My Non-Consumer Mini-Day

by Katy on November 7, 2009 · 15 comments


Despite having worked today, I feel like I put in a full day of Non-Consumer activity. This is because soon after getting home, I commandeered one of my kids and went out to run a couple of errands.

First on the agenda was a quick stop into the Belmont branch library, where I picked up a number of books and a DVD of Rachel Getting Married. Coin-Girl gleaned a bright shiny nickel in the parking lot, which when added to the dime I found on Thursday and the stray pennies from the bottom of my purse paid off my 25¢ library fine.


We then motored over to our nearby Safeway store to take advantage of the conglomeration of store coupons, sale items, manufacturer’s coupons and the $10 off $50 coupon. There was also a $10 Kohl’s gift certificate if you spent $50. (My friend’s daughter works there, so I planned to give it to her.)

My son and I filled the cart and made our way over to the check out. When everything had been a rung up, I asked the clerk about the Kohl’s gift certificates. He told me that he would have to re-ring everything to get my total over $50. I told him to not bother, (I would hate to be the person behind me in line) to which he asked me if I would simply like an extra $10 back.

“Uh. . .  sure!”

I did have to buy one extra $1.50 five pound bag of flour to bring my total up, for which I was rewarded with $8.50 in cash.

Double sweeeet!

It may sound like I am becoming one of those crazy coupon ladies, but my coupons were for butter, Raisin Bran, toothpaste, dental floss and chocolate chips. Stuff I would be buying anyway.

Altogether I paid $35.80. Here’s what I bought:

  • 5 five pound bags of flour
  • 1 bag of pretzels
  • 1 16 ounce bag of black beans
  • 1 bag of Nestle chocolate chips
  • 4 boxes of Kellog’s Raisin Bran
  • 1 box of Mini Wheats
  • 4 cans of tuna
  • 2 candy canes, (remember, I had a kid with me, and that I am putty in his filthy little hands.)
  • 1 package of tortillas
  • 2 cans of orange juice concentrate
  • 1 package of ready-to-bake Halloween theme chocolate chip cookies, (don’t judge me — they were 30¢.)
  • 3 pounds of butter
  • 1 tube of toothpaste
  • 1 large container of dental tape
  • 1 package of English muffins
  • 2 loaves of bread
  • 1 bag of whole wheat hamburger buns, (for black bean burgers)
  • 1-1/2 pounds of green beans
  • 2 onions
  • 3-1/2 pounds of apples
  • 1 rotisserie cooked chicken
  • 1/4 pound of jo-jo’s. (Remember? I am putty in my son’s skilled hands.)

Unlike others, I don’t usually buy food for specific meals. Instead, I keep a full pantry from which I can create a multitude of different meals. I did buy one of those $6 precooked chickens tonight though, as it was already 6:30 P.M. by the time we got home.

We also rented a family movie for $1 and my son found 11¢ in and around the Coinstar machine.

I may not have spent an entire day on Non-Consumer activities, but I think I did pretty damned well. I think I may actually have turned into one of the crazy coupon ladies.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

P.S. Safeway has a new “Everyday Low Prices” promotion where a very large number of items have been lowered in price. This is not a sale, but a long term price decrease and the store is rife with bright yellow signage to prove it.

Corporate Safeway is sending me a couple of $50 gift cards which I will be giving away on the blog in the near future. I do almost all my grocery shopping at Safeway, and have very happy with their quality and customer service. They always take back disappointing fruit and offer to help me load the groceries into the car. This was hugely helpful when my kids were little and I truly did need an extra set (or two) of hands.

The only downside to the Everyday Low Prices program is that the employees have to wear extremely bright yellow T-shirts as additional signage. My favorite Safeway clerk is an extremely fashionable woman and seeing her in this shirt was sadly jarring.

I guess I can live with that.


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen@TheFrugalGirl November 7, 2009 at 3:27 am

lol about the shirts! I’m visiting my Safeway today to buy some $1.50 flour, and I will check to see if my clerk is wearing a jarring shade of yellow.


marzapan November 7, 2009 at 8:19 am

I am happy for you that you have such good success at Safeway.

I live in the SF Bay Area and I try to avoid it at all costs. I have yet to see any of the coupons that you mention in my mail. Without such coupons, it seems, the prices are outrageously high. Yesterday I popped in with my son to buy a few ingredients for a special rainy-day cooking project.

