much meat we came away with, I was pretty pleased with this shopping excursion.
Friday night for dinner I had thawed out some ground beef spaghetti sauce I made a whole lot of awhile back. It was very thick and meaty, not thin at all, so we just ate it by itself with caesar salad. It was pretty good! And it cleared out some room in my too small freezer that desperately needs to be defrosted. We went to bed pretty early which seems to be our usual routine and got up pretty early on Saturday morning. I was on the computer by 7am figuring out our shopping schedule. Jay went out to the store and brought me back a coffee, which is becoming a nice weekend ritual, and the only time I drink coffee these days.
We were supposed to hit the RV store to pick up some things we need for the trailer before we move to Virginia. It’s actually looking like that’s going to happen for sure, which is exciting and fun, but means we definitely will not be able to go home to New Brunswick in 2010, which kind of sucks. The VA job starts July 12th with a December 1st deadline. He says they’ll be working 6-7 days a week, 14-18 hour days, and he won’t be able to get any time off. This means I’m going to have a lot of time on my own in a new place, so we’ve got to make sure we pick a good park to live in. I’m hoping for a gated community with boardwalks to the beach and stuff so I can get out and walk everyday, but we’ll see, we’ve still got to find out exactly where we’ll be (which I should know sometime this week) and then I can go looking online for a good spot to live.
Anyway, Jay didn’t feel like going into Conyers, so we put off the RV store excursion until next week and just did some grocery/pharmacy type shopping instead.
First stop was the new Ingle’s store, the big one that I really like where they have lots of organic stuff. I wanted to go there just to get some Ezekial pasta and high fibre tortillas. They are pricier but it’s time to add more grains back into our low-carb diet. The Ezekial fettuccine was $4.43 for a box and the tortillas were $4.58, but sometimes you just gotta suck it up and pay for what you want.
They had a really good deal on Ragu pasta sauce. The HUGE jars (1.27kg) were on 2 for $4 and I had coupons for 60 cents off each jar, which meant we got 2 for $1.40 each. Score! They also had some organic produce on sale so I got a cauliflower, 2 bags of baby carrots, and 4 jalapeno peppers. Hun picked up some Lawry garlic spread that he uses to baste meats when he’s grilling, which I later realized we already had a full one in the cupboard, but oh well. They had a pretty good deal on boneless skinless chicken breasts, so we got a package of 5 for $4.91 and a family pack of pork chops for $10.53, which I then froze separately in 4 bags of 3 chops and 1 bag of 2 chops. They had the Stacy’s pita chips on sale for $3.99. Hun’s been sizing them up for a while but normally they’re $6.99, so we went ahead and got them, the Italian Harvest flavour, which he tried and didn’t like, so we sent the bag across the road to Brad’s kids. I liked them okay, but don’t need the carb temptation in the house! lol
When all was said and done, we went in looking for two items — high fiber pasta and tortillas — and came out with a cart having spent $43.34 with a total savings of $17.11. Not off to the greatest start.
After Ingle’s we drove down the road a little ways to Publix. It was the same store we went to last week, that isn’t as nice as the one by the bank, but hun is working near a bank downtown so we didn’t need to go into Conyers to do the banking this week. Publix automatically doubles your coupons up to 50 cents, which is awesome! They had Bertolli pasta sauce on 2 for $4 (regular sized jars, not the big ones, but always more expensive than Ragu anyway). We like their alfredo sauces and since I had already stocked up on tomato based sauces, that’s the way we went. I got two and used a coupon to save 75 cents on two.
The best deal at Publix was the Newman’s Own Salsas. I love his salsas and salad dressings! They were also on 2 for $4 and I had coupons for 50 cents off each, which the store then doubled! So I got two salsas for $2! Major score! That is a summer promotion through the end of the month, so I’m hoping I can get some more coupons. I also got 2 more of the wine that’s still on sale for $7.99 per 1.5L bottle. This saves us a lot because normally we were buying wine for $12, same thing. Hun got a 20 lb bag of ice for his cooler and I got 4 Dial liquid soap pumps that were on for $1 each. Making the total bill $30.23, with savings of $10.67.
