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Tag Archive: My Shopping Trips

I had my first “bad” shopping trip at Kroger in awhile + my grocery totals for this week

Sometimes our couponing shopping trips don't go as expected...

I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 grocery budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our disclosure policy here.

I went to Kroger on Friday to pick up some deals that had popped up in the past few days and to spend the $32 I still had left in our grocery budget for the week to spend.

I had a l-o-n-g list of things I was hoping to buy. And I didn’t have a lot of time to shop.

I also knew that I was going to be doing multiple Buy 5 Participating Items, Get $5 Off deals. Because you can mix and match items, but you also need to have exactly 5 items. And our store was out of or didn’t have certain items I had planned to buy (or maybe I just couldn’t find them?)

Then, while I was shopping, I checked my e-coupons that I had loaded to my account and discovered that at least 5 of them that I had thought were on there weren’t loaded anymore (I’m guessing maybe they had expired?). So that changed what I was going to buy, too.

Because of these hiccups and because I had to revamp my list of what I was planning to buy in the store, it took me at least 30 minutes to shop — which is about twice as long as usual!

Then, I got up to the self-checkout and realized that I probably had more items in my cart than was really “acceptable” for self-checkout. I mean, they don’t say there’s a limit for self-checkout, but they also don’t offer a lot of space to put groceries after you’ve rung them up.

(I usually always use self-checkout because it allows me to take my time and double-check the screen carefully to make sure that all of my e-coupons came off and that all of the specials/sale prices were correct.)

I decided to just bag my groceries and stick them in the cart as soon as I rang them up. This worked well and everything was going to smoothly… until I needed to ring up my coupons and rain checks.

The Kroger employees are usually so kind and helpful and gracious, but I think that this woman was just overwhelmed and had a lot on her plate because she acted like I was a big inconvenience.

I tried to be as gracious and kind as possible, but she was upset that I had a rain check and I had already rung up the items on the rain check (I haven’t used a raincheck in a long time and haven’t used one at self-checkout so I didn’t know I should just wait and have them ring the items up individually.)

And then she was upset when she also discovered that the rain check was for the 4-day sale items. She told me in no uncertain terms that I was not supposed to have gotten a rain check and she needed to “train her employees better”. Clearly, you all were right about saying that they shouldn’t have given me a rain check on the 4-day sale items! Live and learn.

(Note: Our store hasn’t had signage on the 4-day sales that says “while supplies last” nor have they posted anything about “no rain checks” on the 4-day or 1-day sale items. But it appears that this is likely the direction they are going based upon what she said and based upon what the rest of you have told me.)

She said that since they had written me a rain check, she would honor it. But then she had a really hard time voiding the five items and re-ringing it up correctly. She finally got it to work, but I could tell she was really frustrated.

Again, I just tried to be grateful — and I was also grateful that I only had a few other paper coupons in addition to the raincheck! I’m not sure what she would have done had I had a big stack of coupons!

One thing I learned: it’s honestly so much easier to do the smaller trips. I know some of you have commented about how that seems like so much more work and how you can’t imagine going to the store multiple times per week.

But truthfully, I realized that it’s so much less complicated to only go in and buy 8-12 items and use 1-2 coupons + a few e-coupons, then to have purchased 30 items, have a raincheck for 5 items, a coupon for a free item, a few other coupons, multiple e-coupons, plus 4 different Buy 5, Get $5 off transactions.

Whew! So I survived the shopping trip and I got some great deals, but I wanted to share the details of this trip with you to encourage you that not every shopping trip is a home run for me!

I was super excited to find this deal in store — and I’ve not seen anyone post about it elsewhere so I wanted to call attention to it here. The Santa Cruz drinks (lemonade, raspberry lemonade, strawberry lemonade, and more!) are on sale for $0.99 when you buy 5 participating items.

I was already considering getting some of these because they are organic and so delicious. But then, as I was looking at them, I discovered that some of the bottles had hangtag coupons on them for $1 off 2 bottles!

