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Super Savings Saturday: You gotta see this to believe this!

I think this shopping trip takes the cake for my best shopping trip of the year…

101_0407
(Click on picture to enlarge for the full effect–the entire table was stuffed with food and household products! Please especially take note of the BOX of Pampers–100 diapers in all!)

Total spent out of pocket?

$49.60!

$2 under the $51 budget I had (We budget $40 per week, but I usually don’t spend all of it and "roll over" the extras to the next week.)

After almost three weeks of little-to-no shopping–thanks to a well-stocked pantry, fairly-dismal sales, and my attentions and energies being focused elsewhere–I guess I made up for it this week.

Since the deals usually linger at Target and Wal-Mart for a month or more and they are a bit more of a drive, I save my coupons and just hit both stores once every 4-6 weeks. This was the week to hit both of them and hit them I did!

At Target, my total before coupons was $83. After coupons, it was $38. And then I paid with gift cards I’d earned free from referring a few folks to eBates. So I spent $0.00 out of pocket!

Best deals at Target: $0.89 Natural Skippy peanut butter (on price cut to $1.89, used $1/1 Target coupon), almost-free Electrasol (combined Target mailer coupon with $2.25 manufacturer’s coupons), free Joint Juice and Powerade, Physician’s Formula Organic blush for $0.67 (on clearance for $2.67, had $2/1 peelie on it!), very cheap crayons and school supplies, Pantene Beautiful Lengths for $0.79 each (used $2/2 coupon from Target mailer and 2 $2/1 manufacturer’s coupons) and a HUGE 100-pack of Pampers on clearance (clearance price: $23, used $4/1 Pampers mailer coupon plus $5/2 Pampers Target coupon).

Between the clearanced box of diapers, another pack of diapers I bought, and the 2 mega packs of refill wipes, we should have enough diapers and wipes to last us for six weeks!

At Wal-Mart, I spent $8.61–I got free Schick razors (used $2/1 coupon from recent insert making them free), bought more Muir Glen tomatoes, used my three last $3/1 Planter’s coupons to get free Kettle roasted peanuts by buying Kool-Aid (anyone want some? We don’t get near Kool-Aid!), bought Luvs diapers for $2.47 (used $5/1 coupon), got one package of Yo-Plus yogurt for $1.08 after coupon, and 2 packages of Kotex for free (used $1/1 coupons).

I spent $11.02 at Hen House and I got three bottles Old Orchard juice for $0.68/bottle (on sale for $1.68, used $1/1 coupons), three boxes of Curves bars for $0.98 each (on sale $1.98, used $1/1 coupons), Farm Fresh whole milk from a local farm, a dozen eggs, and English muffins.

Next stop was Hy-Vee where I spent around $13.56 and got lots of peaches and pears, frozen veggies, cottage cheese, orange juice, free Huggies CleanTeam wipes (the small packs are priced at $0.97, used $3/2 coupon and got the overage!), and 3 packages of chicken (two packages were manager’s special SmartChicken thighs on special for $2 each!).

Our last stop, Aldi, we spent $16.41 and got odds and ends: Sugar, 2 packages cheese, cucumbers, kiwi, carrots, tortillas, butter, toilet paper, and 3 loaves of bread reduced to $0.59 each, 2 packages of hot dog buns reduced to $0.39, and 2 packages of hamburger buns reduced to $0.25! The buns are all going straight into the freezer to save for later–I couldn’t resist such a great deal!

We are now well-stocked for the next two weeks and I’ll probably only have to make a small trip to the store for more produce and milk and the best deals next week. Yay!

What is so exciting to me about getting all of these great deals is that these were in direct answer to prayer. I prayed specifically before going into each store and I also prayed for God to give the girls grace to be cheerful and obedient. I never expected to make it to all of those stores with the girls by myself in one afternoon (I was planning to split it up over two days and stop when they started getting tired–but they never reached that point so we just kept going!). Nor did I expect to get such great deals.

God is always faithful to do "exceeding abundantly above all that I could ask or think": the girls ended up having a blast with me (there was almost no complaining at all!) and we snagged quite a few more deals than I had planned on. God is good.

