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This week’s $30 shopping trip

I skipped Super Savings Saturday last week due to Mr. Linky's issues and the fact that we were attending the homeschool conference here instead of doing our usual grocery shopping.

However, I did make it to the store yesterday to hit the sales at Dillons and to snag some deals at another local store's Double Coupon Days. I'm still a long way from feeling completely recovered from having a baby or that things are all organized and running smoothly with three littles, but the fact that I took all of them and went grocery shopping by myself felt like a huge victory!

Here's what we bought:

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Before coupons and sales, our total for all of that would have been well over $120. After coupons and sales, we paid a whopping $30 for all of it!

After two successful couponing transactions yesterday, I realized just how much I've missed bargain-shopping over the last two months. In fact, I believe I'm going to have to restrain myself to over the next few weeks while I get back into my "groove" so that I don't go overboard on the coupon-clipping and shopping-trip-planning! 🙂

I'm feeling more and more like my old non-nine-months-pregnant, non-sleep-deprived self is coming back so I'm hopeful to slowly work back into my usual blogging mode over the next few weeks. You all have been incredibly patient as I've taken a break and only posted deals and guest posts for the last number of weeks and I'm looking forward to picking back up some of the well-loved features and writing more posts of substance in the not-too-distant future. Stay tuned!

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41 Comments

  • Shanna says:

    Honey, with three kids under your roof [especially a newborn], you deserve to take a break – or two or three, or however many you need!!! We’ll wait patiently on you…

  • Janice says:

    You are very courageous to go couponing alone with 3 littles. Mine are 5 and 3 year old twins, and I don’t do that anymore. I either wait until dad’s day off, or I get up at 6 am and go while everyone is still sleeping. Congrats that you had such a successful (emotionally?) trip!!

  • beth says:

    you guys love your strawberries!

  • Michelle H. says:

    What a great haul!

    I have to ask, how do you manage to shop with 3 kids? I have tried taking my 3 year old and 10 week old, and by the time I get everyone in the cart I have no room for food. The carseat doesn’t sit securely on top of the cart, so I tried putting the baby in the basket in his car seat and having the 3 year old walk, but that still didn’t leave me much room for my groceries.

    I would love to know how you do it.

  • BeachyMum says:

    Apparently I discovered your blog whilst you were pregnant, so I think it’s been just perfect! 😉

    Congratulations, and *thank you* for the wonderful service that you provide.

    Enjoy these these blessed first moments with your wee one.

  • Allison says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading this blog the past month or so since I’ve discovered it, and you’ve really helped me snag some good deals. And I think it’s neat when you come home from the store with a pile of groceries for only a few dollars.

    But every time I see the picture of your groceries, I wonder something like, “What is she going to cook for dinner with easy mac, salad dressing, and jello?”

    Is this all the grocery shopping you do? Do you have a garden? Or raise your own beef? How do you round out your bargain purchases to get a meal on the table?

  • Ashley says:

    Wow…you did a great job. And I applaud you for shopping with three kids in tow!

  • Jannel says:

    Wow, what a shopping trip for only $30!! That is so great! How do you do it? I really need to get my shopping budget down!

  • fairy dust says:

    very nice haul!!!!!

  • Ann says:

    Congratulations on your shopping trip.
    Look at all the name brands that you got for only $30.
    I am still working on my couponing and bargain shopping skills, so thanks for the motivation.
    I took my kids to the store today and was able to get out of there with a bill of $65.

  • Lote says:

    Wow!! Thats awesome!

  • Stacy says:

    What an awesome shopping trip. I am so impressed that you were able do all that with 3 kiddos in tow. I have trouble with one in tow but I think it’s her age. Congratulations on the new arrival.

  • Deborah says:

    I’m glad you’re feeling better and better 🙂

  • Nancy Karrer says:

    I don’t know how you did it. I wasn’t back to my old self for 12 months. I am not kidding! You are amazing! God is blessing you with an amazing recovery.

  • jackie says:

    wow 120 down to 30?!? thats crazy. and i think my $12 savings is great.. haha

  • Amy L says:

    You are inspiring!! Thanks for all your tips! I have learned A LOT about couponing and saving money and being a better mom because of you.

  • Nicki says:

    You amaze me! I still haven’t ventured out with my two youngest (4 months and 22 months).

    Glad you are feeling more like your old self.

