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, Ibotta, and Fetch Rewards (use code GEOEG at sign-up for $2.00 in points!). Manufacturer websites and Facebook pages are also great sources.
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: $49.54
Total Saved with Coupons: $35.60
Total Saved with Sales: $24.43
Total Saved: $60.03
Saved with Coupons: $12.50
Saved with Sales: $7.12
I love shopping trips where I get everything for free! And that is what I was able to do at CVS this week thanks to combining coupons and sales. In fact, the Starbucks was a moneymaker of $0.51, which is obviously even nicer than simply being free.
I’m actually not keeping the Gatorade and Starbucks. Neither my husband or I drink Gatorade and the Starbucks iced coffee is okay, but I prefer the taste of my homemade version. So, my husband is going to take them and sell them at his work. One of his co-workers already sells beverages and snacks there and he lets my husband add stuff like this whenever he wants and then lets him have the profits. It’s very nice of him and helps my grocery budget out a bit since we roll the money we make on things like that back into our grocery money. He’ll probably sell the Gatorade for $0.75 each and the Starbucks for $1.00 each.
- 2 Gatorade $1.00
- Colgate toothpaste $3.00
– used $2.00 Colgate CVS printable coupon from Red Coupon Machine in store
– used $1.00 Colgate coupon from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts
- 2 Starbucks iced coffee $1.99 total (on sale buy one, get one free)
– got back $1.00 via Ibotta
– used $1.00 Starbucks printable coupon
– used $0.50 Starbucks CVS printable coupon
- PedicaCare $4.99 (bought with rain check)
– used $1.00 PediaCare printable coupon
- $2.00 in Extra Bucks for purchasing the Gatorade (CVS coupon that can be used on next purchase of any item)
- $4.00 in Extra Bucks for purchasing the Pediacare (CVS coupon that can be used on next purchase of any item)
OTHER COUPONS USED:
- $6.00 in Extra Bucks earned by purchasing items previously at CVS
Saved with Coupons: $23.10
Saved with Sales: $17.31
Whew, this was a week for a lot of different kind of deals at Giant! I hope I can break it down for you all in ways that are easy to understand and make sense of.
The Marzetti croutons, Zone Perfect bars, Suave body wash and bananas were all free after combining coupons with sales. For several of these things, I actually combined multiple coupons. It really helps to maximize your savings, especially if you combine those coupons with a really good sale price too.
The Ken’s dressing ended up costing just $0.55 after doing the above trick of combining an ecoupon with a paper coupon and a sale price. The regular price for Ken’s dressings at Giant is $3.19, which means I saved a whopping $2.64 on that item alone! But even if you just go by the sale price of $1.99, the savings of $1.44 is still very decent. Why am I saying all of this? Simply because I know that often people don’t think using coupons is worth it. And I’m not going to say that everyone needs to be using coupons, because I realize that we all have different interests, eating habits, schedules etc. I’m aware that couponing, like I do, is not feasible for everyone. But even if you just use a couple of coupons each week to get the simple deals like this one, you can save a nice amount without much effort.
I’ll be making about 4 bushels of apples into applesauce in a couple of weeks, so I was needing to stock up on sugar in preparation for that. When I noticed that Saving Star had an offer on Domino sugar, I figured now was a good time to go ahead and buy a bunch. After all savings, my cost was $1.50 a bag.
I bought the cereal because it was part of a sale where you saved $6.00 instantly when you bought 4 select General Mills cereals. It took a bit of time to figure out what the best deal was, but I finally decided to go with 2 boxes of Cheerios and one box each of Kix and Reese Puffs because they all had both e-coupons and paper coupons that I could use. After all the savings were deducted, my final cost was $0.23 a box! I haven’t been able to get cereal that cheap in a long time. We’ll probably eat some of it along with our usual breakfast of homemade granola or Baked Oatmeal, but I also plan to save some of it to use when we have overnight guests, since I know not everyone is crazy about our homemade options.
Oh and you might be wondering why I only pictured 3 boxes of cereal when I paid for 4. The Giant I shop at was out of Kix cereal. So the guy at customer service told me to go ahead and ring up an extra box of Cheerios to activate the $6.00 savings and then he wrote me a rain check for a free box of Kix. So technically, I didn’t use the 2 Kix coupon offers yet, but I went ahead an included them here so that you could see how the deal worked.
