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31 Jul 2009   ·   13
Money Saving Mom

Super Savings Saturday: The “Weekly-Report-Postponed-for-a-Wedding” Edition

As most of you know, my sister is getting married tomorrow so blogging has been on the very back burner the past few days as I’m knee deep (or maybe up to my eyeballs?!) in helping with wedding preparations, decorations, and so forth. I’m loving every minute of it, though!

We just got home from the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and last-minute decorating/organizing and I’m heading to bed since I need to have myself and two of my little ones at the church bright and early tomorrow morning to get ready for pictures.

I had planned to write about a big purchase we were able to make from an Amish bulk store this week using the money we saved by not doing our regular grocery shopping trip, but I’m going to save that to share early next week in favor of getting a little bit more shut-eye tonight.

Stay tuned for my full report on our savings from this past week after the whirlwind wedding weekend is over! I’m also hoping I can have my sister guest post on how she pulled off a beautiful wedding on a dime–but I’ll let her life settle down a bit first!

——————————–
Did you snag any great deals or bargains this week or save money in other ways?
If so, be sure to post about them on your blog and leave your link
below. Please remember that this weekly round-up is to share deals you
personally got and/or money you were able to save this week. In order
to keep this weekly round-up focused on helping and inspiring others in
their efforts to save money, links which have little-to-no content
other than promoting affiliate links, etc. will be deleted. Also, to
make it easy for everyone to navigate quickly through the links, your
link must link directly to your Super Savings Saturday post.

31 Jul 2009   ·   17
Money Saving Mom

Frugal Fun: Grocery Ad Playtime Menu (Guest Post)

Marie from Make and Takes shared this fun (and frugal!) idea for a way to recycle your old grocery ads into playtime menus for your children:

Grocery Ad Playtime Menu

Supplies for Grocery Ad Menus:

  • grocery ads – the kind that come in the mail
  • scissors, glue, color pencils, art paper

Menu Supplies

First, gather all your grocery ads. Let the kids look through and see what items might be good to have in their menu, then cut them out. If your child is ready to use scissors, go for it but with supervision if they're small. Or you can have them point to the items they want and you can cut them out.

Cut Grocery Ads

Next, fold a piece of art paper in half vertically. Glue the cut out food items onto the paper in a line. Now write in each price.

Write Menus

My son loved making up how much everything cost. He wanted to make the steak "1 Free" and the ice cream is $20 because it's sooo good. We even named our restaurant, LeBaron's Family Restaurant, with "Todays Special" as Shrimp, my son's favorite food. Have fun playing Restaurant!

Inside Kids Menu

Marie is a crafter, foodie, and mother of 3. She loves running, reading, and eating candy. Check out her blog Make and Takes for more Ideas and Crafty Tidbits for Home, Family, and Fun.

30 Jul 2009   ·   32
Money Saving Mom

Guest Post: How to Practice Hospitality on a Budget

Cheese-platter-with-fruit-and-crackers-for-funeral-

Guest Post by Meredith from Like Merchant’s Ships

One of our biggest frugal pleasures is sharing our home and food with others.  I can almost always whip up a neighborhood coffee or deliver a meal during hard times.

But how are you supposed to budget for hospitality? Will your own family end up eating rice and beans because you sent too many chicken casseroles elsewhere?

I struggled with this question until I created a hospitality envelope. Using our Dave Ramsey system for cash, hospitality gets its own category. Because I know I have money just for this, I’m no longer afraid to spend it.

When you don’t budget for hospitality, money might always be your excuse for not sharing with others.

How I divide the money varies month to month. $50 could stretch to cover one big party, five $10 meal deliveries, or ten $5 muffin baskets. What we don’t use one month rolls over to the next.

How much you earmark is up to you. What I can tell you is that when I spend in a way that honors our budget, God has a way of multiplying His provision.

One day I raced through the grocery store, putting together a delivery for a sick family.  Deals jumped out at me left and right, from super-clearance gourmet soup to Buy One Get One Free crackers and perfectly ripe pears. I ended up with a beautiful basket worth well beyond its $10 price tag.

