Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Some of the highlights of my trips today were FREE Betty Crocker Mashed Potatoes and and a great deal on Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls.
First I had (4) .40 BC potato coupons and they were on sales for $1 a pouch, plus I had a .40 off coupon on shortcuts and a .40 off coupon on cellfire .
4 pouches at $1 each = $4 - 4 (.40 coupons doubled) = .80 - .40 shortcuts - .40 cellfire = FREE Mashed potatoes.
Next, I did the Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls deal. They are also on sale for $1 each and there are printable coupons on several websites, including coupons.com and redplum.com. I got 6 packages of the $1 cinnamon rolls = $6 - 3 (.40/2 cinnamon rolls doubled) = $3.60 - .40 cellfire coupon - .40 shortcuts coupon = $2.80 for 6 packs of cinnamon rolls = .47/each
Doing a similar deal with the Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and (3) .50 off coupons doubling, I was able to get 6 of the crescent rolls for $3.
They also had Green Giant Steamers on sale 3/$5 and there are .50 off coupons which will double taking $1 off each package. Doing this deal I was able to get 5 packages for .67 each or $3.33 total -- not too bad.
Remember, there are printable coupons for all these items.
Also, several of the Keebler items had peelies, which would be great to use on the Target Gift Card promotion.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
I love Kroger. I haven't stopped by in several weeks because I've been a little lazy and it's a lot easier for me to just grab stuff from Wal-mart, since I work and live within a mile of the place.
However, I finally decided that it was time to get the coupons together and make a trip to Kroger.
I'll start off by acknowledging that I spent a lot of money $91.21 (saved $51.71), especially compared to what I used to spend on groceries ($25 - $50 a week), but I've started doing grocery shopping a little less often, with trips in between for just milk and necessities & I bought 3 packages of diapers which, unless you find a great sale, are always going to increase the total by $10 to $20.
I also bought a lot of just plain junk. I'm pregnant, and feeling nice and lazy right about now, so I bought some frozen pizzas and convenience foods for my husband.
Here are some of the deals from today's trip:
Popsicle brand treats (Normally 4.19 each) On Sale for $1.99 * 2 = 3.98 - .75 ecoupon - $1 coupon from Kroger mailer = $2.23 for 2 boxes
Blue Bell Ice Cream 1/2 Gallon (Normally $6.49 each) On Sale for $4.99 - $1 tear pad coupon = $3.99 each
Lunchables on Sale 2/$3. I bought 1 for $1.50 and used a $1 off coupon from the Kraft magazine that just came in the mail = $.50
FREE Lay's Potato Chip with Kroger mailer coupon
FREE 18 oz. box of Rice Crispies cereal from Vocal Point
Bounty Basics Papertowels on sale for $1 - $.25 coupon (doubles) = $.50 a roll
Some deals that didn't work out like I thought were the Wonderbread $2 - $.55 coupon and I was supposed to have an ecoupon for another $.55 off, but it didn't show up -- apparently, the coupon at shortcuts is only for the classic or classic white and I grabbed the whole grain white, oops.
Also, I bought the new Bounce Bar originally $8.49, on sale for $6.99 - $2.50 coupon from Vocal Point = $4.49 - $1 P&G ecoupon (didn't ring up) would have been $3.49 which is a decent price for a product that it supposed to last about 4 months. I'm not sure why this one didn't come off. I'm a little disappointed, but sometimes I think it takes a few days after they are loaded before they actually start to work and I just loaded them yesterday.
Overall, I'm pleased with this trip. It's definitely not like the trips I used to make, but I'm working full-time (45 + hours a week), and caring for a toddler, so I'm happy that I even found the time to gather up the coupons and make it to the store!
First stop of the day was CVS. I heard that some of the CVS stores had started marking summer items down and thought I'd stop by just in case. I found a pair of men's sandals for $3.50, women's sandals for $1.99 and two floats for the pool for $1.49 each.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
"I used to use Costco’s brand diapers, but felt like they weren’t that great of a deal. So I switched to store brand, which recently raised its prices and lowered its quality and I no longer want to use those. So I decided to do a little sleuthing around to see what the best deal is on diapers.’s
I only compared 3 stores (Dollar General, Target and Costco), but here’s what I found:Dollar General is by far the least expensive for diapers, even in the smaller packages
Target is the next best, on Huggies or Pampers on sale (plus, you can use coupons)
Then Costco’s price on Huggies is next best
Finally, and shockingly, Costco’s Kirkland brand is THE most expensive!!!
