Sunday, June 30, 2013

Grocery shopping & menus, June 23-29

All of this from Target for only $4.52!

Thanks to everyone who left comments and encouraging feedback on last week's grocery shopping post! I had fun putting together this week's totals because I was able to catch some extra-good coupon deals. This is not really a typical week, but it's exciting when we do see savings like this. Definitely helps the budget and enables us to stock up on staples that rarely have coupons.

What we bought
Target shopping trip
We used to go to Target all the time up in Rochester, but after moving to Des Moines we have to drive quite a bit further to get to a Super Target, and some of the other stores nearby have prices that are good enough to not bother trekking to Target as often. Once in a while, though, I get a stack of coupons and deals that don't work anywhere else. This was such a week, and it really did pay off! Here's what I got:
  • Kandoo flushable wipes, 50 pack - 2.49 - used a $2/1 coupon (unfortunately they were out of the $1.49 packs that would have been free with the coupon, but this was a good enough deal anyway as we go through a lot of wipes and the coupon expired soon)
  • Earthbound organic carrots, 1 lb - 1.09 - used a $1/1 manufacturer coupon
  • Earthbound organic carrots, 1 lb - 1.09 - used a $0.75/1 man. coupon
  • Celery, 1 bunch - 1.49 - used a $1 off any fresh vegetable Target mobile coupon
  • Bananas (4), 1.78 lb - 0.57/lb - used a $1 off any fresh fruit Target mobile coupon
  • Gala apples (3), 1.09 lb - 1.39/lb - used a $1 off any fresh fruit Target mobile coupon (I would have bought more, as we go through a lot of apples, but I try not to pay more than 0.99 a pound, preferably closer to 0.80 or less. Last month we snagged about 14 pounds of near-perfect apples marked down to 0.59 a pound - yay!)
  • Ronzoni veggie-enriched pasta, 4 boxes - 1.00/box - used two $1/2 man. coupons
  • Market Pantry pasta, 2 boxes - 1.04/box - used $1/2 Target mobile coupon
  • Dannon Activa yogurt 4-pack - 2.00 - used $1.50/1 man. coupon
  • TOTAL - $4.52 - saved $12.25 with coupons 

Fareway's total: $8.69.

Fareway shopping trip
This was an extra-fun week at Fareway since they had some produce markdowns. Yay! We'd been out of bell peppers for a few weeks (no good sales), so finding a bag at 0.49/lb was perfect. I wish they had more marked-down things more often, as it helps our grocery bill a lot.
  • Green bell peppers, 3.4 lb (9 peppers) - marked down to 0.49/lb - 1.67
  • Ripe bananas, 5.98 lb - marked down to 0.39/lb - 2.33
  • Turkey franks - 4 packages at 0.98 - used two $1/2 manufacturer coupons (Don't judge, lol. We rarely eat hot dogs, but I like to get a few packages when they're super cheap this time of year, as they come in handy in a pinch when I don't have any other meat cooked ahead of time and need something to flavor soup or a casserole.)
  • Farmer's Garden pickled veggies - 2 jars at $2.49 each - used two totally free manufacturer coupons, yay!
  • Reynolds foil baking cups - 4 packages of 32 at 0.99 each - used four $1/1 manufacture coupons, so totally free (I'm excited about these, as I hate to wash muffin pans and can't bring myself to buy the baking cups at regular price. Now I can actually make muffins, lol!)
  • Miracle Whip - 2 jars at $2.49 each - used two $1/1 manufacturer coupons and two $1/1 store coupons, so only $0.49 each! Would have gotten more, but they limited it to one per customer. We'll go back in a few days for a couple more.
  • Pickling and canning salt - 5 lb at 1.59 - Joe plans to use this for the bacon he is currently learning how to cure.
  • Regular white table salt - 10 oz at 0.49 - I'll use this in the dishwasher detergent I make. We use Real Salt for cooking/eating, but cheap stuff works fine for cleaning.
  • TOTAL - $8.69 - saved $13.98 with coupons