Here are some ideas for hospitality on any budget:

  • Meet a new mother at the park. Bring the quilt, a jar of cold lemonade, and a listening ear.
  • Open your home to a group meeting. You provide a clean, welcoming space, hot coffee, and muffins.
  • Take a basket of sandwiches to the funeral home to help a family keep up their strength.
  • Offer to watch your friend’s children during her next doctor visit, serving up encouragement, quick pizza bagels and fruit.
  • Develop a repertoire of tasty but inexpensive meals for others and stock up when those ingredients go on sale.

Hospitality can be rewarding, but never more so than when you practice it with purpose. Here’s to sharing our blessings with those around us!

How do you practice hospitality on a budget?

Meredith enjoys documenting her family’s adventures in thrift at her award-winning blog, Like Merchant Ships.

27 Jul 2009   ·   14
Money Saving Mom

This week’s menu plan (and some downloadable menu planning sheets)

Mpmpencil

My sister is getting married on Saturday so this week looks like it will be a whirlwind of last-minute wedding preparations and time with out-of-town guests. I'm excited about it all, even if the to-do list looks a little daunting. One way I'm attempting to keep things more organized and sane this week is by having our menu be as simplistic as possible.

To save myself some time, I'm skipping going shopping this week and we're having an Eating From the Pantry/Freezer Week using up some of the stuff in our freezer and refrigerator. However, since half of our dinners are already taken care of this week due to wedding activities, it's really not going to require much creativity!

Here's the plan:

Breakfasts
Kashi Waffles, fruit
Oatmeal, fruit
Cereal, fruit
Muffins (from the freezer), strawberry/banana smoothies
Whole-wheat pancakes, fruit
Cereal, fruit

Lunches
PB&J sandwiches, tomatoes, carrot sticks
Baked potatoes, broccoli and cheese, cherries
Pita pockets with cheese, apple slices
Apples with peanut butter, crackers, cheese
Leftovers
Lunch out
Lunch with family

Dinners
Cheese quesadillas, apples (Jesse has night court.)
Meatballs (from the freezer), homemade bread (from the freezer), cucumbers/tomatoes, corn on the cob
Chicken Bean Tortilla Roll-Ups, Tossed Salad, fruit salad
Dinner with family
Rehearsal Dinner
Dinner with family

Snacks
Fruit
Carrot sticks
Crackers and Cheese
Strawberry/Banana Smoothies
Eggo Bakeshop Muffin Tops

One thing I find which helps me to actually follow our menu once I've planned it is to write it out in an organized fashion and stick it on the refrigerator.

If you don't already have a Menu Planner which you use, here are a few great links to free downloads:

::A great article on menu-planning plus some free templates from Organized Home

::Organizing Junkie's Menu Planner Template

::The Homeschool Mom's Daily Planner and Menu Planner

::Free menu-planning template from Faithful Provisions

If you need some help and ideas for menu-planning, you can sign up for Menu4Moms which sends out a free full menu with recipes every week.

Have you found an excellent resource or website you've found which helps you with menu-planning? If so, tell us about it in the comments section.

25 Jul 2009   ·   20
Money Saving Mom

Super Savings Saturday: We’re under-budget for the month!

I went shopping this past Tuesday with only my two-year-old and we were able to hit three stores in two hours. It felt like a vacation to just take one child with me as I have been taking all three and it's still a bit of a juggling act–especially with a nursing baby who likes to eat on the clock every two hours for 30 minutes!

It is funny how your perspective changes as you add more children to your family; I well remember when I only had one and taking her grocery shopping seemed like quite the challenge!

At any rate, I really enjoyed shopping this week and realized that I'd forgotten how much fun shopping can be! I'm thinking perhaps I should try just shopping with one child more often in the future. 🙂

Here's what we bought (click on the picture to enlarge):

004

Dillons (Kroger affiliate):

Lettuce–$1.58
2 cans mandarin oranges–$1.10 each–used 2 $1/1 coupons–$0.10 each after coupons
2 Chiquita bites–used free coupon and peelie B1G1 coupon–free after coupons
Pita pockets–reduced to $0.69
4 ears of corn–on sale 4 for $1
Dole pineapple–reduced to $1
4 Sobe Lifewaters–priced at $1.59, used 2 B1G1 coupons plus I got $0.50 off each for buying 10 items in the Buy 10, Get $5 off promotion–they ended up being free plus overage since the B1G1 coupon took $1.59 off two
6 Kraft cream cheese–$1.39 each, used 3 $1/2 coupons plus I got $0.50 off each for buying 10 items in the Buy 10, Get $5 off promotion–$0.39 each after coupons and promotion

