Sunday, March 08, 2009

break it down now

It's been fun getting emails and comments from many of you expressing your desire to start using coupons and saving money on your groceries. As the Kiwis say-Good on ya!

It may be a little discouraging at first when trying to lower your bill and only seeing a couple of dollars here or there, but that is where the ever so important stockpiling (or in LDS lingo-food storage) comes into play. My grocery budget is low now because I have many of the ingredients I use a lot already in my pantry, stocked up during weeks that it was on sale.

When I first started using coupons, my bill was probably $15 to $20 more because I didn't have a lot of items stored up. As soon as you get a small stockpile, you'll start to see your bill naturally go down. For example, on my list this week, I have 10 boxes of cereal. They are on sale at Safeway and I have coupons, so I'm stocking up. Now I don't have to buy cereal again for a long time. Breakfast is taken care of (and I have good storage-that's for you Holly!).

Here's an example of a menu plan that follows what is on sale at Safeway (they are having better sales on what I need) this week . Click on each meal to see recipe (all of these are delicious recipes!!).

M: Ritz Chicken/Broccoli
What I have: chicken, Ritz crackers
What I need: Broccoli (.50/lb at Sprouts-can price match at Walmart, but Sprouts is a small store and I don't mind going with the kids)

T: Pasta Farfalle/Zucchini
What I have: diced tomatoes
What I need: pasta-1.00, cream-1.99, zucchini-.88/lb (Sprouts)

W: Italian Sausage and Penne in the crockpot
What I have: penne, spaghetti sauce
What I need: red pepper-.50, sausage (Hillshire Farm, with coupon 1.75)

Th: Spaghetti with meat/leftover vegetable
What I have: noodles, sauce
What I need: ground beef (purchasing with rain check from Albertson's for .99/lb-$10 total)

Friday: Hamburgers
What I have: ground beef
What I need: hamburger buns-1.50

Saturday: Chicken Crescent Rollup-scroll down to the very bottom for recipe
What I have: chicken, crescents, cream cheese
What I need: green onions-.50

Sunday: leftovers

Total for meals (including 10 lbs of ground beef): ~$20

Other items:
Lucerne Milk-2 gallons-1.57 each
No Yolks Noodles-with printable coupon(you can print it twice)-2 packs-.25 each
Hillshire Sausage (coupon is for 2)-1.75
grapes for freezing-.88/lb
cereal (read below how this deal works)-6.50 total for 10 boxes

Estimated Total: ~34

Hints: Safeway has a deal for $5 off when you buy 5 participating products. Includes:
Lucky Charms
Raisin Bran
Corn Flakes

There are two coupons for Lucky Charms (here and here) and you can print them both off twice. If you are a Mac user open the coupons in Safari instead of Firefox. The coupon generator won't print coupons from Firefox! That gives you four of the five cereals and then if you have another coupon or want to just purchase one of the others, it is still a good deal. It makes each box of Lucky Charms .99.

Deal for moms of kids in diapers at Walgreens:
Buy $25 in participating Kimberly Clark products get $10 RR at checkout (RR= kind of like Walgreen gift card)

One way to take advantage of the deal:
Print 2 $3 off coupons-buy 2 packages Huggies Natural Fit Diapers-$7 each
Print 1 $5 off coupon- buy 1 package Gentle Care Diapers-$5
Total: $19 and then -$10 RR= $9 for 3 packages of diapers
You can also fill out this Caregiver Rebate Form to get an extra .75 off each package!!

If you have a younger baby you can print 2 $5 off coupons and your total would come to only $7 for three packages!

One more deal-couldn't leave this one out because it's from Target and I LOVE Target!!
At Target you can use a Target coupon and a manufacturer's coupon on the same item. Sometimes you can get great prices on items because of it!

This week there is a coupon for Mott's applesauce (6 pack) and a printable manufacturer's coupon bringing the grand total for a 6 pack of Mott's to 22 cents!! You can only use one Target coupon per transaction, but you can always make a couple of trips this week!!

Hope this wasn't overwhelming (or boring)-just wanted to give you a little taste of how the menu planning with sales works. As always, let me know if you have questions!! I'm happy to help!! Happy Saving!


Mandi said...

Thanks, Beth! I love frugal, easy, AND tasty!!!

cece said...

The menu looks great! If you’re limited on space, how do you stock up and make this system work for you? I only have two small cabinets for food storage and the freezer of course.

I really wished you lived closer- I need a coupon tutorial!! I may never be crafty enough to make a headband or a tutu, but I would love to learn to save money at the grocery store!

bethany said...

That's a good question Cece-it is hard when you have limited space. I have the same problem with space so we've had to get creative....I line the cans up along the top of my cabinets and some is even in our bedroom closet! We have a deep freeze in the garage and that really helps because our regular freezer was filling up quickly. I have found some other ideas online and I'll post them this week-they might be helpful!

cece said...

I think it's great that you save so much money for a family of four. I would love to see how to save for a family of two with limited space. I love your bedroom closet idea- but we can't even fit both of our clothes in one closet. We each have one in a seperate area of the house- 1950's era homes, just have such little storage.

I can't wait to see your ideas!

bethany said...

BTW-Safeway is the same as Randalls for those of you in Texas

bethany said...

Cece- if you eliminate the enormous amounts of tortillas I buy and the jelly (since that's all that Jak eats-he's so so picky!) it is like feeding just two. I think if we had older kids I'd have to purchase more snack food for them and that sort of thing, but for now there are only two of us that eat "normal food" :)

Diana Hawkins said...

Dear Beth,

Please do this every week. :)


Reese said...

Thanks for the diaper deal reminder...I haven't had to buy diapers since last July, if you can believe it (I majorly stocked upon a Walgreens deal)! but now I've got to get back to it and I'm bummed, but at least I can get a decent deal! Thanks again!

Seth and Peggy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seth and Peggy said...

I tried to change my comment but I messed up. I didn't know about the Walgreens thing! Thanks! We are headed there today for sure. Also, I hope I don't infringe on your copyright because I just kind of copy and pasted your diaper thing onto my blog...

bethany said...

Go ahead Peggy-the more people that can use this the better!!

Covey and Justin said...

Wow--that's awesome. I really wish EJ weren't on such a limited diet with the dyes and stuff--we can't buy anything but organic and one gallon of milk is $5 here :( Other than cereal do you guys eat breakfast? What about lunches. Do you just eat leftovers? My kids love fresh fruits and veggies so I have to buy a lot of those for snacking. We spend about $12-$25 in produce weekly for that habit and because were vegetarian. Let me know if you find a good source for ORGANIC coupons and stuff. We have to buy dye free/ paraben free/ phalate free everything. That means no name brand toothpastes--only organic all natural ones and stuff.

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