day of conquering.

I've started playing a grocery game (not to be confused with The grocery game). Basically you save tons of money by matching up sales with coupons and walking out of the store with free or nearly-free stuff. (Note: I'm not living this week on what I bought today. The key is to stock up on items when they are cheap and over time you've got a nice stock of almost free food in your pantry.) Sundays are my coupon-planning day because that's when the Kroger and Target weekly ads come out.

Kroger is having their MegaEvent sale where you buy 10 items and get $5 off at checkout. In addition to normal discounts for carrying a Kroger card, they also double manufacturers coupons! So I made a list, sorted through my coupons, printed coupons from online, and went into Kroger to conquer. Here's what I got:

3 boxes of Betty Crocker potatoes
Retail: $1.85/ea.
Sale + coupons: $0.47/ea.
3 boxes of Kleenex tissues
Retail: $2.15/ea.
Sale + coupons: $0.66/ea.
5 cans Del Monte vegetables
Retail: $1.50/ea.
Sale + coupons: $0.30/ea.
32 oz. Gatorade
Retail: $1.10
Sale: $0.49
Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chips
Retail: $3.39
Sale + coupon: $0.99
Welch's 100% Grape Juice
Retail: $4.79
Sale + coupon: $1.49
I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray
Retail: $2.49
Sale + coupon: $0.24

I also picked up three big bags of Halloween candy for $3.88 total (always a deal the day after Halloween), to put in my candy basket at work. Without the candy, I would have paid about $9.07 before tax for $31.27 (retail price) worth of groceries. My total rang up at $12.95 and my receipt said I saved $22.27. That's a savings of 63%. Not bad for my first time really playing the game. Sometime this week I am going to make a trip to Target. As a principle, I refuse to buy cereal if it is more than $2/box. Target is running a sale: Buy 4, get 1 free on select Kellogg's cereals. I have a Target coupon for $1/off a box which I will combine with a mfr. coupon to get 4 boxes for $1.55 each. This is fun!

Sales weren't the only thing I conquered today. I also conquered my yard. I assembled my reel mower and got to work. Reel mowers are like the old-fashioned kind. No gas, just turning sharp blades. I wasn't sure about it, but I wanted to try it out. It is true that you need to rake before mowing and remove any large twigs. It worked pretty well though. I have 30 days to decide if I want to return it. But I think it might be a keeper. I put my mp3 on and listened to Owl City while I mowed. I was thinking, when you mow your parents' yard, it feels like a chore. But when you mow your yard, fix your tub faucet, save your money, it feels like you're conquering the world.

The mower is quiet so it didn't bother the neighbors. I grew up using a riding mower, so I can't really compare it to a gas push mower, but I think it required a little more physical effort. None of this "self-propelled" stuff. My yard is pretty small, so I assembled the mower and was done mowing in less than an hour. (The backyard is big, but it's shady and the grass doesn't grow much.) I think I will be pretty sore tomorrow, though. My biceps are hurting already. One thing I do know is come next spring and summer when I'm mowing more often, my arms are going to be ripped! ;)


  1. The grocery game is the best...I used to hate grocery shopping and now I love it. Also, I'm going to call the other agent about the plugs and everything else. They are going to have one angry Tiffany on their hands tomorrow :)

  2. As always, Alyssa, your blog is a delightful read. When considering the future of your reel mower, keep in mind that right now you're mowing in the cool of autumn. You might find it a very different experience in the heat and humidity of summer, when the grass is growing a mile a minute:-) Love reading about the "grocery game"! I remember doing that when I was young and we were stockpiling money for a house, but then Jim and I were married with a child when I was your age!! BTW, I think I see chocolate chip cookies in your future.....


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