Posts Tagged ‘ budget ’

Weekly Spending Summary (6/22-6/28)

Monday, June 30th, 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.

This past week was full but much less busy than the last several weeks which was so refreshing!  The first part of the week I was busy getting caught up on some things that had been kind of neglected during the previous busy weeks.  And I also organized and priced stuff for the yard sale that we had on Saturday.  We did the yard sale with my mom-in-law and sister-in-law at my husband’s cousin’s place (did you follow that all?!) and we did really well!  Her house is located along one of the main roads in the area and we got a lot of business.  It was so nice to get rid of most of our stuff, except for kid’s clothes.  For some reason the customers we had were mostly not young moms so the clothes didn’t get much attention.  But the rest of our stuff mostly disappeared.  So fun!

Oh, and if you haven’t already, you might enjoy reading my post on 5 Tips for a Successful Yard Sale.  You’ll find out the things that we’ve found helpful in doing well in the many yard sales that we’ve had.  One thing we discovered this year that seems like a no-brainer but didn’t occur to any of us until halfway through the morning, was to not put totes of clothes right beside your “checkout” table.  It just so happened that the way we set the clothes up, there were 2 totes of kids clothes (organized by size) right beside our checkout table.  It suddenly occurred to us that not many people are going to want to dig through that when they are pretty much right under our nose, so we moved it up to the front of our display and then people actually did start to look through them.  I think it was actually my smart husband who had the “light bulb” moment.  <grin>  But it was a good illustration of how the way things are displayed and set up really do affect how much you’ll sell!

I kind of broke my “not shopping much this summer” rule this week.  I hadn’t really intended to go to so many stores, it just sort of happened for a number of reasons.  But I realized again that it really is probably wise to limit my shopping this summer after a particularly stressful shopping trip one day!

I did get some really good buys though.  Here are my favorites:

* 5 packs of Huggies/Pull-ups for $3 or less each
* Better than free Jones sausage (preservative/nitrate free)
* Free toothbrushes
* $18 moneymaker on Bays English muffins!
* $1.69 Eight O’Clock coffee
* Bird’s Eye veggies for $0.21/bag
* Turkey Hill All Natural ice cream for $0.30
* Free Dial soap
* Cherries for $2.50/lb.

Total Spent: $36.26
Total Saved with Coupons: $56.13
Total Saved with Sales: $87.60
Total Saved: $143.73 + $88.70 in gas savings

CVS: $12.25
Saved with Coupons: $22.76
Saved with Sales: $19.14

You might remember the Huggies and Pull-ups coupons that I posted about earlier.  I used them several times this week to get some great deals on diapers.  The diapers and Dial were part of a deal where if you bought $30 worth of products you got a $10 gas gift card.  So after the coupons, Ibotta rebates and sales, I paid $2.49 for each pack of diaper plus got the Dial body wash for free!  I was pretty happy about that deal!

You might remember that I just got 2 bottles of Dial men’s body wash for free last week too so even though my husband seems to go through it pretty fast, I decided to share 2 of the bottles that I bought with one of our friends and his housemate.  See, the housemate gets the Sunday paper every week and always threw out the coupons.  Our friend discovered that I coupon and could use those Sunday coupons so he asked his housemate if he could start saving them for me.  It’s been wonderful!  I get the Sunday coupons without spending a cent!  They don’t expect a thing in return, but I do appreciate it a lot and so i try to occasionally some of my freebies with them, bake them something yummy or give them some of the fresh fruit and veggies that I get for good prices (since I can get much better deals on those things than they do at a regular grocery store).

The Aquafina was free as well after coupons.  I’ll probably save it to use when we do some traveling later this summer.

Bought:

  • 3 Huggies diapers $9.00 each
  • 2 Dial body wash $2.99 each (on sale Buy One, Get One Free)
  • 2 Aquafina $0.88

Coupons Used:

  • Three $4.00 Huggies printable coupons
  • Two $0.88 Aquafina CVS printable coupons
  • $9.00 in Extra Bucks (CVS coupon that print at register for purchasing specific items)

Got Back:

  • $10 Gas Gift Card for purchasing the Huggies and Dial
  • $1.00 via Ibotta for purchasing the Dial men’s body wash
  • $1.00 via Ibotta for purchasing the Dial ladies’s body wash
  • $1.00 via Ibotta for purchasing two Dial (this was a bonus rebate)
  • $0.50 via  Ibotta for redeeming three offers (this was a bonus rebate)

Rite Aid: $0
Saved with Coupons: $11.59
Saved with Sales: $12.22

I used a couple of rain checks this week and got the Depends and Reach for free.  The Pull-ups were $2.24 after coupons and sales.  I loved getting these for such a great price to use with our nearly potty trained daughter!

