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

How Frustrating

Walmart Pylon Sign
Frustrating…]

I had an experience at Walmart recently that left me extremely frustrated.  Expensively frustrated.

While I know that Walmart isn’t perfect (no business is), I have never been anti Walmart.  I have always found it a reasonable place to go for inexpensive items I need for my life.  That could be flashlights, food, beauty items, etc.  In fact, in August, I purchased a laptop and printer from walmart.com for Mirror Image to use now that she has transitioned to Middle School.

So it was for said printer that I returned to Walmart for replacement ink cartridges.  I purchased $42 worth of HP printer products from the local Walmart.   I went home and…nothing.  The printer wouldn’t read the cartridges. While disappointing, I knew that I had a 30 day exchange window and would try again.

Boy was I wrong.

7 days later, I am at the Customer Service (hah!) counter having a disturbing conversation with an assistant manager about how cartridges could not be exchanged if opened. How do I know that it does or does not work if I can’t open it? Sorry, I can’t do it. Fine, what is the resolution, then?  I spent $42 here in good faith expecting to get a product to use as advertised. Walmart doesn’t refund or exchange cartridges that are open.  I can’t help you. Who can?  My manager and he is not here.  Fine, I will wait while you call him.  I can’t do that – I don’t have his number.  Blah, blah, blah…

This circular, fruitless conversation went on for a loooong time.  My request for resolution and feedback from someone in charge yet, with no authority to do anything except say silly unhelpful words and repeat that she cannot contact her manager.

Funny. When I was in retail, I could always contact my manager if there was a problem.  I would think Walmart has more problems than most considering how omnipresent they are.

So, in addition to paying $42 for products I can never use, I have learned a lesson. I can start shopping other places instead –   like Target or Amazon.  In fact, the same black & white and color cartridges I got from Walmart for $42, I purchased for $28 from Amazon.  With FREE shipping. I lost some money in the short term with Walmart but will recoup it in lower prices going forward with other retailers.

So yes I am disappointed but, no one is forcing me to continue to shop at Walmart.  And I won’t.

 anti Walmart

Thrifty Image  Mirror