—————–
How’d you do this week? Post
about the deals and bargains you were able to snag this week on your
blog (with pictures, if possible!) and then come back here and leave
your link below.

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58 Comments

  • Dona says:

    Wow! You did an awesome job! I wish so badly we had a Target! The peanut butter deal was a real steal! Great Job!

  • Courtney says:

    wow i am shocked at how low you bill was. I cant even fathom doing this. I dont know where to start or what but I hope that I start learning from this site cause that would cut our grocery budget by hundreds of dollars a month.

  • Anita says:

    You did fantastic! I wanted to tell you that all of the coupon organization talk has inspired me to post pictures of my system. It works for me!

  • My Momma also prays over certain items we have need of and God comes through right on time!
    LOL!! We have well over a 100 packs of Kool Aid ourselves due to the Peanut coupons ( we’ve used our printer, the printers at Daddy’s work and the printers at my brothers’ work to get plenty of free peanuts for both mine and my brother’s weddings ) and Kraft peelies found at our local grocery stores. It’s going to come in handy with all the wedding punch we’ll have to make!! 🙂

  • Kristen says:

    Crystal,
    This is just amazing! What an inspiration! My frugal journey all started with an e-book package of yours and now I am CVSing, and couponing like crazy. Thank you for your immeasurable influence on me and the ladies that I am now able to touch because of your willingness to share with all of us.

  • Teresa says:

    You can finger paint with your kool aid. Just add a little bit of water to the kool aid to make a paste and let your daughter have fun. Just a little side note…that stuff stains. Make sure she is outside and dressed in clothes that you don’t mind getting ruined! Have fun!

  • Debi says:

    Awesome job Crystal! 🙂 Hey — use the Kool-Aid to make some homemade playdough with your girls! I used to do this when my boys were little and it made it smell so great and the playdough seemed to keep for a really long time! Just an idea! 🙂

  • I am amazed. That’s all I can say. Dumbfounded, actually. Go YOU!

  • Tina says:

    Wow, I’m completely amazed! I’m new to using coupons and really getting a great deal and your blog sheds a lot of light on how to do it (and do it really good!)

  • june says:

    Use the Kool-Aid to make play-dough.
    The recipe is 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 cup salt, 1 package unsweetened Kool-Aid, 1 cup boiling water, and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Combine the first three ingredients in a glass mixing bowl. Slowly add the boiling water. Stir with a rubber scraper or spoon until cool enough to touch, adding oil. Turn out onto the counter and knead until oil is worked in and dough has a smooth consistency. Store in an airtight container or Ziploc type bag.

    I have used this recipe for about 9 years. It doesn’t get hard, kids can eat it, and it cleans up wonderfully from carpet (just let it dry and scrape with a table knife, vacuum). We have even divided it into 4 and put in a snack size bag as treats for Sunday School, VBS, etc. All ages love this and it smells wonderful.

  • Emile says:

    How long does it take you to do all that shopping?

  • Jamie says:

    You’ve got to make homemade scented play-dough with that Kool-aid!

    http://www.recipezaar.com/56797

  • Rebecca says:

    Kool-aid is great for making Playdough! My kids love it.

  • Nicole says:

    Wow! I wish that my grocery savings were that amazing! Great job.

  • Wow. That is excellent! Way to go.

  • Becky says:

    I remember reading in Supermarket Savings 101 about how you pray before you enter a store and God has blessed me countless times when I do this. I don’t know why I didn’t do it before. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NIV) Thankfully, even what we consider small details in our lives matter to God.

  • Bethany says:

    What a great site! I came across this through a blog that I visit regularly. What a wonderful witness and ministry you have! I am a stay at home mom and since we’re a one income family, I’m grateful for any tips on how to get good deals. I appreciate your faithfulness and good stewardship and you are a blessing more than you know! 🙂

  • Sara says:

    I am #42 on the mr. linky thing. This was my first try at CVS, and I think I did okay, saved $23.90. Although, I would never pay the regular price for mt. dew. Thanks for the inspiration to try!

  • Carrie says:

    Crystal, I’ve said it before, but your girls must be angels. Even when I only had one, she generally had a limit of one store and one store only before meltdowns began.