Total after coupons and sales: $6.99

Aldi

3 cartons of cherries–reduced to $1.69 each
Foam plates–$0.99 each
2 8 oz. bars of cheese–$1.29 each
Chocolate chips–$1.69 each
16 oz. Shredded cheese–$2.59
Milk–$2.30
Cherry tomatoes–$1.59
Bananas–$1.14
Bananas–$1.09
Bag of Gala apples–$2.99
4 Braeburn apples–$0.35 each
Frozen broccoli–$0.95
Frozen peas–$0.95
Frozen corn–$0.95
2 packages of tortillas–$0.99 each
2 lemons–$0.29 each
Tomatoes–$1.99
Baby carrots–$0.99
Prunes–$1.99
2 cartons strawberries–$1.69 each
Toilet paper–$0.89
3 cucumbers–$0.59 each
2 cans refried beans–$0.69 each

Total: $43.83

We also stopped in the local health food store to see if they had any can't-miss deals or reductions but I didn't find anything worth getting so I walked out empty-handed. 🙂

So altogether I spent $50.82 on groceries this week–and we're still under our $40/week budget for this month!

I'm thinking of having an Eating from the Pantry/Freezer week this next week since I have a lot of odds and ends I need to use up and there's not much we need to buy. Stay tuned for my menu on Monday to see if this is what I decide to do.

——————————–
Did you snag any great deals or bargains this week or save money in other ways?
If so, be sure to post about them on your blog and leave your link
below. Please remember that this weekly round-up is to share deals you
personally got and/or money you were able to save this week. In order
to keep this weekly round-up focused on helping and inspiring others in
their efforts to save money, links which have little-to-no content
other than promoting affiliate links, etc. will be deleted. Also, to
make it easy for everyone to navigate quickly through the links, your
link must link directly to your Super Savings Saturday post.

25 Jul 2009   ·   0
Money Saving Mom

Money Saving Mom is back… er, getting there!

Excuse me for a moment while I take a deviation from our usual Super Savings Saturday post and share something personal…

If you've been reading this site for awhile, you've probably noticed I haven't been myself recently. As those of you who follow me on Facebook
know, I've been having a really difficult time the past 8 weeks with postpartum depression. I didn't allow myself to believe that's what it
was for the first few weeks but it finally got so bad that I realized
this was something more than just my hormones getting back to normal
after having a baby.

I am usually a very even-keeled, motivated, productive, Type-A person
who has tons of things I want to do and never enough time to do them
all. PPD hit me like a mac truck; I was barely functioning many days.
I made myself get up in the morning, get dressed, and do the very basic
things I had to do to take care of my home and family, but I had completely lost my
zest for life. There was nothing I wanted to do, nowhere I wanted to
go, and no one I wanted to talk to.

Things finally got so bad that I was willing to admit this was a battle
I could not fight on my own. And, through the help of my wonderful
husband, wise professionals, much research, and friends who have been
where I've been, I'm back on the road to recovery.

This past week was the first week in what seems like a very long time
that I've really started to feel somewhat "normal" again. I'm beginning
to wake up again with my old vivacious, vibrant self again instead of feeling as if I'm
drowning under an ocean of anxiety. The dark clouds which have been
swirling around threatening to suffocate me are beginning to dissipate
and the sun is peeking through them.

I share all of this publicly because I feel it is important to be open
and honest about this. I've done an enormous
amount of research about postpartum depression in the last few weeks
and I've realized that there seems to be a real lack of information out
there and few who are willing to admit to how difficult this is.

If you think you have something more than just the normal "baby blues",
please don't hide it, reach out for help. You need the support of
family, friends, and wise professionals to help you pull out this; you
can't do it yourself. Believe me, I sure tried!

I'm hoping to get back into the swing of writing more posts and sharing
more from my life here very soon but I'm learning to give myself some
slack while I recover. So thank you for your patience and
understanding. I really appreciate it!

I've closed comments on this post since it's a rather sensitive subject, but you are more than welcome to email me if you had something you'd like to comment.

24 Jul 2009   ·   58
Money Saving Mom

Guest Post: The Envelope System Experiment

Money
photo by pfala

Guest Post by Jenny Whitney

Paying with cash…we all did it at one point. When you are a child and are too young to have a credit card or debit card or checkbook, it is quite socially acceptable to pay with your allowance or hard-earned lemonade stand money.

