Aldi Now Stocking Organic Milk – From Saralyn:
Has anyone else noticed that Aldi is
now carrying organic milk? I saw it yesterday. It’s $2.99 a half
gallon. That’s still more expensive than a whole gallon of regular milk
at their store but less than the price of organic at other stores.
According to their website they’re stocking other organic items in their Australia stores. Maybe we’ll be next. Organic Aldi; who knew?
EcoBunga!: A Directory of Eco-Friendly Deals – From Karen:
Given your audience of thrifty moms, I thought you might like to learn about “Ecobunga!” (http://www.ecobunga.com), a brand new directory that lists hundreds of eco-friendly giveaways and deals – everything from sweepstakes for hybrid cars to coupons for organic foods.
In fact, just this week our featured deals include coupons for Organic Valley dairy products, savings on ZenSoy beverages, a sweepstakes for a Prius, and a cool contest from Whirlpool for moms with green business ideas (the winner gets $7000 in cash – not too shabby!).
My business partner Jen and I were inspired to create Ecobunga! when we learned that the 2007 GfK Roper Green Gauge Study cited cost as the top reason shoppers were reluctant to go green. Well, we figured if price is holding folks up, let’s find them a deal!
All You: Subscription Deal – From Joanne:
You can get a two-year subscription to All You magazine at www.QSP.com. That’s the best deal I’ve seen out there for this magazine filled with such great coupons!
Alphabetical Listing of Current Coupons – From Kristin:
I found this on slickdeals and it has been very helpful to me. It’s an alphabetical list of all non expired insert coupons and which insert to find them in.
Dollar General: New Rebate Program – From Lori:
Are you aware that Dollar General has now begun a rebate
program like Walgreens’s? I noticed their flier in the Sunday paper
included rebates for products like Aquafresh, Bic shavers, Lysol,
Nabisco snacks, General Mills cereals, Kleenex, and lots of others.
None of the items are free after rebate, but I thought it might be an
option for people who don’t have a Walgreens or CVS nearby.
The first step in The Two-Week Grocery Experiment was to make a grocery list/rough menu based upon what we already had on hand and what was on sale at the store. None of the stores within a few minutes of our home had any really incredible deals this week, but by shopping at Hen House, Hy-Vee, and Aldi and just getting the best deals at each, I was able to pull off a pretty good shopping trip.
Here’s what I bought:
Look at all that food; $76.48 is a lot of money to spend in one trip!
5 loaves of bread – reduced to $0.50 each
1 package of bagels – $1.39
sandwich baggies – $1.99
animal crackers – $1.19
brown sugar – $0.99
flour – $1.70
trash bags – $2.49
carrots – $0.99
chips – $0.99
salad mix – $1.89
tortillas – $0.99
bag of oranges – $1.99
1 can refried beans – $0.59
1 can pumpkin – $0.69
2 cans diced tomatoes – $0.45 each
1 can pineapple – $0.79
8 oz. cheese – $1.89
2 bags of bananas – $1.39; $0.89
package of cherry tomatoes – $1.29
package of blueberries – $2.99
1 bag apples – $2.99
2 cans green beans
2 2-ltr of 7-Up (on sale for $0.50 each with coupon; we only drink this when we’re sick but I like to keep some on hand so I buy it when I can get it very cheap)
2 boxes all natural Rice-A-Roni (free with coupons)
Ragu all natural pouch sauce ($0.40 with coupon)
Ragu sauce ($0.66 with coupon)
Ragu cheddar sauce ($0.66 with coupon)
pasta salad mix ($0.63 with coupon)
croutons ($0.65 with coupon)
peanut butter (on sale $1.47)
Oscar Meyer all beef all natural franks (on sale $2.99)
2 lbs. fresh broccoli (on sale $0.99/lb)
5 bags frozen vegetables (corn, peas, broccoli, spinach, mixed veggies – on sale $0.58/bag)
2 packages deli sliced cheese (on sale $1.39)
1 package english muffins (on sale $1.25)
Yoplait kids drink 6-pk ($1.48 with coupon–treat for the girls who came shopping with me!)
