Friday, February 25, 2011

More Adventures With Kroger

After last week's debacle at Kroger, we decided we weren't going back to that store.  Knowing that the Mega sale ends tomorrow and figuring it would not be as busy tonight we decided we'd go to one of the other stores tonight (the store we had been frequenting until I took over grocery shopping and opted for location over... well, I guess everything else).

I decided I'd check at the Customer Service desk to find out if there was a limit on how many of the $3 Daytona catalina coupons I could redeem at once (before finding out while standing in line) and the girl at the CS desk told me that there wasn't a limit. She even said they'd gotten a letter from corporate telling them they could take more than 1 at a time but that they'd been doing that the whole time and flat out said "there's no limit". I told her about my debacle at the other store and she made the comment that I should have just come there.  I agreed and went off to fill my cart.  We had 8 of the $3 coupons to use and I figured I may as well continue to stock up on the Gatorade as well as pick up a few other items, knowing that the Gatorade would produce more coupons.

We headed to the Gatorade aisle first and found that their selection of G2 was a little on the lacking side, but he managed to grab 25.  We filled in the other 5 slots with Brown & Serve sausages and Tornadoes (we'd been wanting to try this and figured we could take the risk for less than $1).  I also had coupons for .50 off Starkist tuna pouches (which were on sale for $1, making them free) and I wanted to pick up some hot dog buns while they were also on sale for $1.  All in all I figured it should have come out to under $27 (well actually I figured under $24 but it was because I suck at math).

We got the register and unloaded our haul and we were talking to the cashier (who was very nice) when I handed him my coupons.  "You're not going to like me..." he started, "there's a limit of 1 of these per transaction".  I told him that I'd asked at CS and she'd told me that there wasn't a limit.  He didn't argue with me and wasn't at all rude, he had the supervisor come over and she turned the little key and did an override.  They were both adamant that they were told it was limit of 1, but that if the CS girl said otherwise they'd take them and they did.

As we left we could see the floor manager discussing it with the CS girl as she was obviously looking for that letter from corporate.  At least we are down to just 3 of the $3 off coupons now, and it should be easier to spend those between Kroger and Publix over the next 2 weeks before they expire.

So all in all we got....
25 Gatorade (32oz) @ .69/e (after Mega discount)
3 Banquet Brown & Serve @ .58/e (after Mega discount)
2 Tornadoes @ $1.69/e (after Mega discount)
2 packs Hormel pepperoni (on sale $1/e)
3 packs hot dog buns (on sale $1/e)
2 Starkist tuna pouches (on sale $1/e)

Used the following coupons:
(2) .75/1 Tornadoes
$1/2 Hormel Pepperoni
(2) .50/1 Starkist tuna pouch

(8) $3 Daytona Mega coupons

Paid $1.22 OOP (got back $9 in Kroger coupons)

And my husband should now be good on Gatorade at least through the summer (if not longer).

Sometimes Freebies Come in Handy

Back in January I'd done the money-maker Airwick deal at CVS.  I'd put the larger Airwick Freshmatic in the bathroom we use for the cat litter box because none of the plugs in there work, so I couldn't use any plug-ins.  The thing still freaks me out but I'm getting used to the noise (which sounds like a cat sneezing) when it goes off.

Until this past week the smaller Freshmatic had stayed in our stockpile awaiting a need to use it.  Last weekend we had a major need.  I noticed a funky smell coming from the half bath downstairs.  Not only is this the bathroom that probably gets the most use in our house, but it's also right next to our bedroom and we have to walk by it every time we walk in the house or go to our bedroom.  Once I noticed the smell I figured "Hey, I can at least cover it up".  So, I did with my freebie Airwick.  FWIW, the small ones aren't nearly as loud as the large ones, they also spray straight up instead of our, so no worries about getting attacked by the thing.

We called a plumber on Tuesday, but by then the smell was already getting worse to the point that the Airwick wasn't enough and the smell was noticeable on the other side of the wall in our bedroom (ew!).  So I put a Wallflower plugin in the plug right next to the bathroom (for some reason this bathroom has no plugs).  When I talked to the plumber his initial thought was that the wax seal on our toilet needed replacing.  This is something my husband could easily do and would only cost about $10 if he did it himself.  Our fear was that it was more than that (or something else entirely).  We've known since we moved in that the contractor we used to redo that section of the house had cut a lot of corners, and we didn't really know what the plumber might run into.  Also, the more we sniffed around the more we were sure it wasn't the toilet but was coming from the other side of the bathroom (the sink).

We were right.  The plumber came out today and sure enough the first thing he saw when he looked under the sink was that the contractor had used a type of pipe that is illigal and it was causing sewer gas build up, thus the smell.  That wasn't all he found... somehow our sink drain was plugged up with toilet paper?  He had no idea when I asked him how the heck toilet paper got in our sink drain.  I'd known it had always drained slowly, but had no idea - toilet paper?!

Hopefully, we no longer need the Freshmatic in that bathroom and I think that just because it's a lot less noisy I will probably replace the large one upstairs with this smaller one.  Only problem is I still have two refills for the large one, and as much as that one annoys me I don't want to see those go to waste.

Good Week to Get the Paper: Coupons Coming Sunday!

This should be a good week to grab the paper, since there will be at least 2 inserts this week and one of them will be Proctor & Gamble.  The P&G insert is the one I look forward to the most, but there are often some really good Qs in the other inserts as well. 