At some point in our society, though, paying with cash becomes more unusual. I, like most Americans, have a credit card, and since we pay it off in full each month, I always thought I was being as responsible as possible with our finances.

But as I started to learn about deals, I became intrigued by this Envelope System that I read about (you can read about it here, here, and here). Could it possibly help me to be a better steward of the money we’ve been given?

I decided to give it a try–but on a smaller scale. Our budget for groceries and consumable household supplies (soap, detergent, toilet paper, etc.) is $40 per week and I do almost all of the grocery shopping, so that seemed like a logical place to start. So it began.

Here’s basically how it worked for me:

As I headed out to go grocery shopping on my first cash-only day, I stopped by the ATM and took out $40. I stuck it in an envelope and only used that to pay for all of our groceries. If I happened to purchase other items (gifts, clothing, etc.) while I was grocery shopping, I just asked the cashier to do separate transactions.

The following week, I added another $40 to the change from the previous week. And this same pattern has repeated now for about three months. It seems so simple–but it’s teaching me a lot about how I shop. 

Here are six lessons I am learning:

1) No Mental Math Needed–Before trying out the envelope system, I would mentally try to add up how much I had spent at various stores in my head to see how much I had left. Well, if you’ve ever taught mental math, you know that estimation is an oft-used strategy. Needless to say, I often went over my budget using this strategy (without even realizing it until checking our statements later).

Many weeks, the amount was as little as $5, but that adds up to $260 over the course of a year–the equivalent of over 6 weeks of groceries on our budget! With the envelopes, figuring out how much I have left to spend is easy–just look in the envelope.

2) When You’re Done, You’re Done–It was so tempting for me to “borrow” from future weeks before trying out the envelope system. If I found a great deal, or just really wanted to make a particular recipe, I would just tell myself I would spend less the next week. Of course, when next week rolled around, I would have either forgotten or have convinced myself that I should go ahead and spend the full budgeted amount. Having a certain amount in cash has really helped me develop the discipline of saying, “Enough’s enough.”

3) Jell-O is Not a Food Group–Although I try to stockpile, there are certain staples that we need to get pretty regularly (like milk, eggs, fresh fruits, and vegetables, etc.). The first week that I tried out the envelope system, I realized something very important: If I do the “deals” first and then look to buy the staples, I’ll run out of money and have to decide between eggs and milk.  Although I meal-planned and shopped off of a list before going cash-only, I now prioritize my list based on what we need and what we can do without.

4) What’s the OOP (really?)–Check out many deal forums and you’ll see a discussion on a “free” item, only to realize that you’ll get a gift card/Catalina/ECB/Register Reward when you purchase the item for the amount you spent.  Before the envelope system, it was really easy to let myself believe that I was getting the item for free–but what I’ve learned is that when I pull out some money from that envelope, that’s money I no longer have to spend.

Although I might have a money replacement, I am often limited on where and when I can use it. That doesn’t mean I never do these deals, but it does help me to be much more aware of what my real out-of-pocket expenses are and I don’t justify going over my budget by saying that I’ll get a gift card back. 

(Note: I know “rolling” gift cards and Catalinas makes for some great deals; I just think it was easy for me to forget they actually cost something to start with.)

5) Life Will Go On–If you are anything like me, discovering the world of coupons and deals was a turning point in my life (“You mean I don’t have to pay for toothpaste or razors ever again?”). I will admit that during the first few months, I went a bit overboard.  I felt the need to do every deal and print out every coupon.

With the Envelope System, I am learning to let go of some of the deals and I am finding out that it is okay–we still have more than we need.

6) Rely on the Lord. I like being in control and couponing fed that feeling for me. I know more about “the systems” than most cashiers around here and I know what I am able to get for free or really cheap.  I found that putting limitations on my couponing (through having to prioritize, miss deals, etc.) has helped me to remember the real Source of all that we have and consequently not worry about it.

So, what’s the bottom line? I tried out the envelope system thinking that I might save some money, and I have. More importantly, though, I’ve learned lessons that will help me to be a better steward of the money we have. I don’t know if the rest of our lives will transfer over to the Envelope System, but I know the things I’ve learned will.

