Okay, I know I've been gone a while. I'm finally getting myself into some sort of schedule between here and Delaware. Andy and I had been going every week most of the summer, and then a couple of weeks ago decided that we needed to moderate that a bit, as things were really starting to slack around here! One thing, for instance, was that my driver's license expired on my birthday and I wasn't here to renew it! I stayed home a couple weeks later and had Tom take me to get it renewed. He made sure my ride with him wasn't one I would soon forget. I won't. He deliberately drove like a maniac and then laughed hysterically at my white-knuckled grip on the arm rests. I'm going to get that boy one of these days......
Nothing much has been happening around here (or Delaware). I've just been working, teaching Andy, and the usual day-to-day stuff. No apples or other massive amounts of produce to speak of (thank goodness!) A lady in Delaware was telling me about the great deal on apples the local grocery store was having, and then in Sam's Club an employee was giving samples of the apples they had on sale. NO THANK YOU! I had nightmares about apples.
Watching Food Network (that's about all that's on in my house anymore) I saw a show about The Grocery Game (thegrocerygame.com). I thought it sounded like a good idea and looked into it, and after today's shopping trip I'm definitely impressed. You sign up by zip code, then you are provided with a shopping list for stores in your area that participate with them. On that list is all the things that store has on sale, and also listed are any corresponding coupons that are in Sunday papers. The list is broken down into colors - items in black are on sale, but they aren't the best prices, so only get them if you need them. Items in blue are the "rock bottom" price, or the best price that they will be in the next 12 weeks, so that price coupled with a coupon is definitely a good deal. Items in green are items that will be free if you are lucky enough to catch a great sale plus have a great coupon too. The list is based on the fact that there are trends in grocery sales, with the items revolving roughly every 12 weeks. Since the stores participate, The Grocery Game is able to know what is going on sale and when and has extensive databases that have tracked sales trends for years, so I know that if something is in blue, I probably won't find it that price again for the next three months or so. Theoretically you're supposed to stock up on however many widgets you might need to last your family until the next cycle comes around and that makes sense, but takes a bit of money at the start, so for now I'm content to just go and shop from my blue list and see what that gets me each week. The stores that participate in my area are Giant and Food Lion, and in comparing the lists, Food Lion seemed to have slightly better prices, so I went there. Okay - here's what I bought:
2 Freezer Queen Pork Dinner Entrees (2 make a meal for the 4 of us)
2 Freezer Queen Beef Dinner Entrees (2 make a meal for the 4 of us)
2 Campbell Select Gold soups
5 packages of Whiskas cat food
5 bags of Pictsweet frozen vegetables
2 boxes of Food Lion frozen blueberry waffles
1 can of Mazola butter non-stick spray
5 packages of Food Lion gravy mix
2 boxes of Hamburger Helper
1 tube of Colgate toothpaste
1 box of Philly Beef Steaks
2 Campbell soup bowls
2 boxes of Hungry Jack Four Cheese potatoes
1 box of Kellogg's Special K
1 box of Kellogg's Rice Crispies
2 pounds of ground beef
2 bags of Contessa orange shrimp family size meals
2 bags of Food Lion frozen shrimp (1 pound each, 41-50 count each)
1 bag of catfish nuggets
2 pounds of honey ham lunchmeat from the deli
1 jar of Duke's mayonnaise
My total came to $68.44. I added everything using the regular prices, and if I had paid regular price and not used corresponding coupons, the total would have been almost exactly double that - $138.00. To say that I'm pleased is an understatement. This list is even laid out in the order of your store aisles, so you just start in one direction and follow the list and then go to the checkout counters. I timed myself and today's trip took a total of 45 minutes, including travel time. The service isn't free though, and I guess I can't expect it to be with what you are provided with. It is $10.00 every 8 weeks for 1 store, and then $5.00 for any additional stores you want lists for in your zip code. So, between that cost and the cost of subscribing to the Sunday paper (.75 per week), we'll see how it goes. Also, I guess it helps that I really don't have a family of picky eaters, as the items will change from week to week.
Anyway, I guess I'd better get going. I'm home this week and have a list of stuff I intend to accomplish by week's end, so I'd better get started. I'll write when I can. Can't promise when that will be though - could be tomorrow, could be in a month at the rate I've been going!