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How to save $104.91 at BJs

I probably make a BJs run about once every 6-8 weeks.  I stock up on things like paper towels, toilet paper, tissues, trash bags, diapers, wipes and bottled water.  If I have a coupon I’ll buy laundry detergent there as well as dishwasher tablets.  Occasionally there’s an impulse buy or two… like a cute rain coat or book for the girls or a Red Sox hoodie for me.  I definitely consider BJs one of my happy places.  I typically go on a week day morning and bring the girls.  We snack on the fee samples and I let them browse the toy and book isles.  It’s a good way to kill some time with kids.

Well this past weekend, I was about to use my last diaper and told Scott that I need to make a BJs run.  Since we didn’t have anything planned, we decided to go as a family {that means he was coming with us!}.  We also ventured to a new BJs.  We were already out shopping and figured we’d take a little adventure and check out a different location.  This store was brand spanking new AND it had a gas station which the one near us does not.

Anywho, we spent probably close to an hour in the store.  We had free samples of Annie’s Organic Gummy Fruit Snacks, bakery cup cakes, and Russell Stover’s Sugar Free Chocolates.  The girls played “in the cart, out of the cart” and sat in one of those humongous camping chairs {have you ever seen one?}.  A good time was had by all.

We eventually made our way to the check-out at which point Scott had to run to the little boys room.  I put everything up on the conveyor and watched the cashier scan everything through.  Scott walked back from the bathroom just as the cashier announced the total… $228.34.  He looked at me, I looked at him and then I handed the cashier my card.  I can’t remember the last time I spent more than $150 at BJs.  So, what on earth could have happened this time?  I brought my husband!

Keep in mind, before we went into the store, Scott said to me, “We only need diapers, right?”  I said yes, and probably some tissues and water.  So what did he add to the cart?  A dry-fit running shirt for $14.99, a 12 pack of bakery muffins for $6.95, a 3 pack of boxer shorts for $22, a 16 pack of Gillette Fusion razor blades for $42.99, and two packages of batteries for $8.99 each, for a grand total of $104.91.

Next time I go to BJs I’m leaving my husband at home!

Just my luck!

So, remember how I told you that I had been looking for months for a double jogging stroller and then we scored a sweet deal on one last week?  Well, as you know I went up to my parents’ lake house for a few days this week.  It’s in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere.  If you blink when driving through the town center, you’ll probably miss it.  There’s an antique store, a pizza place, a bank and a library.  Oh, and a place called the Community Clothing Center which is sort of like a Salvation Army store or thrift store.

Before heading to the house, we always stop at the grocery store to get what we’ll need while we’re up there.  The closest store is about 20 minutes away so it’s just easier to get everything before hand.  Anyway, as we’re driving from the grocery store to the house, we pass through the tiny town center.  There’s never anything exciting to see or do down there but I always look around as we’re going through.  As we pass the Community Clothing Center my mom says to me (did I mention that she was with us?), “Hey, there’s a double jogging stroller just like the one you just got.”  I looked over and saw it and she was right.  It was just like the one I had got, except that it was blue.  I just shrugged and said, “Figures, since I just bought one.”

I kept on driving but then my mom and I decided that we should at least go and check it out.  So I turned the car around and headed back.  I pulled up in front of the CCC and had my mom hop out and go inquire about the stroller.  She goes in and comes back a few minutes later and knocks on the window.  I say,”How much?”  She just laughs and says, “They don’t charge for things, you just make a donation.”  Ummm, ok.  At that point she hops back in the car and I get out to go check out the stroller.  It’s legitimately the same stroller I just bought, an InStep Safari TT Double Jogger.  It has all the parts and is in fairly good shape.  It has some stains but nothing that can’t be cleaned.

