I did NOT want to go grocery shopping tonight. I needed to, and I did, but I did it kicking and screaming. My caffeine today consisted of the worst cup of coffee in the world that I had to chase down with an entire can of Sprite. It got me through work, but I crashed the moment I got home.
I went, and I did okay. Not as well as I could have done if I was really into it. $11 of my total cost was apples. Yes that’s right. Honeycrisp apples. My husband came home kind of grumpy because he had a stressful week, so I got him a ton of his favorite apples to cheer him up.
The lunchmeat, water and go-gurt I was able to use a manufacturer coupon along with a store coupon. The chips were kind of an impulse buy. They were $1.99 a bag and they just kind of walked into my cart all on their own.
Spent: $83.70 Saved: $42.25 or 34%
This is just Randall’s this week. Kroger and HEB were not even worth a trip this week. I hope next week is a bit more exciting!
Before you go grocery shopping this week be sure you have your coupons! In addition to the coupons you can find in the Sunday Paper, and on coupon printing websites…you can also load coupons directly to your store loyalty card using Cellfire!
These coupons come off your card as discounts when your card is swiped. You can actually STACK them with manufacturer coupons. Which means if you have a $.50/1 Twinkie on your card and a $.50/1 Twinkie paper coupon…You get $1 off your Twinkie! If your store doubles coupons, they won’t double the Cellfire coupon. So keep that in mind when you are shopping.
(Twinkie? When is the last time I had a Twinkie?)
Load your card up today! (they will ask for your cell #. I promise it’s perfectly legit. I would not recommend it if it wasn’t!)
This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click/purchase/sign up for this offer, I may receive a small amount of compensation for it. A win for you and a win for me! Have a GREAT day!
I shop at multiple grocery stores. Most weeks I try to keep it to two, but some weeks the sales are so good (or so bad!) that I go to all 3 in my area (this does not include drugstore game trips).
So how in the world do I decide WHERE to buy WHAT?
I will walk you through the anatomy of my grocery list here step by step.
1. It starts with store ads. My ads come on Wednesday. Which makes Wednesday a very exciting day for me (no that’s not sarcasm…I love this stuff!). My ads come later in the afternoon unfortunately, but if I have the heads up that a great promotion is coming I might stop off and grab the ads right at the store while I’m out running morning errands with the kids (I REALLY try not to do this. I have to get them both out of their car seats, they INSIST on the car cart, etc…).
2. I lay the ads out in front of me and I grab a black marker. The very first thing I do is look at the front pages of all 3 of my grocery stores (I tend to shop at HEB, Kroger and Randall’s). On the front page is where any big store promotions will be announced and also where their “loss leaders” are advertised (these are items that are marked down so much that the store is actually taking a loss when they sell it to you for that price. The hope is that THAT gets you in the door and you pay full price for everything else on your list. WE are not going to do that 😉 )
3. I circle in big black marker anything we need that is on the front page, and if the stores have the same item on sale I compare who is marked cheaper.
4. Next I move into the inside of the ads. Be cautious here. Just because it is advertised doesn’t mean it is a great deal. Go back and forth between all of your ads and compare prices, quantities and if the item is part of a promotion…what you need to do to fulfill the obligations and obtain the sale price (for instance, if it is a buy 10 participating items get $5 back promotion, make sure there are 10 items that you actually need and you won’t just be spending money to “save” money)
5. Now it’s judgment call time. I look at which ads have the most things circled and I try to evaluate whether the ad or ads that don’t have as much circled are really worth the gas and time to make a trip. If it’s just one or two items and the sale isn’t THAT great. I’ll save myself the stress and toss that ad for the week. Some weeks all 3 have an abundance of greatness that I just cannot pass up. Some weeks the sales are so dismal that I have to decide to suck it up and just go to one store and not save much, or just go grab the few deals available at each store. This step is pretty personal and depends on your time constraints for the week, your fund availability, etc. If I have several “need” items that I know I typically have to pay full price for I make sure HEB is included in my weekly trips for the week since that is my “everyday” low price store (for more on why the everyday low price store isn’t always the store you should be shopping at, read my article on How To Save Money Grocery Shopping)
6. Once I have everything that looks good circled, I pull out my coupon binder and my computer. I flip through and see if I have any coupons for any of the products on my ads. Even the ones that aren’t circled by me sometimes have a coupon that make it a circle-able deal. Afterwards I head on over to my computer to see if there are any printable coupons available in my Coupon Database.
