Guess what my husband & I did on our way out of town Friday? We purchased some gift cards at Albertsons to take advantage of the $20 Catalina that printed through Saturday.
Okay, we purchase a lot of gift cards. $3000 worth to be exact.
Before you go all crazy on me, let me explain. My husband flips starter homes for a living and does a lot of Home Depot, Lowe’s and Best Buy shopping, so those cards will be used in a matter of weeks. We are also planning a Southwest Airlines trip this summer, so those are accounted for as well. And I love McDonald’s Iced Mochas and Starbucks’ Cinnamon Dulce Lattes. It’s my indulgence, and since I’m buying them anyway, I may as well get some free groceries out of the deal.
Three of our Catalinas did not print and are coming in the mail soon (with no expiration dates!) and we used one cat to feed the four starving children lunch (you should have seen the thrashing to and fro), so we have only have $520 to spend at Albertsons before this Friday. I realized this morning as I left the dentist that I need to come up with a plan and quick. Totally milking the free babysitting from my 15-year-old nephew, I stopped by my local Albertsons to start a spendin’.
To keep myself from buying $520 worth of Starbucks Frappucinos, I had to come up with some purchasing goals. Here’s what I’m going to focus on:
- Sale and clearanced meat that I know how to cook and enjoy eating that will freeze well
- Dairy that keeps for a long time — yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, butter, etc.
- Produce for the next two weeks
- Toiletries and medications that I am running low on or rarely go on sale
- Items that make my husband happy
I started walking the outside loop of the store where the “real food” is housed. Since I usually purchase my produce from Safeway (it’s much closer to my home), I never go through Albertsons’ produce section. I was pleasantly surprised to find great prices on a number of items (broccoli, cantaloupe, lettuce).
The sweet feeling in my soul vanished as I entered the dairy section — the prices were very high. Higher than I want to pay even if it’s technically free. We did need some sour cream and cottage cheese, so I just closed my eyes and put the tubs in my cart.
I found some clearanced meat — both $1 and $3 off stickers on seasoned dark meat chicken (for the kids and Will when I am going out for dinner — I truly do not enjoy the taste of it) and Laura’s natural ground beef.
I was planning on hitting Costco this morning for more allergy medication, but I figured that I could save a trip and just overpay for Albertsons generic. And overpay I did. Again, I just closed my eyes and placed the generic Allegra in the cart. I can’t breathe without the stuff (stinkin’ grass).
Yes, some Starbucks Frapps ended up in the transaction. Not sure how that happened…
My total for the entire lot (including two large packages of baby wipes that didn’t make it into the picture) was $124.51. I did not use a single coupon, but my cashier did run over to the customer service desk to grab the Tillamook cheese store coupon out of the weekly ad.
As I busted out six $20 Catalinas, the cashier told me that he thought there was a “one per transaction” limit. I almost threw up. He was right. I should really start reading the actual coupon before using it. Without me asking, he motioned the manager to come over to see what she could do for me. Luckily she did allow me to use all six cats. She was polite, but clearly not pleased (I can’t blame her).
My cashier then proclaimed, “Best customer service in the 503!”
Now, my husband and I have an additional challenge: Figuring out what to buy along with how to manage all the transactions we will have to do. At this point, we have twenty $20 transactions to spread out over the next four days. It’s going to take a good amount of concentrated effort. We must block out all distractions and focus on the task at hand.
So, here’s the question: Do you want to see the rest of our shopping trips over the next four days? Is this remotely interesting to anyone but me?
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