Menu Planning Monday is not ALL I do I promise. MPM just seems to be the only thing I blog about - gets very boring I know. I am sewing up a storm this week and will have some photos and more interesting posts resulting - I promise.
"What else does she do?" you ask (or maybe you didn't, but you're already here so indulge me).
I've returned to my coupon adventures over he past couple of weeks. I am using the Grocery Game for now as it makes life easier when I don't have to hunt it all down on my own. There are some really great blogs out there about grocery budgeting and coupon savings - these women are truly inspirational! Me, I just want to have some fun (yes for me it's fun) and save some bucks. So far so good. If you do sign up for The Grocery Game please use my email as a referral eemayde AT gmail DOT com.
This morning I braved Wal-Greens and Publix. I've heard some horror stories about Wal-greens and the coupons+sales not matching up, but I had a delightful experience. I got everything on my list and the cashier (use the cosmetics cashier) had some extra coupons for me.
To put it into perspective:
I have shopped three "list" (those on the GG list) stores this week and my totals were:
Shelf Prices: $174.26
OOP (out of Pocket - the amount I actaully spent): $74.02
ECB/RR earned ("cash" for next visits): $8.00
Rebates (due @ end of month): $24.20
Total Savings this week (not including rebates): $100.24 or 57.5% (include the rebates, etc and it's $132.44 saved or 76%)
The trick with all the coupon "deals" is
1. Make sure you are getting a deal - if you won't use it or have to spend money JUST to get it when you normally would NOT - then it is NOT a "deal" at all.
2. Understand the difference between "stockpiling" and "STOCKPILING", by which I mean - even if it's free how many of one specific item does your family really need/want/use... If you are donating, by all means buy all the deals, but for my family - I know what we'll use before it goes on sale again and I'm trying really hard not to get caught up in the "dealio frenzy" (this time).
3. Stay organized - also realize that if you miss a bargain it's not the end of the world - it will either come around again or hey, with all that money you are saving you can afford to buy it at a higher price if you really need to.
There are tons of resources out there and I'm having a good time. If it gets too hard, time consuming, or tedious (or I become the crazy mom with 478 cans of 'free' air freshener that we can't even use because it gives Mommy migraines) I'll back off for a while.
Bottom Line: Casey works hard to earn this family a living and MY job (you know aside from lovingly educating the children and keeping them from destroying the house and/or each other on a daily basis) is to make sure I get the best value from his earnings. If I get a new pair of shoes out of the deal then so be it - these things happen.
I do have a menu planned, but this has droned on quite long enough. Tonight we're having "Maria Tortilla" a dish from Casey's childhood. I'll post more about this week's menu tomorrow.
So go check out the coupon sites linked above and see if it's for you. Let me know what you think and what you do to spend less.
I'll keep you posted!