  • Trena says:

    I cannot believe you made it to 5 stores with kids and are still living to tell about it! Thank you for the reminder to pray about my shopping trips and for my kiddos who have to come with me. It will surely make for a much more enjoyable time. Thanks for sharing all the great deals.

  • Christina says:

    Great job! We use the grape Kool-aid to make playdough. It turns it a pretty purple color and smells so good! The other “flavors” work well too, but they don’t smell quite as nice. I have a recipe on my blog if you’re interested.

  • Michelle says:

    Thanks for sharing the specifics of your deals. Very inspiring!
    I know this has been asked before, but I’ve scanned the comments and never seen an answer… how does one go about getting a Target Mailer? I’ve looked all over to figure out how to sign up. Do you have to get a Target credit card?

  • Me says:

    WOW! what a great job!

    Can you please tell me where to get the Target printables? Like the peanut butter? I went to Target site and don’t see it and that is the only PB we can eat here. Thanks so much!

  • Michelle says:

    Bravo! You are the woman! I don’t know if you knit or do yarn crafts but you can use koolaid to dye wool yarn. If you want to be extra frugal you can learn how to unravel a wool sweater from a thrift store and then dye that yarn or you can wait for some to come in on clearance.

    Koolaid dying is really fun and your yarn smells fruit flavored, I bet your girls would love it!

  • FoxFire says:

    Sweet deals! Hmm…never thought of praying before each store. Thanks for mentioning that- it would be a good habit to start!

    Thanks for all you do, Crystal. I truly appreciate it.

  • Crystal, that is awesome! It feels great to get savings like that so I’m happy for ya! And, especially to know the Lord is providing is so amazing!!

  • Beth H says:

    Wow what awesome deals! I just wanted to mention that we did the planters/Kool-aid deal too and I plan to use the Kool-aid for dyeing play silks and other misc items. We’d never drink it either, but I’m glad it won’t go to waste!

  • calina says:

    Wow, that’s an awesome trip! I have been bringing home an impressive pile for next to nothing to since I started visiting your site. Thanks!

    We have multiple food allergies, so we can’t use some of the stuff I get couponing, so sometimes we find “other uses” for things. Like… I just wanted to comment on the kool-aid you have. We don’t drink the stuff either, but we have added it to homemade playdough in the past, it makes it smell good for a long time!

  • Debi says:

    Here’s a recipe for Kool-Aid playdough. Only ‘problem’ is you have to buy the unsweetened kind for this. 🙂 But, my boys used to love this because it smelled so great! We used to give this as gifts with birthday presents all the time, too!

    Ingredients:
    3 Cups Flour
    1/2 Cup Salt
    3 Pkgs. Unsweetened Kool Aid
    3 Tbsp. Oil
    2 Cups Water

    Directions:
    Mix together Flour, Salt, and Kool Aid. Add Oil, then gradually add Water to desired consistency. I never need all of it. Knead for 10 minutes then enjoy. Store in an air tight container – we used ziploc bags, or a cleaned out frosting container works great, too!

    This is edible, but tastes terrible, so it’s OK for your toddler to get his hands on – but make sure they’re not wearing ‘nice’ clothes, as it can stain! 🙂

  • I guess there goes your, “I haven’t seen any good markdowns” reasoning. Keep clipping those coupons. 😉

  • Just found your site and I have to say you sure do know how to save. I subscribe to your RSS Feed and will be checking back.

  • Jill A. says:

    What a great trip —- your bargains amaze and inspire me! Now about that Kool-ade…..we don’t drink the stuff either but I do use it to color homemade play dough for my kids. Here’s the recipe — 2 c flour, 3 Tb salt, 2 tsp cream of tartar, a pack or two of kool-ade (1 pack for lighter color, 2 for more intense), 1 cup of water. Mix together & cook over med heat until it comes together. Cool a bit & play. Kool-ade gives it great color & smell. 🙂

  • Koren says:

    What is the target mailer that you used?

