Posts Tagged ‘ budget ’

Weekly Spending Summary (5/25-5/31)

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Some of you have wondered where I get my printable coupons. Here are the main coupon sites that I use: Coupons.com, Coupon Network, Smart Source, Red Plum, Ibotta, Hopster, Checkout 51 and Saving Star.  Manufacturer websites and Facebook pages are another great source.

Whew, it’s been a busy last week!  This past weekend my husband’s family went to a cabin for a long weekend making the beginning of last week busy trying to get everything done in preparation to go.  We split meal responsibilities which made the work of preparing so much easier which was so nice!  The place we stayed was beautiful and so relaxing.  It was in not far from civilization but was still in the rural enough that it felt like a retreat.  And we had an absolutely wonderful time together!  I’m so grateful to be married into this family.  No, they are not perfect but they truly enjoy each other, can still love each other even though they don’t see eye to eye on everything, are willing to try to grow and learn from each other and just have lots of fun together.

We also buried my husband’s grandmother today.  She passed away last week before we left for the cabin and we almost ditched our plans but ended up being able to make it work in the end- we just had to leave a bit earlier yesterday than we would have otherwise.  Lena was a lady of strong faith in God; a lady who dealt with some really tough circumstances but didn’t let them make her bitter.  And she was a lady of lots of spunk.  She was 91 but up until just a few years ago had enough energy to still work hard- at least for a lady her age!  She helped us a number of different times here as we worked at remodeling our house.  She is going to leave a big hole in her families’ lives but she wasso very ready to enjoy the wonder of Heaven and that made it much easier to release her.

So it’s been kind of a different week around here and as a result I didn’t do quite as much deal shopping as usual.

On to the weekly spending summary.  Here are my favorite buys:

  • California Pizza Kitchen pizza for $0.50
  • Prego pasta sauce that was better than free

Total Spent: -$62.70 (negative due to gas rewards listed below)
Total Saved with Coupons: $21.38
Total Saved with Sales: $11.81
Total Saved: $33.19

Giant: $9.36
Saved with Coupons: $16.69
Saved with Sales: $6.32

Got a few deals at Giant this week including the Prego pasta sauce which was a gas deal.  Basically after sales/coupons/gas rewards the Prego was a moneymaker of $2.04.

(If you aren’t familiar with how the gas deals work, basically you earn so much off a gallon of gas when you purchase a certain number of specific items.  This time I earned $0.40 off a gallon, up to 30 gallons of gas, for purchasing the Prego.)

And just a note about the Fels-Naptha.  I love using it as a stain remover.  It’s super cheap and does a great job of getting out grass stain, baby blowouts and lots of other things.

Bought:

  • 4 Texas Toast Croutons $1.59 each
  • 4 Prego Pasta Sauce $2.99 each
  • Wishbone Ranch Dressing $2.59
  • 2 Purex Detergent $1.99 each
  • Fels-Naptha $1.39

Coupons Used:

  • Four $0.40 Texas Toast coupons from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts (doubled to $0.80)
  • Two $0.75/2 Prego printable coupons (doubled to $1.00 each)
  • Two Purex Free Product coupons from Purex Insiders (took off $4.55 each)
  • Fels-Naptha Free Product coupon from Purex Insiders (took off $1.39)

Got Back:

  • $0.75 via Ibotta for purchasing the Wishbone dressing
  • $12.00 in gas rewards savings for purchasing the Prego

Target: $2.55
Saved with Coupons: $4.69
Saved with Sales: $5.49

I forgot to take a picture but I bought 2 California Pizza Kitchen Pizzas and Kraft Dressing.

I saw this deal for California Pizza Kitchen pizzas for just $0.50 each after coupons and sales and was trying to figure out how I could take adavantage of it since I wasn’t really going to be in the area of Target this week.  Then I got the brilliant idea to use the pizzas for our lunch when we arrived at the cabin since we needed to provide our own lunch that day and I knew that a Target was right along our route.  So we stopped and got two as well as the Kraft Ranch dressing since I had forgotten that for the salad that I made.

I never had CPK pizzas before but they were really, really good and I was wishing so badly that I could have gotten a few more!  But I didn’t really feel want to have to deal with the hassle of taking the pizzas to the cabin and then back home again.

Oh and when I realized that I had forgotten the Ranch dressing for my salad I decided to do a quick check and see if there were any Target Cartwheel offers available for any salad dressings.  Sure enough, there was one available for the Kraft brand which made it significantly cheaper than the Target brand.  It only saved me $0.19 but it was such an easy way to save.

