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
We have all heard that in order to get the best deal, you have to combine sales and coupons. I want to first say that this is not always the case but after that I am going to talk about an awesome deal that I got at Walmart.
First is that sales and coupons usually do save you money. However, you must be careful that you know your prices and that you check things out. We ran out of toilet paper last week since I could not find a decent deal on one of the couple of brands that we choose to use. I found a couple of $1.00 off coupons and headed to Walmart. The store of course was out of the product that I could use the coupon on. I decided to do some checking. I was able to find Scott’s Extra soft for thirty-three cents a roll. This is a great deal and the same price I normally pay with coupons and sale. Lesson learned check your prices!
Now to explain how I got paid to shop at Walmart. I cashed in my Mplaces for a $25 Walmart gift card. Since we are out of toilet paper, I decided to use it so as not to spend money from the budget. Our Walmart is in a shopping center, within 5 minutes of entering the area, Matt and I both completed our 25 daily check ins for Mplaces including a 100 point check in at Cricket. Next I have started using a new app called “Shop Kicks” I am sure this will be a slow money marker as I avoid shopping but I am going to scan items and complete only when I am shopping for other things so hopefully an extra $5 a month. I earned $2.50 with this trip so a really good start. With my $25 gift card I purchased 5 2 liter soda for the kids, 1 2 liter for me, 3 12 packs of Dr Pepper/ Diet Dr Pepper and 30 rolls of toilet paper. I ended up paying $2.71 after the gift card. Next I came home and submitted an offer on Swagbucks which gave me a $5 Walmart gift card back and 200 or $2 in swagbucks. So this trip was a $7 money making trip for me and we now have toilet paper for at least a month. The Swagbucks deal is purchase $10 in Diet Dr Pepper or Dr Pepper products in one trip and earn $5 E-gift card and 200 swagbucks. I am hopefully to make it back to Walmart and do this deal at least one additional if not two more time before the end of February. Are you going to join me?
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%
Today was officially a snow day in NC, that definitely helped with the saving as our cheerleading competition was cancelled which at minimum saved us $30 in admission.
I mentioned that I am participating in a low spend challenge, I have budgeted $100 for groceries this month. I did spend $14 on Monday at CVS and my plan was to hold on to the rest until it was a need. The need and some wants found me on Thursday, I went to our local Aldi to grab some plastic wrap and realized that they will be closing next week for 6-8 weeks of construction. We decided to go ahead and grab some items that will be needed before March. We spent a total of $42. The need that came about today is for labelling tape, so another $5 on Amazon. My totals are now at $61 for the month which leaves an $39 for any need that may arise.
The second challenge is Eat from your pantry. This is actually a very easy and doable challenge as we have a pantry full in addition to several full freezers. We have actually have two full weekends at home, thanks to the snow, therefore I have been trying to stock up on some prepared foods that we really like and can use during the hectic weeks ahead. Last week in my menu plan, I share how we started this process. This weekend, I have already made a huge pot of chicken stew, which we ate for two meal before freezing the remainder for a quick dinner. This morning, Matt made a triple batch of pancakes and the plan is to make French toast in the morning. This should definitely help with breakfast in the next couple of weeks. I am planning to share our menu plan, once we decide on it for next week.
We have started working on making our now dinning room more functional. I am determined not to let this project take over either time wise or financially this year, so small steps. We mover our smallest refrigerator to the outside building, which allowed us to re-position the black refrigerator, removed the cabinets that we hung last year, and placed a shelf back over the black refrigerator for storage. During the process we had to paint the wall. I am proud to say that this was all completed without spending anything. Before sending the cabinets to the dump, we removed the hinges and handles which are going to be reused for the custom buffet I want to complete. I was able to earn a $50 gift card to Lowes last month and Matt grab a $25 one this month. These should allow us to place new electrically and build a “tower” for the internet and cable that comes into the house in this area. The current goal is to have this completed by the end of January with zero out of pocket. In an effort to make goals that are achievable this year, I am going to wait till then to look ahead at the next step.
