Posts Tagged ‘ budget ’

Zaycon Foods: $1.89/lb. Chicken Breast (order yours now)

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that I pretty much won’t buy meat unless I can get it for $2.00/lb. or less.  A lot of you have commented that you can never find meat that inexpensive.  So I was excited when I learned about Zaycon Foods.

Zaycon Foods, which has been featured on Good Morning America, has meat sales all across the United States where they offer fresh meat at wholesale prices.  You order the meat (which is sold in large quantities by the case) online and then it’s delivered directly via refrigerated truck to convenient local pick-up points.

Right now Zaycon is offering 40 lb. cases of chicken breast for just $1.89/lb.!  Sale dates and locations vary, so visit their website to see if there is a sale in your area.  If you can’t use the full 40 lb. yourself, split the case with another family so that you can still take advantage of this great price.  I love to get large quantities of chicken and then cook most of it up, shred it and put it in small portions in the freezer.  It makes meal time planning so much easier to have the meat all cooked and ready to go!

I got chicken from them last December and was very impressed- you can read my Zaycon Foods review here.  A friend of mine also has ordered from them twice and this is what she had to say about Zaycon Foods:

This will be my third time ordering chicken from Zaycon Foods!  It’s so much better than grocery store and way cheaper too!! Check it out! And it’s so easy…order online, pull up the day/time of the event and they put the box in your vehicle for you on plastic! Bring it home, bag it and freeze it and you’re set for lots of healthy meal starters!

Have you ever ordered from Zaycon Foods?  I’d love to know how your experience was.

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Weekly Spending Summary (7/27-8/2)

Tuesday, August 5th, 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.

Instead of buying lots of amazing deals, this was one of those weeks that I mostly just stocked up on things that we needed at a good every day price.  So I’m not going to list my favorite buys like I typically do.  (I did really like the free tuna though!)

Total Spent: $95.03
Total Saved with Coupons: $1.00
Total Saved with Sales: $0.49
Total Saved: $1.49

Giant: $0
Saved with Coupons: $1.00
Saved with Sales: $0.49

I actually didn’t go to Giant just to get free tuna.  No, I actually went to get some Reach floss that was a moneymaker thanks to Giant’s gas rewards but unfortunately they were out of stock so I had to get a rain check instead.  But while I was there I was walking by the tuna and noticed that this brand was on sale for $1.00.  I thought I remembered that I had a coupon for it, looked, and sure enough I did and it made it free!  Yay!

Bought:

  • Chicken of the Sea tuna $1.00

Coupons Used:

  • $1.00 Chicken of the Sea tuna (I think I received it as part of a promotion on their FB page)

Centerville Bulk Food: $47.03

 When my 6 yr. old was making Homemade Granola this week I realized that I was getting low on oatmeal and since I was needing some other things as well I made a trip to our local bulk food store and tried to stock up so that I won’t need to go for another month or so.  I don’t remember the prices of everything I got and since they are just a little Amish store they don’t have receipts that print out with all the info on them.  But I know their oatmeal is $0.54/lb which is a great price.  I also got some basmati rice, raisins, a couple of spices, pearled barley (for homemade soup that I can), unsweetened coconut, a couple of spices, a jar lid, dried cranberries and raspberry flavored yogurt covered pretzels.  Those last two things were total splurges and I bought them for fun snack food for our upcoming vacation.

Misc.: $33.75

* $20.00
Withdrew this from our checking account to use to buy milk at a local dairy.

* $13.75
This was actually just for a cantaloupe (that I forgot to include on the picture and 5 dozen ears of corn (which I also failed to remember to take a picture of) that my husband stopped and got for me from a local produce farmer.  I blanched the corn and then cut it off and froze it to use later.

The potatoes and corn you see above I purchased at a local produce stand.   We enjoyed the corn one evening for dinner.   There is nothing like fresh corn on the cob!

Obviously this is not the full 20 lbs…..I didn’t think about the fact that I hadn’t taken a picture until we only had this handful left!

* $33.00
Bought a 20 lb. box of blueberries that I also forgot to take a picture of!  Can you tell it was a crazy week?  We ate some of them fresh and I froze the rest.

