Wednesday, August 27, 2008

C(razy) V(erifiable) S(avings)

I am addicted. To CVS.

Yes, the pharmacy. I've just discovered an insane, obsessed cult of crazed penny-pinchers that shop at CVS for pennies on the dollar. And I've joined them.

Recent conquests:

Spent $3.85
Saved $12.29
Would have been $16.14
76% off

Spent $7.47
Saved $20.79
Would have been $28.26
74% off

Spent $5.12
Saved $ 31.09
Would have been $36.21
86% off

Spent $10.60
Saved $19.00
Would have been $29.60
64% off

Spent $0.94
Saved $23.56
Would have been $24.50
96% OFF!!!!

I've got it all entered into a spreadsheet. That's how nuts this is. I'm getting stuff nearly for free after coupons and Extra Bucks. And not crap either -- name brand toothpaste, lotion, diapers, batteries, pantyliners, ibuprofen, hair care, the list goes on. Stuff we use.

Get started here. Follow along here. These ladies plan out your shopping for you!

Let me know if you get hooked too. We can swap coupons.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Never tell the Kindergarten teacher that you know how to sew

Because sewing projects will be sent home.

Silly me. I filled out the parent volunteer form and checked all the boxes that appealed to my crafty side -- sewing, scrapbooking, cutting stuff up. Since I don't expect to be able to help out in class (infant siblings are quite a distraction), I thought I could do my volunteer stuff at home. Later in the year. After my freelance job is done. I didn't realize that it would be this soon. Oops.

Last week, I was asked to help sew W.E.B. bags. These are book bags that carry the little readers' "Wonderfully Exciting Books," a beginning reading program that the kids use both in the classroom and at home. Each day, the student chooses a book in their reading level (A-J) to practice reading themselves, and a storybook that they read with an adult. These books, along with a reading journal that that parents and teachers use to track the minutes read, go in the W.E.B. bags back and forth to school.

On the supply lists, the teacher asked for 1/2 yard of fabric. Eight pieces of fabric were sent home in my kid's backpack, along with instructions for the bags. I just finished them tonight. They are very simple, and stitched up quickly. The bags are held closed with velcro strips and feature a nameplate on the front (I'm gonna let the teacher use her pretty handwriting to put their names on -- I am not to be trusted with a Sharpie).

So, I took a needed break from the freelancing to get this sewing done. I think they came out fine. I hope the kids like them!

(NB: the Hannah Montana bag does not belong to my child. Although I did hide it from her while I was working on it, because she would want it for herself!)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Fresh, Easy, New

I guess it's ironic that I got so excited about the debut of this new grocery store in town, and then never went after it opened. I even called a British-American friend in California to gloat that I would soon have a version of Tesco near me!

Yet each week for the last several months, the $5 coupons have entered my home, and left in the recycle bin, expired and unused.

Each week, I would see the coupon, tell myself that it was time to visit, and then forget. A couple of weeks later, I was lamenting the expiration date. Meanwhile, my friends raved about the store, making it a regular destination. I was still clueless. Until today.

Wow. I was impressed. I had heard that they have next-t0-the-door family parking spaces, good prices on organics, a nice variety of store-brand items, and yummy bottled dressings. I had also heard about over-packaged meat and produce wasting plastic, and an excess of prepared meals for lazy, I mean, busy people. What I found was an orderly store, with all the basics at eye level and good prices. The lack of visual clutter makes most other grocery stores look like gimmicky one-ride theme parks designed by Kraft & Kellogg's marketers.

They seemed to have everything we needed today. Plus lots of stuff that the kids tried to sneak into the cart but got caught and vetoed (gummi bears, chocolate powder, corn dogs). There were some protests, but we bought other stuff they like, so everyone was satisfied.

Finally, we found that all the checkouts are self-service. The girls loved helping bag the groceries, and an employee came by to give us additional coupons. I can't believe I bought seven bags of groceries for $42!

We will definitely be going back. If it weren't for the cubhouse, I might not have to shop at Basha's any more. (Well, except our Basha's has a Starbucks too. I still have priorities.)