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? 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.
Total Spent: $48.54
Total Saved with Coupons: $39.39
Total Saved with Sales: $11.00
Total Saved: $50.39
Saved with Coupons: $23.75
Saved with Sales: $9.00
About 6 weeks ago, I passed up a good deal on Scott toilet paper. I was busy and I figured a deal just as decent would come along soon, so I let it go. But no deals that good have come along, and we were on our last pack. So when I saw this sale at CVS, I figured I’d better jump on it. After coupons and sales I paid $5.24/pack, which isn’t a terrible price, although not as cheap as what I would have paid a couple of weeks ago.
I also grabbed a bottle of Dawn dish soap for $0.75 while I was there.
- 2 Scott toilet paper $6.99 each
– used two $0.75 Scott printable coupons
- Dawn dish soap $0.99
– used $0.25 Dawn coupon from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts
OTHER COUPONS USED:
- $11.00 in Extra Bucks earned by purchasing items previously at CVS
- $2.00 Extra Bucks for purchasing the Scott (can be used on future purchase of any item at CVS)
Rite Aid: $0
Saved with Coupons: $15.64
Saved with Sales: $2.00
The one thing that I love about Rite Aid’s Plenti Points is the fact that they don’t expire for at least a year. (I think it’s actually 2 years.) It makes it super nice because sometimes I don’t have time to shop at Rite Aid every week or the deals might not be that great for several weeks in a row. Instead of needing to go try to find a deal to use up my points on like I used to need to do back with their old reward system (or like I need to do at CVS), I can just use my points whenever it is convenient for me!
This week I did quite well at Rite Aid. I got all of this for totally free…actually, I made $4.51! The York peppermint pattie was free after a Saving Star offer. That was a fun treat! It also made me miss my grandpa who passed away over a year ago. He loved York patties and I would often buy a couple to take along to share with him when we visited.
If you read these posts regularly, you’ll remember that I’ve gotten a lot of free toothpaste and toothbrushes lately. Our stockpile had been getting low, but it’s getting quite full now and I’m ready to start sharing our bounty with family again.
The TRP Ring Relief was a moneymaker, so I got it to give to a neighbor of ours who often talks about having problems with his ears ringing. The Arizona teas were free too. My husband took them to his work to sell to the guys there since they have a spot that they can put stuff like that to sell. When he does that, he tries to make the price low so that they can get a great buy too!
- 2 Crest toothpaste $3.00
– used two $0.75 Crest printable coupons
- 2 Oral B toothbrushes $3.50
– used $1.50 Oral B printable coupon
- TRP Ring Relief $7.49
– used $2.00 TRP printable coupon
- York peppermint pattie $0.59
– got back $0.59 via Saving Star (was one of their freebie offers)
- 4 Arizon teas $0.50 each
OTHER COUPONS USED:
- $13.64 in Plenti Points earned by purchasing items previously at Rite Aid
- $6.00 in Plenti Points for purchasing the Crest (can be used on future purchase of any item at Rite Aid)
- $6.00 in Plenti Points for purchasing the Oral-B (can be used on future purchase of any item at Rite Aid)
- $10.00 in Plenti Points for purchasing the TRP (can be used on future purchase of any item at Rite Aid)
- $2.00 in Plenti Points for purchasing the Arizona Teas (can be used on future purchase of any item at Rite Aid)
Whew, I bought a lot of stuff at Aldi this week! Just a few things about my purchase here….
I buy the vegetable shortening to use to grease my baking dishes. It’s cheap and seems to work better for me than cooking spray. Plus, I was reading recently that the cooking spray actually gunks up on your baking dishes after a while and that is often what makes them start to look nasty (think cookie sheets etc.). I’ve noticed some of that happening and was puzzled as to why since it’s only been in the last couple of months. After reading that article, I realized that I had been using cooking spray a lot more the last several months, so of course my question was answered.
If you are looking for an inexpensive place to buy spices and herbs, Aldi is a great spot! They don’t have every seasoning that I use, but carry most of the basic ones. I used to buy the majority of my spices and herbs at a local Amish bulk food store, but I’ve discovered more recently that Aldi is actually cheaper than they are on most of their spices and herbs.
I buy a lot of beans and it’s making me realize that I really should get back into cooking my own dry beans and then freezing them. I used to do it and it is cheaper, but somewhere along the way as life got busier, I just let it drop. Sometimes you just need to do that too! But I would like to cook at least some of the beans we use from scratch. I want to experiment with using the crock-pot to do it, since I think that would be a super easy way to do it!
- bananas $0.70
– got back $0.25 via Checkout 51
- 2 lb. red grapes $1.98
- 3 cream cheese $0.99 each
- spinach $1.79
- saltines $0.79
- 4 brown sugar $1.29 each
- Ranch dressing $1.29
- shortening $2.89
- Basmati rice $2.99
- 2 corn chips $0.79 each
- 4 black beans $0.59 each
- 4 Great Northern beans $0.59 each
- 3 lb. sweet potatoes $2.49
- garlic powder $0.99
- onion powder $0.99
- basil $0.99
- chili powder $0.99
* So, I found a new delicious treat- these Snappers! A couple of weeks someone from Edward Marc, the company that makes them, contacted me and asked if I would like to try their Snappers treats. Once I looked at the description of the chocolates, it didn’t take me long to tell them yes! I love salty/sweet food combinations, so I was sure I would love these treats made of pretzels, chocolate, caramel or peanut butter.
And I did. They were all delicious, but my favorites were the Peanut Pretzel and the Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel. All of the varieties but the peanut butter have caramel on them, and even though I’m not a caramel lover, they were really good! The peanut butter was better though, in my opinion. But hey, I love all things peanut butter, so I’m probably a bit biased.
The good news is that Target is running a promotion on these Snappers this week through the Oct. 24 and you can get 2 bags for $7. If you miss this promotion, they’ll be running it again Nov. 15-21.
* Our tiny city garden gave us it’s last produce. I actually got 2 more smaller peppers later in the week too that I didn’t get a picture of. I picked them even though they weren’t mature because we were supposed to be getting frost.
It was fun to enjoy a tiny taste of gardening this summer and I’m kind of sad to see it come to an end. At the same time, I feel spoiled because we live in a country where we can get pretty much any food we want, whenever we want it. We are definitely blessed, that’s for sure!
I withdrew cash to use to buy milk from a local dairy.
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