I’m sorry, I may be wasting 9 cents a dollar, but I enjoy dumping all the change I’ve collected over the week into the Coinstar machine at the grocery store and seeing how much food I can buy with it. It’s become a challenge for me, and I’m not one to haggle over losing $1.50 because, being an extremely busy person, I enjoy the convenience. And my bank doesn’t offer one of those nifty, free coin machines that some of the big-name banks have available to their customers. And I DO NOT have the time to roll all our change. Maybe if I was a SAHM, or a WAHM, but alas, I work two bar tending jobs, do some freelance writing on the side, and spend an ample amount of time working on this blog. Add in housework, cooking meals, spending time with Mike, and social obligations, and I’m HAPPY to part with that $1.50 to $2.00, especially since I’m saving so much with combining store sales/promotions and coupons. So spare me the guilt trip over the small loss!! I cut/dye my own hair, cook meals from scratch, buy used books or trade with friends, and NEVER pay retail for anything. So allow me this one non-frugal vice!! 🙂
Anyway, my spare change came to $27.68 this week. Let’s see how I did at the grocery store!! This is what “Extreme Couponing” looks like in real life…normal people don’t buy 200 bottles of mustard, 150 Gatorades, and 200 candy bars every week (and only pay sales tax) to feed themselves and their family!!
Don’t be discouraged if you’re just starting out! I haven’t been at this for TOO long, and I can see that as I stockpile more every week, my grocery totals for the month seem to go down lower every month. You just have to watch your stockpile, know what you NEED to stockpile, and also know when you have ENOUGH of a particular item and need to STOP BUYING IT, at least for the time being. That’s when you’ll start to see your grocery bill totals drop lower and lower. Don’t keep buying BBQ sauce” just because” you can get it at a great price if you already have 50 bottles!! Check out my article on stockpiling for more tips on this.
(NOTE: You can find all sales and coupon matchups mentioned, including where to find the coupons, for this week in my posts for(Giant Eagle )and(Shop ‘n Save). Hurry though, today is the last day for these particular sales!! All coupons I mention under $1 were doubled at my grocery stores.)
- Bought 4 rolls of Viva paper towels ($2 per roll), using the 85 cents off coupon, costing me $1.20 for 4 rolls, or 30 cents per roll. Went through the checkout with only the paper towels, because that gave me a $2.50 off Catalina for my next purchase!
- Bought 6 various boxes of cereal that were part of the 4/$10 promotion, using a 75 cents off coupon for each one. Not only did I only spend $6 (or $1 per box) on brand-name cereal, but I received a 30 cents off per gallon Pump Perks bonus!!
- Bag of peaches (1 lb), on sale for $1/lb
- 2 boxes of the new veggie Kraft Mac n Cheese (tastes the same folks)… had two 75 cents off coupons, so each box cost 9 cents apiece, or 18 cents total
- Frank’s Red Hot, used 50 cents off coupon, so it cost me 30 cents
- 1 lb of Vidalia onions, 99 cents
- 2 packages of cream cheese, $2
- 1 jar of Skippy (looove me some PB!!) peanut butter (used 75 cents off coupon, new in the 7/31 RedPlum, I get mine in the mail early)…so $1 for the jar
- 1 can of tomato paste, 40 cents
- Shredded Mexican cheese, for tonight’s burritos, $1.95
- Sour cream, $1.10
Total for Giant Eagle (minus the $2.50 Catalina coupon): $13.62
Shop ‘n Save:
- 4 lbs of chicken leg quarters, on sale for $2.36
- 1 lb of green peppers, 99 cents
- 1/2 lb of romaine lettuce and 1/2 lb of red leaf lettuce, 99 cents
- 1 lb of Eckrich bologna (for Mike’s lunch) $2.49
- loaf of bread (store brand) 99 cents
- 9 boxes of Hamburger Helper, on sale for $1 (and used 75 cents/3 coupons) $4.50
- 6 rolls of Bounty paper towels (on sale for $1, plus used 25 cents off coupon) so $3 for 6 rolls
- 3 jars Ragu spaghetti sauce (meat) Manager’s Special, $1 per jar (used 60 cents off 3 coupon from new 7/31 coupon inserts) $1.80
- 2 Edge shave gels (wanted the Skintimate women’s, but they were all out :(. so I got some for Mike, with a better coupon) $1.50 for both
- 2 bottles of French’s Worcestershire sauce 60 cents for both
Total: $19.22 at Shop ‘n Save
So a complete total for both stores: $32.84
(oops!! Forgot I bought two bottles of Softsoap hand soap for 30 cents a piece, so tack that onto my tab friends!!!)
So I went over my Change Only Budget by $5.16. Not too shabby!!
I also spent around $6.00 at Rite Aid (see coupon matchups here) and got:
- 2 huge bottles of Dial lotion
- 2 pairs of kid’s sunglasses for my niece (she loves presents from her aunt!)
- 4 bottles of Herbal Essence products (shampoo, conditioner, and 2 hairsprays)
- 2 Reach toothbrushes
- 2 Clean and Clear foaming face-washes
- 3 packages of 2-count Duracell AA batteries
- 2 56 oz bags of Meow Mix cat food (for my big fatty Joey 🙂 )
- 3 Mead composition books (writers need this stuff!!)
- 2 L’Oreal waterproof mascaras (got my FAVORITE for around $1.75 a tube!!)
(all price totals are before tax, and the amount I spent is out of pocket money…I usually have some +Up Rewards from the previous week as well as $3/$15 coupons)
Anyway, not bad…I have more fresh ingredients to add to what I already have to make meals for the week, and extras to add to the stockpile ( lots of paper towels and Hamburger Helper lol)!! Whatever meat/cheese/etc I don’t intend to use right away, I freeze. My freezer is getting FULL of chicken, sausage, bread, tortillas, kielbasa and ground meat, though. Wish I had room for a chest freezer!! Anyone know of any good deals on a VERY small, apartment-sized model??
How did everyone else do with their shopping this week?? I’d love to hear your comments!!