Frugal Living - Challenge 2019 Daily Frugal Challenge

Discussion in 'The Daily Frugal: Living Life Pennywise' started by KmmCo, Jan 5, 2019.

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  1. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Nothing too exciting here. We've picked up a few "specials" the past several days and have tried to be creative using them.

    Got Tyson Chicken Strips on a weekend deal and have been trying to make them a bit different each meal.

    Had an opened jar of Pioneer Woman BBQ sauce in the fridge, so made BBQ chicken with the first half bag. Fixed up some mashed potatoes to go along with it using some Rondele' Cheese we picked up on markdown for 50 cents.

    Last night, we made Chicken Parmesan using tomato sauce and cheese we had on hand.

    We've got a beautiful pot of basil outside, so made homemade pesto using more ingredients we had on hand and used it on zoodles made from zucchini we got on markdown.

    Still want to go Asian with some chicken strips in the future.

    Today, we got a 10 percent discount on house brands so picked up several items for which we had digital coupons at that store as well as another which was selling for less.

    Among other things we got:
    Three pounds of butter for a little more than $2 a pound
    A large bag of chopped kale for 89 cents
    A four-pack of organic canned beans for a little more than $2
    A single can of organic beans for 45 cents
    Three four-packs of canned veggies for a little more than $1 each
    Three huge bags of potato chips for a little more than $1 a bag
    A single can of organic tomatoes for 49 cents
    ... and the big find -- a pound of ground turkey for 45 cents.
     
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  2. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Well, it doesn't look like I'll be rushing to Albertsons this week like I've wanted to do the past couple weeks -- when they charged us the same prices as Boise. They've sure got a knack for alienating me. :mad:

    Each time I want to view the ad online, the site makes me reset my location because it insists I live in Boise.

    Today I wanted to take a second look at the ad I viewed last night before it was "officially" out -- but I forgot to reset my location. First thing I noticed on Page One was that we're being charged a dollar more on Tillamook Cheese than Boise. That certainly isn't a motivator to make me load a coupon.

    Actually, the reason I got in to check the ad in the first place is that they sent me a pizza coupon with a "special price." Supposedly, it is "Just for Me" -- and I honestly couldn't believe my eyes.

    The pizza is on sale in the ad for $2.99. You can buy it for that price without a coupon -- so please tell me WHY in the world I would want to load a coupon for the VERY same pizza which will charge me $3.79? :confused:

    That price is certainly "Just for me!" o_O

    I wish they'd soon get their act together, because I'd really like to shop there if they'd quit pushing me away. :( I get the impression they've got the same thing going on at Albertsons/Safeway as they have had at Kmart/Sears.

    Albertsons supposedly bought Safeway, but they've closed just about all the Albertsons stores in Vancouver, Washington while they push Safeway like CRAZY.

    Safeway deserted us at least 25 or 30 years ago so all we've got is Albertsons -- which is headquartered here in Idaho. However, only shoppers who live in Boise can afford to shop there!
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  3. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Had a short weekend last week because of the trade that I did with someone.... Glad to have my normal 3 days off this week!

    *I already got to the store and found a few bargains. Had to grab windshield washer fluid today at Walmart. While there, I found a giant box of Corn Chex (slightly crushed) for $1.13 and a bag of nice looking pears for $2 on sale. I ran across the street to Kroger and got a package of 4 burger patties for $2. I grabbed buns, sliced cheese, and frozen onion rings to make lunch today. Forgot to grab lettuce so I guess the burgers will get condiments and pickles only.

    *I pulled chicken out of the freezer and will make some kind of chicken and rice meal for dinner tonight.

    *I am trying to not eat out this month until we go on vacation to the beach.:D I kind of blew that yesterday as I grabbed a personal pizza for lunch at work yesterday. $5 won't kill the budget though.

    * I have 4 hours OT coming on my check that I get on Monday. I also did 1.5 hours OT this week that will go on the following check with the holiday pay. Boss is saying no OT for a while now since we are finally fully staffed - I am guessing that will only last until around the holidays though. I have vacation in Sept and again in October anyway, so no big deal for me since I won't be at work for a few weeks.

    ~ Not so frugal is that I bought myself an early Bday present online costing $42 with shipping and tax. I don't spend money on things like that very often though, so it was nice to treat myself this one time.
     
  4. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    UGH! One more thing to add to my "memory list."

    Years ago, another store was my "go-to" store to save money on just about all groceries. Prices were substantially lower there, however, I had to watch like a hawk because there were ALWAYS things on every single grocery order that scanned at a higher price than the shelf and then I'd have to argue with the clerks.

