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Super Savings Saturday: My Double Dollar Coupon Shopping Trip

I planned to go shopping on Monday. But that didn't end up working out and then the whole week sped by at breakneck speed until all of a sudden it was Friday and I still hadn't gone to the store. So we ended up having an unexpected and unplanned-for Eating from the Pantry and Freezer Week.

And honestly? We didn't really seem to notice.

That's truly the beauty of having a good stockpile of food. It's also the blessing of having friends who continue to share their garden bounties with us. I've hardly purchased any vegetables for weeks now, because people just keep sharing with us. Since we had a flopped container garden experiment this year and our current landlords don't allow us to till up part of the yard and put in a garden, we've been so thankful for friends who having shared from their garden surpluses with us.

I hope we can return the favor soon. But I promise I won't leave any sacks of zucchini on anyone's porches. We grew about twenty too many plants of those the first year we moved out to the country growing up and I can hardly stand to look zucchini in the eye again as a result!

At any rate, we managed to survive eight days of not stepping into a store without any issues whatsoever. But when I heard my sister, sister-in-law, and Mom were hitting a local store's Double Dollar Coupon promotion today, I quickly decided it was high time to go shopping again.

I didn't have my coupons all that organized. In fact, I'd neglected them last week because of our trip to Atlanta so they were heaping out of my coupon box–some cut, some inserts whole, and printables strewn about mixed in. (See? For those of you who often write me thinking I have it all put together, here's proof that I'm as normal as it comes. My superwoman cape disappeared in the laundry along with some socks a number of years ago!) My sister came to my rescue and helped me scramble and get some organization in place before we left for the store.

As a result, here's what I came home with:

Download

2 boxes Oreo Cakesters
2 packages of Reese's
1 can Dole pineapple
4 cans of Pringles
1 bottle of Ken's salad dressing
1 carton of Dannon yogurt
4 4-packs of Musselman's applesauce
2 4-packs of Dannon yogurt
3 bottles of Pert Plus
1 bag of shredded cheese
1 bottle of Dawn dish soap
3 bottles of Tabasco sauce
1 Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
1 2-pack of Olay soap
1 3-lb bag of Jonagold apples
2 other apples (We're studying apples in our homeschool unit next week, so I'm trying to buy as many different kinds of apples as I can.)
5 packages of Schick disposable razors
1 bar Johnson's baby soap
3 cans of shaving gel
1 Reach floss
2 packages of whole-wheat lasagna noodles
2 packages of whole-wheat spaghetti noodles
3 packages of other whole-wheat noodles

Also pictured are 2 dozen farm-fresh eggs we bought from my brother who raises chickens.

Before coupons, my total was almost $85. After coupons, I paid $23.58 for everything pictured! I came home re-energized to organize my coupons again and after doing so, I found quite a few more so I think I'm going to head back to this local grocery store again tomorrow to do another Double Dollar Coupon transaction and I'm also planning to stop by Dillon's for their Buy 10, Get $5 Off Mega Event.

I currently have almost $75 in grocery money left to spend in September on our $40/week grocery budget so I'm excited to see how far I can stretch the rest of that. As I mentioned earlier this month, I've been trying to stay under budget like last month so I'd have some money left over to put towards another bulk purchase. It's looking quite feasible at this point.

But I just have to figure out what I want to stock up on… Oats? Frozen Fruit? Butter? Cheese? Coconut Oil? Oh, the possibilities!

I'm even seriously considering investing in some vanilla since so many of you suggested we really shouldn't live without it!

We'll see what I finally narrow it down to! One thing I do know, it has to be something which we'll use a lot of and which will keep well for at least a few months–if not more.

——————————–
Did you snag any great deals or bargains this week or save money in other ways?
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their efforts to save money, links which have little-to-no content
other than promoting affiliate links, etc. will be deleted. Also, to
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link must link directly to your Super Savings Saturday post.

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40 Comments

  • Melissa G says:

    Hi there! I’m fairly new to following your blog, and couponing. I love all the great deals and free stuff that you post about. Thank you so much!