So I ended up getting 4 bottles — for just $0.49 each after the coupon! Definitely check your store to see if you find these coupons, too!

Friday Kroger Shopping Trip

  • 2 boxes of Cheerios — $1.48 each when you purchase 5 participating items
  • 3 packages of Goldfish crackers — $0.99 each when you purchase 5 participating items
  • 1 Gillette shave gel — $0.95 when you purchase 5 participating items
  • 1 Palmolive Dish Detergent — $0.99 when you purchase 5 participating items, used $0.50 e-coupon (no longer available) = $0.49
  • 1 package Kleenex wipes — $0.79 when you purchase 5 participating items, used $1/1 Kroger digital coupon = free + overage!
  • 1 package Nature’s Own hot dog buns — $1.49 when you purchase 5 participating items
  • 1 box Outshine Fruit Bars — $2.49 when you purchase 5 participating items, used $1/1 coupon that Kroger mailed to me = $1.49
  • 6 Greek Yogurts — marked down to $0.49 each
  • 1 Yogurt Mix-Ins — marked down to $0.39
  • 2 bags of apples — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 1 bag of clementines — marked down to $0.99
  • 2 cantaloupes — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 1 gallon milk — $2.69
  • 4 bottles of Santa Cruz lemonade — $0.99 each when you purchase 5 participating items, used 2 $1/2 hangtag coupons = $0.49 each
  • 1 box Cascadian Farms cereal — $2.49 when you purchase 5 participating items, used $1/1 Kroger Digital coupon = $1.49
  • 1 case of DeerPark Sparkling Water — used FREE coupon
  • Total with tax: $32.01

This Week’s Totals

Total spent this week: $69.45! (I can’t believe how close I got it to $70 this week!!)

Rebates: $0.25 for submitting a receipt to Ibotta, I also earned the equivalent of a few dollar back from Fetch Rewards in points for scanning my receipts. I had three receipts that qualified for points + the 500 bonus per receipt (because of the BBQ sauce I bought last week and the Oscar Mayer lunchmeat and Goldfish Crackers I bought this week).

Plus, I earned 200 points per receipt for scanning a few other receipts that had no qualifying items on it. I think I earned the equivalent of about $3 total! If you haven’t signed up for Fetch Rewards, you can sign up here and use code WW7XJ and you’ll get a bonus 2,000 points (worth $2).

Note: 1,000 points = $1 in gift cards on Fetch Rewards.

And I’m still loving Fetch Rewards, but I’ll keep you posted. I’m curious to see if I can actually earn $5+ in Amazon gift cards every month just for scanning my receipts and buying things I’m already planning to buy! You can read some of my initial thoughts here.

This Week’s $70 Menu Plan & Kroger $29 Shopping Trip

This $70 Grocery Budget for a family of 5 is SO inspiring! She even shares her menu plan each week!

I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 grocery budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our disclosure policy here.

I was super excited to find eggs marked down at Kroger yesterday! We love eggs — fried, scrambled, hard-boiled, egg casserole, you name it! I bought six dozen — enough to last us at least three weeks!

I also stocked up on the Johnsonville Brats for just $1.99 per package — these will be great for grilling out! I’m trying to slowly stock our freezer with meat that will be great for grilling so we can have friends over for some impromptu cookouts this summer!

Here’s everything I bought…

Monday Kroger Shopping Trip — $29.85

Always Ask for a Raincheck!

They were out of the Townhouse and Club crackers that were supposed to be just $0.99 per box with the digital coupon, so I got a raincheck so I can get 5 boxes as soon as they are back in stock. If your store is out of something, always go to guest services and ask for a raincheck! It just takes a minute and it means you don’t have to miss out on the deal!

For more details on my shopping trip, watch my video above. (And you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here if you’re interested in watching other shopping haul videos, recipe videos, and more money-saving videos!)