We decide that, even though I just bought one, we should take it.  She can either keep it at her house for my girls and my  nieces or leave it up at the lake house and we can use it when we walk over to the beach with the kids.  Either way, all we have to do is make a donation and the stroller is ours.  We’re trying to think of what to give for a donation and we’re rummaging through our purses.  Collectively we came up with $15 cash.  It’s all we had.  My mom goes back in, gives the woman working inside the money and tells her that we’re going to take the stroller.  As she does this, I am waiting outside by the car.  An elderly man is sitting in one of the chairs outside the store.  He’s mumblimg, “Where’s my nurse?  She’s over an hour late.  I might just croak right here waiting for her.”  I’m not sure if he’s talking to me so I don’t answer.  Then another man approaches the store, looks over at my car and says to me, “Niiiice car!”  At this point my mom is (thankfully) come out of the store.

I start folding up the stroller and open the tailgate to my car.  So this stroller is NOT small.  It folds in half but that doesn’t mean much.  Oh and my car is already pretty full of our bags of clothes, our food and miscellaneous stuff for the kids.  I have no idea how we’re going to fit the stroller in the back of the car but somehow we manage.

So now, in a matter of 5 days, I have no one, but two double jogging strollers.  It’s just my luck!

A day early, a coupon short.

I seem to have bad timing lately.  In the past week I have gone shopping quite a bit.  There were birthday presents to buy, baby shower gifts to purchase, and just general things that we’ve needed for the house.  We’ve been in our new home for over a month now and we’re still working on getting settled in.  We still have bare walls and undressed windows, but we’re working it.  Anyway, I digress.

Last week Scott made a few trips to Lowe’s to get some things that he needed to do yard work.  Hedge trimmers, loppers, grass seed, yadda yadda yadda.  He spent over two hundred dollars on that particular trip.  All stuff we needed.  Well wouldn’t you know that the very next day when I went out to get the mail there were some nice “new homeowner coupons” in the mail with a big fat $50 off a purchase of $200 at Lowe’s.  FML.  (In case you’re wondering, we couldn’t get a price adjustment unless we returned all of the items and repurchased them with the coupon.  That couldn’t be done since many of the items were already used.  Boo hiss!)

Later in the week, I took a trip up to one of my favorite stores, The Christmas Tree Shop.  For those of you who are not familiar with this store (how unlucky for you!), it is not a holiday shop and they don’t sell Christmas trees (well, they do when they’re in season, but not year round).  Anywho, sometimes I have awesome luck in this store, and sometimes I leave empty handed.  Well, this week I was a lucky shopper.  I got a large mirror for over our fireplace for $30, I got two Adirondack tables for the yard for $12/each, I got some plastic plates, cups and a serving tray for outdoor eating, and a few other things for the house.  I spent a little over $80.  Guess what came in the mail the very next day?  You got it!  A nice, “welcome to the neighborhood” coupon from The Christmas Tree Shop for 20% off your entire purchase.  FML, again. This coupon has the same disclaimer as the Lowe’s one about not for use on prior purchases.  I considered returning everything and re-buying it but the store isn’t that close and some of the items were big and heavy.  Boo hiss, again!

The thing that gets me about all of this is that we’ve been here for over a month.  Why didn’t we get these fabulous coupons sooner?  I’m sure we’ll be back to both stores in the near future and we’ll be able to use them then, but it would have been great to have been able to use them already.  With my luck next time I’m back there, the coupons will have expired.  Ugh.

Weekend in Review

Friday night

  • We headed to the mall to check out the Lego store.  We bought Brinley her first Lego set.  A small, 83 piece set that builds the world’s smallest dog house.  The price tag – $12.95.  Yikes!
  • We also visited Pottery Barn Kids.  Brinley really loves going in there and playing with the doll houses and play kitchen.  I love looking at the room set ups and checking out the sale bins (even though there are usually like two things in there).  As I was browsing the girls were playing with the doll house and Scott decided to take out his iPhone and snap a quick photo.  He was quickly visited by a sales lady and told that he was not allowed to take pictures in the store.  Seriously?

  • Both girls PTFO in the car on the way home.  We put them to bed at watched The Taking of Pelham 123.  I’m not going to attempt to review the movie.  All I will say is that I thought I liked it but the more I think about it, I didn’t like it at all.

