Saturday, June 7, 2008

CVS Plan for the week of June 8

CVS deals for the week are pretty slim, but I managed to find a few good ones that will be worth the trip.  I plan to do 2 transactions.

Note:  I went to CVS, they had what I needed and ended up only paying .9 cents out of pocket! that works for me!

Transaction 1:
2 12 packs of Coke=5.50 (buy 4 get 3 EB)
1 listerine 3.49(get 3.49 in EB wyb 1=FREE!)
1 Oral B twin pack-6.99 (get 6.99 in EB wyb 1=FREE!)
=15.98 + tax
=12.98 and get back 10.48 in EB

Transaction 2:
2 Coke 12 packs-5.50 (get 3 EB wyb 4)
1 listerine 3.49 (get 3.49 wyb 1=FREE!)
1 Oral B twin pack 6.99(get 6.99 in EB wyb 1=FREE!)
=12.98 but get back 13.48 in EB on this one (the 3EB for the coke will print out)

All together I only lose 2EB! Not bad for what I am getting! Also be sure to go here for other deal scenarios.

You can also sweeten the above transactions by going here to print 1/1 listerine coupons if you have not done so already.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Weekly Shopping Trip

Again this week I found that I was well stocked for meals and did not need much, so I splurged and bought our favorite Bronco Bob's raspberry chipolte sauce at 6.55 a bottle!  That is the most un-frugal purchase I have made at the grocery store in quite a while, but from all the money I have been saving my budget allowed it!   I also got a few ice cream treats too!  Here is what I got this week and I saved 75%!:

note: MS means manager special which is anything that might expire soon, or there is an overstock of.
  • Kroger peanut butter-.88
  • Dillon's eggs-.99
  • Coffee mate creamer-.99
  • Kroger Pizza sauce-1.00
  • Bronco bob's sauce-6.55
  • 16 ct pack of Frigo string cheese-3.49-1/1 coupon-2.49
  • Kroger vanilla ice cream-1.39
  • 1 gallon of milk-2.79
  • 2 lbs. of bananas- .83
  • Delmonte fresh pineapple on MS for .99/tub (usually run 3.99 or more)
  • Strawberries on MS for .99/tub (usually run 2.99 or more)
  • Kroger grape tomatoes on MS for .99/tub (usually run 2.99 or more)
  • 1 tub of blackberries on MS-.49 (usually run 2.99 or more)
  • 1 tub of raspberries on MS-.49 (usually run 2.99 or more)
  • Kroger celery on MS-.79/bunch (usually run 1.50 or more)
  • Kroger whole carrots -.39/bunch (usually run .99 or more)
  • Kroger 6 ct. ice cream sandwiches-.99
  • 2 1b. packages of Kroger real butter sticks at 1.98/1=3.96
  • 2 lb. packages of Blue Bonnet margarine sticks at .69/1 =1.38
I also used a 1.50 off a 7$ dairy purchase coupon that I recieved from Dillon's in the mail.  My total came to around $30.  My total savings as noted on my reciept from store sales and coupons was $9.30- 24%.  Now if you calculate how much I saved by buying produce on manager special (not calculated on receipt) I actually saved around 75%!

I also ran by Aldi and picked up these items
2 bags of tortilla chips-.99/1=1.98
2 limes.39/1=.78
1 bag of brown sugar=.99
1 bag of long grain rice=1.38
1 pouch of pepperonis=1.99
My total came to around $8.00

So far this week I have spent $38.00 ($2 under my budget!)

I don't plan to go to Hy-Vee but if I am in that neck of the woods I might just pick up some red bell peppers at .88/1! 

For other great shopping trips this week be sure to check out them out here
as Crystal hosts Super Savings Saturday.

Also if anybody has a great recipe that includes blackberries or raspberries would you post it? I have no idea what to do with the ones I bought, but I knew they were too good of a deal to pass up!