    I’ve been using coupons for a while, but I’ve just newly done research on getting the most bang for each coupon. The thing that I notice though is that much of the food you get at really great prices is not really so healthy. . . chips, candy, cookies, and lots of processed stuff which could definitely be left out of the grocery budget totally. I have a terrible sweettooth and really love all that stuff, but if I got that much I know it would not be so good for my waistline. Is there way to coupon and get healthy stuff, or does the couponing really only work for the junk food? I don’t seem to find a lot of coupons for fresh foods, and healthy meal/baking supplies. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place? Any suggestions?

    ***************
    Money Saving Mom here: I started to respond to your comment, Melissa, and then it turned into a “book” so I’m going to save it to run as a post next week. Look for it on Tuesday and thanks for asking such a great question! 🙂

  • DebbieQ says:

    I have begun to make my own vanilla extract. It is MUCH cheaper let me tell you and it is a vastly superior product to what you would pay for in the store.

    two vanilla beans split open but seeds left intact
    2 cups bourbon
    put it in a small mason jar, close lid tightly and put on a shelf in the pantry to “cure” for 2 months.

  • julie says:

    You gotta love double dollar coupons!
    I recently had some leftover money in my grocery budget and used it to get 40 pounds of chicken for my freezer. We have a restaurant supply house that sells to the general public. To get the lowest price, we had to get five 40-pound cases of chicken. One neighbor picked it up and five of us now have a freezer fully of chicken.

  • Lea says:

    If you do end up buying vanilla, consider a bulk purchase of that! We buy vanilla at Sam’s Club – a 16oz bottle for about $7. That’s so much cheaper than the tiney bottles they sell for about the same price at the grocery store. I’m sure there’s other places you can get the big amounts like that too. We use a LOT of vanilla (almost always double the recipe amount and add it where it’s not called for!) and that lasts us about 6-8 months.

    You are so fortunate to get the double coupons all the time! We don’t have anywhere here that does them on a regular basis. When they do, it’s one day about once every 4-6 months and then you can only double 5 coupons under $1. I keep dreaming someone will change that!

    Thanks for your inspiring posts!
    Lea

  • esther says:

    My vote is popcorn! We go through a 50 lb. bag in less than six months. A little oil and salt and a quick and easy snack. Some butter and sugar and agave nectar -caramel corn. You can also do popcorn and milk like in Farmer boy, with a little sugar and cinnamon too. There are lots of popcorn recipes out there. My quick fix for potlucks and such is a bowl of caramel corn, it vanishes quickly!

  • Stacey Linn says:

    You could make your own vanilla. It’s basicly just vodka and vanilla beans, but you should look up a recipie online. Vanilla beans are expensive, so it is not exactly cheap, even to make, but the quality is uncomparable.

  • lizajane says:

    I didn’t know zucchini had eyes! LOL (Ours did since squash bugs invaded….lots of eyes).

    Great shopping trip! Thanks for all your tips and tricks. Keep up the super work.

  • Jaynee says:

    If you buy vanilla, consider getting La Vencedora out of Mexico. We buy the 32 oz. bottles they last forever. We even gave two bottles to my mother as a gift when she used it at our house and loved it. It’s GREAT in cookies and muffins, but we use it for everything.

  • Janey says:

    If you know someone visiting Mexico or near the border, have them pick up a bottle for you. You can get a huge bottle for $5.

  • story says:

    Yikes! I posted my giveaway link on the wrong linky! It’s the poster print one, please delete it! Sorry!

  • Rosanne says:

    I agree- your extra money should go towards vanilla. The good stuff, not that imitation stuff. Start using a tiny bit in your pancake batter, when you whip up cream, lots of yummy things. You will soon find out it is as essential a purchase as toilet paper. 🙂

  • Molly says:

    I second the previous comment on Mexican vanilla. If you know anyone who travels to Mexico or plans to go there on vacation, you can buy about a 32 oz. bottle for about $1.50. The only twist is that it has a slight cinnamon taste.

  • Lisa says:

    I love reading about your great buys, and so impressed with your $40 budget a week, and the fact that you are going UNDER that amazes me!! Most of the stores around here are locally owned grocery stores, and are not all that great with the coupons and specials/catalinas. I have a budget for about $170 for groceries every 2 weeks, and am slowly starting to go under that, and getting more for my money with coupons. I would be thrilled to only spend $80 every 2 weeks on groceries! Great job!