Speaking of Target Cartwheel, did you know that there is a search feature for it?  If you go the app, at the top of the menu there is a “search” option.  You can click on the barcode logo and scan any item to find out if it has a Cartwheel coupon that can be used with it.  Pretty awesome!  And I can’t tell you how often I’ve discovered that I could save a bit more on something I was already planning to purchase.

Bought:

  • 2 California Pizza Kitchen pizzas $5.49 total (on sale buy one, get one free)
  • Kraft dressing $1.88

Coupons Used:

Aldi: $20.01

I was to take baked potatoes to our family weekend at the cabin but since we love sweet potatoes too I decided to take some of both.  So the potatoes and the sour cream were for that.

Bought:

  • 4 lb. Oranges $3.49
  • Two 3 lb. Sweet Potatoes $1.79 each
  • 5 lb. Red Potatoes $3.49
  • Heavy Whipping Cream $1.99
  • 3 Sour Cream $1.29 each
  • 3 lb. Apples $3.59

Sharp Shopper: $16.08

Stopped by my favorite local discount grocery store to grab a few things.  The lunch meat was just a little bit over $2/lb., which is my usual buy price, but it was didn’t have any nitrates in it and so I felt it was worth the extra $0.40.  The Simply Lemonade was a little treat for us- it’s so good!  And that brown package to the right?  It’s Oreo cookie wafers.  I recently discovered them there and they are delicious plain but really, I bought them to use in my cheesecake crusts.

Credit: $110.70
The last number of weeks I’ve been buying various items that are part of the Giant gas deals.  Basically, you get points for purchasing the products and then you can redeem those points for gas.  I was able to get $110.70 worth of gas for free as a result.  And since I only buy the grocery items that are part of these deals because they either get me free gas or make me money I put the savings back into my grocery budget.  (To see the details of these purchases look at my previous Giant purchases under my Weekly Spending Summaries.)

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Weekly Spending Summary (5/18-5/24)

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Some of you have wondered where I get my printable coupons. Here are the main coupon sites that I use: Coupons.com, Coupon Network, Smart Source, Red Plum, Ibotta, Hopster, Checkout 51 and Saving Star.  Manufacturer websites and Facebook pages are another great source.

Favorite Buys:
* Huggies diapers for $2.86 each
* More Huggies for $3.59 each
* Better than free Jones all-natural sausage
* Parmesan Cheese for $0.21
* Scott toilet paper for $3.59

Total Spent:
$55.90
Total Saved with Sales: $40.00
Total Saved with Coupons: $33.95
Total Saved
: $73.95

CVS: $11.69
Saved with Coupons: $16.50
Saved with Sales: $12.70

I was able to get a really good deal on diapers this week.  After coupons/sales/gas card I paid $2.86 a package for the diapers and wipes!  My husband may or may not have rolled his eyes a bit when he saw the pile of diapers that I came home with.  (See Giant below!)  But he didn’t say a word (he’s learned that this kind of thing really does save us a lot!) and even offered to take them to the basement where we keep our extra.  I have to admit, I was almost rolling my eyes though too!  It doesn’t seem to bad or weird when you just buy a couple of packages at a time.  But this was a bit extreme!

Bought:

  • 3 Huggies diapers $8.99 each
  • Huggies wipes $6.99

Coupons Used:

  • Three $3.00 Huggies coupons
  • $2.00 Huggies CVS printable coupon
  • $1.50 Huggies wipes CVS printable coupon
  • $4.00 in Extra Bucks (CVS coupon that print at register for purchasing specific items)

Got Back:

  • $10 Gas gift card for purchasing the Huggies

Giant: $15.64
Saved with Coupons: $23.00
Saved with Sales: $21.14

I did a couple of gas deals again this week.  Basically after sales/coupons/gas rewards the Huggies were $3.59 each, the 4C cheese was $0.21 each, the Scott was $3.59, the Scotch-brite was a moneymaker of $3.05 and the the Jones sausage was a moneymaker of $5.33.  The Pom juice was free after coupons and sales.  My hubby loves that stuff so it put a smile on his face when he saw it sitting in the fridge.

(If you aren’t familiar with how the gas deals work, basically you earn so much off a gallon of gas when you purchase a certain number of specific items.  This time I earned $1.80 off a gallon, up to 30 gallons of gas, for purchasing the various items.)

