My friend Ashleigh from Thankfully Thrifty was kind enough to take me shopping at Albertsons last weekend to share with me her talent for finding great deals on healthy food and safe products. It really helped in the deal-finding process that we were both child-free thanks to our husbands!
You see, I’ve not been doing so great with our budgeting lately…you might say that our family misses my part time job income more than I thought we would. So I’m sticking to my cute fabric cash envelopes for Groceries and Home purchases. We were down to the wire for the next few days of groceries.
We do have one location where we stash some extra cash – our change jar!
The last time Christian and I went to the grocery store together (it’s rare!) he noticed that the CoinStar machines now had a PayPal logo. We Googled and found out that now you can use the CoinStar machines located conveniently in most grocery stores to cash out funds from Paypal or add funds to Paypal. I’d only used CoinStar once before, years ago, when helping a friend clean house.
Now seemed the perfect time to cash in our coin jar to get a few things we needed before payday. Here I am at the CoinStar kiosk at Albertsons:
I soon realized that not only can you cash in your coins at this kiosk, but you can cash out funds from Paypal as well.
When I was getting paid via PayPal for freelance work last year, I could have gone to the kiosk to withdraw funds in cash any time. Good to know about this CoinStar option for the future.
Of course, I chose to add my coins to my PayPal account today. What was really fun was watching the total on the screen climb as it sorted the coins. Here’s a little #PayPalCoinStar video!
I ended up with $8.66. Not bad!
The only issue I had with the user experience was that the “Continue” button was located on the opposite side from where I expected it to be – watch out for that!
On to shopping: I went for bananas, milk, and eggs. Always on the lookout for cheap, fast meals, I also picked up 2 boxes of our family’s favorite.
Beans and rice – not just for Dave Ramsey fans! There are imitation brands, but I like this brand because it does not have trans fats. We like to pair our beans and rice with cornbread muffins made from a (trans fat free) mix I buy at Costco for a complete meal.
And I found this great deal on huge plums – plums are not in the Dirty Dozen, so they’re OK to buy non-organic (I also remove the skins for my kids).
The kids are loving them!
And heads up, my mama friends – Albertsons carries organic squeezy food now! Those of you who know me in real life know that my kids go through these like crazy, and that I never pay more than $1 per pouch. Well, here they are, 10 for $10:
Run out and get them now, while the sale is still on!
A conscientious tip about coffee – did you know that you can get organic and Fair Trade Certified K-cups for your Keurig?
I have a Keurig and although I use my reusable K-cup filter the majority of the time, I like to keep a variety of K-cups on hand for overnight guests or when I am so tired that I can’t comprehend disassembling/reassembling my K-cup reusable filter! As you probably know, this is a great price for K-cups.
Finally, a “safe products” tip. Here I am, using my phone to scan a bath product with the GoodGuide iPhone app.
It’s my favorite app for finding out if the ingredients in a product cause any concerns (and also how I attempt to detect my nemesis, phthalates!). It will give you the health rating and also the societal conscience rating of the company. Love it!
So there you have it, some tips for scraping the barrel of your home for loose change using CoinStar and PayPal, buying smart whether it’s organic or not, and my favorite app for making conscientious choices at the grocery store!
More from me: Google+ photo album of my shopping trip
*NOTE: I have been paid (at Coinstar’s request) to try and blog about Coinstar’s products/services as part of a Collective Bias shopper insights study. All opinions are my own. #CBias