  • MaryEllen says:

    You are incredible! I felt like I was in a coma for 2 months after my first baby was born! Hopefully it’ll be a little better after this next baby! Glad you’re doing well!

  • laura soares says:

    Crystal,

    what are your coupon sources? do you trade, etc? buy them?

    I know how hard 3 littles can be – i think #3 was the hardest. I have 5 girls – 15, 13, 9, 3, and 21 months.
    Take care and enjoy!
    laura

  • Jennifer says:

    I just found your blog a few weeks ago myself…I think you do a fantastic job! Major kudos to you for taking all 3 kids and getting all you did for $30. I clip coupons with the best of them, but I still spend an arm and a leg…what’s the trick??

  • Abbey says:

    I was wondering the same thing as ‘BeachyMum’…how do you prepare meals with those groceries? They look like mostly snack foods to me. Where do you buy your meat, etc?

  • SarahJane says:

    I agree with Janice. Shopping with 3 kiddos must be difficult. Taking hubby with me last Saturday totally threw me off. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great shopper; he just didn’t want to be there for hours so I had to rush. 🙂

  • Shannon says:

    Woo hoo good job

  • Christy says:

    At Kroger they have store brand (comforts) diapers for 6.50 and they have coupons on their website for 3.00 off a pack of comforts diapers. This is a great deal. I use the store brand during the day and save the huggies for night time.

  • Dana says:

    Abbey,

    Because she stock piles foods she is able to buy only the items that are on sale and that she has coupons for each week. So even though this weeks purchases are “snack” type foods, she has other items at home already that she uses to make meals. That way she doesn’t have to buy meat each week, but only on weeks that it is on sale or marked down.

    Hope that helps!

  • carrie says:

    I see lots of Kraft products in there from the recent Kraft coupons available online. Were you lucky enough that your local stores double coupon day included Internet printables?
    And Michelle, I don’t know how Crystal is working things, but personally I’ve found that when an infant is too little to sit in the shopping cart baby seat, it’s easier to carry him in a sling or Baby Bjorn. That’ll free up cart space.
    I’m lucky enough that my oldest is now big enough to walk through the grocery store without getting in too much trouble (usually), so I should be able to just put my 2-year-old in the seat and carry my infant in a carrier when he arrives. And that’ll be just for the summer; after that I’ll DEFINITELY be shopping while the oldest is off at kindergarten. Not an option for you homeschoolers, tho.

  • EmilyV says:

    To answer Beth’s question, when I shopped with a newborn and a 2 year old, I always wore the baby in a sling and put the 2 year old in the cart. When she was tiny, she usually fell asleep right away and slept peacefully while I shopped. I wore her in a sling until she was old enough to sit in a two-seater cart next to her brother. In the winter, when Baby #3 arrives, I plan to put the older two (4.5 and 2.5) in a two-seater cart and wear the baby in a sling.

  • Kathryn says:

    Thank you for all of your hard work. Your are an inspiration and truly are doing great work! Congrats and a very impressive recovery! I love reading your blog.

  • Devon says:

    Great job!

    BeachyMum & Jennifer- that’s the awesome thing about bargain shopping/coupon using/circular shopping! You stockpile things as they go on sale and coupons become available. 10 things of Jell-O one week, 6 boxes of pasta the next, bulk package of ground beef the next! Each week you pick up essentials and the cheaps/freebies when paired with coupons. Your stockpile is always full of yummy meal choices.

    I spend less than $50 each week at the store. I buy most of my meat at Costco. I work that into my $50 budget. A 6 lb package of ground beef is about $13. We use 1/2 pound of meat for dinners (for my husband and I). So we break that 6 lb package of beef into 12 bags (12 dinners!) at about $1.XX a meal. We eat beef 1-2 times a week. So there’s about 6-9 weeks that I don’t have to buy ground beef while shopping. The next week it might be bulk (24) chicken thighs for $11. You get the idea! It was a little confusing at first, but with a bit of planning, it really works!

    Thanks, Money Saving Mom! I love your blog! 🙂

  • Celeste says:

    Crystal–I just saw your blog featured on boston.com! Way to go influetial Mama! I’ve been following your blog for a long time so I was excited to see you mentioned!

  • Lisa says:

    I have been following your blog now for about a year, and everytime you post a shopping picture and I see all the yogurt you buy, I think to myself how do you guys eat all of that before it goes bad? I have trouble finishing just one 6 pack before it goes bad! This is something I have thought about for awhile now and thought I will finally ask!!
    Great job by the way, $30 is just awesome.

