I realized earlier today that I had a few coupons that were going to expire. And by a few coupons, I mean a good twenty-five coupons for free frozen items that I received when I bought my deep freeze back in February of last year. They expire on December 31, which is shockingly ummm this week.
I decided to be productive today and get some errands run — including redeeming said coupons. Hwoever, I think I’ve ruined shopping for myself forever after this trip.
My first stop was Target where I returned two presents for the wee ones and a pair of shoes for Little Miss that I bought back in October that were two sizes too small (what, she has small feet, and I forgot to check to see what size she was). Two people ahead of me, two lines open, and I got my money onto a new gift card in no time.
Into Target I headed, looking for a returned Crayola Crayon Maker, a gingerbread house kit, and possibly a new kitchen garbage can. I struck out on all of those, but I did manage to buy five 5×7″ picture frames (they’re in the dollar section, people!) and a new pair of dress shoes for Little Miss in a size 12 that were on clearance for $6.48. I used a gift card I had already, and I found that I still have $76 on that one. Needless to say, I have about $100 in Target gift cards remaining. Score!
The next step was Costco to buy more oatmeal and flax. I found a returned pre-built gingerbread house for $4.97. I’m still up money from the returns at Target. I’m happy. Unfortunately, no Costcos in my area have had a Crayon Maker returned yet. Nor does the JoAnne Fabrics I visited. Nor the Wal-Mart. That’s ok though.
The next stop is Gap where I remembered that I have a coupon for a free pair of jeans that expires … this week. Amazingly, the first pair of jeans I tried on fit nicely, so I’m set there. Except for the line that takes forever because a woman who is getting a price adjustment for $9.88 insists that she receive cash for her return instead of having it credited to her debit card because “I don’t know that I’ll get the money back there. I only get a statement, like, every three months, and I won’t know for another two and a half months if the money even shows up there. Everywhere else I go gives me the option of getting cash back. Paying with your debit card is paying with cash, you know.” And on and on she went. The woman in front of me and I kept glancing at each other and giggling. Fortunately, a manager came over to help with the debit exchange, and I walked out with the jeans that cost me $0.00.
Bed, Bath & Beyond is the next stop, where I’m planning to use my 20% off coupon to buy that garbage can, a jewelry holders that I saw there last week when comparison shopping, and a cookie dough scoop. Sadly, the jewelry holder is now only in a rubbed brass instead of silver, so I pass on that. And apparently they no longer carry cookie dough scoops. And I refuse to pay $119 for a garbage can. I walk out having spend $0.00 again… albeit with no packages this time.
It’s about this point that I realize a) that I’m hungry, b) that there’s a Chipotle nearby, and c) that I have a gift certificate for a free burrito from Chipotle that expires on December 31. I happily munch on my free lunch as I drive over to the grocery store.
While it takes me a good forty-five minutes to find all my frozen items, I’m at least smart in my shopping. First I chose the veggies that are ok if they get a little melty. Then I got the potatoes and garlic bread, then the pizzas, and finally the ice creams. I check out, and I somehow get a refund of $4.01. The original price of all the groceries? $131.95. I’m not quite sure how I got money back, but I’m not complaining. Both my regular freezer and my deep freeze are now absolutely crammed full with the six bags of items that now live there.
My final stop was to Aldi. Really, I didn’t need anything from there, but that’s where I got the Bakugan for the wee ones’ stockings, and Little Miss broke her Bakugan within four minutes of my opening the package. I decided to check to see if they had it again. Not only did I find that Bakugan — now for $1.99! — but I found three others that they didn’t have previously that for less than two dollars I felt pretty good about buying and handing out to the wee ones on days that I feel particularly happy with their behavior. Oh, and on the way to the cashier, I spotted HDMI cables. For $6.99. And one of my Christmas presents was a Blu-Ray player that needs an HDMI cable. Total score.
When I total is all up, I was paid just over $9 to shop today. And I came home with five frames, a pair of shoes, a pair of $70 jeans, six bags of groceries, lunch (with leftovers for lunch tomorrow — no one can eat a whole Chipotle burrito in one sitting!), and presents for the wee ones and myself.
Like I said, it’s only downhill from here. While I enjoy shopping — especially grocery shopping, I think I’ve peaked. How can it ever be this much fun again?
Although… I do mysteriously have almost $100 in Target gift cards. Maybe I can get a bunch of storage bins the next time they go on sale for my decorations for all the holidays and Mister Man’s Legos and maybe even get a decent start on some of the items we need to turn the playroom into a homework room.
Oh, and speaking of gift cards — don’t forget that I have a giveaway for a $200 VISA gift card going on through New Years Eve here!