  • Heather says:

    I would say to stock up either popcorn, or oats. You can put the popcorn in your grain mill and make your own cornbread, and the oats are soooo much cheaper when you get them in “mass” quantities…I get them for about $.25/lb here. I love living near all these Amish bulk food stores! 🙂

  • Maria says:

    I third(?) the Mexican vanilla. My Aunt brings me back a giant bottle of it from her yearly trips. $5, it lasts all year. And I always double it in recipes!

  • Allie says:

    Jewel Osco thhas a promotion going on were if you buy 10 items of certain Kellogg’s products you get each item for 1.50. I bought 5 boxes of Rice Krispies, 2 Keebler Cookies, 2 keebler crackers, 1 Rice Krispies treats. I used 5- $1.00 any rice krispie cereal, 1-$1.00 off 2 keebler crackers, and 1-Jewel catalina $2.00 coupon. My total was $7.00 for those ten items, plus they all count towards the $10 reabte from Kelloggs if you buy 10 participating items. So after all coupons and rebates, I made a $3.00 profit 😀

  • Katie says:

    I say make your own vanilla! Heavenly Homemakers had a great tutorial on it not too long ago. http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/blog/making-homemade-vanilla-extract-aka-why-laura-bought-a-gallon-of-vodka

  • Alicia says:

    I’m dying to see what your cupboards look like and how you store all this food. I have plenty of storage at my house but many of my friends live in apartments and use storage as an excuse not to coupon shop! Pictures please!!

  • Erin says:

    You can get Kirkland brand (costco brand) at Costco if you have a membership, or even a friend with a membership. 16 oz (1 pint) for a little over $6!!! Shopping at Costco doesn’t always save money, but thanks to my coupon skills I’ve been able to spot some really good deals.

    glad to see you will start using vanilla, it really does add a little special something to baked goods. Yum!

  • Ginger says:

    Which stores in your town double dollar coupons? I can only find one that double $.50.
    Thanks

    **********************
    Money Saving Mom here: Email me and I’ll be glad to share.

    Thanks so much!

  • Rochele says:

    Hi, first off I want to say that I am a HUGE fan of your blog! I have one question though and it has plauged me ever since I started following you about a yr ago, and that is how do you get by without buying milk?? What do you do? Milk is a huge staple in our home and we buy three gallons per week, I just am curious as to how you get by without buying any milk every week.

    **********************
    Money Saving Mom here: We do buy milk, but only go through about 1/2 to 3/4 of a gallon per week so that’s why it’s not always in my shopping trip pictures. We don’t drink much milk at all (none of us really like it, so we get our calcium from other sources) and I often dilute it in our baking. If I find milk greatly reduced, I buy it and freeze it, too. So we usually have frozen milk in the freezer to use in baking.

    Hope that helps!

  • About the vanilla–Pampered Chef’s is the way to go! If you have a party(sorry, I’m not a consultant, but maybe you know one), you could probably earn it for free! You only use half of what is called for in recipes, and it lasts a long time. I also bake a lot, and I can say that it goes a long way.

  • I just got back from Walgreens and found 5 lb bags of sugar for .80! I’ll post my pics soon, but wanted to pass along this fabulous deal.

  • Angie says:

    Hi,
    where do you make your bulk purchases from the amish store that you posted about? I’ve been searching high and low for a place to buy wheat berries and other grains like you posted about last month, and haven’t found anything near me. I keep posting the question here, but never seem to get a response. Thanks so much!

    *********************
    Money Saving Mom here: My sister bought it for me in the state she lives in. I don’t know any other details on it other than that it is an Amish Bulk Foods store. I’d recommend asking around in your area to see if there is possibly something like this.

    Hope that helps!

  • A. says:

    Thank you for your excellent blog. I am learning so much from it. I am really looking forward to next week’s post about healthy couponing. Like the first commenter, I too find that most food coupons are for processed food. I found myself buying food that was unhealthy simply because it was inexpensive. I’ve tried to stop doing that, but I really do enjoy some of those foods that I buy 🙂

  • dona says:

    FYI, our local Sams club has half gallons of vanilla for only 4.35. If you have a family member that happens to have a membership..then I will check out sams or cosco for vanilla 🙂 I recently purchased a humongous container of laundry detg and a 25lb bag of rice..way cheaper than any sells I have seen in a long time.

  • Stephanie says:

    How much Acai juice did you drink to get those results? DId you just incorporate along with your regular eating?

