Saturday, April 26, 2008


This week I spent the bulk of our food budget on booze! But we got through the week just fine anyway.

Here's my shopping:

SUNDAY: $47.20 on wine, whisky and beer at Woodman's
FRIDAY: Epu spent $7 on whipped cream and eggs at Jewel (he went the moment it opened so we could make our birthday girl chocolate chip pancakes!)
FRIDAY: I spent $5 on milk and juice at CVS (accidentally spent real money!) and $66 on all kinds of groceries at Fair Share Foods, a low-cost supermarket here in Oak Park.

Total: $125.20

Now, my weekly grocery budget is $80. But since I didn't get to the store until Friday -- and since I went to a farther store in the car instead of walking to a close one -- I decided to use a chunk of this week's budget as well. So for the coming week, I have $45.20 left to spend. I may not need it, though, because I got a LOT of stuff at Fair Share, enough meat and fruit to last the week for sure. I may need to buy more fresh vegetables because the ones they had there were pretty poor.

Especially good deals at Fair Share:

  • 4 boxes of GM cereal for $5, used with 2 $1/2 coupons = 75 cents a box

  • 1 box pizza rolls at $1, with a 40 cent coupon = 60 cents a box

  • clearance Newman's Own salad dressing at 99 cents

  • clearance yogurts at 20 cents each

  • cage-free eggs at 2.59 minus 55 cent coupon = $2.04 a dozen

The produce was all dirt-cheap, like 99 cents a pound or less, and the meat wasn't more than that either. But we'll see about the quality of that stuff.

If I go back to this store, it will only be in the stroller, because the shopping carts had NO SEATBELTS. Otherwise, though, the staff was friendly and helpful, and it was not at all crowded, so despite being a low-budget store the experience was good.

I was able to give 2 $1/2 cereal coupons to another mom who was studying the sale-priced cereals as well. Since the limit was 4 and they were soon to expire, I thought it was great that they would get used.

As for CVS, I had mixed results this week. The Alavert promotion was a blessing and a curse -- it was a great deal since I was able to print off unlimited $4 coupons, but I had to go to the pharmacy counter every time and Illinois has a limit on how much sudafed-containing products you can buy. Sometimes I asked for two and could only buy one, which messed with my deal scenarios.

This led into my worse CVS crisis of the week: I went to the pharmacy counter to buy 2 Alaverts and get 8 ECBs, which I was going to use toward supplies for my daughter's party. I could only get one Alavert, so I ended up with only $4ECB to spend. But then my kids pulled all the pamphlets off the display rack by the pharmacy, and while picking them up (and trying to contain my toddler at same time) I must have lost the ECB slip! I got up to the front and ended up paying $16 cash for a bunch of pony stickers for the party.

Oh well, at any other store the visit would have been a bargain:

1 Alavert

10 packs stickers

2 bottles juice

1 gallon milk

1 half-gallon milk

2 jars peanuts

returned: 5 EOB toe separators


total out of pocket: $13

Here's my total CVS haul for the week:

7 Alavert (paid $28ECB)

1 large Softsoap body wash (paid $5.49ECB)

6 Hershey candy at bogo

2 half-gallons milk

2 gallons milk

2 jars peanuts (bogo)

candy bar (filler)

2 Aveeno

1 Wite Out

2 twin-packs Lysol wipes

1 double-sided tape

1 clearance CD

1 clearance gel pen

1 4-pack ravioli (paid $1ECB)

1 get-well card

2 CVS-brand calcium (bogo)

1 CVS-brand pocket tissue 50c

CVS-brand benadryl

1 Speed Stick

1 Dove chocolates

1 Miracle Whip

10 packs stickers

2 bottles juice


Total out of pocket: $19.29 (aargh!)

minus return of $5.30, oop = $14

minus reimbursed from others: $18

oop = -4

ECBs spent: $64.50

ECBs earned: $34.49 (four lost!)


So I ended up with 30 ECBs less this week.  Which is fine because they were really building up and I took the opportunity to supplement our grocery bill and supply my daughter's birthday party. The out-of-pocket total would have been higher if not for 2 things: I used gift cards for previous returns, and my mom reimbursed me $18 for stuff I bought for her -- Lysol, Miracle Whip, 3 bags of candy, and Wite Out. I gave her a bunch of Alavert for free.