Other than that, I'm looking forward to seeing numbers go down!
Last weekend I was faced with a bit of a social situation. A dear friend of mine whom I hadn’t seen in a year had a rare weekend off (she’s a DI basketball coach…pretty darn cool, right?) and was going to be in the Metro area. She invited me to join her and another friend for pedis and shopping! Then dinner to follow with her beau of 1 year that I was anxious to meet. It was an internal struggle – what do I do? Obviously no pedicure and no buying anything. I could handle that, right? Just hang out while they get the pedis and then go with them while shopping… but DO NOT touch anything. Only look. Dinner to follow, though? How do I handle that? Pack PB&J, eat in the car quick and then sit with them and sip water while trying not to drool over their delicious restaurant food? I don’t want to seem like some tight-wad weirdo (though maybe I am…?).
To make a long story short, and to cut out all the hemming and hawing and advice seeking (thanks to those who listened and advised), I asked my friend to text me when she was nearly through with the pedicure and then I’d meet up with her and her friend and window shop. Well, I ended up missing the shopping part because of my own errands I had to run in the Metro area. But it worked out just fine as Novio and I met up with her and her BF for dinner. He’s a generous guy and picked up the tab (brownie points to him)! So all that sweatin’ and worryin’ for nada. What was the back-up plan, you ask? Dine and ditch.
No, no, no, just kidding! Novio is also a gem of a guy and offered to pay as a “date night”. I’d say it was a social situation successfully handled!
Okay, it was a lot of work and took more time and was a bit stressful, but when the clerk said, “You saved $24.67 with us today!” I was pumped. And my efforts were validated.
Novio and I have been meal planning and doing a once-a-week grocery trip with list in hand for over a year now (his idea, not mine!) and it is so helpful. There’s never any guessing as to what’s for dinner or what we need from the store. We did all that as usual and then I took our list and the pile of weekly flyers for area grocery stores and got down to business looking for bargains and better prices on the items on our list (needs only, remember?). We are pretty loyal to the grocery store closest to our house – it’s convenient, I like the produce, I know where everything is, I use their pharmacy, yada yada. So I combed through competitor flyers and circled items, clipped coupons, etc. It took me over an hour.
I admit – I was a bit of a nervous, flustered mess at this point. I was juggling 3 flyers and 5+ coupons, plus our list, plus a pen, plus this notion that I needed everything to go perfectly because I had invested so much time and energy. Not to mention it was Saturday afternoon and the store was buzzin’ with people, which always seems to up my anxiety a little. I misplaced a coupon or 2, but then found them shortly after. I couldn’t remember right away which flyer had the best deal, but then after furiously flipping through them, was able to find and show.
Bottom line = it was a lot of work, but it was worth it! And I’ve already noted 3 things that will make it go more smoothly this weekend:
1) On the back of my grocery list, make a list of what each flyer contains. For example, make a header that says, “Walmart” and then write which items I am price matching from that flyer. Include a “Coupons” list, too.
2) Circle items in flyers with bright red marker!
3) Clip or staple all coupons together.
It’s a work in progress! And like most things, we'll get better with practice. In the meantime. . .
Let’s hear it – what are your coupon/price saving methods? How do you plan, conquer the grocery store, and save on food?