binge eating.

27 12 2009

i am constantly trying to do 2 things (with varying degrees of success): save money and lose weight, and right around xmas time i always give up completely on both.  as evidenced by the cheesy popcorn and $138 dollars consumed this very afternoon

i should know better. this happens to me every year. i get so starved for personal shopping during xmas (compounded this year by shopping for the  burlesque), that as soon as i’m left to my own devices- i explode and tell myself that i need to buy everything RIGHT NOW! it’s like being on a starvation diet- at some point, the dam will break, and everything will go to hell (usually me cleaning out the fridge with my face, or me buying a bunch of crazy crap). the worst thing is that i am somehow able to convince myself that i deserve it- that i am entitled to this wallet draining and overstuffing.

the truth is that i haven’t balanced my checkbook in over a month, i have no idea how much money i really have (or need to get through the month)- and just like my rapidly expanding waistline, i don’t plan to do anything about it until january first. what the hell kind of f-ed up mentality is that? we can always start over tomorrow, or monday, or next year- but how many dollars and calories are lost while we’re waiting for our perfect “start over day” to come?

it’s simple. i need to do 2 things:

1. stop starving myself so that i stop needing to binge.

2. when i do binge, get right back up and start over immediately.

perfection isn’t really an option (as much as i might like it to be), but i’m pretty sure i can muster up the effort and willingness to keep trying to get better if i allow myself to accept the (sometimes) discomfort of the reality that is moderation.

catalina complications.

11 11 2009

DSCN2203so i was so excited about my shaws trip this weekend (not quite as excited as the coupon goddess, but still very excited)! i had it all mapped out perfectly… i had a goddamn spreadsheet! everything hinged upon the $15 off $30 (via catalina) deal on the back of the flyer. i would buy $30 worth of participating products, use about $10 in coupons, and get $15 back with which to buy all the stuff i wanted that wasn’t on sale. very simple… or so i thought!

i know it’s risky, but i always go to the supermarket late at night and use the self check-out. it’s my pathological fear of holding up the line with my multiple transactions and fistfuls of coupons. so there i was at 8 pm on sunday, spreadsheet in hand. i chose my items EXTREMELY CAREFULLY making sure that each item came from a shelf with the appropriate tag indicating the catalina deal. i try to be good- i swear!

but the register meant disaster. i scanned everything in- $32 worth of participating products… $10 worth of coupons, and no catalina. the printer made a noise like it was trying to spit something out, but it never spat. usually when a deal doesn’t work out, i step away and let it go… but this was $15! i approached the store manager and tried to explain the situation:

me: i bought $30 worth of participating products, and was supposed to receive a $15 catalina- but it didn’t print out. can you help?

manager: (looking at my receipt showing $22 after coupons) um, you didn’t spend $30.

me: i’m pretty sure the deal is price before coupons.

manager: um, give me your receipt.

DSCN2206the manager then goes back to her managerial podium and proceeds to check all of my items one by one, occasionally yelling out that something doesn’t count toward the deal- only to have me walk over and point out that it does. eventually, she concedes that i have met the terms of the deal- but has no way of printing out my catalina. she gives me $15 cash. crap! the value of the catalina over the $$ is that it forces me to spend it on groceries. instead, i pocketed the cash, paid for the rest of my groceries with my debit card, and then later spent the cash on crap that i wouldn’t have otherwise bought if i hadn’t been carrying cash. fuck.

to make things even crappier, on my 2nd transaction, my pizza catalina beeped *need manager approval*, and a different shaw’s manager informed me that i could not double up catalinas with manufacturers coupons. double fuck. when did that happen? can someone verify to me whether or not that’s true? the self check-out certainly seemed to think it was. can i get a boo-urns?