Then we went across the road to CVS. It was the last day of their sale, so a lot of stuff I was looking for was out of stock. Still we got to take advantage of the Bounty Paper Towel deal and got 2 pkgs of 12 rolls (the big rolls that are like 16 regular rolls), and I got 2 bottles of the new Pantene conditioner. We spent $32.26 total, saving $12.01, plus we got $12 in extra bucks to use toward our next purchase and a coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase. In this week’s sale Covergirl make-up earns you extra bucks, and I happen to have Covergirl coupons, so finally, finally, finally, I’m going to get me some new make-up. I am in desperate need. I lost a lot of my stuff when we were in Savannah (blush, lipstick, etc.) and a lot of my other stuff is running right out (mascara!). So with my $12 base to begin shopping, and because I’ll be earning extra bucks on purchases, I should be able to get some super good deals on make-up.
On the way home we were talking about what to have for dinner and decided to cook the Texas ribs we bought at Ingle’s the night before. But we didn’t have the right foil (he is fussy when it comes to any of his BBQ needs) apparently the stuff I got on the cheap last week wasn’t big enough. So we had to keep going past our place to the Ingle’s by the bar again to get some foil. Reynolds Wrap $3.18 for the long/wide stuff. While we were there we decided to try one of my toilet paper coupons. I have a whole bunch of these $1 off coupons on Scott Naturals toilet paper. Because we live in an RV we need to buy special toilet paper that dissolves quickly. There’s only one kind to be found around here, Scott’s RV fast dissolving, and you can only get it at Ingle’s $3.52 for a 4-roll pkg. I had gone on the Scott’s website though and saw our RV toilet paper in with the Naturals, so I thought maybe my coupon would be good. And it worked! We got a buck off something that we must buy regardless of price! So now we’ll be stocking up on toilet paper, using up the rest of those coupons before they expire for sure! Total bill at Ingle’s this time $6.17 with a buck in savings.
After Ingle’s we went across the street to Zaxby’s. We started going there a few weeks ago, just tried it one day and now we’re addicted. It’s becoming a part of regular weekend routine to pick up some fingers, wings, and fried pickles to snack on Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Their chicken fingers are freaking awesome! And their spicy & sweet wings are pretty damn tasty too. Saturday we opted just for fingers (20 pack) and tried something new, a side of cheese bites. The cheese bites were not so great, definitely won’t be getting them again, but the fingers were fabulous as always, and we got so many that we munched on them yesterday too, plus I sent some in Jay’s lunch to work today, and I still have enough for my lunch later. At only $12.99 for 20, I seriously don’t think we could make them any cheaper or better at home.
Saturday evening we sat out at the picnic table grilling the ribs. It was super hot and humid. The only way I could convince Jay to grill them & not bake them in the house (which would totally make the house hot & it was already running 80 degrees with the a/c going wide open) was if I promised to sit out with him. So we hung out at the picnic table and Brad came over for a bit, had a few drinks with us (tho his woman is not too fond of the drinking, so he has to sneak them). Later his woman came over. Her name is Christie and she is everything that I am not. Very loud! lol Jay is trying to get Brad on his crew, and when Virginia came up, she just went up one side of him and down the other. I’m not sure what it was all about, something about him remembering what happened last time and hell no she wouldn’t be moving to Virginia no matter if it was only for a few months and if you want to go then see ya! She promised she’d have the house full of people while he was gone. Oi! I don’t know what to think of her. I don’t know that I can stand being around her long enough to form an opinion, lol. But Brad’s okay. We’ve gotten to know him pretty good over the last couple of months.
Unfortunately Jay got a little full during the rib cooking and then decided that before we had dinner we had to first go down to the other end of the park and talk to these pipeline welders, who work with a different competing company, and see if we couldn’t convince them to come to work with him. This became a 2-hour affair (or ordeal depending on who you were in the situation … leaning toward ordeal for me). I’m not sure if he gave the right phone numbers to the guys or what transpired on the business front, but I scored a jar of homemade cherry moonshine from one of the welders. It’s in my fridge now, apparently I have to let it age another 2 weeks. I like cherries, and there are some floating around in it. He said all I need to do is eat one … I’ll probably try it! That’s something I’ve never done before, tried some good old-fashioned Mississippi moonshine! Hopefully one cherry isn’t enough to cause permanent brain damage.
When I finally got Jay to come home, he was ready for nothing but bed, and the ribs were cold and burned on the grill. He turned it off before we went but left them on the grill. So I just pried them out of the tinfoil and put them in the fridge for left-overs. Then I went to bed too.
