See the details of my $200 a month grocery shopping trips and learn the things that I do to save and live well on a low budget with my family of five!
There are affiliate links in this post – please read my full disclosure policy.
Some of you have wondered where I get my printable coupons. Here are the main coupon sites that I use:
Coupons.com, Smart Source, Red Plum, Ibotta and Checkout 51. Manufacturer websites and Facebook pages are another great source.
If you are new here and unfamiliar with my weekly What I Spent & Saved posts, it probably is helpful to understand a bit about how I shop. I do something called stockpile shopping. This simply means that when I see an item at rock bottom prices that I regularly use or know that I can use, I’ll buy several of it. This might seem kind of crazy, but it honestly saves me hundreds of dollars a year! Simply put, by buying 6 bags of frozen veggies when I can get them for $0.50/bag with a coupon and sale instead of paying the full price of $1.50, I save $6.00. This savings adds up pretty quickly! Want to know more about this kind of shopping? Check out my post on How to Start Building a Grocery Stockpile.
I also buy meats and veggies in bulk. The meat I either can or freeze and then obviously have it on hand whenever I need it. I purchase large quantities of fruits and veggies when they are in season and I can get them at really great prices. By canning or freezing them, I save a lot and we are able to enjoy great produce for less cost all year long. I do still buy some fresh fruits and veggies too. In fact, every 7 to 10 days I go to our local farmer’s market and get several heads of lettuce so that we can enjoy salads at least 4 times a week.
I hope that helps you make sense of some of this. I realize at first glance it can look like we eat rather strangely but I think we really eat quite well! Of course, if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments! I’ll be more than happy to try to answer them.
If you are a regular reader, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I haven’t done any of these What I Spent & Saved this Week posts since I took my blogging break at the beginning of the year. A few of you have emailed me and wanted to let me know that you missed them and would love to see them again. And one of you was brave enough to tell me that you noticed I wasn’t posting them, but you were fine with it because they weren’t your favorite anyway.
I had decided to stop doing these Weekly Spending Summaries for several reasons: they take a lot of time to write up, in general, they don’t usually bring me much traffic as my other posts (especially long term traffic since they are more date-specific and don’t do as well on Pinterest), and I kind of assume they only appeal to people that shop at the stores I typically shop at, which is a smaller percentage of my readership.
But after some of you let me know that you would love to see them again, I started reconsidering and decided that I’ll compromise and occasionally do a What I Spent & Saved this Week post. That way those of you that enjoy them can still get a taste of them once in a while and also so that those of you that are new to couponing or want to get ideas of what couponing looks like can hopefully do that too!
And as always, remember that I love to hear from you! If you enjoy these posts, feel free to let me know by either commenting or by sharing them via social media such as Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter. And if you don’t find them helpful, I want to hear that too! My goal is to give you all the things that you find most helpful, and while I try to guess what that is, it’s much easier to do if you all are actually telling me through emails, comments or by sharing my posts.
(Some of you that aren’t familiar with the blogging world may not realize that bloggers closely watch what posts get shared a lot on social media. This gives us a good indication of what is connecting with our readers and what people are enjoying. So when you read a blog post on my site or anyone else’s that you love, share it! You’ll help other people find a great article, plus you’ll kind of give the blogger a little “virtual hug” too.) 🙂
And now for all the grocery shopping details…..
Total Spent: $61.13
Total Saved with Coupons: $73.90
Total Saved with Sales: $59.63
Total Saved: $133.53 + earned $42.50 in gas savings
Saved with Coupons: $35.90
Saved with Sales: $49.95
(not pictured: a banana that we had already eaten)
The last couple of weeks at Giant have been really good, at least if you are willing to do the gas deals! This week, the Tide, Huggies and Dr. Oetker pizzas were all part of the gas reward deals that I did.
The Tide Pods ended up costing me just $0.49 each after coupons, sales and gas reward savings. I love the convenience of them and I plan to use them a lot over our baby’s birth because they’ll make it easy for our then almost 8 yr. old to do laundry. Giant also has Tide Simply liquid detergent on sale as part of the gas reward deals (the sale ends today, 3/24) and it is totally free after gas rewards. My store was out of it, so I got a raincheck and plan to get some later.
