Monday, July 30, 2012

Grocery Shopping: Adjusting to a New Area...NOVA

With a new area comes many changes when you move across the country...new stores, new layouts, and new regional grocery stores.

Back in Chicago, my frugal routine of grocery shopping was rock-solid....head over to Village Marketplace on Dempster for all my produce, meats, etc, (and favorites like Eastern European candies, different kinds of sauerkraut and Jon's favorite, Kabanos smoked sausages!)...then head to Aldi for the standards, like sour cream, milk, butter, pita chips, etc.

Here in NOVA or Northern Virginia, there are a lot of different choices,...Giant, Safeway, Super Walmart, Target, Shopper's Food Warehouse, and a multitude of Latino grocery stores.  In Chicago, I liked shopping at the ethnic grocery stores....they usually had better produce, meats and prices than the "Jewel-Oscos" and "Dominicks" of the area and I didn't have to clip coupons to get the best price.  Today I have long list of ingredients for this week's meals (I'm also doubling up on cooking many meals so I can stock my freezer with easy meals when the baby arrives!) so, I need to find the best and most frugal grocery options.  I saw an Aldi down the street about a mile which I was very happy about!  Stores I don't know too much about are "Best Way" which looks to be a Latino Grocery Store, as well as a couple independent Latino grocery stores along Richmond Highway.  I am interested to see what they offer in prices and food offerings.

I have bought a couple items at Safeway during my first week, which seems to be a "Dominick's".  Good overall basic American grocery store, but you have to hit the sales and coupons just right and use their membership card.  I checked out Shopper's Food Warehouse, no membership card is necessary, and they double coupons up to $1.00.  (And it's the closest to our home!)  So far, I like their offerings, except they don't have a meat counter...they do have a fish counter though.  Strange trade-off I think!  Anyway, Walmart was a total disaster when Jon and I tried it out and it may deserve another chance, but I'm afraid...when we walked in a couple weeks ago, it was chaos...a DJ was loudly playing and screaming right by the area you grab carts, children were darting everywhere, and the atmosphere was enough to deter us that day.  We have found since then, that Walmart in NOVA has the best price thus far on Breyers Ice Cream,...which is very important when it's summer and you're pregnant!

More to come on my findings and frugal grocery adventures...


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Diaper Buying Basics for New Parents!

What do you know about Diapers?
When I walked into CVS the other day, I looked at prices of the different brands, and random sizes and weight ranges, and called my Mom in a panic, "I don't know anything about diapers!!" I exclaimed.  What size is my baby going to wear?  How many of each size do I need?  More importantly, what is the best price point to buy diapers?
Here are the great deals I've found and advice/knowledge I learned so far along the way!


Basics:  Diaper Sizes
These are pretty standard across brands by weight of your baby.  

  • Newborn (NB) up to 10  lbs
  • Size 1, 8-14 lbs (up to 14 lbs)
  • Size 2, 12-18 lbs
  • Size 2-3, 14 - 22  lbs
  • Size 3, 16 - 28  lbs


Stockpiling diapers at the best price point  Now, you don't know how much your baby will weigh until they are born, so it's best to buy a safer size (like something they will probably wear for a long time, like size 2) or an assortment of sizes while you're stockpiling.  Even if your baby is not here yet,...start your stash while you can have time to shop with both hands (stroller-free) and research deals.  I've heard that your average baby will go through about 10 diapers a day.  This is why you need a lot of diapers.  But, the most important thing to know is what is the best price point to buy diapers...the best way to figure this out is to price packages out, by cents per diaper.  Currently the best prices are when diapers are UNDER .20 cents per diaper,...any lower is bonus!  And all those cloth-diaper-loving readers out there, yes, we know cloth diapers are cheaper and more frugal, etc...but some people just want to use disposable diapers!   