By the way, one of my best grocery shopping tips is to learn to know your store’s staff, especially the people at customer service. Because I regularly shop at this Giant, the people at the customer service desk know me and as a result, they give me amazing customer service and do things like this for me that they likely wouldn’t do for just any customer. In fact, at a lot of the stores I shop at, I’ve become friends with numerous of the employees just because of my frequent shopping. It’s been one of the unexpected, but delightful side benefits of deal shopping, and my life is so much richer because of these relationships!
The Danimals was another deal where the guy at customer service came through for me. It was part of one of the gas deal offers where you needed to buy 5 of various items to get $10.00 in gas savings. I had planned to buy 4 loaves of bread that were included in the deal and 1 Danimals, since I only had one coupon for them. However, Giant was totally out of stock on the bread, so they told me to go ahead and buy the Danimals since I had a coupon for them and then they wrote me a rain check for the 4 loaves of bread and added the gas points to that. After I get the gas points that I’m supposed to get, these Danimals will have actually made me a couple of cents. They are not something I typically buy because I prefer making my own yogurt and controlling what ingredients go in it. But when I can get deals like this, it’s always a fun surprise for the kids, since they rarely get this sort of thing.
The Huggies wipes and Peter Pan peanut butter were part of a gas savings offer too. By purchasing 8 items total, I was able to get $7.50 in gas savings. After coupons and gas savings, the Huggies wipes were $0.22 each and the peanut butter was $1.06 each.
- Ken’s dressing $2.00
– got back $0.75 via Mobisave
– used $0.35 Ken’s dressing coupons from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts (doubled to $0.70)
- 4 Domino sugar $2.50 each
– used two $0.75/2 Domino printable coupons (doubled to $1.00 each)
– got back $2.00 via Saving Star(for purchasing $10.00 worth of Domino products)
- 4 Huggies wipes $2.25 each
– used four $0.50 Huggies printable coupons (doubled to $1.00 each)
– got back $0.75 via Mobisave
- 4 Peter Pan peanut butter
- Danimals $2.59
– used 1.00 Danimals coupon from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts
- Suave bodywash $1.50
– used $0.50 Suave printable coupon (doubled to $1.00)
– got back $0.50 via Saving Star
- 4 Zone bars $0.80 each
– used four $0.50 Zone printable coupons (doubled to $0.80 each)
- Bananas $0.45
– got back $0.25 via Checkout 51
– got back $0.20 via Ibotta
- Marzetti croutons $1.00
– used $1.00 Marzetti coupon from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts
– got back $0.50 via Ibotta
- 2 Cheerios $2.99 each
– saved $6.00 instantly for purchasing 4 General Mills cereal (see below for other 2 cereals)
– used $1/2 Cheerios printable coupon
– got back $1.00 via Saving Star
- Reese Puffs $3.19
– used $0.50 Reese Puffs printable coupon (doubled to $1.00)
– got back $0.50 via Saving Star
- Kix $2.99
– used $0.75 Kix printable coupon (doubled to $1.00)
– got back $0.75 via Saving Star
- $7.50 in gas reward savings for purchasing the Huggies/Peter Pan
I needed more flour and mayo, so I decided to do a quick Aldi stop on my way to Giant and CVS. As usual, I grabbed a few other things while I was there. It was fun to find oranges for such a good price! The children were excited when they saw them and were wishing I had bought another bag. I probably should have too, because just 3 days later, they were all gone!
- Basmati rice $2.99
- 2 flour $1.29 each
- 3 lb. oranges $2.29
- mayo $1.89
- Ranch dressing $1.29
- pretzels $1.29
- brown sugar $1.29
One of the ways that I help pay for the expenses of this blog is by partnering with various companies from time to time. Recently, I had the privilege of partnering with Shady Brook Farms and as part of that, they sent me various turkey products to sample. I used the Mild Italian Turkey Sausage to make my Sausage and Creamed Potatoes recipe. And the Sweet Italian Sausage worked perfectly in another easy dish that I made- if I can get it perfected, you’ll likely see it here sometime. I haven’t used the turkey breast yet, although I’m sure it will be delicious too! I was super impressed with the Shady Brook Farms products that I used and the things that I learned about their company equally impressed me. (And no, I wasn’t paid to say any of that. In fact, they have no idea that I even posted this since the point of sending me the products was strictly to use them in any recipes that I wanted to make with them. I just truly am a fan of their turkey meats!)
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