Bought:

  • 2 Depend Fit Kits $0
    - purchased with rain check (sale made item free after UPRewards)
  • Reach toothbrushes $0
    - purchased with rain check (sale made item free after UPRewards)
  • Huggies Pull-ups $11.24

Coupons Used:

  • $3.00 Huggies Pull-ups printable coupon
  • $5.00 in UPRewards (Rite Aid coupon that I earned for doing a 10 minute survey that they sent me)
  • $3.59 in UPRewards (Rite Aid coupon that print at register for purchasing specific items)

Got Back:

  • $6.00 UPRewards coupon for purchasing the Pull-ups (can be used on next purchase of any item)

Giant: $81.10
Saved with Coupons: $8.50
Saved with Sales: $51.06

I found out that the Giant gas rewards policies are going to be changing and now the deals will only be good on 25 gallons of gas instead of 30 gallons.  We were needing to fill up our minivan anyway, so I decided that I might as well use up most of the rain check that I had for gas reward items before the policy changes.  So you’ll see a number of “bought with rain check” items below.

The Eight O’Clock coffee was $1.69 each after coupons and sales.  It’s not winter, but we still use quite a bit of coffee.  I love this homemade iced coffee and I also have a delicious homemade frappe that I’ve been enjoying a lot too.  I hope to get the recipe for it posted one of these days soon.

The Pampers wipes were $0.99 after coupons/sales.  I try not to pay more than that for a pack of wipes and usually have no problem finding them for that price when I combine coupons and sales at places like Giant, Weis and CVS.

The rest of the items that I bought were gas rewards deals.  Here’s how they broke down: the Jones sausage was a moneymaker of $0.38 (love getting good sausage for better than free!), the Bird’s Eye veggies were $0.21/bag, the Bays English muffins were a moneymaker of $18.15 and the Turkey Hill ice cream was $0.30 each.

Yes, I bought a ridiculous amount of English muffins and I still had some in the freezer from when I got a bunch of the Thomas brand back a while.  But I could hardly pass up an $18 moneymaker and I knew I had room in the freezer to store them anyway.  We’ve loved having English muffins on hand for a delicious easy meal of breakfast sandwiches.  I often mix up 8 eggs with some milk, salt and cheese.  Then I fry them in my big electric skillet (I have one very similar to this) until they are just barely done.  (I don’t turn them or mess with them at all.)  Then I cut the big huge piece of fried eggs into 8 pieces and we use that as the egg part of our sandwich.  We toast the English muffins, add some bacon or Jones sausage and we have ourselves some scrumptious sandwiches!

(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 $2.50 off a gallon, up to 30 gallons of gas, for purchasing the various items.)

Bought:

  • 6 Eight O’Clock Coffee $1.86 each
    - bought with rain check
  • 3 Pampers wipes $1.99 each
  • Nature’s Promise organic ketchup $1.79
  • 7 Jones All Natural Sausage $1.66 each
    - bought with rain check
  • 7 Bird’s Eye Veggies $2.00 each
    - bought with rain check
  • 15 Bays English Muffins $1.79 each
    - bought with rain check
  • 5 Turkey Hill All Natural Ice Cream $3.50 each
    - bought with rain check

Coupons Used:

  • $1.00 Eight O’ Clock coupon from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts
  • Three $0.50 Pampers printable coupons (doubled to $1.00 each)
  • $0.50 Nature’s Promise coupon printed from kiosk in store
  • $0.50 off any frozen food item coupon printed from kiosk in store
  • Two $1.00 Turkey Hill coupons received from calling Turkey Hill and requesting
  • Two $0.50 Turkey Hill coupons received from calling Turkey Hill and requesting (one doubled to $1.00)
  • $0.50 Turkey Hill printable coupon (doubled to $1.00)

Got Back:

  • $12.00 in gas rewards savings for purchasing the Jones sausage
  • $12.00 in gas rewards savings for purchasing the Birds Eye
  • $36.00 in gas rewards savings for purchasing the Bay English Muffins
  • $15.00 in gas rewards savings for purchasing the Turkey Hill

Weis: $9.27
Saved with Coupons: $13.28
Saved with Sales: $5.18

 I decided to make a trip to Weis again this week since I was going to be getting enough decent deals to make it worthwhile.  I got 1 lb. Domino sugar for $0.55 each, Dial soap for free, Huggies for $2.99 and Ritz Crackerfuls for free.