Note: These are simply lessons I am learning; I don’t suggest that they are universal to all bargain shoppers. However, I would encourage you to try out a cash-only system (even if only for groceries) and see what you learn about yourself. You just might be surprised!

Jenny Whitney is a stay-at-home mom of a lively one-year-old son. She is learning to be a loving graceful wife and mother, happy homemaker, and responsible steward of all of her resources.

From Crystal: Do you follow The Envelope System or have a cash-only policy for some or most of your purchases? If so, I'd love to hear how it works for your family. If you'd like to learn how it works for us or how to get started making it work for you, too, you can check out my article here.

23 Jul 2009   ·   105
Money Saving Mom

Worth Reading: Stretching a Chicken and Sharing from Our Abundance

::Make and Takes has a great guest post up here on how to stretch one chicken into two delicious meals. However, reading it makes me somewhat feel like a rather lazy person as I never buy whole chickens. I know that this flies in the face of every frugal law, but after a few tries, I quickly found I'd much rather spend a little bit more money and buy chicken breasts then have to deal with de-boning a whole chicken, or worse, struggling over cutting up an entire frozen bird (Please tell me I'm not the only one with this philosophy!)

::Looking for some ideas to bless others with all the wonderful deals and freebies you're able to snag by shopping sales and using coupons? You'll love this inspiring post from Angie. If you have the time and energy at this season of your life, picking up extra freebies with coupons is a wonderful way to give to others on a limited budget.

21 Jul 2009   ·   51
Money Saving Mom

Making the Most of Back-to-School Sales

Back-to-school-supplies
Photo by ladybugbkt

There are so many different opportunities to get school supplies for pennies on the dollar right now. It's wonderful to be able to stock up for school, but with all the great deals it's good to think beyond just the school year.

Lisa emailed me with a great suggestion:

I am amazed at all of the school supply deals going on right now! Every year, our local Angel Tree lists several gift requests for a 'children's backpack filled with school supplies'. In the past we have tried to honor this request in December when school supplies are scarce and expensive.

This year, I'm stocking up early for some charitable holiday giving. So far, I have picked up enough to fill 3 bags and am getting the backpacks cheap or free this week at CVS and Staples. Considering we still have at least a month to go before school starts and the Back-to-School deals just keep coming, those gifts will likely be very generously fulfilled!

I love this idea and hope that others of you who are taking advantage of the Back-to-School deals will also consider how you might be able to pick up a few extras of things to bless someone in need.

FishMama has some great ideas here for other creative uses for school supplies.

Do you have any other suggestions to add? If so, I'd love to hear them!

17 Jul 2009   ·   19
Money Saving Mom

Super Savings Saturday: The “I-Cut-Myself-Some-Slack” Edition

I had a hard week this past week, for a variety of reasons, so I cut myself some slack in the area of grocery shopping and just made a quick trip with the children to the health food store and Aldi–mostly to replenish our produce stock.

Here's what we bought:

004

Health Food Store (I had to run in there to get some supplements, so I checked the mark downs):
1/4 organic watermelon–marked down to $0.99
1 tub Brown Cow organic yogurt–marked down to $0.99 (too bad I didn't know about the printable coupons yet!)
Total: $2.10

Aldi:
A dozen nectarines/peaches/plums–$0.29 each
1 bunch of bananas–$1.06
1 bag baby carrots–$0.99
5 lb. bag of sugar–$2.34
5 cartons of strawberries–$0.99 each
2 cantaloupe–$0.99 each
2 8 oz. packages of cheese–$1.29 each
1 bag chocolate chips–$1.69
1 jar natural peanut butter–$1.79
Total: $22.17

So all totaled, we spent $24.27 on groceries this week and we continue to be well below our $40/week grocery budget and our cupboards and refrigerator/freezers continue to be full. In fact, I'm thinking on doing an Eating From the Pantry/Freezer week in the next few weeks to challenge myself to clear some of it out before it goes bad!

One of the great benefits of stocking up on sales and good deals for the future is that when unexpected things arise and you just don't have the energy or time to do much shopping, you don't have to starve or eat fast food. In a sense, it's just like our Emergency Fund only it's edible!

