Occasionally Extreme

A serious haul for under $25.  This would’ve been under $20 if it weren’t for that damn Meow Mix.  Cat’s gotta eat, y’all!

Sometimes my friends, family, coworkers, etc. give me a hard time because I get a little excited about coupons.  Let me be crystal clear – I’m an occasional couponer, and I’m not that extreme, and I only buy things that are useful or healthy for us.  Here’s the rundown:

-I don’t waste time clipping coupons.  I buy them for pennies at The Coupon Clippers so that I can search through their stock to find coupons that are relevant to me, and not a bunch of stuff they’re trying to market to people who don’t understand that $1.00 off four frozen pizzas still frigging costs too much money.

-I don’t mind not using coupons that are expiring, unless they’re something we really love.  LIKE BEANS.  These Goya coupons were expiring and I still have four more to use before the 20th. Yikes.  It literally costs 5 cents for a coupon to expire, I’m not gonna upset my life just to get to Shaw’s so that I can get some weird new energy drink for $1.50 off.

-Shaw’s doubles coupons.  Therefore, coupons that are $.50 or greater ($.75 cent ones are common, and equal $1.50 off!) are ideal.  $1.00 coupons are only awesome when Shaw’s has a dollar doubler promotion, which you can find at their Facebook page.  You can ‘double’ $1.00 coupons ($2.00 off!) up to four times on orders of $15 or more.  That’s technically $15 worth of groceries for $7 if you do it right.

-Double up deals.  Shaw’s routinely marks down items, and sometimes you have coupons for them.  I generally don’t use a coupon unless I can get the item for 50% off or more.

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Here’s the info on today’s haul, from left to right:

-Meow Mix ‘tender centers.’  The cats have been ravenous lately and they’re seriously addicted to Cat Mcdonald’s like this crap.  I’m a bad mother.  Still:  $5.49 reg. w/$1.00 off coupon, plus $1 doubler coupon.  Sale:  $3.49

-Dole Real Fruit Bites (yummy dried mangos to keep me from eating chips at work):  $0 (looks like this didn’t even appear on my receipt – what the heck?!  moral dilemma.)

-YoCrunch Greek Parfaits (breakfast at work):  $1.39 each w/$.55 off 2 cups.  Double to $1.10 = $1.68 for to, or $.84 each.

-12 Freaking Cans of Low Sodium Goya Beans goodness!:  $1.29 each x 12 = 15.48.  I had 3 $1.00/4 cans coupons, plus 3 $1 doublers, for $6.00 to equal $9.48.  That’s $.79 a can.  It’s like it’s 1994 again!

-2 Dole Pineapple Chunks cans (good for cooking with meats, on salads, or as a snack and full of potassium and vitamin C) are $.99 each.  I had a $.35 off 2 coupon, doubled to $.70.  $1.98 – $.70 = $1.28 or $.64 a can.

-2 Welch’s Juice Jugs.  Damn, these are gonna make good tequila mixer!  Mango Pineapple – totally bad for you, but mixed drinks are my only vice.  At least the only one I’ll share here!  There were on sale for 2/$4.00 ($2.00 each).  I had a coupon for each one that was $.55 off (doubled to $1.10) so these bad boys were only $.90 each when they are regularly $2.50 when not on sale.

-Vlasic Sandwich stackers!  We use these at work to wrap in lunch meats and dip in honey mustard.  Thea and I named them ‘tickles’ because she usually does turkey and pickles.  I personally prefer salami tickles.  In any case, they are normally $2.89 but they were on sale 2/$4 plus I had 2 $.55 ($1.10) off coupons – so each of these ended up being $.90, too!  That’s almost $2 off regular delicious pickle prices.  Suckers!

-Dole pineaple juice – 6 cans in a package.  These are also good for mixing with alcohol, and because they’re individually packaged it’s not like you gotta drink a bunch of piña coladas in one night – you can pace yourself.  These are $2.79 each regularly, on sale for $2.69.  I think my coupon for this was $.55 ($1.10) so $1.59 after all that – not the best savings, but still so refreshing when I want a girl drink.

So basically, the total check was going to be $39 and some change and I paid $23.62 after tax, deposits and coupons were calculated for a savings of 41%.  What’s more, all of this is stuff we like and is good for us (minus my disgustingly indulgent cats, and those sugary juices) and those beans will last FOREVER.  Plus I’m going out again to use the rest of the bean coupons since Goya is basically our favorite.

This all looks way more complicated than it really is, but I get it – I look totally crazy.  But when you don’t qualify for EBT and you’ve chosen the career path of ‘starving artist’ it certainly helps to be dollar savvy!

I’m feeling Moth-y. Also: Audrey went couponing, again.

Moths are attracted to light.  So are photographers – so it stands to reason that sometimes I just feel more moth-y than other times.  When I left Shaw’s today (after a raucous bout of couponing) the sky was all heavy from a recent downpour, but the clouds were thin enough that you could see the sunset.  It was bright magenta and royal purple.  I could stand in light like that in a parking lot all day, if I could.  I think about other planets and suns and how different their light must be.  Maybe, to them, bright, high-noon sunlight is their ‘magic hour’ and they wish they could live on a planet like ours.