  • Melissa Brown says:

    Use the koolaid to make playdough.
    1 1/4 cup flour,1/4 cup salt,1 pack koolaid, 1 cup boiling water,1 1/2 tbl veggie oil. mix dry ingred. in another bowl combine water and oil, make a well in flour and pour water mix in, knead on a floured cutting board (will stain until cooled off)knead while adding flour until cool and right texture. Keep in a ziplock, will last FOREVER!! I also use koolaid to dye wool roving. Great job shopping!

  • Renee says:

    So amazing in what you were able to buy for so little. And with meat too!

    Great Job!

    I always love seeing what people can purchase for so little with pictures. I love pictures!

    Renee
    Mama to four

  • Vicki says:

    How do you freeze your breads? The wrapping on breads are good for freezer burns and freezer taste.

  • Merrilee says:

    Crystal,

    Here’s an idea for how to use your Kool-Aid. Instead of using food coloring, use a pack Kool-Aid to color your homemade play-dough! Added bonus: it smells great, too! (I happen to be making some today to take to another birthday party!) The Kool-Aid wasn’t my idea, but someone who commented on my post from a Frugal Friday! I posted about making play-dough here:

    http://merrileesmusings.blogspot.com/search/label/Frugal%20Friday

  • Eden C. says:

    I am dumbfounded. Stunned. I want so badly to do something like this & I am trying so hard. But I just can’t grasp how you can save so much. Especially when it comes to fruit & meat. Wow. I did want to ask you about ebates. How do you get the giftcard? In the mail or email or what? Is the amount you get back on your online purchases a percentage of how much you order or what? Just would love to know how all that works. And how you manage to save SO much of so many groceries! This grocery thing is killing me…I do fine till the end of the month. Then I start to sweat. =) Thanks for all the great information on your website! I am addicted!

  • Rebekah says:

    What great deals, Crystal!! You inspire me to keep trying when I feel like I’m not using my coupons to the best of my ability!

    I did pretty well this week though! YAY!!!

  • Tasha Via says:

    That is incredible, Crystal. God is so good and knows exactly what we need when we need it. It seems silly to praise our God for good deals, but Praise The Lord for His provision!!!

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi Crystal,
    I am no stranger to clipping coupons, but I wasn’t really serious about it until now so I have a couple of questions. Do you buy whatever you have a coupon for or are you particular about brands. For example, do you look for the best deal on laundry detergent for that week, or do you stock up on your favorate brand when there is a good deal? I read about the coupon orginizer and I saw the YouTube vidio of the method you want to switch to, my question is how do you organize the coupons and the list and such for your trips to various stores. Do you take the big book with you to each store? If you have written about that already please just direct me.
    Thanks for your time, and for the time you put into MSM. I really enjoy and find it very helpful.
    Stephanie

  • Wow, I love that full table. Just makes you feel good, doesn’t it. I did well this week at Fry’s and CVS. Thanks again for your great work.

  • Mara says:

    Wow! I have a question for you or anyone else who knows…I see that you bought bread…is there a way to make a loaf of bread last longer? I am the only one who eats plain white bread, so I hate to buy a loaf just for me. Can you freeze it and toast one slice at a time? THANKS!

  • Lynn says:

    Did anyone notice in the August Walgreen EasySaver catalog that all the coupons expire today, July 26, 2008? I brought it to the managers attention at my local Walgreens and I will give them a call later.

    L.

  • Lynn says:

    The Walgreens EasySaver book I got from my local Walgreens is a misprint. Be sure and check your books. The Expiration date is actually 8/30.

    Wow Crystal…I wish I could be a smarter shopper. I try but don’t seem to get the bargins that you do. No. California, Bay Area has Lucky, which is Albertson’s, Safeway, Walgreens, Rite Aid and Longs Drugs and of course Target. I wish we had CVS and some of the supermarkets you mention.

    I don’t shop Walmart because of the way they treat the employees and I find that Target usually beats their prices.

    I’ll keep checking your great shopping trips to see if I can improve.

    Thanks for the great blog!

  • You are AMAZING! Thank you for sharing your frugal life with us. I have saved lots of bucks since I started reading your blog. I have your button on my blog so that my friends can join us on the frugal journey.

    Thanks, Tina, for mentioning Kool-aid as an ingredient in play dough. That’s what I do with it!