But, Costco’s wipes are the cheapest, so I’ll still get those there." - April
This got me thinking about Diapers. I have my own system and I know what I consider a good deal, but what about everyone else? What do you consider a good deal on diapers and where do you generally buy them?
Personally, I generally buy Walgreens brand or Kroger brand diapers. They are the same diapers, just different store names on the packaging. I can usually pick up a pack for about $4 - $5 and the quality is acceptable. It may not be pampers, but it does the job and it's half the price.
BTW, Thanks, April, for the e-mail.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
After I had my daughter, I quit my full-time job to stay at home more. Doing so meant I also had to figure out how to manage our family's finances with a lot less income. Camping is something we've found that we really enjoy and are able to do fairly inexpensively. Luckily, my mother-in-law owns a camper and my husband and I have a boat that we are able to take on camping trips. The combination of a boat and camper make for a pretty nice week-long vacation or weekend getaway. If you don't have a camper and boat (you can also rent a boat at some campgrounds) there are still a lot of things you can enjoy while camping tent-style: fishing, camp-fires, playing outdoors games, swimming, hiking, and some campgrounds even have a beach and playground for the kids. Last year we spent about $150 renting campsites over the course of the summer. That is still much less expensive than a trip that would require paying for a motel and spending a lot of money on gas. This summer, my mother-in-law actually rented a campsite for the next 4 months, paying a monthly rate. We are able to leave the camper and boat at the campsite and just load up the car and go camping anytime we want. So far the only money we've had to spend is on our fishing licenses. I know that camping may not be a great vacation for some folks, if you're like my friend, Nicole, who takes two showers a day, even when she's clean, you probably won't enjoy the outdoors. But, if you enjoy getting out in nature and spending time with friends and family, I recommend planning a camping trip this summer. It's a great way to relax and helps me reconnect with nature and myself. It's also a great opportunity to reflect on all the good things and people you have in your life. I find myself remembering what is truly important in life when I get a chance to get away from the hectic life and enjoy a few days without working, appointments, play dates, and the like.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
The family membership is a great deal. Not only are there lots of animals and programs at the zoo, there's also a huge play area for kids. Access to the play area itself is worth the family membership.
Last week I got some free Carnation Instant Breakfast at CVS. This morning I realized we were out of milk and it's icy out so I made a yogurt shake for my daughter.
1 packet of Carnation instant breakfast
1/2 cup milk (I substituted water)
2/3 cup of yogurt
I stirred it up and served it as a yogurt drink. My daughter loved this!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
My first stop this morning was Kroger. I had a short list for this week, just about 12 items, but I thought I'd grab a couple of the items that were on sale in addition to my usual items, simply because they were such a good deal. This week at Kroger, I was able to pick up the following items for $53.83, not great but a savings of 46% on some of my staples:
- 6 Freschetta Pizzas $3.49 each after coupons
- 2 Boxes of Toaster Strudels $1.29 each after coupons
- 2 Bags of Amour Meatballs $1.99 each
- 2 Boxes of Barilla Whole Wheat Pasta $.39 each (used 2 FREE pasta coupons up to $1 coupon from Armour)
- 3 packs of Baby wipes $1.99 each - $5 off 3 coupon = $.98 for all three packages
- 1 package of Kroger Comforts diapers $6.49 - $3 coupon = $3.49
I also picked up some fruit, soup, milk, half and half, chips/salsa, popcorn and a few other items on my list.
My next stop was to Walgreens. I grabbed 4 packs of Diapers 2/$9. I paid 19.67 after tax and will get 1.80 back on my W card.
