Army Pharmacies suck

Well, that may be a bold, general statement. I am sure not ALL Army hospital pharmacies suck and the ones that do, certainly can’t suck ALL of the time (like when I got my awesome drugs while in labor with the wee ones) but today, this pharmacy – SUCKED.

I called in my refill for Xanax yesterday. Yes, I waited till I was almost out cause I didn’t want to be flagged in the system for being a dopehead by planning ahead. Anyways, the automated system told me I could pick up my prescription after 2 pm today.

So, at 4:15 I went and got my number, sat down, waited 30 minutes and then went up to the counter when my number was called.

Oh, didn’t you know there was a “glitch” in their system and my refill wouldn’t be ready for another 48 hours?

I explained the fact that THEIR system told me it would be ready and that I can’t really run out of this stuff because you can’t just STOP taking it (could be really bad! And they should know that, since they are the PHARMACY!) but they basically told me there was nothing they could do.

Like they don’t have 489y479789798789782890485897439 pills of Xanax back there were they could fill my damn refill. Customer service. HELLO! Except, they don’t think they have to give customer service, cause it is SOCIALIZED medicine and it SUCKS.

So, I asked how to get my prescription transferred to another pharmacy. They gave me the info I needed and off to Walgreens I went.

After my 45 minute drive to Walgreens (speeding most of the way because I had to get there before 6 pm when the Army pharmacy closed) I walked up to the counter and said, “I just had an awful experience at (insert Army hospital name here). Can you please help me?”

Within 15, yes FIFTEEN, minutes, not only had they called and gotten my prescription transferred over, it was filled and they were paging my name over the speaker. I didn’t even have time to get my on-sale, going-to-be-free-actually-going-to-be-money-maker-cause-they-were-going-to-give-me-3-dollars-in-register-rewards-after-purchase into the cart before they called my name – THAT’S how fast they were.

Yes, I had to pay $3 out of pocket for my meds. But you know what? I think I am going to keep going to Walgreens for every.single.medication. the doc puts me on. All those drugs the Army buys HUGE supplies of to keep the cost down? Whatever! I will pay my $3 and let the Army pay Walgreens $67 for the prescription.

At least at Walgreens they are nice. And helpful. And care about my business because, uh, that’s why they are business.

Unlike this suckfest Army pharamacy.

*note – never had a problem at any of the other pharmacies on this post – just this particular one. And I did already put in an ICE comment – which probably won’t do much. And yes, I am venting. Oops.

** Moral of the story? Socialized medicine, while at times seemingly wonderful, also seemingly sucks. Stupid pharmacy.

Summer lovin’ ~ ~ ~

Having a blast!!!!!

Saturday night we went to the “dueling piano’s” show on post – it was actually pretty good. Much better than I expected it to be and the turnout was much more than we expected as well. Overall it was a great time.

After that, me and the hubby went and met some friends for some drinks across the street from where we live. It was really low-key and I even got to hear the music (well some of it) that I played on the jukebox, which always makes me a happy, happy girl!

Then Sunday morning came. It kinda hurt to get up (drinks) but I had to get to the store to get my coupons before they were all gone! I am so happy that I did, cause just 2 hours later when we went back to the store, all of the major city newspapers were gone (with all the BEST variety of coupons).

So, I clipped and sorted and packaged the ones I won’t use to mail to my cousin who does coupon swaps. In the process of doing this, Mr. “O” comes in, kisses me and says “it’s time to go!”

Not knowing what he meant, I just kinda looked confused.

I guess he was ready to take the boat out on the lake, cause while I was clipping coupons, he had hooked the trailer up to the truck, loaded up an ice chest full of drinks and snacks, had the girls already changed into their bathing suits with sunscreen ALREADY on.

How I missed all of this activity around me, I don’t know. Coupons must be pretty sexy.

At least I didn’t have to deal with any of the prep work. I just changed into my bathing suit and boat clothes, jumped in the truck and went along for the ride! Woot! Best boat day EVER!

