So, I went out today to try shopping with coupons. I was pretty serious about that when we lived in California, but hadn't done much since then, and figured I should start again. I'd found a list of things to look for, gone through the newspaper coupons I'd clipped, and printed some, too, after a bit of a mishap with buying the wrong ink cartridge. I had everything ready and organized, and then I got scared off by KMart.
It's not like that's never happened before -- I've never been in one that wasn't at least a little dingy and ill-stocked, but this one was a bit beyond what I was used to, even. The lights in the center section of the store (over clothing) were out, the ceiling seemed too low, and everything seemed oddly expensive, if it was there at all. When I noticed that disposable razors were in a locked case, I decided to leave. Apparently, said KMart is also haunted. Asking someone who'd worked in the area about that revealed that it was either haunted, and also frequented by homeless people, or haunted by a dead homeless person. The phone connection was a bit garbled, but I could believe either.
So, moved on from there to Big Lots, because I'd never been in one before, and found it benignly depressing, and then to Food City, which was shabby but friendly. I got a ton of tomatillos, mangos, nectarines, and bananas for about $7, which made me happy, and people stopped to look at Milo in his baby carrier. Drove to the newer, posher shopping center and found some very marked-down cashmere sweaters that I'll make into little pants to use over cloth diapers, and a couple of t-shirts and soap. I did manage to use a $10 off $50 coupon there, which was nice, and was followed by an employee who either thought I was shoplifting, or was just bad at flirting.
Did pretty well at Target, with 75% off a lot of items in the dollar section. You do the math, but that worked out to a bunch of reusable bags, and a couple of bath toys. I grabbed a vinyl duck and tugboat which light up and make noises when you either touch the little metal contacts on the bottom, or put them in water. Those were great fun until we put them in an actual bath, and the duck started sounding a little off. By the time we were halfway through lathering and rinsing, the poor duck was silent, and its light was no more. The tugboat still works, at least, and I might try another Target to look for a replacement duck. It's not like Milo's exactly old enough to ask for a Wii or iPod, so I could at least make sure his bath toys aren't too crappy.
Have looked at the deal listings for the drug stores for tomorrow, so maybe we'll do a bit better then. Chances are, we won't, but at least we'll get out for a bit.