Today's grocery shopping budget became very frustrating, very quickly. Lowe's Foods called me six times between 9am and 3 pm when I was at work because they didn't have exactly what I wanted. Once would have been enough. I called them back to tell them that their substitution ideas were fine and mentioned my coupons. The lady informs me that I cant use them in today's purchase they will credit it to my future purchases but I picked what I got based on the coupons. My coupons dont do me any good next week. I dont know anyone who cuts coupons not for this week but for next week. After explaining to her that it was fine we would either go shopping else where or just get our stuff off the shelves as well. She kept talking about wanting to make the experience as easy and convenient for me she put me on hold forever to speak with her manager, I had to get into my Dr's appointment so I hung up and turned off the phone. 30 minutes later I had two voicemails from her saying that if I told her what the coupons were they would see what they could do but at this point we were going to pick up our order in 30 minutes and it was no longer quick and easy as we expected. So we went to a different Lowes Foods (the one we were going to pick it up at is a little out of the way but we only go there due to the pick up AND gas station and were planning on getting gas there after our purchase). This Lowes Foods is easier to get to and still has the personal shoppers but since you cant use coupons for the shopping trip for that week it is not useful to us, plus we shouldnt spend the 5 bucks anyway. The Personal Shopping is really set up for those who eat the same thing every week..in that sense I can see how one might be able to figure out what coupons they will need each week, a week before they needed them. Brian and I wont/cant/dont eat the same thing each week and alot of what we buy, when we buy is it based on coupons at this point. Like we are getting hot dogs because we have coupons for them and hot dogs would be a good back up dish, some of my main entree dishes are picked because I have a coupon for something that is part of that meal.
Anyway, we get to the easier Lowe's Food and our shopping experience there is just fine. (We love Lowe's Foods...it is just very clear to us that their personal shopper service is just not for us). We ended up getting a couple extra things and we replaced some pantry items but not nearly like last time. I am famous for planning main entree's but forget about the sides so we got some side's (Lima Beans, mixed vegetables) that weren't on the list, Brian wanted chocolate milk and the ingredients to Dirt Cake (amazing dessert that is horribly bad for you) and that is basically it for the extras. Everything ended up costing $173 which is still alot better then our first grocery trip of July. I also saved $17.75 which I wasnt expecting. I was able to use my coupons and some of them were doubled which was a surprise and I was still able to turn in my $5 off coupon. I even got another coupon for my cereal back and another $5 off for my next trip (I have a month to use it, I am just going to use it in my next trip). So, so far so good in terms of groceries.
Next week is going to get tricky. We will need to go to Costco and Lowes and that is tough. Costco itself is going to cost between $100-120 and the Lowes may cost $50 or less. Orchestrating the trip will be tough..both stores will have refrigerated items but I guess I could go to Lowes on the way home from work one day and Costco the next day or so. Also coming up with both of them in one week will be tough. We definitely save ALOT by going to Costco...we are still eating meat and will have some left over. We may even be able to push back the Costco trip till the third week of August but we will run into the same issue there...having to go to both Costco and a regular grocery store as well. I guess if I planned better, the first trip to the regular grocery store would include that week and next week so when the second week rolls around all we do is go to Costco and then we plan the third and fourth week separately like normal. Maybe that is the answer...Any ideas?