Wow! Is it week 8 already? Well, the month of February got away from me. Two weekends out of town, and lots of kids’ activities (Science Fair, Ballet Evaluations…I’m not really sure what else. Maybe that isn’t as much as I think it is.)
So, February has turned out to be easy-peasy. In fact, thanx to all of our “rewards” coupons and points, I would say we have been living the High Life this month. Turns out, I had racked up enough points to convert to a $21 credit at fresh & easy, so I was able to pick up a few more groceries over the weekend (for all of ninety-two cents).
I think Shane and I need to get on the same page with groceries. I left him a little cash while I was gone, but I am not 100% certain he didn’t overspend…or use the money for something other than groceries. If you are confused about where I got grocery money after I had already said I was over for the month, I understand your confusion. When I used my Costco rewards coupon last week, I got about $40 cash in change. I decided that Kaia’s $18 Easter dress (so, so pretty ~ and, being #3, the kid hardly ever gets brand new clothes), purchased with the coupon, offset our previous overages, since it wasn’t really groceries, and that coupon was pretty much free grocery money. So…well, technically, we have acquired more than $200 worth of groceries this month, but we didn’t spend over $200 on it, if that makes sense (because a great deal of it was purchased with rewards points and coupons).
So, my advice: Find out how to work those rewards points. We love fresh & easy: good prices, products we like and excellent rewards. I have a friend who loves Ralph’s. They don’t carry a lot of the things we prefer, so we hardly ever go there. For her family, however, it works. So, figure out where you shop, then figure out how their system works. Do you get more points for purchasing certain products at cretin times? If so, go ahead and try different brands, so you can collect points. Can you use your store discounts and register-generated coupons in conjunction with manufacturer’s coupons? Even better! I find we also don’t use a lot of manufacturer’s coupons, because we simply don’t use many of the products for which they are offered. Once in a blue moon, I will find coupons for things like pasta or Morningstar Farms or Boca products, but not as often as I would like. Trying to work the printable online coupon angle, but haven’t found a site that works well for me yet. I know a number of people who regularly stage a coup at the grocery store. I had a friend who used to walk out with groceries and change because, by the time she was done, the store owed her money (not sure they do that, anymore, but it was entertaining to watch).
I am a little bit disappointed that I didn’t work the fresh & easy reward to its greatest advantage. Discovered too late that I had a “$3 off a $30 purchase coupon.” Had I known that, I could have picked up some beer and mayonnaise (forgot I needed them). That would have brought my total to just about $30, then I could have used my coupon, bringing the total down to $27, applied my rewards points and ended up paying about six bucks for the whole shebang. Ah, well, live and learn.
We did get a little “vacation-y” this month. Spent a little money on things like ordering in dinner (twice) and travel (but tried to keep it reasonable). It’s okay. We’ve been doing a good job of playing it close to our chests for almost two months, and an occasional splurge is okay.
So, one more week to get through on this plan. I think I have about six bucks in my wallet, but I am not worried. We have TONS of food. I just bought a dozen and a half eggs and a half gallon each of 2% milk and coconut milk beverage. I have flour, sugar, coffee, potatoes, fruit, pasta, rice, beans, veggies, tofu…we’ll be fine. In fact, we’ll probably be fine for more than just a week.
Next month, we start our new plan of setting aside $100 for staples and $50/week for incidentals. Interested to see how much more freedom this plan allows us to use some of our favourite grocery items that have been off the list for some time. Here’s hoping!