We live in an area that is technically considered "rural." I laugh at that, a town of some 8,000, after having lived in "really-rural," a town of about 800. There are a couple major chains - Walmart, Rite Aid, Safeway... but if you want to hit up any major stores, you have to leave town. So that's what we did on Monday!
We hit Trader Joe's for some gluten free goodness for me. They carry a few different shapes of rice noodles, and their prices are out of this world compared to the local grocery store and health food store. Then we went to Target. Not a whole to comment about here. I started picking up the supplies for my coupon master book. We had coupons for $1/1 Method products and needed some more of their cleaner, so we picked up 3 bottles (I had 3 coupons). A cute little dress for M for $1.74 on clearance. But the cool thing was that my $1 off coupons rang up as $5 off coupons at the register! That's right, instead $3 off our order, we ended up with $15 off our order! The girl was so confused - she tried taking it off and putting it back on again. We both read the fine print on the coupons. They kept ringing up as $5 off (a product that was selling for $3.79!). She finally looked at me and said, "I have to give it to you for what it's ringing up as - just please don't complain to anyone!" I promised that I wouldn't =)
After dinner (we went with a $10 off coupon, only to find out that it is kids eat free every day until Labor Day - score), we went to WinCo. My husband's sister had recommended this place before, as well as another friend. We just never made the time to stop there before this.
Oh. My. Word!
We left there with a freezer full of meats and veggies, as well as some shelf-stable goods, for $167. That sounds like a lot, I admit. But were you to add up the same foods here in town, we would have spent between $400-500, easily. We are now SET! Geof and I have agreed that, as long as we can make the monthly or so pilgrimages out to Salem for Winco, we will not renew our Costco membership when it comes due in a couple months. That's out to Salem, anyway, and the biggest deal we were getting there was gas. For as often as we get out there (this was the first shopping trip in 2.5 months)... not worth the membership cost. As long as we continue to shop the super sales in town on things like cereal, snacks, toiletries, and the like, we won't have to do any major grocery shopping for at least a month and a half... maybe 2 months. We're talking fresh produce only! Milk and cheese are currently covered by WIC - for which we are (once again) extremely thankful.