    One of my pet peeves was cilantro versus parsley. The clerks didn't know the difference and would always charge me for cilantro -- which in the days before cilantro became so popular -- was always 10 to 20 cents higher than parsley.

    Eventually, I lost interest and shopped there less and less.

    Then that corporation built us a "superstore." To be honest I haven't really had problems with pricing at the superstore and the employees have always been much friendlier than the old store. However, I just never got in the habit of shopping there and the past few years many items seemed to be the same price -- or sometimes higher -- than our regular store which offers fuel rewards -- the superstore doesn't.

    However, there are a few odds and ends we still have to swing into the other store for on occasion -- and talk about ODDS and ends!

    Cooking sherry and vinegars are just about always substantially cheaper at the superstore -- like $2 to $3 a bottle cheaper. Definitely worth making a special trip. I don't even bother to look at what our regular store sells on that aisle, because I don't like the prices.

    If I've got Bob's Red Mill coupons about to expire and they haven't gone on sale at our regular store, I can usually find something on sale at the superstore, as well.

    The superstore is the ONLY store in town that sells pre-made Gyro meat -- and it used to be the only one that sold the nice soft whole wheat Greek pitas we love.

    A few years ago I found fresh garbanzo beans at the superstore and was hooked on them as a snack for a while. I've never seen anything similar at our regular stores.

    Then our regular stores and its smaller sister store -- quit selling bean sprouts. Actually the main one quit selling ALL sprouts and the smaller store only seems to have alfalfa/clover sprouts on rare occasions.

    I was really frustrated the other day when I went to make egg rolls and discovered our regular store had quit selling egg roll wrappers. However, we did find them at the smaller sister store so swallowed hard when we saw the price and bought them.

    Since DH was running errands I asked him to pick up a package. However, today the tiny store where we'd bought them was out of stock ... what's new?

    DH checked the superstore where we rarely shop and found them for two dollars cheaper than we'd paid for last night's package!

    One of the main frustrations I have with that superstore is it can never quite get its web site "user-friendly" like the competition. After he got home tonight I checked the store's web site to see if they'd finally upgraded the site. However, after checking terms like "egg roll wrapper," "egg roll" and even the brand name of the wrappers themselves the site claimed it didn't sell anything close. :oops:
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
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  5. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    We had cheese & onion quesadillas for lunch yesterday. I went to the dentist in the afternoon and skipped dinner since my gums were a little sore from the deep cleaning.

    Today we are doing chili dogs and chips for lunch. I have some pork thawing for dinner tonight and will probably do mashed potatoes with that ( and of course some veggies).

    I picked up some glue that I needed for .50. School supplies are on sale at walmart, but I don't really need anything else this year. I did have to buy printer ink this week, because I wanted to get my resume sent off for my "after retirement" temp job.

    ~Got my rent money from my mountain condo yesterday and scheduled a contribution to my IRA. Even though it really comes down to the same thing, I keep my paycheck and put the "rent" into the IRA. Somehow it is easier mentally to do that. Financially it all come out the same in the end.... The IRA contribution offsets the wages on the taxes - but keeping my paycheck somehow makes me feel better than keeping the rent money and spending that.

    Next year will be a little weird with my HSA. I am going to put $6000 into it for 2020 from payroll, then promptly withdraw the $5,700 in receipts that I am holding on to before I leave town in May. That will be what I prepay all the bills with before I go and also serve as extra emergency fund in my checking account. The only reason that I will do the HSA contribution rather than put cash into my checking is to save a ton on taxes. I don't know how many people realize the payroll deduction is taken out before both Social Security and income taxes. (it does make your SS wage smaller, but the years after 2019 will drop off my benefit calculations anyway since my 35 high wage years are already done. Early retirement doesn't make a big dent in SS even if you earn nothing. I checked and I may loose about $10 -$15/ month compared to if I stayed at my job for another 3 years.)
     
  6. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    The film society had a movie we wanted to see this afternoon. It was one that didn't show up in local theaters and only cost us $2 each with our alumni card. Pretty cheap entertainment!

    Stopped on the way home to purchase some gift cards using 200 fuel point bonus offers we were offered. They were going to expire tomorrow, so needed to get them used.

    There are a few more offers I didn't load, but they were all either stores we didn't have or never shopped at.
     
  7. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Worked an hour of OT again today. Spent $5 for lunch though at Subway.... you gain some, then you lose some....
     
