Friday, November 17, 2006

Couponing

Those of you who see me on a regular basis know that I have a new hobby these days. That's right, I've jumped into the coupon world HEAD FIRST, and I'm loving every minute of it! Crystal at Biblical Womanhood has been helping me figure it all out.

Now, I'm an Aldi shopper, and for the most part, Aldi has the lowest prices in town. Dave and I have been married for 4 1/2 years, and I've always shopped at Aldi. We budgeted about $100 a week for groceries, and I thought we were doing pretty good. We don't eat out much, and we regularly have company over...sometimes large groups from church. So we were content with it, and we could afford it...but then I read Crystal's series called Secrets of Supermarket Savings, and I was inspired to see if I could cut costs even more.

Here is an example of my shopping trip from last week:

Dillons
2 bagged spring mix salads......................... on manager's special for $1.00 each
2 lbs of organic butter ................................. on manager's special for $.50 each
2 lbs of Honeysuckle Italian sausage......... on manager's special for $1.55 each
1 bag of Kravitz 100% Whole Wheat bagels.........on sale for $1.00
1 bag of Kravitz blueberry bagels..........................on sale for $1.00
1 18 oz container of tarter sauce........................... on manager's special for $.49
4 bags of goldfish crackers..................................... on sale for $.65 each
6 pack of Dannon yogert........................................ on manager's special for $.50
2 pints of 2% milk .................................................. on manager's special for $.25 each
1 loaf of Baker's Inn Multi Grain bread............... on sale for 2/$5.00-$.55 off coupon (doubled to $1.00 off) =$1.50
3 sweet potatoes .................................................... $.39/pound = $1.17
2 8 oz rolls of Pillsbury Crescent rolls................. on sale for $1.38 each- 2 $.40 off coupons (doubled to $.80 off each) = $.58 each
1 pint buttermilk.................................................... on manager's special for $.25

Total: $15.69

I then menu planned for the week based on the things I bought (and some of the manager's special chicken from last week), and finished my shopping at Aldi where I spent $34.09

Total for groceries for 1 week: $49.78

That is 50% savings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just for fun, I want to show you what yummy meals we are having, even though we're saving so much:

Monday-Leftover brisket from the week before, BBQ sauce, spring mix salad, frozen veggies
Tuesday-Maple syrup chicken pieces, sweet potatoes, spring mix salad with bacon bits, croutons and Ranch dressing, crescent rolls
Wednesday-Tacos with all the fixings
Thursday-Fried fish, tarter sauce, sweet potato fries, salad
Friday-Made from scratch Pancakes (with the buttermilk), egg and sausage casserole
Saturday-Grilled turkey sandwiches, soup
Sunday-Chili, fritos, cheese and sour cream, homemade cinnamon rolls


Each week I am going to Dillons to get all the loss-leaders (combined with coupons), and then menu-planning based on what I get. Most weeks the deals are even better than this example! Lots of times I get several items for free. It is very exciting to me!

I've also started shopping at Walgreens and CVS because I found out that I can get most of my household products (including diapers and wipes) for free or next to nothing out of pocket.

CVS has a reward program that allows you to buy certain items in their store and receive sometimes as much as full credit for them in 2 days in the form of a store credit coupon. Read a detailed description of the program here.

Here is what I bought from CVS this week: 6 12 packs of Pepsi products, 3 packages of Chinet plates (for Thanksgiving), a huge package of Scott napkins, Bounty paper towels, 2 Glade air freshners, 2 Mylanta, 1 Tylenol GoTabs, and a package of Huggies diapers and only paid $1.70 out of pocket! The cashier said, "Here comes the coupon lady!" as I walked up, and I was proud to say, "yes, and I have some for you tonight!" Her little gasp as the total came up on the register was pretty fun too. :)

Anyway, this is a fun hobby for me, and the best part about it is, it is saving my family money. Our hearts' desire is to be able to entertain more, to give to the Lord and His people more, and it seems like He is leading in this direction. It probably is a little more work, but I have found that I enjoy grocery shopping more when I am motivated to find good deals. I have tons more to say on this topic, but that's all I have time for today!

11 comments:

Josh and Brooke said...

you've inspired me... actually you inspired me when we were talking about this the weekend of the marriage conference. i have tried to start searching out good deals with coupons to go with them, but am having a hard time. i know it will take me a little bit to get in the groove, but i'm like you - this is exciting!

Eryn said...

how in the world....? i try to shop the managers specials and sales at my grocery store(i dont shop at aldi) but i never find deals that good. is there a secret? we have a walgreens, but i dont think i understand that program. our walgreens are known for being overpriced. we dont have CVS.

do you really only use 2 pints of 2% milk a week?

Meredith said...

We never have manager's specials on dairy products in my city. You are blessed to have such a money-saving opportunity at hand! Just think of all the holiday shortbread you could make with all that affordable butter!

dave & rachel said...

Eryn--I try to either go really late at night or before 10 am in the morning. They mark stuff down late (like after 11 pm), but usually it's still there in the morning. And then I shop the periphery of the store, keeping my eye out for orange stickers. There is always salad, milk, yogert, butter, bread, meat, etc.. things that can't stay on the shelf long.

No, we don't only use 2 pints of 2% milk, but that was a cheaper price than Aldi sells it for, and I just always get the rest of what I need at Aldi. I actually still have half a gallon of whole milk left from last week! :)

I'll post about the whole Walgreens thing soon. Regular prices ARE overpriced, but sales combined with store coupons and manufacturer coupons bring the prices way down, sometimes free. They also do a monthly rebate EasySaver catalog that is in the front of the store with the weekly ad. It has coupons in it, plus lots of items that you can get money back on, especially when you use coupons for the items. More to come! (I have a gift card coming from Walgreens for almost $80 this month, but b/c I used coupons, I didn't spend nearly that much)

dave & rachel said...

Brooke-
Where are you shopping? I know of some good online forums where people discuss what deals are out there and what coupons to use. If you get the paper (and maybe have one other person at your church or work give you their coupons too), then you should have enough coupons to get you some great deals! Let me know, and I'll direct you to the right spot. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! YOu got some great deals! I sure wish we had better grocery stores in our area, we only have locally owned stores, unless we drive nearly an hour away!

Islandmumma2Seven said...

Sausage casserole sounds interesting-care to share the recipe??

jen said...

Wow, you're doing great Rachel!

As my kids are getting older I'm noticing the fridge emptying quicker.

I've never been a couponer, just seems like more hassle and when I do plan to use one, I forget. But with savings you are talking about I should start! Tell us more! =)

I shop at Super Target, Super Wal-Mart and Costco for groceries and household goods.

Josh and Brooke said...

i typically shop at reasor's which has always had the best coupon-less deals. then i buy paper goods at a place called warehouse market(where i get GREAT deals).

the only grocery store that we have in Tulsa that has 'loss-leaders' is albertsons but it seems like they are all 'albertsons' brand products and there are no coupons for those. it's still usually a good deal anyway, but they don't consistently run those specials. i searched online for printable coupons for specific items on my list this week, but couldn't find a good website for them. they were quite a hassle and just kept linking me to other sites. do you recommend any particular sites?

Dawn ; ) said...

way to go, girl! now thats some savvy shoppin'. you are a girl after my own heart. thx for sharing. I'm looking forward to return to my couponing days ~ they were such a thrill. I've not been diligent in this area since I started working outside the home. Well, I'm back in the saddle and will share when I can.

thx again & enjoy your new found hobby and the freedom to serve it brings. ;D

Jennelle said...

Wow - way to go, Rachel! :-)

Love,

Jennelle