I still watch for good prices, but I don't clip coupons unless they're in the Joann's flyer or I'm planning a trip to Michaels.
I was going to say that I'd stopped planning out dinners around the weekly sales, but that's not quite true. I stop at the store with a good meat department and make a trip down the aisle to see what the deals are. If there's something great I plan meals around it. Other than that, I buy my groceries at the three stores that have decent prices. If we still lived in town and I had quick access to a dozen different grocery stores, I'd probably do things differently.
The main characters in the mysteries I've been reading this week are some serious bargain hunters!
A Deal to Die For is the second book in the Good Buy Girls series. Maggie Gerber is hoping to buy some of Vera Madison's fabulous vintage clothing to stock her new resale shop, but when Vera is found dead, Maggie finds herself in a tangle of old secrets and new hostilities. Unlike 50% Off Murder, the first book in the series, this one focuses more on the murder and characters than the shopping.
Eternally 21 is the first in a new series -- the Mrs. Frugalicious Shopping Mysteries. Maddie Michaels is working hard to maintain her family's standard of living after her husband, a finance expert with his own television show, loses their nest egg in a Ponzi scheme. She's become an absolute pro at clipping coupons and scouting out sales and runs a successful blog to share her tips with a growing audience of readers.
Keeping up appearances means keeping her identity as "Mrs. Frugalicious" secret from absolutely everyone, even when an overzealous store manager sees her checking notes in her purse and accuses her of shoplifting. When the woman turns up dead a few hours later and Maddie is seen as a prime suspect, things get even more difficult.
I can't wait for the next book in this series, which according to the author's website is set on Black Friday. Eternally 21 was a great read that kept me guessing and turning pages until the end. Maggie's efforts to keep her friends and family in the dark and her family afloat until her husband can straighten out their finances and his career make her a very likable character. She's determined and sometimes frustrated, but she never seems to sink into the self-pity that I've seen in so many other mystery characters lately. But the more Maggie tries to clear her name and get herself out of trouble, the worse things get.
Her disastrous trip to the grocery store convinced me that I'm in no position to try extreme coupons. Even if I did live closer to the stores with the sales, I've got four kids to juggle. No way I'm adding a price bible and coupon file to the mix! I'm pretty good at keeping track of which stores have the best prices on what, but beyond that I think I've got my hands full already.
Another neat thing about this book -- the shopping tips are included as footnotes instead of tacked onto a few pages at the end. If you want a little more information about how Maggie is saving money, it's right there. If not, it's easy enough to skip. I learned a few things while I was being entertained by the mystery!
Disclosure -- the books are from the library. For more pretty knitting projects to drool over, check out On the Needles at Patchwork Times and Work in Progress Wednesdays at Tami's Amis.