Have You Signed Up for Fetch Rewards?

One of my readers recommended that I sign up for Fetch Rewards because I bought Oscar Mayer products. I’m still checking Fetch Rewards out and, so far, I don’t like it as much as I like Ibotta. (I also sporadically use Checkout 51… though I find that it’s harder to earn $$ on Checkout 51 just because I don’t buy many things that they have offers for.)

But I’m going to test it out and keep you posted! Have you signed up for it yet? If not, you can sign up here and use code WW7XJ and you’ll get a bonus 2,000 points (worth $2).

This Week’s Super Simple Menu Plan

This menu is subject to change a little if I find some great deals or markdowns! 🙂

Breakfasts

Fried/Scrambled Eggs, Baked Oatmeal, Fruit, Toast

Lunches

Ham Sandwiches, Ma & Cheese, Chips/Salsa, Fruit, Veggies, Leftovers, Eggs, Yogurt, Salad

Snacks

Marked Down Yogurt, Fruit, Slab Apple Pie (from the freezer — we served this when we had guests last week and had some leftovers)

Dinners

Monday — Dinner Out at The Cheesecake Factory (our realtor gave us a gift card as a thank you when we bought our house and we saved it to use for summer break!)
Tuesday — Ham Sandwiches, Chips, Salsa, Apples (Jesse and Kathrynne are going to be gone this night.)
Wednesday — Grilled Brats, Corn on the Cob, Grilled Peppers, Cantaloupe
Thursday — Haystacks
Friday — Breakfast for dinner: Waffles, Eggs, Sausage
Saturday — Leftover Pizza (I froze some of the leftover pizza from our dinner with guests last week!), Veggies
Sunday — Snack-y Dinner (fend for yourself — cereal, leftovers, etc.)

Freezer Cooking to Do: WafflesBaked Oatmeal

Total spent so far this week: $28.95

Total left to spend: $40.15

Rebates: $0.25 for submitting a receipt to Ibotta

Hospitality on a $70 Budget + GREAT deals at Kroger this weekend!

You can show hospitality even on a small grocery budget! This post is so inspiring!!

I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 grocery budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our disclosure policy here.

One of the best parts of this $70/week grocery budget challenge is not that we’re saving a few hundred dollars every month (though I’m stoked about that!) nor is it the fact that I’ve been re-invigorated to fill our freezer with food (we currently have close to 15 meals in there and I’m slowly adding to the stash every week!).

The best part is that buying ahead and stocking up on the sales and markdowns and being more of a strategic shopper means we have a lot more food at our house at any one given time — which means that spontaneous hospitality is so much easier to pull off!

Wednesday morning, I had the idea to invite a mom and her four kids over for dinner. She just recently moved to the area with her kids and I well remember what a big move like that is like!

I looked in our fridge and cupboards and realized I had just bought 7 pounds of marked down meat the day before, plus I had corn on the cob, marked down potatoes, and some frozen broccoli.

So we invited her family over plus two other families from church. I texted everyone and said that I was just making what I already had on hand. It wouldn’t be anything fancy, but we’d love to have them!

We ended up having 18 people for dinner — and we had plenty of food! Meatballs, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, roasted broccoli, and the other women offered to bring salad, mac and cheese, and fruit.

It was simple, it was inexpensive, and it was an evening of laughter, great conversation, and games.

Hospitality doesn’t have to require a lot of extra time or special ingredients. It doesn’t even mean you need to spend more $$ to pull off.

Hospitality is about welcoming people into your real life and bringing your real, imperfect selves to the table. It’s about saying, “Welcome! I want to share what we have with you. Come as you are and pull up a chair!”

While I was working on making food for our guests on Wednesday, Kaitlynn made two dinners’ worth of Spaghetti Casserole. We just made up the recipe using pasta we had gotten marked down, cheese I got on sale, pasta sauce I got from Aldi, ground sausage I got marked down, and cottage cheese I had gotten marked down and had frozen.

