Tuesdays are our "Town Days". We live about 15-20 minutes outside of a decent sized town so I like to run all of our errands on one day trying to get as much done as possible so that I don't have to make another trip into town on another day.
Yesterday we had piano lessons and an orthodontist appointment and we also needed to pick up a big pile of books that I had requested from the library. As is usual for me, I pulled up the Kroger sale paper online to see what great deals they had to offer. I noticed they had boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.68 a pound, split chicken breasts for $1.47 a pound, Del Monte canned tomatoes were .49 each when you purchased 10 and Caedmon's wheat free, egg free, dairy free, nut free waffles and French toast were on sale at an unheard of price of $1.99 when you purchased 10. I intended to get 10 of the French toast and waffles and about 40 cans of the tomatoes. I also needed some grapes and apples. I also had a coupon from JCPenney's for $10 off a $10 purchase. Love those...and as I seem to collect grease spots on many of my tops, my goal was to find a couple of tops on clearance to freshen up my wardrobe.
We loaded up the truck and we headed to Beverly...um, I mean Tupelo. We dropped Jordan off at work and as we had a few minutes we stopped in to say hello to daddy in his new studio and then as we still had a few minutes before piano lessons started I ran in to Big Lot's and picked up 10 bars of Zote laundry soap. I use this to make a powdered laundry detergent....and as it was about 100 degrees I also grabbed two bottles of water. Total spent so far? $12.55
Jackson and I dropped Aaron and Kaelan off at piano lessons and headed to a small locally owned grocery store. I decided to check to see if their meat prices were cheaper than Kroger. This store does not have an online ad and I don't get a newspaper. It is on the main drag, so it is easy to stop and run in. Well, BINGO!! Ground beef in the family pack $1.69, sausage 2.50 a pound, boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.39 a pound!! So, I bought one pack of the beef, four pounds of sausage and six family packs of the chicken breasts. Now I can't find the receipt, but it was somewhere around 30-40 dollars....I am still doing good!
Jackson and I head to the library. I restrain myself from stepping in the bookstore as I raided it last week and need to save my book money for curriculum purchases later this week. We find a couple of history related videos, two picture books, chat with the children's librarian and then gather our huge pile of books and WWI videos from the circulation desk....and chat with another librarian. We load up and head over to pick up Aaron and Kaelan from piano lessons, drive across town to drop Aaron off at the orthodontist and the rest of us take a potty and reading break. Fifteen minutes later we are headed to the mall area for the rest of the day. We head into Penney's bearing the $10 off $10 purchase card and quickly realize that the store is undergoing an extreme makeover. I warn everyone that we are on a mission and it is all about ME this time. We find the women's department and my eagle eye is scouting out clearance racks. I quickly find two tops that I think will work but two tops are under $10 and you must spend $10 to get the $10 off. So, we head to the shoe department as the boys both need some shoes. I find some athletic sandals for Jackson for less than six dollars. We decide to get them and look around some more. The clerk keeps our intended purchases and Jackson's old tennis shoes for us while we look around with Jackson wearing the new sandals. Two minutes later he says the shoes hurt his feet when he walks....I make him pull them off. We walk (with Jackson barefoot) back to the shoe department and exchange those sandals for his old tennis shoes left at the desk with my two shirts. We head back to the women's department where I find another shirt. We head to the checkout where my total spent is $3.64 for three shirts. Another big SCORE!!
At this point I have around $95 left in my wallet. Only the tomatoes and bread products for Caedmon are remaining and I figured the cost for them to be $40 plus tax....which meant I had around $40 left. So, after measuring Jackson's foot at Penney's and discovering that his current shoes were a size two and his foot was measuring at a three, we headed to Shoe Carnival where I have scored some big savings before. I ALWAYS look at the clearance rack first. I found some high quality running shoes for Jackson but they JUST fit...no room to grow so I put them back. Aaron needed dress shoes and tennis shoes, but we didn't really see any dress shoes on the clearance rack that suited him. We look at the regular aisles for sale priced shoes and I decide we will not be buying him any dress shoes today!! Lowest price I found was in the $60 range. So we go back to looking in the regular aisles for sales on tennis shoes for Jackson and find some New Balance on sale for $29.95. He likes them and we find the size he needs with a little growing room. There is a buy one get one half off sale. So we start looking for another pair of shoes. Aaron finds a pair of Adidas RED running shoes on clearance for $25....half off would be $12. 50. He likes them. (he's a little quirky like that!) Another SCORE!! We head out of Shoe Carnival spending $45.46 for two new pair of very nice athletic shoes. At one time I would think that was way too much money. Times have changed and most of my children are now in adult shoes. Scouring the thrift stores takes up too much of my time and the stores are generally so cluttered that I cannot think straight once I enter. My time and sanity are worth at least $45. 46 this day!
We pull into Kroger's parking lot. We are tired, hot, thirsty and a little hungry. It is now 4:30!! I count my money and do a little tabulating before we enter the store. I have $50. I think I will get only 10 cans of tomatoes instead of the planned 40. It's ok....I have been canning tomatoes and there will be another sale another week. We check the produce department for markdowns. Pick up a bag of grapes at $1.48 a pound, a free pound of baby carrots (coupons from Kroger come in the mail) and splurge on two green bell peppers for our pork tostado dinner. Each pepper was .85. Pick up a box of reduced green salad for $2. We'll have this with a couple of meals and the last of the tomatoes and cucumbers from home. I check out the apples and leave them on the table. Three pounds for $5!! I'll head to the produce market in a little town near us next week and get them much cheaper. Grab 10 boxes of waffles and French toast for Caedmon, then find the tomatoes and only get 10 cans. I am keeping track of my spending in my head. I check the meat department. If there are some really good reduced deals I will use the debit card. I don't find any. We head up the snack aisle and I let them get two cans of Pringle's. I check the clearance rack (it's a habit!!) I find a food thermometer and two long-handled cooking utensils for $1.39 each and four tubes of toothpaste @ $1.29 each. I toss them in the buggy. Oops! I remember we are almost out of cheese. Grab a chunk of Monterey Jack. Not on sale. : ( We need drinks and I need chocolate. One 50 cent candy bar and four bottles of soda go in the basket. I am wilting. We check out. I give the clerk two coupons...one for the free carrots and one for $2 off a $10 frozen food purchase. The computer doesn't want to take the $2 off coupon. My frozen food is from the organic section. The clerk thinks the purchase must come from the regular section. The coupon doesn't say that.... A higher level clerk comes over. He thinks about it for a while, reads the coupon, looks at the waffles and French toast and then overrides the computer and gives me the $2 off. My total? $58.82...over by $8.82....that's the drinks and snacks... I put the overage on the debit card and we head home.....Well- pleased with the day's shopping!
Have you found any great deals lately? Do you shop the clearance racks? What ways do you save money while feeding and clothing your family?