Sunday, February 27, 2011

Journey to Spending Less

My journey to cutting our grocery budget has had a lot of ups and downs but I think that finally, after 6 months, I can say that we've built our stockpile up enough that I can look at the grocery ads and buy only the absolute best deals.... and I actually think I've got a much better handle on what those deals are now.

As we started, it was all about stockpiling, so not only was I having to buy what we needed that week but I was trying to buy (in bulk) the things we would use over time. Maybe we weren't out of that item yet but we'd use it and better to buy it when it's on sale and have it than to need it later and pay full price.  The painful part is that as you go along you think you will never really get to a point where you can stop stocking up.

The Journey
September 2010 - We started off back in September with just setting a grocery budget.  That alone was new for us.  In the months prior we'd spent $5-600/month on groceries.  There was usually 1 or 2 big trips but most of what we spent was on little trips here and there.  It's amazing how much you can spend just running to pick up some milk.  So we started off just putting a budget in place of $400/month.  I know that seems like a lot to most people (and it even does to me now) but for us at the time it was a start.

I remember that first trip when we looked at the sales and saw that our detergent was on BOGO and decided we'd better buy 4 bottles (after all, who knows when it will go on sale again).  We needed butter and there was a blinkie machine with a coupon for the butter we use and we stood there for a good 10 minutes trying to figure out which size would be the best price.  It's definitely a learning curve.

I remember trying to explain to my husband the reasoning behind stockpiling and why I was buying a ton of something that we didn't necessarily need RIGHT NOW.  It took a few trips of him seeing me come home with a massive amount of items for less than half of what we would have normally spent for twice that much before he understood.  It also took my explaining to him that my goal was to cut our grocery budget even further and that by January 2011 I wanted to have our budget down to $50/wk.

November 2010
In November we managed to cut our grocery budget down to $75/week and not even feel it. 

January 2011
I started out trying to cut our grocery budget down to $50/wk right off and soon realized I may have cut it too fast too soon.  It hurt.  We made it through January and only went slightly over (really just using up reserves of what we didn't use from December), however it was tight and I used most of our budgeted funds in the first half of the month.

February 2011
I didn't plan well at all for February, evidently I thought it was further away than it was.  The Kroger Mega sale snuck up and bit me in the butt.  I knew we'd be doing major stocking up on 2 items at that sale but I just didn't plan for it properly.  We ended up spending $350 in February.

I started this week with just $20 that I took out for groceries and so far I've only spent about $2 of it, despite buying well over $30 worth of groceries so far.  Looking forward into this coming week I SHOULD be able to continue spending and saving at that rate.  Hopefully, I don't screw anything up.  What' I'm realizing, though, is that looking at our stockpile and looking at what we need/ what's on sale there are fewer and fewer items we need to stockpile and those that I do see I can get for extremely cheap or practically free.

Thinking about it, I know it seems much simpler than it really is, and I'm going to start sharing more tips on how to get started saving money & stockpiling.  I think it was something that came fairly easily to me, but I don't think it would have without the help of some other amazing blogs who really break down the sales and do the  coupon match-ups week after week.

New Target Coupons

Target has new coupons available for printing on their website.  Keep in mind, if you are in an area where Target is a competitor for Publix, you should be able to use these coupons at Publix, as well.

Some of the coupons I noticed...
  • 1 Off Windex Electronics Wipes
  •  $1.50 Off Wanchai Ferry or Macaroni Grill frozen meals
  • .75/3 select boxed dinner items (picture shows Hamburger Helper & Old El Paso)
  • $3/1 20ct or larger Excedrin
  • $3/1 50ct or larger Excedrin Migraine
  • .50/1 Halls
  • $1/1 Select Dove Men's Care
  • $1.50 Dove Visible Care (18oz)
  • $1/2 select Market Pantry cheese items
  • $1/1 Colgate Total Advanced (4oz or larger)
  • $1.50/2 Kraft shredded cheese
  • $1/1 Oscar Mayer bacon
  • $1/2 Oscar Mayer hot dogs
Click Here for all of Target's Printable Coupons

FREE Electronic Music Sampler from Itunes

Itunes has a new FREE MUSIC Sampler on their Facebook page. Head over to Facebook and like Itunes and they'll give you a code to get the free download

2/27 Coupons In Sunday Paper

This is the list of the coupons that were in my paper this week. There were two inserts; 1 Smart Source and 1 Proctor & Gamble.