Using Coupons for good….

 I am sure many of you are aware (or should be aware) of the horrible tornados that have been wrecking havoc across our nation.

Some of our local business have been holding drives to obtain items to bring down to the Joplin, MO area. They are paying for the Semi truck to bring the donations, they just needed donations.

My family has been so blessed. Even when times were tight and we had no idea how everything was going to get paid – everything did get paid and we always had food in our bellies, a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, running water, and many other unnecessary things in life that, over time, we all take for granted.

So, in order to continue teaching the children about giving, we decided to use the coupons that we had to help make a difference for some families out there. Families who have lost everything.

To the store we went, with my coupon binder. No, everything wasn’t at a rock bottom price. Yes, things were on a “sale” – but I know in another week or two they would be cheaper. But the need isn’t in a week or two. The need is NOW.

We obtained over $250 worth of goods for the good people of Joplin, MO for $85, using coupons. We sent non-perishable food, body wash, deodorant, toothpaste, diapers, razors, shaving cream, feminine hygiene products  and baby wipes. We also sent extra bedding that we had around here. No, it may not be brand new – but it is in excellent condition, it is clean, and it will be a blanket for someone.

I find it important to make sure my children realize how blessed we truly are and to always help others in their time need – even if all that could be contributed was one tube of toothpaste, that one tube helps someone in a way that can never be measured.

I am proud of my current town. The truck was full of donations. Americans may be a lot of things to this world but there is one thing we most certainly are: GIVING. I am proud of how we stand together through devastation, even when it isn’t our own personal devastation. There are so many reasons to be proud to be an American, but this one gets me every time. Our ability to open our hearts, and wallets, to people we never knew and will never meet, but we are there for them.

But going to the store, buying items with coupons also taught my children how to stretch their charity dollars. Which is also important to me, because I want to make the biggest impact that I can with the resources that I have available.

Our coupons allowed us to do that today. Those little pieces of paper allowed my family to do more than what we would have previously been able to do.

Coupons are good.

 

The second bane of my exsistance….

The first bane of exsistance is laundry – but that is an entire post just for itself. This one is about Toliet-Paper – the always needed no-matter-what-the-price.

Worse thing in the world? Realizing that you are OUT of toliet paper when you *REALLY* need some. Even worse? You are the only one in the house old enough to drive to the store to get some toliet paper and *you* are the one who needs it.

This hasn’t happened to me *recently* – but it has happened. Gross. No more details needed.

So – as part of my stockpile, I am ensuring that we are NEVER going to run out of toliet paper. Sales + coupons = savings on something that I am going to buy, that you are going to buy, that most normal, sane people in the western world are going to buy. And buy on a regular basis.

By not shopping sales+coupons=savings for toliet paper, you really should just use those dollar bills to wipe your butt. Because this isn’t a “maybe I will never buy or use item” nor is it a “it’s not organic and that’s all I eat” item. It is a STAPLE item that EVERYONE uses.

At least, I really really hope they do.

Do you stockpile toliet paper? How much toliet paper is TOO much toliet paper? Can there ever be such a thing as TOO much toliet paper with a house full of girls who use a roll every time they enter the bathroom – even if it is just to brush their teeth?

Just getting my nifty list together….

Got the grocers sales ads from the paper today! Went through them a few times and decided that the one or two items I would like to get from the other “secondary” stores aren’t at a price worth it for me to drive there.

So Dillons, here I come with my money and my coupons again! YaY!

My list isn’t really long, but only 2 items don’t have coupons to go with them – yet. I am thinking about looking online to see if there are some printables that I can take with me.

Good thing the list isn’t really that long – I am running out of grocery money in the budget! I am going to have to rethink my “stockpile” amount strategy when it comes to the budget.

