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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 and Ibotta. 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.
I only went to Aldi and Giant this week, so it wasn’t as big of a shopping week as sometimes. The drugstore deals just haven’t been amazing the last couple of weeks and so I’ve been just trying to focus on Giant right now. And actually Rite Aid recently changed their rewards program and so far their offers have been sorely lacking. So I don’t know if I’ll be shopping there at all in the future. I’ll definitely miss them, because I have 2 stores within walking distance and loved taking walks there. Nothing like getting some exercise while also couponing and saving money! Plus, I became friends with many of their employees too and will miss seeing them. But it doesn’t seem like they are able to offer the deals that they did for last last several years.
Total Spent: -$1.88 (negative due to credits as shown at end of post)
Total Saved with Coupons: $0.00
Total Saved with Sales: $7.82
Total Saved: $7.82
Saved with Coupons: $0.00
Saved with Sales: $7.82
I have to laugh when I look at this picture because Clorox and Cheez-Its are just kind of odd things to purchase together, especially when they are the only thing you purchase! But they definitely benefited me this week since they helped me make $14.00!
Both the Clorox and Cheez-Its were part of Giant’s gas rewards promotion this week. The Clorox items also were part of a Catalina promotion where I got a $3.00 coupon off any future purchasing just for buying them, plus there were Checkout 51offers for them too! Between that and the savings that I got on gas as a result of purchasing them, I made $5.00 on those items alone. I don’t use a lot of Clorox, but I figured that I might as well buy it since it was a money maker. I can always give the items to friends if I end up not using them. The wipes are really handy to have on hand though when the kids are sick…..especially when they throw up, you know for sanitizing the area of the event.
We don’t eat a lot of snack foods, but when I saw that I could make money on these Cheez-It cups this week, I decided this was an exception! 🙂 For every 5 cups that you bought, you were to get enough gas points to save $7.50 on gas. I accidentally only bought 14, so it kind of messed up the deal. I didn’t notice it until I was home though, so I need to ask them about it when I shop this week. The store I go to is typically really good about things like this and I expect that they’ll allow me to pay for another one and then just add the points for me that way. So, assuming that happens, I’ll make $7.50 on all of these!
As I was buying these snack cups, I was noticing how expensive they are. They were on sale for $1.00, but are regularly $1.39. However, they are only 2.2 oz. each. A normal size box of Cheez-It’s is 12.4 oz. That means basically when you buy these little snack cups at regular price, you are essentially paying $7.66 a box for them! Even at the sale price of $1.00, it’s the equivalent of paying $5.63 a box. Wow, that is some expensive snacking! It would be much smarter to buy a regular size box of Cheez-It’s and put smaller portions in snack sized Ziploc bags. You would save a lot! I guess you can consider that your money saving tip of the week!
Oh and I know it might seem like I have this whole couponing thing down and never make any goofs. Truth is, I semi-frequently forget to do a deal or mess up on one. I already mentioned that I goofed on the Cheez-It deal this week. But I also missed out on an additional $0.50 savings on the Clorox bleach. There was an update on the Checkout 51 app that would have allowed me to redeem the offer more than once. I noticed it, but forgot to do it before I submitted my receipt, so it was too late. I may have been able to get them to credit me for it had I emailed them, but somehow it seemed like too much of a hassle to be worth it.
- 2 Clorox bleach $2.00 each
– will get back $0.50 via Checkout 51
- 2 Clorox wipes $2.00 each
– will get back $1.00 via Checkout 51
- 14 Cheez-It cups $1.00 each
- $3.00 Catalina coupon for purchasing the Clorox (coupon prints at register and can be used on any future purchase at Giant)
- $10.00 in gas reward savings for purchasing the Clorox
- $15.00 in gas reward savings for purchasing the Cheez-It cups
(should hopefully get another $7.50 as mentioned above)
We enjoyed sharing dinner with a group of friends one evening last week and I was asked to bring a salad. I planned to take some of my homemade Mexican Dressing, but I also typically like to have some bought dressing too for those that only like Ranch. I thought I had an extra bottle in the cupboard, but discovered that wasn’t the case and the one in the fridge only had a little bit in it. Oops! So I made a trip to Aldi and of course grabbed some other things too.