  • Sarah says:

    I tried shopping at Wal-Mart today & like many other shopping trips I’ve tried, I had quiet some trouble with the cashier >=o. She didn’t want to let me use my $3/2 Huggies Clean Team Flushable wipes because it didn’t say “refill packs”… IT SAID ANY. The supervisor came & tried telling me the sameee thing. We went back & forth till I pointed out that one of the coupons had gone through she simply didn’t want to pass the rest. So she told the cashier to pass them & she left. Then, the cashier refused to let me buy two Schick Razor Disposable packs with two coupons [1 buy one get 1 free & one $2 off] saying that I would have to buy another one in order to use the buy 1 get 1 free coupon, which would defeat the purpose! THEN to put the icing on the cake, she didn’t let me use a $3 off any two Head And Shoulders coupon for three trial sized Head And Shoulders… I left the razors & Head And Shoulders… I was so tired and frustrated. Any suggestions on how to handle this if you have a short fuse & these people obviously haven’t ben trained?

  • Diane says:

    I left the house today thinking it was going to be a so-so savings day but I came home having purchased over $500.00 wrth of merchandise for $53.00!!! I am so excited and so grateful for all the suggestions and help from everyone!Thank you!

  • Lynn says:

    Diane,

    Congrats! I would certainly be celebrating if I were you!

  • Heather says:

    Sarah,
    I had been having major problems at 2 different Walmart stores and 1 Target store. So, I contacted corporate customer service for each and explained my problems and asked what their coupon policies were. Sure enough, within 48 hours, I heard from managers at both Walmarts, but still nothing from Target. Both Walmarts said they were bringing up the correct coupon procedures at cashier meetings and they actually thanked me for contacting them.

  • SarahG says:

    Sarah~ I had the same problem yesterday at WalMart. I was so frustrated and had to get back to work so I just had my transaction cancelled and sent an email to corporate about my experience (that on and in the past) and asked why every cashier and manager has a different interpretation of the coupon policy. I hope the issues are addressed and the WalMart experiences will get better:)

  • Courtney says:

    I’ve started a new blog to track deals in the St Louis metro area so feel free to check it out and pass on any great deals you see. I had a great time at Walgreens this week–one of my best ever in terms of ease and success in getting my deals to work!

    http://stlouiscents.blogspot.com

  • Rachel says:

    Awesome finds! You inspire me to try to do even better! This week I spent $55 at Kroger and saved $59! I am still new to using coupons so I am learning as I go!

  • Sheila says:

    WTG & Praise God! I always have to pray before I shop with my 6 kids. But I’m blessed that Grandma usually watches them for me when I do my shopping. That there is an answer to prayer! 😉 BTW, love your site and I’m by every day.

  • Jessica says:

    My ad was different and the specials were much worse (Columbus, OH). So frustrating, because I had my deals planned out per what was on your site and on iheartcvs.com, and all that time was wasted since the deals here were entirely different! Boo hoo!

  • Jenny says:

    I see that plenty of people gave you playdough recipes, but I had another use for your kool-aid. When I was a kid, my mom saved a bunch and then one of the activities at my birthday party was that we tie-died shirts with it!!! We REALLY had a blast, and it was one of the neatest party favors ever. We used inexpensive mens undershirts that she’d found multipacks of at a discount store and those red and yellow squirt bottles that you see at picnics to aim the colors.

    Here is a page with a few different recipes.
    http://www.epilogsys.com/ScoutingWeb/SubPages/KoolAid.htm

    The darker colors of Kool-aid work the best. A year later, another friend of mine did the same thing at her party, except we tie-dyed cheap white cotton towels to make super cool beach towels.

  • Amanda says:

    Hey! I have a recipe for all of those unneeded koolaid packets. Check it out at http://www.helpforthejourney.blogspot.com

  • Amy F says:

    Thanks for the reminder that God helps us in all things…I am trying to get my toddler to nap and he is refusing, so now I am asking God to help us:)
    My mom used Kool-Aid to flavor frosting for cupcakes. I doubt she follows a recipe, but they were beautifully-colored and my little friends were impressed:)

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