* Free!
Got more of these from our little garden.  Funny thing is, we aren’t big tomato eaters and this year our two little plants are producing like crazy!  I’m trying to find ways to keep them used up and I’m planning to share a few with a couple of friends this week and next too.

Oh and the one there in the front with the hole?  Well, my 6 yr. old thought they looked like good juggling material.  Let’s just say he’d better become a better juggler before he tries using tomatoes again!

* Free
Got this Dial Coconut Water body wash as part of participating in the Purex Insiders.  It has a subtle fresh mango scent that I really like and I also love that it doesn’t dry out my skin like some body wash does.  In fact, I was just thinking this week that I think that my skin is softer since i started using it.  Maybe it’s just my imagination?  I don’t know.  But I do know that I’d buy this body wash in a heart beat.

Credits: $52.50
The last number of weeks I’ve bought 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 $52.50 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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Monthly Spending Summary (June)

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

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

Whew!  July is almost over and I’m only now posting June’s Spending Summary.  This month has been a blur and due to all that we had going on, my hard working husband was rather behind on doing bookwork and therefore this post got delayed.  (I like to wait till he reconciles everything so that I know that my budget records are correct before I post this.)  Although I doubt any of you were sitting on pins and needles waiting for this post.  Ha!

You might remember that last month I mentioned that I was tempted to drop our grocery budget back down to $200 a month since I’ve been doing so well this year.  After hashing over it with my husband for a while, we decided to go ahead and drop it back to $200 for the rest of the year.  Honestly, I when we upped our budget to $220 the beginning of this year I thought it might be a tiny bit higher than we’d need but I never dreamed that I’d be able to do so well with grocery shopping.  Even if I don’t do nearly as good the rest of the year, I think I should still be able to come in under budget without too much trouble.  If not, then we’ll worry about it then!  But for now, I’m up to the challenge of trying it!

Monthly Grocery/Household Budget: $200
Total Spent: $173.54
Total Saved with Coupons: $110.65
Total Saved with Sales: $139.19
Total Saved: $249.84 + $128.79 in gas savings (thanks to grocery purchases here and here)

Week 1: $25.11
Week 2: $96.24
Week 3: $17.43
Week 4: $36.26

Credits: $1.50
This was for a Staples Easy Rebate that I submitted for some pencils.  I had used grocery money to pay for them so I put the rebate money back into my grocery budget.

Ending Monthly Balance: -$26.46
This is the amount that I am under budget for the month!

Ending Annual Balance: -$476.05
In case you are confused, this is the amount I am under budget for the year.  I’m really getting into the thick of canning and so the next couple of months I’ll have some big expenses as I buy large quantities of fruit and vegetables to preserve.  That will definitely make this number drop significantly!

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Weekly Spending Summary (7/20-7/26)

Monday, July 28th, 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 Dial body wash
* Free Dial bar soap
* Free Honest organic tea
* Free Jones All Natural sausage
* Diapers for approx. $3.50/pack

Total Spent: $106.01
Total Saved with Coupons: $10.56
Total Saved with Sales: $19.06
Total Saved: $29.62

CVS: $3.55
Saved with Coupons: $7.06
Saved with Sales: $5.80

Missing on photo: Snickers bar

It was a good week at CVS- everything I bought there was either free or better than free!  I got the Dial body wash and bar soap both for free after coupons/sales/Ibotta rebates.  Love all the soap I’ve been able to get for free lately!  Oh and the Honest tea was actually a money maker of $0.63.  Obviously not going to complain about that!

Bought:

  • 2 Dial body wash $3.00 each
  • 2 Dial bar soaps $2.00 each
  • Snickers $0.77
  • Paper Towels $0.79
  • Honest Tea $1.87

Coupons Used:

  • $2/2 Dial body wash printable coupon
  • $1/2 Dial bar soap printable coupon
  • Free Snickers product coupon from Facebook promotion ($0.77)
  • Free Paper Towels coupon from Red Coupon Machine in CVS ($0.79)
  • $1.00 Honest Tea CVS printable coupon
  • $1.50 Honest Tea printable coupon
  • $2.00 in Extra Bucks (CVS coupon that print at register for purchasing specific items)

Got Back:

