June 27, 2011 § 1 Comment


Click on that picture to make it bigger.  So — I started couponing pretty aggressively again.  Why?

Two reasons:  although the State of Maine thinks I’m filling my bathtub with hundos and taking weird, unsanitary baths in all my riches and, thusly won’t grant me any EBT benefits, the truth of the matter is I’m actually not ‘doing so well.’  Clarification:  I haven’t actually ever applied for food stamps, but I know the requirements and Mama doesn’t meet ’em.  Additional clarification:  I am actually ‘doing well’ in that I have a roof over my head, generally pay rent on time, and enjoy some minimal leisure activities like dining out 1-3 times per week (on the chopping block, p.s. because of reason #2 forthcoming).  So in order to get ‘something for nothing’ I actually have to do a little work, find deals, match up coupons, and go to town.  It’s not actually that hard and I spend about an hour a week on it.

Reason #2 is that owning a house would be SUPER AWESOME (obviously there are unforeseen troubles that I’m not thinking about right now) and the first thing to do in order to get one of those house thingers is to save money, get your credit in order and then save up a down payment.  Hence stockpiling spaghetti sauce and wrangling free orange juice when you can.  By being a little forward thinking and stocking up MAJORLY on staple items (we eat pasta like it’s our jobZ) and not eating out as much (never?  Could we ever manage never??) then there will be more dollars available for me to sign over to Bank of America so they stop telling credit bureaus that I’m a dick.

Some other new developments came in to play that makes this easier.  One obvious one is that the kitchen and the table are now clean, conducive to an eat-at-home, keep-food-at-home lifestyle.  Magical!  #2 is that I found the ‘search’ feature at Shaws.com for their weekly flyer which allows me to just flip through the coupons I DO HAVE instead of scouring the little pictures and try to match them up.  Yes, progress.  Although that was probably there all along and I was just being a blundering fool about my deal seeking.

I plan on chronicling my adventures here at mise en place for you – not meant to be a ‘deal site’ or anything like that, but perhaps you can take my somewhat sarcastic but totally sound logic and put it to use in your own life.

Here’s last week’s story:

Shaw’s was having an awesome, 2/$5 deal on Newman’s Own Pasta and I just happened to have a little army of coupons for just that.  I don’t know why I didn’t buy more, because at $2.50 each with $1 off/1 coupons I should have used all 6 that I had.  Oh well – now I have three left and I can just jump when they’re having another nice deal.  Did not try to buy the organic because I wasn’t sure if the deal included the ‘good stuff’ because I shopped on the last night when they had taken all the stickers down from the previous week and were putting the ones up for the following morning (hint:  Shaw’s deals end on Thursday night and start on Friday morning.  I like to go on Thursday night because there are no psycho housewives dumping the entire Polar Seltzer display in the cart a la Supermarket Sweep).

I’m generally a pretty sheepish deal-getter, so when I saw that Activia was on sale (4/$10) and if you bought 4 you’d get a free thinger of Tropicana OJ I was at once excited and nervous.  OK – I eat Activia, yes, despite it’s fructose content it tastes pretty darn good and is way better for me than Dunkin’ on the way in to work.  But do I buy 16 little servings of it at a time?  Hmmm.  We love OJ – but we normally get “Simply Orange.”  Hmm again.  So when I got there I checked it out.  I had two coupons for Activia ($1 off/2, so $2 off the 4 I needed to buy) and the Tropicana checked out in the ‘doesn’t have gross stuff in it’ department.  Seeing as Thursday is payday I decided to splurge and, by all accounts, $8 for a thing of OJ and 16 breakfasts is not so bad.

I picked up some free relish and nearly-free Frank’s red hot sauce.  Word to the wise:  condiments can almost always be gotten for free with the right coupons and deals.  Shaw’s is all excited about 4th of July barbecues so the relish was marked down to $.99 and I had a $.55 off of one coupon for any Cain’s product.  Suckers!!

Don’t mind the Duncan Hines brownie mix party in the corner.  At the end of my shopping trip my blood sugar must’ve been low because I grabbed a couple of these that were going for 2/$3 for the Shaw’s deal and I had a ‘buy 2 get one free’ coupon from the manufacturer.  $1.00 each for brownie mix isn’t earth shattering but hello…. they’re brownies.  And they’re in my future.

All in all, the bill came to $40.43.  I had $8.80 off from Shaw’s savings and $8.05 off from all my little coupons.  Then $2.55 off for the free brownie mix totalling $21.03 for all the grub you see above.  That’s including Jason’s coconut water for his cold and the fact that my cats wanted to eat food this week, and that was kind of expensive and not in the plan.  Hoorah!

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