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!
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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, 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.
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.
Whew, I bought a lot of stuff this week! Read on for the details…
Total Spent: $161.05
Total Saved with Coupons: $44.13
Total Saved with Sales: $23.78
Total Saved: $67.91
Saved with Coupons: $16.00
Saved with Sales: $9.27
I made two trips to CVS this week. The first one I bought everything but the body wash and then I got home and noticed that Coupon Cutting Mom had posted a deal for free Right Guard body wash and I immediately knew that if it was at all possible, I needed to try to get another trip to CVS in this week. It just so happened that the next day I ended up driving right by another CVS, so I stopped and got my free body wash!
The only annoying thing about it was that I forgot to cut the Extra Bucks off of my receipt from my previous trip and so I couldn’t use them on the second trip to reduce my out-of-pocket expense. Thankfully, CVS Extra Bucks usually have a long expiration date, so I shouldn’t have a hard time getting them used before they expire, so it’s not a huge deal. It’s just that I like to “roll” them as much as possible to keep my out-of-pocket expense lower.
The Starbucks iced coffee actually ended up being a moneymaker of $0.50 after coupons and sales. The Colgate toothbrush, Gold Emblem crackers and Right Guard body wash were free. The Covergirl face powder was just something that I needed and since I had extra bucks to use up, it seemed like the perfect time to buy it. I tend to have fairly oily skin and I love using this shine reducing powder to help absorb the oil and give me a fresh instead of a “greasy” one!
- Starbucks iced coffee $1.50
– used $1.00 Starbucks iced coffee printable coupon
– got back $1.00 via Ibotta
- Colgate toothbrush $2.99
– used $1.00 Colgate coupon from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts
- Gold Emblem (CVS brand) wheat crackers $1.99
– used $1.00 CVS Gold Emblem printable coupon
- Covergirl powder $7.99
- 2 Right Guard body wash $3.00 each
– used $2.00/2 Right Guard printable coupon
– got back $2.00 via Saving Star
OTHER COUPONS USED:
- $11.00 in Extra Bucks coupons earned by purchasing items previously at CVS
- $2.00 Extra Bucks coupon for purchasing the Colgate toothbrush (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- $1.00 Extra Bucks coupon for purchasing the Gold Emblem (can be used on next purchase of any item)
- $2.00 Extra Bucks coupon for purchasing the Right Guard (can be used on next purchase of any item)
Saved with Coupons: $26.63
Saved with Sales: $12.54
I made good use of a rain check that I had and got a bunch of 100% whole wheat Nature’s Harvest bread for better than free. After coupons/sales/gas rewards, I actually made $3.70 on it! If you are a regular reader, you know that I typically make my own 100% Whole Wheat Bread, but if I can get good bread for free or better than free, then I most definitely will! I love that this bread uses sugar as the sweetener and doesn’t contain any funky ingredients. Really, it is almost as healthy and good for you as what my homemade bread is!
I forgot to send the milk jars along with my husband to work on Monday (the only day he’s working right now) so that he could get milk for us from a local dairy on his way home from work. So I needed to buy a gallon of milk to get us through another week. As you’ll see below, I ended up buying more later in the week too! If you regularly buy milk, you’ll want to check out Ibotta. They have an offer on any brand of milk pretty much every week!
The bananas were free after app savings and the tortillas were $0.79 after an e-coupon that I had.
As a blogger, I’m part of Purex Insiders (no longer running as of 12/2019) and as a result, periodically get the chance to try new Purex and Dial products. When they send me a new product to try, they also usually send along some free product coupons. I typically try to give the coupons away to family, friends or blog readers, but for some reason, I totally forgot about doing that with the last batch and suddenly this week realized they were all going to expire. So I decided to just use them myself to buy the product, and then give the soaps away to various people to enjoy trying. Three of them have already been given away and I plan to hand out the rest this week!
