Tag Archives: Sam’s Club

Good Doggy, Expensive Doggy

16 week old Golden Retriever puppy scratching fleas with leg in motion on a white background "Missy"

My doggy hasn’t been doing so well.  And we are both paying for it.

Last year, I decided to opt out of the Banfield Care Plan (The veterinary practice that is set up in PetSmart stores) because I found it expensive and inefficient.

What I loved about it was that from a scheduling perspective, I was always on top of teeth cleaning, regular exams and shots.  What I didn’t like was that I could never make the numbers match in my favor.  I was paying around $30 per month (young healthy dog plan) and even with the built-in discounts, I was still paying too much for teeth cleanings and the like.  So, I decided to just put a little aside each month to account for the teeth cleanings (around $200+), along with the exam costs (around $40) and save a little cash.

And then along came a case of the cooties.  Ewww.

The poor pooch was diagnosed with a yeast infection that stretched from her ears to her bottom.  Between the exam, tests and prescriptions, her tab came to about $500.  Ouch.

The good news is that she seems to be getting better. A lot less itching, that is for sure.

So here are some takeaways from the pet adventure that never should have been:

  • When the dog is scratching incessantly, do not wait any longer than you have to, to arrange a vet visit.  We may have been able to keep this at a more manageable allergic reaction rather than the yeast infection from hell if I had recognized her issues earlier
  • Some prescriptions for dogs can be filled by pharmacies that cater to humans.  The anti-fungal medication the Vet prescribed would have cost $143 at Banfield.  It cost $88 at Sam’s Club.
  • I am my pet’s advocate.  I have to learn to listen to what she cannot say.
  • YouTube has a video on everything!  I had never heard of this yeast infection condition before known as malassezia.  Yet, lo and behold, I looked it up and there were many peeping-Tom videos of owners helping their dogs, inexpensively, through the recuperation.  Their secret to success?  Selsun Blue. I grabbed a coupon off coupons.com and bought a bottle from Target.  After she finishes her medication at the end of the week, I am taking her to a Dog wash and treating her to a bath.
  • Dog washes are only $10 at PetValue!  Not chasing the dog around the backyard to bathe?  Priceless!!!

Here is to wishing all of our pets a happy and healthy holiday season!

Mirror

 

 

Thrifty Image

Monday Money Review

Magnifying Glass - Results

This weekend had its highs and lows.  Nothing went quite as planned.  Mirror Image’s friend left homesick for her family LATE Friday night so there was no actual sleepover. Since there was no sleepover, we decided to make this a mostly errand running and crafting weekend.  This had an impact the Weekend Money.

But, I will justify the spending later in the post, here’s is where we work out if this past weekend matched the expected weekend money. So here we go:

Before

  • Church (tithes/offering) = $28
  • Gas = $25
  • Personal Care (haircut, mani/pedi, etc.) = $0
  • Groceries = $0
  • Dollar Tree = $10
  • Vehicle Service/Repair = $0
  • Clothes Shopping = $0
  • Gifts = $0
  • Restaurant = $0
  • Zips Dry Cleaning = $0
  • Prescriptions = $0
  • Fun Outing = $25
  • Total = $88

After

  • Church (tithes/offering) = $28
    • Church (tithes/offering) = $28
  • Gas = $25
    • Gas = $22.73
  • Personal Care (haircut, mani/pedi, etc.) = $0
    • Personal Care (haircut, mani/pedi, etc.) = $0
  • Groceries = $0
    • Groceries = $41.66
  • Dollar Tree = $10
    • Dollar Tree = $7.92
  • Vehicle Service/Repair = $0
    • Vehicle Service/Repair = $0
  • Clothes Shopping = $0
    • Clothes Shopping = $0
  • Gifts = $0
    • Gifts = $0
  • Restaurant = $0
    • Restaurant = $0
  • Zips Dry Cleaning = $0
    • Zips Dry Cleaning = $0
  • Prescriptions = $0
    • Prescriptions = $0
  • Michael’s = $0
    • Michael’s = $4.23
  • JC Penney = $0
    • JC Penney = $3.17
  • Fun Outing = $25
    • Fun Outing = $0
  • Total = $88
    • Total = $107.71

Sam's Club Membership Gas Price

I was excited about this gasoline outing.  I have been a member of Sam’s Club for some months now but still hadn’t remembered to take advantage of club gas prices.  Fortunately, I saw the sign while driving on a different errand for only $1.52/gal.  I knew this was .14 less than at the Exxon closest to my home so I filled up.  The only downside is that when I saw my transaction on Mint, it registered as shopping, instead of fuel.  That means I won’t be seeing the 5% back on my Chase Freedom this time around.  Still, membership clearly has its privileges. Funny thing, I was so mesmerized by the price, that Sam’s Club and Walmart’s relationship to each other didn’t even register in my mind at the time. So the question becomes, do I keep my Walmart shopping ban strictly with Walmart or stretch to it’s other entities as well?  Dunno yet.

