Tom Thumb/Safeway/Randall’s

Tom Thumb has put a lot of money into advertising that they have now lower prices. I can remember my first trip to Tom Thumb – it was a short one. About two years ago, Alex and I had just moved to Dallas, and we stopped into Tom Thumb one Saturday for some milk. It was $1 more than the milk at Kroger. We left very quickly.

I decided to investigate these new “lower prices” today on my shopping trip. I had my coupons, bags and shopping list Ipod app ready. Inside it was a whole new world. In produce, the produce dude followed me around and handed me plastic bags. He picked out the best mushrooms for me. On the caned food aisle, a stocker dude asked me if there was anything I needed help finding, or if I needed a recommendation. Wow! This was very different than the man at Albertson’s that walks around shouting, “Hot bread!” It was a good experience. I bought most of my groceries here. As far as prices, there were some very good deals, for example, Quaker Oats granola bars at Kroger are $2.79 and every once in a while they will go on sale for $2.50. At Tom Thumb, they were on sale for $1.99. At the end of my receipt, it actually print my percentage savings! A little disappointing 27% stared me in the face, but still cool.

Tom Thumb total before coupons: $54.41
Tom Thumb total after sales and coupons: $38.47
Savings: $15.94

Next I went to Kroger to pick up some free and nearly free items. An old lady with cake-y turquoise eyeshadow on a motorized scooter asked me to reach up and hand her some toilet paper. “Of course, ma’am.” She began to tell me that this type of Kroger brand toilet paper is on unadvertised sale for $2 and she went to a Kroger near here and they were out, so she came here. Then she asked me to grab her two more. “Sure thing.” I walked on and she said, “Excuse me, could you grab me one more?” “Okaaaaaaaaaaay.” I walked on to the trash bags. She scooted behind me. “Now which of these do you recommend?” she asked. “I just never know which to pick?” I responded that my favorite was the Glad Forceflex because – she interrupted me and asked me to get another toilet paper. I gave it to her and turned the aisle and she followed. I made a u-turn and she followed. I stood in the checkout line and she followed. I faked that I forgot something and left her in line I continued my shopping. I went back to that great toilet paper sale and, surprisingly, the ol’ lady had left me one. I grabbed the $2 and threw it into my cart. I finished my shopping and made sure grandma had gone before I went into a checkout line. My bill was $35! I stowed my items in my trunk and looked at my receipt. I bought a .99 cent bag to use and saw that it was insulated when I unloaded my groceries. The bill was $2.99! Too late to return; it’s been used. I was charged $6.35 for that $2 toilet paper! I went back in, lugging my 12 pack of paper, and stood in line at the customer service desk. When it was my turn, I explained about the unadvertised sale. So, naturally, the attendant began looking through the sale ad searching for the “unadvertised sale” on Kroger toilet paper. I hinted, “Um… I think it’s UNadvertised.” Turns out, after all that fuss, the 6-pack is on sale for $2, not the 12-pack. Someone had put a 12-pack in the empty slot. I exchanged my 12-pack for a 6-pack. I wasn’t going to pay more than three times the amount for only double the product.

Kroger total before coupons: 45.12
Kroger actual total: $30.85
Total Savings: $14.27

My last stop was at Albertson’s to pick up more free items. Uneventful. Except I didn’t have to get out my wallet.

Albertson’s total before coupons: $3.68
Albertson’s actual total: $0.00
Total savings: $3.68

What my total would have been: $103.21
What I paid: $69.32
What I saved with sales and coupons: $33.89

Free items

-Kraft Mac and CHeese (Tom Thumb – used a buy 3 get one free coupon)
-2 Progresso Soups (TT – on sale for $1.11, used a .50 off two coupon that was doubled, .30 off coupon on
-Gatorade G2 (TT – on sale for $1, used $1 off coupon that was in this Sunday’s paper)(not pictured, Alex couldn’t wait)
-2 Rolaids (TT – on sale for $1.79 each, used $4/2 Rolaids coupon that was in this Sunday’s paper)
-Keebler Butter Crackers (Kroger – buy one get one free sale)
-Bird’s Eye Frozen Peas (Albertson’s – on sale for $1, I used a .35 cents off coupon that was tripled)
-Ivory bar soap 3-pack (A – on sale for $1, I used a .35 off coupon that was tripled)

