Pajama Momma- Doing Lame, Tedious Stuff So You Don’t Have To.

I’ve been trying to figure out ways to cut costs in my household budget. Not just because of the way the gas and food prices have gone up, but because as my household manager it’s the responsible thing to do. I’m trying to play catch up now from some of the more idiotic financial mistakes I’ve made in the past. As a stay at home mom of 4, cutting costs has become sort of a game for me. An obsession.

 I can remember back in the day (last year) when, by the time I bought product, I got out of the hair salon for just under $200 and my hair didn’t even look anywhere near as purty as John Edwards.

I found a really good hairdresser at Hair Cuttery, shocker I know, but this woman has a line waiting out the door for her. If I don’t let her blow dry my hair, it only costs me $13. I also color my own hair now. I wanted to find a way to get my box o’ hair color cheaper.

So I found this chick’s blog, I don’t know how I found it. It’s one of those I clicked on a link that lead me to a link that had me click on another link until I stopped. She has a post called, “Couponing For Dummies”

It was about www.thegrocerygame.com. I was turned off immediately.

I’d done this game when I lived in San Diego. Back then I didn’t care what kind of stuff I got because I was a fast food mom, poor Graham, it was all about convenience. That and I didn’t know how to cook worth squat. Most of the coupons were for crap food. It was also annoying because everybody and their brothersister did the game too, so if I wasn’t up at 4am, everything was gone and I got rainchecks from the grocery store. Ugh, just what I wanted, more paper to stick in my coupon organizer. I was also overwhelmed with the whole deal. I lost interest.

Now, that I’m all growed up, I’m less than impressed with coupons. It’s all crap cereal and fruit snacks, right?

Nope, wrong! 

I decided to peak at the grocery game again because it only a $1 for a 4 week trial. I can’t lose only spending a $1 right? I got the newspaper last Sunday and the first coupon I get is a $1 off Pampers. No Gavin’s not potty trained yet, he’s anal retentive, er penil retentive stubborn. I’m ok with that, he’ll learn, either that or the kids are really gonna work him in junior high if he’s still wearing diapers.

Anyhoo, “the grocery game’s” not just about coupons, it shows you where the best deals on food are in your area by tracking the sales trends for items. It also tells you when and where to apply your coupons if you want them. Just because you get a coupon in this Sunday’s paper, doesn’t mean you should use it that Sunday. It might not be good to use it for 3 more months. You’ll get deals on items like meat and produce and baby items and toothpaste and shampoo and razors and soap. Not just crap food!

The Sunday before last it took me the whole day to cut and sort and figure out what the heck I was doing and I started to wonder if it was worth it. I went to the grocery store and got $280 worth of items for $140. This Sunday was a lot easier because I had my coupon organizer and new what I was doing. sorta. 

However, because I’m still a skeptic, I wondered, well, what if I took the list the Grocery Game gave me and compared it to Super Target or Super Walmart and applied the coupons and deals there? Surely the box stores would win, right?

I took the 3 little ones with me yesterday to Super Target to do some comparison shopping with a plan of comparing to Super Walmart the next day. Don’t even bother to say it, I’ll tell you the answer right now. Yes, I do have too much time on my hands. 

Mom, why are we here so long and we aren’t we buying anything?

Mom, are we ever going to leave?

Nope, we’re gonna live here forever. See those tents over there? That’s where we’re sleeping tonight. We’ll finish your schooling in the book section and you can get married in aisle 9.

Mom, I have to go to the bathroom.

NOOOOO! We were just in there!

Madeleine it’s ok if you have Lisa Gavin be your puppy, but please don’t have him play dead in the middle of the aisle. People might run him over.

Here, here’s some chocolate. That will keep you guys quiet, well at least till it hits your bloodstream.

3 1/2 hours and 5 bathroom trips later we left and I tallied the results. The Grocery Game won. Sometimes in huge margins, sometimes by only pennies and on occassion, not at all. But all in all The Game won. Best thing of all? There’s boatloads of haircolor coupons in there. Now I just have to pick a color and stick to it.

There’s no way in hell I’m going to Wal-mart today for any more comparison shopping.

Pjmommy also got a job! Did I forget to mention that? It’s a grueling 6 hours a week. When I got hired I forgot to even ask how much I was getting paid because it’s obviously not a life changing amount. I’m only in it because I can take the little ones with me as I work in the daycare and my gym membership becomes free. I’m also hoping being forced to be there anyways will motivate me to workout more.

I’m tired.

[update] I should clarify that with the grocery game I’m not running to a gazillion different stores. I go to Publix (which is our local grocer) and CVS and they’re two shops from each other in the same complex.

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19 Comments

  1. Slacker nothin! My gawd woman…no wonder my phone has not rang once. I was going to try the grocery game again but now that you’ve advertised it…well it will be back to irritating rain checks again, thanks. Congrats on the job! Just think all the good material you will have to post about….like the obnoxious kid you get to watch, so Mommy can get dry humped in the sauna (or does that only happen at my gym?) ((this did happen and I even apologized to the offenders…like I opened a wrong door or something!?))