I actually kind of goofed with the Domino sugar.  I forgot that Weis only doubled 4 like coupons in one transaction, so the 5th coupon that I used didn’t double which meant that I paid a bit more for the sugar than I had intended.  It was still a tiny bit less than what I typically pay at Aldi, but not as good of a deal as I had hoped for.

Bought:

  • 10 Domino sugars 1 lb. $1.00 each
  • Ritz Crackerfuls $2.50
  • Huggies diapers $8.99
  • Dial bar soap $1.00

Coupons Used:

  • Five $0.50/2 Domino sugar coupons ( four doubled to $1.00)
  • Free Ritz Crackerfuls coupon received via Facebook promotion (took off $2.78)
  • $2.00 Huggies Weis coupon
  • $4.00 Huggies printable coupon

Got Back:

  • $1.00 via Ibotta for purchasing the Dial

Ken’s Gardens: $1.09

I was driving by this local greenhouse and decided to stop and get the rest of the flowers I wanted to finish our flowerbeds and pots.  I saw that they had a 6 pack of the New Red Fire lettuce and decided to get it.  It may not have been the wisest thing since lettuce tends to get bitter once it gets hot, but I have a mostly shaded area that I can plant it in and since it hasn’t been hot, hot here I’m going to try it.  I figure even if it just grows a little before I cut it, I’ll still get my money’s worth out of it.

Centerville Bulk Foods: $0

I spent $20 something at this local bulk food store but I used grocery cash to pay for my purchases which is why it shows as $0 above.

This store has great prices on a lot of items including oatmeal for $0.54/lb., yeast for $2.95/lb, cocoa powder for $2.38/lb., unsweetened coconut for $3.81 and carrots for $1.19 for 2 lb.  I also got wheat germ (to use in my homemade granola), lady finger popcorn (makes the best popcorn because of it’s small kernals), brown basmati rice, sunflower seeds and a jar lid.

Misc.: $21.25

* I used grocery cash to buy 2 big head of lettuce at our local farmer’s market.  I think I paid $3.50 total for them.

This was only about 1/3 of the cherries that I bought.  Aren’t they pretty?

* I also got 8 ½ lbs. of cherries from a local orchard for $2.50/lb. ($21.25 total) and my husband and kids have been thoroughly enjoying them.  (I don’t like them at all!)  I also gave about 1/2 lb. to one of our neighbors who really likes them too.

I don’t often buy many cherries because they tend to be so expensive but because I have such a good cushion in my grocery budget right now, I decided to go ahead and splurge a little.   And as I mentioned in my 8 Things that I’m Loving post, thanks to Fridgesmarts, I can keep fruit fresh for a long time so I wasn’t worried that they’d go bad very soon.

Credits: $88.70
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 $88.70 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.)

Add a Comment

Weekly Spending Summary (6/15-6/21)

Tuesday, June 24th, 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.

This past week felt like one of those weeks where all you do is just get enough done to survive!  It was the week for Vacation Bible School at our church and so every evening found us rushing out the door to get there in time.  My husband taught the adult class for part of the evening so in addition to the usual busyness those kinds of weeks bring, that made it extra full.   We really enjoyed Bible School though and the children’s excitement was so contagious!  Every day Logan, our 5 yr. old, would wake up and pretty much count down the hours until it was time to leave.

Saturday afternoon we went on a date while my husband’s four younger siblings baby sat for us.  Then we came back home and enjoyed dinner and some game playing with them and a family friend.  Good times!

I did manage to get a bit of shopping done one day though was happy to score several decent deals.  Read on for the details!

Favorite buys:
* Better than free Dial men’s body wash
* Free toothbrushes
* Eggs for $0.97/dozen
* Utz chips for $1.00 each

Total Spent: $17.43
Total Saved with Coupons: $29.77
Total Saved with Sales: $44.11
Total Saved: $73.88

CVS: $1.10
Saved with Coupons: $6.00
Saved with Sales: $6.98

I had a $5 CVS gift card that I earned through Recyclebank that I used to pay for part of this purchase.

The toothbrushes and deodorants were all free after coupons and sales.