  • $2.00 in Extra Bucks coupon for purchasing the Dial body wash (can be used on next purchase of any item)
  • $2.00 in Extra Bucks coupon for purchasing the Dial bar soap (can be used on next purchase of any item)
  • $1.00 via Ibotta for purchasing the Dial body wash
  • $1.00 via Ibotta for purchasing the Dial bar soap
  • $1.00 via Ibotta for redeeming and offer in July (this was a bonus offer that they gave)

Giant: $30.18
Saved with Coupons: $3.50
Saved with Sales: $13.26

I got some good deals at Giant this week but they were mostly thanks to rain checks.  The deals have been pretty slim there lately and I’m hoping it’s just a temporary thing.  Often in the summer the deals kind of slow down so this isn’t totally unusual.  But I don’t remember it being quite this bad other years so it makes me wonder if it’s more than just a summer slump.  The good side is that I’m enjoying a break from deal shopping which I had been planning to do anyhow.

After sales and gas rewards the  Jones sausage was a money maker of $0.38 and the Revlon implements were a money maker of $4.45.  If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that we love the Jones All Natural sausage.  I’ve gotten quite a bit of if free this year and we’ve been enjoying it in breakfast sandwiches, breakfast wraps and just as a side with eggs too.  It really helps make a quick easy lunch or dinner.  (We tend to eat baked oatmeal or homemade granola for breakfast and enjoy hot breakfast food for our other meals.)

(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 $0.90 off a gallon, up to 25 gallons of gas, for purchasing the Jones and Revlon.)

The Pampers wipes were jut $0.99 each after coupons/sales.  I try to not pay more than $1 a pack for wipes and can usually pretty easily find them for that price.  The Honest tea was a money maker of $0.50 after a coupon.  I usually buy my potatoes at Aldi because I love that place, but I have trouble with their potatoes spoiling on me really fast in the summer.  So I decided it’s worth spending more to buy them elsewhere until fall which is why I bought these here this week.

And the Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar?  You very likely are wondering why I’d pay so much for vinegar.  Well, this is no ordinary vinegar.  It’s vinegar with the “mother”, which is basically beneficial bacteria that is a result of the fermenting process and it’s considered to be very healthy.  I’ve used a splash of Bragg’s ACV in my Homemade Mexican Dressing and several other recipes for a long time and more recently I’ve started to enjoy Good Girl Moonshine, a drink that I shockingly think is rather good.  (My husband who is usually the one to like those sorts of things declared it terrible tasting but for some reason I like it and actually get thirsty for it!)  Anyway, all that to say that I’ve decided it is worth spending more for this expensive vinegar that I was getting very low on.  I typically purchase it from Vitacost or Amazon (and pay for it with gift cards earned through Swagbucks) but since I didn’t need anything else from Vitacost (and therefore couldn’t qualify for free shipping) and since I had just used all my Amazon gift cards on another purchase I decided to go ahead and get my Bragg’s ACV from Giant this time.  In the end, I think it was about the same price or cheaper than if I had ordered it online and had to pay for shipping.

Bought:

  • 7 Jones All Natural Sausage $1.66 each
    (bought with rain check)
  • 4 Revlon nail clippers $0.29 each
    (bought with rain check)
  • Revlon tweezers $4.39
    (bought with rain check)
  • 2 Pampers wipes $1.99 each
  • 5 lb. Red Potatoes $4.99
  • Honest Tea $1.25
  • Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar $6.29

Coupons Used:

  • Two $0.50 Pampers printable coupons (doubled to $1.00 each)
  • $1.50 Honest tea printable coupon

Got Back:

  • $12.50 in gas rewards savings for purchasing the Jones sausage
  • $10.00 in gas rewards savings for purchasing the Revlon

Aldi: $17.17

Just another week at Aldi….  Not much to mention here other than seeing those 5 cans of beans makes me think I should recommend trying them on salad if you haven’t already.  It’s the new favorite salad topping around here.

