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: $105.96
Total Saved with Coupons: $34.50
Total Saved with Sales: $31.81
Total Saved: $66.31
Saved with Coupons: $23.00
Saved with Sales: $20.37
I’ve been a fan of saving money by having a diaper stockpile for years now, but have gotten a bit lazy the last 6 months or so when it comes to keeping it built up. I was kind of startled recently when I noticed that I only have 3 extra packs left. So this week when I saw that CVS had Pampers on sale and I could get them for $4.66 after coupons and sales, I knew I needed to make sure I bought some. I’m guessing some of you will be raising eyebrows at the size 1 diapers and assuming I’m pregnant again. So just to put your questions to rest, I’m not. I bought them for a baby gift actually. 🙂
The Lipton sparkling tea and Oral-B toothbrush heads were free after coupons and sales. Just a couple of weeks ago I got the toothbrush that the heads go to for free, so that worked out really nice! The almonds were a great deal at $0.65 a can- I only wish that I would have had more coupons. One of the ways to save big when using coupons is to pair them with a sale, which is what I did for the Blue Diamond almonds. And since they were on sale for buy one, get one free, I was able to use two coupons (one for each can) and save a lot!
The Maxwell House was just a good price. We don’t use a lot of instant coffee, but I like it for a few recipes and sometimes I use it for iced coffee too. I was happy to see eggs on sale again at CVS this week. The price wasn’t quite as good as the $1.49 they had a couple of weeks ago, but still much better than anywhere else! I also was able to redeem an Ibotta rebate on them, so in the end, I actually only paid $1.49.
- 3 Pampers diapers $9.99 each
– used three $2.00 Pampers printable coupons
- Maxwell House instant coffee $4.99
- 2 Blue Diamond almonds $5.29 total (buy one, get one free)
– used two $2.00 Blue Diamond printable coupons
- eggs $1.69
– got back $0.20 via Ibotta (good on any brand eggs)
- Oral-B toothbrush refills $5.99
– used $3.00 Oral-B coupon from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts
- 2 Lipton sparkling tea $1.00 each
OTHER COUPONS USED:
- $10.00 in Extra Bucks coupons earned by purchasing items previously at CVS
- $10.00 Extra Bucks coupon for purchasing the Pampers (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- $3.00 Extra Bucks coupon for purchasing the Oral-B (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- $2.00 Extra Bucks coupon for purchasing the Lipton tea (can be used on next purchase of any item)
Saved with Coupons: $11.50
Saved with Sales: $11.44
It was a good week at Giant! The Pure Silk, Suave body wash and bananas were all free after coupons and sales. The cranberries were only $0.50 each, which was an amazing deal! We love them on salads and even just for snacking. I’m getting ready to can a bunch of peaches, so I’ll be needing the sugar for that. Earlier this year I often could have gotten sugar for $1.50 or less and I should have thought to stock up then for canning season. But I didn’t, so I’m needing to pay the full price some.
Remember last week how I had missed paying Giant for a can of refried beans? Well, this week I made that right…which is why you see the can here.
The Turkey Hill gelato was a fun buy! We love anything ice cream related, but the Turkey Hill All Natural line is our favorite. I was able to get these little boxes for $0.49 each after coupons, sales and gas reward savings.
(If you aren’t familiar with how the gas deals work, basically you earn so much off a gallon of gas when you purchase a certain number of specific items. This time I earned $10.00 worth of free gas for purchasing the Turkey Hill gelato.)
- 5 Turkey Hill gelato $3.79 each
– used two $1.00 Turkey Hill coupons received from manufacturer
– used three $1.50 Turkey Hill coupons printed at register on previous Giant store purchases
- Old El Paso refried beans $1.00
- Giant brand sugar $1.99
- 2 Pure Silk shaving cream $1.00 each
– used two $0.50 Pure Silk coupons from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts (doubled to $1.00 each)
- Suave body wash $1.50
– $0.50 Suave printable coupon (doubled to $1.00)
– got back $0.50 via Saving Star
- 2 Mariani cranberries $1.50 each
– used two $0.50 Mariani coupons from Sunday newspaper coupons inserts (doubled to $1.00 each)
- Bananas $0.37
– got back $0.20 via Ibotta
– got back $0.25 via Checkout 51
- $10.00 in gas reward savings for purchasing the Turkey Hill
Just a normal Aldi run to grab a few things I was needing. I stopped here before I went to Giant, and I did find it interesting that their sugar was actually $0.20 more expensive than Giant! That’s pretty unusual because Aldi typically has really great prices on their stuff.
- sugar $2.19
- canola oil $2.09
- pure vanilla $1.99
- corn chips $0.79
- Ranch dressing $1.29
- spinach $1.79
- 2 pretzels $1.29
My Mom sells Fuller Brush and I bought some more Fullerbrush 86 Detergent from her. I use cheaper detergent for some things like towels and bedding, but I love how this Fuller 86 gets our clothing clean and is good at getting spots out.
* More tomatoes from our “garden”! Yay! We also had a pepper too, but my husband used it before it got on a picture.
My mom-in-law got a case of butter from a little local Amish grocery store and let me buy some from her. I was grateful because I haven’t seen butter for a good price in a long time and $2.25/lb. sounded great to me!
Nope, not cheating Lydia. Many times I was in need of supplies on the 30th of the month and blew through some money in order to feed us in the coming weeks. Yearly is a much better way to look at it. Plus, think of the extra you spend on things to preserve that you might not eat for months.
That was a great price on butter right now.
What isn’t a great price right now? Eggs for $2.89 at Aldi last night! Ugh.
One thing I’ve noticed about sugar is that once in a while I can get a better deal on the 5 pound bag at my regular grocery store over the 4 pounders that Aldi sells. Just once in a while.
Well, the annual thing definitely works better for me, mostly because of all my buying in bulk over canning season! I also think, unless you are someone who is a spender by nature or unless your budget is so tight that you really, truly have no wiggle room, that looking at your budget amounts as the amount for a whole year (versus monthly) relieves a lot of stress and pressure.
I know, that butter had me happy! I almost think I should have bought more! 🙂 Eggs on the other hand have me discouraged. Our Aldi was $2.89 too, but I saw that Giant was only $2.49 or something like that. I guess I’ll definitely be needing to remember to shop around when I buy them!
Same goes for sugar. It made me wonder how many other times Giant had a lower price than Aldi. Going to keep my eye on it for a while just because I’m curious.
$80? Wow, that is incredible! And I agree, when you stop and add up savings like that, you really start to appreciate all the time you take to put into using coupons and shopping sales.
I wonder what you’ll decide to do for next week! We tend to budget on more of a yearly basis. So while we budget $200 a month, we look at it more as $2400 a year. So, as long as I come in under budget for the year, we’re good. Maybe that’s kind of cheating, I don’t know. But it definitely does help give me leeway during those months that I go over budget from stocking up!
Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving
My diaper stockpile has saved me so much money, too! I was just adding it up (because I track frugal things like that) and to date, I’ve spent only $80 in cash on all my son’s diapers – and he’s 17 months old! This is one of the reasons I am so thankful for coupons and sales! That said, I’m already over my $200 monthly budget this month, because I’ve stocked up on meat sales and bought lots of fresh produce. I’m trying to decide what that means for us for next week…