Thursday, May 18, 2017

Great Grocery Project: Mid May Update

When did May become the craziest month of the year??

I feel, and I have been reading this on many other blogs too, that this month has been insane.  And it's not over yet!!  Busy, busy, busy.

So far this month I have spent $200.00 on groceries.  I am saving the full breakdown at the end of the month - but this feels pretty good because there are only two weeks left before the end of the month.
I had to post though, because there is just too much stuff going on!  Lots of money saving adventures...

How have we saved money so far this month??
Blackberry Ginger Ale - Yes!!!
Earlier this month, Canada Dry launched a new product - Blackberry Ginger Ale.  I wanted to try it, but we do not drink a lot of pop.  I found the "baby cans" in a six pack at Giant Tiger for $2.25.  I bought it.  I tried it.  I loved it.  And the aesthetically pleasing.....
Baby Dove Tip to Toe Wash
I belong to the Shopper's Drug Mart Optimum Rewards program, which I have written about extensively and which saves us about $800-$1000 a year.  Sometimes I get free samples or coupons for free things in the mail.  A few weeks ago, the above sample arrived.  A perfect little travel size of Baby Dove Tip to Toe Wash.  This came just before we were about to leave on vacation so I was able to bring it for my boys' baths.  I also received a different sample of lotion (for mom) which I brought along too.  Win!!
Mother's Day Gifting
Mother's Day came and went and we gave our gifts to the women in our life.  This is an example of one of the gifts I put together.  This gift included a canvas tote "Life is what you make it" from Chapters Indigo - it was purchased at almost 65% off its regular price and using Ebates.  Inside the bag were two full size Martha Stewart Bath Towels, purchased at more than 50% off from The Bay, again using Ebates.  The Crabtree & Evelyn lotion and body wash (I wrote about them last month) were purchased at 50% off because they were in a Christmas tin.  I simply removed them from the tin which I will use for other gifts at Christmas.  Finally, the Stuart McLean Vinyl CafĂ© was purchased at Costco - it wasn't on sale but it was a good price and I knew my mom would love it.  She did.
Clothing Haul
I shop for clothes and gifts (in an actual store, not online) only about 2 or 3 times a year.  The cheapest way to buy clothes is to buy them second hand.  I am not going to get into why I do not buy second hand clothes - but I just want to say that it is not because I have anything against them, or look down on them - we buy many items (just not clothes) second hand and I am very happy to accept hand me downs.  I think I have a really good system for buying new clothes at amazing prices that I pass down between my kids, and also to nieces, nephews, friends, etc.  OK - now that we have that out of the way...
Before Easter I had purchased some needed items from Gap Kids and Gap Factory Outlet for which I earned some Gap Cash.  However, even though there were additional items I needed I did not want to spend the GapCash unless really necessary or I could come up with other income.  I tried to sell some items on Kijiji to get the cash.  No luck.  Then, my mother-in-law generously gave each of my son's $50.00 at Easter.  Perfect!!  Since the clothing was for them anyway, I knew it would cover the cash I had to output in order to maximize the Gap Cash.  On the first day it was valid, I went to the Gap and gathered up every clearance item I could find that fit with my shopping list.  After all was said and done - I purchased:
1 beautiful winter parka for my son (this alone was regularly $119.99, on end of season clearance for $19.99)
3 pairs of pants
1 zip-up sweater
3 pairs of shorts (not everything is shown in the picture above)
1 polo shirt
1 pair of Disney pyjamas
For all of this, I spent $5.00 of my own money.  Not bad.

I also used my Cash for the Gap Factory Outlet.  There was able to get 5 pairs of pants, 1 bathing suit (top and bottom for my son), 3 t-shirts, 1 long sleeve button up shirt, and a zip up sweater.  All children's items.

After adding up both trips and calculating everything - the average cost per item of clothing was $6.50.  If you take away the money my mother-in-law gave me that number drops even more.

Our trip...
We also took a four day trip over Mother's Day weekend to visit my grandparents in Windsor, Ontario.  We had not been there since last July, and it was their first time meeting our youngest son.  We used points from our BMO World Elite MasterCard to book our hotel (2 rooms x 3 nights at the Hampton Inn & Suites), making it FREE.  Zero out of pocket for the hotel.  We brought all kinds of snacks and food and bottled water to eat on our 5 hour to get there and at the hotel as needed.  Our first night at the hotel was our treat night - we ordered dinner in and spent $50.00.  The rest of the weekend we ate all our breakfasts at the hotel breakfast, and our lunches and dinner at my grandparents.  I did go to the grocery store and buy food to make dinner one night at my grandparents - but I am not counting this as a trip expense - it was just something I wanted to do for them.  We also visited nearby Amherstberg (a beautiful little town on the waterfront) where you can visit Fort Malden National Historic Site for FREE if you have the 150 Canada Parks Pass.  There is also a beautiful park beside the National Historic Site (which itself is very beautiful and well maintained) where there is a large play area and splash pad for children.  We drove along the waterway and treated ourselves to 2 frozen lemonades and 1 snack size smoothie from McDonald's for our son (Total cost: $5.00).  If you have a parks pass, you could also visit nearby Point Pelee but we did not have time to do this.  Hopefully we can visit this on another trip.  We spent a great deal of time enjoying our hotels salt water pool.  We brought many of our sons toys and his kickster bike so that he could play outside at my grandparents.  We did stop at McDonald's for lunch on the way home - specifically so my son could run around the play area as the weather would not allow outdoor play at a rest stop.  All in all - our 3 night, 4 day trip cost us $75.00 (not including gas).  Not bad!!!!!

The rest of this month is going to fly by...

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