Bought:

  • 2 Colgate toothbrushes $2.99 each
  • Right Guard deodorant $3.00
  • Dry Idea deodorant $3.00

Coupons Used:

  • Two $1.00 Colgate coupons from the Sunday newspaper coupon inserts
  • $1.00 Right Guard coupon from the Sunday newspaper coupon inserts
  • $1.00 Dry Idea coupon from the Sunday newspaper coupon inserts

Got Back:

  • $4.00 in Extra Bucks coupon for purchasing the Colgate toothbrushes (can be used on next purchase of any item)
  • $2.00 in Extra Bucks coupon for purchasing the Right Guard and Dry Idea (can be used on next purchase of any item)

Giant: $10.89
Saved with Coupons: $5.98
Saved with Sales: $17.20

Yes, I truly bought 11 dozen eggs!  Or 132 eggs if you like how that sounds better.  I saw this deal early in the week and kept trying to decide if I was crazy to do it or not.   I mean, that’s a lot of eggs, after all but they were only $0.97 a dozen.   The more I thought about it, the more I really felt like I should go for it.  Here’s why:

1.  Eggs here are anywhere from $1.50 to $1.99 dozen so this saved me at minimum $5.83.  That’s pretty significant savings.
2.  We can use eggs pretty fast around here.  If I have a lot of them I’ll make breakfast for dinner, egg salad and/or homemade egg custard, all of which use up eggs pretty quickly.
3.  The expiration on these eggs are the end of July.  That’s quite a ways off and besides, I’m not scared to use eggs several weeks past their expiration date since that date is really just a “best if used by” date.

So, I’m having fun making lots of egg things with my cheap eggs.  Honestly, the worst part about the whole deal was how much space they took up in our fridge!

Oh, I also got BBQ sauce too.  Not that we needed it- I still have a couple of bottles from when I got them free last summer.  But I figured I’d either give them away to friends or donate them to the food bank.  How could I pass up free when I was going to be at the store anyway?

Bought:

  • 2 KC BBQ Sauce $0.99 each
  • 11 Egglands Best Eggs $1.99 each

Coupons Used:

  • $7.00 instant savings for purchasing $20 worth of Egglands eggs
  • Two $0.50 KC printable coupons (doubled to $1.00 each)
  • Four $1.00 Egglands coupons from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts

Got Back:

Weis: $5.43
Saved with Coupons: $17.79
Saved with Sales: $19.93

I decided to head to Weis this week since they had a deal that I was hoping to do and get ham steak for $0.78/lb.  Unfortunately they didn’t have the flavor in stock that my coupon was for and so I couldn’t do that deal.  But I got some other great bargains anyway.

I was really excited to get Utz chips for just $1.00.  We don’t eat just a lot of chips but in the summer we tend to more because they are so handy to take along on picnics and eat with hotdogs and hamburgers.  And the Grandma Utz ones are my husband’s absolute favorite so that was a double score!

The Dial body wash ended up being a $2.00 moneymaker after coupons and sales.  I was very excited about getting this since it seems my husband goes through body wash incredibly fast.  (He has a construction job and gets filthy, so it takes a lot of soap to get him squeaky clean.  Don’t hear me wrong, I’m not complaining about it.  I’m grateful that he is particular and cares about being clean!)

The Truvia and the Pompeian vinegar were both $0.99 each.   The Malt-O-Meal cereal was free.  They contacted me and wondered if they could send me some free product coupons and of course I didn’t turn that down!  I was happy to see they carried something comparable to Lucky Charms since that is one of the children’s and my husband’s favorite bought “junk” cereal.  We haven’t tried it yet, but in the past I’ve always been very happy with Malt-O-Meal!

Bought:

  • Truvia $2.99
  • Pompeian Balsamic Vinegar $1.99
  • 4 Utz Chips $2.00 each
  • Malt O Meal Cereal $4.29
  • 3 Dial Mens Body Wash $1.83 each
    - priced at$3.50 each but saved $5 instantly when you bought 3

Coupons Used:

  • $2.00 Truvia printable coupon
  • $0.50 Pompeian printable coupon (doubled to $1.00)
  • Four $0.75 Utz printable coupons (doubled to $1.00 each)
  • Free Malt O Meal product coupon received from manufacturer ($4.29)
  • Buy 2, Get 1 Free coupon from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts ($3.50)
  • Free Dial body wash from Purex Insiders (only took off $3.00)

Got Back:

  • $1.00 via Ibotta for purchasing Dial Men’s body wash

Misc.: $0

A friend gave us 2 beautiful heads of lettuce from their garden.  So kind of them!