  • Roxanne says:

    I too wonder where the meat & veggies are.

    I also really feel gluttonous looking at your spread. We are a family of 4, and never eat out. That’s essentially 84 meal servings per week. Our spread of our weekly eating would be much, much larger than yours. Honestly, your picture looks like barely 3 days of meals for us.

    I think I need to practice better portion control.

  • Stephanie says:

    As the Mom of three grown children all very close in age they are 9 to 10 and 18 mo apart. I know it can be tough to shop and coupon. However, I had been couponing since I was 11 so that didn’t stop me from putting deals together. I see it hasn’t stopped you! Congratulations!!!
    Crystal I have a feeling no matter how many blessings God sends your way you will always manage to take care of your children your home your business, your money and your hubby all with a joyful attitutde!!!! Thank you for all the work on your blog and for bestowing us with your presence every week. I missed the Link on Saturday, I shop now from my bed as I am very sick, mostly by reading your blog. I look forward to Saturday so I can read how all the ladies did. Keep up the great work everyone.

  • Laura says:

    I’ve had your blog in my list of favorites, even during your ‘down-time’ of less bargain shopping– that’s what I gathered from this post. But WOW, great job on the shopping and taking the kids too. It’s quite a struggle sometimes, 5 & 2 yo boys in my cart, on my cart, down the aisle, around the corner, on the sidewalk, pushing the check-out buttons, but I DON’T have a new born!! GREAT JOB! I love seeing your picts! Stockpiling is the way to go!

  • Kisha says:

    Welcome back (so to speak)! That was a great shopping trip. I can’t believe you did all that with three little ones with you. It was months before I was confident taking my first out shopping by myself, and that was in the days before I used coupons. 🙂 Great job!

  • Lacey says:

    Girl, you deserve to feel proud of yourself. I have a 3 1/2 year old and 16 month old. There is no way I would take the 2 of them to the grocery store without my husband. We would have to be desperate and starving. The oldest is just a busy little bee. We place our trips where one of us goes or the parent/child ratio is equal. That way they don’t take over the local grocery store…lol!

    You may have done just fine or you might have wanted to break-down on aisle 7…or you may at a later date! Just be proud that you went and everyone made it out alive. You are a real blessing and have encouraged me so much in being frugal. I have learned alot. You are not only leaving a legacy in your own children, but you are changing families throughout are country. And, thus leaving a legacy even to our own children. So, rest and enjoy those babies! : )

  • Julie says:

    For those wondering about the lack of meat and veggies, etc, Crystal had a freezer full of meals she had prepared to use after the baby was born. I believe she mentioned that family and friends had brought a lot of meals to them so I’m sure she is still using the things she had prepared beforehand. She is super organized and her family is well fed. Check back in her archives to see some of her previous shopping trips.
    https://www.moneysavingmom.com/money_saving_mom/35_and_40_menus/
    Myself, I would be lucky to be able to pick up milk and bread with three little ones in tow! Someone else mentioned their family should exercise portion control. That is a lesson a lot of us need to learn. Look at Crystal’s sample menus in her archives. Very healthy meals, almost all made from scratch and made economically. New readers of the blog must realize she just had a baby so the recent entries are not representative of her normal activities. I’m twice her age and she has taught me quite a bit and been an inspiration to me in the time I have been reading her blog. Also concerning the post about how to use that much yogurt – low fat low sugar yogurt is a healthy and tasty food. It is great mixed with fresh fruit or thinned with lemon, lime or orange juice for a salad dressing. My family of three could easily use that much before it goes bad. I’m not sure how someone would have trouble using a six pack before the expiration date.

  • Jennifer says:

    I think you did GREAT this week and I am also very impressed that you went alone with three little ones and survived! 🙂 I love your blog and am so thankful for all that you are teaching me! Keep up the great work!

  • Diana says:

    Did you have coupons for the yobaby yogurt? I can’t seem to find them anywhere, and those packs of 6 are around $4 here!

  • Liz says:

    On the yogurt going bad – if it gets pushed to the back or forgotten about (but before it gets to the point of moldy) or you get a flavor you don’t like… did you know you can make muffins, coffee cake (or a couple dessert breads) with it? You are still getting to use it, just in a different way. I *hate* tossing food – it’s such a waste!

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