Kroger has some GREAT sales this weekend! Download their digital coupons (they are good through Monday evening) to get Seedless Watermelon for just $1.99 each (you can purchase up to 5 watermelon in one transaction at this price).

They also have Kroger Ice Cream Sandwiches and Fruit Bars for just $0.99 per box with the digital coupon (you can get up to 5 boxes in one transaction at this price).

I got the watermelon to take to a picnic we’re attending tonight where we’re supposed to bring enough of a side dish to feed 15 people and I got the ice cream sandwiches for tomorrow evening since we’re having two families over for pizza!

My total for the 5 boxes of bars/ice cream sandwiches + the watermelon was $9.49 — bringing my grand total for this week in grocery expenditures to $68, $2 under my $70 grocery budget!

Total spent so far this week: $68 (Yes! $68 even!)

Total left to spend: $2

Rebates: $1.50 Ibotta rebate for buying the 2 Fage yogurts, $0.25 Ibotta rebate for submitting my receipt, + a second $0.25 Ibotta rebate for submitting another receipt.

See our $70 menu plan for this week. See all my posts about our $70 grocery budget here.

My $30 Kroger Stock-Up Shopping Trip (I got great deals on laundry detergent and barbecue sauce!)

I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 grocery budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our disclosure policy here.

Kaitlynn had her end of school Awards Day all morning on Tuesday morning, so I didn’t get any freezer cooking done. But I did find some great deals at Kroger!

I was going to do the Buy 4, Get $4 Off Deal, but I only had 3 ALL laundry detergents and our store didn’t have the the razors I was going to buy, so I hopped onto KrogerKrazy.com on my phone in the store to see if there were any new deals that had popped up since the last time I checked.

And low and behold, there was a hot tip about how Kraft barbecue sauce was marked down (for one day only!) to just $0.25 each when you buy 4 participating items — no coupons needed!

So, of course, I grabbed some of them up! I decided to get 5 bottles because I think that will last us for at least 3-5 months.

Note to self: Always remember to check KrogerKrazy.com when I’m in-store so I don’t miss a hot deal tip!

Kroger Shopping Trip — $30.04

  • 2 lbs. Ground Turkey — marked down to $2.09 each
  • 4 pears — marked down to $0.99
  • 5 apples — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 3 jars of Oui yogurt — marked down to $0.59 each
  • 2 Dreaming Cow Grassfed yogurt — marked down to $0.59 each
  • Eggs — $2.79
  • 1 bottle of nail polish remover — $1
  • 1 gallon milk — $2.79
  • 5 lbs. of sausage — marked down to $1.69 each
  • 5 bottles of Kraft Barbecue Sauce — $0.25 each when you buy 4 participating items (offer no longer valid)
  • 3 bottles of ALL laundry detergent — $1.99 each when you buy 4 participating items (offer no longer valid), Used 2 $1/1 all Product printable
  • + $1/1 digital coupon (no longer available) = $0.99 each after sale and coupons
  • Total with tax: $30.04

Total spent so far this week: $58.51

Total left to spend: $11.19

Rebates: $1.50 Ibotta rebate for buying the 2 Fage yogurts, $0.25 Ibotta rebate for submitting my receipt, + a second $0.25 Ibotta rebate for submitting another receipt.

See our $70 menu plan for this week. See all my posts about our $70 grocery budget here.

This Week’s $70 Menu Plan + Saturday’s Kroger Stock-Up Shopping Trip

This $70 Grocery Budget Challenge for a family of 5 is SO inspiring!! Follow along for all kinds of great menu planning ideas and savings tips!

I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 grocery budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our disclosure policy here.

I had every intention of getting these Southwest Rollups done for Friday’s Freezer Cooking post. But alas I productively procrastinated on them and didn’t get them done before I had to get that post done.