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  8. jastwins

    jastwins ※Kaboom!・:・:・゜ Trader Group

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    I am looking forward to getting paid 4 days from the bank and 4 days from the school this week. Except for a prime pantry order (used gcs paid $4.21 OOP), I have not shopped much and am eating what I have at home. There are some bills I have to catch up on and it bothers me that I am behind on two bills. Hopefully, I can catch up this month and if not, definitely next month.
    When I downloaded the my insurance emergency room/ hospital bill for D1 to my Aflac insurance, they of course did not give me any money and wanted more info. Very frustrating to say the least. I am working on getting other insurance items printed but am missing hospital info. IF the hospital sends me the info, then I think my claim will get paid. Last year, we had to get a form signed that allowed me to have access to D1's info since she is 18 and I need her permission to access her records. Hopefully, they will send me the correct info and I can send it to Aflac.
     
  9. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    It is finally getting to be cooler here - in the 70's for a high today. I think lunch today will be a frozen lasagna that I already have. My travel club meets tonight so I will be eating out for dinner.

    Beach vacation (to Florida) starts a week from tomorrow! I am glad that I have Thursday off to get ready to go. Our flight leaves on Friday morning. Other than taking a sack lunch with us for the flight, I am not packing food. I will just hit up both Aldi and Walmart when I head to the timeshare on Saturday afternoon. They are both right before the toll bridge to the beach condo on St Petes. There is a regular grocery store close to the condo, but it is pretty expensive. We are spending Friday night in Tampa (at a hotel near the airport) and will just eat out that evening and grab fast food on Saturday for lunch. Looking forward to seeing the Tampa airport - we usually fly into Orlando - decided not to go there for this trip though since it is a shorter one.

    This weekend I am super busy, but I already have some chores done that I finished up during the week. I have another meet-up on Saturday with a finance group at a nearby park on Saturday. I have only gone to one other meeting with them in person, but interact with some of them on facebook frequently. They usually meet on Sunday, so I don't get to go in person.
     
  10. Jorainna

    Jorainna Finder of Lost "Blinkies" Staff Member Moderator Trader Group

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    Wow! I wish we were in the 70's! Tuesday hit 100 and broke a record. Yesterday was 93-97 degrees and today they said low 9o's. I am not a heat lover! :eek:
     
  11. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    We had a couple inches of snow all around us in the higher elevations yesterday and it is getting uncomfortably close to freezing at night again. :(

    A few days ago it was UNBEARABLY hot (close to 100 degrees) for a couple weeks, then in one day the temps dropped overnight and we had deluges again. While it has been nice for daytime temps to moderate a bit, all that rain we've been getting translates to snow not too far from here. This is a photo of roads near Jackson, Wyoming yesterday -- we're NOT ready for this. Summer just got here! :eek:

    9-11-2019 Wyoming Snow.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  12. jastwins

    jastwins ※Kaboom!・:・:・゜ Trader Group

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    @Gardencook that is unreal! A nearly 70 degree temperature difference in one week. We are still in the 70-80 degree range in Eastern Long Island and in the 60 to low 50's at night. I just hope the humidity leaves soon.

    My central air is still on and I use it mostly upstairs when I go to bed. Today I left it on since I have laundry and cleaning to do upstairs after I get home from work.
    My pay from the bank was direct deposited to my account and it will pay my car insurance for this month. Phew, that is a relief. Just curious to see what my school check will be for 4 days and I need to buy ferry tickets this week since I have NONE! If I want to get off my island I need to purchase the this week!
    I am waiting for a $20 Visa gc and will see if I am able to get a gc to CVS by on the SB swago board. Depends on how much I get paid.
     
  13. Jorainna

    Jorainna Finder of Lost "Blinkies" Staff Member Moderator Trader Group

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    @Gardencook ... THAT is totally unbelieveable! :eek: I maybe wouldn't mind some nice autumn weather, but not that ... not winter ... not yet!
     
  14. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Actually, @jastwins and @Jorainna it happens within 12 to 24 hours around here -- it doesn't take a full week for temps to change. One night toward the end of last week I couldn't sleep because it was so unbearably hot I'd wake up after only a few minutes of dozing off -- drenched to the skin. The next night we had to close the windows, because the wind was so cold even a sheet wasn't enough. I had to pull a blanket over me or I would have been freezing all night.

    Then we went out shopping this afternoon and I was so hot I had to grab a cold drink at the grocery store and then I downed two huge glasses of cold tea as soon as we got home -- this after snow all over the region yesterday. :confused:

    Tonight I've had to leave my slippers on, because my feet are cold -- after spending the summer slipping them off when I sat down to let them cool off.