My last stop for the day was CVS. I picked up all this for $11.26 oop and was able to get $6.99 back in ECBs to use at a later date:
- 2/$1 Skor bars (we love these)
- 1 box of the Carnation shakes 10 pack $4.99 with $4.99 ECB
- 2 Bags of Gold Emblem Chocolate Macadamia Nuts reg. $3.99, marked down to $2 each and used a $2 off two Gold Emblem purchase
- 2 True North Peanut Cluster bags, regularly $3.49 each, marked down to $1.75 - $1 coupon = $.75 each
- 2 True North Almond Cluster bags $.75 each after coupon
- Magnetic Dry Erase Board/Calendar for my fridge -- marked 50% off @ $5
- 1 ream of high-quality printer paper (I was almost out!) $3.75
- Humidifer protection cartridge (it's supposed to kill the bacteria that can build up in a humidifier) $1.82
- 1 pack CVS sentsitive baby wipes $2.99 - $2 CVS skincare coupon = $.99
My total savings for the day was $109.22 and my spending was $84.76, a saving of 56.3% -- not too bad considering that I did it all on-the-go.
Monday, March 2, 2009
For those of you looking for the less expensive options for celebrating your Honeymoon or Anniversary, I highly recommend checking out your state parks. In Tennessee, we have great parks with several of them offering getaway packages for couples. My husband and I did this last year and we're doing it again this year. We're going to a different park, but still within a reasonable drive. At our parks, they offer a meal with your room package and great lake/river views. Check out Tennessee State Parks or your local state parks for options close to you.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
There are some great deals at Kroger today. I've been needing some more apple juice and was excited to see that the Mott's was going to be on sale for .99 today (only). So I got in to Kroger a little before 9am and grabbed the juice before it was all gone. I also grabbed 5 Starkist Tuna pouches with $1 off coupons I got in the mail and 1 bottle of Kroger brand glass cleaner (somehow I ran out?) . I paid $11 and got a $1 OYNO from the StarKist deal. The Tuna was on sale for $1 each - $1 coupons = FREE + $1 OYNO coupon!
The Triscuits and Plnaters were FREE with coupons from Kraft. I used ECBs to pay for everything else, and ended up spending making money on this deal. I could have sworn that some to the January deals ran into February and didn't find out until I bought them that there were no ECBs printing. I got a refund on those items and actually ended up with $11 extra from the deal and another 12.50 in ECBs to keep rolling. By the way, the Loreal wipes are great for taking off makeup at the end of the day!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Check out this site: www.energyright.com to get a free home energy e-Valuation and a free kit.
This is through the TVA, but it's a good idea to check out the power company in your area to see if they have similar programs.
Thanks for letting me know about this, Chris!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I am passing on the Lemonade award to:
Living on a Dime
$1200 Frugal Challenge
Coupons are great
Making Cents of Savings
Use your Cents
Mom is Crazy
The Way I Save
Please check out the information from Cheap by Choice and Jane4Girls regarding this award!
I love to save money! I decided to make one last trip to get the 2% cheese that's on sale. I got 10 bags, 1 gallon of 2% milk, and 1 box of the SeaPak shrimp (free) with coupon.
The total was 12.56 oop with $1.87 being tax. I saved 76% ($35.29 off the regular retail price).
There are also a bunch of the steamers I got earlier in the week in this picture.
For the year:
Spending = $374.67
Savings = $673.40
Total value of items purchased = $1060.07
My freezer and cabinets are really full. I shouldn't have to buy cheese for a while. I've 18 bags of the Kraft and about 10 packages of the Hickory Farms cheese to go through. In fact, other than the basics and sales, we don't really need much.
The items I'm still looking for great deals on are:
Diapers -- I'm probably going to get these this coming week at Wags for $5.99 a piece - $2 when you buy 2 packs makes them 2/$9.98 - 10% savings with W card = about $4.50 a piece, not too bad!
Cat food -- I just ordered coupons, hopefully they'll get in before the sale at Publix ends -- I hate to pay full price for cat food
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I stopped at Publix to use my Mott's for Tot's coupons and got several other items that were on sale. On the way home, I stopped at CVS to see if they had a few items--they didn't, so I just used up some coupons and a $5/$15 CVS coupon that expires in two days. Here's what I got for $23.81:
-7 Mott's for Tot's Apple Juice 64 oz
-12 - 2 liters of Pepsi products
-1 gallon 2% milk
-1 container of half and half
-4 Betty Crocker Muffin Mixes
-4 I can't believe it's not butter (15 oz. containers)
-10 Green Giant frozen vegetables
-2 - 6 packs of Lender's bagels
-1 Lay's potato chips
-1 Tostito's tortilla chips
-1 Tostito's salsa
Basically, I would have spent about the same amount for the juice, milk, and half & half without coupons, so everything was pretty much a bonus--at least that's the way I look at it. . .