Some friends from church gave us this “smore ingredient” gift as a thank you.  Isn’t it such a neat, creative idea?  Should make for a fun, family night sometime this summer!

And another friend blessed us with fresh sugar peas and a scrumptious chicken lasagna.  We are quite blessed with kind, generous friends don’t you think?

Add a Comment

Monthly Spending Summary (May)

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

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

Well, I did really well with my grocery spending again this month.  Even if I hadn’t had the gas savings I would have almost been under my $220 budget.  But the gas savings are what really gives me a boost.  Not only do I get free gas, many of the items I purchase actually turn into moneymakers with the deal!  I estimate that I make about $20 a month on average thanks to the gas deals that I do.

I’m almost tempted to drop my grocery budget back down to $200 a month.  We had raised it the beginning of the year to help give us a bit more leeway since we are now a family of 5 and since grocery prices are rising.  But since I’ve been able to do so well I’m thinking of dropping it to $200 for the rest of the year and putting that extra $20 a month (or $140 for the year) into our budget for fixing up our house.  There are some projects there that I’d really love to get done and the extra budget would help.  And I think we are eating quite well anyway, so I don’t really feel like spending more money on our food and household needs!

I do love having the extra though.  It’s freed me up to not have to be quite so focused on doing deal shopping which has been wonderful this summer when life is busier.  Plus it is good to take a bit of a breather from it occasionally too, just to refocus and not get burned out.  Because face it, deal shopping is work.  Why do you think most people don’t bother doing it?

For those of you that care, here are the stats…

Monthly Grocery/Household Budget: $220
Total Spent: $65.24
Total Saved with Coupons: $84.98
Total Saved with Sales: $80.01
Total Saved: $164.99 + $167.00 in gas savings (thanks to grocery purchases)

Week 1: $3.17
Week 2: $76.88
Week 3: $55.90
Week 4: -$62.70 (this was a negative due to gas savings credit)

Credits: $8.01
I cashed out my Saving Star earnings.  This is such a simple way to save and I love that it can be combined with sales and paper coupons!

Ending Monthly Balance: -$154.76
This is the amount that I am under budget for the month!

Ending Annual Balance: -$449.59
In case you are confused, this is the amount I am under budget for the year.  I’ve mentioned before that I do a lot of canning and freezing so in the next couple of months I’ll be spending quite a bit of money on fruits and vegetables for that.  Still, I think I’m sitting pretty well and like I mentioned above, I’m very seriously considering dropping my budget to $200 again.

Add a Comment

Weekly Spending Summary (6/8-6/14)

Tuesday, June 17th, 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.

This week was remarkably more calm than the last couple of weeks and it was so refreshing!  We all needed it desperately!  As I mentioned last week, I’m doing less shopping this summer and so this week I only went to two stores.- although I did end up going to Aldi twice.  That was partially because I offered to grab groceries for a friend that just had a baby and I knew she often shopped at Aldi so I offered to go there for her.  I think though that it will end up keeping me from needing to go there this week so in the long run, it really won’t be an “extra” trip.

Favorite buys:
* Ziploc bags that made me $12!
* Strawberries for $1.00/lb.
* Free Quaker oatmeal cup

Total Spent: $96.24
Total Saved with Coupons: $3.00
Total Saved with Sales: $4.19
Total Saved: $7.19 + 40.09 in gas savings

Giant: $23.52
Total Saved with Coupons: $3.00
Total Saved with Sales: $4.19

I had a rain check for the Ziploc bags and after coupons and gas rewards they ended up being a moneymaker of $12.00!  I didn’t really need them but since they were such a big moneymaker, I figured I’d give them to family to use.  I actually could have saved another $4 with coupons if I had just had my head together.  I printed out four $1/2 Ziploc coupons right before I left to go shopping and left them lying on the printer.  I didn’t think about it until I was at Giant and there was no way it was worth taking all 3 children home again just to get those coupons.  It was a good deal anyway!

(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 $0.80 off a gallon, up to 30 gallons of gas, for purchasing the Ziploc bags.)

The Quaker oatmeal cup was free after a Saving Star credit.  Every Friday they have a “Friday Freebie” offer and you can get something for totally free with their credits.  It’s so easy to do!