I was extremely excited to get more Jones sausage for better than free.  We love that stuff and I especially love that not only is it delicious, it’s free of yucky stuff like fillers and preservatives.  And it makes it super easy to make a breakfast-y dinner- just add some eggs and toast, yogurt and fruit and presto, you’re done!  And since diaper prices are rising it was nice to get them for cheap too.  Don’t know if you noticed, but Huggies is once again shrinking their packages.  So annoying!  Seriously, soon we’ll be buying packs with 10 diapers in them!  Anyway, I’m grateful for deals to keep the cost reasonable!

Bought:

  • 3 4C parmesan cheese $2.99 each
  • 11 Jones all-natural sausage $1.67 each
  • Pom Wonderful Juice $1.00
  • 6 Huggies diapers $8.99 each
  • 3 Scotch-brite sponges $1.99 each
  • Scott tissue $6.99

Coupons Used:

  • $0.50 Pom coupon from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts (doubled to $1.00)
  • Six $3.00 Huggies coupons
  • $1/2 Scotch-brite coupon from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts
  • $1.00 Scott coupon from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts
  • Two $1.00 Jones coupons received from manufacturer
    - I emailed them and told them how much we love their sausage and they sent these coupons as a thank you

Got Back:

  • $54.00 in gas rewards savings for purchasing the 4C, Jones, Huggies, Scotch-brite and Scott

Aldi: $26.59

Stocked up on some of my usual Aldi things.  Don’t know if you noticed the pesto but I’m having fun experimenting with it.  I made a pizza with pesto, chicken and a tiny bit of marina sauce that was so yummy!

Bought:

  • Pesto $1.49
  • Heavy Whipping Cream $1.99
  • Canola Oil $2.59
  • Mayo $1.99
  • Sour Cream $1.29
  • 3 Black Beans $0.59 each
  • Great Northern Beans $0.59
  • 5 lb. Red Potatoes $3.49
  • Corn Chips $0.89
  • Kitchen Trash Bags $4.99
  • Heavy Duty Trash Bags $4.99

Target: $1.98
Saved with Coupons: $0.50
Saved with Sales: $0.11

We were at Target getting a few other things so I grabbed eggs while we were there.  Egg prices are nuts around here anymore and the local farm that I used to get them from no longer has chickens so I’m trying to find a new farm to buy them from.  Until then, I’m relying on random deals like this.

Bought:

  • Eggs $1.98

Got Back:

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Monthly Spending Summary (April)

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

If you want to see exactly what I purchased, check the posts under My Deals for more details.

I was a bit under budget again for the month and quite a bit under budget for the year.  I’m kind of wondering if we really would have needed to up our grocery budget for th year…although I know I’ll have lots of expenses once I start buying produce to can and freeze.  And I have to admit, having the extra $20 a month has been kind of nice.  It frees me up a bit and I’ve not been doing quite as much couponing the last couple of weeks as a result.  I still coupon, just haven’t gone to quite as many stores as I often do.  Sometimes a break is just necessary and nice!

Monthly Grocery/Household Budget: $220
Total Spent: $185.73
Total Saved with Coupons: $82.21
Total Saved with Sales: $83.08
Total Saved: $165.29 + $107.90 in gas savings (thanks to grocery purchases)

Week 1: $69.90
Week 2: -$7.66  (this was a negative due to gas savings credit)
Week 3: $85.93
Week 4: $37.56

Ending Monthly Balance: -$34.27
This is the amount that I am under budget for the month!

Ending Annual Balance: -$294.83
In case you are confused, this is the amount I am under budget for the year.  As I said last month, I know this is a lot but at the same time I know it will disappear fast this summer once I start buying fruits and veggies to can and freeze.

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Weekly Spending Summary (5/11-5/17)

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Some of you have wondered where I get my printable coupons. Here are the main coupon sites that I use: Coupons.com, Coupon Network, Smart Source, Red Plum, Ibotta, Hopster, Checkout 51 and Saving Star.  Manufacturer websites and Facebook pages are another great source.