Saturday

  • Chipotle for lunch.
  • Shopping at BJs and a trip to a furniture store.
  • Tenants came over to sign the lease.
  • I skipped dinner because I was still full from my burrito.
  • Sat on the living room floor and started tagging the boxes of clothes that I’m going to be selling at the tag sale next month.  Beer in hand made it more enjoyable.

Sunday

  • Nora decided she would wake up at 5:55am.
  • Scott eventually got out of bed around 8:30.
  • We decided to go out for breakfast.  After reading that a local diner was recently named one of the Top 10 Diners in Massachusetts, we figured we should check it out.  We had heard about it many times but never gave it any credit.  It took six years of living about a half mile from the place before we check it out.  We loved it and will probably go back many times.  Nora made friends with at least three ladies there and Brinley loved her huge chocolate chip pancake.
  • Home for Nora’s nap and for mom and dad to shower.
  • Back to the furniture store to order our new dining room set.  I am SOOO excited about it.  It’s exactly what I wanted and we splurged on it but it’s perfect.  It will arrive at our new house in 6-8 weeks!
  • Headed to visit our friends, Lucrezia and John.  Lucrezia whipped up some baked ziti and homemade meatballs for us which were delicious.  Then we ventured outside for a little nature walk.  Brinley collected some leaves, rocks and pine cones.  When we returned from the walk we ate ice cream and cookies before heading home.
  • Put the girls to bed.
  • Mommy is off to bed at 9pm!

It was a very full weekend but we got some tasks accomplished and got to spend time with friends.  Now it’s back to the grind.  I have three huge baskets full of dirty laundry staring me in the face and the cupboards are bare.  Ugh!

How did you spend your weekend?  Was it filled with fun or with getting things done?  Maybe a little bit of both?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

This past weekend will go into the books as one of the best AND one of the worst.  We had one thing planned and went with it.  The rest of the weekend was completely spontaneous – from where we went to what we ate.  After spending a few hours at Chuck E. Cheese (the one plan we had) with my brother, sister-in-law and nieces on Saturday, we did some shopping in the area hitting up LL Bean and the Carter’s Outlet (that place is truly my weakness).  As we were getting in the car to head home, Scott and I looked at each other and both had the same idea – Let’s go furniture shopping!

We’ll be moving into our new house in about six weeks and the tiny four chair dinette set we have from seven years ago is just not going to cut it.  Off to Jordan’s Furniture we went.  For those of you that don’t know, this place is like an amusement park in some ways.  It has an IMAX movie theater, a Fuddruckers burger place, a Jelly Belly store, an ice cream stand, a flying trapeze school and a water fireworks show.  So before heading into furniture heaven, we stocked up on jelly beans to keep Brinley happy.  After falling in love with a $3000 customizable dining set, we figured that ice cream would make a good dinner and sat down to eat it while watching the water show.

On the way home from Jordan’s we made what we thought would be a quick stop at the mall.  Scott needed a new case for his iPhone.  Well, we ended up spending a few hours there shopping around and eating again, this time at our favorite place – Chick-fli-A.  Then it was time to head home and both girls passed out in the car on the way.

We decided to hit up a few more furniture stores on Sunday to do some comparison shopping since $3K for the dining set seemed a bit steep.  We ate lunch at home before leaving and headed up north.  While at the second store of the day Brinley decided she was hungry for lunch (since she passed up her peanut butter sandwich at home).  She begged to go to Friendly’s and we agreed since she had been such a trooper though all of the furniture shopping.  After grilled cheese, a honey BBQ chicken super melt, and a turkey and bacon super melt we enjoyed some ice cream (again) and then hopped in the car aiming for Target (my other weakness).  Eighty-two dollars later and we were finally headed home!

So there you have it!  It was the best because we just got in the car and went with no real plans.  It was surprisingly not stressful and the girls were awesome.  It was the worst because of all of the crap that we all ate – pizza, jelly beans, ice cream, chicken and fries, super melts and MORE ice cream!  You gotta live though, right?!

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