Nearly free:
Quaker Oats Granola Bars (TT – reg. $2.19, on sale for $1.99. I used a .75 off coupon, paying $1.24)
3 Campbell’s Soup (TT – reg. $1.39, used .35 off 3 coupon that was tripled, paying .34 each)
No Yolks Noodles (TT – reg. $1.89, used .50 off coupon that was doubled, paying .89)
Sunny D (Kroger – reg. $1.75, on sale for $1)
Smart Source Sour Cream (K – reg. $2.19, on sale for $1.99, used a $1 off coupon, paying .99)
Yoplait Yogurt (K – reg. 50, used a .50 off 6 that was doubled, paying .33 each)

We have two meals from last week we have yet to eat, so here’s this week’s shorter meal plan:
Pasta and Veggies with Miso Soup, serves 4, cost for me to make $16.44 WOW
Miso Soup
16 oz. bag of medium or wide noodles, uncooked (.89)
4 cans (14.5 oz.) chicken broth, or equivalent in powdered bouillon
4 c. chopped fresh broccoli
8 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms (1.00)
1 c. shredded or chopped carrots (1.99)
1/4 c. soy sauce (1.29)
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 Tbsp. sesame oil (3.89)
4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil, sugar, and red pepper flakes.
In a large pot, heat chicken broth, and add the noodles.
Bring to a boil.
Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
Add vegetables, and cover and simmer for about 2 more minutes.
Pour off any excess broth.
Stir the soy sauce mix into the pot, and stir until well combined.

5 c chicken stock
1/3 c miso (soybean paste) (.99)
1 pkg. hard tofu (soy bean curd) (2.00)
chives (4.39)

1. Add miso to chicken stock
2. Boil over medium heat.
3. Remove from heat.
4. Cut tofu into cubes and add to stock
5. Heat high 5 minutes
6. Sprinkle with chives.

Shepherd’s Pie, serves 3, cost for me to make $3.70
Shepherd's Pie
12 oz frozen mashed potatoes
1/2 lb ground beef (3.70)
1/4 c frozen sliced carrot, thawed
1 T flour
1 T salt
1/4 t pepper
1/2 c beef broth
1 egg, beaten
1 oz shredded cheddar

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Cook potatoes, set aside
3. Cook beef in skillet 5-6 minutes
4. drain and return. Add carrot
5. Stir in flour, 1 t salt, 1/4 t pepper
6. Add broth and stir 3 minutes
7. Spoon mixture into greased baking dish
8. Stir together potatoes, egg, remaining salt and pepper
9. Spoon over beef mixture
10. Bake 25 minutes
11. Sprinkle with cheddar
12. Bake 5 minutes

Tomato Bisque, serves 2, cost for me to make $4.13
Tomato Bisque
1 c vegetable broth (1.09)
1 c peeled and stewed tomatoes or chopped canned tomatoes (.75)
1 c milk or cream (2.29)
3 T finely chopped onion
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
parsley sprig
bay leaf

Simmer broth and tomatoes together for 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in the milk, nutmeg, celery, parsley, bay leaf, and onion.
Heat slowly, without boiling.
Strain and reheat, adding salt before serving.

Beef Stroganoff, serves 4, cost for me to make $1.42
Beef Stroganoff
1/2 lb ground beef
1 can cream of mushroom soup (.43)
1/2 t onion powder
1 can condensed beef broth
4 oz dairy sour cream (.99)
1 t salt

In large skillet, brwn beef; drain.
Return meat to skillet and add all other ingredients, except noodles
Blend together well and heat thoroughly on med-low.
Boil noodles.
Serve stroganoff over cooked noodles.

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