Sunday morning Jay got up pretty early and did the laundry, went to the store and got me a coffee and a 2pkg bundle of the Sunday Atlanta paper with all the sales and coupons. So I sat with the scissors while he finished the laundry. There were so many coupons I couldn’t even finish them all yesterday, still have a bunch to clip today, and then to organize. This is a pretty exciting week for Ingle’s shopping because it’s triple coupon week! So I might be able to score some fabulous deals! They normally double coupons up to 50 cents but this week they’ll triple it! So with a 50 cent coupon I’ll be able to save $1.50!
Around noon on Sunday we headed out to do our weekly Kroger shopping. We’d already bought so much stuff other places that we really didn’t need much, but Kroger is the place with the best deal on water, so we always have to go. Trust me, you don’t want to be drinking the water in this park! We got another 20lb bag of ice for Jay’s cooler, 2 cases of 24 bottles water, Green Giant Steamer veggies were on sale 3 for $5 so we got 3 and I used 3 50 cent coupons plus another 50 cent coupon that was stuck on one of the bags, another gallon of milk, Whiskas cat food was the best buy because it regularly costs $4.99 for a 3lb bag (which lasts about 2 weeks) and I had a $2 off coupon, Ken’s Salad dressings were on 3 for $5 so we got 3 and they’re normally WAY more expensive than that, a 2L Diet 7-Up on for 99 cents, a jar of pickles, bag of shredded parmesan, dozen eggs, head of romaine, tin of white pepper, salt & pepper shakers (filled) for Jay’s truck, and a package of mushrooms. Total cost $42.47 with savings of $13.54.
Yeah, we spent a lot this week … $174.29 total, with savings of $72.33, which was kind of disappointing, but now the fridge, freezer, all the cupboards, bathroom cabinets, etc. are completely full, so next week there will most likely be very little shopping, just the staples and my make-up. We’ve got a ton of meat!
Jay had Brad come over and mow our grass yesterday afternoon. It’s supposed to be included in our lot rent but the park has been really slack lately and it was so high I didn’t even want to walk through it to get to the laundromat for fear of snakes. Brad keeps his mowed up good and told me he’s killed two snakes over there. When my eyes got really big he was like, we live by the river girl, what do you expect? there’s always snakes! So that’s that! If the park doesn’t keep it short, we’re gonna pay him to do it. He’s coming over today to wash the outside of our camper too.
Christie came over for a bit and somehow the topic of the cauliflower faux mashed potatoes came up, so Jay took me away from my coupon clipping in the house in order to tell her how to do it. She’s trying to eat healthier and feed her kids healthier but she’s still skeptical about whole wheat bread and pasta, so I’m not sure she’s ready for cauliflower yet! lol Grammie was also out there because when they were mowing the lawn they accidentally cut her water off. Jay made a pitcher of margaritas and me and Brad had some and we just sat around all afternoon chatting. It was terrible hot and humid. I think it’s worse here now than it was last July when I visited. I’m very curious to see what the weather will be like in Virginia.
Last night’s dinner consisted of the semi-charred ribs left-over from Saturday night & one of the Green Giant Steamers (Broccolli with cheese sauce) which was not as good as the boxed variety we usually buy.
Tonight I’m baking the last whole chicken we scored at Publix last week (or was it the week before), with cauliflower fake mashed potatoes, baked baby carrots & salad. Tomorrow night we’ll have chicken tacos or burritos made from the leftover baked chicken and then I’m going to make chicken broth from the carcass and some veggies that are on their last. I’ll be able to use the broth to flavour lots of things & maybe even make a chicken soup. Wednesday night I’m making southwestern chicken breasts, then we’ll probably have pork chops on Thursday and steak on Friday, or vice versa.
My birthday is coming up and Jay wants to do something special. I’m not sure what yet. He’s talking a hotel in Buckhead … the rich neighborhood (& thereby safer neighborhood) in Atlanta, or a cabin in the mountains. I don’t know if we need to go to all that expense, I’d be happy just to go to the movies or a nice dinner out at a decent restaurant or just another deep fried ice cream at the local Mexican restaurant, lol, but we’ll see what transpires. My birthday falls in the middle of the week, so not sure which weekend we’ll celebrate, before, after or BOTH! lol