Friday, January 23, 2009

Saturday Savings

Hello lucky weekend readers! Today I'm starting a new blogging tradition: Saturday Savings. On the Saturday's following my weekly grocery shopping trip (I shop most Fridays), I will blog about what I bought, how much I saved, how much I spent and how I did it. I know my grocery budget has been a source of curiosity for many of you, so I hope you find this interesting and helpful!

First, the back ground. We are a family of 5. Our boys fly through 3 gallons of whole milk a week (on average) and consume about as much food as 1.5 adults. Our monthly grocery budget (including cleaning supplies, paper products, health and beauty products, etc) is $310.

Yesterday I shopped for what is hopefully the last time this month. Just in case we run low on milk though, I set aside a few bucks for next weekend. I spent $43.22. Always wondered what $40 can buy you? Check it out!


In order to buy all this, I shopped at 4 different stores and used many coupons. Here's what I bought for my $43.

Quilted Northern 9 pack
4 Gallons of Whole Milk
1 Gallon of Fat Free Milk
3 pounds of Red Delicious Apples
3 pounds of bananas
2 pound box of Elbow Macaroni
Butter
Jolly Time Popcorn (3pk)
Family size box of Frosted Flakes
2 Jars of Skippy Peanut Butter
Head of Iceberg Lettuce
1 pound roll of 80% lean ground beef
10 pound bag of chicken leg quarters
Birdseye Steam Fresh Veggies
4 boxes of Green Giant veggies
1 pound roll of ground turkey
2 boxes of Nestle Hot Cocoa Mix
2 boxes of Puff's Tissues
2 boxes of Hormel Pepperoni
Package of Bar S Hot Dogs

I shopped at Walgreen's (toilet paper), Aldi (milk, apples, bananas, pasta), Hy-Vee and Price Chopper for all of that. Aldi doesn't really have sales on the items I bought, so for the sake of my "before" price I have estimated what those same items would cost at Hy-Vee.

Before sales and coupons (without tax): $73.38

After sales and coupons (without tax): $40.85


My biggest savings thrills?

Skippy Peanut Butter - normally $2.38 a jar. It was on sale for .99 a jar, plus I had two coupons - one for .60 and one for .40. I bought two jars for .98!

Frosted Flakes - normally $4.38. It was on sale for $2.48 and I had a coupon for $1 off. I paid $1.48!

10 Pound bag of Chicken leg quarters - normally $8.39 but on sale for $3.99! That's only .39 a pound for chicken - almost unheard of.

Hot Cocoa Mix - normally $1.89 each. It was on sale for $1 a piece, plus I had a coupon for $1 off two - so I paid $1 for both boxes.

Hormel Pepperoni - normally $1.99 a box. It was on sale for $1 and I had two .35 coupons, so I only paid $1.30 for both boxes.

So how do I score such great deals? Three ways: keeping my eyes open (the toilet paper was an unadvertised sale), shopping at Aldi (milk and bananas are always cheaper there) and using The Grocery Game.

The Grocery Game is a service I pay $15 every two months for. Each week I log on, look at the list for my particular store (I subscribe to two store lists for the $15) and make my shopping list based on that. The list is color coded - black is an alright price and you only should buy it if you need it that week, blue is a great price so stock up and green means that item is free when used with a coupon!

I started using The Grocery Game late this last fall (November I think) and I know it has saved me money. I'm still spending the $300 a month but our choices of food in the house are much better now! We used to eat a lot of rice and beans towards the end of the month, but now we can eat more chicken, pasta, veggies and fruit.

If you're interested in trying The Grocery Game you can sign up for a one month trial for only $1. If you do that here's what I recommend doing... for that month continue to make your grocery list as you normally would and THEN look at your Grocery Game list to compare. I did that and realized I was missing lots of deals and spending money on things I thought were deals but really weren't.

If you do end up signing up for The Grocery Game, please consider telling them I sent you - it'll get me some free credit for my subscription! Just enter my e-mail address: discjockeyhelen at yahoo.com

8 comments:

Momma-of-5 said...

Okay, but Helen, I don't get the paper, so how would I use coupons? And what about BJs or a wholesale club, do you use them at all?

Helen said...

Get the paper! I subscribe for only .99 a week, which is actually less than what it would cost to go to the store and buy the paper. Just look for a "new subscriber" deal.

We use Sam's Club for a few things each month: cheese, oatmeal, french toast sticks, goldfish and giant cans of fruit.

Marie said...

Hey I saw your comment on moneysavingmom! I wanted to let you know that Hen House doubles coupons (only coupons that are .50 or less). As you know they are on average more expensive than Hyvee, but will usually have some great sales. I also do grocerygame and agree that it is well worth the money.

Helen said...

Thanks for the info Marie! I had no idea! I'll be watching them more often now.

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

That sounds terrific. Congrats on the groceries! In our town in WI, we have a program called Share, where we get great groceries at discounted prices once a month. We were able to get pork loins for as low as $1.99!!!!!

Rachael said...

want to come do my shopping? seriously...awesome!!!

Anonymous said...

Thats good but only works if your stores are close together or you are spending lots on gas prices.

Christine Richardson said...

Great job Mom! Wonder what the grocery bill will be when their teenagers??? They'll each be eating a box of Frosted Flakes then :) I have heard several people mention the grocery game. I think I'll have to check it out.

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