But I did get them done! We had one pan for dinner that night and I put two bags of rollups in the freezer.

This is such a simple, frugal, and delicious recipe that we have loved for YEARS.

In fact, it would be fascinating to see how many of these I have made over the years. It’s probably an insane number! 🙂

Fun fact: This was a recipe that Jesse’s family loved and I love that it’s become one of our family favorites. These make such great quick lunches or snacks!

The freezer is filling up!! We currently have 9 dinners, 3 breakfasts, and 2 desserts in there. I’m aiming to have 30 meals in here by the end of June. We’ll see!

Kroger has been having fantastic Saturday only sales in recent weeks.

I was thrilled with the butter and water sale — two items that we use a lot!

You could buy up to 5 packs of butter for $1.99 each with the digital coupon — so, of course, I bought 5! We will stick these in the freezer and they should hopefully last us for two months (we usually use about 2 to 2 1/2 sticks of butter per week).

And I bought 3 cases of water — I found out later that the 32-packs were included in this sale. But they weren’t marked as such at our store, so oh well! We usually wash and re-use water bottles at least a few times before tossing them so this should (hopefully) last us all summer and will be so handy for time at the pool and road trips and other summer adventures!

Kroger Shopping Trip — $28.47

  • 5 packages of Kroger butter — $1.99 each with Saturday Digital Coupon offer
  • 3 cases of water — $1.99 each with Saturday Digital Coupon offer
  • 1 Larabar — FREE Friday Digital coupon offer
  • Chocolate syrup — $1.59
  • Disposable bowls — $2
  • 1 yogurt — marked down to $0.29
  • 2 Fage yogurts — marked down to $0.49 each (got $0.75 back per yogurt — Ibotta rebate)
  • 2 bags of apples — marked down to $0.99 each
  • 12 ears of corn — 4 for $0.99 each
  • 1 organic cauliflower — $0.99 each
  • Total with tax: $28.47

We had our Community Group (four other families) over for an Ice Cream Social. We provided bowls, cups, napkins, and spoons and chocolate syrup and cookies. Two families brought toppings and two families brought ice cream and we had a great get-together that was super simple and inexpensive for everyone!

Silas made some Homemade Oobleck last night and the kids had so much fun playing with it. This would be a great frugal fun activity for summer.

This morning, Silas and I made Homemade Pizza Dough on Facebook Live. I had planned to make a double batch and freeze half of it, but I realized that we were getting down the bottom of the flour jar. So we just made one pizza crust.

This boy loves helping me in the kitchen — and he just better and better at cooking and baking!

I hadn’t made dough on our new kitchen table until today. I wasn’t sure how it would clean up, but I’m so happy to say that it wiped right off. I continue be so happy that we chose this table for our kitchen. I just love how sturdy it is and how easily it cleans up!

Silas helped me knead the dough and I taught him what dough should feel like when it’s ready.

We couldn’t find our pizza pan and I’m guessing that somehow it disappeared in the move or that Kaitlynn may have confiscated it for some craft project and I just haven’t discovered it yet (she’s always making all sorts of crafts and projects and I try to encourage it as much as possible, thought I do sometimes have to tell her that my kitchen pans aren’t up for grabs — especially if they are going to get destroyed in the process of her experimentation! ;))

Silas made the pizza entirely by himself — from rolling out the dough, to putting on the sauce, to thawing the chicken from the freezer, to grating the cheese, to pre-heating the oven.

I only had to give a tiny bit of coaching! I am so excited with just how capable my kids are becoming and how much all those years of letting them help me in the kitchen had paid off!

Silas’ finished pizza! This will be our dinner tonight. Yum!

You can watch us make the Pizza Dough live in the video above.