2 11 2009

sexy-sponge-bobwhile the majority of the masses were out this weekend celebrating slut-o-ween, i decided to celebrate glut-o-ween instead. the gluttony however was not merely food related (although don’t doubt that i ate an entire bag of cheese popcorn and all the tiny 100 grand bars that our 1 trick-or-treater didn’t take). more than anything though, money was consumed in mass quantities this weekend- and the true horror was had last night when i balanced my checkbook and realized that i had “accidentally” spent $100 more than i had budgeted for the week. um, surprise! the main culprits:

1. last minute impulse buys! went to buy candy and ended up with $18 worth of cheese popcorn and tom collins making supplies.

2. poor planning! somehow forgot to buy pizza sauce for “make your own pizza night”, and ended up spending $4.50 on a bottle of prego at the neighborhood convenience store. ouch.

3. the dam breaks! my purse has been a threadbare embarrassment for months now (seriously, even my boyfriend regularly mentions that it’s an eyesore), but i’ve been holding out for this– and refused to buy anything else. well, i don’t have $100 right now for a bag… yet somehow yesterday at the mall, i managed to find $44 to get a new bag (ok, but not amazing- a bigger version of this in gray)- because i just couldn’t take my current purse for one more second. it was kind of worth it, and it’s a nice bag ($89 marked down to $44) but i still wish i’d just bought the one i really want instead.

anyway, that’s $66 of the most offensive dollars i spent… although i know the rest were pissed away in an equally pointless fashion. i try so hard to keep my budget in line, and then i blow it all without even a second thought. maybe if i can lay off the candy, and lay off the spending, i can celebrate slut-o-ween next year instead (like god intended).

i spy- secret zone coupon!

30 10 2009

photothe problem with coupons for pricey name brand merchandise is that sometimes, they get you hooked (i’m pretty sure that’s the plan). case and point- the zone bars. i got 2 bogo coupons from their website a few weeks ago when they were on $5/5 @ rite aid, and bought 4 bars (peanut butter). they were both totally delicious, and very filling. actually, i’m eating one right now. anyway, i like prepackaged convenience food for work because i am perpetually oversleeping and running late in the morning. thus, into my bag goes: fullbar (also ridiculously expensive), zone bar, potato wrapped in saran wrap (for easy microwaving), 2 hard boiled eggs, tiny v8, and  unsweetened applesauce. save for the potato, all ready to go straight out of the fridge.

the point is,  i’m really happy with my lunch- but not really happy with the price. at $1ish per bar- and 2 bars per day- i’m blowing through 1/3 of my grocery budget just on bars! also, if you ask my boyfriend hotcouponworld, you’ll see that i’ve already pretty much blazed through all of the readily available coupons.

but this morning as i dug to the bottom of my almost empty box (time to spend another $4.93!), i found a nice surprise- a $1/1 box of dark chocolate zone bars.  see, good things do happen to mediocre people.

the great wash out.

22 10 2009

DSCN2159oh. so that’s why they call it whole paycheck. i have a bad habit of letting my best laid plans disintegrate the moment i get tired or lazy (or sad, or angry, or grumpy…). planned for tonight- soy sausage jambalaya. after a long day at work chased with a pilates reformer session– i decide that i don’t feel like cooking and that a trip to the whole foods for dinner is the right thing to do. maybe right by my diet standards, but not so much for my wallet.

earlier this week, i sold a bosu balance trainer (that i had recieved as a gift and never taken out of the box because i will never exercise at home no matter how much i want to or think it’s a good idea) for $40 on craigslist. sweet. $40 up on my budgetary deficit for this month. except that i owed $20 to the street change jar from a prior time that i was busted and needed a loan. down to $20 which rested quietly in my purse all week…

and on to the fucking whole foods:

1 cup of corn chowder- $2.99
1 small green salad- $4.82
1 whole wheat roll- $.69
1 package paul newman peanut butter cups- $1.49

and then i get bored waiting for the boyfriend to pick a gelato… (and some sort of werewolf beer from lithuania) …. and i decide to pick up a few things that i always want but can’t get at the regular supermarket:

2 whole foods brand frozen tofu pad thais (best frozen meal i’ve ever had) @ $2.99/ea.

