Remember my New Year's resolution about being a better budgeter and home manager? Well, I'm workin' on it! It's slow going, but big changes take time. This week, I planned out our menu, checked out the local grocery store's ad, laid out all my coupons, and worked up a grocery list. Currently our store is running an event where if you buy 10 items off a certain list, you get $5 back on your order. The items are already on sale and I tried to pair most of them with a coupon. It sounds pretty straight-forward, but it's not easy to keep track of what items in your cart are counting towards a "10." And it's especially not easy when you have a toddler reaching in your cart, pulling things out, yanking items off the shelf, trying to crawl out of his seat, etc. It was partially my fault, I thought we'd be back home by lunch time but our trip took longer than I thought. So Jack was getting hungry, and the free brownie samples at the bakery only held him over so long. By the end, while I was standing in front of the batteries trying to organize all the coupons I needed before starting towards the check-out line, I looked up to see my son, who had already chewed a hole through the produce bag, now chowing into a green pepper. Seeds and all. Eh. He definitely doesn't get his tastes from me!
We got to the check-out, the cashier scanned all my items, took all my coupons without a hitch, and then scanned my club card. I love that part. When you watch the numbers drop. Not only had I come in under budget, but I had saved over $40!! I was secretly relishing my victory when I realized that I had failed to transfer my wallet from my purse to my diaper bag. The sweet taste of victory quickly left. The cashier was pretty nice about it. She just suspended my order, pushed the entire cart into the cooler, and let me check out again when I came right back with my money. Of course, I had to lug Jack, who had somehow lost a shoe during our outing and who was now covered with pepper seeds, to the car seat and then back to the store, and then back to the car again. But in the end, I still saved $40 right? Give or take the cost of gas to run home and back again. :)
Two days later I had recovered and was ready to hit the sales again. Target was running a great deal on diapers, so one evening after putting Jack to bed, I pulled out alllll my diaper coupons, and wrote out a few scenarios. Okay, so I wrote out two pages worth. I kept working, and re-working, until I had reached a point where I was only paying $.10-$.12 a diaper. Not bad accordingto my sources at http://www.babycheapskate.com/. Then I re-wrote it all back out again so that I could easily go into the store, complete the transactions and get back home again before Jack got too cranky. I'm still new at this couponing thing, and it makes me a little nervous, so I like to be as prepared as I can before hitting the store. Ironically, despite all my planning, things didn't work out exactly the way I had written it all out, but after 6 different transactions and one return, the end result was better than what I had calculated. I now have a stockpile of over 350 diapers for the new baby that I paid a fraction of the normal cost for. The sad thing is, that's only enough diapers to get us through the first 6-8 weeks. Then again, that's the time when I'd least like to run out and get diapers. And the time when I'd be most likely to pay whatever I have to to get them. So it's all good!
I thought I was preparing for the new baby, but Jack thought I had bought him some new toys. I had the diapers stacked by the stairs to carry up to the nursery. Jack thought it was fun to throw them all down the stairs. It was hard work for him too. In the video you can hear how out of breath he is!
While he was off playing in the kitchen I carried them all back upstairs. ...And then he threw them all down again. Then he decided to go down the stairs himself and play with them. I'm not sure what exactly he was doing down there, but he kept laughing and it kept him entertained for over half an hour, so I just let him go. After he was done, I tried to carry them back upstairs one more time. I got one pile up, went back down to get the second pile, and was bombarded by the packs I had just carried up. So I gave up. Some things are best left undone until nap time.
And so, we are one step closer to being prepared for the new little one's arrival. We now have one sweater just like his brother's, one lizard bath towel that matches Jack's shark one, one pack of pacifiers that Jack never used, and one huge pile of diapers. What more could a kid need?!