Produce at Aldi

Aldi has fabulous prices on their produce this week!  This store would be your one stop shop for all your produce needs!
  • 3 pack of peppers (1 red, 1 green, 1 yellow/orange)-1.68 (cheapest I have seen them in a while)
  • 2 lb. tub of grapes-2.98
  • Strawberries-.99
  • Avacodos- .88/1
  • Cucumbers .59/1
  • Heads of cauliflower-.99
There were many other great prices too- milk is 2.69/gallon!

Dillon's 3-day sale

The Dillon's at 21st and Belle (my favorite of all the Dillon's actually) is having a 3 day sale and a bunch of manager specials.
  • C&H sugar is .99/4lb. bag (if you have any of the coupons for this from recent inserts/ or printing them off-line you could get this bag for .50 or less!
  • Kroger peanut butter is .88/1jar
  • Coffee Mate creamer is .99/1
  • Kroger pork and beans 2/.88 
  • Other Kroger beans are 2/.88 (matches the Aldi price)
  • Fresh express bagged sald (regular kind) is .49/bag!
I know I saw others but can't remember them, but if you haven't gone to Dillons yet be sure to go this weekend!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hy-Vee 6/4-6/10

Be sure to check out the Hy-Vee weekly circular here.  Also be sure to check out this post for tips about menu planning on a budget.
  • Kandy Golden cantaloupe-1.88 (beats Dillon's this week at 2/5)
  • 16 oz. roll of ground beef-1.99/lb
  • 1 lb. package of Blue Bonnet sticks of Margarine-.59 (beats Dillons this week)
  • Kashi granola bars are 2/$6, go here to get a $2/1 coupon making them 1$/1 box
  • In add coupon- Purchase 3 bags of Malto Meal 50% more and get $5 off!  If you know the price per bag please leave it in the comments section
  • Kellogs special K cereal are on sale 5/$10
  • 24 oz Midwest Country Fair cottage cheese is 1.38 (this is usually $2 or more at Aldi)
  • 8oz. Hy-Vee dips are 2/$1
  • Disney naval oranges are .99/lb. (.99/ lb. for any produce is good!)
  • Red Bell Peppers are .88 for 1 (these are usually $2 or more a piece and a 3 pack of peppers at Aldi runs 2.99 usually)
  • Red sweet onions are .79/lb.
  • Dole bagged salads are 2/3 use a $1/2 coupon and get them for $1/for 1
  • Oscar Meyer bologna .99/1
  • 4 c. bag of Hy-Vee shredded ceese is 3.28 (a 3 cup bag at Aldi is usually 2.70 or more, so Hy-Vee is the better buy this week)
  • Country Fair frozen veggies are .88/bag ( Aldi price is about the same)
  • Sauve body wash is 2/3 making them 1.50/1 use .50/1 coupon from recent inserts to get them for $1
  • Colgate tooth paste is 2/$3, making them $1.50/1, use 1.50/1 from recent inserts to get these for FREE!
  • 4 lb. bag of Country Fair sugar is 1.29 (it is usually $2 or more at Aldi for a 5lb. bag
  • Hy-Vee yogrut is 20/7 making them .35/1  (this is the best deal!  Aldi yogurt is .43/1)
  • Hy-Vee cereal is 3/5 making them 1.66 a box (this is the best deal)
  • Hy-Vee pasta is .88/1
  • Hy-Vee chicken leg quarters are .69/lb.
  • Hy-Vee brand cheetos are .99/bag
If you see a good deal I did not mention please let us know about it in the comments section. 

