Friday, 31 August 2012

Frugal Friday: August Edition


In case you're wondering why I haven’t been doing my Frugal Friday post every second week, as promised (because I know you have been up all night contemplating this), I have decided to do the Frugal Friday posts only once a month. 
If only my To Do list was actually this short.

Being reminded of the exorbitant cost of shoving food down my throat is not something I find particularly enjoyable, and I’m not sure I could handle it every two weeks. Plus, I’m lazy.

Here are this month’s Feats and Fails:

Feat:
We brought our grocery bill down to $750 this month! We accomplished this by stocking up on sale items, meal planning, reading the flyers, and schlepping all over the city in search of bargains. I sometimes wonder whether the exorbitant cost of gas negates the money we save from going to a bunch of different stores. If only our local grocery store did price matching.

Fail:
I drove across town to No Frills specifically to buy an item that I knew was on sale. When I got home and looked at the receipt, I realized that they accidentally charged me full price. Fail. I should have known the cashier wasn’t too swift when she held up my bag of green beans and asked “What are these?” I would have paid closer attention at the cash register, but I was busy trying to prevent my daughter from devouring the store flyer, and any other pseudo-edible items she could get her hands on.

Feat:
I realized that my goal of becoming a saavy shopper is being hindered by the fact that I have absolutely no idea what things cost. I tend to assume that if something is on sale it must be a good deal, even though it might be cheaper elsewhere at regular price. I have a terrible memory for numbers, so I started making a list of the regular prices of the items we typically buy, so I’ll know when something is actually a good deal.  

Fail:
Remember that Pampers coupon that I told you about last time? Well, I was feeling like a couponing champ as I smugly headed to cash at the grocery store where I had specifically gone because I knew diapers were on sale, and of course, I forgot to use my coupon. Twice.

Do you have any feats, fails or finds to share this Frugal Friday?


22 comments:

  1. I shop only on Tuesdays, when my local grocery store offers students 10% off (yes, I am a student at age 31....*sigh)....

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    1. That student card is a mighty powerful thing.

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  2. I keep bringing coupons to the store and leaving with them still safely tucked in my purse *sigh* We live in a rural area and have to drive 45 minutes to the closest city. I only go once a month so the in-between shopping is done at the local grocery store where the prices are higher. I've been thinking of writing up a monthly (instead of weekly, like I have been doing) menu and trying to buy more in the city.

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    1. That is an impressive goal. I have trouble even getting a one week meal plan done. I just run out of ideas! You must be very organized to do your big grocery shop only once a month. I would go nuts if I had to drive 45 to the nearest store, because I always realize I forgot at least one thing pretty much as soon as I get home from the store.

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  3. I hate when something doesn't ring in at the sale price. I often notice afterwards too, because I'm not watching the scanner, I'm watching my baby.

    And you're not alone in the remembering to BRING the coupon then forgetting to actually USE it. :(

    My feat is going to the Real Canadian Superstore when things are on sale - because you can pick up additional coupons RIGHT at the entrance...

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one unable to pay attention at the cash register...Sadly we don't have a Real Canadian Superstore where I live. I want one now though! :)

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  4. I get so mad at myself when I forget to use my coupons! Go you for getting your bill down overall and for working so hard to get on top of pricing :)

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    1. Thanks...Apparently coupons only work when you use them. Who knew?!

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  5. Love your idea of making a list of the normal price of items you often buy so that you know if a sale item is cheaper elsewhere. I must do this! :) I hate it too when sale items ring up full price. It seems like this happens more than it should! :( Great post!

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    1. I keep forgetting to bring the list with me, unfortunately.

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    2. Hmm, yeah, that would make it hard. ;) On my to-do list is making up a new master shopping list with the items I normally buy, where I can just check off the items I need to buy. Perhaps on the back would be a good place to list these normal prices. :) Then I would always have it with me on my list! Perhaps I will have to post about that one once I get it done...

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  6. Our latest "find" was a whole lot of baby clothes at the Salvation Army, for $4! Some nice things, too.