We’ve been going through tissues like crazy around here since all three children had colds…our youngest was sick for almost a week and still has a slightly runny nose! So I got another two boxes to restock. The grapes and oranges were on sale this week. Our children love fruit and were excited about both of these and they are perfect for an after school snack for our ever hungry 6 yr. old! Seems food is always on his mind lately and his clothes are giving me evidence of my suspicion that he’s in the middle of a growth spurt.
- 2 Ranch dressing $1.29
- French dressing $1.29
- 2 tissues $1.19 each
- potato chips $1.79
- 2 black beans $0.59 each
- 2 saltines $0.89 each
- 4 lb. oranges $1.99
- 2 lb. grapes $1.98
* I make my own whole wheat bread and get the flour for it from my in-laws. They have a wheat grinder and allow me to just buy the flour from them- and fresh ground makes the bread so much yummier than store bought whole wheat flour! I pay $6 for two 1 gallon ice cream buckets full- I have no idea what that comes to per lb., it’s just what we have figured out covers their costs for them. Oh and I had grocery cash that I used to pay for it this time!
(Yes, the date on those bags actually says 2013….I forgot to take a picture of the ham loaf I got this time, so I dug through my archives and this is the only one I could find! )
My mom-in-law let me know that a family owned supermarket close to them had pre-made ham loaf on sale for $1.69/lb. She offered to get me some if I wanted it, so I took her up on it and had her get me about 20 lb.! 🙂 She’s so kind to me- I can’t tell you how often I’ve been grateful for a mother-in-law like her. I know not everyone is so blessed! But that’s rather off the subject of groceries, isn’t it? Back to the ham loaf….I love using it for a super easy Sunday lunch. I just put in a loaf pan, make a glaze to put on top and then put it in the oven on time bake so that it’s all ready to enjoy once we get home from church! I typically make 2 lbs. at a time and then we can often enjoy the leftover for a second meal later in the week.
* I used grocery cash to buy 3 heads of lettuce at our local Farmer’s Market. I used about half of it to make a big salad to take to a dinner that we had with some friends.
I cashed out my Ibotta earnings! Yay! 🙂 No, the savings don’t add up quickly. In fact, I may not have cashed out on Ibotta at all yet this year. But I still think it’s totally worth it to use apps like this. I mean, if I’m able to save on things I’m planning to buy anyway, it just makes sense.
The last couple of weeks I’ve been buying various items that are part of the Giant gas deals. Basically, you get points for purchasing the products and then you can redeem those points for gas. I was able to get $65.00 worth of gas for free as a result. And since I only buy the grocery items that are part of these deals because they either get me free gas or make me money, I put the savings back into my grocery budget. (To see the details of these purchases look at my previous Giant purchases under my What I Spent & What I Saved posts.)
Can I ask what you used to make your salad beside lettuce, since I don’t see any other veggies in your groceries. When I take a salad, it seems I can spend a lot on it! 🙁 Thanks!
That’s a great question, Dorcas! I’m never sure how detailed to get on these posts and have been conflicted as to just how descriptive I should get with what all I put in our salads.
I hadn’t thought of it before, but I actually often don’t include a ton of other veggies in our salads, I guess mostly because of the cost. If I do include another veggies it is often carrots since they are cheap and I usually have them on hand. And I know a lot of people always think of tomatoes in a salad, but since we don’t enjoy raw tomatoes much, it makes it easy to leave them out.
So, what do I put in our salads? Here are some of the things I often do. Of course I mix and match and vary it a lot, but it might give you an ideas:
* Sunflower Seeds
* Black Beans
* Corn Chips (instead of croutons)
* Hard-boiled Eggs
* Mandarin Oranges (from a can)- not all dressings go with this though!
I never really thought about it, but I guess our salad taste isn’t super traditional! 🙂 You are right though, fresh veggies can quickly get expensive. Do you have an Aldi grocery store nearby? They have great prices on produce and have weekly produce specials. I can often get baby carrots and mushrooms there for $0.59/lb. And they frequently run specials on things like tomatoes, onions, peppers and cucumbers too. It might be worth checking into if you eat a lot of fresh produce!