2 packages Yo-Plus yogurt 4-pks ($1.16 each with coupon)
1/2 gallon whole milk from local farm – $3.19
Total: $26.50 (saved $25.84 with coupons/sales)
Butter – $1.59
Birdseye Steamfresh veggies – used free coupon
Huggies CleanTeam wipes – free with coupon
Ronzoni pasta- $0.59 with coupon
5 Muir Glen organic tomato paste – free with $1/1 coupons
1 quart vanilla yogurt – $1.59
Plasticware – $0.77 with coupon
3 lbs onions – on sale for $0.69/lb
2 pkgs. Smart Chicken thighs – marked down to $2.20 and $1.95
5 lb bag of potatoes – $1.48
Total: $13.92 (saved $15.48 with coupons/sales)
I also did a quick run to CVS to finish out the Playskool deal. However, after coupons and ECBs, I only spent $0.39. Yay!
All totaled, we spent $76.48–about $0.75 shy of the cash I brought. Now we just have to see if all this food lasts us for the next two weeks.
Up next: The Two-Week Menu
Since our Kroger stores have closed–and they were the source of most of my great grocery deals–I’ve been re-working my grocery shopping strategies and trying a variety of things to see what works best with the stores and deals we still have left. When there’s a will, there’s a way, right? Sometimes it just takes some creative ingenuity and thinking outside the box!
I stretched our last grocery shopping trip out to last almost 10 days, so when I went shopping this week, I actually had $75 to work with, as opposed to the usual $40. (I only had $35 left from the previous week’s grocery budget because I’d done a few transactions at CVS and picked up some ice cream on sale for a treat.)
This $75 was to last us for the next week and a half but I decided to see if I could buy enough to last us for two weeks instead. I’ve never shopped for two weeks in my life, nor have I ever spent $75 on one grocery outing (save for back in the days when I wasn’t married yet and was doing the shopping for my parents and six siblings!), but I figured I might as well try it and see what happens.
While I have yet to see if the groceries I bought do indeed last us for two weeks, I have already noticed two things:
1) I spent less time buying groceries.
I usually spend approximately 30-45 minutes planning the weekly grocery trip including going through the sale ads, matching the sales with coupons, pulling the coupons, making my lists, and writing a rough menu plan. (I often don’t write the final menu plan until I arrive home from the store as I sometimes substitute and make changes while at the store if I find an exceptional deal.)
My weekly shopping trip (usually hitting between 2-3 stores) normally takes me around 2 hours, including driving time.
Instead of doubling that time to shop for two weeks, I actually only spent around 45 minutes of preparation time and just under 3 hour of shopping time. So, I shaved off around an hour to an hour and a half of time by shopping for two weeks’ worth of groceries.
2) I was able to stockpile more than usual.
I’m not sure what it was, but something about having $75 to spend gave me more wiggle room to stock up. For example, I found loaves of bread at Aldi reduced to $0.50/loaf. On our usual $40/week plan, I likely would have bought two–twice what we normally buy for a week. Instead, I was able to afford to buy six loaves which I stuck in the freezer and will likely last us for at least five weeks.
I also bought 5-7 other items I probably would not have been able to wing in our usual budget; I’m not sure why that was but I seemed to get more bang for my buck with more money to spend. I’m still pondering that phenomenon!
And do you know how much $75 can buy at the grocery store? I felt like I’d just become independently wealthy or something when I unloaded all those groceries onto the belt at the checkout stand! In the next installment in this series, I’ll share what all I bought for $75. Stay tuned.
I’ve always said that shopping every week is likely the best way to maximize on sales and deals since store sales usually change each week. However, after noticing the time saved and my ability to stockpile more with two week’s worth of grocery money, I’m wondering if perhaps that’s not always the case. I’ll tell you how it goes and what my conclusions are in this The Two-Week Grocery Experiment series.
How often do you shop? Do you think that shopping every week is the best strategy? I’d love to hear!
