Friday, March 11, 2011

Sometimes you have to go actual 'grocery shopping' shopping

It has been about a year since I got back into the coupon saddle.  In my previous coupon life, I bought just one newspaper a week, clipped coupons for items that we used and when I was at the store buying my list of items- I tried to match the coupons I had to what I was buying.  The more kids we had, the less this was possible for me.  And eventually I surrendered to just shopping the sales and using coupons on diapers.

Now my strategy is similar- only on a grander scale.  I've thrown in a few coupon blogs that I follow to find items we use for free or that I make money on to put toward other necessities.  I have a small stockpile of personal care items that makes me happy.  I shop multiple different stores each week to get the best deals at each.  And I buy 4-10 newspapers per week, depending on what coupons are in them.  (and instead of a small accordian 'normal' coupon holder- I carry Wheezer around like my baby.)

I still really only trim coupons for items we use though.  Or items I have seen go on super sale and be money makers in the past.  Or things we would try if the price was right.

Because we are building up a nice little stockpile of particular items- I allow our pantry to kind of determine our meals.  However, this week- unless I could come up with something that would use spaghetti sauce, deodorant and toothpaste- I had to go regular grocery shopping.

I have yet to perfect being able to grab a few super sale items with my regular shopping.  I frequently return home from a shopping trip with bags and bags of stuff that I spent just a few dollars on only to find out that we are out of milk, cheese, eggs and bread.  And I wonder why when I was in the store (after store after store) that day it didn't occur to me to get the necessities too?

Anyway- yesterday I had to go regular grocery shopping.  There were not any huge sales- just regular ones.  Although I kept seeing 'cartload sales' and 'participating item' tags- but I still don't know what that meant.

So I shopped.  Got produce, meat, cheese, yogurts, juices, veggies, pastas, frozen fish (this is the time to buy some frozen fish by the way! Lent brings big sales on Gordon's and Seapak).  I still used my coupons for the items we were buying.  And I obviously stuck to sale items.  I let Sam pick out a box of fruit snacks- and agreed to buy the full price kelloggs brand (even though it hurt.  really bad). 

My total before my Kroger card- $220.98
My total after my Kroger card- $156.19
My total after coupons- $121.25

Like $45 in coupons.  Paper money I call them.  $45 for stuff I was buying anyway.  Nothing that deserves photographs or item price breakdowns- but not too shabby.

And now we have actual food for a few weeks- and I can get back to buying free deodorant and razors.

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