The Dr. Oetker pizza ended up being a moneymaker of $0.65! If we have pizza, I typically make it from scratch. But we do love this Dr. Oetker pizza and it is much healthier than most bought pizza. Plus, we all know that convenience is just really nice sometimes! 😉 I had purchased one pizza the previous week because in order to get the gas rewards, you needed to buy 5 pizzas. They only had one in stock though, which is why I had to get a raincheck and buy the rest this week. Oh, and I loved that it just so happened that Ibotta and Fetch Rewards both had savings that were good on any frozen pizza. That’s what helped turn the deal into a moneymaker for me!
I’m working at stocking up on baby wipes and diapers for this little one that we are anticipating meeting in July. I have saved so much money with my diaper stockpile! And of course, we still have a 2 yr. old in diapers too, so I’m also currently using plenty of wipes and diapers. Anyway, I was excited to be able to actually make $2.08 on the Huggies wipes after coupons, sales and gas reward deals. You totally can’t beat that!
A lot of you know how I love ice cream. Well, Giant totally made my week with their free Yuengling ice cream offer! If you don’t already, make sure that you check your Giant account regularly and add any pertinent e-coupons to your card. They’ve had some really good coupons lately that have made for good deals. (And if you don’t shop at Giant, lots of other stores have similar programs, so be sure to check your grocery store’s website.) Oh, and I have to say, I was impressed with the Espresso Chocolate Chip flavored ice cream too- it was the perfect coffee taste combined with just the right amount of semi-sweet chocolate chips. So yummy!
The Honey Nut Cheerios and Reese’s Puffs were part of a deal where you saved $5.00 instantly when you bought 4 General Mills cereals. I also planned to get Lucky Charms since there is a Saving Star offer, printable coupon, as well as a Giant ecoupon for them, however, they were out of stock. So I got a rain check for the Lucky Charms and will save the $5.00 when I purchase them. That means that once I purchase the Lucky Charms and get the additional savings, I’ll only have paid $0.34/box for each of the cereal. I generally don’t buy cereal because not only is it pretty expensive, it also isn’t the healthiest option. But when I can get it this cheap, I do. And then the kids enjoy it as something special on top of their homemade granola. I also like to have bought cereal on hand for when we have guests since I know not everyone is a fan of homemade granola and baked oatmeal.
The banana cost all of $0.02 after an Ibotta offer. And the butter and tortillas were both things that I was needing, plus they were a decent price too!
- Land-O-Lake butter $2.49 (had to purchase $25 worth of groceries to get this price)
- Banana $0.27
– got back $0.25 via Ibotta
- Yuengling ice cream $3.00
– Yuengling free product Giant ecoupon ($3.00)
- 2 Honey Nut Cheerios $2.99 each
– used $0.25 Honey Nut Cheerios Giant ecoupon
– used two $0.50 Honey Nut Cheerios printable coupons (doubled to $1.00 each)
– got back $0.50 via Saving Star
- Reese’s Puffs $3.19
– used $0.50 Reese’s printable coupon (doubled to $1.00)
– got back $0.50 via Saving Star
- 2 Giant brand tortillas $1.19 each
- Giant brand tortillas $1.49
- 8 Tide pods $4.99 each
– used eight $2.00 Tide pods printable coupons
- 4 Dr. Oetker pizza $3.50 each (bought with rain check)
– used four $1.00 Dr. Oetker printable coupons
– got back $0.25 via Ibotta (good on any frozen pizza)
– got back 0.40 via Fetch Rewards (good on any frozen pizza)
- 8 Huggies wipes $1.99 each (bought with rain check)
– used eight $0.50 Huggies printable coupons (doubled to $1.00 each)
$20.00 in gas reward savings for purchasing the Tide Pods
- $10.00 in gas reward savings for purchasing the
- $12.50 in gas rewards savings for purchasing the Dr. Oetker pizza
– I had purchased one pizza previously that also counted towards this offer
Saved with Coupons: $21.00
Saved with Sales: $6.69
Since I started couponing around 7 years ago, I don’t think I’ve ever had to pay for toothpaste, other than the one time that we went on a trip and I forgot to pack some. It seems that there are always sales that, if I combine a coupon with it, will allow me to get free Colgate or Crest toothpaste. This week, I was actually able to make $0.22 on the Colgate after coupons and sales and the Crest was totally free.