Bought:

  • Heavy Whipping Cream $1.79
  • 3 lb. Apples $3.69
  • Spinach $1.79
  • 5 Black Beans $0.59
  • Almond Milk $2.49
  • Chips $1.79
  • 2 Mushrooms $0.69 each
  • Cheese Wedges $1.29

Target: $45.11

I did this awesome diaper deal at Target.  (You can do a similar deal this week.  You’ll get the $10 gift card as well as $10 off when you choose in store pick up!)  I just haven’t been able to convince myself that cloth diapers are worth it so getting deals like this on disposable ones makes me happy.

Misc.: $10.00

* Withdrew $10 cash from our checking account to use to buy milk at a local dairy.

* Got 3 more tomatoes from our little garden.  :)

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Weekly Spending Summary (7/13-7/19)

Tuesday, July 22nd, 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.

I did very little grocery shopping this week since I was short on time and also because the deals are just slow right now.  I find that the deals always die down in the summer but this year I think it’s more than normal.  At any rate, thanks to my stockpile it’s not really been a huge issue and for that I’m grateful.

Favorite buys:
* Better than free Huggies diapers
* Free Starbucks Refreshers

Total Spent: $70.96
Total Saved with Coupons: $3.00
Total Saved with Sales: $0.98
Total Saved: $3.98

Rite Aid: $0
Saved with Coupons: $3.00
Saved with Sales: $0.98

I stopped by Rite Aid because I had a $1.00 coupon to use there before it expired and figured I might as well get these two Starbucks drinks since I could get them for free after coupons and sales.  I was intending to also get some shampoo but they were out of stock so I got a rain check.

Bought:

  • 2 Starbucks Refreshers $1.50 each

Coupons Used:

  • Two $1.00 Starbucks Refresher printable coupons
  • $1.00 Catalina coupon (coupon that prints at the register) that I received from a previous transaction

Got Back:

Aldi: $46.99

 My husband and the men and boys in his family went camping this past weekend.  He was responsible to take bacon for two breakfasts, fruit, as well as all of the paper supplies which is why I bought 4 lbs. of bacon, apples, bananas, cups, napkins and plastic utensils.  I’m actually going to take back the cups, napkins and utensils because we ended up not using them.  We had a bunch of packets of plastic utensils wrapped in napkins that someone had given to us and so they used those instead.  And the day before they left I realized that everyone was going to be taking a water bottle along anyway so there was really no need for cups so we skipped those as well!

I bought the blueberries thinking they were a good deal but realized once I got home that they weren’t as great as I thought.  They were $0.99 a pint but it is a dry pint, not a liquid pint, so it’s not actually a lb.  I was thinking that I was paying $0.99/lb. when in actuality I paid $1.98/lb.  That’s not a bad price for many of you but around here I can get 20 lb. boxes of blueberries for $1.69/lb.  I was rather annoyed at myself but chalked it up as a learning experience.  I think I’ll remember from now on that a dry pint is not a lb.!  :)

Bought:

  • 4 Bacon $3.49 each
  • 2 Canned Salmon $2.39 each
  • 2 Black Beans $0.59 each
  • 12 Blueberries pts.  $0.99 each
  • 3 Apples $3.69 each
  • Bananas $0.44/lb.
  • 3 lb. Sweet Potatoes $2.39
  • Cups $2.49
  • Plastic Utensils $3.49
  • Napkins $1.49

Got Back:

Walmart: $8.97

I kept hearing things about TopCashBack, an online cashback website, and finally decided to use it.  They had an offer last week you could make almost $1.00 just by purchasing Huggies diapers online via Walmart.  Since I’m always looking for ways to save on diapers I jumped on the deal.

TopCashBack periodically does promotional offers like this one where you can get something for free or better than free after cashback.  I’m hoping to let you all know about them on here when they have them in the future.

Bought:

  • Huggies diapers $8.97

Got Back:

Misc.: $15.00

I withdrew some cash to use at our local farmer’s market for produce.

* $6.50 (used grocery cash)
I got more fresh ground wheat flour from my in-laws.  They buy big 50 lb. bags and then grind it for me.  It’s so much better and cheaper than just buying whole wheat flour in the store.  I love using it to make my 100% Whole Wheat Bread as well as numerous other things.

* These two lovely tomatoes came from our small backyard garden.  I have about 13 more still hanging on.  The plants seem to have gotten a blight though, so I’m not sure if it will affect the tomatoes or not.

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