Seeking Success -- at the bottom of this article there is a link to a really great Budget Worksheet.
Dave Ramsey -- this is one of the best sites with really great information
Suze Orman -- Her site and books are generally more investment oriented. Once you get to the point that you need to start investing some of your money, she's got some great advice.
My Money -- established by the government to help Americans get their financial problem under control. It looks fairly basic, but has a lot of great information and links.
MSN Money there are several helpful articles here.
Personally, we use an excel spreadsheet that I created, which lists all of our expenses and then delegates them out to either myself or my husband. He is responsible for some of the expenses and I am for others (we have never combined accounts). At the end of the month, I reconcile actual money spent versus the budgeted amount. Things come up sometimes, and we aren't about to let our lives fall apart for the sake of a budget. However, we strive to make our budget monthly. It's not always easy. My husband is in college, and there aren't easy-to-find scholarships when you're in your 30s; through planning, we've been able to add those expenses into the budget to avoid having to pay for student loans.
Really take the time to look at areas you can cut costs. We have a few bills that we should cut but haven't or have taken on more than we should at times. It's going to be difficult to save if you aren't willing to cut some of the costs that aren't really neccessary. Example: We don't have cable. It's not worth the cost for us because we generally just watch the basic channels anyways.
We also don't have a home phone. We had a home phone and I had a prepaid cell phone, but I found a cricket plan that gave me unlimited calling and texting for a few dollars more than my home phone and I decided it was worth it to have a cell phone that wasn't out of minutes when I needed it (and I no longer have to pay for the pre-paid phone--it's basically a wash). Some people may need the home phone and not the cell phone--the idea is to look into your expenses and figure out what is really working for you, what isn't, and what needs changed, dropped or added to your budget.
Be realistic. My husband is a smoker. Most people don't want to admit how much money they waste, so it was no surprise that my husband told me $50 a month. Ummmm, no, I think the average smoker spends more than $50 a month and I can say this because I am an ex-smoker. The point is, you have to be willing to take a hard look at how much you really spend and be realistic with yourself about it. If you lie to yourself about your spending, you will never get a handle on it or be able to control your budget.
Give yourself a little wiggle room. I have always been a type A personality. High-strung, stressed out, perfrectionist, who can't stand for things to be anyway other than the way I expect them to be. Well, the truth is, that isn't going to work with a budget. We're all human (I hope) and we're going to make mistakes and sometimes unexpected expenses occur (babies are the first to come to mind). There's no point in beating yourself up for not always making your budget. Expecting perfection in this case will likely just create more stress than it's worth.
Re-evaluate. At least once or twice a year you should re-evaluate your budget. Is it working for me? Are these still our financial goals? What could we cut or add to make this work better?
Ask yourself some of these questions to make sure the budget you created is still the budget you want and need. If it's not, fix it.
Accountability. Hold yourself, your spouse and other family members accountable and they should do the same for you. Just don't get into the blame game. There's a fine line between reminding someone that there's no money budgeted for a certain item and blame or even the perception of blame (for there not being money available).
If you don't already have a Personal Budget, I hope you'll take the time to make one. If you've already got one, take some time and review it to make sure it's what you really need!
Monday, January 19, 2009
Some other sites you can check out for coupons:
A Full Cup
And, you can always check out the links at couponmom. com.
I found the original recipe in the Kraft food and family magazine (p.22) that I received in the mail last week.
We didn't have the same cheese the magazine listed nor did we have the spinach, so I made do with the cheese I could find in the refrigerator: Cheddar cheese slices, Parmesan cheese the sprinkle stuff mixed with the shredded, and American (the white stuff, not the yellow kind) slices. I also substituted parsley for the spinach. I'm sure it isn't the same, but I like parsley and I do not like spinach, so I was happy with the substitution.
- 3 different types of cheese
- Penne pasta (we used the whole grain--I got it for about $.19 at Publix a while back)
-1 jar of Pasta sauce (You can still use the shortcuts coupon with the $.75/2 coupon at Kroger on the Ragu. I think I spent about $.33 each but that's because two shortcuts coupons came off my price)
-2 chicken breasts or equivalent amount of chicken, cubed into bite-size pieces
-Spinach (or parsley)
-1 can of diced tomatoes
Boil the pasta until tender.