    My "fail" was a "find" gone wrong: an $8 high chair that I also bought at the Salvation Army but, when I took it home, I googled it and found that it had been recalled. Reason for recall? The seat FALLS OFF! Darn. I can't really see going back and returning it, so i just chalk it up as an $8 donation to the Sally Ann... not so bad, I guess. The funniest (or most shocking) part is that about 50% of the people I told about this recommended that I use the high chair anyway. "Just sit right beside her," "just put it up against the wall" and "just duct tape it together" are some of the suggestions that I got. No thanks! We were able to find a loaner booster seat instead.

    I used to make more of an effort to drive around to different stores to find deals but I found that my time was worth more money than any amount that I saved. On my death bed, I'm pretty sure I won't be saying to myself: "I really wish I had spent more time saving a dollar here and there on groceries." We just buy things on sale when we can and stock up on non-perishable items that we often use (pasta, beans, tinned tomatoes, for e.g.) whenever we find them at a discount.

    I like your idea of writing down prices, though. I, too, have no idea what things cost. Could be an interesting experiment. I know, for example, that the Amy's frozen burritos are 50 cents cheaper at one grocery vs. the other... now if only I could remember which was which! :)

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    1. Oh noooo- Can't believe your high chair was recalled...Good point about whether it's worth your time to drive around to different stores for better deals. I think lately, it's been a bit of a game for me to try to save as much as possible, so there's a bit of fun to it. I'm sure once the novelty wears off, I'll be way too lazy to go to a bunch of different stores- unless it's a really significant price difference.

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  7. I love this post. I am the same you would think after 4 kids I would know the prices but I find myself getting tricked by diaper prices all the time.

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    1. Yes, those diapers ARE sneaky. Why are there so many different sizes of boxes? I will think something is a good deal and then I realize there are like 104 diapers in the box, as opposed to the last box I bought which had 120. Then, I have to do all kinds of crazy math in my head, and then I realize that I am INCAPABLE of doing math at all, let alone in my head, and then I just get frustrated!

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  8. I HATE it when I realize they charged me full price for something that I got on sale. Finally my youngest is old enough to let me concentrate on the "ringing" up and they almost always get something wrong! My last episode was the Grocery Outlet (great store for organic stuff - cheap!) and they rang up the crackers wrong but it was taking SOOOO long (and they were rude about it) to figure it all out (and it was morning so the gal at the registrar couldn't leave) and they wanted to still charge me MORE so I just returned them very frustrated. I came back in that same day to get one more thing and when the lady saw me she said, "OH you're the cracker lady. We felt really bad that you left unhappy" so she gave me 3.00 off my purchase. She made up for the rest of the people being snappy with me. :-)

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    1. OOooh, I wish we had a Grocery Outlet where I live. Sounds great! Glad you ended up getting a few dollars off after that cracker incident!

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  9. This is too funny!
    Cudos for using coupons and getting your bill down! That stuff is a lot of work, I've attempted it myself a few times, most of which I spent all the time clipping them,going the the right store, then forgetting to use the stupid thing!

    http://mysillylifeblog.blogspot.com/

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  10. I will seriously stand at the register, pay and walk out - still holding the dang coupon in my hand. How is that possible? But I do it ALL THE TIME! My local grocery store has an online program where I can add digital coupons to my store discount card, and these are pretty nice coupons. Unfortunately, they don't all hit at the register. So, if I buy cat food, which costs more at the grocery, but was less with their great coupon, and the digital coupon didn't work, I have to go stand at the customer service desk. Then they give me a cash refund. That's great, but honestly, the cash doesn't get spent the right way because I'm terrible with cold hard cash. Ha ha.

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    1. I love the idea of an online program where you can add digital coupons. Sounds amazing! I wish my local store had that! And yes, "cold hard cash" definitely has a tendency to get spent the wrong way! :)

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  11. You can always do a missed coupon and go back to the store for a refund of the coupon price. Kroger and walmart let me do it all the time :) It sounds like you are doing a great job getting your grocery budget down!

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    1. Thanks, I had no idea you could do that! I have to try that now. Of course, I will likely FORGET to do it, but it's a good idea in theory! :)

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