Hy-vee's total: $12.11.
Hy-vee shopping trip
Normally we get Hy-vee's deals at Fareway since they match prices, but this week there was a Hy-vee specific coupon that we needed to use to make the deals worthwhile. So we braved the big store and managed to (eventually) find all we needed. ;)
  • Ocean Spray Cranberry Lemonade - 1.99 - used $1/1 manufacturer coupon, and planned to also get $0.50 off with the Ibotta app. This didn't work out, unfortunately; I discovered that though Hyvee does participate in the Ibotta program, they don't accept receipts from iPod 4s, which is what I have. Bummer.
  • Tilafia (fish) fillet - two 4-oz packages at 1.19 - Joe was in the mood for fish and this seemed to be a decent enough price for fillets; a treat, as we rarely splurge on fish.
  • Country Time drink mix canister - two at 2.49 each - used $1/2 manufacturer coupon
  • Philadelphia cream cheese - four at 1.69 each - used two $0.50/2 manufacturer coupons
  • Kraft salad dressing - four at 1.67 each - used two $1/2 manufacturer coupons. I do make our own dressing fairly often, but when it's this cheap we go ahead and get a few.
  • --and then used a $6 store coupon, applicable when buying 10 specific items. This knocked $0.60 each off the drink mixes, cream cheeses, and salad dressings. Subtracting the manufacturer coupons as well, we ended up paying an average of 0.84 per item, which is pretty decent.
  • TOTAL - $12.11 - saved $11.00 with coupons

WEEKLY TOTAL - $25.32 - saved $37.23 with coupons (more, if you count sales)
I had to chuckle when I tallied everything up and realized I squeaked in under my monthly budget by only 75 cents. I was hoping to spend no more than $117 this month since we'd gone a little over $150 the last couple months. Glad to have achieved that - and now I have a whole 75 cents to add on to next month's $150. ;) We have a few things to stock up on, including paying my family for some beef and pork, so it'll be interesting to see how it works out. One of my goals for next month will be focusing on using items we already have in the pantry and spending most of our budget on fresh fruit and veggies that are in season.

What We Ate
I only make loose lists of menu ideas, based on what we have on hand, starting with things that need using (particularly produce). Once in a great while we'll go out and buy specific ingredients for a recipe we want to make, but generally we just go with the flow of what's on sale and what we already have on hand. Saves a lot of money! And I work hard to keep our pantry pretty consistently stocked at any given time, so there are always endless options of things to make.

So here's a peek at what we ate this week. I'm not one to enjoy spending lots of time in the kitchen, so I generally only make one simple, from-scratch meal a day, large enough to feed us for 2+ meals. Leftovers get served up for the second meal (packing Joe's lunchbox), and breakfast is a help-yourself affair. We eat quite a bit of fruit as snacks, as well as popcorn. And Joe likes his chips and salsa now and again, too. :)
  • Sunday: Grilled veggies and brats on homemade whole wheat and rye buns
  • Monday: Ground beef and potato soup, leftover cornbread, green salad
  • Tuesday: Chicken dumplings, cantaloup and grapes
  • Wednesday: Leftover pizza rolls, fig bars, yogurt (I was out most of the afternoon, so kept things simple.)
  • Thursday: Mixed beans (cooked myself and flavored with BBQ sauce), leftover cornbread (yes, I made a big pan of it last week!), tomato/cucumber/mayo salad. Joe was off this day, so for supper we had a "date night" treat of Pizza Hut. :)
  • Friday: Chicken & rice pilaf with almonds, green salad.
    Saturday: Roast beef, tomato, and cheese sandwiches on homemade buns, veggies and dip.
  • Breakfasts: Apples and peanut butter, bananas, whole wheat banana bread

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I'm impressed!! Good for you for getting such great deals. With my busy schedule, I've kind of cut back on the couponing and going to multiple stores. I used to go to Rite Aid once a week and/or sometimes Walgreens for special deals. But now I don't always get into town every week because of my work schedule. Ah well.