Cook the chicken in a skillet until done.
Add the diced tomatoes, pasta sauce, parsley and let it simmer for about 3 minutes.
Then mix all ingredients together and pour into casserole dish or pan.
Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes on 350 degrees.
Remove from oven, cover with cheeses and place back in the oven for another 5 minutes!
Thanks to Cheap by Choice, I was nominated for the Lemonade Award. Please check out
Cheap by Choice's blog to see a list of all the others who were given the award and click the links to check out their blogs as well. Also, if you are interested in finding out more about the Lemonade Award check out Jane4girls blog and she has all the information there.
I will be posting more about this later in the week.
Today's Kroger Trip was a great one. I Spent $44.12 ($5.45 was tax) and saved $70.37 or 64%. I did 3 of the 10 item Mega Event, for a total of $15 off sale prices.
I was able to stock up on cheese, which was already on my grocery list since I was almost completely out. These were on sale for $1.99 - $.50 Mega discount - $.75 coupon = $.74/bag. I got 8 of them and will probably get another 10 or so before the week is over.
I got 3 $1 editions of yesterday's paper, but I forgot to put them in the photo.
Here is a summary of what I got:
-8 packages of Kraft 2% cheese = $.74 each
-5 packages of Philadelphia cream cheese = $1.30 - $.50 discount = $.80 each
-9 bags of Green Giant Steamers - prices vary based on coupons = $1.59 - various coupons = $.09 - $1.09 each
-5 bananas = $.99 total (they're $.57/pound)
-1 cantaloupe = $1.68 each
-3 newspapers (coupons!) = $1 each
-4 jars of Pace salsa = $1.99 - $.50 Mega Sale - $.80 ($.40 doubled) = $.69 each
-1 French's mustard = $1.79 - $.50 discount - $1.29 - $1 ($.50 doubled) = $.29 each
-1 Frank's Hot sauce = $1.79 - $.50 discount - $1.29 - $1 ($.50 doubled) = $.29 each
-1 French's Spicy Brown Mustard = $1.20 (This was an oops! I thought it was part of the sale.)
-1 J & J Buddies bar = $1.09 - $1 ($.50 doubled) = .$09 each
-2 Ken's Ranch dressing = $1.99 - $.50 discount = $1.49 * 2 = $2.98/2 - $1/2 coupon - $1.98/2 = $.99 each
- 1 pack of Huggies - $9.99 - $1.50 Shortcuts coupon - $1.50 coupon - $6.99
-2 - 10 packs of Kroger whole wheat tortillas, manager's special $.59 (I'm freezing these for taco night)
-2 - 4 packs of Cousin Willie's popcorn - $1 each
-1 Sea Pak frozen shrimp - FREE with $1 coupon from GH magazine
-1 box of 15 count gallon size freezer bags - Kroger brand - $1.15
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Yippie! I was able to get all this for $.37 oop.
8 - 2 liters of Pepsi/Mountain Dew
2 bags of Tostitos
2 bags of Lay's Chips
1 jar of Tostitos cheese dip
1 jar of Tostitos salsa
1 Tennessean paper with coupons
1 roll of Christmas wrapping paper (filler)
I used a $4/$20 coupon, 2 coupons for $2 off chip dip or salsa when you buy 2 Lay's or Tostiito's products, 2 coupons for $1 off wyb 4 Pepsi 2 liters
Paid with mostly ECBs, and $.37 in change and received $10 ECB, $5/$15 purchase coupon and several other coupons.
I am pretty happy with this deal. It would have cost me at least $1.50 oop for the paper alone, so everything else was pretty much free and I will make up some of the ECBs I lost with the $5/$15 coupon.
This is such an easy recipe and inexpensive.
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
-1 can Mexican style beans
-1 pound ground Beef or ground Turkey
- 1 packet of Chili seasoning OR you can just season to taste
Brown Beef or Turkey. Mix ingredients in slow cooker. Cook tater tots and top with chili.
I like to make chili in the winter, especially on a busy day because it's so easy. My husband is a little picky and only wants chili with a baked potato or corn chips, so I had to figure something out since I was out of potatoes and corn chips. This recipe actually turned out really good and you can top the chili with all your favorites like cheese and sour cream, if you prefer.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Today has been a pretty good day!