The Athenos feta was a total splurge.  I suddenly remembered a Strawberry Lettuce Salad that we love that uses feta cheese and I wanted to make it while we had fresh strawberries.  So I got the cheapest feta I could find, but even so it was rather pricy!  If I had planned ahead I could have gotten it on sale with coupons for at least that or grabbed it at Aldi.  But I didn’t.  That is when I’m grateful for all the money I do save.  It allows me to occasionally splurge like this and not have to feel badly!

Bought:

  • 10 Ziploc Bags $2.00 each
    - bought with rain check
  • Quaker Oatmeal Cup $1.00
  • Atheno Feta Cheese 8 oz. Chunk $4.50

Coupons Used:

  • Two $1/3 Ziploc coupons from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts
  • $0.75/2 Ziploc coupon found lying on shelf in grocery store (doubled to $1.00)

Got Back:

  • 100% back via Saving Star for purchasing the Quaker Oatmeal Cup ($1.00)
  • $24.00 in gas rewards savings for purchasing the Ziploc
  • $5.00 via Saving Star for purchasing $20 worth of Ziploc products

Aldi: $25.56

Grabbed some stuff at Aldi again this week…my favorites like beans, tortillas, onions, potatoes, saltines as well as few other not-so-usual things.  I haven’t seen a good sale on nuts but like to have cashews on hand for a quick snack when I need something to hold me over till the next meal.  I also enjoy snacking on almonds and we also use them a lot in salads.

The bread is to make some bread pudding for our neighbor- told him I’d do it as a Father’s Day gift for him since he loves the stuff.  I need to find a good recipe though.  I’ve never had the stuff before and really don’t know what makes it good!  So if you have a recipe, please let me know!

Bought:

  • 3 lb. Apples $3.59
  • Potato Chips $1.79
  • 5 lb. Red Potatoes $3.49
  • Corn Chips $0.89
  • 2 Black Beans $0.59 each
  • Almonds $4.99
  • Cashew Halves $2.59
  • Saltines 0.89
  • 3 lb. Onions $2.29
  • Bread $0.89
  • 2 Hot Dog Buns $0.89
  • Tortillas $1.19

Misc.: $87.25

* This lovely head of lettuce is straight from my little city garden aka the flower bed.  :)   You might remember that several weeks back, I bought 6 lettuce plants for about $2.50 cents from a local greenhouse.  I planted them in my flower bed among some other plants and we’ve been enjoying the over the last several weeks.  The variety is called New Red Fire and it’s the same kind that I typically buy at our local farmer’s market.  We love it!

And I love that basically I got 5 heads of lettuce for free.  See, I typically pay about $2.50 for a head of this lettuce at market and so buy paying that much for 5 plants, I saved myself some money pretty easily!

A small sampling of the strawberries that I got.

* $58.50 for strawberries at $1.00/lb.
I was super happy to get strawberries for such a great price at a fairly local pick-your-own patch.  The patch is actually about 40 min. away but it is only 10 min. from my in-laws.  We are so blessed to live in an area that has lots of produce farms and the like.  I realize that I can get fruits and veggies for much cheaper than many of you as a result!

My mom-in-law and a few of my sister-in-laws that still live at home went and picked a bunch of strawberries for me and then came and helped me get them ready to put in the freezer.  I was so blessed!  And yes, I have an awesome mother-in-law (as I mentioned on Facebook)!

My mom never froze strawberries but my mom-in-law always crushed them and froze them that way and then they enjoyed them on cake and occasionally as ice cream topping or in smoothies too.  So when we got married, I decided to give it a try and it’s so simple and I’ve learned to really like having them in the freezer  to pull out for all sorts of things.  In fact, I often mix them with frozen blueberries and my frozen peaches to make a refreshing mixed fruit dish.

* $28.75 for milk money
We get milk from a local dairy farm for $2.00/gal. and so withdrew some cash from our checking account to buy milk there.  Do you see all that cream at the top in those jars?  It’s kind of hard to see, but each gallon has about 3 inches of cream on it.  I often skim it off and use is in recipes or for making homemade whipped cream.  And actually, I recently even made butter with it!

Credits: $40.09
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 a whole tank of gas (30 gallons) for totally free!  However, only $40.09 of that went back into my grocery budget and here’s why.

