It's been a few days between posts, partially because I've been very busy, but mainly since I can't find my camera upload cord since we got back from Illinois. I hope I didn't leave it there. Luckily, now that I have an SD card, there's more than one way to skin an upload! Or something. In any case, there are pictures, both here and on the Flickr account.
The big news of today is that we bought a netbook at Best Buy, because M's hard drive bit the dust big time and needs to be sent away for what are likely to be lengthy repairs. It is under warranty, but our backup computer, a six-year-old Gateway, is also on its last legs, we decided it was time to get something small, relatively cheap, and highly portable. We'd already shelled out 150 dollars to attempt to repair the Dell's hard drive, but we got that back when the attempt failed, so put that money towards the new netbook. M's folks are generously contributing to the fund as well. I've been doing research for a couple days, and we eventually decided on an Asus netbook without a huge amount of processing power, but with a good long battery life, Windows 7 starter, and that is absolutely adorable in every way. We're very happy with it so far. It pretty much takes care of the remainder of our tax refund money, but it's a good investment. We also got the full two year replacement warranty, since it's small enough to fit in the diaper bag and I'm sure we're going to break it at least once. =)
So that was our big expenditure of the year thus far, but I've also been doing a lot of other shopping lately. Lots of it! Yesterday, Robert and I got out the stroller and did the two and a half mile round trip walk to Walgreens for some couponing. Man, Mommy is sooo out of shape. It wouldn't have been so bad except for the fact that Kentucky insists upon being full of hills. We did very well for ourselves, though, getting 83 dollars worth of stuff for 12 dollars. I picked up three boxes of Kotex and six bottles of Garnier Fructis shampoo and hair stuff, some of both of which will go to the food bank as soon as I talk to my pastor about where to take it. I also got some packs of pens, four Frappucinos, five Cadbury Eggs and six toothbrushes (to go with all the toothpaste I've been getting!) I managed to wedge all of that, barely, into the basket below the stroller, and pushed the whole thing home. Robert had a good time, he likes traveling in the stroller and usually sleeps most of the time. It's been eighty degrees for the past two days here, so it was a warm, warm walk.
Today M cleaned the kitchen for me this morning, which made me really, really, really happy. He's been super busy lately, working on a big paper, and with him at school and me dealing with the baby, the house has fallen into extreme disrepair. Having the kitchen clean was really great. We dropped him off at school to spend the rest of the day on his paper, and after a little time to reconnoiter at home, headed off on a multi-store spree. Robert was an angel through Target, CVS, and Walgreens, but melted down halfway through Kroger, because he was getting hungry. Luckily, at eleven weeks he is at the age where screaming is generally adorable to strangers, rather than annoying. Getting all our stuff into the house was quite a challenge by myself, especially with a hungry baby, but I managed. It helps that Robert quite likes being outside, so I could let him sit on the patio and watch me as I made numerous trips from the car to the patio, then from the patio to the kitchen.
Target was an excellent trip, I got two Intuition razors, an automatic air freshener, a bottle of VitaminWater, and a box of Cadbury eggs, with an out of pocket cost of 1.96 after my gift cards from last time. I also got another five dollar gift card for next time, sweet! I should note that I would've paid less than fifty cents if not for the impulse egg purchase, they are my Achilles heel. I keep buying them at half price and putting them in the freezer. At CVS I paid sixty cents for a Pantene shampoo and conditioner, a tube of toothpaste, a pack of gum, and fifty prints I'd ordered online of the Daily Roberts and some other good pictures. Walgreens, I got another pack of Kotex and six more bottles of Garnier Fructis, along with six more erasable gel pens. With tax that all came to nine dollars, but I got a ten dollar coupon back, bringing me to 20 register rewards dollars for Walgreens next week. In total, I paid 21 dollars at Walgreens this week, got 125 dollars worth of stuff, and wound up with six more coupon dollars than I started with. That's not bad, not bad at all.
Kroger was actually for grocery shopping, which is harder to quantify in my system. Partially it's because I bought a ton of stuff that was on Manager's Special for half price or less, and that doesn't show up as savings on my receipt. My receipt says I saved only 26%, but I know I did better. I spent two of my WIC checks and took advantage of the deal on strawberries this week. Strawberries on my cereal in the morning, yay! Between those and grapes and bananas, I got to 9.91 out of the 10 dollars my check allowed, pretty doggone good for dead reckoning on weighted products. ;-) Some other good deals were the Warm Delights desserts I got free when I found them in the clearance bin and coupon matched, the fourteen pounds of chicken for eight dollars, and the free pouches of instant mashed potatoes that also gave me a coupon to use off my purchase next time. I spent 44 dollars and went home with a trunk full of groceries, and it was good.
I still have coupons gathered for small trips to Meijer and Wal-Mart this week, but I don't know that I'll make them, what with the computer purchase and all. I do have to run to one place or the other to get birdseed, though, or I'll have a mutiny on my hands. That was the one thing I forgot today, thanks to El Nino mas Triste. You should've seen me by the end, bagging groceries with one hand while holding the paci in his mouth with the other. This motherhood thing is crazy!