I went to Kroger to see if there were any unadvertised deals and decided to match up a couple coupons with the ones loaded to my Kroger card to see if I could get a few things...
Hormel Pepperoni 8 oz. packages are on sale 2/$5 until the end of the month. I had 2-$.35 coupons that doubled to take off $1.40 = $3.60 for a pound of pepperoni--that's a pretty good deal to me! 2/$5 - 2 (.35) * 2 = $3.60
Ragu is $1.58 a jar, which is not a great deal but there is a shortcuts coupon for $.50 off 2 and a regular coupon for $.50 off two that doubles: $1.58 (2) = $3.16 - $1.50 = $1.66/2 jars--just noticed that another $1 came off on the Ragu for the Ragu Pouch even thought I didn't buy it. That means, I got 2 jars for $.66 or $.33 each!
Found Claim Jumper Lasagna on close out for $1.99 each--originally $3.99 each.
Green Giant Frozen Vegetables were $1.20 * 2 = $2.40 - $.50 shortcuts coupon= $1.90 - $.50 coupon doubled = $.90 for 2 packages
New York Crouton were $1.89 - .$50 * 2 = $.89/package
We also got a Pampers Potty Training Kit in the mail today. I think I signed up for it on their website a few weeks ago. I actually forgot about it. Emily's not quite ready yet (she's only 14 months), but I went ahead and signed up because I wasn't sure how long it would take.
I also received the Kraft Food & Family magazine with lots of recipes today. I don't remember this one at all. . .must have been a freebie!
Oh, and just because it was funny. . .there's a sample of the Kleenex with lotion in the Good Housekeeping magazine that just came in the mail. My daughter used it as a napkin--so, maybe that saved us $.01!
Or you can try these sites (some of them may say Nashville, but also have communities all over) :
Moms Like Me
Moms Meetup Groups
Frugal Moms This seems to be a discussion group--still helps keep your sanity, though!
Try searching on-line or looking in the newspaper for your area. I had been wanting to join a group and one day the paper arrived with a story about a moms group in the area of Nashville that we happen to live!
Monday, January 12, 2009
My daughter and I made a trip to Kroger this morning. I wanted to grab a couple copies of yesterday's paper for $1 each and get some groceries. While there I found the Coors Light MIR for $15 back, I doubt I'll use it because we do not drink beer, but there were a couple coupons in the pamphlet that look alright--the best one seems to be the $1 off Campbell's Chunky Fully Loaded Soup (I believe they are $1.50 this week at Kroger), so that would make them $.50/each.
I spent $23.59 ($2.01 was tax) and I'm already over my budget for the month. My plan is to continue to try to keep each week around $25 for the next several weeks that way I can get back on track. February is a few days shorter than January, so that should be a little helpful. Basically, I'm just avoiding the sales, even though it's difficult. Other than basic grocery needs, I am not going to get anything, unless it's FREE! I'll probably still hit up CVS a couple times this month, since I have quite a few ECBs that I need to keep rolling but other than that, I'm not spending $$$.
Oops, I almost forgot to mention the Powerade Zero is still on sale for $1 -$.40 Doubled = $.20/each and Snapple Teas and fruit drinks are also on sale for $1 - $.75 coupon = $.25/each.
This week, I was not able to find much marked down, maybe I visited a little too early in the day. Last week, I went in the afternoon (also on a Monday) and found great deals on meat and dairy items. The only two Manager's Special items I purchased were a pound of sausage for $1.29 (50% off) and Paula Dean Chicken and Dumplings for $2.99 (50% off) - $1 off peelie on the the package = $1.99.
Other than the Powerade Zero and Snapple, I also picked up 2 half gallons on milk on sale for $1.59 * 2 = $3.18 for a gallon. That's actually not too bad a price around here. I always feel like I've done great if I can get a gallon for $3, but I'll settle for $3.18 since it's been $3.20 + even at Wal-mart lately. Also, picked up bananas (my daughter's favorite) and oranges since they were on sale for .64/pound.
