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!
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, Checkout 51 and Saving Star. 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?
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 buy 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 missed my post last week about why you shouldn’t have a $200/mo. grocery budget, be sure to read it. It’s has a pretty important message!
* Sugar for $0.56/bag
* Butter for $1.89/lb
* Free banana
* Free Hunts tomato sauce
* Fish for $2.00/lb.
* Baby Carrots for $0.49 each
Total Spent: $90.83
Total Saved with Coupons: $6.00
Total Saved with Sales: $7.25
Total Saved: $13.25
Saved with Coupons : $6.00
Saved with Sales: $7.25
- 3 Gerber Fruit Pick-ups $1.34 each
– used $1/3 Gerber printable coupon
- 5 Gerber Fruit Pick-ups $1.33 each
– used $1/3 Gerber printable coupon
- 8 Domino sugar $2.00 each
– used four $0.75/2 Domino printable coupons (doubled to $1.00 each)
- Hunts tomato sauce $0.79
– got back $0.75 via Saving Star (Freebie Friday offer)
- Banana $0.25
– got back $0.25 via Checkout 51
- $3.00 Catalina coupon for purchasing 7 Gerber items (coupon prints at register and can be used on any future Giant purchase)
- $7.50 in gas reward savings for purchasing the Gerber Fruit Pick-ups
- $7.50 in gas reward savings for purchasing the Domino sugar
We were down to just 2 eggs in the fridge. I thought I had a full dozen and what do you know, but when I opened the carton here it only had 2 eggs left in it. Not sure how that happened since I’m kind of OCD when it comes to making sure that the opened cartons get emptied first. And I can’t even blame it on anyone else because I’m the only one that cooks around here (except for the rare occasions when my hubby gets braves and decides to cook even though he really hates it!). So I knew a trip to Aldi was in order. And yes, I decided to make sure I got enough eggs to last me for a bit! Although, anymore if I make breakfast for dinner we almost eat a full dozen. Makes me scared to think about what it’s going to be like once our kids hit the teenage years! I’m grateful for good eaters though. The end of last year our oldest was fighting something (we still don’t know what) and was sick off and on a lot and his appetite was almost non-existent many days. He’d often just sit and pick at his food. So it feels really good to see him woofing down food again!
I had just used the last carrot in the house last week and was kind of crossing my fingers that they might go on sale at Aldi soon. And sure enough, they had the baby ones for just $0.49 a bag! I don’t mind buying regular carrots, but I also don’t mind when I can get baby carrots for less than the regular ones and save myself the hassle of needing to peel them. And since potatoes and onions were both discounted as part of Aldi’s weekly specials, I grabbed two bags each of them as well. Side note: did you know that you shouldn’t store you potatoes and onions in the same place? I didn’t know that until a couple of years ago, but apparently the gasses that they emit actually don’t “mix” very well and it can cause the potatoes to spoil more quickly. I have to admit that since I started storing them separately, my potatoes do last longer.
I know I bought a bunch of butter last week for $1.99, but I couldn’t pass up $1.89/lb. butter at Aldi this week! If only I had know they were going to lower their price! Oh well, it’s only $0.10 cheaper. But I definitely would have waited to buy it there had I known! And of course cream cheese for $0.89 is a stock-up price, so I did just that. Just in case you have an Aldi nearby and are wishing you could take advantage of these prices, the butter and cream cheese prices should be good at least through tomorrow, maybe longer.
- tissues $1.19
- 5 cream cheese $0.89 each
- 5 baby carrots $0.49 each
- 3 lb. sweet potatoes $1.99
- 2 5 lb. red potoates $1.29 each
- 2 onions $0.79 each
- 3 butter $1.89 each
- 4 eggs $1.55 each
Sharp Shopper: $49.81
Oops! This is actually from last week but I forgot to post it then!
I was going past this local discount grocery store and decided to stop and see what deals they had. I typically just hit their produce, dairy and frozen section since that is where I find the most deals and it takes a long time if I comb every single aisle!
I was almost totally out of vanilla and this is the best price on it that I have found, so I always try to get it here. The same with vinegar. A gallon last me a long time, but since a 32 oz. bottle at Aldi runs about $1.29, it makes sense to pay just a bit more and go ahead and buy it in gallon jugs. I saved one of the smaller bottles from Aldi and just refill it as needed that way I don’t have the big gallon jug taking up a ton of space in my pantry, and instead can store it in our basement. I use white vinegar occasionally in cooking, but mostly use it as a fabric softener for the majority of our laundry.
I did pretty good with produce too. I could hardly believe it when I saw the 5 lb. bags of grapefruit for just $2.99! And I was wanting cabbage to use in fried rice so I grabbed a head of that too. It was supposed to only be $0.29/lb. though and rang up at $0.59. Not sure it’s worth the hassle of getting a refund
We rarely buy juice just because it is so expensive and it’s something we can easily live without. But when I can get it for $0.99 or less, I do and then we enjoy it as a special treat. And the same goes for fish. I really don’t know what rockfish tastes like, but I’m hoping it’s good because I got two packs. I figured for $1.99/lb. it was a really amazing price for fish!
I also was super happy with the uncured hot dogs. We’ve had these before and really liked them and it’s always nice to have something easy like this on hand for quick dinners!
Oh and the butter. Can’t forget the butter! I decided to stock up since it was jut $1.99/lb. Butter freezes really well and we go through a lot of it with all the baking I do. Of course you’ll see that I actually ended up finding it cheaper at Aldi this week, but so it goes. It was still a good price!
- 16 oz. pure sea salt $1.29
- 2 pure vanilla 8 oz. $3.49 each
- 1 gallon vinegar $1.99
- 5 lb. grapefruit $2.99
- OJ/grapefruit juice $0.50
- 2 Ballpark uncured hot dogs (nitrate and preservative free) $1.49 each
- 2 Rockfish 2lb. each $3.99 each
- Apples $0.99/lb.
- 11 Butter 1 lb. each $1.99/lb.
- cabbage $0.59/lb.
(Plus 2 more loaves as well!)
My sister-in-law bakes bread to sell, and she and I got talking recently and decided to try a swap of sorts. She’ll make me bread and in exchange I give her some of my freebies or things that I buy for cheap. I’m not sure how it’s all going to work out and if we’ll decide we think it’s a great idea, but we’re at least going to try it. So this week she gave me 6 loaves of beautiful, delicious homemade bread. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture before I gave 2 loaves away with meals that I made for friends of ours.
I’m planning to give take some stuff for her to go through later this week and decide what she wants as payment. Things like toothpaste, shampoo, maybe some of the sugar that I bought this week, Ziploc bags, baby wipes etc.
* I cashed out my Saving Star account. If you aren’t using SavingStar already, I highly recommend it. It’s so easy and each week they have a Healthy offer for a fruit or veggies as well as a Freebie Friday offer where you can get something totally free! Sometimes it will go several weeks before they have an offer that I really want, but then other times there will be multiple great offers in one week.