Thursday, February 26, 2009

Grocery Roundup, Feb 26, and a PS on camp

Before I write this week's grocery roundup, I have to tell you what Josie said when I talked to her about not going to that camp. It was late, and I went into her rom (she has no set bedtime - as long as she's in her room, she can stay up as late as she wants, although we do occasionally have to remind her at about 10:30 that it's time to turn out her light soon) to talk about what we had decided. She agreed that it was ridiculously expensive, and then asked, 'Is that more than it cost when we went to Hershey Park for my birthday last year?' (We live an hour and a half from Hershey, so it was a day trip.) I cracked up! Hell, we could go to Disney for a week, airfare included, for $2k! When I told her that, her jaw dropped. I guess that it just goes to show that kids, no matter how smart they are, lose all track of how expensive things are once the cost gets over $100 or so! We decided that since she already is signed up for two weeks of 'fun' camp at the most awesome camp in the world we'll maybe do another week at the community college as a reward for all her hard work / to make up for the crappy year she's had, and maybe let her go to the sleepaway camp run by the regional goup that the church we attend belongs to that comes really highly recommended (and is pretty cheap, I believe). That will keep her busy, get her much the same experience, and yet keep her in a place and with people that will more likely share our values and, um, not be horrendous snobs.

That having been said, on to the grocery roundup! This week, savingswise, was abysmal. I have come to the realization recently that with the winter doldrums at their peak, I simply cannot make myself spend a lot of time cooking or even thinking about cooking, so I've been buying several frozen meal kits recently, and have been a lot happier. Unfortunately, they are almost all made for two people, so I have to buy two, and then sometimes I only cook half of the second one, since the kids won't eat two adult-sized portions. Still, that means $14 a meal, plus the bread or whatever else I make to go with it. I will have to return to more basic cooking soon, but really, I simply can't at the moment. Blah.

I have also returned to shopping weekly rather than bi-monthly. I was simply having to drop in for doo-dads and produce too often, and it was leading to extraneous purchases I wouldn't have made otherwise. This way, I'm in and out in less than an hour, which when I was doing two weeks' at once, was impossible.

Coupons Used: 17
Coupon Savings: $12
Bonus Store Coupons: $5
Club Card Savings: $13.34
Total Saved: $30.34
Savings Percent: 14%
Gas Points: 40

I'm telling you, people, coupons have been slim pickins lately. There have been a lot for things that I don't use, or pages where there aren't coupons at all, but rather advertisements for sales at various stores, or for take-out places. When my laptop was dying last week, I was too worried about losing everything I had to bother getting coupons online. Now that the new laptop is set up, it's time to download the coupon printer and start again, because 14% savings is pathetic compared to what I've gotten in the past. I really want to be more in the 25-30% range.


Rebecca said...

I am so glad she understood. And I think offering another option and a reward is a great idea!!

Chantal said...

My son is not as old as your but really he has no concept of money at all. But then I don't think had a proper concept of money until I was in my mid teens either.

Cherish said...

I love the way you handled the camp situation. I always feel like shit when I decide not to give my kids something when I really should just be looking for an alternative.

Your breakdown for savings is always interesting, even if it's not what you would like to save. Do you buy the same things all the time? I usually see coupons and not being worth much but when you use lots of them, you end up with a decent savings. I think I'd like to look at my bill sometime and figure out what I save as a percentage. Usually I just have my budget of $100/week and buy what I can. If the sales are crappy that week I just end up getting less stuff. I think it would just take a bit of training, but I would rather look at it your way and maybe that would help me save more...

Bring A. Torch said...

Is there a 4-H camping facility in your area? In our state they offered really neat topics ("Amp Camp" had something to do with electronics; they also had marine science, etc.) and seemed to be very, very reasonable. Girl Scouts, at least when I was a Brownie, could pay for a week or two of summer camp if they sold enough cookies. (Am freaking a little about how when I was a Brownie, it was the Eighties and Cyndi Lauper's hair was still pink.)

Melissa said...

What a great kid you have! Nice to know she is really understanding. :)

I just wish there were a such thing as coupons around my part, Seriously nothing. Well there is this savings thing at our big box store I love where you buy your diapers and wipes at the same time and save like $10-$25 off your purchase. And the Wipes are usually $10 and the Diapers are $40 so I feel good about saving there :D
But there really isn't any other way to save with coupons, it's sad :(

DAVs said...

Hip hip hooray for Michael on thirtysomething...:)
and for coupons!

Elizabeth Channel said...

She is a mature one, she is! Such an encouraging story as I fear my own children stretching into pre-teendom!