We went into the "Big City" on Friday to visit family and friends and make a couple stops here and there. We got caught in rush hour and it took us 40 minutes to go 11 miles on the beltway. Living in the mountains made us forget how to plan ahead and leave early to get to our destination on time in traffic. It was hot and humid and all the exhaust from the cars made my eyes water and gasp for air. You couldn't pay us to move back to the Big City!
It was a good trip, though, and we enjoyed our visits with everybody. We didn't return home until after midnight and it was so good to be home again, in the quiet, cool mountains, away from all the hustle and bustle of cars and smog and crowded homes.
We have our moments, sometimes, when we wonder why we moved more than 2 hours away from all our friends and family and all we need to do is visit them to be reminded why we love it where we are. We live where people go away to for the weekends.
The fourth of July is coming up and we may go back to the Big City for that day, depending on if Andrew has to work or not. Looking forward to being with friends, not so much the traffic. Wait and see what happens at work-- The Boss fired someone, so Andrew and his co-worker need to pick up the slack and work more hours. Good for the bank account, so I'm not complaining.
Speaking of the bank account, I've been doing really well with the couponing. People that save huge amounts and pay little are called 'extreme couponers' and I think I can join the ranks now. Sunday was a very good day for me at CVS (a drugstore). I sat down with the sales papers and my coupons and worked out a plan on Saturday night (no more partying for me on Saturday nights!) and then Sunday morning I went to CVS. My grand total came to $82 and I paid only $6 plus I got $11 back in CVS bucks! Whoo-hoo! I got stuff we needed, too:: paper towels, diapers, pads, razors and shaving cream. It's a thrill to see the cash register total go down, down, down as I hand over coupons and CVS bucks to pay only small amounts and get approving nods from the cashiers.
I was telling my friends about it and I was thinking of maybe hosting a workshop for other deaf people to show them how to use coupons to the extreme. It doesn't take a lot of time to use coupons, only a couple of hours a week to cut them out and match them up with sales and then comes the fun part-- shopping!
We used to struggle with the grocery bill every month and a lot of times we had to go without because our budget just couldn't allow it. Since I've been extreme couponing, the pantry has been consistently stocked and I find myself spending way less than we used to, even though we have more mouths to feed (Grandma moved in and Peter now eats regular foods). Even the bathroom cabinet is nearly overflowing with extra toiletries we use; like shampoo and soap, toothpaste, razors, body washes and band aids.
I get diapers for cheap, too. The other night, I didn't pack enough diapers for our trip to the Big City, so I made a last minute run to CVS for a big box of diapers. Usually, last minute purchases are expensive, but lucky me, I had my coupon book, so I bought a box of 54 diapers that normally cost $25, on sale for $19.99, used a $3 off $15 store coupon, a $3 manufacturer's coupon, a $3 store coupon, and $2 CVS bucks so I paid $9 plus tax and got back $10 in CVS bucks for my next shopping trip, so I ended up getting it for FREE! Sweet!
Then Sunday, airhead me forgot to pack more diapers in the diaper bag, so I needed to buy diapers, again, when Peter took a dump while we were in the store. I managed to get an 8-pack of paper towels, 2 packs of pads, and a pack of diapers and after using coupons and CVS bucks, I paid? 77 cents! Yes, 77 cents! How can you not enjoy shopping when you don't even have to touch the bank account??
Andrew used to get a little grumpy at me when I said I was heading out to the store for what seemed like the 18th time that week. It only looks like I am shopping a lot more, when in reality, I am spending a lot less, just making more purchases to spread out the coupon love. Some stores limit how many coupons I can use, like multiples of the same coupon are not allowed at one store; or another store will not take internet coupons that have 'buy one get one free' on it. So I have to get smart and spread 'em out a little bit. When Andrew checks the bank balance and sees that we still have money in there at the end of the month, in fact, more than he expected, he feels alright about my shopping practices. He likes to hear how much I saved or how much I paid for a certain item.
Target, this week, has Oscar Mayer hotdogs on sale for $1.39! That's the cheapest I've ever seen them, then add a $1 off 2 coupon and that makes it 89 cents each!! Good time to stock up and throw some in the freezer! That's really what extreme couponing is about: stocking up when the price and the coupons are right and then when you need it, you have it, instead of paying full price for it later on. I happened to have 6 coupons, so I bought 12 packages of hotdogs. Now for the summer, I won't need to buy any more hotdogs and I can focus my attention to other good buys and coupon matches. Oh, and to go with those hotdogs, Heinz 40oz ketchup is on sale at Target for $1!! Good deal! An even better deal is Hunt's ketchup for $1 at Food Lion and there is a $1 off 2 coupon which makes it 50 cents a bottle! My family prefers Heinz, but I bought Hunt's for cooking with-- like when I make sloppy joes or meatloaf.
Anyone interested in a couponing workshop?? Let me know and I'll see what I can do! :o)