Smart Source
  • $1/1 Lysol Clean-Flip Starter Kit or Floor Cloths
  • .50/1 French's French Fried Onions
  • .50/1 RID-X Septic System Treatment Product (exp 4/03/11)
  • .50/1 RID-X Septic System Treatment Product (exp 5/01/11)
  • $2.50/1 3.5oz package of Purina Pro Plan Roasted Slices
  • $1/ 5lb box Cuties
  • .55/ 3.1b bag Cuties
  • $1 Off Glade Plugins Scented Oil twin refill or two single refills
  • $1 Off any Glade Premium Room Spray (9.7oz)
  •  $1/2 Glade 4oz jar candles
  • $1.50/2 Glade Scented Oil Candles products
  • .75/1 Glade Carpet & Room Odor eliminator
  • $1/1 Glade Fabric & Air odor eliminator
  • $3/1 Glade Sense & Spary starter kit
  • $1/2 Glade Sense & Spray refills
  • $2 Off Biotrue multi purpose solution
  • $4 Off 2x10oz pack of Biotrue multipurpose solution
  • .55/1 bag any Tostitos Artisan Recipes tortilla chips
  • .75/1 Colgate toothpaste
  • .75/1 Colgate adult or kids manual toothbrush
  • $1/1 Glade Tough Odor Solutions Air Sanitizer or Surface Disinfectant & Air Sanitizer
  • $3/1 Zegerid OTC
  • $6/1 42ct Zegerid OTC
  • FREE Accucheck Ava meter w/ purchase of any ACCU-CHEK Aviva test strips (any size)
  • .55/1 package festive Chinet Casuals plates
  • .55/1 package of Pepperidge Farm 3-layer cake
  • $1/1 Big Bottle (45pc or larger) Mentos Gum
  • $1/3 (15pc or larger) Mentos Gum
  • $2/1 Benefiber
  • $5/2 Benefiber
  • .75/1 Excedrin 20ct or larger
  • $1.50/1 Excedrin 80ct or larger
  • $1/1 Skim Plus (32oz or 64oz)
  • $2/1 12oz bag Caribou Coffee
  • $5/1 Similac SimplePac large size powder (exp 4/30/11)
  • $3/1 Similac SimplePac large size powder (exp 5/31/11)
  • $5 off any Non-Drowsy Claritin (20ct or larger)
  • $4 off any Non-Drowsy Claritin-D (15ct or larger)
  • $3/1 Ensure 4pk
  • $1/1 EAS Product
  • $2/1 Glucerna product
  • .55/1 ZonePerfect single bar or multi-count box
  • $1 off ANY Sea Best bagged product
Proctor & Gamble
  • .50/2 Puffs products
  • $5/1 Swiffer Wet Jet starter pack
  • .35/1 Tide detergent
  • $1/1 Downy liquid fabric softener or dryer sheets
  • $1/1 Crest Rinse (946ml or larger)
  • $1/1 Oral-B CrossAction manual toothbrush
  • .75/1 Oral-B Satin, Glide Floss (25m or more)
  • .75/1 Crest toothpaste (4oz or larger)
  • $1/1 Covergirl product
  • $1/1 Pantene product
  • $1/1 Always Infinity pads (24-48ct)
  • $2/1 Secret Clinical strength
  • .50/1 Secret
  • $2/1 Pampers Diapers or pants
  • .50/1 Papers Wipes (60ct +)
  • .25/1 Charmin product
  • $3/1 Olay Pro-X (excludes .3oz and 1oz sizes)
  • Buy 1 Olay Facial Cleanser G1 Olay bar soap, body wash or in-shower lotion FREE
  • $4/1 Manual or Power Gillette Fusion ProGlide razor
  • $1/1 Head & Shoulders
  • $1/1 Febreze Set & Refresh
  • Buy 1 Covergirl Natureluxe Foundation Get 1 Natureluxe lip balm FREE
  • $3/1 Nice 'n Easy Color Blend Foam haircolor
  • $1/1 Nice 'n Easy hair color product
  • $10/1 Crest 3D White strips
  • $5/1 Crest 3D Advanced Vivid, Stain Shield or Gentle Routine
  • $1/1 Crest toothpaste (4oz or larger)
  • .75/1 Oral-B Pulsar CrossAction Advantage or any 2 Indicator or Cavity Defense manual brushes
  • $3/1 Oral-B Battery brush
  • .50/1 Oral-B Stages, Zooth or Crest Kids toothpaste
  • .50/1 Oral-B Stages, Zooth or Crest Kids manual or power toothbrush
  • Buy 1 Old Spice Deo, Get 1 Old Spice Body Wash
  • $1/1 Gillette Fusion Shave Prep or ProGlide Shave Prep
  • $2/1 Gillette ProSeries Skin Care product
  • $1/2 Old Spice products
  • $2/1 Gillette Bodywash
  • Buy 1 Gillette deo, get one Gillette bodywash
  • $3/1 Prilosec OTC
  • Buy 1 Vicks product, GET 1 Puffs FREE
  • $4/1 Sinex product
  • $1/1 Metamucil
  • $4/1 PUR or PUR Flavor Options System
  • $2/1 PUR Pitcher or Faucet Mount mult-pack replacement filters
  • .75/1 4-pack Duracell coppertop
  • $1.50/1 Duracell hearing aid batteries with easy tab (6pk or larger)
  • $1/1 Iams ProActive health or Premium Protection dry dog or cat food
  • $1/1 Iams Healthy Naturals dry dog or cat food
  • .50/3 Iams Canned dog or cat food (or one variety pack or multi-pack)
  • Buy 1 Tide detergent 75oz or larger GET ONE Tide Stain Release 10ct duo pack, 20oz liquid, 14oz powder or 21oz pre-treat FREE
  • $3/1 Tide Stain Release 26-50oz powder, 15-34ct Duo Pac OR 36-68oz Liquid
  • .50/1 Bounce product
  • BUY 1 Febreze flameless luminary starter kit or device, GET 1 Febreze flameless luminary refill
  • $1/1 Febreze Home Collection flameless luminary refill
  • BUY 1 Swiffer Sweeper Wet or Dry Cloth Refill, GET ONE FREE
  • BUY 1 Swiffer Starter Kit, GET 1 Swiffer Refill FREE
  • .50/1 Always Pad, Clean or Feminine Cleansing Cloths
  • .50/1 Always Pantiliners
  • $2/1 Tampax Pearl or Compak Pearl
  • $1/1 Tampax (18ct or larger)
To get a headstart and know what's coming in next Sunday's coupons be sure to check out the Sunday Coupon Preview