    "Spring" is like that around here, as well. We generally get "summer weather" somewhere around early May where temps climb into the 90s, then the next thing you know we've got a hard freeze and all our vegetables bolt. This year our last big freeze came in the end of June, but we had snow on the Fourth of July one year.

    Another year we got "early" snow in late August -- and our elevation isn't all that high compared surrounding areas.

    Went to our local farm today, hoping they would FINALLY have a decent selection of veggies, but were disappointed. Until the corn is ready, they usually put out a couple items allowing people to pay on the honor system.

    When the corn comes on they finally open their garage/barn with a family member manning it and a full line of produce including the last of the peas, beans, beets, onions, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, leeks, tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash and even a little bit of fruit.

    We generally make our first trip by the middle of August. This year at the end of August they STILL didn't have any corn -- so we would have made the drive for a few potatoes -- nothing else.

    Last week, they announced the corn was finally ready so we thought's surely they'd have a fully stocked garage by today. We did pick up some nice corn and potatoes, however, there were only a few leeks, a couple small cabbages, a couple acorn squash and a few onions. There was nothing resembling a tomato, cucumber or summer squash and they got virtually no peas or beans to speak of at all this year.

    When I asked about beets, we learned they are STILL too small to dig! This isn't a late crop of beets, this is the ONLY crop of beets and they still aren't ready -- even though most regions of the country consider them a "spring" crop. Had to buy some at the grocery store again, because we were completely out.

    I always get a chuckle out of environmentalists who try to make us feel guilty when we don't "eat local and in season." For ten months of the year that would leave us eating nothing but potatoes and a few greens.

    Despite all the fuel it consumes, I for one am very thankful that we have the transportation system we do delivering regular shipments of fresh produce to supermarkets. ;)
     
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  15. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    This was a local Idaho Facebook post a few weeks ago -- when temps were hovering around 100 degrees. :p

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    @Gardencook - it can be like that around here too. There has been a trace of snow in the high country, but we got a lot of rain Wed night and the cooler weather yesterday.....

    ~Sloppy Joes for dinner tonight from stuff I already have in the house. Lunch was grilled cheese and fruit.

    I have not done much today at all. I ran one load of towels, filled the dishwasher, and have otherwise just hung out in front of the computer (reading blogs and watching you tube stuff mostly). It has been nice to relax a bit. I did go for a short walk around the neighborhood and will probably get outside again after dinner for a few minutes....

    The travel club meeting was nice because we had a smaller group and were able to talk more....
     
  17. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Like I've mentioned before ... "life in the Rockies." :p

    Technically, no one thinks we live "in the Rockies," but the Continental Divide is "The Rockies" as far as I'm concerned. And after nearly 40 years of trying to make our way through mountains to get anywhere I commiserate with the Oregon Trail pioneers each and every trek we make. I don't know HOW they ever crossed all of this in wagons -- even though we drive through the very same passes they traveled!

    I can only imagine how discouraged Lewis & Clark felt upon climbing the Lemhi Pass expecting it to be all downhill from there, getting their first glimpse of what is now Idaho, and viewing "nothing but mountains for as far as the eye can see."

    When we travel south we go through the Wasatch Front, when we travel West it is the Blues, Northwest we've got the Cascades, North it is the Tetons, Northeast it is the Bitterroots -- then there are all the lesser known ranges like Caribou, Clearwater, Owyhee, Salmon River, Sawtooths and Seven Devils.

    They're all technically part of "The Rockies" and yet people don't really call them that until we travel southeast of here or far into Canada. We won't even consider the Sierra Nevadas southwest of here, because we've got to drive through the desert before we get there.

    Our city is situated in a valley surrounded by "mountains," but I had the worst time calling them that the first years I moved here. In the Washington Cascades they just call mountains like ours "foothills."

    However, after nearly 40 years of not being able to bake a meatloaf that isn't raw in the middle -- even after many hours in the oven, I've finally reached the conclusion that our 4,500 foot elevation really is what you'd call "mountains." :confused:
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  18. KmmCo

    KmmCo Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Found a markdown roast beef at walmart this morning so I am making it for dinner. Leftovers will make good sack lunch stuff this week. Trying not to buy too much since we are going out of town next week.

    Taking a picnic to the park in a bit to meet up with a finance group that I belong too....
     