——————————–
Did you snag any great deals or bargains this week or save money in other ways?
If so, be sure to post about them on your blog and leave your link
below. Please remember that this weekly round-up is to share deals you
personally got and/or money you were able to save this week. In order
to keep this weekly round-up focused on helping and inspiring others in
their efforts to save money, links which have little-to-no content
other than promoting affiliate links, etc. will be deleted. Also, to
make it easy for everyone to navigate quickly through the links, your
link must link directly to your Super Savings Saturday post.

14 Jul 2009   ·   65
Money Saving Mom

Monthly Financial Check-up

It’s July and guess what that means? It’s time for our monthly financial check-up. How did you do in June?

We began June at 48.5% of our house savings goal and we ended the month at 50%!

I cannot even begin to tell you how exciting it is for us to have reached the half-way point in our house savings. We had set the bar a little high in our savings goal so we’re getting very close to the point where we can actually start looking at houses.

We’re going to begin our house search by doing more research into what our options are, what areas we’d like to live in, and what features we’re looking for in a home. Once we’ve done that, enough time will likely have elapsed that we’ll be able to begin looking at homes–for real!–which are in the price range of what we have saved up.

It is amazing for us to look back over the last few years and realize how far we’ve come. What once seemed like a “big, hairy, audacious goal” is starting to become reality. The beans-and-rice budget is paying off and it feels weird to realize how close we are. Yet, just because we’re inching closer and closer to our goal, we don’t want to let our resolve slide or our frugality slip–something we’re having to guard against.

I’d really like to be at 55% of our goal by the end of July so that we will have saved over 20% towards our house savings goal this year so far. But we’ll see how the month goes!

Thanks so much for encouraging and cheering us along. It’s a huge help to have so much accountability in this! If you have recommendations for us when it comes to buying a home (books we should read, things we should consider, or any advice you’d like to give), please do pass it along. I feel like I have so much to learn and I want to be as well-researched as I possibly can be.

(By
the way, if you’re new here, you can read more about our financial
goals for this year and our progress so far by scrolling down on this
page here. And if you’re wondering why we’re attempting to save to pay 100% down for a house, be sure to read this post.)

——————————————–
How did you do in June? Whether
or not you posted financial goals for 2009, please take a moment to
post about your financial successes and failures in June and, if you’d like, the areas
you hope to improve in July. Then, come back here and leave your link
below. If you don’t have a blog or would rather share anonymously, feel
free to leave your update in a comment. Let’s all keep each other
accountable to be better stewards of
our resources!

14 Jul 2009   ·   3
Money Saving Mom

Worth Reading: Food Waste and Market Research Opportunities

::Over at Small Notebook, Rachel has an excellent post up with 20 Tips to Waste Less Food. Definitely worth a read!

::Looking for a few things you can do to earn some extra income? Be sure to check out my regularly-updated page here and then visit Carrie over at MoneySavingMethods for a listing of the latest paid Market Research opportunities available. I've not had great success with these (I signed up for one years ago, did all the work, and was never paid my $75, in spite of their confirmation that I did complete all the necessary requirements to earn my check. Oh well!) but I know that many folks do make some great side income off of these so check out Carrie's post if you're interested.

13 Jul 2009   ·   94
Money Saving Mom

Do you price-match?

As most of you know, Wal-Mart has a policy to "price-match" any competitor's store prices. I'm hearing reports that Target ads had a notice in them yesterday (see pages 2 and 3) saying that Target will now also be price-matching (we don't get the Sunday paper so I haven't been able to double-check on this myself yet). Hooray for more options!

I personally do not price-match at Wal-Mart for a variety of reasons–the biggest of
which is that I find my local grocery stores usually have much better markdowns than Wal-Mart does. In addition, they also double coupons and run catalina offers, neither of which Wal-Mart does.

Do you find price-matching at Wal-Mart (and now Target) to be beneficial or money-saving? Why or why not?

11 Jul 2009   ·   33
Money Saving Mom

Super Savings Saturday: Stock-up shopping trip

I had planned for this week to be a stock-up week, since we had spent less than $20 on groceries each of the previous two weeks and, as a result, I had accumulated over $80 in grocery money to spend. So stock up we did!

Here's what we bought:

038

The above is the combination of what we purchased in a trip to Target, Dillons, the local health food store, and Whole Foods Market (which we stopped by when we were in Kansas City).