If you have a Kroger in your area, I highly recommend using their website regularly. They have great tools to help you plan your shopping trip ahead of time and you can upload e-coupons to your Kroger card. It's also a great idea to visit the Coupon Mom site for coupon match-ups or forums like Hot Coupon World and the one on Refund Cents.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
One of my friends, Rhea, kept recommending it and I was skeptical because I couldn't figure out how paying for a site membership could be financially beneficial. I had been spending hours on several other sites, which are still good sites, but they take a lot of time to navigate and you have to really work to figure out the good deals. With RC it's so much easier. There are updates that let you know about the great deals and there is a Chat section that a lot of users post all their great deals/finds in so you know about deals at stores all over the country and don't have to search through 10-20 different links to get updates on deals at you favorite stores.
Then, we went out for dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant a couple hour later and I spent $13. At this point, I was justifying the spending by trying convince myself that I'd be good the rest of the month...
Tonight, my husband and I went out for dinner, another $26 out of the budget.
So far we've spent $184.66 for the year and have $2215.34. If I break if down monthly, I have $15.34 left to spend for the month. I guess I better get-it-together! But, I don't regret going out. I haven't had a Girl's Night in months and it's nice to go out with my husband--so, it was worth it!
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I spent $2.82 between CVS and Kmart. I was only going to spend a $1 to cover tax, but then I saw the Russell Stover's Private Reserves on sale for $1.99 and I had $1 off coupons = .99. I only got two boxes, which I guess isn't too bad b/c I stopped myself from buying every box they had.
While at CVS, I also picked up 3 more boxes of Soy Joy. My daughter, Emily, loves these. So, I'm getting them for her to snack on or eat with her fruit and cereal at breakfast time.
The only other store I went to this morning was Kmart for the $1 Doube Coupons. I got 4 12-packs of TUMS Smoothies and only paid tax. Thanks, Rhea, for the coupons.
I may go back to Kmart later today to check out a few other items: Revlon beauty tools, snapple, and maybe more tums. I want to use any $1 and under coupons I can b/c they are not advertising the double coupons around here and the store is still stocked on those items this week. Next week, when they do doubles up to $2, I'm sure the shelves will get emptied on the first or second day for most items.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I also stopped at Walgreens to grab a few of the Rebate items from the ESC. I also decided to get some of the Garnier Fructis since they had a lot of it and it's a really good deal--I use a ton of conditioner, so it will all get used! Then, after checking out, I realized I hadn't taken advantage of the Kellogg's deal or the Progresso Soup that's 4/$5..So, I did 2 transactions to get the RRs for the cereal and then did one more to get the lowest oop on the Progresso--I paid $2.78 for 8 cans, not too bad.
Total oop was $36.08, Saved $63.20, will send in for rebate worth $16.48 + 10% = $18.29 that will go on my WAGs GC
So far for the year:
Budget Left: $2292.13
CVS ECBs = $47.50
Expected WAGs GC = $18.29
I've already spent half of my monthly budget, so I'm going to have to just buy the the things I need or those items that are FREE! The soup, cereal and all the meat I've bought have killed my budget, but I'm sure it'll be worth it in the long run since I'm saving a lot on those items!
I stopped at CVS this morning on my way to run some errands...
I grabbed 4 boxes of the 6-count Soy Joy (I would have gotten more, but couldn't find the coupons), 5 bags of Dark Chocolate Hershey's Kisses, and 1 16-pack of gift bags.
I paid $4.35 oop, used $14 in coupons, $14 ECBs, and recieved $24 ECBs!
After everything I actually made $5.65 in ECBs which I will roll into the monthly ECB deals that I haven't picked up yet!
I am out of $4/$20 coupons, so I am hoping to get some more soon...
I was lucky that for a three days in a row I got them; I was almost counting on them when planning my transactions.
Monday, January 5, 2009
I got 13.44 pounds of beef for $16.80--it was marked down to 1.25/pound! I also picked up a Tyson Beef Stew kit for half price, Perdue ShortCuts for .49 each package, Johnson's Buddies bars for .09, 1/2 gallon of Skim Milk $1.06, 2 quarts of 2% Milk for $1.00, 1 quart of Whole Milk for .75, Bread was $1, and Powerade Zero (4) for .20 each.
In all, I spent $56.05 (5.07 wax tax of course), saved $41.76 with coupons and Kroger Plus Card = 45% Not that great, but it doesn't count the 1/2 off meat and milk...that would be another $20+
Luckily, we drink milk very quickly here so I know it won't go bad and I can freeze the meat!
Hi, I'm Vanessa, a.k.a. Vana. My family and I will be on a $3600 budget for 2010.