  2. 3 1/2 hours for the grocery game? I could watch a football game AND TAILGATE in that amount of time.

    DId you save a lot?

  3. People were hooking up in the sauna at the gym? Why don’t I ever to catch people doing stuff like that? No fair, they always just catch me.

    dadshouse, um, er, cringe, I didn’t buy anything, except for some chocolate and pencils because my stupid pencil broke while I was there. I was comparison shopping. I’d rather have been tailgating and hanging out in the beer line during the game watching the game.

  4. One thing to take into consideration is the miles you might have to put on the van going to all of these different places. . . and the 17 children tagging along.

    As for the job, beware Raoul the Aerobics Instructor!! ;-)

  5. One thing to take into consideration is the miles you might have to put on the van going to all of these different places.

    Yes, so it’s good PJM that the “grocery game” is the way to go…now you can shop your nearest grocer, it’s clean/close, and you are saving! I wished you lived close to me, then I would hire you to do my shopping. (Your payment would be in Coronas) :)

  6. One thing to take into consideration is the miles you might have to put on the van going to all of these different places

    only have to go to the grocery store across the street MCPO! As kare-kare said, that’s why it’s good I have the grocery game. Super Target/Wal-mart are waaay farther away. What if I want Raoul?

    kare-kare- I’d move to San Diego to be your personal shopper……….and to steal my hairdresser back.

  7. Wow. That post wore me out too.

    I loathe shopping with my kids. I don’t know how you didn’t go slap crazy. Or… maybe you did.

  8. Shopping is ok if I only take one of the heirs. Then they actually help and stuff. If I take both, then they just pick at each other and whine.

  9. Try 3. The two oldest fighting and whining, and the 3rd hiding in the clothing racks or running down the aisles. Good times.

  10. T Biw and Rich- I freaking hate shopping with them! I abhor it. Rich, your shopping trips sound exactly like mine only add another kid. I try to leave the oldest somewhere because he competes with his sister too much.

  11. Can’t you just be a rockstar and drink cheap gin all day? Then you don’t have to grocery shop.

  12. I tried The Grocery Game. Problem is, we eat almost no processed stuff, and we use the same cleaning supplies all the time. I found that if I keep an eye out for coupons for stuff we actually use, flip through the flyers from the stores when they come out, and then go to the store, with those coupons, with strict mental instructions to BUY THAT THING, we did much better, and didn’t end up falling into the “But look how much we SAVED!” trap. We’ve still got stuff in our pantry from when I tried The Grocery Game four years ago. It’s just not anything interesting, LOL!

    I can’t get out of my hairdresser’s without spending a hundred bucks either – but I only go about every six to eight months. I don’t know how she does it, but every cut she does manages to last a really long time, and she does free bangs trims, so I just drop in every couple of months for that (of course I tip for that). I color my own hair. I still buy the expensive shampoo, but I’ve found it doesn’t split my ends, and a little goes a long way, so combining that with the savings on not having to go to the hairdresser every couple of months, it works out.

    My hairdresser recently moved to a cheaper salon, too, so that makes me happy. And she cuts my daughter’s hair for cheaper than Cool Cuts 4 Kids, and Zoe doesn’t end up with a mullet.

  13. dadhouse- Ok, I”ll become a rockstar, but only if I can drink beer instead.

    aliceh- that’s my one big concern. I really have to pay attention to this so it doesn’t get out of hand. I was reading the grocery game message board and this person was soooo excited because they got 255 things of koolaid. Ummmmmmmmm, ok? I guess if you’re into koolaid. My other concern is the thought of going, hey, this box of pop tarts is only 35 cents. I never buy stuff like that and don’t want to be tempted to buy stuff like that. I’m weak and hope I’m not tempted to “off” pjdaddy with unhealthy food so I can collect the life ins.

  14. There’s one thing you can do with Koolaid – you can mix a packet with just a little bit of water and use it for fingerpainting for little ones, ha!

    My husband hasn’t raised the amount of his life insurance policy for years, probably because I joked right after the last time he raised it that now it was enough money to make it worth killing him…

  15. My husband hasn’t raised the amount of his life insurance policy for years, probably because I joked right after the last time he raised it that now it was enough money to make it worth killing him…

    I joke around about “offing” him so much if anything did ever happen to him I’d be under investigation for years. stupid sense of humor

    fingerpainting is a good idea

  16. My Missus always reminds me that since the insurance is paid, I should completely ignore the dental floss stretched across the top of the steps.

  17. please ignore the bitter taste in your ice tea ok mcpo? it’s nothing to worry your pretty head about

  18. Lemme tell ya’ll bout grocery shopping. My dear old mom is convinced that if she doesn’t buy stuff for me every couple of months, I’ll starve. This in the same conversation where she bitches about me gaining weight.

    She’ll pour over coupons for hours. If they don’t have what she wants in the store, she’ll bitch up a storm. She usually wins.

    When she shows up to grace me with her groceries, she’s confused that I’m not pleased. “Look how much money I saved on this!”

    Mom, you’ve known me for 41 years. What in the fuck ever made you think I would eat ONE beet, much less a case of them?

  19. Meanwhile, there are children starving in Florida.


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