Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bigger's not always better

Was perusing the samples at Costco today (No, no ... I didn't go just for the samples. Really.)

Anyway, at the meat cases, one of the folks offering samples was loudly announcing today's deal: $4 off a package of chicken breasts.

I was tempted. We eat lots of chicken at the casa de chaos. So, I found a small package ... small being 6 pounds. $17.42, minus $4 equals $13.42.

But some quick division told me the price was still around $2.25 a pound. And one of the area supermarkets has the same thing on sale for $1.99 a pound this week.. (and if I wait, my favorite supermarket may have it on for $1.79 a pound.)

So, no industrial-sized packages of chicken today. Just an extra-large package of lettuce ...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yes, we have no bananas

Actually, there are plenty of bananas out there ... they've just gone up in price.

Noticed that at one of the local supermarkets here, bananas had jumped about 5 cents a pound. And next to them was a sign explaining that supplies were being affected by weather conditions. Turns out there is something to that, according to Agriculture Corner:

Damage to banana crops in Latin America from flooding and cold temperatures could cause Dole Food Co. to continue to pass on higher costs to customers through the spring, the company’s chief executive said.

Faced with escalating costs in the field and logistical challenges, Dole declared is requiring U.S. customers to pay an average surcharge of $1.43 on each box of bananas, Chief Executive David DeLorenzo said in an interview.

Wonder how hard it is to grow a banana tree?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dollar daze

Just a couple of things I noticed while out and about:

  • If anyone is looking for basic tax software, the Dollar Trees here now have the H&R Block At Home standard edition.
  • One of the regional supermarkets in my city is doing something new. There are displays around the store marked "Dollar Menu," featuring small-size products -- mostly breakfast foods: small packages of instant and quick oats, breakfast bars, pancake mix and little bottles of syrup.

I read recently that folks are buying more smaller-size items because they can't afford the large packages. I've also noticed more folks at the dollar store who have carts full of food. So maybe this is part of an ongoing trend ...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A walk down memory lane

We've been cleaning out old records here at the casa de chaos, and in the process I ran across a pile of receipts from 2000.

Oh, boy, things have changed ... Here's a sampling:

Gas prices
Prices bounced around that year. One March receipt shows a price of $1.16 per gallon. In May, it was up to $1.79. By the end of the year, it was in the $1.20s. (I'm sure I wasn't happy about those prices then ... little did I know they would turn out to be a bargain.)

(Note, some of these are likely sale prices. To compare, I'm using current sale prices in most cases)

Sour cream -- 64 cents a pint (on sale this week for $1)
Chicken legs - 39 cents lb. (on sale this week for 99 cents lb)
Coffee 11 oz cans - 2/$3. (most recent sale was 2/$5)
Tuna - 3/$1 (on sale this week, 2/$1)
Pasta - 3/$1 (now usually 3/$2 on sale)
Sugar - 5lbs, $1.99 (now $2.49 and up for 4lbs)
Margarine - l1b sticks, 28 cents (usually 64 cents lb)
1 doz. medium eggs - 65 cents (recent sale was 88 cents a dozen)
Frozen vegetables - 1lb, 79 cents. (now usually $1 to $1.29 for 12 oz to 1lb)
Cat litter - 25lbs, $1.97. (now $3)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

You've got to be kidding

Gotta go to the Super Bowl, but can't afford the $600 to $1,900 (or more) tickets? The NFL has a deal for you:

From ESPN: The NFL will sell a $200 ticket to the game, but it comes with a catch. Fans will have to sit on the grass on the East Side of the stadium and watch the game on the huge outside HD TV screens.

Apparently, the "seats" are available to some season ticket-holders, and they have to be purchased in blocks of 4.

Correct me if I'm wrong ... but seems to me that come game night, there will be no shortage of places where, for a lot less than $200, fans can have a meal, a couple of drinks and watch the game on ... er ... TV!

Unfortunately, I suspect there will be plenty of folks who will be more than willing to part with $200, drink overpriced beer and listen to all the folks having fun inside the stadium ...

The story:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Things that make you go hmmm....

Sorry for the lapse, have been down with a nasty cold ...

Anyway ... here's today's math puzzle:
If a 1lb package of carrots costs 69 cents, why does a 2lb package of carrots cost $1.59?

(If someone really has an answer for this, I'd love to hear it.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

CVS deals

Speaking of coupons ....

If you have a CVS, and need dishwasher detergent, the 20 pack of Finish (aka Electrosol) is on sale for $3 this week. Pair it with the coupon in the 1/2 Smart Source flier and get it for 75 cents.

Also, Dove bars are part of the buy one at 89 cents, get an ECB worth 89 cents. In my area, the coupon machines are printing out a coupon for 50 cents off a single Dove bar. So, use the coupon, pay 39 cents and get an 89-cent ECB. Sweet!

(Sorry, couldn't resist the pun ...)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Their loss, my gain

I know not everyone likes coupons as much as I do. But even so, I'm always surprised by what folks will leave behind sometimes.

Was at Kroger's self checkout, and noticed a coupon hanging out of the catalina machine. When I finished, I pulled the coupon, and found: Thanks for buying XX. Take $1 off your next order.

(I know what you're asking here ... "DW, why the heck didn't you pull the coupon first? Then you would have gotten $1 off your bill." That's a very good question. All I can tell you is that sometimes I'm a slow learner.)

Last week, same thing happened in the checkout at Meijer. This time, I did pull the catalina first ;) It was for a free liter of a brand-name soda. I wasn't going to abandon my groceries for a free soda -- but it did come in handy this week.
Hey, maybe it is a good thing that some folks don't like coupons, eh?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Flushed with success

Yeah ... it's that kind of post ...

The toilet has been rather challenged lately. Actually, it just didn't have the "oomph" it used to have.

I'm thinking I need to call the plumber ... but the darn thing didn't seem to be clogged.

So I started perusing the internets (truly a wonderful invention!) and found a rather unusual tip: Check that little hole just below the opening where everything (eww) goes down. They tend to collect lime (or other mineral deposits) and close up.

I checked, and by golly, it was rather limed up. So I found a small metal rod (OK, I admit it, it was a broken radio antenna) and reamed it out.

Much better! Problem solved (at least for now).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

$4 a gallon for gas?

From The Associated Press:

The price of oil is poised for another run at $100 a barrel after a global economic rebound sent it surging 34 percent since May. That could push gasoline prices to $4 a gallon by summer in some parts of the country, experts say

Gasoline expert Fred Rozell predicts that 15 states -- including Alaska, Hawaii, Connecticut and Rhode Island -- will see gasoline prices top $4 a gallon by Memorial Day.

Well, I don't live in any of those states, but gee whiz ... that's going to kick the economy right in its ailing gut.

And this comes just after a story that said my local gas utility wants to raise rates. I can burn wood to save on natural gas ... maybe I need to figure out a wood-fired car, eh?

Monday, January 3, 2011

December freebies

A light month, but still got some good stuff.

2 Kashi cereal
Elmer's glue dots
EsterC gummies
Vaseline lotion
Starbucks vanilla fusion
Cottonelle wipes
Wheat thins stix
Purina SmartBlend dog food
Purina SmartBlend cat food

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011

Wishing for a happy, healthy and frugal 2011 for all of us!