033

At Whole Foods we bought: 8 ears of corn (on sale 4 for $1), fresh green beans (on sale for $0.99/lb.), a little fresh-ground peanut butter (not pictured since we ate it on sandwiches before the picture was snapped!), and close to 5 lbs. of organic spring wheat kernels (priced at $0.69/lb.). All totaled, we spent $6.75.

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At the local health food store, we bought Newman's Own Fig Newtons (reduced to $0.99), Health Valley Graham crackers (reduced to $1.29), organic spinach (reduced to $0.99), tortilla chips (reduced to $0.99), and 4 half-gallons of organic milk (reduced to $1.59 and I had 4 $1/1 coupons so they were only $0.59/half gallon!). So I spent $7.04 there.

We stopped by Dillons (our Kroger affiliate) and purchased: spinach (reduced to $0.99), 2 cartons of Breyer's ice cream ($1.99 each after coupons), Digiorno Flatbread Melts (free after coupon), 2 cartons of strawberries ($1.88 each, 2 boxes of Wheat Thins ($0.97 each after coupon), BBQ sauce (free after coupon), sandwich bags ($1.85), butter ($0.85 after reduction and coupon), baking powder ($1.25), mozzarella cheese ($1.15 after sale and coupon), 2 cantaloupe ($1.67 each), one Asian salad mix ($0.79 after reduced price and coupon), one gallon milk ($2.50), Purex laundry detergent ($2.30 after sale and coupon), 2 pounds of turkey sausage (reduced to $1.49 each), chocolate chips ($1.40), yogurt 4-pack ($1 after coupon), 2 Reach toothbrushes ($0.37 after sale and coupon), and cottage cheese (reduced to $0.79). I spent a total of $35.61 at Dillons.

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And then we stopped by Target and did this transaction which I outlined here spending just shy of $6.

I wasn't planning to do anymore shopping the rest of the week, but I had to run out and get a few things at Target later on in the week, so I decided I might as well get a few more grocery bargains while I was there. So here was my second Target trip of the week:

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After coupons, I spent $3.65 on everything shown above. You can read more about these deals here.

So, after coupons and sales, I spent $58.99 on groceries this week. Considering I had a little over $80 I could have spent (and still kept within our $40/week grocery budget since we've been underbudget the past two weeks), I was thrilled. I am beginning to hope more and more that we just might be able to consistently stick with our $40/week budget again for awhile even with our growing family. We'll see. But as of right now, our freezers, pantry, and refrigerators are quite full and we are over $20 under budget for the month!

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Did you snag any great deals or bargains this week or save money in other ways?
If so, be sure to post about them on your blog and leave your link
below. Please remember that this weekly round-up is to share deals you
personally got and/or money you were able to save this week. In order
to keep this weekly round-up focused on helping and inspiring others in
their efforts to save money, links which have little-to-no content
other than promoting affiliate links, etc. will be deleted. Also, to
make it easy for everyone to navigate quickly through the links, your
link must link directly to your Super Savings Saturday post.

9 Jul 2009   ·   55
Money Saving Mom

A fun Target trip

I did a big grocery shopping trip earlier this week as I'd practically skipped shopping altogether last week since we were out of town for a few days. I'll share more about my great deals and bargains for Super Savings Saturday, but I wanted to go ahead and share my Target bargains in case it might help you in planning a Target trip.

Here's what we bought:

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4 boxes of Eggo BakeShop products priced at $1.50 each, used $1/1 coupons = $0.50 each after coupons
6 small cups of Edy's ice cream priced at $1.19 each, used $1/1 coupons = $0.19 each after coupons
2 boxes of Kashi cereal priced at $2.66 each, used 2 $1.50 coupons, $0.50/1 coupon, and B1G1 coupon = free plus $0.94 overage after coupons!
2 boxes Kashi cereal bars priced at $2.66 each, used 2 $1.50/1 coupons plus $1/2 coupon = $0.66 each after coupons
2 boxes Nexcare band-aids price-reduced to $1.77, used $1/1 coupons = $0.77 each after coupons
1 small bottle Renu contact solution priced at $1.54, used $1/1 coupon = $0.54 after coupon

All totaled, I paid just shy of $6 for everything pictured above.

I was especially happy to get 4 boxes of Kashi products plus all those other items for what you'd normally spend just for two boxes of Kashi products on sale. Hooray for coupons!

You can see the full list of all the deals currently available at Target right now here.