This month, my focus has been not only saving money but specifically using up items in our pantry and freezers. Our stockpile runs over and I am starting to find some food that I know would not get used if I don’t force the issue or I had completely forgotten we have. It sounds strange to say that I am trying to use food we have on hand in addition to freezing items from our garden but this is definitely the case. I have a menu plan in place until the first Thursday of September. This has a lot of wiggle room as I don’t plan until the week of for Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. We are starting to run low or completely out of some items that need to be replaced. I am trying to buy only what we are out of. After my purchased today, I am hopeful that we can avoid shopping all together till at least Mid August for even the basics. Today, I specifically used “free money” to purchase most of the items. I did end of spending a total of $3.50 between CVS and Walmart.
CVS will occasionally send me a survey to complete with the promise of 10 ECB. I was able to complete one of these surveys for the first time in at least six months last week. I checked the sales last week and decide to wait for a better sale. The better sale occurred this week. Today, I picked up: 2-24 packs of water, 2 small tins of Altoids, a can of hair spray, a can of mouse, Irish Spring body wash and Dial hand soap. My total out of pocket was $3.33 with $4.50 in ECB back. Because the reward was in ECB it does not cover tax so $.43 was actually sales tax. The only “need” on this list was for the waters and body wash.
I earned a $25 Walmart gift card by submitting my driving record on line. Matt used most of this card last week to purchase items that Lily needed to pack for her missions trip. I started the trip with $8.34 left on the card. Last night we discovered that we were completely out of several items, mayonnaise, Worchester sauce and cream cheese. I did a little bit of research and discovered that I could also purchase a large box of cereal for less than $1.50. I needed to add $1.08 to my gift card in order to purchase all four items however I claimed $1.00 worth of rebates from Ibotta.
I am very excited and proud to be able to purchase the needed item for less than $4.
We have been very fortunate this week to find and be given some great items. Since I have not done a post with bullet points in a long time this is a fun way to be random.
- Food Lion had a sale on “Suddenly Salad” $1 each. We discovered last year that we could add chicken, cucumbers and or tomatoes to make a great lunch or pepperoni and tomatoes for a very different but just as good lunch. I grabbed 10 with plans to use weekly this summer.
- Purchased tomato plants from a local nursery for 50 cent a plant.
- Found a couple of blueberry bushes on clearance at Walmart for $3 and onion starters for $2. We planted the blueberries and placed the onions under our house in storage for next spring.
- Use a $2 off coupon to purchase “Got2b ” hair spiking glue for $0.87 cent. I went to a CVS in High Point and the cashier tried to make me feel bad for using coupons. Didn’t work but seriously just scan coupons I promise they will work. We also grabbed Easter Twizzlers for $1.50 a bag.
- Used gift cards earned from Swagbucks to purchase drinks for everyone at Starbucks.
- Matt has been enjoying his birthday freebies including a drink from Dunkin Donuts
- I used office depot rewards to purchase a pack of AAA batteries and a notebook. Spent zero out of pocket and earned another $14 in rewards to spend later.
- We have been given several bags of clothes recently so the only purchase has been swim suits for swim team.
What are your good finds?
This morning we were running really low on breakfast items, in fact we had no cereal, poptarts or grits. So a trip to Aldi was definitely in order. We attended an early service this morning so were able to breeze through the store and totally restock our breakfast supply. Total spent was $45.
The next stop was CVS. I was unsuccessful in grabbing the scrubbing bubbles deal from last week so I started with 12 ECB. I was able to purchase 2 18 double roll packs of Scott Bathroom tissue and 2 containers of mouthwash for $3.87 out of pocket or a 92% savings. I also received 9 ECB in return. I am really excited as this was an easy transaction with no glitches!
Total Grocery Spending for March $135
My mother had me purchase a paper for her yesterday. Since our small town does not have a Sunday paper, sometimes coupon inserts are in the papers in the rank. Coupon inserts are not guaranteed so it truly is a hit or miss game. I felt like I hit the jackpot yesterday when her paper contain 3 inserts. They were of course the same three insert but at least there were three. I have a Sunday paper delivered to my house from the larger town that is 45 minutes away.
CVS has an awesome sale on Mitchum deodorant this week. It is on sale for $3.99 and there is a coupon for $2 in the inserts today. I scored BIG with finding four coupons in the inserts I have. The other sale that I was hoping for was Irish Spring Body Wash. They are currently on sale for $3.99 with a $1 off coupon in this weeks paper and 2ECB for each one purchased. I lucked out again and found 4 body wash coupons.
I split my purchases up into 3 transactions which looked like this:
#1 2 Irish Spring Body Wash- used 2 $1 of coupons and 3ECB from a previous purchase. Total spent $3.54 with 4 ECB received and a coupon for $2 off $6 purchase of body wash.
#2 2 Irish Spring Body Wash- used 2 $1 off coupons, coupon for $2 off $ and 4 ECB from first transaction. Total spent $.42
#3 4 Mitchum deodorants- used 4 $2 off each coupons and 4 ECB from previous transaction. Total spent $.84
Total spent : $4.80- which I placed on a gift card received from Swagbucks so in reality $0 out of pocket.
Total Saved $35 or 88%
I will not be able to shop at CVS on Thanksgiving or Black Friday because we are out of town. But I was able to make a quick but thirty trip today.