You can get a full preview of what's coming Sunday at the Sunday Coupon Preview.

Coupon: Nivea Lip Care (free next week)

Nivea has some great coupons on their Facebook page. One of which is a $2/2 Lip care product coupon. It looks like both Rite Aid & Walgreens will have these on sale for $1 next week, so you'll be able to pick them up for free!

They also have coupons for $1/1  Body Lotion and
$1/1 Body Wash for Women.

Go to their Facebook page and like them to get the coupons.

COUPON: Polaner All Fruit w/ Fiber

I personally love Polaner All Fruit. It's just sweet enough and doesn't have any of that after-taste that some sugar-free fruit spreads have (because it's sweetened with juice).  So, I was quite glad to come across this coupon on the frugallivingandhavingfun blog, for $1/1 jar of Polaner All Fruit w/ Fiber.

I haven't decided if I'm thrilled about the way that fiber is being added to everything lately, but I do need to get more, so I guess I'll take it.

Click here for the coupon (look for it on the bottom right of the page).

Spending Goals: February Spending Report

I missed a week on reporting my goals. To be honest, I didn't feel much like doing anything to do with couponing (including blogging) after the debacle last week at Kroger.

The short version is that after they called to tell me the second half of my special order was in, when we tried to ring out with it the cashier told me we could only use (1) of the $3 Daytona coupons per transaction. There's nothing in those coupons that limit them and I'd used 4 at a time without a problem earlier in the week.  After a lot of hassles from the cashier, the CS desk and the floor supervisor and basically being made to feel like we were shoplifting for wanting to do what we knew was allowed, we finally got to the store manager.  He ended up calling corporate and called me back on Tuesday to tell me that yes we could use more than 1 per transaction, that there was no limit placed at corporate and the limits were only placed by the store and as far as he was concerned there was no problem.  The end result is that we decided we wouldn't be back to that store. While the manager was great and we really appreciated the grocery manager's efforts on the special order, we just don't want to deal with those types of attitudes when we are checking out (and it's the cashier's we'd have to deal with every time we go in).  There are several other Kroger's in town so we'll go to a different one.  We still need to go and use the rest of our Daytona coupons (we have 8 left, after using 1 at Publix last weekend).

All in all, we spent too much this month; for several reasons.  We spent more than I'd intended at Kroger (mainly because of not being allowed to use multiple $3 Qs when picking up the second half of our special order).  Somewhere along the last few months (according to my accountant husband) we shorted the grocery fund so that shortage came back to us this month giving us more than we normally schedule for groceries.

In the end, we spent $351.45 this month

Here's the breakdown since my last update:
  • Target - paid $9.13 for $12.16 worth of groceries (2/12)
  • Rite Aid - paid $1.87 for $17.90 worth of items (2/12)
  • Rite Aid - paid $4.50 for $76.49 worth of items (2/13)
  • Kroger - paid $37.13 for $67.45 worth of groceries (2/13) - first Mega trip - got (4) $3 Daytona Qs
  • Kroger - paid $43.26 for $143.46 worth of groceries (2/15) - first 1/2 of special order, used (4) $3 Daytona Qs, got back 5 more.
  • Walgreen - paid $4.10 for $19.96 worth of items (2/17)
  • Publix - paid $22.52 for $85.18 worth of items (2/17)
  • Kroger - paid $40.47 for $129.50 worth of groceries (2/19) -the bad trip, only used (1) $3 Daytona Q, got back 5.
  • Publix - paid $1.04 for $7.98 worth of groceries (2/20) - used 1 of my $3 Kroger Qs
  • Walgreens - paid $13.64 for $32.92 worth of items (2/22) - used personal money
  • Publix - paid .71 for $31.75 worth of groceries (2/24)
  • Rite Aid - paid $1.49 for $18.97 worth of items (2/24) - hit Winter Reward goal and received $20+UP
So for the month, we've spent $351.54 for a total of $1091.12 in grocery & drugstore items.  For a total savings of $786.07, or 72%

Overall a pretty good return.  I only took out $20 for grocery spending for the next 2 weeks and that's really all I want/intend to spend.  Our stockpile is pretty well stocked and we have plenty of the basics, as well as $24 in Kroger coupons to spend (it will be interesting to see how that ends up working out).

Paid .71 for $31.75 Worth of Groceries

I'm not proud of this picture. We really didn't need more pasta, I'm actually trying to cut back on pasta and we have at least 6 boxes on shelves already, but when I realized that it was a money maker and that if I bought 10 boxes the pasta would pay for my milk, I couldn't resist. Especially, after last weeks debacle at Kroger.

So, here's what I got...
(3) Silk Soy Milk @ 2/$5
(1) Mueller's pasta @ $1.49 BOGO
(2) Sargento Extra Sharp Cheddar (rainchecked from last week @ 2/$4)

(10) $1/1 Meuller's pasta
(3) $1/1 Silk Soy Milk
(3) .75/1 Silk Soy Milk (Publix store Q)
(1) .50/2 Sargento chesse (doubled)

(2) $1.50/1 Sargento Extra Sharp Cheddar (Publix store Q).

Paid .71 OOP

The actual tax on this transaction was $1.01, so I paid .30 less than the tax.  This was a great shopping moment, and made me feel a lot better about couponing again.