Several weeks ago there was a deal where if you bought a $500 American Express gift card at Giant, you’d get back $69.05 in free gas.  We did that deal but are planning to use the card for non-grocery things so that money will go back into whatever budget categories we use the gift card for.  (To see the details of these purchases look at my previous Giant purchases under my Weekly Spending Summaries.)

Add a Comment

Weekly Spending Summary 6/1-6/7

Tuesday, June 10th, 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.

Last week was another busy week for us.  I mentioned in my last Weekly Spending Summary that my husband’s grandma had died and with having her funeral on Monday, it kind of made the week seem short and out of kilter.  Then on Saturday, my husband’s cousin got married.  Thankfully it was a local wedding which made things so much nicer!  We had out-of-area family come for that and they stayed the weekend with us.  It was so much fun to have them around and the lack of sleep from staying up and hanging out was so worth it.

But I’m quite ready for a more normal week again.  It’s been a little rough so far with everyone kind of being behind on sleep and the kiddos getting used to just being here again and having no one else to play with.  They were all kind of grumpy the last couple of days and I was trying hard not to join them!  (Wasn’t terribly successful too many times!)  This morning I decided we needed something to help us out so I went to my Educational Ideas for Kids Pinterest board and found some fun things for my 5 yr. old to do.  He was kept occupied for a while and my 2 ½ yr. old joined him at the table and pretended she was doing school stuff too.  There were a few fights but it was much better than it had been!

You may have noticed that I haven’t been doing quite as much shopping the last several weeks.  Or maybe you didn’t.  I’m sure some of you think I still do a lot of shopping compared to what you are used to doing.  Anyway, if you are really observant you likely noticed that I haven’t been going to CVS and/or Rite Aid nearly every week.  I kind of decided to take a bit of a shopping break this summer for several reasons.  For one thing, summer always tends to feel busy for us, especially since I do a lot of canning and freezing.  Also, my son had been going to kindergarten 3 days a week and now his school year is over so that means most weeks I have to take 3 of them to the store with me, not just 2.  And while I’ve found things that help keep it somewhat stress-free, I still don’t like to make it too complicated!

I’m also not doing as much shopping simply because I have a great stockpile of shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, body wash, deodorant and all of those sorts of things that I typically can get for free at Rite Aid and CVS.  So I think that even if I rarely hit those stores this summer, I should still be just fine.  And if I do actually end up needing one of those things anyway?  Well, I’m okay with having to spend some money on it.  After all, I’m ahead with my grocery budget by quite right now and so it shouldn’t hurt me too much.

Here are a few of this week’s favorite buys:
* Pull-ups for $3.99
* Moneymaking paraben/sulfate free body wash
* Wishbone dressing for $0.69
* Moneymaking Domino brown and confectioner sugar
*32 oz. Olive Oil for $3.99
* Glad trash bags for $2.71
* $0.99 Hellman’s mayo

Total Spent: $25.11
Total Saved with Coupons: $21.75
Total Saved with Sales: $30.24
Total Saved: $51.99 (+ $12 in gas rewards and $6.50 in Ibotta savings)

Rite Aid: $0 (gift card)
Saved with Coupons: $5.00
Saved with Sales: $5.00

I had a gift card that I had received from returning an item that I used to pay for this purchase of $3.17.  I wasn’t planning to go to Rite Aid at all this week but when I saw that I could get this paraben/phosphate free body wash and actually make $2.01 on it, I figured I might as well stop by.  I had some light bulbs that I needed to exchange there sometime anyway.  Unfortunately, they were still out of stock on the light bulbs so I’ll still need to stop back by sometime to exchange them.

Bought:

  • Sebamed face and body wash $7.99

Coupons Used:

Got Back:

  • $5.00 via Ibotta for purchasing the Sebamed

Giant: $29.23
Saved with Coupons: $10.50
Saved with Sales: $25.24

I had fun getting some great deals at Giant again this week.  Seriously, I save so much money by couponing here!  The only other grocery store that we have in this area (other than Aldi and a few family owned stores) is Weis and while I like them okay, their prices are overall quite a bit more than Giant’s.  And Giant’s sales totally rock compared to Weis too.  So I’m very grateful to be within easy shopping distance of two Giants!

We were really low on trash bags so last week I grabbed both kitchen and regular black trash bags at Aldi.  Go figure, this week they go on sale for a killer price at Giant!  Oh well, I bought them anyway since we seem to go through trash bags really fast these days.   And really, how could I pass them up when they were only $2.71/box after coupons and sales.  I’m actually kind of kicking myself that I didn’t get more since that is about half of what I pay at Aldi and I rarely can get good deals on trash bags.