7. So now that I have my sale items, and I have my coupons…I make sure I have my “needs” lists (milk, eggs, fruit, etc. The perishables I always have to buy weekly) and I’m ready to go!
For more info on how to save money grocery shopping, how to use coupons and how I organize my coupons, check out these links:
Consider THIS before you become a stay at home mom!
Are you considering becoming a stay at home mom? Maybe you are currently pregnant and you are trying to decide if being a stay at home mom is right for you. Or maybe you are currently a working mom who desperately wants to spend more time with your children? Either way, here are 5 things you MUST consider before you make the decision to become a stay at home mom.
We made the decision for me to be a (mainly) stay at home mom pretty easily. Both of our mothers stayed home with us when we were younger and we really felt like we benefited from that. We were aware it would require some sacrifice, but the sacrifices were worth it to us.
Plus daycare is SO expensive.
Staying at home full time is not for everyone. Some people simply can’t afford it and others simply don’t want to. That’s fine. But if you feel in your heart that you would like to stay home and just aren’t sure if you can swing it, here are some points to ponder:
Like I said, daycare is expensive.
How much are you really taking home after you factor in daycare, gas to and from work, clothing for work, work lunches, etc? I had a friend one time sit down and calculate all of that and realized her take home pay PER MONTH was only $150.
They made the decision to cut out cable and just like that she was able to stay home with pretty much no impact on their income. The kicker is, that about 2 months in, they realized that there were so many more work related expenses they hadn’t factored in and they actually had more of an income with her staying home.
They didn’t even need to turn off their cable or sacrifice anything.
When you sit down and write down ALL of the costs related to working and having your children in childcare (include those $5 pitched in for birthday parties, baby showers, coworkers getting married etc), you might find that you really aren’t coming out that far ahead.
Maybe you calculate all of that and you realize that your income…no matter how much it is, is absolutely necessary with the way your current expenses stand.
Get creative. Do you need two cars?
Trust me, we prefer having 2 cars. We went several months last year as a one car family and there were times (specifically when I was needing to make dr appointments for the kids) that I thought I’d go crazy.
But maybe you live in a more walking friendly area than we do. Everyone has some fat in their budget. Maybe your food and household budget is what is eating at your income.
If so I encourage you to read my posting on how to shop smarter. I’ve cut our grocery and household bill in half and it’s still going down currently.
With some strategic shopping, you might just negate the use for your income in that area alone!
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
I work a part time job during the school year. To be quite honest, it doesn’t bring in much income, but I get to take the kids with me. I work at a local church Mother’s Day Out.
It’s two days a week, my kids get to go for half price and we all get out of the house for some socialization. Maybe you can work part time for your current employer, or freelance in your field.
Everyone has a marketable talent, even if you think you don’t.
If you sew or craft, set up an Etsy shop or an Ebay store. Maybe you are really computer savvy, make up some business cards and hand them out to friends and family so if they know someone having computer problems, you can help them out.
You get to stay home and make an income from the comfort of your own home. (be sure to check the laws for your state on how to set up an at home daycare) Plus you get to help other moms!
Think long and hard before you quit your job to stay home. Depending on your field, you might set yourself back in your career a number of years if you leave.
Also, staying home is not for everyone. In fact, it’s not even for me! The Mother’s Day Out program I work at is a MUCH needed break for me. During the summer, I go a bit stir crazy!
I truly admire stay at home mom’s that do not have an outside job or who never get a break AND do it all with a smile on their face. I personally could not do that.
If you truly have the desire to stay home with your children, really sit down and evaluate these things. You don’t want to look back and realize you could have done it and you didn’t. You don’t get those early years with your kids back.
And remember, it’s all temporary. In the grand scheme of life, how long are our kids young?
You might have to give up something now, but it’s not forever.