- 6 Nature’s Harvest bread $1.50 each (bought with rain check)
– used four $0.55 Nature’s Harvest printable coupons (doubled to $1.00 each)
– used $1.00 Nature’s Harvest Giant e-coupon (coupon that I loaded to my Giant store card)
– got back $0.20 via Ibotta (offer was good on any bread)
- Giant brand milk $3.80
– got back $0.20 via Ibotta (offer was good on any milk)
- Giant brand tortillas $1.29
– used $0.50 Giant brand e-coupon (coupon that I loaded to my Giant store card)
- 3 Dial baby wash $3.99 each
– used three Dial baby wash FREE product coupons received from Purex Insiders ($3.99 each)
- Dial foaming hand wash $2.59
– used Dial foaming hand wash FREE product coupon received from Purex Insiders ($2.59)
- Dial hand soap $1.89 each
– used three Dial hand soap FREE product coupons received from Purex Insiders ($1.89 each)
- Bananas $0.45
– got back $0.20 via Ibotta
– got back $0.25 via Checkout 51
- $7.50 in gas reward savings for purchasing the Nature’s Harvest bread
Saved with Coupons: $1.50
Saved with Sales: $1.97
I was going to Target to get some non-grocery things anyway, so I figured I might as well take advantage of this awesome Simply Juice deal. After coupons and sales they were just $0.81/bottle. Juice is one of those things that I rarely buy simply because it quickly gets to be expensive and we can easily do without it. However, when I’m able to buy it for $1.00 or less a bottle, I almost always go ahead and get it and then we enjoy it as a special treat.
And since this is a Target purchase, I also saved 5% simply by paying with my Target REDCard! I love that card. It’s definitely been a big money saver, not just because of the 5% savings on every purchase but also because it allows me to get free shipping on any Target.com order which is incredibly handy!
- 2 Simply Juices $1.60 each
– used two $0.75 Simply Juices printable coupons
– used 20% Cartwheel coupon (saved $0.80 total)
– saved $0.09 via my Target REDCard
We took a mini-vacation of sorts over July 4th and spent time with family in Virginia. While we were there, my sister-in-law needed to do some grocery shopping, so I went along with her. I was rather incredulous when I saw that milk there is just $1.69 a gallon! Around here it’s running about $3.80 a gallon, although we typically get raw milk from a local farm for $2.00 a gallon.
Since we had taken a bunch of blueberries down with us, we had a cooler along. So I decided to buy 3 gallons of milk and take them home with us. My husband is usually the one that ends up stopping by the local farm to get our milk and while he rarely complains, it’s not exactly his favorite thing in the world to do. I figured by getting the milk in Virginia, we not only save a little bit of money ($0.93), it would also give my husband a little break, which he very much appreciated!
I also grabbed 2 bags of corn chips because I remembered that we were almost out of them. And I also got a pack of Italian sausages that were marked down to well under $2.00/lb., which is my typical “buy” price for meat.
- 3 milk $1.69 each
- 2 corn chips $0.89 each
- Italian sausage (little over 1 lb.) $1.56
Centerville Bulk Food: $74.88
I made a trip to this favorite local bulk food store to get a variety of some of my favorite things to buy there. Because it’s an Amish store and therefore they don’t have a regular cash register, I don’t have a breakdown of the cost of each item since it’s kind of difficult to do with the kind of receipt that they give.
The brown bag in the back is nearly full of locally grown new red skin potatoes. Yum! I also got coconut, raw sugar, Occident (bread) flour, cornstarch, aluminum-free baking powder, Ladyfinger popcorn (tiny kernels that make the best popcorn!), sea salt, black pepper, unsulfured molasses, jar lids (for canning), butter ($2.09/lb.) and Muenster cheese ($2.33/lb.)
It’s blueberry time! I bought two 20 lb. boxes of blueberries for $33.75 each. I ended up splitting one of the boxes with my mom, so all told, we got 30 lbs. We enjoyed some fresh and then I froze the rest to eat throughout the rest of the year. I’ll probably end up buying another box or two yet as well since we eat a lot of blueberries. We have them most days for lunch and I sometimes make a yummy frozen mixed fruit that uses blueberries as well. Of course, I also occasionally use them in baking too.
When I went shopping with my sister-in-law, we also stopped at Costco. I was getting low on shredded cheese and since their price was pretty decent ($2.35/lb.), I got some to take home with me.
- I missed adding these sweet cherries to my post last week and I honestly can’t remember what I paid for them. My mom-in-law picked a bunch at a local orchard and offered to let me buy some from her. I got about 8 lbs. I think and if I remember correctly, I paid about $1.25/lb. for them.