Wonder how a real life couponer shops? Let me show you the details of my $200 a month grocery shopping trips and teach you the things that I do to save and live well on a low grocery budget with my family of six!
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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!) and Checkout 51. Manufacturer websites and Facebook pages are also great sources.
If you are new here and unfamiliar with my 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 on a budget! 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.
It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these spending summaries, partly because some weeks the deals have been a bit slim and other weeks because I simply ran out of time to post.
But….I’m excited about sharing my Giant and CVS trips this week. Hopefully, even if you don’t have a Giant or CVS and can’t recreate the deals, you can still get some tips that are helpful to you!
And just to be clear, the Giant deals that I did are good through 11/17/16 and the CVS deal is good through 11/19/16, so you should be able to get the deals yourself if you want to.
Total Spent: $61.33
Total Saved with Coupons: $39.50
Total Saved with Sales: $73.42
Total Saved: $112.92 + $25.00 in gas savings
Saved with Coupons: $31.50
Saved with Sales: $65.92 + $25.00 in gas savings
What a fun week at Giant! By combining various coupons, sales and other promotions I was able to get all of the things you see in the picture above for just $4.86!! I can hardly believe it myself, actually. I’m used to getting good deals, but they aren’t often quite this good.
So, here’s the breakdown. The Windex and Pledge were part of Giant’s gas reward sale items. That meant that in addition to being on sale, for every 4 of those items that I purchased, I earned $10.00 back in gas rewards. Plus, there were 2 catalina promotions for these items too, which saved me another $4 on a future purchase. And on top of that, there is a $5 gift card offer that SC Johnson is doing and I qualified for that too. So, to break it down even further, I spent $27.12 in the Pledge and Windex, saved $12.00 with printable coupons, saved $5 in catalina coupons, will get back a $5 Mastercard gift card and will have $20.00 to use on gas. This means that by purchasing the Windex and Pledge, I really made $13.88!
The Sargento sliced cheese ended up being $0.89 each after coupons and sales. Again, I was able to save significantly by combining sale with coupons. That is one of the key ways that I save a lot!
The grapes ended up being just $0.99/lb. thanks to an in-ad coupon and the Giant turkeys were only $0.39/lb. since I purchased $25 worth of other groceries too. That some cheap meat right there! And I love that I’ll be able to use the bones to get lots of great homemade chicken broth too!
The Martinelli sparkling cider was the only thing that wasn’t a super bargain, but I bought it anyway because our 10th anniversary is this weekend and we are going to be doing some things to celebrate and I thought that this would fit in well with our plans.
- 5 Sargento sliced cheese $3.00 each
– used five $0.55 Sargento printable coupons (doubled to $1.00 each)- coupon says “redeemable at Walmart” but it can be used anywhere
– saved $5 instantly for purchasing $15 worth of Sargento products
– got back $0.55 via Ibotta
- 4 Pledge $3.79 each
– used four $2.00 Pledge printable coupons
– got back $3.00 Catalina coupon for purchasing 4 Pledge- printed when you bought any 4 SC Johnson brand items (coupon that prints at register and can be used on any future purchase)
- 4 Windex $2.99 each
– used four $0.50 Windex printable coupons (doubled to $1.00 each)
– got back $1.00 Catalina coupon for purchasing the Windex (coupon that prints at register and can be used on any future purchase)
- Martinelli sparkling cider $2.50
- 4.74 lb. red seedless grapes $1.99/lb.
– used in-ad coupon to get them for $0.99/lb when you spent $25 on other groceries
- 2 Giant brand frozen turkeys (one was 21.46 lb., the other 21.27 lb.) $0.39/lb each
– they were on sale for $0.79/lb. but if you purchased $25 worth of other groceries they only were $0.39/lb.
OTHER COUPONS USED:
- $5/$25 purchase store coupon that was mailed to all Giant Bonus Card holders
- $5.00 Mastercard gift card for purchasing $20 SC Johnson products (the Windex and Pledge)
- $5.00 in gas rewards for purchasing $60 worth of groceries (coupon was mailed to all Giant Bonus Card holders)
- $10.00 in gas reward savings for purchasing the Pledge
- $10.00 in gas reward savings for purchasing the Windex
Saved with Coupons: $8.00
Saved with Sales: $7.50
Since using cloth diapers is one of the 12 money saving things I don’t do, I love watching for great deals on disposables. This week I was able to get 3 packs of Huggies for $4.66 a pack. I try not to spend more than $5 a pack for diapers, so I was pretty happy to be able to stock up again at this price!
- 3 Huggies diapers $9.99 each
– used three $2/1 Huggies printable coupons
OTHER COUPONS USED:
- $2.00 in Extra Bucks earned by purchasing items previously at CVS
- $10.00 Extra Bucks for purchasing the Huggies (can be used on future purchase of any item at CVS)
I am so excited to find you. Thank you for doing this. I am trying to save money while living in Washington D.C. with my hubby and two kids. I am a stay at home mom, so obviously I need to be tight on budget. One question is do you buy organic food? I mean all food? If some, how? Or if no, why? I am trying to buy organic food often, but they are quite expensive.
I’m glad to have you here, Kelly! And I bet D.C. is a pricey area, am I right? We recently moved to Philly and while I can still do decently on groceries the cost of a lot of other things is higher than where we previously lived. As far as your organic food question. I do not focus on buying organic food. While I don’t doubt that it is better for you, right now we simply don’t have the budget for it, because like you said, it quickly gets to be quite expensive!
If I can find organic items for cheap, then I definitely buy them. But mostly, I just try to cook from scratch and make my own foods as much “convenience foods” as possible. (Things like Homemade “Cool Whip”, Homemade Cream Soup, Homemade Cake, Homemade Yogurt etc.) I do try to avoid high fructose corn syrup and avoid GMO foods as much as possible. I also am excited about starting to make my own kefir, which is a good natural, inexpensive way to get probiotics and I think that should help keep us healthy too!
Organic foods is one of those things that everyone has to figure out how important it is for them. Like I said, with my husband being in school, for us right now, we simply don’t feel like we can afford it and because we eat mostly from scratch food and lots of fruits and veggies, I feel good about that decision. If you do want ideas of ways to save on organic food, you might find this post helpful though!