Taking out the Trash: those bloody store match-ups
Time for another edition of Taking out the Trash, the semi-regular posts that may or may not have something to do with saving money but are not specific deals. I have a lot on my mind so I’m cleaning out the “garbage” in my head by Taking out the Trash.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the store match-ups that are part of Green Bay Consumer. When I first started doing this, I was blessed that I didn’t have to do the store match-ups because Shelly at GB Savers already did it! She took care of Festival and Piggly Wiggly which is more than I could ask for. Copps/Pick ‘n Save store information can be had by heading to Pocket Your Dollars or Creative Couponing.
Whew! I dodged that bullet because match-ups did not look like much fun. And I’ve always said I don’t want to do what everyone else was doing. I could concentrate on a lot of other things besides the grocery stores like events going on in the area, news articles, and even a few interesting items from my beloved Amazon.com.
Then Shelly got very busy with her six kids. Some weeks I’d be waiting until Tuesday to see the Festival Foods match-ups. I know there are plenty of people like me who do shop the first day a flyer comes out. Since there really wasn’t anyone else doing Festival at the time besides someone going off the Mauston, Wisconsin store (which isn’t even a Skogen-owned Festival), I asked Shelly if I would be stepping on toes if I started doing Festival. She said not a problem!
Shelly went on “maternity leave” last summer so I offered to do Piggly Wiggly for her. Then she up and moved to Arizona! Crap. Now I was doing two sets of match-ups. Not ideal, but it really couldn’t be Green Bay Consumer without the mention of the grocery stores, right?
I also arranged to post highlights of the Copps/Pick ‘n Save match-ups from Karen at Creative Couponing to give Green Bay Consumer readers a general idea of what types of items were on sale.
After I did my research last summer and found that Woodmans and Aldis were the lowest-priced grocery stores in our area, I felt the need to include them on Green Bay Consumer, too. Aldi is “easy” enough because they put their ad online, but Woodmans… that takes a while because there is no sales flyer (except for 3-4 times a year). So once a month I walk around the store, matching up coupons with their in-store specials.
And since Kwik Trip has really good deals on groceries, I felt it necessary to include them. What about my home-away-from home, Target? Sure, we’ll post match-ups for those, too! And one of my blogging partners does Dollar General, so why not post highlights?
And then came Menards, courtesy Sarah’s Deals. Well, if I mention Menards, I should mention Fleet Farm, right? Because as my brothers taught me, if you can’t get it at Fleet, you don’t need it.
Let’s not forget KMart stores offering double coupons, too. (sigh)
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Holy CRAP there’s a lot of store match-ups on Green Bay Consumer now! How the heck did that happen? (See above, that’s how!)
- I guess I’m outwardly musing how Green Bay Consumer got so heavily grocery match-up centered and is trending away from what I wanted to do in the first place: Consumer-related news and advice. Sure, groceries play a part. Heck, I teach classes on couponing, for crying out loud! I just never wanted them to or expected them to become the center of the Green Bay Consumer universe.
- Depending on the store, each match-up takes anywhere between 2 – 4 hours unless it’s provided by one of my money-saving friends. I try to include anything that has a coupon or non-coupon items that are a very good deal.
- It’s not up to me to decide for you if a deal is good enough. If you’re out of Agent X and it’s on sale this week at Piggly Wiggly AND there’s a coupon available, even if it’s not the best price I’ve seen lately, I’m still going to mention it.
- Woodmans can take up to ten hours each month, 3 hours in-store, then many hours deciphering my handwriting and typing up lists.
- Have I mentioned that my “pay” is about $.08/hour before taxes? Granted, I choose to think of this as a philanthropic adventure. But there is a difference between volunteering my time and having time taken away from the family.
- My Wingman Stephanie has brought a little bit of sanity back to my life by taking over Target, Fleet and Aldi each week. THANK YOU, Steph. Those articles would probably have been discontinued if not for her. Let’s give Steph a Woot!
- Besides our day off (Saturday), we are working on some sort of grocery or store match-up for somebody every single day.
- Oh, crap! There’s a Copps/Pick ‘n Save Superb Cutback booklet sitting on my end table that came in Wednesday’s paper. Yeah, that’s not going to get done this week. Waaay too nice out to sit at the computer, sorry! Scratch that, NOT sorry. Okay, maybe a little. (check Creative Couponing for the match-ups)
- This Wednesday, when I normally do the Piggly Wiggly match-ups, I found some other information I felt was important to get to readers. So “The Wobby Hog” waited.
- In fact, in the time it normally takes me to do one store match-up, I wrote up 6-7 articles that got a lot more visible interest (the “like” button on Facebook, comments made. Retweets), than I do when I slave for hours on end on The Pig (or Festival, or Woodmans…)
- I don’t feel it’s necessary to apologize if I don’t do the match-ups right away. I’ll get to it when my life allows it.
- However, as someone who spent her entire life in newsrooms, I’m used to deadlines. And here on Green Bay Consumer, I have self-imposed ones. If I miss them, it sometimes can be crippling to actually get it done because in my mind, I’m already late!
- I know some of you might be leaping to conclusions, but don’t worry! Because I know that people are using the match-ups, they will continue. I just need to start rethinking my plan of attack for Green Bay Consumer, especially with summer just around the corner and four kids to entertain/keep out of my hair/deflect.
Got any good ideas? Besides a clone of myself?
The kids have a 1/2-day of school today so I am doing my Digital Detox a little early this week. We’re heading to the Botanical Gardens for National Public Gardens Day. Maybe I’ll see some of you there.
Enjoy this wonderful weekend. Moms, hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day. I don’t think I’ll be doing much web work (hint hint). We’ll see you back here on Monday!