Ahhh, groceries. So with the unexpected free time this weekend, there was no reason to not visit the grocery store.  Especially once Mirror Image showed me this – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCAQMRAZVuY . What an awesome project for a Saturday.  Aldi doesn’t sell a huge selection of Jello and gelatins so we also had to shop at Shopper Food Warehouse.  While there, I also picked up some Cadbury eggs and Yokisoba noodles.  I had awesome coupons for both. While at Aldi I also picked up a big Chuck Roast for Sunday dinner.  For March, my family is eating vegetarian meals only. This was our meat celebration meal before the meatless challenge begins.

I picked up a 16oz bottle of Sprite, some cleaning supplies and garbage bags from the Dollar Tree.

There was unexpected shopping – I wanted to give the girls a paraffin wax hand spa treatment so I picked some up at Michaels with a 20% off coupon I had.  I also had a $10 off $10 coupon from JC Penney.  I tried to stay at the $10 purchase to make it a FREE item, but ultimately had to come out of pocket at the $3.17 for a new bath rug.  It was TOTALLY worth it considering the sorry state of my current bath rug.  Interesting fact, while at the JCP, I learned this location is closing on April 8th.  I have to admit to not shopping there regularly.  In fact, I only go when there is a $10 or $10 coupon floating around.  But, I will stop by in the next couple of weeks as they slash prices on inventory.  If the prices are low enough, I may start back-to-school shopping for Mirror Image and just hide them until August.

We decided to not go to RockinJump but rather, to have fun at home with our crafty projects, DVDs rented from the library and the Thrifty Pooch.

I failed at the Weekend Money plan overall but still didn’t spend on clothes and restaurants.  I will have to console myself with the small wins this time.

Thrifty Image Mirror

MONDAY MONEY REVIEW

Monday - Let's Do This

What a great weekend! I spent the weekend enjoying visiting relatives on Saturday, organizing and cleaning and watching Beyoncé have a sing/dance off with Bruno Mars.  On top of that, thanks to some awesome Game Day food specials at Aldi, I laid out a pretty fantastic spread to nibble one.

Here’s is where we work out if the weekend matched the expected weekend money so here we go:

Before

  • Church (tithes/offering) = $353
  • Gas = $0
  • Personal Care (haircut, mani/pedi, etc.) = $0
  • Groceries = $60
  • Dollar Tree = $10
  • Vehicle Service/Repair = $0
  • Clothes Shopping = $0
  • Auntie’s B-day gifts = $100
  • Restaurant = $30
  • Zips Dry Cleaning = $0
  • Prescriptions = $50
  • Fun Outing = $0
  • Total = $603

After

  • Church donation = $353
    • Church donation = $328
  • Groceries = $60
    • Groceries = $65
  • Dollar Tree = $10
    • Dollar Tree = $25.50
  • Vehicle Service/Repair = $0
    • Vehicle Service/Repair = $0
  • Clothes Shopping = $0
    • Clothes Shopping = $0
  • Auntie’s B-day gifts = $100
    • Auntie’s B-day = $100
  • Restaurant = $30
    • Restaurant = $0
  • Zips Dry Cleaning = $0
    • Zip’s Dry Cleaning = $0
  • Prescriptions = $50
    • Prescriptions = $63.60
  • Fun Outing= $0
  • Shopping – Ollie’s = $26.98
  • Total = 609.08

Hmmmm…I came right around budget but…

I spend too much on groceries.  I wanted to make some special foods for the Super Bowl and everything was delicious but this category needs to be tightened.

The Dollar Tree budget was blown because I decided to reorganize my bathroom closet as well as some shelves in the laundry area and the refrigerator.  I purchased some organizing bins and totes for the Dollar Tree to make sure everything has a place.  I am so pleased with how those spaces turned out!!

Auntie’s B-day celebration has been accomplished and enjoyed!

I didn’t need to use the budgeted $30 for restaurant this weekend because my dear Cousin treated!  I had yummy lobster tacos and couldn’t finish them all.  Unfortunately I left my doggie bag in my mom’s car.  It would have made a great pre-midnight snack.