2. Pet supplies and food
3. All health (over-the-counter) and beauty items (including diapers baby #2 is due in April & #1 still doesn't want to use the potty).
4. Cleaning supplies, paper and plastics
5. Newspaper (to get coupons), and coupons from on-line sources
What isn't included:
1. Eating out. I would love to include this, but I tried it last year and my husband doesn't want to "play." He wants to be able to go out to a steakhouse and not have me stressing about how it's blowing my monthly budget for food.
2. Gas--I consider this a completely separate expense. And with such volitile gas prices, I'm not going to try to incorporate this into the $3600 budget.
3. Prescription meds, doctor's co-pays, expenses. These are neccessary medical expenses and will also have their own budget, separate for this project.
4. Other Bills: mortgage, utilities, automobile expenses.
This may seem like a lot to some, but even after coupons, I almost always have an out of pocket expense (7% food tax and 9.25% sales tax, no state income tax though).
A little over a year ago my husband and I were spending $600-$800 a month (yes, that's $7,200-$9600 annually) on groceries, eating out, pet supplies, cleaning and HBA for two adults, a baby (November 2007), a dog, and a cat! During 2008 I was able to cut that in half, actually more by the end of the year. I learned to shop sales and combine store coupons, manufacturer coupons, as well as, catalinas (RRs, ECBs, et cetra) to reduce my out of pocket as much as possible. I have not been a big refunder. This is something I will have to pick up if I am going to meet my goal for 2009.
How I'm going to do it:
I have a small stockpile of certain items and a rather large stockpile of others (my husband won't need deodorant for at least another year). I am at the point where I will still need to purchase many items, but I am fortunate enough to generally be able to purchase items only when they are on sale and I can combine more than one deal to get items for free or very close to free.
I am lucky that one of my wedding gifts was a deep freezer. It is a great tool to saving money on food. I am able to buy meat at rock bottom prices and freeze it. I'm always looking for the manager's special tags at Kroger b/c they are generally a great deal and the meat is fine as long as it's frozen until we're ready to use it! I also use the deep freezer to stock pile veggies and other deals I get on frozen foods. I find that with sales and coupons, we can get tons of great deals on frozen vegetables.
Garden. I'm not especially skilled at gardening. But, I do plan on planting a few vegetables come spring. Most likely tomatoes and a few other items that we eat frequently.
Couponing. I'm really into couponing. I use numerous websites to help me find the best deals so I can buy when I want to rather than when I have to!
Pay attention to sales cycles. There are sales cycles. Until last year, I had never even considered this...But, it's true and it's a great thing to use to your advantage. Certain items on sale at certain times and that when it's best to use coupons to stock up on the items. Example, last summer there were tons of deals on hotdogs and lots of coupons to make the deals even better. I only bought about 4 packages (and froze them) because we rarely eat hotdogs (or so I thought); they were all gone within a couple months and now I'm not willing to pay full price. So, next summer I will be stocking up on hotdogs. And this time, I'm going to make sure I get enough FREE or cheap hotdogs to last my family at least 12 months.
I know some people who do an annual budget divide the money into envelopes or put money into a separate account. But since we plan on reconciling our budget monthly, like a busines would do their P&L statement, I will be keeping track of my purchases in an excel spreadsheet--hopefully, this will make my month-end process easier.
I went to CVS today and bought 4 newspapers, 1 bottle of Garnier Fructis, 2-500 Pack J & J Cottonswabs, Nutra Trim Gum, Kids Throat Med., & 2 caramels (b/c I had overage). I used 19.85 in ECBs, Paid .26 OOP, and recieved 15.48 in ECBs
2.22 spent/2397.78 left
average savings 84.47%
Went to Target this morning to see if they had Christmas Clearance at 90% off yet--they didn't, but I went ahead and looked for a few deals while I was there. I picked up 3 of the electrasol tabs 25 count boxes, they were $3.25 for the 20 count + 5 bonus tabs--so, .75 each after coupons. I will use the other coupon I have at Walgreens with their rebate.
I got 4 green gift bags. I figure I can use them for just about anything and they were .24 each--not too bad...
Also, I got 10 small bags of moist cat food for .19 each.
My total oop was 7.20 (with 2.09 being tax)
So far for the year I have spent $9.33