This Week’s Super Simple Menu Plan

This menu is subject to change a little if I find some great deals or markdowns! 🙂

Breakfasts

Cereal, Baked Oatmeal, Eggs, Fruit, Toast

Lunches

Ham & Cheese Sandwiches, Chips, Fruit, Veggies, Capri Sun, Cream Cheese Blueberry Muffins, (for the kids) Leftovers, Eggs, Yogurt, Pita Pocket Sandwiches, Salad (for me & Jesse)

Snacks

Whatever I Find on Sale/Marked Down (That works for snacks!), Ice Cream (our friends left the rest of the ice cream at our house from the ice cream social!), Yogurt, Cereal, Fruit, Popcorn

Dinners

Monday — Homemade Chicken Salsa Pizza, Apples
Tuesday — Spaghetti Casserole, Peas, Naan
Wednesday — Meatballs, Corn on the Cob, Homemade French Fries
Thursday — Haystacks
Friday — Picnic at Kathrynne’s School — we’re supposed to bring enough of a side dish to feed 15 people — I’m thinking of doing Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes since those always seem popular at potluck style dinners and I have all those potatoes that I got marked down. I may change my mind depending upon what markdowns I find.
Saturday — Takeout Pizza (we’re having friends over for dinner but we’re going to be gone all day long so I’m keeping it crazy simple!)
Sunday — Snack-y Dinner (fend for yourself — cereal, leftovers, etc.)

Total spent so far this week: $28.47

Total left to spend: $41.53

Rebates: $1.50 Ibotta rebate for buying the 2 Fage yogurts, $0.25 Ibotta rebate for submitting my receipt

My $32 ALDI Shopping Trip + Homemade Crinkle Fries & an easy way to earn $0.50!

I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 grocery budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we will be compensated if you click through and sign up. Read our disclosure policy here.

I had planned to do a full Freezer Cooking Day on Tuesday, but I only ended up making a double batch of Turkey Meatballs and 4 pans of Baked Oatmeal.

I’m planning to make a double batch of Southwest Rollups tomorrow and then I’ll share more about my freezer cooking this week in tomorrow’s post (and show you an update on how our freezer is filling up!)

Remember those potatoes I got marked down? I turned half a bag of them into Oven-Baked Crinkle Fries — which we all LOVED! I made them similar to my Sweet Potato Fries recipe, only I used Olive Oil and then sprinkled them with salt and garlic pepper.

(My friend, Melissa, gave me this Crinkle Cutter and it is the best EVER. It makes chopping and eating veggies and fruits so much more fun and interesting!)

Thursday’s ALDI Shopping Trip — $32.42

  • 1 gallon water –$0.79
  • 3 lb. boneless chicken breasts — $5.99
  • 2 cans refried beans — $0.75 each
  • 1 bag onions — $0.99
  • Iceberg lettuce — $0.85
  • 1 bag of mini cucumbers — $1.99
  • Milk — $2.69
  • 2 bags of frozen peas — $0.95
  • Baby lettuce — $1.89
  • Baby carrots — $0.99
  • Radishes — $0.49
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil — $2.99
  • 2 bags frozen broccoli — $1.19 each
  • Pasta Sauce — $0.99
  • 1 can black beans — $0.55
  • 1 can diced tomatoes — $0.45
  • 3 boxes of Mac & Cheese — $0.33 each
  • Pure Cane Sugar — $1.95
  • Total with tax — $32.42

Total spent so far this week: $68.60

Want to hear more of why I shop at Kroger more often than ALDI + all sorts of other interesting tidbits, including what I do when a troll shows up on FB live? Watch the video above.

Make $0.50 in a Minute!

READER TIP: “Just wanted to give you a heads up. You might already know this but every Thursday there is a video you can watch to receive money for on Checkout 51. Today there were two. The videos are usually at the very bottom along with rebates for Sam’s club. I watched mine and remembered that one time I didn’t and I missed the rebate. You’ll get $0.25 for each video today. – a reader” Sign up for Checkout 51 here. (I just did this and it totally worked!)

Curious what we’re eating this week? Check out this week’s $70 Menu Plan here.