Alicia’s Quick Shopping Trip: MASSIVE Savings with 2 Coupons!

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I’m horrible about taking pictures of my trips, but I actually got it done this afternoon!  I had to go to Springfield for a dentist appointment this morning, so a quick trip by a couple of my favorite stores was in order.

Yes, this is all processed food.  Brad has been taking bologna sandwiches for lunch and we’ve been doing a lot of cookouts, hence the hot dogs.  I kicked off the Dillons trip with a $10 catalina from a previous trip.

Dillons:

  • 30 packages of pasta
  • 10 Oscar Mayer Bologna
  • 10 Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs
  • 2 Jelly Belly Snow Cone Syrups
  • 4 Large Bubbles
  • Total:  $18.xx

K-Mart

I hit a great clearance sale here- they hadn’t even changed the prices in the computer yet!

  • 3 Hellman’s May0: $1.44 each
  • 2 Pace Picante Sauce: 75¢ each
  • 3 large Bags of Kit Kats (which melted on the way home): 95¢ each
  • 3 Carrot Cake Mixes: 85¢ each
  • 2 Mott’s Applesauce to Go: 85¢ each (wish I’d have taken the $1/1 coupons!)
  • Total: $13

Discount Grocery Store:

  • 20 HASS Avocados: $2.63 (total)

Toys R’ Us

  • 3 Boxes of Dry Erase Crayons: $4.23

Total Spent: $38

Total Saved: A BUNCH (I’ve not got my receipts with me)

My Shopping Trip: Beautiful Flowers and Empty Wallets

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After hearing how gorgeous the hanging baskets were at the Strafford greenhouse, mom and I decided to make a trip.  They were absolutely gorgeous- and just $20!

Because we were in the area, we swung by Harter House to get groceries.  They have such great prices, and this week is 29¢ Mars candy bars.  With boys that will only eat Three Musketeers and Snickers, this is a great sale.

We’ve been trying to eat solely out of the stockpile, and quite honestly, I’m getting burnt out.  Do you ever get ‘chef’s block’?  That’s where the only things I can think of to fix are tacos and pasta.  Needless to say, everyone’s getting a little tired of it.

I don’t like to spend money on groceries at all, and over the course of four stops today, I spent $90.  That will feed us for a month, but it seems like a lot of money for just one trip.  I guess I’m a little cheap, because when asking around I noticed that a lot of my friends would be thrilled with $90 a week, much less a $90 month. 

How do I do it?  As we discuss in my Ultimate Couponing workshops, I buy ahead.    Instead of buying one of everything, regardless of price, I pick up several of an item that is at a rock bottom price. I count each week’s expenses as my grocery budget, it’s just allocated differently by meal.

What did I buy today?

Harter House

  • 20 Candy Bars
  • Crisco Oil
  • 1 lb Zucchini
  • 1 lb Fresh Green Beans
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • 8 Boxes of Cereal
  • 1 lb. Genoa Salami
  • 1 lb. Pepperoni
  • 9 lbs. Boston Burger
  • 2 cartons (16 ounce) Sour Cream
  • 1 carton (16 ounce) French Onion Dip
  • 8 Handi Snacks (4-pack)
  • Pita Bread

Penny Pinchers

  • 4 lbs French Fries
  • 2 lbs Potato Wedges
  • 5 lbs Biscuit Mix (like Hardees, not Bisquik)
  • 2 packages of Honey Buns
  • 48 Yoplait Yogurt
  • 1 Loaf Sara Lee Bread
  • 1 Package Sourdough Buns

Walmart

This is because they are the ONLY store in the area that carries frozen, chopped spinach in a bag and Sargento cheese.

  • 3 packages of spinach
  • 3 boxes of elbow noodles
  • 1 box Shell pasta
  • 20 candy bars (because Harter House had a limit of 20)
  • Sargento Cheese
  • 2 Kings’ Hawaiian Rolls

I’m sure there were other items that I’m forgetting to list.  These items are almost all that we’ll need to get through the month.  I do need to stop by our local store for deli meat, milk, and produce throughout the next couple of weeks.

What do you think?  What’s your weekly grocery budget?  Do you shop per meal or in ‘chunks’ like I do?

My Kitchen Makeover: Total Cost: Under $300(including floors and installation)

You’ve probably figured out by now that we bought a house this winter.  An 1880’s (best we can guess), fully remodeled house.  The house was definitely designed for entertaining, as we have tons of outdoor space and three patios.  I still haven’t been able to count all of the firepits.  You would think that when remodeling for entertaining, the kitchen would be one of the top priorities.  Well, I think it’s safe to say that it wasn’t.  It looked like this:

Kitchen1

See the paneled walls, drab brown cabinets, and coordinating copper marbled backsplash and counter?  The stove doesn’t fit securely between the cabinets, as a  matter of fact, there is no cabinet on the right side.

There was tan, stained carpet which flows freely from the bathroom to the kitchen to the laundry room.  Carpet in those areas is not even an option when you have children (or a husband).

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I’m not a decorator by any means.  I am no good at it, I don’t like to do it, and every other reason under the sun.  However, my mom is artist, through and through.  She took full reigns on the kitchen project.  All I had to do was choose my colors. 

I love bright, funky stuff, she prefers more neutrals.  I decided that I wanted turquoise, orange, yellow, and pink.  The cabinets were still in amazing shape, with a little paint and hardware updates, they were going to suffice.  The cabinet doors were taken down, the original hinges spray painted silver, and new hardware purchased on Ebay (the CHEAPEST place to buy it).Kitchen2

The inside of the bottom cabinets were sturdy, just old.  We painted the ‘floors’ and laid peel and stick tile to create a fresh surface.

Countertop is extremely expensive, and these were sturdy and in very good shape, so we decided to decorate around them.  We can always paint or resurface them, but time was also a priority.

The hardest part was finding something inexpensive to place between the cabinets.  Because we hope to expand the kitchen at some point in the future, we needed cute and cheap.  I decided to go with a brick look.  Wallpaper was the perfect answer.  (More to come on the wallpaper later).

We also needed a cabinet to go on the side of the stove.  Mom ran across this vintage metal one at a flea market for $60!  She also snagged some barnwood look airstep vinyl at Lowe’s for the bathroom, kitchen, and utility room for just $1/sqf.  This retails for almost $6/sqf!

We don’t have the floor down yet, but Brad ripped up the carpet to see what was underneath.  We had a pleasant surprise which is working for the time being.. until we can get the other installed.

I don’t have a full total on the cost, because things such as the flooring and installation are divided among three rooms.  We purchased two rolls of paper and only used one. 

And HERE is what it looks like now:

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Kitchen5

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What do you think?  Not too bad for a cosmetic fix! On the opposite wall is a huge, bright yellow china cabinet that holds dishes, cereals, bread, and snacks.  If it were a little neater, I’d have taken a photo of it, too.  Maybe when I clean it!

COST:

  • White Cabinet: $60
  • Brick Wallpaper: $30
  • Various Paint/Primer: $30
  • Hardware: $50
  • Rug: $12

TOTAL: $182 (The flooring + installation should be less than the remaining $112)

*NOTE:  The appliances in the first photo were included with the house.  We moved mine in before we started remodeling.