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, Red Plum, Ibotta and Checkout 51. 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? 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.
First of all, I’m so sorry that this is getting posted at the end of the week instead of the beginning. I felt pretty sick with morning sickness this week and so blogging just kind of got pushed to the back burner. (Why do they call it morning sickness anyway? I’d love it if mine only happened in the morning.) 🙂 Then when I went to work on this post a couple of days ago, my computer was acting up and it wouldn’t let me add the pictures. Just felt I owed you all an explanation!
Total Spent: -$14.05 (negative amount due to credits)
Total Saved with Coupons: $14.53
Total Saved with Sales: $23.99
Total Saved: $38.52
Saved with Coupons: $2.78
The dish soap was free after Extra Bucks. Several years ago, my doctor recommended that I take an iron supplement. I was working as a pharmacy tech at CVS at the time and we often used this over-the-counter Gericare brand to fill prescriptions for iron tablets. It was way cheaper than any other brand of iron, so I bought a bottle and started using it. I have been very happy with it and if you take iron, I suggest seeing if your pharmacy can special order this brand in for you. It will save you a lot of money!
- Total Home dish soap $0.89
- Gericare ferrous sulfate (iron) $1.99
OTHER COUPONS USED:
- $2.78 in Extra Bucks earned by purchasing items previously at CVS
- $0.89 Extra Bucks for purchasing the Total Home dish soap (can be used on future purchase of any item at CVS)
Rite Aid: $0.89
Saved with Coupons: $4.00
Saved with Sales: $7.00
I was super happy to find this deal on diapers. After coupons and sales, I paid just $2.49 a pack! I’m starting to stock up for this newest little one that we are looking forward to meeting this summer, which is obviously why I bought newborn and size 1. Stockpiling diapers is one of the easiest ways to save money on baby expenses in my opinion!
- 2 Pampers Swaddlers $8.99 each
– used two $2.00 Pampers printable coupons
OTHER COUPONS USED:
- $13.09 in Plenti Points earned by purchasing items previously at Rite Aid
- $4.00 Plenti Points for purchasing the Pampers (can be used on the future purchase of any item at Rite Aid)
- $5.00 off any purchase coupon- earned by purchasing Pampers
Saved with Coupons: $7.75
Saved with Sales: $16.99
My favorite food deal this week was the Philadelphia cream cheese which ended up being just $0.50 after coupons and sales. We already enjoyed a Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake that I made with some of it. 🙂
We typically eat homemade granola or baked oatmeal for our breakfasts, but when I can find bought cereal for $0.50 or less like I did the Cinnamon Toast Crunch this week, I get it and we enjoy it as something special.
The flour and tea were both just good sale prices on items that we regularly use. And the bananas cost a mere $0.09 after a Checkout 51 offer.
- 12 Philadelphia cream cheese $1.00 each (on sale for buy 2, get 2 free)
– used six $1/2 Philadelphia printable coupons
- Bigelow tea $2.50
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch $1.99
– used $0.50 Cinnamon Toast Crunch printable coupon (doubled to $1.00)
– got back $0.50 via Saving Star
- 2 Pillsbury flour $1.49 each
- bananas $0.34
– got back $0.25 via Checkout 51
Had to go to Walmart for something else and since we needed milk, I went ahead and picked it up there.
- milk $3.50
I withdrew money to use to buy produce at our local farmer’s market.
I cashed out my Saving Starearnings. Since I earn that money by purchasing groceries, I just roll it back into my grocery budget.
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 $56.48 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.)
So much math going on here! I love it. It is amazing to think of all the savings you’re building up. I was especially surprised to see the deal on cream cheese. I love homemade cheesecake, but the price usually keeps me from having it often!
Yes, Molly, sometimes the math about makes my head spin! 🙂 And I truly do save so much by shopping this way. Speaking of cheesecake, I’m hoping to use some of this to make one this coming week. My mouth is watering already!
Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving
I must have missed your announcement! Congratulations on your exciting baby news! I need to buy newborn diapers as well, with 2 months to go! Thankfully, I already have plenty of size 1 and 2 already in my stockpile. I will be praying your morning sickness subsides soon!
Thanks, Kristen! You’re prayers must have helped, because I actually felt pretty good all day yesterday and today woke up feeling decent too. So grateful! There’s something that just gets exhausting about feeling yuck day after day- even when you know it’s for a good cause! 🙂 And I didn’t make a huge splashy pregnancy announcement, so it’s quite possible that you easily missed it. 🙂 I didn’t realize that you were pregnant-fun! And I hope these last 2 months go by without too much discomfort and that you can feel all ready to welcome baby when the day arrives. Sometimes for me those months have dragged and other times they flew and I almost didn’t feel ready! As far as diaper stockpiling, I always feel like if I have plenty of N, 1 & 2 diapers, then I am doing pretty good because it means I won’t have to worry about buying anything those first couple of months.