Two things:  I’ve been watching Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” obsessively again.  I really like outer space.  Also, I just hung a show at India St.’s Coffee By Design today, I hope to take pictures soon, and put them up on this blog.  The show is called “Holiday” and it features photographs from Daytona Beach, Kennedy Space Center, and the 4th of July fireworks in Portland a couple weeks ago.  Don’t worry — they don’t ‘look like’ fireworks, although you’d have to be an idiot to not know they’re fire works.  The show was directly inspired by how in love with Carl Sagan I am.

Now on to more important, money-grubbing things.  I went to Shaw’s again tonight, on the last night of their weekly sale, to ‘get mine.’  I grew up in a Hannaford family, mind you, with a cumulative 17 years worked for the company among multiple family members, and I go to Hannaford for my regular shop.  I’m also newly in love with Trader Joe’s, mostly because they help me eat samosas.  Anyways — but SHAW’S seems to psychotically want to give people thing for free, or nearly free, on a weekly basis.  Every week they want me to get something new for free.  Here’s what I got this week:

SPARKLY WATER KICKS PLAIN WATER'S ASS ALL DAY

Click on that picture to get the big version, …if you like looking at pictures of groceries, that is.  Otherwise, here’s the rundown:

The total of this hoarder’s paradise was $30.61.  After $11.09 in Shaw’s savings (their sales) coupled with my coupons ($5.26) I only paid $13.52 after tax and deposits on my plethora of sparkling waters.

The method:

Don’t cut (or buy) coupons for things you don’t normally love, or wouldn’t like to try.  Let’s start with the obvious:  the Polar seltzers.  I bought some $1 off/4 liters coupons from www.thecouponclippers.com for about 5 cents or something each.  What’s that you say?  PAY for coupons?  Silly!  Not actually silly considering this happened:  Shaw’s was offering “Buy One, Get One Free” on Polar Liters this week (they are f—ing nuts, what is this, Payless Shoes??) and I had the $1 off/4.  So if I BOGO’d twice (they cost $1.29 at Shaw’s) then I was at $2.60 (ish) for the 4 liters.  $1 off of that (with the coupon) and it was $1.60 for four liters.  And then I did that three times so now my fridge is full of refreshing things to take to the beach.

Couponing for sauces is always a good idea.  I love sauces.  Plus, they’re usually pretty cheap and if you can get ’em on sale then you’re looking at most likely free sauce.  Free Sauce!!  That Frank’s Red Hot was $2.49 with $.80 off on sale.  Plus I had a $.75 off/1 coupon for it (which Shaw’s doubles — they double anything under $1… again, crazy) so that was $1.50 so that big ol’ jar of fiery deliciousness was only $.19.  If they taught us stuff like this in math class in high school maybe I wouldn’t have failed miserably and ended up only taking art and English my senior year.

My bill would’ve been about $2 less had I not needed toilet paper and a box of pasta to get me through the weekend… (I’m low maintenance).  Then I got some salad dressing although that was kind of dumb, since people should just make their own salad dressing.  I normally do — but we’re out of olive oil.  Talk about treating the symptom and not the disease!

So, savings just over 44% on groceries that I’ll definitely use is not a bad thing.  Since I don’t qualify for EBT (stupid salary and health benefits!) but am still, somehow, a poor lady in her late 20s, this kind of thing makes me leave the grocery store with an ear to ear smile on my face.

…One day, I will talk more about art.  Sorry to bore you with my groceries stories tonight!

Oh Snap! New Photos and Outer Space Audrey…

Kate and I took pictures again today.  It will be the last time for awhile until one of us buys a sweet camera because we have to give Maggie (Kate’s Mom) her rig back.  😦  She misses her camera!  This time we did it in my kitchen so that nothing weird would happen… luckily left to our own devices weird things will always happen anyways:

At which point, Cash decides it's time for her to get out of the kitchen.

Sidenote:  I have an insatiable desire to put cooking implements on my head and/or use them like drums and drumsticks.  For the record, yes, I did do enough of this as a child…just really enjoyed it and don’t plan on stopping any time soon.  Dinner party at my house, anyone?

So big big plans for listing on Etsy this week and being a productive person.  (Sidenote again:  the following paragraph will be distracted because Cash (pictured above) is licking Yuna’s toes while he sleeps…)

Uhhh…hmm.  Ok they’re done.  My favorite picture from the shoot will NOT be listed on Etsy but you CAN go buy these earrings at Find now, because that’s where Kate and I went after the photo shoot.

Favorite. Go to Find.

Vintage Photographs from a school photo sheet Kate gave me.

I got sweet pants that I will just need to lose 5 pounds to fit in to, an awesome ring, and Kate got a jacket with removable arms from Kenya.  Which makes me think of this awesome jacket from L.L. Bean’s Signature line that costs way more than the coat Kate got, and is just as versatile and wonderful.

Black Point Parka. Those arms zip RIGHT off.

My second favorite picture will be listed on Etsy soon, but here’s a sneak-preview of the Bubba’s Sulky Lounge Dance Floor Necklace and Barrette Set on Neil Young’s Trans Am.  Long title!

This is the album where Neil Young stole Peter Frampton's Vocoder for awhile.

It also happens to be Halloween, grocery shopping and leg-shaving day.  All simultaneously.  So I better get off the computer and get started on those things.  Shaw’s had dollar-doublers in their flyer this week!  Momma’s buying a new razor…