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!
Many things are going on around here, so are money saving and some are just fun so I thought I would share some .
- Matt is working on digging holes for our new trees that are scheduled to arrive today. I purchased 6 fruit trees last month. I realize that these may take several (3-5) years to produce but I am so excited to be able to do some eatable landscaping. We are getting 2 apples and 2 pear trees, so they will cross pollinate, 1 cherry and 1 peach tree. They are going in our backyard along the property line to create a natural boundary.
- My goal for the weekend is to get my snow village up and in place. I am so excited to have time to spend on this project this year without feeling rushed. I will refrain from placing other Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving but the snow village can go up now and stay til at least January.
- We picked up our Zaycon steak order this morning! Both boxes were less than one pound off the promised weight so we have a $15 credit to use on our next order. The steak look amazing! Can’t wait to try them tomorrow night.
- Menu planning has definitely not gone as planned this week. Last weekend we spent trying to finish up left-overs and made some head way but not enough. We are not eating out just not eating what is scheduled. Today, I am making broccoli-cheese soup and steak will be on Friday. I am betting that Saturday will be left-overs again.
- No grocery spending this week!
- The temperature has finally turned to fall and we ended up turning on our heat on Sunday. Our first hard freeze is expected this weekend which means the end of tomatoes and green peppers. I did plant some lettuce and we are getting a small amount from that so I hope that will continue for a few more weeks.
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 did not have a chance to share my Food Lion trip from last week, it was a needed trip but not a fun and exciting trip. It also ended up being my large trip during this sale. I spent a total of $104 and saved $43 or 30%. What I did accomplish on this trip was to grab soups for cooking, such as Cream of Chicken and Cream of Mushroom, in addition to canned beans and fruits. I also grab Kendall’s favorite tomato soup as it was on sale.
Now on to more fun savings. I did return to CVS this week to grab deodorant and Diet Coke. A nice surprise to start my trip was 2 ECB from quarterly savings. I was able to grab 4 deodorants for Matt and 3 12 packs of Diet Coke for a total of $10.34 saving 74%.
A final trip to Food Lion happened on Thursday night as well. A friend told us about the frozen burritos that are part of the quarter back sale. The original price on the burritos is 2 for$1. I did not go to my normal store but instead left Lily at cheerleading and went to the store in Welcome. I was only able to find 15 burrito but I grabbed all of these. To get my total up to 40 items, I grabbed 2L sodas, cans of beans and corn. I honestly did not have any of this transaction planned but am certain we are stocked up for in our pantry now. The second transaction was much more fun, the reason why it was FREE!
Food Lion has an additional promotion this week, where if you buy 5 items on there list you automatically receive $5 off. Kelloggs Poptart 12 count boxes are on the list. I purchased 5 boxes for zero.
This has again been a bigger than normal shopping week so I hope the rest of October goes smoothly.
Most if not all this weeks event are financial!
- Several of our monthly bills are lower than expected this month including cable (refund on over tax), water and electric bill.
- I purchased an Orchard In A Box. We will be planting when it arrives in November. I am super excited! We should be harvesting fruit in 3-5 years. This is long range planning for sure but in 5 years we will have 3 teenagers including a boy so I am fairly certain that our food bill will go up instead of down! I did take this expense out of our normal grocery fund.
- Zach is growing! I really this morning that we are going to NEED to purchase at least 5 new pair of pants for him. He and I will be heading to the local goodwill tomorrow. If we are not able to find things there it will be a major trip to Winston on Sunday.
- I have finished the majority of my Christmas shopping! I still need to buy my nieces gifts and we will be purchasing pictures for my parents. I am so excited to have this expense out of the way.
- In addition to the orchard, we are going to add pavers around the square foot garden in order to make it easier to maintain! We are using gift cards earned from Lowes and Swagbucks to cover this expense.