Monday, July 26, 2010

i'm back!

So it's been a while since I've posted a sweet saving money blog, but I'm back, and going to try posting more now, so people can actually READ this!! We've been having some budget issues due to car insurance bills and hospital bills (new motto=RELAX!!), so my grocery shopping hasn't been too exciting. That combined w/the fact that the boy and I decided we only have 10 months til our wedding and really need to start getting back on the eating healthy train!! Therefore last month we only spent about $200 on groceries, and didn't save as much as I have in previous months (In June I saved 47%!!) But thats ok, because...

*We spent over $100 less on groceries than we did the month before, AND

*I bought things that were *GASP* not on sale!! Which was exciting, because the boy and I went through my healthy cookbook and picked out lots of healthy meals that we are going to make!! I mean, if something was a ridiculous price and I had no coupon, then I passed, because we didn't need it that bad. But this gives us way more options for healthy breakfast/lunch/dinner instead of pizza rolls cuz they were on sale, lol.

So in the next few months, I might not be saving a ridiculous amount on groceries like I have been the rest of this year. But hopefully I will be dropping some pounds!!

And this blog won't be the one to show you the CRAZIEST deals possible, because I know most of the people who will read this are not going to have time and ROOM for all this food. Instead I'm going to give you the deals you'll actually use and enjoy!! Anyways...Meijer is having their 10 for $10 sale this week, and here's what some of the good deals I see are: (Please remember my Meijer doubles coupons up to .50!)

10 for $10
*Green giant vegetables (no coups but a good deal still!) $1

*Meijer white or wheat bread, hot dog buns, and hamburger buns $1

*Coke, Pepsi, 7-up 2 liters $1
-use the Meijer Mealbox coupon for $1 off of 5 Pepsi, only .80 when you buy 5 Pepsi

*Chex mix $1
-use the .55/1 chex mix coupon, you only pay .45!

*Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad $1
-use .50/2 coupon HERE
=2 for $1!

*Dole Salad Blends $1

*Banquet Meals $1 (not the best meals, but a few aren't bad)
-$1/4 HERE

*Coffeemate Creamer (I recommend the amaretto flavor!) $1
-.75/1 HERE
= only .25!!

*Sunny D $1
-.25/1 HERE
= .50!

*Grands Biscuits $1
-1/2 Sweet Grands (if included in sale) HERE (you must enter in zipcode- 33770)
-$0.50/2 Coupon HERE (zipcode- 33770)
= 2/$1

*Michelinas Entrees $1
-$1/5 coupon HERE
= 5/$4

*Old Orchard Frozen Juice concentrate $1
-$1/4 HERE
= 4/$3

*Healthy Choice Soup $1
-$1/5 Meijer Coupon
= 5/$4

There are a ton more 10/$10 deals (and remember you get the 11th item free) and you can check out Meijer's ad

*Garden Fresh Chips and Salsa and Hummus- Buy one get one FREE!
= about $4 for awesome chips and salsa/hummus!

*Blueberries $1.50 a pint (the boy and I just bought a ton and are going to freeze them to use in smoothies!)

*Gatorade .99 PLUS buy 10 and get 5 Propel waters free!! (We did this deal before and it rocks!)

*Smart Ones Frozen dinners 5/$9 PLUS buy 5 get 1 free!
DEAL IDEA=Buy 12 meals, use TWO $1/5 coupon HERE
=12 meals for $16, only .75 a piece!

*Edy's Ice Cream $2.50

*Meijer Milk $2

*Kraft Deli Fresh Slices $2.50
-$1/1 HERE
=1.50 PLUS right now when you buy 5 Kraft Items in one transaction, you'll get a coupon back for $5 off your next purchase!!! That could make for a sweeeeeet deal!

WELL thats most of what I'm stocking up on this week. Are there any other deals I missed? Are there any deals you are looking for? Let me know :)


Thursday, May 13, 2010

April review, far too late!

Well here was April's review:

Total OOP: 385.64
Total Retail: 697.55
Total Coupons: 151.53
Total Saved: 312.01 (44.7%)

The goal was under $300, which we didn't do, however I think we really built up our stock pile quite a bit (so much so that I was able to give 2 giant bags of food for the food drive on May 8th!!) And my goal was 45% savings, SO CLOSE!! I'm going to have the same goals for May I believe, stay tuned on how I do!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

meijer trip 4/23/10

So my trip to Meijer yesterday was a NIGHTMARE. Carefully planned everything, had 2 transactions ready to go, should have gotten $12 in CAT coupons from the first transaction, and NOTHING prints. Argued with the lady at the Uscan, then headed to customer service for about 10 minutes. She finally gave me the $8 off from the betty crocker etc. deal, and the $1 for the 4 Totinos pizza. But said there was no proof by the 100 cal snack pack Kraft cheese that there was a CAT so I just gave up. Started to head out to my car, and RIGHT by the door there is a giant sign about the deal, lol. So I put my groceries in my car, marched right back in, and after at least another 10 minutes, finally got it. Crazy lady at the Uscan told me I didn't get them because I used so many coupons, I was like look, I'm a professional, haha. So the deals didn't work out quite like I had planned, but I still have $12 left to spend for my next trip to Meijer :) Here's what it WOULD have looked like:

Deal ONE:

1 BC Cake Mix
2 BC frosting
3 Fiber One Bars
2 Bisquick mixes
3 BC Brownie mixes
1 BC muffin mix (those items were all for the BC/GM catalina)
1 Freschetta pizza
3 Kraft 100 cal cheese
4 Totinos pizzas
2 Toaster Scrambles

Total b4 coups: 54.38
Total after coups: 22.66 (including a $2 cat from before)
Got $12 in CATs back

Deal TWO

4 Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh lunchmeat
2 5ct. Kraft Mac and Cheese
4 Chips Ahoy cookies
1 Freschetta Pizza
2 Boxes Kashi cereal

Total b4 coups: 46.14
Total after coups: 12.20 (would have been .20 if I had the CATs)

Total retail cost: $100.52
Total OOP w/CATs: $22.86 (77% savings! My best so far!)