Dillons 6/4-6/10

The ad for this week's circular can be found here.  If you would like to learn more about how I budget for my groceries read my post on this topic here.  Happy Shopping!
  • Milk is 2.79/gallon.  However if you buy 3 of the listed items (you can mix and max) you get 1 gallon free!  The 3 items are Selected Kellog's cereals (2.99), Kellog's pop tarts (2.49), or Keebler selected snack cookies(1.99).  My suggestion would be to buy the items you have coupons for to maximize this deal.  I have a $1/2 coupon for Keebler cookies but none for the others.  So if it were me I would buy 3 Keebler cookies because they are the lowest price and use my 1/2 coupon.  I would pay 4.97 for 3 things of cookies and a gallon of milk... if you consider the price of milk at 2.79/gallon it is like getting 2 things of cookies for free!  Do you have any other coupons?  Share your deal idea in the comments section if you do.
  • Dillon's eggs are .99 cents- best deal you will find these days!
  • Kroger 1lb. package of butter=1.98 (usually 2.12 at Aldi)
  • 10/10 - Pepsi/ 7-up 2 ltr btls or Banquet Brown 'N Serve Sausages 6.4-7 or Banquet Meals 6.7-12 or Kroger Frozen Vegetables 9-16 or Kroger Waffles 10 ct or Chef Boyardee Pasta with Meat 14.5-15 oz can or Microwavable Pasta with Meat 7.5 oz or Kroger Canned Fruit 15-15.25 oz or Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits 8 ct or Totino's Party Pizza 9.8-10.9 oz Selected Varieties.  There are coupons for Grands biscuits- .30/2 when doubled making it .60/2 or .70 for 1 can of biscuits.  1$ for canned fruit is a good price.
  • Minute made 64oz. juice drinks are .99/1
  • Kroger yogurt is 2/.88 cents.  (this is the price at Aldi for their yogurt)
  • Red Ripe tomatoes on the vine are .99/lb  (any produce for .99/lb. is a good price)
  • Fresh Texas green beans .99/lb
  • Georgia Vidalia onions are .99/lb
  • Avacados are 10/10
  • Sweet corn 5/2
  • Frigo string cheese is 3.49 , use 1/1 coupon to make it 2.49
  • Van Camp pork and beans are 2/1
  • Pringles are .88/can  (this is the price at Aldi)
  • Honeysuckle 93% lean ground turkey BIGI free... making them around 1.60/packages.  An okay price and certainly less expensive than ground beef
What did I miss? Feel free to comment about good deals you find that I did not mention.  Also note that Dillons has been running 3-day sales lately over Friday/Saturday/Sunday.  Be sure to shop then for extra deals!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Grocery Budget

If you know me well you know that I love Crown Financial Ministries. This is due in large part to the approach taken in helping people with their finances. Crown’s main goal is to help people learn what God’s word has to say about handling His money and learning that financial freedom means being free to serve the Lord, not live your material dreams.

Good friends of ours introduced my husband and I to Crown when they talked with us about some budgeting software. We had never budgeted before and knew we needed something to help us get out of the “oh no we only have $30 to last us the next 5 days” cycle, other wise known as living paycheck to paycheck. As we read and prayed about our finances we were lead to create a spending plan, which became very helpful when it came time to go from 2 incomes to 1. We knew exactly where our money was being spent and knew very easily what could be cut out of the budget in order for me to stay home with our little boy. Go here if you would like to read more on the need for a spending plan, or about things here  that can "bust" your budget.

In fact one of the easiest places to cut money is usually the grocery budget. When I say grocery I am talking strictly about food. Many of us don’t realize the actual cost of the food we are buying, and most of the time we don’t really pay attention to what is going into our cart. Then when check out time comes we wonder how we just spent so much money at the store. In this article it is my goal to give practical tips and advice concerning buying groceries on a budget.

The first thing I always recommend is to know what a good price is. That is really the foundation of this blog. Know what the maximum amount is you will pay for an item. If you shop long enough and pay attention you will come to find that you usually know what the price is of one particular item at a particular store. For example I have shopped at Aldi long enough to know that cans of kidney beans are usually .45 cents a can. I have also shopped at Dillon’s long enough to know that I have never seen kidney beans .45 cents a can there and so I know that my best price is always going to be at Aldi and I will not pay more than I have to for this one particular item. Same thing goes for all other food items, start to know what the price is of the item and try to figure out if it is less expensive somewhere else or if the off-brand will do. Many times you will find that the off brand is just as good.