And, in other news, Mr. “O” could be home as soon as…… Thursday!!!!!! Could. Not going to expect that, though. But yeah. I have the kids cleaning like no one’s business. While I sit here and blog, make grocery lists, work on finishing this silly paper of mine that is about “how to motivate the workforce”… haha! Just tell them daddy is coming home and if the house isn’t clean he is going to spaz out! Works everytime! Paper done! 🙂

Stupid mistake – Make sure you really KNOW the policy!

I went to a local grocer today to get some items that were loss leaders. These were items that my family will use, so why not save the money and buy them when they are at a VERY low price – even without a coupon?

While at the store, I was walking up and down the aisles and saw items on sale that I did have coupons for. After doing the math in my head, (thinking I UNDERSTOOD the coupon policy at this store) I threw the extra things in the cart, thinking I was making REALLY good purchases.

Well, it turns out I wasn’t. Not that the purchases were bad – they weren’t – but they weren’t AS good as I projected them to be.

My stupid mistake ended up costing me $25.

*sigh*

I could have been crazy at the checkout lane and decide that I didn’t want those items afterall, but I didn’t feel like going through the hassle.

But now I know that *if* I go into this particular store because I am enticed by some really awesome loss leader sales, that is all I am going to buy. I will stick with Dillon’s for my coupon shopping, because 1) I understand their policies and 2) they have the best coupon policy in town.

On the bright side, I have enough Coca-Cola to last me until the next sale cycle – saving me a nifty $27 overall in Coca Cola costs. So I guess that averages out to still saving $2 overall instead of losing $25.

Really. I have to justify this some kind of way.

Dillon’s Trip – 5/4/2011 – 56% SAVINGS!

This morning I went online to www.dillons.com and checked out their weekly sales circular. (In my area, sales are from Wednesday to Tuesday) 

I saw a few things that I thought were pretty great deals and wrote out my list and quantity of each item that I wanted to get.

After work, I ran home, grabbed my coupon binder and headed straight to the store. (I should probably just start keeping the darn binder with me at all times!)

Here is a run down of what I got:

10 bottles of Kraft Bar-B-Q sauce   (.49/ea)

12 16 ounce packages of American Beauty Pasta (.49/ea)

4 gallons of Sunny D (.89/ea)

10 boxes of Capri Sun’s (10 in each package) (1.40/ea)

3 boxes of Ritz Crackers (1.99/ea)

3 packages of Chips Ahoy Cookies (1.68/ea)

2 24 packs of Nestle bottled water (3.49/ea – $1.00 off 2 packs coupon)

4 Old Spice Body Washes (2.99/ea – but two were free with my two buy one/get one free coupons!)

4 bottles of Gillette shaving cream (1.49/ea – but I had 4 .50 off coupons that double to $1 – so I paid .49 each!)

3 boxes of Trix Cereal (2.99/ea – had 3 .55 off coupons which doubled up to a $1, making each box 1.99)

1 Parmesan Cheese (2.68/ea)

5 8 qt Kool Aid Mixers (2.00/ea – but had 5 $2 off coupons – making them FREE!)

Total Spent: $70.08

Total Saved: $82.01 (or 56%!)

I am super excited! Everything I bought today is something that my family uses, and uses with regularity. I don’t have to worry about buying Bar B Q sauce for my husbands coming home bar b q at who knows what price – I got it for .49 a bottle! The Capri Suns will be used for school lunched until the end of the year, and then for summer outtings such as picnics and when we go to the lake. I could go on and on – but the point is, I didn’t just buy stuff BECAUSE it was on sale or BECAUSE I had a coupon – I bought it because it was on what I considered a GREAT sale and/or was a GREAT price WITH my coupon.

And I know 12 pounds of Pasta may seem extreme. And maybe it is. But at .49 a package? Considering we eat spaghetti at least 4 to 5 times a month in this house, how could I pass that up? I might not have to buy pasta for the next year, but I would rather have spent .49 a package than the .99-1.19 a package that I have been paying!