So the moral of this story is, make sure you know what coupons you have, what deals you should be getting, and what to do if this happens! The lady at the customer service desk was very understanding, so I lucked out!


Friday, April 2, 2010

march's numbers are in!

Starting in February, I've been keeping track of how much money we are spending per month on groceries. There is an interesting little chart here that shows how much the average us resident spends on food at home. For a family of two, the frugal plan is $346, so my ideal budget per month right now is right around that mark (this is also including toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc.).

For March, we spent a total of $396.89 on groceries etc. This is definitely above my budget, however a few points to make...

1) For that amount, we purchased a total of $720.87 worth of groceries and stuff!!!!! WHAT? that is insane to me. So we saved 45%!!!!

2) I'm expecting that amount to drop a TON. This month we had the added expense of my birthday party (that shopping trip was the only one over a hundred dollars...the only one over 75 actually!) that ate up a lot of our budget (luckily now our bar is getting very well stocked!). I've also been working a lot of STOCKPILING. I've learned this is basically the key to saving money. Basically when something is on sale really cheap, and there are coupons for it, you buy as many as you can! FOR INSTANCE: right now in our freezers we have a total of 14 boxes of green giant frozen vegetables, probably about 20 frozen dinners, and I think we have about 10 boxeas of hamburger helper. A little outrageous for 2 people, however these are things I will NEVER have to buy NOT on sale! We just recently purchased some great storage shelving for the basement and got that all set up and organized with all our extra purchases (pasta, soup, paper towels, juice, etc.) I'm starting to get to the point now where I go out to get groceries and I'm only spending about $30-$40 a trip because I am only buying what's on sale, and nothing else.

3) Our meat supply is completely out of control, haha. After setting up our storage shelves, I took an inventory of the downstairs fridge freezer as well as our chest freezer. Needless to say we could probably go about 3 months without buying ANY meat at all!! The grocery store by my mom has crazy sales on meat every month or two and we've been stocking up, so we won't need to be doing that for a LONG time.

4) Summer is on the way, and that means yummy, delicious produce!! I have plans to have a smallish garden this year to grow stuff we use quite often (I'm thinking tomatoes and green onion for sure..possibly broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower...we'll see what else!) so that will help. Not that we spend a lot on produce anyways. Last fall I discovered the amazingness that is Horrock's Farm Market and it is extremely rare that I buy produce anywhere else (unless I need like ONE thing and i'm already at another grocery store!). For example, on one shopping trip in early March I bought the following: a bunch of broccoli, a pound of red grapes, a 2 lbs. of mini carrots, 8 oz. of mushrooms, a bunch of cilantro, 5 avocados, 1 lemon, a red pepper, 3 onions, 4 apples, 4 tomatoes, and 3 limes for a total of $22. Seriously? That is crazy to me. Their prices are totally unbeatable. If you don't live in the Lansing area (or Battle Creek), I would definitely check out your local farmer's market. They will have the best quality and prices guaranteed!

5) We made a list of about 15 or so meals (this is about the average we'll eat in a month, since I close at least 2 nights a week and we eat out about once every 2 weeks) and I made a huge list of ingredients for all those meals. I'm stocking up on these things when they are on sale so I'll have lots of options for dinners, and will be much less tempted to eat out!

So this month, I'm aiming for $300. It will be tough, especially since we are CRACKING DOWN on eating out (ok we failed tonight...but we have both been VERY good about packing lunches so that is good!). But I think it's possible. I don't plan on buying things I don't need, and don't plan on buying much without coupons or anything thats not on sale(ugh we were out of yogurt and nothing was on sale at Meijer, but at least I had a coupon). We don't really have any big events or parties going on this month too, so that's good. All I know is it's awesome to actually be using name brand products and eating good brands of foods and paying WAY less than buying the store brands!

How much do you spend a month on groceries?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Welcome to cool couponing :)

This is my newest idea I've had. I've become quite obsessed with using coupons and saving money lately, and I've been wanting to share the wealth! There are TONS and TONS of couponing blogs out there, but I've been finding that most of these are aimed towards stay at home moms and families, those who have TONS of time to spend on saving money. As a 26 year old with no children (yet, except my 2 bratty dogs), a fiance, and a full time job, I don't have THAT much time to spend on saving money, and I don't need to stock up as much as a huge family would. So I came up with this idea!!

I usually shop at Kroger and Meijer in the Lansing area, plus I get most of my produce from Horrocks (this is an obsession in itself...I discovered this place when we moved to Lansing and I LOVE cheap and such great quality!) I'll be posting deals about these stores mostly. I know drugstores (CVS, Walgreens, and RiteAid) offer awesome deals, and most of the coupon people I follow end up MAKING money there, but it's so time consuming, and I haven't quite gotten into it yet.

I'll also try to post some delicious and super easy recipes too. Obviously cooking is another obsession of mine, and I love to share all the yummy things I make too!!

Let me know what you think of this idea! Do you like saving money? Where do you do most of your grocery shopping? Would you spend a few minutes printing coupons and making a list if it meant you could get $95 worth of food for $33? (I totally did this yesterday!!!) Is there anything else you guys would like to see? Let me know!!!