2 amy’s summer corn soups @ $2.34/ea. (it’s my very favorite flavor, and nobody carries it- and the coupons i scored for writing to amy’s and complaining about how they never have coupons are looong gooone).

total after tax: $21.32 (total profit remaining from craigslist sale- $0)

boo-urns! that is almost as much as i spent on groceries for the whole week! i did pocket a copy of “the whole deal“, which has a lot of great whole foods coupons that can be doubled up with other manufacturers coupons for reasonable deals (baton rouge mommy always has the most comprehensive whole foods round up). still, i’m really disappointed in myself. will i ever be good at this!?

$29.45 grocery store blitz.

20 10 2009

DSCN2149once upon a time, i spent $60-$80 on groceries every week. i bought produce that i never ate, spent big $$$ on high-end  natural & organic foods, and loaded up on snack food just because it seemed like a good idea at the time. i was a mess.

now, i plan my meals in advance, read my store circulars like they’re the bible, and coupon the hell out of everything. today was a good day. view above, exhibit A:

the boyfriend actually ate his way through all 10 boxes of cereal, and it was go time again. $5/5 kellogg’s coupon in this week’s shaw’s circular. 3 boxes special k on sale for $3 a box + 3 $1/1 coupons, and one box each raisin bran & frosted mini-wheats on sale for $2.50 ea. + a $1.50/2 coupon. wrap it all up with one of the $3 off anything catalinas that printed out last week= 5 boxes of cereal for $1.50.

fresh express salad blends (select varieties) are on bogo. regular price $2.99 + a $.55/2 coupon doubled= 2 for $1.89, or $.95 ea.

raspberries on sale 2 for $3. bought 2.

put one of my new $3/1 kashi go lean coupons to work today and brought home a box for free.

2 jars of paul newman pasta sauce (bummed that they only had one sockarooni) priced at $1.74/ea (this is the best price in town) + $1/2 coupon= 2 jars for $2.48, or $1.24/ea.

1 box of celestial seasonings green tea @ $1.96 + $1/1 coupon from the 9/27 smartsource= one box for $.96

1 can wolfgang puck organic vegetable soup (vegetarians beware! there is CHICKEN FAT in the non-organic variety!) @ $2.60 + $1/1 coupon from the 10/4 smartsource= one can @ $1.60 (which seems ludicrous for soup, but i likes what i likes).

total for 6 boxes of cereal, 2 jars of pasta sauce, 2 bags of salad, 2 boxes of raspberries, 1 box of tea, and 1 can of soup= $11.43

and of course there were a few small splurge items…

a box of cocoa fullbars @ $7.93 (i know, outrageous, but they’re so good).

a box of morningstar farms riblets @ $3.32

a mini-odwalla super-protein smoothie $1.50

a box of orville redenbacher salt & pepper natural popcorn mini-bags @ $2.50

1 cucumber @ $.69

1 green pepper @ $1.25

1 bag of broccoli crowns @ $2.78

total splurge: $19.97 – another $3 catalina from last week’s grocery adventure= $16.97

total after tax: $29.45 (although without the fullbars, i would really have kicked some grocery ass).

money diary day 1. oops.

29 09 2009

silhouettesthere were definite highs and lows to my first day of journaling my spending:

up: i put back that $7 bra at the forever 21 that i hadn’t even tried on, and that looked totally impractical. i didn’t buy any snack food. i found $.12 on the ground near the courthouse. 

down: i’ve been daydreaming about this set of silhouettes that i saw a month ago when i was on my birthday trip in searsport. i didn’t buy them in the moment… i’m not sure why. but today i broke down and bought them over the phone. i most definitely want them. and am excited for them to arrive… but i also don’t necessarily have $50 extra in my budget… plus i had to pay $7 extra for shipping. 

non-essential expenditures: $44.80 for silhouettes & $5.84 at rite aid for great deals that i could donate or use but probably didn’t need. = $50.64

essential expenditures: $200 to macy’s (paying off my sofa). $50 birthday gift for very excellent friend. =$250

earned: $.12 street change.

total= $300.52 oops. better tomorrow.