It was a really busy day at the Community Resource Center. Betsy and I rented a U-Haul and went to pick up a truckload of what we call surplus inventory (a.k.a. free stuff ) from a major retailer we love (you all buy their stuff retail but I’m not telling who it is). We are totally stoked about this because Christmas is coming and we have a lot of nonprofits that will desperately need lots of stuff. But it cut short the time I had allotted to shop for Austin’s goodbye dinner tomorrow. Austin is one of my son’s best friends and he’s heading off to the University of Kentucky Friday.

So I run to Harris-Teeter because it’s three blocks closer than my beloved Publix and what do I see? Triple coupon day!

My mother-in-law, Bunny, taught me this long ago: Never pay retail. No Southern woman ever goes into a department store and buys off the full-price rack. Ever. It’s not so much being cheap as it is the love of hunting for a good bargain. The day after Christmas every year, Bunny and I get up at four in the morning to be first in line at the half-off sales. I got every annoying plastic moving Santa and Mrs. Claus I used to decorate with when Noah was young at Target for fifty percent off.  I haven’t bought wrapping paper in years that wasn’t half off.

Well, the same goes for food. DSCN0245I carry around a little leather pouch in my purse full of coupons at all times. You just never know. Like today. This triple coupon thing was a complete shock to me. But I was ready. It only took about 15 minutes of laying out the little suckers in the cart and going aisle by aisle. It also helps to have your grocery store completely memorized. The only thing you have to watch out about is using coupons for anything you wouldn’t ordinarily buy. No mayonnaise made with olive oil (why would anybody make that?). No frozen chicken nuggets (well, I did do that when Noah was young but he loved them and I was weak).

DSCN0248So I got all the groceries you see above for $95.57. And that includes some high-dollar chicken that comes pre-trimmed in individual bags (don’t you hate it when you buy skinless chicken breasts and you turn them over and there’s all this fat and weird vein stuff that you have to trim yourself?). And I saved $25.05! That’s a pair of Teva flip-flops (my favorite – like walking on a pillow). That’s two boxes of Corbett Canyon wine. Money in my pocket.

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