eating well and looking good for less

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Guess what I bought?!?

Hint: it was milk. And cereal. We have "are you mentally ill? why do you have so much cereal?!?" amounts of cereal in the house right now. I am pleased with this.

$1.44, and I didn't use ANY product-specific manufacturer coupons! I had a Shop Rite store coupon for the free container when you buy three Kellogg's cereals, a free milk coupon, and $18 worth of various OYNO coupons. According to my receipt, I saved $38.04 or 96.2% on this shopping trip.

I wanted to make hummus yesterday (the food of the gods, *sigh*), but we didn't have lemons and we ran out of olive oil earlier in the week. I use olive oil for everything, even baking. It's my go-to cooking oil. Running out of olive oil is like running out of... of... of, um, I have not had enough coffee this morning and so a brilliant simile eludes me. Like running out of something that I really need. Yeah. So mainly, we went to the supermarket to get some olive oil and lemons. But since I was there, I figured I may as well do the cereal deal once again, since even without any coupons the value of the milk and container exceeds the purchase price of the cereal. Plus, now I have nine boxes of cereal towards the ten I need for the Kellogg's gas rebate.

Without coupons, I paid $1.99 for each box. Each box earns me the equivalent of $1 in gas, $1.27 in milk, and 99c in containers, for a total of $3.26 in product/value earned per box. Ha ha! Awesome.

Marshmallows, because what do you do when you have a wall of Rice Krispies? Duh.

In other news... My master plan, which I've been working towards for quite some time, is to get all credit card debt paid off, get my husband's credit score way high, apply for a good rewards card, and then start using credit cards strategically in order to earn rewards. I am a big fan of credit, guys. You aren't going to see me cutting my cards into little pieces or freezing them in blocks of ice! No way. We don't have spending problems, and I think that when used carefully, credit cards are a fantastic tool, and a whole lot safer to use than debit cards. And YES, let's get it out of the way: credit card companies are big entities whose sole purpose in existence is to remove money from your account and put it into theirs, and they're really, really good at it.

But... You know how much I love gaming a system? I mean, did you read the this post? Because if you did, I think you know the answer to this question. When used carefully, to purchase items which you were going to buy anyway and which you have the ability to pay for, credit cards offer the opportunity to save and/or earn mucho bucks. Plus, from a practical standpoint, I'd rather have someone steal my credit card number and wipe out the credit card company, than steal my debit card number and wipe out my bank account. Sure, you're gonna get the money back eventually, but which one will be more of a hassle?

So, yesterday I had my husband call up and request a lower interest rate on his credit card, which currently has a very low balance. The first rep claimed he couldn't help. Husband was about to give up, but I made scowly faces in his general direction, so he put on his work voice, asked to be transferred to someone else who could help, and got a more senior rep. The second rep also couldn't or wouldn't help with the interest rate, but DID offer to waive/credit the past three months worth of interest (since our balance is so low, does this mean that they'll owe us money?), plus he upgraded the card to a no-annual-fee rewards card. Score! It pays to ask!

My master plan continues apace!

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