Category Archives: savings

>Saving Money on Groceries in 2011

>One of my goals (okay, resolutions) for 2011 is to try to find ways to do so in ways that fit our family, not always ways that work for others or that I read about.

For instance, last summer, I really experimented with using grocery fliers and coupons everywhere I could find them to save as much as I could.

What I found was that I ended up with a ton of granola bars, cereal that hurt our tummies (too much fiber), cans of spaghetti sauce I still haven’t touched, and overall, I realized that while I was certainly saving money off the regular cost of the coupon/sale items, these items were a lot of processed foods, not so healthy for us, and I didn’t like that.

Sure, it took us through December to go through all the toilet paper, deodorant, and bath soap. That was good, and we used them. One plus.

I found also, that I would still use most of my budget to try to get all the savings I could, and sometimes feel that still, I didn’t really have components to make meals I normally make, or would have wanted to make.

So, I started only collecting coupons for items we use all the time and didn’t obsess about not having coupons for meals I wanted to make. I felt like I tried the obsessive system, and while there is a place for it, in my busy schedule, I want to know I have ingredients for meals and I’m feeding my family in a healthy way.

I’ve recently started doing Bountiful Baskets, and have loved, for the most part, what I get from that each week. It has its pluses and minuses too though and I’m wondering if I should continue.

Pluses? It seems like you save a lot on produce for the week. There are also some unique items which get you to be creative and try new things (like my persimmon cookies).

Minuses? I usually do my grocery shopping on Friday late afternoons. Bountiful baskets are picked up on Saturday mornings, and I never know what I’m going to get. This causes me to either wait to grocery shop, cutting into my weekend, or I end up going back to the grocery store again, to have things that are needed for the items I get.

I guess there are pluses and minuses for everything, but I’m curious, what are some methods that work for you for saving money on groceries? My ears/eyes are open to hear all kinds of suggestions I might not have tried yet.

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>What Do You Think? (My CVS trip)

>I went to CVS today, had to. My Buy $20, get $4 off coupon expires tomorrow. So I looked over the ad today, and planned my list, including my $12 in ECBs, to try to get the most of what I need right now.
I know the ultimate goal is to save ECBs to buy other things that have ECBs, ultimately paying almost nothing, but I felt trapped by needed to use the $4/$20 by tomorrow and didn’t see much I needed in the ad.

I’d like to hear from you, do you think I really ended up saving money or using my bucks in the best manner? (Again, keep in mind I had to go off this week’s sale items to use my $4/$20 by tomorrow.)

ITEM 1: Honey Nut Cheerios sale: $2.99, but buy 3, get $3 ECB for future purchase.
I had a $1/2 coupon and $.55/1 coupon, so I save an additional $1.55 on them. I bought 3. (This is a purchase I question because they were only 12.25 oz. boxes that regularly sell for $4.29 there.)

ITEM 2:  Aveeno lotion, something my son and I both use. Sale: $5.99 (I thought usually $6.54 at Target so a good deal, with the $1/2 coupon I had). The ones I use however, were $6.99. I could have gotten them for the $6.54 at Target, but I felt I should buy them to reach my $20 I needed for the above coupon and was able to apply my ECBs too. I bought the 2 I needed.

ITEM 3: 3 Hallmark cards. I had a $1/3 coupon, and had to send out one this week, so it was a must.


All in all, my bill was $12.14 and I saved $26.02. Was this a good deal, do you think?

For more money saving tips, see Money Saving Mom.

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>Shopping Savings

>I think I am getting better at this shopping with ads and coupons thing!

Thursday I went back to Walgreens to get those Energizer batteries that I price checked at Target earlier in the week. The AAA batteries (as well as others) were on sale with a Walgreens coupon for $2.99 each. I then had 2 $1/off coupons, so I bought 2 of them, and added a Walgreens $1 off coupon, ending up paying $3.52 for EIGHT AAA Energizer batteries!

Then this week I decided, since I have a little extra time, to split my grocery shopping between Safeway and Fry’s, because they both have good deals on things we use, and I have coupons I can add.

Today after work I went to Safeway. Here’s what I got:

There are 2 vitamin bottles behind the bananas too. Using combined store coupons, newspaper coupons, and multiple ones I printed online, by purchasing only those items that were on sale in combination with all the coupons, I spent $44.15, saving $50.71. You can’t really tell that I have 2 Ritz, 2 Sargento cheese, 4 Nut Clusters, 2 Gallo salami, and 3 Softsoaps (oh, they were only on sale. I didn’t have coupons.)

For more savings, see Super Savings Saturday.

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>Success at Safeway

>I had perhaps my BEST shopping trip (quick trip) at Safeway yesterday. I kept seeing all these blog postings about their buy 8 save $4, which I’d purchased some of last week, and decided to go again, just to buy 8 more things that we will use. I also had a lot of coupons for these items on top of it.

I was able to get $21.92 worth of groceries for $5.04!

This included:

Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie mix (dessert for a bbq this weekend)
2 Nature Valley Nut Cluster bags (a favorite of ours)
Betty Crocker cake mix (4th of July cake later)
Betty Crocker frosting
2 higher priced (Scooby Doo and Sponge Bob) Kraft Mac n Cheese

It was $10.88 in Club Card savings, $5.00 in Coupon savings, and $1.00 in cellfire coupons. If you haven’t tried Cellfire, you should click on the link.

What have you saved lately and where?

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>Super Savings: Walgreens and Target

>I took my second purposeful Walgreens trip Monday, focusing on those items on sale and that I had coupons for. Here’s what I got:
All this for $19.05. Saving $17.19

Cascade: sale $3.99 and I had a .25 coupon. Plus I earned $1.00 in a future purchase = $2.74
Pampers wipes: sale $2.50 and I had a $2 coupon = $.50
Kleenex: sale coupon $.99 for up to 3 = $2.97
Tampax Pearl: sale $4.99 and B1 G1 1/2 off, plus 1 $2 and 2 $1 coupon = $4.48 for both
Maxwell House: sale $5.99 and $1.00 coupon = $4.99
Dawn soap: normal $1.99, plus $.25 coupon with store coupon ($.99 each) = $.74
Plus I earned a $1.00 off on my next purchase.

There were a few things on sale I questioned. Aveeno lotion was on sale 20% off, and I use it. The price seemed high, $7.99 on sale. I also questioned the Energizer batteries for $2.99, so I went to Target after. At Target, the same lotion is $6.84 regularly, so it was good I didn’t buy at Walgreens. The batteries, I found, were a good price at 4 for $2.99, plus I have 2 $1.00 coupons, so I’ll probably go back and get 2 packs. At least I could use the $1.00 off coupon, because it expires next Monday anyway-a quick turnaround.

When I went to Target I didn’t plan on purchasing anything, just look at prices. Oops-while I there I founds some items on sale I typically buy that I picked up:
Comet: $.87 sale
Skippy: $1.79 sale (2) down from $2.09 normally (too bad I didn’t have coupons too)
Wet Ones: $1.99 sale (2) on sale (don’t know normal price)
and two birthday cards-of course not on sale.
All this was $14.96, and guess what I used? Three $5.00 gift cards I’d gotten from sale purchases over the last week. So I still actually have $.04 left on a card. It cost me $-.04!

For more saving ideas see Wednesday Weekly Shopping.

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