The second thing I recommend is to cut out unnecessary snacks. Lets face it, we all love a Little Debbie snack cake every now and then, but our budget often doesn’t and neither do my thighs. We have found that by not buying over priced snack food we have been able to cut down significantly on our grocery bill. If we do have snack food in the house it is because I paid next to nothing for it. Same thing goes for breakfast foods. Consider making homemade pancakes/waffles and freezing them or eating cereal you get on sale in stead of over priced frozen breakfast, boxed muffins, and pop tarts that don’t give you a whole lot of nutrition anyway. Your husband or children may miss these things at first, but get creative enough with other snack alternatives and they won’t miss them at all.

Thirdly, we also cut way down in our grocery budget by not buying soda and juice. If there is soda or juice in our house it is because I paid very little for it. Soda and juice often add very little nutritional content to your diet (I am a pop junkie though)  and it is better to eat fresh fruit for the nutrients than drink juice. So in our house we stick to milk and water to help cut costs.

Fourth, don’t be afraid of canned or frozen vegetables. I am aware of the grand debate concerning these items and whether or not you get the same amount of nutrients from these as you do fresh veggies. However, canned and frozen veggies are often an okay alternative. You could simply cut down from eating fresh veggies every night to eating them only half the time and eating canned and frozen the other half. There are often great sales on canned and frozen veggies that fit the bill a little better than fresh veggies. If you absolutely feel disgusted at the thought of eating anything canned or frozen, than just menu plan around what fresh veggies are on sale for the week or grow a garden. As for fruit, by a few types for the week and call it good. You don’t necessarily have to have 5 different types of fruit on hand at all times. Shop what is on sale and stick to that for the week. We often eat a lot of apples and grapes around here and in the winter we sometimes just stick with canned fruit, in water or light syrup of course!

As for meat, you can read my thoughts on that here.

And lastly I would recommend menu planning if you are trying to stick to a budget. Having a plan helps you shop with a purpose and come out buying very little impulse items. One of the things that helps me to menu plan is to have a list of our favorite (staple) meals handy that I can make for the week depending on what is on sale. We have about 30-40 total that I know my family will eat, and most weeks I can make these by shopping the sale items at the store. At least twice a month I try a new recipe to change things up a little a bit and most often the new recipe gets added to our staple list. My menu can often change with the seasons. For example in summer I am more likely to grill and in the winter we eat a lot of soups. I always make my menu based on what the sale items are for the week or what is in my pantry. If I find a good deal at the store on meat I will stock up and use it for the next week. I often have plenty ingredients on hand from great sales that have given me a chance to stock up. Or if I go to Aldi I always make sure to buy the items I need that I know I will not get cheaper anywhere else.

We made our grocery budget based on the bare necessities because that is the place we are in life. So it has been my goal to find good, yet inexpensive meals I can make on our small weekly budget. Below is a list of some web sites and resources I have used:

  • The Aldi Queen Blog- I stumbled across this about a year ago and love this blog. It is dedicated to menu ideas that you can make purely by shopping at Aldi.
  • Living on a Dime- I also stumbled across this and have found some of the recipes here to be good
  • Crystal at Money saving mom does have a great super market savings course where you can find e-books about menu planning and some of her own frugal recipes!
  • Miserly moms has a great site here for recipes
These are a few sites to get you started.  I plan to write up some of my own recipes and post at a later date, but for now you can check out my menu for the week when I post my weekly menu plan on Mondays.

Above all else in this whole budget process you should pray and ask the Lord what he would desire for your grocery budget.  He is always capable of giving us the wisdom we need.  And of course if you are married talk with your spouse also and agree on the budget you set forth.  Remember a budget is just a guideline and is subject to change from time to time.  Please be sure to check out the weekly posts about Dillons and Hy-Vee.  My goal in writing these to help you learn what the best price is and become a wise grocery shopper.  Happy shopping!

