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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, Ibotta, Fetch Rewards (use code GEOEG at sign-up for $2.00 in points!), Checkout 51 and Saving Star. 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?
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’m kind of feeling a bit tightfisted with my grocery budget right now. I have already spent about $150 for the month and still have a half of it to go. I don’t anticipate needing to buy a lot, but I had really hoped to come in well under budget this month since the next several months I’ll likely be going over budget due to buying fruits and veggies to can and freeze.
Part of what made my expenses so much this week was my trip to a local bulk food store where I spent $80 something. That felt like a lot of money, but I was able to stock up on some things and will hopefully not need to make a trip there again for several months. So in the long run, it makes sense.
The thing that worries me a bit is that in the next month we are hosting a number of guests, I need to provide 2 meals for about 25 people at a family get together and I’ll be buying a bunch of strawberries to freeze, which always ends up being a big chunk of money. I’m sure it will all work out, but it has just reminded me again that I need to be mindful of what I buy (and don’t buy!) when I’m grocery shopping. I can get a bit lax when things aren’t as tight, which is fine, but then it can be hard to tighten things up again when I need too! 🙂
Total Spent: $46.49
Total Saved with Coupons: $10.00
Total Saved with Sales: $14.10
Total Saved: $24.10
Total Saved with Coupons: $10.00
Total Saved wit Sales: $14.10
The Classico and Turkey Hill All Natural Gelato were part of the gas deals this week. Basically after coupons and sales, I paid just $0.53 for each of them! Actually, since the Gelato cost more the actual cost was more for the gelato and less for the pasta sauce, but it gets too complicated to try to figure all of that out! 🙂 I used to make my own pasta sauce, and I may still do it sometimes. But the last couple of years I’ve been able to get it free or very inexpensively with couponing and it just hasn’t seemed worth the work to make my own during this stage of life with little ones.
I bought the Turkey Hill All Natural Gelato for my Homemade Chocolate Syrup post. The Purely Vanilla was good, but the Chocolate Chocolate Chip? It was amazing- so much so that I wanted to eat the whole quart in one sitting. That’s not so good if you are trying to watch your calorie intake!
(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 Classico and Turkey Hill products.)
The Popsicles were totally free after coupons and sales, the bananas were just $0.03 after coupons and sales and the Eight O’Clock coffee ended up being an awesome deal at just $1.55 each after coupons and sales. We go through quite a bit of coffee around here since I love making lots of homemade frappes!
- 3 Popsicle products $1.00 each
– used $3.00/3 Popsicle coupon in Sunday newspaper coupon inserts
- 6 Classico pasta sauce $2.00 each
– used two $1.50/3 Classico printable coupons
– got back $0.30 via Ibotta (offer was good on any red pasta sauce)
- 2 Turkey Hill All Natural Gelato $3.79 each
– used $0.75 Turkey Hill coupon received via manufacturer (doubled to $1.00)
– used $1.00 Turkey Hill coupon received via manufacturer
- 2 Eight O’Clock coffee $5.39 total (on sale buy one, get one free)
– used two $1.00 Eight O’Clock printable coupons
– got back $0.30 via Ibotta (offer was good on any brand ground coffee)
- Bananas $0.48
– got back $0.20 via Ibotta (offer was good on bananas)
– got back $0.25 via Checkout 51 (offer was good on bananas)
- $10.00 in gas reward savings for purchasing the Classico and Turkey Hill
Somehow the mushrooms missed getting on the picture. Oops!
Every week when I shop at Aldi I try to think ahead to what basics that I’ll be needing the next week or two. And somehow almost every week I still end up needing to stop by for something. I could obviously buy the item I’m needing at Giant, and sometimes I do, but most the time Aldi is so much cheaper that I figure it is worth my time to stop there since I drive right by it to get to Giant anywhere.
This week, I suddenly realized that I was almost out of brown sugar. Brown sugar is something that I typically never run out of thanks to my system of writing down an item on my grocery list whenever I open a new package. But last fall I had gotten a bunch of brown sugar (probably close to 15 bags!) for free with a deal at Giant and I was storing the extra in our basement. Somehow I still thought I had some down there but when I went to get it, I discovered that I only had Confectioner sugar left and the brown sugar was all used up. Since I knew that I was going to be using brown sugar over the weekend to do a bit of baking, I figured that I’d better stop this week and get some. And hopefully, I bought everything that we needed so that I can skip shopping there next week!
- 3 tissues $1.19 each
- saltines $0.85
- Parmesan cheese $2.49
- mayo $1.89
- Ranch dressing $1.29
- natural peanut butter $1.69
- heavy whipping cream $1.89
- black beans $0.59
- 3 brown sugar $1.19 each
- 2 cream cheese $0.99 each
- potato chips $1.79
- mushrooms $1.29
Centerville Bulk Food: $82.49
It has been several months since I made a trip to my favorite local bulk food store, but I was needing quite a few things and was heading over that way anyhow, so I stopped in and tried to stock up enough that I wouldn’t have to go back for another couple of months! I kind of had sticker shock when I saw my total bill though. Truth is, the prices on these things were all excellent, but I’m just not used to buying so much at once I guess.
It’s kind of hard to list out everything I bought because it’s an Amish store and they just ring up the items by the price and department that it was from, so that’s all the shows on the receipt too.
A few highlights:
- Cocoa Powder $2.21/lb. (quite a bit cheaper than Aldi!)
- Oatmeal $0.54/lb.
- Apple seconds $0.69/lb.
- 5 lb. Honey $15.39
- Red Star Yeast $2.95/lb.
I also bought sea salt, wheat gluten, quite a few spices and dried herbs, chicken bouillon (I especially like it for my Homemade Cream Soup Mix, corn starch and flavored gelatin.
I bought a lot of oatmeal (a bit over 39 lbs. in fact), but since we primarily eat Homemade Granola and Homemade Baked Oatmeal for our breakfasts, I go through it rather quickly.
I know that brown eggs aren’t better for you, but there is still something about them that just looks so much more wholesome! Anyone else know what I mean?
The thing is, these actually are more wholesome because they are partially grass fed. My in-laws have chickens and shared this dozen with us!
- $10.00 via Snap by Groupon (Snap is a program that is now discontinued)
I finally had enough to cash out my Snap account. (I also had $10.00 in referral credit- you need $20 to cash out.) I don’t use Snap a lot, but occasionally there is an offer there that is for something that I’m already buying, so it only makes sense to use it. That is typically how these rebate programs are. No, you aren’t going to usually save a lot of money super quick, but over time, you’re savings will add up and help stretch your grocery budget!
- $67.50 gas rewards credit
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 $67.50 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.)