February 2, 2009 (Part II)
I was surfing the web and found that Boston.com is looking for the most frugal New Englander. Basically you have to write an essay, 500 words or less, and if you get selected, you get something.
I should write into it. I'm nuts when it comes to sales. Every week, I look forward to Sunday, because that's when the sale circular are out. I go online and check my two favorite drug store sale circular. On Friday's I check out what is on sale in our local Shaw's supermarket. I use to go to Shaw's, but realized that there pricing was way out there. It was just way too expensive. The only thing I buy at Shaw's now are Betty Crocker's brownie mix, only when it is $.99 per box. Occassionally butter, but they are sneaky with butter. When their butter goes on sale, usually the salted butter goes on sale and not the unsalted butter. For baking, I use unsalted butter. So look carefully at the ads before heading out. They usually don't say it in their ads, you have to look at the picture.
About 2 years ago I started going to the next town over and started shopping at Hannaford's. On Thursday mornings, I do my weekly chores. This involves getting gas for the week (super Thursday at the Exxon that I go to, which means I pay medium grade price for premium gas). I love my gas guys. They are great. Every quarter or so, I bake them stuff. Cheese cake, banana bread, chocolate cake, cinnamon buns. They are really sweet to me, so in return, the least I can do is bake something for them.
Then I go to the Hannaford's and get what I need to feed the two of us. Usually I buy for three meals, because this ensures that I don't have much waste. And I cook so that we have leftovers. Three meals will usually cover us for a week. Plus we do eat a little bit of frozen Trader Joe's in between.
Next if there are any good sales at the two local drugstore, I would stop in there. And finally, if I need to drop off my library books, it is right there. So within .5 miles, I have everything I need to do.
The next town is approximately 4.1 miles away from our place, but the overall savings are huge. I don't buy the newspaper for the weekly coupons. Because we live in an apartment complex, there is a paper recycling bin out back, so I would shuffle through someone else's newspaper to see if there are any coupons I can use. I know, I'm nuts. Sometimes I even grab other people's unwanted, clean, unused paper bags so that I can reuse them for my own recycling.
When there is something on sale, I will stock up. For things that I need day to day, I know exactly what is a sale price and the regular price is. I even have a spreadsheet saying what stores are advertising what items, including the item quantity and item sale price. So I can benchmark it every week. For example, we use Irish Spring Soap. One week, one drugstore will advertise it that it is on sale for $2.00 for a three-pack. Yes, it's on sale, but really, it's not a great price. The best price is getting the three-pack at $1.00. So I'm always on the look out for these type of sales and stock up on them. I don't go overboard, because we do live in an apartment so there is not much storage space.
I would not classify myself as a "cheap" person. I am frugal. I am careful with spending, but I will spend generously with friends. If somebody needs something, I will be the first person to offer it if I can. I remember a time when I was at a quilt shop. A lady did not have enough cash on her to buy the fabric, and they did not accept amex. So I said, here's $5.00. She asked for my name and address and she said she'll send the check. A week later, the check with a lovely card came in the mail. The card itself must have at least cost $5.00! But it's nice to know that there are still people like me and people like here out there. Haha.
So yes, call me frugal, but don't call me cheap.
Quilt & Bitch