GroceryGuide.com: Helpful Site for Matching Coupons and Sales – From Tim:
I found this website this morning that is perfect for helping with grocery trips especially when couponing and comparing and wondered if you had heard about it. GroceryGuide.com. It lets you choose multiple grocery stores to compare all the current deals running at all of them and then beside each search result it has a "Coupon" button that will pull up all coupons that have been issued for that item, which book they were printed in (Smartsource, Redplum, etc) and what date they were printed. And it only shows you coupons that have not expired yet! It also tells you when the sale on that item ends and you can add individual items to shopping lists and then print out those lists at the end.
Publix: Bloom; Bloom Coupons Accepted – From Jennifer:
I am in Greenville, SC where we have a grocery store by the name
of Bloom; Bloom has been sending out a month’s worth of $10 off of a
$35 dollar grocery purchase. Publix accepts these coupons, and I take
them there because Publix doubles manufacturer coupons and Bloom does
not. I have made out like a bandit by combining the manufacturer
coupons with Publix sales and using my coupon from Bloom! I think last
week I got about $60 of groceries for $27.
Target: Free Gifts For Setting Up a Gift Registry – From Megan:
I’m engaged and my fiance and I signed up at Target online for our
gift registry. Target sent us a cute tote bag and a great book of
coupons–including a coupon for two free sodas and two free popcorns at
their cafe, a free chocolate bar, even a free 6" wedding cake at
Angel Food Ministries – From Beth:
I thought I’d share a tip that saves the moms in this area money. Local churches are partnering with a ministry called Angel Food Ministries. At first glance, it looks like a site to help the poor, but if you contact them, it’s not. It’s for everyone and everyone is encouraged to take advantage. In fact, the majority of the people who take advantage of the program are middle class families.
Each month, they offer approximately $60-80 in groceries for $30. The food is very good quality (restaurant-grade), though not always name brand. In addition, you can purchase special offers, like last month they had a grill box and steak box. I use this to stock my freezer full of meat. You can go to the site to see next month’s menu. In December, they always have a wonderful Christmas menu and a special fruit box that is delicious (and makes a good gift)!
Just call your host site (find it on the website) and find out how you can sign up. Boxes feed a family for a week or a single adult for a month. You can buy as many boxes as you want, but you have to buy the main box to take advantage of special offers. On pick up day, bring a clothes basket or something to put your food in. At my host site, they put everything in my box and put it in my van, so I’m in and out in under 5 minutes with all three of my kids in tow. It’s the fastest shopping trip ever!
Some churches encourage you to donate the money you save to help a family in need or to buy an extra box to help a family in need, but you don’t have to. I donate items in the boxes I won’t use to my church’s program to help feed the hungry.
Skype: An inexpensive phone service alternative:
of having a home phone we use Skype. Its free to download and then you
buy credits in $10 increments , with that credit you can either pay as
you go or you can buy a subscription. 3 months is $5.60, a year is
$24.00. You can talk unlimited time to US and Canada through your
computer. You can either buy a headset with mic plug for $15 dollars at
Wal-Mart or for $70 you can buy a cordless Skype phone so its exactly
like having a home phone. A year’s worth of unlimited calling is less
than what it would cost me for 1 month of my local carriers service.
Military readers: Lower your interest rate with SCRA:
For any military readers you may have, the SCRA may apply. SCRA stands
for the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act and requires companies to
lower interest for credit card and vehicle payment debt to no more than
6% while a Reserve or National Guard member is deployed. However, it
doesn’t hurt to ask specific companies about their policy even for an
active-duty servicemember who is not Reserve or National Guard. My
husband is regular Army and deployed and he simply called and asked. We
were required to send a copy of orders and, in some instances, an LES
(like a pay stub) and most of the companies we have debt with granted
Unfortunately, we have quite a bit of debt (working on that), so
this savings of interest (from about 4-18%) adds up over the course of
a 15 month deployment. It will allow our "snowball" to go farther! -Catherine
Waitable.com: Helping you wait to get the best buy:
am a 26 year old from Baton Rouge, LA, and I’ve developed a completely free website, Waitable.com, that helps people patiently wait for things they would
like, but cannot quite afford at the moment. You
can search for and add just about any item with a UPC on it to your
Waitable list, tell it the price that you would like to pay for the
item, and when it drops to or below that price, you’re sent a link to
buy it. -Richard