Thursday, October 22, 2009

Grocery Budgeting

I started keeping track of my grocery money on August 16th. I always had a budget before that, but on that day, I created an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of all the money I spend at each store I go to. I budgeted $96.15 a week, which is $5000 a year. I've read other blogs where women spend $800 a year on their family of 4, which I know is not realistic for us. I figured I'd try $96.15 and see what happened.

In the past 10 weeks, I've averaged $69.17 a week! I'm not done with this week yet, so it will go up, but I am no where near hitting my budget. So this means two things. One - spend more to meet my budget to stockpile more. Or two - reduce the budget. So on December, my budget is going down to $86.54 a week, a drop of 10%. I want to steadily decrease this budget so we can save more for other more important things. All those pennies add up to big savings!

Do you have a set grocery budget for a week, month, or year? How are you doing on it?

Loving Rite Aid!

I posted about a great diaper deal for this week. Here is what actually happened yesterday.

Transaction 1

3 Huggies Pure & Natural jumbos $8.99 each - 3 $3/1 P&N qs and 2 $2/1 RA qs
3 RA hand soap (we're almost out) $1 each - no qs!
- $5/$25 RA q
Total $11.97
Tax $.19
OOP $12.16

I'm going back either today or tomorrow to repeat this transaction. Then when I submit my receipts, I will get a voucher for a free Huggies jumbo. In the end, I'll have 7 packs of diapers and 6 hand soaps for $24.32. I'll take it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Almost free food at Shaw's!

Here is a break down of my transactions at Shaw's this week. Yes, I drove 30 minutes to get some really cheap groceries. The catalina deal is running on presale prices (PSP), so it's pretty sweet.

Transaction 1 (cashier did not double my qs. Boo.)

2 Nature Valley granola bars - PSP $3.50 each SALE $2 each - 2 $.40/1 qs
3 Fiber One cereals - PSP $4.29 each SALE $2 each - 3 $.75/1 qs
2 Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereals - PSP $2.79 each SALE $2 each - 2 $.55/1 qs

PSP price $25.45
SALE price $14
Total qs $4.15
OOP $9.85 and a $10 catalina

Transaction 2 (same cashier from #1)

5 Dora fruit snacks - PSP $2.50 each SALE $2 each - 2 $.50/2 and 1 $.40/1 qs
2 Pillsbury Simply Cookies - PSP $3.99 each SALE $2.50 each - 2 $.55/1 qs
4 Pillsbury crescent rolls - PSP $2.89 each SALE $1.67 each - 2 $.50/2 qs

PSP price $32.04
SALE price $21.67
Total qs $3.50
OOP $18.17 and a $3.50, $4, and $10 catalina
*This one could have been lower, but my catalina from 1 didn't print, so I had to go through a hullabaloo to get it. They told me it was on sale prices, I said no it wasn't because my second transaction worked on PSPs.

Transaction 3 (different cashier who did double my qs!)

2 Cheerios cereal - PSP $4.19 each SALE $2 each - 2 $1/1 qs
4 Pillsbury grands rolls - PSP $2.49 each SALE $1.67 each - 2 $.30/2 qs that doubled
2 Pillsbury Simply Cookies - PSP $3.99 each SALE $2.50 each - 2 $.55/1 qs that doubled
1 Coke 12 pack - PSP $5.00 each SALE $3.34 plus $.60 deposit - no qs!

PSP price $29.32
SALE price $19.61
Total qs $5.40 plus $10 catalina from #1
OOP $4.21 and a $4 and $10 catalina

Transaction 4 (same cashier from 3)

3 Total cereals - PSP $4.99 each SALE $2 each - 3 $.75/1 qs that doubled
1 Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal - PSP $2.79 SALE $2 each - 1 $.55/1 q that doubled
2 Fiber One cereals - PSP $4.29 each SALE $2 each - 2 $.75/1 qs that doubled
3 Prego pasta sauce - PSP $2.79 each SALE $1.49 each - 1 $1/3 q
2 Crest toothpaste - PSP $2.50 each SALE $1 each - 1 $1.50/2 q

PSP price $39.71
SALE price $18.60
Total qs $11.10 plus $3.50 and $4 catalina from #2
OOP $0.00 and a $1 catalina (They actually owed my $.13, but the cashier made it 0.)
*My $10 catalina didn't print again, and I didn't bother trying to get it because I was frazzled at that point.


PSP price $128.52
SALE price $73.75
Total qs and catalinas $41.65
OOP $32.23 and still have $15 in catalinas left over

I think I'm going back tomorrow with my girls for more, so it should be interesting!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Shopping at Shaw's

I don't normally shop at Shaw's because it's 30 minutes away. But they're running a catalina promotion that I couldn't pass up. If you buy $25 of General Mills products, you get a $10 catalina good on your next purchase. The best part is that the $25 is on pre-sale prices, a ton of GM stuff is on sale, and there are a ton of printable coupons that can be used.

I went this morning after my class of the day while the girls were still at daycare. Tomorrow, I'll post my transactions. It was a pretty good deal, but I didn't care for the hassle I got about my catalina not printing. I'm pretty sure I won't go to that Shaw's regularly, but it is a REALLY good deal, so I sucked it up. Stay tuned for pictures and breakdowns tomorrow!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I've listed some of my unneeded education textbooks and other fiction books on, a partner of eBay, in hopes of making a few extra bucks to save. I've listed 17 books and have sold 6 in 5 days! So once I get paid from them and subtract my shipping costs, I'll have made about $40. It's not a ton, but every little bit helps!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rite Aid Diaper Deals

Next week, RA has Huggies jumbos on sale for $8.99. Here is a scenario that will get you 7 jumbos for really cheap!

Transaction 1

3 Huggies Pure & Natural jumbos $26.97
- $5/$25
- 3 $3/1 manu qs
- 3 $2/1 RA qs from AdPerks in October
= $6.97 plus tax

Transaction 2

1 Huggies Pure & Natural jumbos $8.99
2 Huggies jumbos (not P&N) $17.98
- $5/$25
- 1 $3/1 Pure & Natural manu q
- 2 $2/1 Huggies manu qs
- 1 $2/1 RA q from AdPerks in October
= $12.97 plus tax

(Transaction #2 could be better if I had different coupons. I might try to find a Pure & Natural printable. Change these up depending on your coupons!)

Submit all your receipts to RA's SCR program, and you'll get a voucher for a FREE Huggies jumbo. So you'll get 7 jumbos for $19.94 or $2.85 each!! My kind of price for my 2 in diapers (although the big one is slowly starting to potty train). Saving a few more pennies here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Grocery Budget Update

After about 8 weeks of sticking to the $96.15 a week ($5000 a year) budget plan, I am running at about $80-$81 per week. This includes stock-piling when things are on sale and keep the pantry stocked with lots of stuff for our menus. I think that I'm going to reduce my budget amount by 10% to $87 on December 1, which will have been 4 months at $96.15. It's totally doable if I continue to find the deals and save my pennies!

Why is there always no time!

I really want (and need) to keep up with this. I am committed to maintaining a $96.15 a week budget (or $5000 a year), and I want to share my deals with others. I've had my husband's co-workers ask me how I do it. My sisters are super impressed with my army supply surplus store in the basement. And my husband likes that I'm spending less of his hard-earned money on groceries.

My goal for this next week is to post one thing a day, whether it be small or large. Keep me in check if I don't get something up everyday!