He eyed the Fig Newtons. They were “on-sale”, yet still $3.99 for a small package! Regular price, $4.49.

In general, at Safeway, there is more begging for HFCS-laced stuff I would never buy. So, we stick with Trader Joe’s.


Lisa November 7, 2009 at 12:23 pm

You did GOOD! My husband and I walked to the store for a gallon of milk this morning. Then I made a batch of grape jelly. After one more batch, I’ll need to purchase more sure jell. The sun is shining on a clothesline full of freshly washed clothes. We had fried chicken for lunch. Life is good in Arkansas.


Kris-ND November 7, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Wow, you put me to shame……again. Here I was ecstatic that I picked up a low carb cookbook(my husband has Diabetes), a paperback I wanted to read, and The Complete Guide to Nutritional Healing for…ta-da……31.

I also bought my husband a cool Coca-Cola trashcan for his office for 1.79

You however are my hero 😉


Kris-ND November 7, 2009 at 3:33 pm

That should be 31 CENTS, not 31 dollars lol


Diana November 7, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Wow! That’s great that you get good service at your Safeway. Ours are so under staffed that the clerks are usually grumpy. With at least 4 people in line at all times I can totally understand. No one offers to help you with your groceries and forget about finding someone to answer a question.

I also find that even with their coupons they are much higher than some other stores.


Tracy November 7, 2009 at 7:06 pm

You’re so funny, Katy! “… putty in his filthy little hands.” hahaha!

Great shopping trip! I shop like you do – I stock up on the “regulars,” the stuff I can use for a variety of meals, rather than planning specific dinners.


Mary Bigger November 7, 2009 at 7:24 pm

I find it difficult to believe our Safeway and yours belong to the same corp. Ours is the highest priced in town and I’ve given up shopping there except for loss leaders.


Karen November 7, 2009 at 7:57 pm

Are you thinking of creating a contest for the Safeway gift cards? That might be fun.

Our Safeway is my closest store and even tho there are too few staff people, they are nearly all friendly. And I love the self-checkout lanes if I only need a few things.


Magdalena November 8, 2009 at 6:20 am

Why is flour so cheap in the US and so expensive in Canada? Did the US impose the new travel restrictions so Canadians can’t cross the border and buy up all the flour?


Karen November 8, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Magdalena, thanks for the laugh!

Flour is not this cheap in the Bay Area either, Safeway or not. But perhaps with the holidays coming up, there is a temporary price drop. I have paid at least 4+ dollars for 5 pounds the last few times I’ve bought flour, but then again I buy organic unbleached as it seems to work best for bread. But even the “regular” flour is at least 3.50.

I bet each safeway is different, because I never find these sorts of deals at ours. They do have those obnoxious yellow-stickered deals around the store but they all seem to be for donuts and cakes, which we sure don’t need more of ; )

We have recently taken to visiting CVS, as they give us a lot of instant coupons on things we’re already using. They often have 5 dollars off 30 dollars of any purchase, and some times even 10 off 30. Very smart of them during this economy–I bet they have a lot of new customers. They also have alot of store brands that are much cheaper, on things like q-tips and paper goods, a lot of it recycled.


Kris-ND November 10, 2009 at 9:18 am

Whole Paycheck…

When I went to their site and typed in my zip code, the stores that popped up were Minneapolis to the east of me(about 12-14 hours away) and Colorado to the west of me(I live on the Montana/ND border). Not going to get the Whole Foods experience I guess 😉

My husband is retired military, so we do 90% of our grocery shopping at the Commissary on base. My entire adult life, save the last 3 years he has been retired, has been as a military wife, so it has always shocked me how much food costs in the civilian world.

The only food I buy off base, are when there is a mega sale at a local grocery store. It rarely happens, but sometimes, fruit/veggies and things like eggs will be cheaper than they are on base.

My mom keeps pushing me to go to Albertsons. She lives in CA and it is the store with the best sales in her area. Here, Albertsons is the most expensive store by far.

I guess it does depend on the individual store, or individual state.

I am still in awe of you Katy 😉


Kris-ND November 10, 2009 at 9:20 am

I also have a Great Dane. I think we spend more on the beast’s food/upkeep than we do on the humans 😉


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