Gretchen’s $69 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan

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Aldi

1 Navel Oranges – $3.49

1 dozen Eggs – $1.39

1 gallon Milk – $1.99

1 Loaf Bread – $1.29

1 Flour Tortillas – $0.99

1 canned Pumpkin – $0.89 (So happy to see this on the shelf at Aldi!)

1 Tortilla Chips – $1.19

1 Extra Virgin Olive Oil – $2.99

1 Salsa – $1.69

1 Italian Dressing – $1.39

1 can Chili Beans – $0.59

Total with tax ($1.28): $19.17

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Dillons

While shopping at CVS earlier today, my coupon box broke in the parking lot and coupons flew everywhere. About 1/3 of them were blown away in the wind and the ones I “rescued” are so disorganized and messed up that it is going to take me several hours to get them re-organized. :( I spent about 15 minutes in the car digging through my coupons trying to find the ones I was going to use at Dillons…but I couldn’t bring all my coupons in with me since they were ALL over my car. I shopped without my coupon box and all my coupons (which was a first for me). After my experience today, I’m thinking maybe I should switch to a coupon binder instead of a box.

1 Tyson Frozen Chicken Breasts (3 lbs) – $7.99

1 Private Selection Frozen Strawberries – $2.49

1 Kroger Ice Cream – $2.50

1 Kroger Cheddar Cheese (24 oz) – $3.99

1 Kroger Plain Yogurt – $2.39

1 Kroger Cottage Cheese – $1.99

2 Food Should Taste Good Cheddar Chips – Marked down to $0.75 each

2 Milky Way Bites – $2.49 each, used 2 $2/1 printable - $0.49 each after coupons

1 Kroger Turkey Sandwich Meat – $2.50

6 Knorr Pasta Sides – $1 each, used $1.50/5 printable, Received 2 $1 catalinas – $0.41 each after coupon and catalinas (We like to use these while camping, which we do a lot of in the fall!)

0.66 lbs Broccoli @ $0.99/lb – $0.65

1 Romaine Lettuce – $0.99

2 Cucumbers – $0.75 each

3 Green Peppers – $0.75 each

1 Kroger Natural Peanut Butter – $1.88

1 Green Mountain K-Cups – $6.99, used $1/1 printable - $5.99 after coupon (This is my favorite brand of coffee and I rarely see a sale on it. This was a splurge for me!)

3 Larabar – $1 each, used $0.75/3 e-coupon AND $0.75/3 SavingStar.com rebate – $0.50 each after coupon and rebate

Total before sales and coupons: $70.31

Total after sales and coupons: $50.17

Total for all grocery items: $69.87

Menu Plan for this Week:

Breakfasts

Smoothies x 4, Cereal, Toast

Lunches

Tossed Salad and Cottage Cheese, Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Scrambled Eggs, Cheese Quesadillas, Cheese and Fruit

Dinners

Homemade Cheese Pizza, Tossed Salad, Breadsticks

Chicken Drumsticks, Green Beans, Sliced Oranges, Steamed Broccoli

Beef, Cheese & Noodle Bake, Steamed Cauliflower, Fruit Salad

Stuffed Green Peppers (I’m using this recipe as a reference), 30 Minute Rolls, Tossed Salad

Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Florentine, Steamed Broccoli, Sliced Oranges

Belgian Waffles, Eggs, Hashbrowns

Date Night (Yay!)

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Comments

  1. Jessica says

    Oh that stinks about your coupon box. But why do you bring the whole thing with you when you shop, if you have your list planned out? Why not only bring the coupons you need?

    I keep my coupons in a box and the box stays home. I’m a stay at home mom, so when I go to the grocery, I usually go after I take my 1st grader to school. That means I have my baby girl (almost 10 months old) and my son, age 3 with me. I have my hands full enough making sure my son is not destroying things or running amok or shopping things (he has a thing for candles?) much less to deal with an entire coupon box.

    I use an envelope and on the outside I write my week’s list. I tuck the coupons inside. I hold onto it while I push the cart.

    • Jenn says

      I never ever, go into any store without my coupons. So many times I would make a quick trip into a grocery, breeze past their mark down section and see items for super cheap that I know I had a coupon for. So I just started carrying them everywhere, I’ve even used them at Menards. I do however use a mini binder that is plastic, not the prettiest thing but it works. Gretchen, I would be lost if that happened to my coupons!

    • Gretchen says

      I never go into a grocery store without my whole coupon box. I often come upon marked down items that I have a coupon for in my box. I have gotten so many free things this way! For instance, I had several coupons for the Food Should Taste Good chips that would have made them only $0.25. If I wouldn’t have dropped my box, I would have had that coupon with me and probably would have purchased several more of these bags of chips to give to extended family members (who LOVE them!).

      I know what you’re saying about having your hands full (most the time I go grocery shopping I have my toddler with me and he loves trying to pull my coupons out of the box the entire time I shop!). You just have to do what works for you. :) I’m super impressed that you can coupon AND shop with 2 little children…I only shop with one toddler and that’s hard enough!

  2. Jennifer says

    Sorry about your coupon box. I was leaving Publix last month when I noticed a purple object sitting in a shopping cart next to my car. It was someone’s coupon binder they’d left behind. Lucky for them they’d left it next to a vehicle belonging to a fellow couponer – I took it inside to customer service for their lost & found box. If I had left my coupons someplace I’d be very unhappy.

    • CJ says

      I’ve left my coupons packet at stores at least 3 times. Luckily every time someone turned it in to the customer service desk and I’ve gotten it back. I’m horrible about hanging onto my coupons, I lose them all the time. Last night I hunted all over my house and car for my Advil coupons, finally found them in my backpack. I’ve been a couponer for 40 years and have never been organized enough :(

  3. Anne says

    That stinks! I use an expanding file from the dollar section at Target. It holds all my coupons in alphabetical order and fits in my large purse. After hearing your story, I will replace it before it has a chance to break (since it was only a dollar!)

