THE PROOF-2-10-09

021009-krogerHere’s THE PROOF that Couponing can save you money.

The Details of this trip:

The big money savers this trip were…

The chicken I bought was BOGOF, the beef and the ground turkey were marked down as “Manager’s Specials”…they were reduced because they needed to be used or frozen withing a few days.  Approximatley saved 30%.

I got Betty Crocker Mashed Potatoes that were on sale for $1.06.  I use a Cellfire coupon for $0.40, a $0.35 Shorcut coupon (loaded on card) and a $0.25 MQ that doubled at Kroger to $0.5o…so I made $0.19 on the mashed potatoes.

I bought 10 of the products that were on sale Buy 10 get $3 off. (6) of those (10) were Chef Boyardee Ravioli for the boys.  I had (2) coupons for $0.35 off of (3) which double at Kroger.  With the “buy 10 products” deal, I basically got 4 cans for $0.58 a piece and (2) free cans.

I got (2) Reese’s Whips candy bars on sale 2/$1 and I used a $0.50 coupon which doubles at Kroger, so I got these completely unhealthy items for free.  If they are going to be fattening, they might as well be free…right?

As you can see from the receipt, I saved $32.45 or about 41% on this trip.  It wasn’t an exceptional trip, but I got produce at a deal, and that stuff is never cheap.

What kind of savings have you been able to achieve this week?

THE PROOF-2-7-09

020709a-krogerHere’s THE PROOF that Couponing can save you money.

The Details of this trip:

Let’s start with the Hillshire Farms lunch meat.  I had a $1/3 off coupon from the package I had previously purchased.  Kroger had this lunch meat on sale 10/$10.  So I bought 3 packages for $2.

I bought the Kroger brand of diapers…Comforts…for $6.99 with a $3.00 off coupon printed from the Kroger website.  Oh…and at check out, I received another $3 off coupon (Catalina coupon).  Let’s hope the Comforts can hold up to the strain my youner son puts on them.  He can bring the thunder if you know what I mean.

Cheerios were also on sale for $1.67.  Normally they are over $3.00 a box.  I also had a coupon $0.75 loaded on my card.  Since I sent THE HUSBAND on this grocery trip; he grabbed the wrong box…Honey Nut instead of Multi-Grain…but he gets points for letting me take a Saturday afternoon nap.

I also had a $1.25 off Pampers coupon from their website.  I signed up for a potty training kit and it came with the coupon, a free pull-up, and some stickers for THE MEESTER (my 3 year old).

After I pointed out to THE HUSBAND that he didn’t get the correct box of Cheerios, he felt defeated.  So I went back to the store later that day, and picked up a box of Cheerios for the coupon I had loaded on my Kroger Plus Card.  That’s the second receipt. (71% saving…but that’s just for that one item).

Overall, this trip resulted in a 47% savings, a free diaper, some stickers, and some battle scars for THE HUSBAND.


THE PROOF-2-3-09

020309-krogerHere’s THE PROOF that Couponing can save you money.

The Details of this trip:

Yoplait Yogurt was on sale (2) for $4.  I had (2) $1.50 on-line coupons I had printed off.  Then I had a $1 off coupon from Cellfire and and one from Shortcuts.  So I got 2 4-packs of yogurt and I had $5 in coupons.  Therefore I actually made a $1 by “purchasing” the yogurt.

Cheerios were on sale for $1.67; I had (3) $0.50 coupons which DOUBLED at Kroger, and other coupons from Cellfire ($1.75) and then another $0.75 coupon.  Basically, I got (5) boxes of Cheerios for $2.10 or $0.42 a box.  And my kids chow down on these in the morning.

(6) 4-pack of Cottonelle toilet paper for $0.75…total.  I had $0.50 paper coupons…they DOUBLE at Kroger…and coupons from Cellfire.

Hillshire Farms lunch meat was on sale for $1 and I had (2) $0.35 /2  coupons out of the paper.

There were many other deals on this trip, but with the proper menu planning and organization, it was not hard to save 48% on this grocery trip (or $90.01).

What savings did you see this week?  What deals have you found?  Email me or comment below and I’ll try to get your great finds and deals posted on this site.

