Friday, January 16, 2009

Frugal Friday: Where to Grocery Shop?

Like many of you (as I suspect), I'm relatively new to being frugal. I've only been married a little over 8 months, and have been clipping coupons & CVSing about that long. So, I'm still trying to figure a lot of things out - like where to grocery shop on a regular basis.

We live in a mid-sized city, so there are several grocery store options. I realize I wouldn't have this problem if I lived somewhere smaller - but I can choose between Aldi, Walmart, Bi-lo, Ingles, Publix, and a few others I don't usually consider.

Typically, Aldi is my fallback. I try to buy all my staples there, and have a price list so if I'm somewhere else, I know whether or not the other price beats Aldi. If a week is especially busy, Aldi is the only place I go.

After Aldi is where it seems to get confusing. Bi-lo, Publix and Ingles all double coupons, and all seem to have at least one really great deal every week. For now, I'm trying to skim the three ads, see which one looks most appealing for the week, then hit that one store after I go to Aldi. (I always go to the other store after Aldi because I never know when Aldi might be out of something they normally carry - last week it was spinach!) Currently, I'm finding I can get the best deals if I can go to Aldi and one other grocery store every week.

What about you? How do you handle multiple enticing grocery stores where you live? As I'm still learning, I'd love to hear how you do this!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

CVS Deals: January 11-17

My goal this week is just to roll some ECBs. There have been so few deals since right around Christmas, but I don't want to let my ECBs expire!

Transaction #1:

$7.99 - NasoGel Drip Free gel spray (earns $7.99 ECBs - so free!)
$6.99 - Nature Valley granola bars twin pack (earns $3 ECB)
$7.99 - Cheerios cereal twin pack (earns $4 ECBs - so free!)

Coupons used:
- $22.48 ECBs from previous trip
*$.50/1 Granola bars didn't work

Total after coupons & ECBs: $.49

Earned: $14.99 ECBs ($7.99, $4 & $3)

Definitely lost a lot of ECBs, but I can't seem to find the SoyJoy bars to help me roll them better! I still have some more ECBs to roll before the 20th, so check back for some more deals!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Newlywed Tip #5: Cultivate Your Interests

Today's post is just a quick reminder not to fall into the trap that just because you're married, you have to do everything together! Some of you who have been married longer may not struggle with this, but from many newlyweds that I've seen (ourselves included), it's pretty common to want to do everything together. That's wonderful to have that kind of relationship where you enjoy spending time together doing little things... but today I'd like to remind you: cultivate the interests that make you you and that make you a more interesting person for your spouse to be around.

If you love reading & your spouse doesn't, still try to set aside at least a little time for this activity. Or, think of a book that could at least make your spouse appreciate why you like reading so much and introduce it to him/her. For example, I've recently picked up knitting again (it's been a while!) and J is reading a bit more. We love showing or telling each other about what we're doing - and it's so much fun to share in the other person's excitement!

I'd love to hear from you - how do you make this work in your marriage? Or do you have some long-lost hobby that you'd like to pick back up? Please share in the comments!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I've never tried this, but the idea intrigues me! I found this post a while back on Works for Me Wednesday, and it had pretty well convinced me.

Apparently the E-mealz program menu plans for you and provides a grocery list for a store of your choice, basing the menu around sale prices!

Again, I've never tried it but thought some of you may find it useful - especially if you've hit the meal-planning blues. This would be especially useful for a particularly busy season of your life. Let me know if you try it & like it!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Garage Sale!

Not to sound obvious... but what works for me this week is our garage sale! No, we have not made any money on it yet because we're not even having it until this Saturday. So, why does it work for me?

Because the house feels the cleanest it's felt ever.

When we got married and moved our things into our house, there were certain items that never really made their way into use in our new household. Two people combining lives and things just meant too much clutter! We also received a lot of nice wedding gifts that replaced some of old kitchen items.

So, we've teamed up with two other newlywed couples to have a joint garage sale. We set the date a few months ago so we all had a deadline to work toward, and it will be much more fun this Saturday with our friends as well! We couldn't back out, either, because we had already committed - so yes, last weekend we spent going through every room & closet looking at anything that wasn't in use.

If you haven't scrutinized your house like this anytime recently, have had some big move, or gotten married in the past few years, I'd highly recommend a garage sale! I love knowing that most everything in our home right now is here for a reason!

For more great tips, check out Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer.