I’m experimenting with something different this year. Since I know not everyone has the same stores and deals around them, I am going to continue sharing my grocery shopping trips, but I am going to decrease the frequency. Instead of sharing my weekly trip, I will share them once or twice a month. I’m still shopping once or twice a week (combining errands and shopping trips) but will summarize all the trips at one time. I’m going to give this a try for a little bit and see how it goes. Feel free to leave me your feedback and tell me if you like the change or prefer it switch back to weekly.
I am continuing to share my grocery shopping trips in pictures because I think it’s a good reality check. It helps me stay focused on my grocery bill and I hope it encourages you to shop intentionally as well!
I started 2016 with a thorough grocery audit (like I explained here) and decided to increase our monthly grocery budget to $240. This amount (currently) includes groceries, diapers, toiletries and paper products.
To keep my grocery totals low, I am relying more and more on Kroger digital coupons as well as Meijer Mperks, both of which I stack with sales. I also am starting to use more coupon apps, to earn money back that I can apply to my grocery budget. Right now, I am mainly using Ibotta, Checkout 51 and Snap. I also utilize my stockpile, stocking up on things when I find a great deal.
Since January was a busy month, here are ALL my shopping trips for January in one post! Ready? Deep breath. Here we go, with the highlights and totals from all my shopping trips!
My first trip was to Meijer where I stocked up on 10 pounds of chicken breasts for $1.88/lb.
Highlights of this trip included some frozen vegetables for $0.89 and organic romaine lettuce for $2. I also bought several items as part of a Kraft sale so got Breakstone sour cream for $0.99, Crystal Light for $0.99, Motts apple juice for $1.29, applesauce for $1.29, large jar of Kraft dressing for $1.49, Ritz crackers for $1.69 and Nutri Grain bars for $1.69. Those just sounds really good to me in the moment!
The clearance play dough-doh was a treat for Nathan, and I was thrilled to find 2 rolls of gold wrapping paper for only $0.59 a roll! It pays to wait as the clearance is marked down. I didn’t take those items out of my grocery budget, which meant my total spent at Meijer was $45.73.
I only shopped at Meijer once more this month which is quite unusual for me. This time around, here’s what I bought at Meijer.
I bought 2 gallons of milk at $2.19 each. It’s nice to see our price of milk falling again! Of course, eggs are still more expensive than milk. 2 dozen eggs cost me $4.79. I also bought 2 packs of string cheese ($3 each) and cottage cheese ($2.39). I bought organic lettuce because it was on sale $2 for 3 Romaine heads. I also bought organic bananas because I had an Mperks offer for $0.50 off, which made them cheaper than regular bananas.
The applesauce organic squeeze pouches were a special treat for Nathan – because they were clearanced to $1.39 for 4 large pouches. Finally, I realized I better start stocking up on newborn diapers so used an Mperks coupon to pick up a package of Huggies for $6.96. It also counts towards my Meijer baby rewards for the month, provided I finish using them. My total for this trip was $30.79.
I ran to Save-a-Lot once for a can of pinto beans and diced tomatoes with chili for soup. That trip cost me $1.28.
We made a trip to Sam’s Club as a family to stock up on the Instant Deals for this month. Not only were those good deals, but I found a couple of other surprise good deals.
The instant deals were on Ore Ida potatoes – 8 pounds for $4.98. That will last us a long time! Kraft mac and cheese was $7.22 for 12 boxes (or $0.60 a box). It’s one of those convenience foods that I keep on hand for a quick lunch. Desitin was my favorite Instant deal as a 2 pack of large tubes was $6.98. That means I paid $3.50 per tube…and you can’t even find a small tube for that price anywhere else! It’s the diaper creme that works best on Nathan and I wanted to stock for the new baby, too.
I discovered Jack’s pizzas were 4 for $9.98. Again, that’s cheaper than the grocery store. They are my husband’s favorite quick dinner so nice to have in the freezer.
Butter surprised me by being $9.98 for 4 pounds (or $2.50/lb). Unfortunately, I discovered they are pound blocks and not sticks. It’s a little more inconvenient but still a great price! Skim milk was $1.89 and whole milk (for Nathan) was $2.28.
Finally, I was shocked to discover 7.5 dozen eggs priced at only $7.48! That’s only a $1 a dozen and I can’t remember the last time I bought eggs that cheap! We gave 2.5 dozen to my mother-in-law and I am actually using up the other eggs quicker than I thought. I don’t know if this will remain the price on eggs but I was excited to find it!
At Sam’s Club, I spent $57.90. It’s always amazing how so few purchases can add up so quickly…which is why I don’t shop at Sam’s regularly. Still, it’s nice for stocking up on good deals like the ones I found this month.
The rest of my shopping for the month took place in various trips to Kroger. I found some great deals there this month!
I started the month at Kroger, taking advantage of a Kroger catalina deal on diapers, that Kroger Krazy had mentioned. That’s where I keep up on the latest Kroger deals. There were new coupons, plus 2 catalinas that overlapped. Unfortunately, neither of them printed for me. I got one $10 at the customer service and emailed the Catalina company for the other one. A couple days later, my other $10 catalina arrived in the mail. I also used $8 in coupons. After all was said and done, diapers that should have cost $9.39 a package, cost me only $2.39 a package! That’s how I like to stockpile diapers.
I also picked up several freebies, thanks to Kroger digital coupons. The Annie’s mac & cheese, Organic cheddar popcorn and Butterfinger cups.
I discovered great clearance mark-downs! I got plastic big tab dividers for $0.39, and two boxes of Crayola colored pencils for $0.19 each. My best clearance find? Olay facial cloths – 60 of them – for only $0.19! They were normally $11.99 so this was an amazing deal…because of a dented box! It’s something I like to splurge on for post baby when even washing your face takes effort, so this was nice to save money.
At Kroger, I spent $35.38. I had $20 in catalinas coming, but you’ll see how those affect my totals later.
Next time I shopped at Kroger, I divided my transaction into 2 purchases to take advantage of another catalina. I started by buying 2 packages of Viva paper towels that were on sale for $5 each. I also used two $1/1 printable coupons. They then produced a $3 catalina, which means I basically spent $2.50 for 6 rolls of quality paper towels. Yay! I paid $8.70 with a gift card (from the diaper catalina last time) and then turned around and finished my purchases.
I bought 4 bags of tortilla chips at $1. The rest of my things were free, thanks to Kroger’s digital coupons. I bought a 6 pack of Nestle lemon water and 2 containers of greek yogurt. I also had digital coupons from awhile ago for completely FREE Comforts products. I bought a package of Comforts diapers and gave them to my mother-in-law for when she watches Nathan. I also picked up a package of formula and wipes. The value of these free Comforts products? $21.98! Even if I don’t use the formula, I buy it for free because I know the Hope Center (our local pregnancy care center) always needs donations of formula.
I then used the $3 catalina from my paper towels, so my total was only $1. Then I used the gift card to pay for it. My out of pocket total for this trip? $0! I love that.
I made another quick trip into Kroger for a Kleenex catalina. The cashier didn’t like some of my coupons and wouldn’t take all of them, but I didn’t fight it because it was still a good deal. Basically, after stacking sales, coupons and receiving a $2 catalina, I paid $0.62 a box of Kleenex…instead of $1.49! I bought 9 boxes at this price. The Doritos, thanks to a digital coupon and mega sale overlapping, were only $0.99 a bag and made my husband happy. The Fit Kitchen meal and Uncle Ben’s rice were free, thanks again to digital coupons.
On this trip, I spent $11.75 and received a $2 catalina.
My final trip of January had me heading back to Kroger, to use up the $10 catalina that I received in the mail. There were some great mega sale deals going on, too!
Thanks to mega sales and coupons, I scored some great deals! The Gerber organic baby food pouches were $0.09 and the Gerber graduates ravioli were $0.24 each. I paid $0.29 a box for the Creamette pasta. The Kotex liners were $0.49 as were the Red Gold tomatoes. The Taquitos were $1.99 – and I redeemed them for another $1 back on Ibotta. The Pringles and Diet Dr. Pepper were each $0.49. The Olive Garden croutons were $0.94 each. The Huggies wipes were $0.99.
I found milk marked down to $0.99 a half gallon…even though it didn’t expire for another week! I also treated Nathan to some goldfish (at $0.99 each) for being such a good shopper as we picked up all these deals.
My total, after applying the $10 diaper catalina and the $2 Kleenex catalina plus the $0.30 remaining on my catalina gift card, was only $14.39! I was thrilled to get so much for so little. This is why I love shopping the deals and sales!
My January shopping total was $197.22. Since I had $40 left in my budget this month, I thought I’d make it out to Meijer this week but Nathan and I enjoyed some quiet days at home instead. I’ll use that amount next time and update you. What were your best grocery deals this month?