Well, I managed to do about the worst thing I could possibly do in a challenge like this. While I don't keep a coupon binder like most people who coupon (because I don't clip, sort and organize my coupons). I do have a coupon envelope where I store my most valuable coupons. It usually contains about 50 or so coupons for free products (Kraft Deli Meat, Libby's Vegetables, the free Ben & Jerry's ice-cream, etc), coupons where I can sometimes get free products (for example, Kraft Deli Creations often go on clearance for $0.99, so I have 20 $1.00 off 1 coupons so I could take advantage of this when I came across it) and other coupons that I often use. They are the best of the best coupons I have so I always want them with me when I shop. Like a complete idiot, I lost my coupon envelope.
I knew something was wrong when the coupon envelope wasn't in its usual place when I checked as I got ready to leave on my latest house sitting gig. I thought I might have left it in the car, so I did a thorough check and nothing came up. Then I started to think about my last shopping trip and remember putting it on the shelf by the Toasted Wheat Thins and realized I must have left it there. I immediately went back to the store to see if anyone had turned it in – no such luck. When it became clear it truly was lost, it almost brought me to tears (it really is a sad day in my life when losing coupons can nearly bring me to tears…).
If I had done something like this in the first couple of weeks of this challenge, I would have quit right then and there. Even though it is devastating, I have managed to create a cushion which should help me survive even with their loss. While I am obviously disappointed about the food I thought I had (I swear, I am jinxed when it comes to Ben & Jerry's ice-cream), I am even more disappointed in the food I could have received for free that would have gone to local food banks. I just hope that whomever found my coupon envelope realized what they found and took full advantage of all the great coupons I had collected. It would kill me to learn that the person simply threw it all away…
That left me in the unenviable position of being in a new place where I am unfamiliar without any coupons and in desperate need of restocking my food supply. I had to go in search of local grocery stores and only managed to find a P&W Markets — a grocery store with which I am not familiar at all.
I was really lucky in one aspect – bananas. P&W had discounted all of their browning bananas (which are perfect for me because I use them in my morning smoothies). I ended up buying 26 bananas for $1.98 and I'm seriously considering going back and buying more. In addition to the bananas, I purchased some chicken breasts and eggs. The prices on these two products weren't great, but they weren't terrible either. In the end I came home with 26 bananas, a dozen eggs and 4 chicken breasts for $6.66:
Once home, I pealed and cut up most of the bananas to freeze them (I had to look up on the Internet how to do this)
I need to make another trip tomorrow to see if I can find some more grocery stores in this area since I will be here a few weeks. I need to begin to plan my shopping strategy and it will be important to know which grocery stores I'll be able to use for deals.
Goal: 100 days eating on $1 a day
Current Money Spent: $47.19
Money Left to Spend: $52.81 ($5.54 must be spent at CVS)
Retail Value of Everything Purchased: $1268.64