Diary of a Frugal Shopper

If you know me, even just a little bit about me, you know that I am frugal. I learned the art of being frugal from my father and I am forever grateful. My sisters and I were introduced to the world of frugality early in our lives. Growing up, my dad had us all looking out the window for coins at each red light we came to. If he saw a penny he would jump out of the car to grab it. I would shield my face from onlookers as they tried to identify the girl with the crazy father. I’ll admit that sometimes, when I did see a penny and we weren’t the only car waiting at the light, I wouldn’t say anything because I didn’t want to have to get out and grab it. In my defense, I was at that awkward stage in my life where I truly cared about what everyone thought of me. Now that I’m older, I find myself looking out the window at each red light I come to. I’ve also added drive-thru windows to my list of places to find coins. I rarely buy clothes at full price and I compare price per ounce on products at the grocery store to find the best deal. I’ve also learned which stores have the best prices on certain items. Side note, but a very important part of the saving equation, I love games. I love games mainly because I enjoy winning. I make everything into a game. I think that’s why saving money is so exciting to me, because I get to win all the time! While we are on the topic of saving money and games, let me go ahead and break it to you, that if we’re playing the game, “Which grocery store has the lowest prices,” Tom Thumb always loses… always. The frustrating thing is that Tom Thumb is less than a mile from my apartment so when I just need one item for a meal I’m cooking, I end up going to Tom Thumb. I never walk out of Tom Thumb feeling good about my purchase. Shameless plug: Market Street and Sprout’s are the grocery stores to shop at. All of this to build up to the reason for this post. I was thinking the other day of just how much money I’ve saved over the years from planning, being patient and being frugal. I thought it would be fun to document my savings and show the world that it is possible save money without sacrificing anything.

What better way to share my documentation of savings than to post it on my blog? This will be my first of many entries entitled “Frugal Friday.” Each Friday, I will tell you how much money I saved during the previous week, Saturday through Friday. Let the documentation begin:

Saturday, April 11th: I have about two more showers until I run out of my favorite shampoo and conditioner, Biolage. Biolage is expensive, so I definitely have to wait until it goes on sale. Typically this sale is buy one get one free – sweet! My second favorite shampoo and conditioner is “Dangerously Straight” by Herbal Essences. Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner was on sale at Market Street. Original price: $3.49/each. My price: $2.99/each. I’ve also been needing some more mascara. Market Street also had the mascara I use on sale. Original price: $7.69. My price: $4.99. Total savings: $3.70 or 25%.

I’ve been needing new work pants for a while now, but haven’t found any that I’ve loved. It’s hard for me to see the price of dress pants and not throw them down in frustration, but my mom has convinced me that if I find a great pair of dress pants, I’ll have them for a while and I need to see it as an investment. That being said, I went to Banana Republic today with Kristen and Dave to find a shirt for Dave. While in the store, I found myself two pairs of pants that I really liked. I tried them on and loved them. Score. Dave did not purchase a shirt, but he did find a nice one at Sam’s later that day for way cheaper than any shirt at Banana Republic. It’s time to tally my savings. Pair 1: Original price – $89.00. My price – $24.99. Pair 2: Original price – $110.00. My price – $44.99. Total savings: $129.11 or 65%.

Monday, April 13th: I went to Bed Bath and Beyond today to get my friend, Jamie, a wedding present. Happy wedding Jamie and Charles! My salad spinner is one of my favorite items in the kitchen, so I couldn’t help but to get them the salad spinner they registered for. It was $29.99, but I had a $5 off coupon. Original price – $29.99. My price – $24.99. Total savings: $5.00 or 17%.

Today is also my dad’s birthday! Happy 60th birthday, dad! Last year, I made him a book titled, 59 reasons I love you. This year, I made him a book titled, In the Words of My Father: A collection of My Father’s Sixty Most Commonly Used Phrases. I used the Office Depot print on demand function online. Before I checked out, I googled “Office Depot Coupons” and found a coupon for 15% off my purchase. Apply coupon code, please. Original price – $10.14. My price – $8.62. Total savings: $1.52 or 15%.

Thursday, April 16th: The weekly grocery ads come out every Wednesday. The two main things I look for in the ads are Blue Bell ice cream and produce. I have been waiting for Blue Bell to go on sale for quite some time. I’m not sure how the grocery stores do it, but they all manage to have it on sale at the same time. Why they can’t take turns and each have their own week to have Blue Bell on sale, I have no idea. Does anyone know the answer to this question? Moving on, I was looking over the ads and saw that Kroger had the best price on Blue Bell. I could get a half gallon at Wal-Mart for $3.67 or get 3 pints of ice cream at Kroger, which means 3 different flavors, for $3.97. Well, I decided to go to Kroger to get 2 pints of ice cream, Southern Blackberry Cobbler and The Great Divide – party on my pallet! Original price – $1.99/ea. My price – $0.99/ea. I also went to Market Street tonight to get some lunch meat, House Smoked Turkey. It’s a Market Street original and not to mention, my favorite! Guess what? It was on sale! Original price – $6.29/lb. My price – $4.99/lb. I got 1/2 lb. Total savings: $2.55 or 36%.

Total Weekly Savings: $141.88.

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