    *******************
    Money Saving Mom here: Yes, I just drank an 8-oz. glass in the morning and sometimes an 8 oz. glass in the afternoon and then just ate a balanced diet with moderate portions. I am also breastfeeding, though, so I know that has to play a part in it. I think the Vitamin B in the Acai juice helped to jump start my metabolism or something because ever since I started drinking it, I’ve been much, much hungrier! 🙂

  • Micaiah says:

    I just have to put in my two cents concerning the vanilla . . . next time you know someone vacationing in Mexico, have them pick you up a bottle of vanilla. I grew up living close to the border and have never really used anything else. It costs less than half of what you’d spend in a grocery store here ($4/$5 for 12 oz. or so) and it tastes SO much better. Not to mention that a bottle that size will last you years. I got my current bottle there over three years ago, I use it often, and I have over half the bottle left still!

  • Erin says:

    Hey Crystal,

    I enjoy visiting your blog. About spending your extra money–I read one place that you spend your Swagbucks on Amazon gift certificates to buy Pampers? Well, Amazon.com sells food also, and I imagine you could easily attach a bottle of it to your diaper order. I haven’t looked, but that is one way to use some of your extra money. Amazon will take e-checks, I’ve done it several times myself, so perhaps you could deposit some of your grocery cash back into your checking account if you did an order. I’m just thinking out loud here, I am not a purist when it comes to the envelope system as long as my grocery amt stays under its alloted budget.

  • Erin says:

    I meant a bottle of vanilla, I didn’t specify that before.

  • Jennifer says:

    I agree with others about either buying vanilla from a warehouse store (like Costco) or make your own. You bake more than me but that size lasts me a while–years. I also think that once you use up the homemade vanilla you can just add more liquor to the existing beans. Two beans might cost you around $7 these days.

  • erin w says:

    i know a lot of other people have posted, but i love this blog, for her homemade vanilla, but also for her other homemade recipes. It’s honestly one of my favorite ever food blogs. anyway, here it is

    http://suzannemcminn.com/blog/2008/02/09/homemade-vanilla-extract/

  • WilliamB says:

    Several recent well-designed experiments, reported on in Consumer Reports and Cook’s Illustrated, show that under most circumstances, no one can tell the difference between artificial vanilla and the real thing. The exceptions are tasting from a spoon (but who does that in real life?) and some experienced tasters when eating flan or custard.

    I can’t bring myself to buy vanillin (food snobbishness can cost!) so now I buy the cheapest real vanilla I can find.

  • airbornewife says:

    Great shopping trip ~ I am always so inspired by seeing how well you do with your food budget and have saved quite a bit by following your blog.. and have also been able to help out so many others. thank you.

  • Christy says:

    Thanks Erin W. for the great site! I have already printed out numerous recipes to try!! I am always so excited to come across a new blog and this is a keeper!

    Also, I have found different recipes for making vanilla extract. Some use vodka & others bourbon. Does anyone have any opinions on which is best to use or are the end results about the same?

    Thanks!!

  • Christy says:

    I’ve had the same question as the first poster, Melissa G. Anxious to read your post on Tuesday! Thanks!! And thanks for always sharing these deals & being honest whether we agree or not. 🙂 I do enjoy reading your blog & you have inspired me in many many ways!!! One way, in fact, is creating a weekly menu. I have never done this before, however, I am getting ready to give it a try & am quite excited about it.

  • Christy says:

    Hi Crystal,

    I went to your link referenced above regarding other ways to supplement your income, which I’m VERY interested in and unfortunately, was unable to read up on any of your comments about mystery shopping, cashcrate, etc. Could you please share some of your comments or provide a new link? Thanks so much!!!

  • Kim says:

    Great job, Crystal!!

    I bake frequently, and I have to tell you that vanilla DOES make a difference. I buy a large bottle iof “real” vanilla in Costco (if you have access to a membership) . I’d avoid the imitation vanilla.

    Kim from Philadelphia

  • JIll says:

    Your feelings about zucchini remind me of my grandfather – whenever you see him in late summer he always reminds you to “lock your car, it’s zucchini season!” Because apparently his friends try to unload their extra zucchini by leaving a bag in your car – and he hates the stuff! Makes me laugh every time!

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