Saved 86% at Dillons today!

Ok. So maybe I only bought 8 items.

But 4 of those items ended up costing me ZERO dollars. That’s right! They had Ivory bodywash on sale for a dollar and I had 4 $1 off coupons – so my family has body wash for the next two months for FREE!

Kraft Cheese Singles were on sale for $1.79 and I had 2 $1 off coupons, so I picked up two packs of Kraft singles for .79 each.

Then there were the Pillsbury cinnamon rolls that were on sale for a dollar, and I had .40 off of 2 – which Dillions doubles, it was like .80 off.

Yep, that’s all I purchased. I paid $3.56 and saved $17.14!!! On 8 things!

I am excited. And I think I am hooked. It may take a few extra minutes (hours) here and there clipping and organizing and looking through the circulars, but its worth it.

(At Walgreens today I got 2 bottles of Downy fabric softener, 1 bottle of Cascade and one bottle of hydrocortosone for only $11. Walgreens might take a little bit longer to figure out, with their register rewards and filler items and whatnot. But I will figure it out!)

Saturday shopping trip(s)

I have been shopping before. Of course. And you know this because I have written before about how I went here or there. But I have NEVER went shopping like I did today.

The little “O” and I left the house at 0930 hours this morning. We didn’t get back until almost 1500 hours, or 3 PM for you civilians out there. 🙂

This is out of character. Before, if I were going grocery shopping, I would go to one store and that would be the end of that. But with this new path that we are taking – multiple stores had to be “hit”.

We started by going to the bank to make a deposit, get a money order to pay the rent, and get $50 in quarters so I can do laundry for the month of May. (Yes, I find it so humorous that not only do we own 2 washers and dryers with one set being HERE at the Apartment with us – there are NO washer/dryer hookups so I am forced to PAY to do my laundry. Oh the irony. The other set is at one of the houses.)

Then we went to Target (again – because I really love Target!). A good friend of mine is having a baby, and Target was having a deal where if you bought 3 packages of Huggies for $8.99, you got a $5 gift card. I found some printable Huggie’s coupons (2 for $3.00 off and 1 for $2.00 off), so I got the three packs, used the coupons, got my $5 gift card and have a gift for her. I know this goes against if it isn’t a necessity deal – but we have revisited that issue and have budgeted in a few “perks”. Being able to give gifts for special occassions counts as a perk.

Got a few more things at Target (everything had a coupon – so even if it isn’t the ROCK BOTTOM price, I am still doing better than I was!).

Then we went to the mall. Oh the mall. I have a love/mainly hate relationship with the mall and all its pretty displays. But damnit, I had a coupon for a free pair of panties from Vickie’s and I wasn’t going to let it go to waste! Free (NEW) panties is not something that anyone should ever pass up! I also had a $10 off a bra coupon, so I did get a new bra (which I did kinda sorta need. Did I need a Vickie’s bra? No. But that’s what I got but I bought one that was on sale and used my coupon. Still going in the right direction…)

Then we stopped in at Payless cause the girls did need a new pair of shoes. They were having a BOGO sale, so each of them got one new pair.

Stopped into the Bath and Body Works store, looked around, saw a zillion things I wanted and walked out without buying anything. SCORE!

Then it was time for JC Penney’s. With Mother’s Day coming up, I needed to get something for my momma. There is a certain type of jewelry that they carry that I absolutely love to get her. Found a necklace that is in a weird circle shape that has inscribed around it “A mother holds her child’s hand but for a moment, but their hearts forever”. It was orginally like 151 bucks, but we got it for $35. (Sale!)

My oldest daughter just keeps growing, so while at Penney’s we also got her a pair of shorts, a tank top, and a summer top. Total cost for all three items? Like $22. Everything was sale (a deep sale from retail price) so, still moving in the right direction.

