Blew My Mind

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

family treephoto © 2007 Rick Audet | more info (via: Wylio) has been doing heavy TV advertising on some of the networks I watch regularly. I know a few people who have used Ancestry and have enjoyed it. Personally, I haven't had much interest in digging into my family history. I mean, I want to know, but I don't want to know; if you know what I mean.

When I first started seeing the commercials, I got really jaded. I don't know where it came from. The conversations in my head went something like this:

Thanks, but no thanks. I'd rather not see written evidence of how my family was probably split up and I definitely don't want to know who owned my great, great grandparents. But thank you anyway.

It got to the point where I'd change the channel when the commercial came on. It seems so irrational and silly, but it's true. I'd get this little ball of anger in the pit of my stomach. I know I could spend several weeks on a therapists' couch to figure out where all those feelings came from! 

I do get angsty and bitter during Black History Month so I'm sure there were some residual feelings from there. Call me crazy, but the mental images I get when I think of African Americans and trees aren't the kind to inspire me to log onto their site.

But then I saw another commercial and my whole perspective changed. This one had an African American man as the actor. He said pretty much what I had been thinking, only politely. Then, at the end of the commercial, he said something along the lines of, "sure, I saw that my grandfather came here as a slave. But I also saw that he ended up a business owner."


My mind? It was blown.

In that one sentence, Ancestry managed to completely change how I felt about the site. I'd been thinking of it from a totally negative viewpoint. I had such big blinders on, I couldn't even see the positives. Who knows what kind of information I could find if I were ever to dig into our family history?! It can't all be bad, right?

I guess I should say thank you to Ancestry. I always appreciate a good swift kick in the arse and being forced to re-think previous misconceptions. ETA: Heather's comment below reminded of something I meant to put in my post which is to commend Ancestry for recognizing there might be a need for that kind of commercial message and handling it in such a compassionate (though realistic) manner.

Who or what has kicked you in the arse before?

*This is not a sponsored post. I tried to find the actual commercial on You Tube but couldn't. If you find it please leave a link!

Stock Up Trips to the Store - Is it Worth It? | Frugal Friday

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Oops! Forgot to schedule this for yesterday!

I'm going out of town this weekend. One thing I had on my to-do list is stock up on a few groceries for the boys. I didn't have time to do a major grocery run so I chose the best advertised specials from this week's grocery store fliers and made three stops to Albertson's, Ralph's and Vons. 

Yes, that is a kind of a lot of running around, especially with gas prices the way they are. But, I was able to take advantage of several specials and combine them with coupons for added savings. That's when making a special trip is worth the effort. For example, take a look at my Ralph's trip:

I took advantage of the March Into Savings promo and got an automatic $10 off my total. I forgot one coupon in my binder (grrrr!) so I only used 2 which took another $2 off. Before the coupons and promo my total would have been $49.48. For my 22 items I paid $18.60. Also, with today's purchase I've earned enough bonus points this period to get a $5 voucher good on any future shopping trip. 

My Albertson's and Vons trips were similar. I spent a little more at Albertson's than planned because I got a few things not on my list (green foods for Tyler's St. Patrick's Day lunch). Still, my total for 22 items was $46.60* ($104.63 before savings). My Vons total for 10 items was $20.42 ($40.84 before savings). 
Before savings: $195.31
Spent: $85.62
Savings: $109. 69
Items: 54

Not too bad. The most time I spent was in going through the fliers, cutting the coupons and making my lists. If the sales are good, and they include items you actually use, take advantage of it. At Albertson's, Honey Nut Cheerios are $1.88 this week. They are pretty much all Tyler eats so I stocked up. I bought 6 boxes (and one Kix for me). 

I used $4.65 in coupons and paid $9.51 for seven boxes of cereal, or $1.35 each. Since I really can't stand paying more than $1.50 for cereal, this trip was definitely worth it. I had two more $1 off coupons and would have purchased 5 more but I don't have that much room in my stockpile. 

People use the phrase "time is money" to say why they don't like to use coupons. I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again: we make time for the things that are important to us! Saving money is important to me. Not paying full price if I don't have to is important to me.

Now, if only I could take that $109 in savings and set it aside. If I kept adding all my savings for the rest of the year, I bet I'd have my Louboutain's by Christmas! 

So, where do you stand? Is it worth it to you to make special trips to the store? How do you feel about couponing in general? 
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