Yes, I know I just bought flour.  But I guess I’ve been doing a lot of baking for various events and I was almost out again.  I’m still hoping for a good sale on it one of these days soon!

Oh I was super excited to get Extra Virgin Olive Oil for an incredible price!  I’ve been wanting to get away from canola oil as much as possible to avoid GMO’s and so I’m trying to use more butter, olive oil and coconut oil.  Anyway, several weeks ago I was browsing the olive oil section at Giant just to see what their prices were and noticed that the 32 oz. bottles of Pompeian Olive Oil were on sale for just $4.99!  They regularly are $12.49 (sells for even more on Amazon!) and I knew that in the past I had paid about that price for bottle around half that size.  So I double checked the shelf tag several times to make sure I wasn’t missing something.  (I wasn’t.)  I nearly grabbed a bottle right then and there but since I’m so cheap frugal and since the sale was good through 6/14 (yes, you can still get the deal!) I decided to come home and check to see if there were any coupons available and sure enough there was!  So I used them to get 2 bottles for just $3.99 each!  And I also used a Pompeian coupon to get some balsamic vinegar for a decent price too.  It’s not something I use a lot but I like to have it on hand for when I make something that calls for it.

The Hellman’s mayo was a good deal at just $0.99 after coupons and sales and the NP Organic ketchup ended up being $1.29 after coupons and sales.  I like to buy this brand because it uses real sugar instead of HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) like most brands.  I can’t avoid that stuff in everything but ketchup is one thing that I can easily and fairly inexpensively buy without it in.

I had a rain check for the Domino sugars and after coupons and gas rewards they ended up being a moneymaker of $6.05!  I go through brown sugar kind of fast since I make lots of Easy Homemade Granola.

(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 Domino sugar.)

Bought:

  • 2 Glad kitchen bags $4.82 each
  • Glad ForceFlex trash bags $6.49
  • Gold Medal Flour $2.99
  • Pompeian Balsamic Vinegar $2.59
  • Nature’s Promise organic ketchup $1.79
  • 2 Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil 32 oz. $4.99 each
  • Hellman’s mayo $1.99
    -bought with rain check
  • Domino Confectioner Sugar $1.79
  • 4 Domino Brown Sugar $1.79 each
    - bought with rain check

Coupons Used:

  • $5.00 instant savings for purchasing $15 of Glad bags
  • $0.50 Pompeian vinegar printable coupon (doubled to $1.00)
  • Two $1.00 Pompeian olive oil printable coupons
  • $0.50 Nature’s Promise coupon from coupon machine inside store
  • $1.00 Hellman’s coupon from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts
  • Five $0.50 Domino’s coupons from Sunday newspaper coupon inserts (one doubled to $1.00)

Got Back:

  • $12.00 in gas rewards savings for purchasing the Domino sugar

Target: $1.63
Saved with Coupons: $6.25

Several weeks ago I made a grocery purchase at Target where I earned a $5 gift card for purchasing the items that I did.  I used this gift card to pay for what I bought this time and so I only needed to spend $1.63 out of pocket.

I hadn’t actually planned to go to Target this week but we were over that direction one evening and I had a clothing purchase that I needed to return so we decided to stop by.  And of course, if I was going to go there anyway, why not get a few deals too, right?

After coupons and sales, the Pull-ups were just $3.99 and the Wishbone dressing $0.62 each.  I don’t usually buy Pull-ups because I can get diapers for less.  But with the package sizes of diapers changing, this is just as good of a deal as diapers of the same size.  Plus they are easier to use with a semi-potty trained child.  And while I prefer homemade salad dressing (such as this Homemade Mexian Dressing), our kids don’t care for it.  They’ll eat huge mounds of salad if they can have Ranch dressing and since I have yet to find a good homemade Ranch dressing recipe, I just buy it and look for ways to get it as cheap as possible.

Bought:

  • Pull-ups $8.99
  • 2 Wishbone salad dressing $1.99 each

Coupons Used:

  • $3.50 Pull-ups printable coupon
  • Two $1.00 Wishbone printable coupons
  • $0.75/2 Target Wishbone printable coupon

Got Back:

  • $1.50 via Ibotta for  purchasing the Pull-ups

Credits: $5.75

I cashed out my Ibotta credits.  LOVE this app!

Add a Comment

Tags: , , | Categories: My Deals