Prescriptions from Sam’s Club cost a lot more than I was expecting.  I still have a deductible to meet combined with the fact that the lower cost I was expecting to receive was only if I was a Sam’s Club Plus Member.  It pays to read EVERYTHING.

I unexpectedly went shopping at  Ollie’s.  I had a coupon for 15% off the entire purchase and I used it to get more ice melt and a new shovel.  More snow is expected in the area this week and I want to be prepared.  Also, I want Mirror Image to start helping me out.  She is little but mighty and shoveling is best done is pairs Happy Face Wink.

So there is it. Weekend Money reconciled.  I am going to go back to working for the weekend now.

Thrifty Image Mirror

Monday Money Review

Monday - Let's Do This

It was a beautiful and productive weekend at the Thrifty Image household. Errand running,  a preteen sleepover, (more) shoveling and Church.  And great food, thank you Aldi and and Sam’s Club.

Here’s is where we work out if the weekend matched the expected weekend money so here we go:

Before

  • Church donation = $28
  • Groceries = $60
  • Dollar Tree = $30
  • Safelite (cracked window) = $0
  • Clothes Shopping = $0
  • Auntie’s B-day gifts = $100
  • Sam’s Club Rotisserie Chicken = $0
  • Zips Dry Cleaning = $0
  • Prescriptions = $20
  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum = $0
  • Total = $238

After

  • Church donation = $28
    • Church donation = $28
  • Groceries = $60
    • Groceries = $63
  • Dollar Tree = $30
    • Dollar Tree = $30.22
  • Safelite (cracked window) = $0
    • Safelite = $383.00
  • Clothes Shopping = $0
    • Clothes Shopping = $0
  • Auntie’s B-day gifts = $100
    • Auntie’s B-day = $0
  • Sam’s Club Rotisserie Chicken = $0
    • Sam’s = $7.97
  • Zips Dry Cleaning = $0
    • Zip’s Dry Cleaning = $0
  • Prescriptions = $20
    • Prescriptions = $0
  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum = $0
    • Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum = $0
    • Gas = $26.21
    • Walmart = $60.98
  • Total = 512.19

Way over…and not even on fun stuff.

Groceries category wasn’t too bad based on my projections but still more than it should be for 2 eaters in one week.  We restocked from the storm and this will last us until next week.

Dollar Tree total is fun because I actually purchased $50 worth of stuff but used $20 in coupons and in store promotions. Last week I saw this YT video – Dollar Tree Haul Brag.  I had no idea it was a thing to purchase items at the Dollar Tree and post a video about it. So that led me to videos like this –Dollar Tree Couponing and this –  Dollar Tree Couponing.  I was hooked on the idea of seeing if I could get those staples that I often go to the Dollar Tree T for (movie candy, cleaning products, etc.) for less. And I did!  This is what my Dollar Tree shopping looked like this weekend:

Dollare Tree Shopping with Coupons

The Pedigree Dentix dog snacks were FREE with coupons!!

My dog has enough snacks for 6 months, now.  The Lysol cleaners came to only 50 cents each.  Our supply and snack cabinets are now stocked, locked and loaded.

Windshield repair.  Sigh.  It turns out that my windshield could not be repaired because the crack is longer than a dollar bill.  So, it is replacement for me, not repair.  Thanks for having my back, Emergency Fund.

Auntie’s B-day celebration has been pushed back to next weekend.

I purchased a Sam’s Club membership that came with a bunch of goodies.  However, what I didn’t know was that you had to redeem those goodies within 2 weeks.  Yikes!  So instead of walking out with a rotisserie chicken, I walked out with the chicken, the breakfast platter (pastries) and a cheesecake platter (7 flavors).  Obviously I will be asking the kind people at work to help me nosh through this unexpected haul.  Since I purchased this through Groupon and there was no paperwork, I didn’t know about the 2 week deadline.  It pays to ask the basic questions at the membership counter.

Sam's Club Membership Goodies

I looked like a real member with all this stuff!

I also used $7.97 to purchase watermelon sticks. Mirror Image and I love watermelon. And all of this came in timely since I had some giggly girls doing sleepover/movie night this weekend.

I did not pick up the prescriptions.  I was so overwhelmed by having to get so much more food than I thought, I completely forgot.