From there we went to the HyVee store and got our military appreciation card that gives us 5% off our purchases and used it for the items that were on the list from the sales ad. (Only bought the loss leaders)

Then it was time from Dillions (Kroger) to get the items on that list. I will not bore you with the total itemized list, but I will say that my receipt tells me I saved 35% off my bill. I was actually pretty excited about that because the highest I have ever had before today was like 20%.

So, all told here is how the day went:

Spent: $280.97

Saved: $ 277.84

I basically saved 50% off of what I brought home today. That feels great. But I was so tired after all the shopping that I needed a nap!

I am excited about getting the coupon inserts tomorrow and getting them all organized. I am excited about getting more for my money.

I am not excited that because I had to take a nap because I was so pooped out from all the shopping, that I am going to be up pretty late tonight finishing my final paper for my first Master’s class. Am excited that the class is finished on Monday and as of right now, I have a 97.50 average! YaY!

Using Coupons

Today I went on two separate shopping trips with the same idea in mind: Buy items we actually USE that were on (what I consider) serious sale – or that were on sale and that I had a coupon for.

I do have a coupon binder. If you are  interested in an awesome free PDF download to help with starting your own coupon binder or assist in organizing your coupon binder, I suggest going here to “The Krazy Coupon Lady” site. If you scroll down the page, on the right hand side, you will find the free PDF downloadables. They are what I use for my own coupon binder and highly recommend them – but only if that type of organization works for you! (If the system you use doesn’t work for YOU, then what’t the point?)

First I went to Rays Applemart because they have Coca-Cola on sale for .88 a 2 liter. I am an avid coke drinker. 88 cents drew me into the store. I also recently discovered that if you are Active-Duty, Reservve, National Guard or a dependent, you can get a “military appreciation” card and save 5% on your entire purchase, EVERY time you buy something. So, before I even walked down the aisles I went straight to customer service to get my card.

I ended up getting:

4 packs of Eggo frozen pancakes (buttermilk, Strawberry, Blueberry and Chocolate Chip),10 2 liters of Coca Cola (I was originally going to get 20 bottles, but that would have emptied the shelf. The sale is going on until next Tuesday, I can always go back),6 12-packs of Best Choice Cola (Lemon-Lime – kids like lemon lime),4 bottles of ketchup,1 Loaf of French Bread,1 Pack of lunch meat for $38.52. I am pretty happy with that purchase.

Second stop was to Target. I am not going to bore you with all the details of my Target trip, but I will say that I saved $21 and walked out the store spending less than $43 AND they gave ME a $5.00 gift card that I can use next time I go! (The gift card is for a special they have right now – buy three boxes of certain feminine care products, get a $5 gift card. If you use those products, nothing wrong with buying three boxes of them. They aren’t going to go bad! – Plus, I had three coupons for $1 off that I could use – lowering the cost of the three items and STILL getting me the gift card!) I mainly got tolietry items and 4 packs of Mr. “O”‘s favorite type of chewing gum (because between coupons they went from $1.27 a pack to .27 a pack) but the point is, all the items were items we will use, that were on sale, and had some type of coupon.

I have two more trips to make – one to HyVee (which I also hear does the 5% off for military families) and another to Dillions (Kroger). Planned expenditures at HyVee is $20 (they are having a pretty good TP sale! Charmin – 20 double rolls for $5.99!) and planned expenditures at Dillions is $75.

The key to all of this, for me, is that I have a plan. I looked at the flyers. I decided what I wanted to buy from those sale items this week. I looked through my coupon binder to make the prices lower. I made a spreadsheet that has all 4 stores which lists the Item, price, quantity I want to buy, coupon amount and the total price for each store. Staying focused and disciplined and sticking to MY plan and not getting sidetracked worked. I spent exactly what I thought I was going to spend when I walked into the store. Sure, it took some time to get everything organized, but the savings will be worth it to my family.

Imagine how much money I am really going to save when I get the discipline to quit drinking Coca Cola!

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