The diapers and wipes were part of a deal where you got $10 Extra Bucks when you spent $30 on select baby products. Unfortunately, the CVS I shopped at was totally out of Pampers diapers other than this one pack. So I bought what I could and got a rain check for an additional 2 packs of Pampers diapers. I’ll receive the $10 Extra Bucks once I purchase them. I have $1.55 printable Pampers coupons that I plan to use on the 2 remaining packs of diapers which means in the end, I’ll be paying just $4.72 per pack of diapers, plus get the wipes for free!
- 2 Colgate toothpaste $3.39 each
– used two $1.00 Colgate printable coupons
- Crest toothpaste $3.00
– used $1.00 Crest printable coupon
- Pampers diapers $8.99
– got back $1.50 via Ibotta
– used $1.50 Pamper coupon (not sure where I got this- maybe with a sample?)
- CVS baby wipes $3.29
OTHER COUPONS USED:
- $15.00 in Extra Bucks earned by purchasing items previously at CVS
- $5.00 Extra Bucks for purchasing the Colgate (can be used on the future purchase of any item at CVS)
- $2.00 Extra Bucks for purchasing the Crest (can be used on the future purchase of any item at CVS)
- will eventually get back $10.00 Extra Bucks as part of the Pampers purchase (see details above)
Rite Aid: $0
Total Saved with Coupons: $17.00
Total Saved with Sales: $2.99
I am not a Joint Flex user, but when I saw that I could make $3.00 by purchasing it, I figured it was worth it! We have a neighbor friend that I think will gladly take this and if he doesn’t, I plan to donate it to the local homeless shelter.
- Joint Flex cream $17.00
– used $3.00 Joint Flex printable coupon
OTHER COUPONS USED:
- $14.00 in Plenti Points earned by purchasing items previously at Rite Aid
- $17.00 Plenti Points for purchasing the Joint Flex (can be used on a future purchase of any item at Rite Aid)
I too, have missed these posts! I love seeing what you are able to do at the grocery store. My big savings this week was the butter also. Only my Save-A-Lot had their version of LOL butter for $1.99 a pack (4 sticks) we bought 8 and froze! Look forward to seeing these posts again…sooner rather than later (I hope)!
Glad to know that you are inspired by them, Rebecca! 🙂 And isn’t it fun finding a deal like that and stocking up? Our Aldi had butter on sale this past week for $1.99 so I bought a whole pile of it and froze it too!
I really like these posts. I learned a lot from them over the past year since I started couponing. I always thought Giant was too expensive, but now its where I do most of my shopping!
Melinda, your comment totally made my day! Knowing that these posts helped you on your journey of figuring out how to coupon and save more money….well, it makes me feel humbled and excited all at the same time. 🙂 I always had the same opinion of Giant until I found out about coupons and deal shopping. Sometimes I can’t believe how little I end up paying for things there now!
These posts are actually my favorite. I am always the oddball though. 🙂
I appreciate you letting me know, Sara! And you may not be as much of an oddball as you think, because I’ve had more people say that they really enjoyed them than I had anticipated. 🙂
Even though they are mostly for deals I can’t do since I don’t live local, I’ve really enjoyed seeing how you actually did your shopping. I can see that Giant is a giant moneysaver! 🙂
Dorcas, you are so right about Giant! I always tell my husband that if we ever move to an area that I can’t shop at Giant, I’m definitely going to need a bigger grocery budget! It’s been such a big blessing for us and I want to enjoy it while it lasts. 🙂 And thanks for the feedback- I appreciate it a lot!
I’m a fan of these posts as well! 🙂
Thanks for letting me know, Amanda!
Glad to see this post. Liked when you did them more frequently but will take what I can get. 🙂
I appreciate your feedback, Sandy! And I find your comment especially interesting because I’m deducing from your blog that you aren’t located in the US, and I assumed that non-localish people would find these posts unhelpful. Obviously, my assumptions might now be accurate! 😉