My Diaper Deals this week...AMAZON.com  
I highly recommend Amazon.com's AMAZON MOM....which is a free subscription for free 2-day shipping and 20% off deals off diapers and other Mom/Baby things.  This week, I signed up for Amazon Mom and got -9.44 (for the Subscribe and Save) and used a one-time use Pampers Amazon Coupon for $3.00 off (found on Amazon Coupons!) and got a package of 246 Size 2 Pampers Diapers delivered for just .14 cents/diaper for $34.75!  Just like most items, combining sales, free-shipping and online coupons is the best way to save!  This sale with the Pampers Coupon on Amazon ends on July 28th,...jump on it while you can! 

Item(s) Subtotal:$47.19
Shipping & Handling:$0.00
Promotion Applied:-$9.44
Your Coupon Savings:-$3.00
-----
Total Before Tax:$34.75
Sales Tax:$0.00
-----
Total for This Shipment:$34.75
CAMELCAMELCAMEL.com
You can track history of prices for Amazon on a site called "CamelCamelCamel" (just like the stock market) and when the price hits a historic low price, you can buy, buy, buy!  For example, the normal price since November 2011, for Baby Dry Diapers Size 2 (Box of 246) has been $47.19.  The low on Amazon is $42.97 and the high was April 2011 at $50.55.  You can set a price alert by entering the URL of the item and the desired price you would like to be notified of.  A great tool - I use it for everything on Amazon.com.  


DIAPERS.com
Also, I took advantage of signing up for a membership at Diapers.com.  First-timers can sign up to get $10 off a case of Diapers and free shipping for items over 49.99, using the code STEP883388.  First, sign into your Ebates.com to get cash-back on every online purchase for extra savings and click on their link to take you to Diapers.com.  Diapers.com currently has just 1% but, hey it's something extra and I'll take it.  When you click on the Pampers Diapers, the same Pampers $3.00 off coupon also appears on Diapers.com so remember to 'clip' it electronically!  I got my diapers delivered to my door within 24 hours for $36.99...that's .15 cents per diaper.  Also, I earned "FamilyHood Points" which you can accumulate and change in for gift-cards and other rewards.  Also, from their emails I just learned that you can MAIL IN your manufacturer coupons to Diapers.com and they will credit your account!  See below to view my order breakdown...
QtyDescriptionItem PriceDiscountSubtotalEstimated Delivery
1Pampers Baby Dry Diapers XL Case Size 2 246ct.$49.99$10.00$39.99Tuesday, Jul. 24
You've earned 74 Familyhood Rewards points with this order!
Order Summary
Subtotal:$39.99
Shipping fee:$0
Manu. Coupon:$3.00
Total:$36.99
IN-STORE DEALS
Let's say you need diapers now and can't wait even 24 hours...okay, no problem.  Head over to BabyCheapskate to find the up-to-date weekly in-store deals. Also, check out Pampers Gifts to Grow...When you buy Pampers, you can enter the "Gifts to Grow" points online in exchange for high-value coupons (which you can stack on other sales and deals) and gift-cards, merchandise, etc.  I have only been pregnant for 8 months and don't have any kids yet, but I started my Pampers Account years ago to get in on the numerous free codes and free stuff.  Go ahead and open an account (you get 100 points just for signing up before 7/26/2012) to get free coupons and free stuff, no matter who you are!  Everyone likes free stuff,...here's a bunch of free codes to get you started from Freebies4Mom....
  • Julsumnl12spnmr  (10 points, expires 7/26/12)
  • TWIT712PT4XD912  (5 points, expires 7/26/12)

Big changes for 2012...

Big changes for the "Fru-Girl" for 2012...
Hello again world!  So, many new things are in the works as I move my blogging and living location to historic Alexandria, Virginia (DC area) and begin to add to my topics with a new venture into the world of being a "Fru-Girl Mom" this year!  My husband and I have switched full-time roles, so, now I am planning on staying at home with the little one and continuing our great quest to live frugally and joyfully!  Stay tuned for more posts, focused on baby/parent issues, extra savings, healthy eating, moving expenses and more!  

Historic Alexandria, Virginia....hometown of Robert E. Lee...