Favorite Buys:
* Turkey Hill All-Natural ice cream for $0.10
* Eight O’Clock coffee for $1.96
* Better than free Klondike bars
* Better than free Minute Maid Juice Bars
* Free Ajax dish soap

Total Spent: $76.88
Saved with Coupons: $17.00
Saved with Sales: $29.10
Total Saved: $46.10 (plus an additional $48 in gas rewards savings)

Giant: $57.88
Saved with Coupons: $17.00
Saved with Sales: $29.10

I did a couple of gas deals again this week.  Basically after sales/coupons/gas rewards the Turkey Hill ice cream was $0.10 each, the Honest Kids, Minute Maid and Klondike were a moneymaker of $1.50 and the Quaker Real Medley was a moneymaker of $11.79.  I definitely wouldn’t normally buy the Quaker Real Medleys but if I can make that much money on them, I’m in!

If you aren’t familiar with how the gas deals work, basically you earn so much off a gallon of gas when you purchase a certain number of specific items.  This time I earned $1.60 off a gallon, up to 30 gallons of gas, for purchasing the various items.

The Simply organic ketchup was $1.29 after coupons/sales, the Eight O’Clock coffee was $1.96 each and the Ajax was free.  I know I just bought coffee recently, but we drink lots of Homemade Iced Coffee ( tastes like the bottled Starbucks Frappuccinos) and homemade frappuccinos in the summer and so the coffee disappears pretty fast!

Bought:

  • 5 Eight O’Clock Coffee $2.15 each (on sale Buy One, Get One Free)
  • Eight O’Clock Coffee Decaf $6.99
  • Honest Kids Organic Juice $3.00
  • Nature’s Promise Organic Ketchup $1.79
  • Ajax Dish Soap $0.99
  • 5 Turkey  Hill All-Natural Ice Cream $3.50 each
  • 3 Klondike Bars $3.00 each
  • Minute Maid Juice Bars $2.50
  • 12 Quaker Real Medley cups $1.33 each
    (bought with a rain check)

Coupons Used:

  • $5.00 Instant Savings for purchasing $15 worth of Eight O’Clock coffee
  • $1.00 Eight O’Clock coupon that came with coffee sample
  • $0.50 Nature’s Promise coupon from coupon machine inside store
    (Giant has this machine inside the front door where you can scan your Giant Bonuscard and then it will bring up coupons that you can print out and use right away.)
  • Five $1.00 Turkey Hill coupons received via manufacturer
    (I called and asked for them- you can request them once a month)
  • $3.00/3 Klondike coupon from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts
  • $0.75 Minute Maid coupon from magazine
  • $0.50/$6 frozen foods purchase coupon from coupon machine inside store
    (Giant has this machine inside the front door where you can scan your Giant Bonuscard and then it will bring up coupons that you can print out and use right away.)
  • Five $0.75/2 Quaker Real Medley coupons from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts (doubled to $1.00 each)

Got Back:

  • $0.99 via Saving Star for purchasing the Ajax dish soap
    - every week Saving Star has a FREE offer where you can get an item for totally free just by purchasing it!
  • $48.00 in gas rewards savings for purchasing the Turkey Hill, Klondike, Minute Maid, Honest Kids and Quaker Real Medley

Misc.: $26
This was for money to use to buy milk at a local dairy.

This was lettuce that I bought at our local farmer’s market.  I think I paid $3.25 for it.  (I used our grocery cash money.)

Some beautiful cut lettuce that some friends generously shared with us.  We’ve been enjoying lots of salads this week!

I paid my in-laws $7 for this fresh ground whole wheat flour.  I’ll use it to make 100% Whole Wheat Bread and occasionally other things too.

Credits: $7.00
I cashed out my Ibotta credits that I had earned the last several weeks.  I love this app and highly recommend it!

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Weekly Spending Summary (5/4-5/10)

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Some of you have wondered where I get my printable coupons. Here are the main coupon sites that I use: Coupons.com, Coupon Network, Smart Source, Red Plum, Ibotta, Hopster, Checkout 51 and Saving Star.  Manufacturer websites and Facebook pages are another great source.

Favorite buys:
* Free Tide
* Cheese for $2/lb.
* Free Yoplait Greek yogurt

Total Spent: $3.17
Total Saved with Coupons: $6.60
Total Saved with Sales: $5.15
Total Saved: $11.75

CVS: $0
Saved with Coupons: $3.00
Saved with Sales: $4.05

 It was fun to get Tide detergent for totally free this week by combining a CVS store coupon, a manufacturer’s coupon and a sale!  I also was planning to get a couple of other sale items but they were out of them so I had to just get some rain checks instead.