    Also, I am glad you splurged on the coffee after that experience!

    • Gretchen says

      It had been a crazy day (starting with me trying to print coupons for my grocery shopping trip and my printer and discovering our printer was out of ink, then driving 15 minutes to the store to get ink only to discover they were out of the cartridge I needed….) and so I’m glad I splurged on the coffee too. :)

  4. says

    I love your posts about your shopping trips and menus.

    But today I had to comment, because I have dropped my coupon box in the parking lot at Kroger before and had to go chasing down my coupons. It is like watching hard earned money blow away before your eyes. :( I’m so sorry this happened to you.

    • Gretchen says

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoy them.

      Yes, it definitely felt like money blowing away and there was nothing I could do to get it back (especially since it was all blowing across a very busy intersection). I was just glad after the fact that I managed to save my CVS ECBs. :)

  5. michelle says

    Gretchen….I feel for you :( I left my coupon binder at the store on Sunday :( No one has turned it in yet. I probably won’t get it back. I will say the binder is the way to go….it helps me organize regular store, organic, and Target coupons so much better than a little one. Just know your not the only one reorganizing your coupons this week :)

  6. Joy says

    Oh Gretchen. The same thing happened to me about 7 months ago but mine landed in slushy mud puddles. I just wanted to cry. I was so embarrassed. Luckily, the cart guy helped me pick them up because he was afraid I was going to get hit by a car. I spent 30 minutes in my car trying to reorganize them so I could grocery shop. Now, I carry my box in a small Target reusable bag.

  7. says

    I’m so sorry to hear about your coupon box breaking. That is so completely annoying.
    I use a binder and I leave it in the car, just taking in a soft pencil case, what I need for that specific trip.
    Of course this means if I find a deal I wasn’t expecting, I have to run back out to the car but that doesn’t happen too often. And the binder is soooo heavy. I just can’t fathom lugging it with me.

    • Erin says

      Another benefit of leaving the bulk of your coupons in the car: it makes you think about whether you really need/want that item. And you aren’t immediately “profiled” by coupon unfriendly store employees. Also, I’ve found most stores have no problem letting you bring your receipt and coupon back the next time you shop. Target has a three-day limit now and it’s same-day at Walmart, but my grocery stores typically tell me to bring it in next time I’m in the store.

  8. Jessica says

    Gretchen, my heart breaks for you losing some of your coupons. I, no longer use a box for that reason but the expandable binders from Target for $1, works awesome.

    On a happier note, I see you got some great deals there. Awesome score!! I wish we had a Dillions here in Michigan but we have Aldi and believe me, it’s great. At first, I was a little embarrassed to shop there but now I’m so over that and I couldn’t imagine NOT shopping here. :)

  9. Susan says

    Sorry about your coupon disaster Gretchen.

    All of my coupons fit in a small accordian file. When I make my shopping list, I remove the coupons I’m going to use and tuck them into a pocket of my purse.

    For a time I filed my coupons in a box and kept it in car. But after a while I realized that maintaining it was taking too much time for not enough benefit. I never used 99% of those coupons. Nowadays I just print or clip coupons that I think I might actually use, and like I said, they fit in a small accordian folder. Much easier this way. Once in a blue moon I might buy something that I had a coupon for but tossed it , but I’d rather pay a few cents more for something than deal with the hassle of maintaining a bunch of coupons.

  10. Beth says

    What a great deal on the chips! We love that brand, but have paid over a dollar for small bags!

  11. Siobhan says

    I feel bad you had to proactively defend yourself for buying coffee. It’s still cheaper than picking up a coffee somewhere else, so excellent job.

  12. says

    So sorry about your coupons; I lost mine once and felt like I had lost a lot of money!

    You might consider cooking up some dried beans for further savings on the budget; baking corn tortillas is a fun experiment, too, for saving money. If you roast up whole chickens, you can use the meat for sandwiches and save a bundle on that part of your budget, too.

  13. Charity says

    Oh Gretchen, I’m so sorry about your coupon box! I think I would’ve sat in the car and cried. Not that it would’ve helped, but that’s probably what I would’ve done. ;) Your menu looks wonderful, as always.

  14. Billene says

    I normally just carry the coupons I plan on using into the store where I am shopping. Bringing in the all the coupons in a box is not necessary. Just one more thing to carry out to the car when you are ready to leave.

  15. Rachel Jackson says

    I was wondering how big your family is? :) I’d like to get our grocery bill this low, we have a family of seven.

      • Rachel Jackson says

        :) Cool! I’ve been spending around $100 or close too with price matching. Haven’t figured out the coupons w/ the price matching yet. I’ll get the hang of it though. :D We had been spending around 150-200 :/

        • says

          Rachel, What kind of recipes do you use? We are also a family of 7 soon to be 8. We are seriously seeking to decrease our grocery spending to $150 or less a week but having difficulty finding recipes that we can make cheaply but still somewhat nutritious.

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  16. Angela says

    I am SO SORRY to hear about your coupons! Totally stinks and YES, I feel like I lost money when I lose a coupon! I switched to a coupon binder using baseball cards sleeves several years ago and it was the best decision I ever made as far as money saving ones go. They are all separated by category dividers (Dairy, Meat, Produce, Canned Goods, Pasta/Rice, Baby Items, etc.), but I also have full page sleeves where I drop in my coupons I use on a specific trip to the store. That way the ones I know I will use are handy AND I have all my coupons with me in case I see mark downs. WIN WIN!