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  19. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    The Back-to-School sales were good a few weeks ago, so we spent more money than usual stocking up. Because of the amount we spent and the fact the sales have been pretty boring since then, we haven't been shopping much. Aside from fresh produce and some frozen pizzas on sale last Friday, we haven't bought much.

    We've still got quite a few fuel rewards to use before the end of the month and haven't been taking many day trips so we went out of town shopping yesterday.

    DH needed a microphone for his computer and we did find one at Best Buy -- which we don't have here.

    We went to a favorite farm stand run by a family which farms, but it also buys produce from other local farmers and ships in produce, as well. Our local farm just sells things it grows itself -- and it is having a tough time growing much this year.

    Picked up some gorgeous produce -- much of which might not be local -- but it will keep us going for quite a while.

    Went by a discount grocery that used to be a favorite, but they've raised their prices and can no longer get the day-old bread they used to so it isn't as much fun any longer.

    Biggest deals came at a grocery store where we found quite a few markdowns. Got a bag of Gevalia Coffee for $2.99 and four jars of salsa verde for 79 cents each.

    They had a multi-pack of single-serve organic popcorn snacks marked down to $1.49 and I had a 60 cent digital coupon which came off making them 89 cents.

    Also decided to try out a new-to-us type of light bulb. With our extreme weather we have a REALLY hard time keeping a porch light burning. In winter it sometimes seems like DH is changing bulbs two or three times a week. :eek:

    I found some designed to get banged around in shop lights. The glass is much stronger than traditional light bulbs. It probably won't help during temperature extremes, but we thought it would be worth a try.

    We also picked up two 99 cent greeting cards for which we had a $1/2 coupon and paid just 49 cents each.

    The Jamba Juice there had a B1G1 deal posted on Facebook, so we enjoyed smoothies while we drove from store to store in the heat. (It is really quite cold again today. :rolleyes:) Paid for those with a gift card on which we got a 200 fuel point bonus.

    Having a hard time seeing WHAT'S going on at our local Jamba Juice. Last week, I couldn't find its FB page, then Google claimed it was permanently closed but told us the Jamba Juice in the university student union building was open. We were afraid another favorite business bit the dust. :confused:

    I called the store and the owner said they were DEFINITELY open, however, there had been a mix-up. Apparently, the university store closed.

    The owner said several others had called that morning to ask. He was stunned when I told him Google said he was out of business. He checked while I was on the phone -- only to learn I was telling the truth.

    He said he had a technician on the way to straighten out the mess. They did get Google corrected by the end of the day, but still no FB page as of this morning -- even though the University location still has one. :(

    By the time we got home we needed to refill the gas tank, so we got another $1 per gallon reward used -- prices are supposed to spike today after the Saudi attack.

    I shopped while DH fueled the car. I found whole wheat bread marked down to 79 cents a loaf, picked up a few snack chips which are going off sale today and we had a coupon for $3 off three $1.99 cards. That coupon came off at the register, but so did the same $1 coupon we'd used out-of-town earlier. Guess the register decided to stack the coupons even though they were for different brands. :confused: Anyway, we came out with an unexpectedly good deal on cards.
     
  20. Gardencook

    Gardencook Well-Known Member Trader Group

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    Our local Goodwill store expanded into a larger building -- one that has been standing vacant for two years after another business closed.

    We meant to get over there last week when it opened, but knew the first few days would be a madhouse and we got too busy at the end of the week. I always like to hit thrift stores when they are brand new, because they usually ship in a bunch of high quality merchandise to make a good first impression. ;)

    We weren't disappointed. We got some really high quality, nearly new condition reference books that would have cost several hundred dollars all together. Instead we paid $1.99 to $4.99 for each book before a 10 percent senior discount.

    Then we found a brand new pair of dress loafers for DH. Even though I wasn't acquainted with the brand, I could tell immediately they were extremely high quality -- including imported leather uppers, soles and insoles. DH tried them and they fit perfectly. We paid $7.20 after discount. Checked when we got home and they sell for $275 on the Internet!

    Dropped by the grocery store on the way home to pick up some mega sale items that would stack well with coupons that were close to expiration. The register surprised me by taking off a few digital coupons I hadn't expected, including a $1 coupon on markdown stir-fry mix and a $1 coupon on a purchase in the natural foods department.

    Usually the register figures thresholds AFTER mega sale and coupons, but this time it apparently calculated before. I hadn't worried too much about the natural foods coupon, because it didn't expire until the end of November and I knew SOMETIME before then we'd purchase enough for the coupon to come off without having to spend extra money to use it. However, now I won't have to worry since it already came off. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
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