Finding Coupons

I am often asked, “How do you grow your coupon collection?”

Slowly and steadily.

Here are a few of the ways I acquire coupons…

1.  The Sunday paper.

We buy one every Sunday on the way to church.  This is cheaper than subscribing to even the most inexpensive plan in Knoxville.  (Our paper – the Knoxville News Sentinel)

2.  Friends and Family.

I have several friends who coupon; so we share. For example: My kids drink only soy milk; my friends’ kids don’t. So, if there is a soy milk coupon in the paper my friends usually give me their soy milk coupons. Also, you may have friends and family that don’t use their Sunday coupons.  Grab them! It doesn’t take long to become known as one of those crazy coupon ladies.  Use that to your advantage and be willing to accept any coupons people want to save for you.

3.  Online Printable coupons are now accepted at most stores.

Be sure to check first.  If they are accepted, they can be a great way to save. You can just Google Printable Coupons or a specific product and find some great coupons.

4.  Load them on your shopping card.

Here in Knoxville,  Kroger is the only store I know of that has this option. It is so simple. There are three websites you can visits:

Register and put in your Kroger Plus Card number, then click on the coupons you want.  Those coupons will be added to your Kroger Plus Card. When you check out the savings will automatically come off your bill. The best part is these coupons can be combined with paper coupons to make for some superb deals.

5.  Recycling centers.

I have never personally tried this method but I know several people who have. Often you can find clean newspapers in your city’s recycling bins. From what I hear it just takes a little effort to find several coupon inserts. I have been tempted to try lately, when I do I’ll update you on my finds.

6.  In Stores.

I rarely pass by a coupon display, machine or “blinkie” in a store without taking a coupon. They can be a great source and are usually manufacturer’s coupons, which means they can be used at any store. One note here, coupon etiquette says no matter how great you think the coupon is don’t take more than you will truly use.

Where do you find your coupons? Comment below or email me your great coupon finds and I’ll try to post them on this site.

Planning Your Menu

I know…PLANNING sounds tedious.  Sometimes PLANNING feels tedious but, PLANNING will help cut your grocery budget significantly.

Once you figure out how to PLAN your Couponing, you will soon see the rewards of your efforts.  PLANNING will help cut your grocery budget and PLANNING will take the “I don’t know, what do you want for dinner?” out of your evening and PLANNING your menu cuts down on small frequent trips to the store and dining out at the last minute – both of which add up quickly and can break a tight budget.

“So where do I start?”

Here are a few tips to PLANNING your menu…

1.  Check your pantry and freezer.

Take note of what you already have.  Did you stock up on a sale item last week?  Do you have loads of pasta stashed away?  Is there produce about to go bad in your fridge?

Use all this food first.  Sometimes this requires you to be creative – which can be fun or a complete failure.  Either way it usually gets a laugh.

I often use this book to help me ‘use-up’ some of the produce and other random things I find in the pantry or freezer…and it’s good for you too!

2.  Write down meals you have almost all the ingredients for.

While looking through your kitchen, jot down the few ingredients you need to make some of your meals. Sometimes all I need is a certain vegetable or some chicken broth to make a meal work. So that meal goes on the list.

3.  Look through your grocery store’s weekly ads- in the paper or online.

Find out what is on sale and what you have coupons for. Then, plan your meals accordingly. This works especially well with meats and produce.

Some stores have shopping lists you can develop on-line and then print off from their websites. I tend to like these.  As I look through the ads I just click on the things I am going to buy, and then I print the list out.  I add a few handwritten items and I am ready to go.

Go here and input your zip code to search the weekly Kroger Ads.

Go here and input your zip code to search the weekly Walgreen Ads.

4.  Assign each day a meal.

This is not required but it helps my days immensely. THE HUSBAND and I do weekly planning every Sunday evening. This helps me know when he will be here for dinner, what nights we need a quick meal and what nights we might be entertaining.  Assigning each day a meal takes all the thinking out of dinner. I know what meat to thaw the night before, what to throw in the crock pot in the morning or to make sure to have enough peanut butter and jelly.

5.  Make your list.

Now make your list, stick it in your labeled envelopes with all the coupons you are going to use,  and you are ready to save some money.