I forgot I needed gas and didn’t account for it on Weekend Money. I was excited to get gas for only $1.76 per gallon at Exxon until I drove further down the street and saw it for $1.69 at Shell.  Hopefully using my Plenti rewards card helps close that gap when I go to cash in my points.

My daughter’s printer ran out of ink on Friday night so we purchased that and a couple of either personal care items from Walmart.  I have to find a cheaper ink opportunity. It is too expensive.

So there is it.  On the surface, major fail being $361.30 over projections.  However, I would have had to get the windshield replaced anyway in order to drive legally. Here’s hoping for no surprises next weekend!

Thrifty Image Mirror

 

 

Weekend Money

Weekend

The weekend is here and that means a loosening of the schedule, running of errands and spending some money.  At least that is how we do it in my neck of the woods.

Almost every weekend, when Mirror Image  and I venture out to run errands, we drive by a large Bank of America with a large parking lot that is across the street from a small PNC bank with a tiny parking lot.  Those places are usually packed.

I am inevitably stopped at a light at this intersection and while waiting, I make the usual observation that “folks are getting their weekend money”.   This use to fascinate my daughter.  Now  she doesn’t even look up from playing her free Minecraft imitation game on her FreedomPop phone.  Yes, I do say it a lot.  Not to judge.  Just as a funny observation.  I hate going to banks.  I bank electronically.  Hadn’t stepped foot in one in years before we set up Mirror Image’s savings account to hold her birthday money at the PNC across the street.  But clearly others still enjoy the process of going in to complete their money transactions or walking up to an ATM to do the same.

I started thinking though, that I can play the weekend money game, too.  I am going to pre-spend here on this post, then reconcile on Monday.  I plan for this to be another avenue of accountability and budgeting.  So here we go:

  • Church donation = $28
  • Groceries = $60
  • Dollar Tree = $30
  • Safelite (cracked window) = $0
  • Clothes Shopping = $0
  • Auntie’s B-day gifts = $100
  • Sam’s Club Rotisserie Chicken = $0
  • Zips Dry Cleaning = $0
  • Prescriptions = $20
  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum = $0
  • Total = $238

Groceries will be tricky. My usual weekly grocery goal is $40. Mirror Image is a foodie like me. And she has been cooped up in the house all week because of school closures due to the storm.  She is going to want to eat her freedom via her mom’s mad cooking skills.  Aldi has some awesome yummies in the ad this week so hopefully this will help me stay on budget.

I have discovered that Dollar Tree accepts coupons for real!  Last year I tried to use one when  I saw the sign but the cashier was clueless so I just gave up.  Well, thanks to youtube, I found out that coupons actually are accepted and I plan of stocking up on cleaning supplies and dog snacks.  I have coupons for Lysol toilet bowl cleaner, Puffs Tissue, Bounty and Canine Carry Outs.  All of these products are currently being sold at the Dollar Tree.

My windshield is a victim of the storm that came rolling through. I discovered the crack and feather driving home last night.  But no issues because I have insurance!  Nationwide covers windshield repair at 100%.  And Safelite will come to me tomorrow morning (I set up the appointment online). My prayer is that this is a true repair and not a replacement. If I have to replace it, my deductible is $400.

It is Auntie’s birthday next week! She will be 81. Flowers, gifts and homemade cupcakes for the birthday girl.

I am not buying any clothes in 2016.

No dry cleaning necessary this week.

I purchased a Sam’s Club membership last year through Groupon.  I got the $45 option which gave me one year of membership, a $20 gift card to spend and a:

  • Free rotisserie chicken (2.75lb—$4.98 value)
  • Free Daily Chef Breakfast Pastry Platter (54 ct—$19.98 value)
  • $14 Off a $14.98 Daily Chef 7-Flavor Cheesecake

I love this deal because I basically got all my money back and then some. This weekend is all about the rotisserie chicken.  Because of my 30 day Water Challenge, I have used none of my restaurant budget this month.  Getting this chicken for FREE will be a nice treat without budgetary impact.

While at Sam’s Club.  I hope to pick up a prescription.  This will be my first time using their prescription services and I am hopeful that the price difference is as significant as I have heard.  According to the price list online, I should see great savings.

I mentioned that Mirror Image has been inside all week (except for walking the dog with me).  I picked up some Ripley’s Believe it of Not Museum tickets through Groupon last month for $18 for 2 entrants.  We may catch the commuter train downtown and visit the Museum and celebrate her excellent report card.  Not extra costs here.

So that’s the weekend money plan.  Looking forward to Monday’s accounting.

Thrifty Image Mirror