I managed to save 81% or $21. I also grab some needed soda for myself. Total spent was $4.73 or less than the price of 3 2 litters.
Have you found any great deal yet?
This is an awesome time of year to be shopping and I really do enjoy getting some great deals. I am going to share a few of these deals and other suggestions to help you save today as well.
First, if you are shopping on-line be sure you check and use the places that offer cash back. We needed to purchase some new sheet last weekend, so I check out the sales at JCPenny’s. I ended up going through Swagbucks to make the purchase so I was able to grab 3 sets of sheets and 4 shirts for around $115 including shipping. I will also be receiving over 800 swagbucks with no real extra work.
I made some last minute trips out Friday night to Dollar General and even texted Amanda to make a stop for me. The reason a sale on Hot Wheel and Matchbox cars. The sale was Buy 1 and Get 2 free. Which made each of the cars thirty three cent. This is an AMAZING deal that I have scored one time before. I was able to grab 100 cars in three different stores. We hide some of the cars and placed the others in a gift drawer. Zach decided he needed some new cars and offered to purchase them from the gift drawer. I am so glad we got extras. I do have plans to use some of the cars as gifts for my church group in addition to they make cool birthday gifts.
I have also taken advantage of sales online at Bath and Body Works, The Children’s Place and JCPenny’s again this weekend. JCPenny is currently running their black Friday deals on-line which is a huge sale.
Finally, I am using my CVS card to purchase items. Here is a picture of my trip today.
I used $14 on the gift card leaving me with another $10. I saved $45 or 76% prior to using the gift card. I am so happy to be able to use free money to buy things we all need!
I was so excited because I was able to earn and print out my $25 gift card to CVS. My plan is to use this card this month instead of money from our budget. Thursday, I took a quick glance at the ad and then decided to wait until Saturday to really look at the ad. I made my plans and completed my trip tonight (Sunday) I will admit up front that I am a little disappointed, why you ask? Because I did not even get to use my gift card. My CVS was already out of the free gummies, so my only purchase was for disposable razors.
I used a $3 off coupon from the newspaper but there are still several printable one available.
I also had $5 ECB from a previous transaction.
My total was $0.56 which I had in my pocket.
Earned $3 in ECB. A good and easy trip.
I will be the first to admit that I don’t grocery shop like most people but I do shop in a way that over a period of a year, saves money and feeds us well. I did excellent in the month of June of keeping cost low and even decided to reduce our monthly budget. I knew that sometime this summer, I would need to restock on meat and some other items, even last Sunday I had high hope of holding down our spending for the month. We had been to Costco twice and spent a total of $497 . But as of today that is not possible.
Last Friday, Matt texted that we were out of toilet paper so I stopped by the CVS, where I thought our preferred brand was on sale. It was on sale but not what I thought so I just grabbed one package. The sale I was thinking about started on Sunday. Sunday night Lily and I headed back to CVS to grab the toilet paper of course and a couple of other deals. I was disappointed that I had to get a couple of rainchecks which threw off my savings. My goal is always 60% but with buying the needed toilet paper and also some additional sunscreen I ended up spending $27.25 and saving 48% or $24.71. I did start this trip without any ECB and ended with $2 so not a complete fail.
Next, the one store in our area that doubles coupons started a super sale, which doubles coupons up to $2. I looked over the list and realized that many of items we need were available so last night we headed out. I was also able to grab drinks that we will be taking with us for our beach trip. I did hit my 60% mark, spending $77.97 and saving 140 or 64%. I used three rainchecks that included 10 packs of hot dogs, flour and sugar, all items that I did not have coupons on but were a great deal with the rain check.
Finally, we are still following our monthly plan with lots of different items on the weekend. We decided to have Hamburger Helper on Monday since both girls had cheerleading. Matt and I realized that we were using our last pack of ground beef. Typically we purchase between 30 and 50 pounds at a time and fry and place in one pound bags which make meals really quick and easy to fix. Zaycon Foods is where I always purchase chicken breast and I have been pleased with the ground beef in the past. I got an email this morning with a pick up for ground beef next week and an additional 12% off code. We decided to go ahead and purchase 80 pounds of ground beef. We plan to fry up 50 pounds and just freeze the other 30 pounds to use as raw meat. Total cost for 80 pounds of ground beef $215.38 or $2.69 a pound which is the cheapest I have seen this year.
Currently I have spent $818.07 so a total budget fail but it should allow us to eat well through the rest of the year. My goal will be to lower the grocery budget to $400 for both August and September to keep us on track for the year.
I continue to stand by my thoughts that saving and couponing is a lifestyle not a hobby. I was able to purchase this today at CVS for 56 cents.
3 12 packs of Diet Coke and 24 bottles of water.
First is Coke Points, I have been adding points and spending points for 3 or 4 years. Today I had a free 12 pack coupon.
Next is CVS sale. I was planning to use a rain check I had 3 packs for $10 but when I saw the sale, I simply put my rain check back in my pocket.
Next, 50 cent off coupon from the CVS app, it was advertised in the sale paper is the way I discovered.
Finally, a $5 gift card that was earned through MPLaces. Basically this is an app that you “check in” (click the button) for place. I usually hit most of the 25 each day at stop lights on my way to and from work.
Total out of pocket fifty six cents which breaks the items down to less than a penny each!