My CVS Trip

Since my other CVS plan didn't work out like I had hoped I had to re-group.  I spent some time re-thinking my plan and went shopping last night.  All in all I spent about 3$ oop (out of pocket) and burned (didn't get back) about 2 of my EB (extra bucks).  Not bad for 3 jumbo packs of diapers and a bunch of other stuff!
I did 4 transactions

1 Oral B twin pack- 6.99 (get 6.99 EB back-FREE)
1 jumbo pack of Pampers -7.99
1 bag of chex mix- 1.00
total was 15.98
-3/15 cvs coupon
-1.50 pampers coupon
-.75 oral b coupon 
-1/1 chex mix coupon
-$9 in EB and paid 1.03 out of pocket and got back 6.99 in EB

Same as the first

1 jumbo pack of pampers
2 bottles of Listerine smart rinse - 6.98 (got back 6.98 in EB for these=FREE)
1 CVS brand Band-Aids-1.99 (got back 1.99 in EB=FREE)
-3/15 cvs coupon
-1.50/1 pampers coupon
-2 1/1 Listerine coupons
-9.99 in EB, and .47 cents oop, and got back 13.97 in EB

1 CVS brand cotton swabs 3.19 (got back 2 EB)
1 Brut deodorant 3.29 (got back 3EB)
1 CVS paper plates 3.39 
1 CVS sandwhich bags  2.69
1 CVS brand Band-Aids- 1.99 (got back 1.99 in EB= FREE)
20 prints from 1 hour photo-3.39
-3/15 cvs coupon
-2.90 cvs print coupon
-3/10 cvs brand purchase
-8.97 in EB, paid .07 cents oop and got back 7 EB

All together I paid about 3 or so dollars oop, spent about 37$ in EB and got back about 35$ in extra bucks.

Be sure to check out other great CVS trips as Crystal hosts Super Savings Saturday here.

Monday, June 2, 2008

New CVS coupon

Crystal has all the details here... YAY!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

CVS Plan for the week

Here is my plan for CVS this week.  I plan to do 4 transactions, but in the end you will see it is totally worth it!  You can see other great CVS plans here
Transaction 1:
 One touch mini 19.99 (get back 5EB)
1 Pampers diapers
1 CVS bandages 1.99 (get back 1.99 EB)
- 20/1 One touch coupon
 -1.50 pampers
- 3/15 = 5.47, pay with 5 EB +tax, get back 6.99

Second transaction is the same as the 1st

1 swiffer 5.99 (will get back 5 EB in next trasaction for this one- buy10 get 5 back)
1 pampers 7.99 (get back 5 on this one since the 3rd pack will put me over the 20 mark to get 5EB back)
1 Listerine 3.49 (get back 3.49 EB)
-1/1 swiffer coupon,
-1.50 pampers, 
-1/1 listerine,
-3/15=10.99, use 11 EB (hopefully the price adjust) + tax and get back 8.49 EB on this one

1 Listerine 3.49(get back 3.49),
2 oral B twin packs 6.99 (get back 6.99), 
2 Dawns (buy 2 get 1EB on sale for 2/2),
1 swiffer 5.99 (get back 5EB on this one for buying 10 worth of products)
-1/1 listerine,
-1/1 swiffer,
-1.50 in dawn coupons, 
-1.75 in oral b coupons, 
-3/15=17.21, use 16 in EB + tax, get back 23.97

So all together I am spending 37 EB and getting back 45.94 EB... a profit of 8 EB!

Note: A few of my coupons were 1 day expired.  I have always been told our CVS accepts expired coupons, but the Topeka store informed me this morning that they will no longer take expired coupons, so it looks like my great plan won't work here in Topeka.