I Try the Deals for You

Tonight I am physically exhausted because I was out pushing the stroller ALL DAY trying out deals to report the results to you. OK, to tell the truth I was out all day because I get a little overly obsessed with completing my day's plans sometimes, and my seemingly simple plan of visiting a Jewel other than the one by my house to look for those Playtex cooking gloves that were free after coupon through today kept getting thwarted. I really wanted the gloves to make these clever Halloween decorations:


 Get it? They're like disembodied hands. The gloves will also be used to make the ice for the punch at the Halloween party Nutmeg's throwing for her little friends.

First I got two kids bundled and strapped into the car only to find that the battery was dead. Turns out -- according to both girls -- the 2-year-old turned on the dome light yesterday for fun. Then I put the 2-year-old in the stroller and the infant in the sling and walked from Oak Park to Forest Park to go to the hardware store for mouse traps, and then I tried to walk from there to the River Forest Jewel and I got THIS CLOSE but it was lunchtime and then I had to book back to Oak Park to pick my kid up from school. Since the 2-year-old fell asleep in the stroller and we had 2 hours before the 5-year-old's tae kwon do class, I thought it was a safe bet to walk to the OTHER Jewel on Roosevelt and look for them there. And I DID find something at least close to the gloves there and bought four boxes along with 16 boxes of pasta for a total of $2.88, which is great and all, but it was a waaay farther walk than I had realized, and by the time we were walking back we were so late for tae kwon do that we ended up wasting $7 on a cab. Can you believe a cab even passed by in Oak Park? And I put my kids in it without car seats? That is legal when you're in a cab, right? Still. What a crappy mom.

OK, but I did not start this post to tell you about how I became a living example of What Not to Do in the Pursuit of Bargains (waste money, waste your entire day, endanger your family). I started it to tell you the results of several of the deals I wrote about here recently and have now tried:

1. Kids eat free at Steak N Shake. We went to the one at Gurnee Mills Sunday night on our way back from Kenosha. The staff could not have been more lovely to us despite the fact that the place was more crowded than an IHOP at bartime and our 2-year-old cried pretty much the entire time we were there except when she was eating her free sliders. We apparently did not spend $8 on our adult meals (must have been close, the waitress thought we were going to make it) because we were initially charged for the second kid's meal. But then the guy at the checkout kindly took the second meal off for me, even though I was using coupons for the adult meals, and our total bill was under $8 for two adult burgers and two kids' meals and one cup of coffee. Except of course we had to leave a $5 tip because of the huge mess we made and all of the crying. Don't you love eating out with your kids? (If your answer is yes, next time I want to eat out with your kids, and you can eat out with mine.)

2. Kids eat free at Boston Market. Today on my marathon hike through three suburbs (Oak Park, Forest Park and River Forest), I stopped at the Boston Market where those three towns border one another. Their deal is, spend $6, get up to two free kids' plates, but only if the 2 kids are present. I got a chicken pot pie with one side and a corn biscuit for $6.50, and they gave me one kids plate, whch was quite large (this is the tray it came on):



 and consisted of a chicken leg and thigh, a side and a biscuit AND a little bottle of Dean's chocolate milk. I tried to get them to give me a second kids meal for my infant, but the lady said the free meals were only for kids ages 1-14. I think she might have made that age 1 thing up, but oh well, it's not like the baby was actually going to eat it. This deal is quite generous and I plan to do it again, hopefully when I have both my older kids with me. The 2-year-old and I shared the kids' meal for lunch (she eats like a bird) and then I split the pot pie with the 2 kids for dinner along with a nice salad and a can of those 14-cent Pillsbury Grands (gotta use those up before the new shipment comes in!)

3. Free coffee at 7-Eleven: We were making good time on our walk from Boston Market to school pickup, so I stopped in at 7-Eleven to redeem one of these coupons for a free coffee. The nice man at the register scanned it and it worked fine, not even any tax charged, and no funny looks from him, just a smile. Hope he doesn't get sick of me in the next two weeks; then again, our 7-Eleven gets robbed so often he's probably relieved to see someone wielding only a coupon.

4. Other deal intelligence from the field: 1) I finally saw some boxes of Kellogg's advertising the $10 "rebate" deal; they were Mini Wheats, Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes, and they had the "more fiber" label shown on the $2/2 coupon I have, too. If you have $2/2 or $1/1 (look for blinkie boxes) coupons, the deal at Jewel this week will get you 5 boxes for $5, and you can get $10 for three of them. It's not cash, it's like a voucher to buy certain categories of stuff, but still, it's not bad. I have so much cereal, though -- I'm holding out for a lower price. Free would be good! 2) I still have no more clearanced diapers at my CVS. 3) I stopped into a Walgreens to look for some of those kids' coupon books that are supposed to be on clearance, but all I saw was a guy bending over to display his entire butt and it was not a clean one. Yikes! I hope you understand when you say I had to leave Walgreens at that point. 4) OK this is not from the field but it is awesome: Mashup Mom says you will only have to buy 8 tubes of Crescent rolls to do the moneymaking Catalina deal. 5) Woodman's has a Fall Savings book out with manufacturer's coupons, including $1/2 Breyer's ice cream and $1/2 Ben & Jerry's ice cream.



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SuburbanMatron said:

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This is awesome, Carrie! I love this Deal Seeking Mom Hits the Street stuff! You've got way more stamina than me honey. But that is great news, especially about the kids' meals.

Mom2mom said:

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That is some great savings. I'm new to saving with coupns so thank you. The one thing is I know I don't like the Boston Market deal because the quality of the food went way down. A tip I have is try a kids eat free site. The one I like is since there's more than chains on it. But use what you like. Have a great rest of your day and I look forward to reading you tips.

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