Bought:

  • Tide Simply $2.94

Coupons Used:

  • $2.00 CVS Tide coupon (came with a Tide sample that I had requested)
  • $1.00 Tide printable coupon

Giant: $3.49
Saved with Coupons: $3.60
Saved with Sales: $1.10

Yes, I got two Yoplait yogurts and yes, one is missing.  That is because I didn’t think and let the kids eat it for lunch before I got this picture taken.  They always think bought yogurt is something special since I typically make our yogurt.  So there was quite a bit of begging going on when they saw me grab this at the store!

I was in the middle of making a special cake for a little party that we threw for my husband when I realized that I didn’t have enough flour to make it!  Ugh, hate when that happens and honestly, because I tend to stockpile I don’t run into it very often.  Anyway, thankfully I had some bread flour on hand and so I just subbed that for the rest of what I needed.

So although I hadn’t been planning to go to Giant this week I decided that I’d better go and get some flour and while I was there of course I grabbed a few deals too!  You know I couldn’t go in and just get flour right?  By the way, I’m not a brand snob about many things (because after all, that’s part of saving- being willing to try whatever brand is cheap) but I do pretty much only buy Gold Medal or Pillsbury flour.  I’ve found that my Easy Homemade Pie Crusts, Gingerbread Cakes and Best Ever Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies all just turn out better with brand name flour.  And I also like to get the unbleached version.  I can’t tell a bit of difference and it’s at least a tiny bit healthier since it’s that much less processed.

After coupons the croutons were $0.45 each and the Yoplait was totally free.

Bought:

  • 2 Texas Toast croutons $1.25 each
  • Gold Medal Flour $2.99
  • 2 Yoplait Greek yogurt $1.00 each

Coupons Used:

  • Two $0.40 Texas Toast coupons from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts (doubled to $0.80 each)
  • Two $0.50 Yoplait printable coupons (doubled to $1.00 each)

Aldi: $49.18

I was so excited about the cheese deal that I happened upon when I was at Aldi last week!  Seriously, I was almost dancing in the aisles!

I had stopped by to get hamburger rolls and a few other odd items and is my habit, I scanned the rest of the store as I shopped to make sure I wasn’t missing any mark downs or specials.  And as I was walking by the one fridge section I saw this “special buy” cheese.  And what do you know, but it was at my buy price of $2/lb.!  I could hardly believe it because cheese prices have jumped crazily around here and I was just telling my husband that we are going to soon need shredded cheese and I’m going to probably have to up my buy price to around $2.50/lb.  And so, since cheese freezes so well and since I was almost out and since prices are rising, well, I kind of went wild and got 9 bags.  Or, uh, 18 lbs.  Oh my, when I put it that way it does sound a little crazy!

The other thing that I bought that I rarely buy is the powdered milk.  The only thing that I use it for is Homemade Cream Soup Mix and if you haven’t tried it, you really should.  I love it and no longer feel awful bad about making recipes that call for cream soup!

Bought:

  • 4 Mozzarella Cheese 2 lb. bags $3.99 each
  • 5 Mozzarella Cheese 2 lb. bags $3.99 each
  • 2 Corn Chips $0.89 each
  • Parsely Flakes $0.99
  • Dry Milk $6.99
  • Sour Cream $1.29
  • Ranch Dressing $1.39
  • Hamburger Rolls $0.89

Misc.: $7.50

* As I mentioned in my 4 Frugal & 4 UnFrugal post, I paid $2.50 for 20 coupons from WizClipsTen of them were for Texas Toast croutons (our favorite) and 10 of them were for Quaker Real Medley oatmeal.  I have a rain check for the oatmeal and the coupons will turn the deal into a very nice moneymaker.  I don’t often buy coupons because typically it is not worth it.  But if it’s an item that we typically use (like the Texas Toast croutons) and I know it will help make it a great deal, I’ll buy them.  Or if it’s something that is part of Giant’s gas deals (like the Quaker Real Medley’s were) and I have to buy a certain amount to qualify it is also sometimes worth buying the coupons.

* $5 of this was cash that I withdrew to buy produce at our local farmer’s market

Credits: $57.00
The last number of weeks I’ve been buying various items that are part of the Giant gas deals.  Basically, you get points for purchasing the products and then you can redeem those points for gas.  I was able to get $57.00 worth of gas for free as a result.  And since I only buy the grocery items that are part of these deals because they either get me free gas or make me money I put the savings back into my grocery budget.  (To see the details of these purchases look at my previous Giant purchases under my Weekly Spending Summaries.)

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