WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

2nd Quarter 2010 grocery spending

Posted August 2, 2010
Updated August 4, 2010

I receive a lot of questions from people about how much I actually spend per month. Here are my monthly totals including the amount I spent, the amount the products would have cost before sales and coupons and the amount I saved.

The purchases include food, paper products, bath and beauty products, over the counter items (Tylenol, bandaids, etc), dog food and cleaning supplies. I buy for a family of 4 including 2 adults and 2 kids, ages 9 and 11 and one 70 lb. dog who really likes dog biscuits!  My goal is $70 per week. Let's see how I did this quarter....

Total amount of product before sales and coupons: $2875.81

Total amount saved: $2104.87

Total amount spent: $770.84

Percent saved: 73%

Average per week: $64.23 - whooo hoooo! I came in under the budget. Happy me! 

For those wondering how in the world it's possible to only spend $64 per week, there is definitely a set of techniques I use every week to keep me within my budget. I stock up on the best deals, use the drug store rebates to get bath and beauty and over the counter items for free or close to it, buy produce and meat on sale, meal plan and grow a garden. If you are new to the blog, use the drug store deals I post on Sunday and the grocery deals I post on Wednesday to help you save some serious money this month!

How did everyone else do last month?


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  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Aug 5, 2010

    Glad to have you with us on the blog, dogluvr. Don't hesitate to ask if you do have more questions.

    Nancy - My thoughts are with your neighbors. Kudos to you for teaching them and kudos to them for learning so well! Hello to all of you!

  • dogluvr26 Aug 5, 2010

    Thanks, Faye! I'm excited to see how this goes. I don't think I have any other questions right now, but I'm definitely going to be keeping up with your blog and lists!

    Thanks again!

  • Nancy Aug 4, 2010

    Sure wish we used a lot of cereal but we don't, that deal at HT was a killer wasn't it?? My neighbors took advantage and scored 30 boxes of cereal and 40 boxes of pop tarts and paid out less than $4 :) They just kept rolling their CATS. These are "new" couponers I taught just two months ago - they rock!! Hubby and wife totally into it. With three teenagers, he's been out of work over a year, wife has MS and can't work as a nurse can imagine their need to save!

    The emails fly between us day and night LOL - it's such a rush to hear about their deals. And better than how quickly they took off on this, they taught another male neighbor how to coupon! In fact my male neighbor took HIM to the grocery store with coupons and taught him - now he's on the email group list LOL

    Love to see a man get involved and enthused about this micro-economic boom :)

  • Nancy Aug 4, 2010

    Faye! I have an intravenous line of Diet Coke, I wheel around my pole with my diet coke so that I don't need sleep - snicker - seriously, I drink so much of that stuff and it doesn't keep me awake anymore. I'm not ready to go the Monster drink route yet though :)

  • hollyautry Aug 4, 2010

    Faye, thank you so much for reposting those articles above. As someone who just recently became a "SmartShopper groupie" :), the information was much appreciated.

  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Aug 4, 2010

    dogluvr - The article in the box above about Coupons = Cash includes a number of resources for finding coupons for the products you use.

    The first place to go to save you time and effort is the Grocery Deals post I write every Wednesday. I outline the very best deals for Harris Teeter, Lowes Foods, Kroger and Food Lion including the coupon deals as well as non-coupon essentials like meat, produce, dairy, etc. It takes me about 5-6 hours to create the list so that's time you don't have to spend comparing ads & finding coupons. If there is a good coupon deal, I'll let you know where the coupon came from & if there is a printable coupon, I'll give you the link to print it.

    On Sunday's I do the same thing with the drug store deals to help you identify the best deals using sales, coupons & the various rebate programs.

    Planning your grocery list & meal plan based on what is on sale is a great start-but you need to include coupon use to get the best deals! Any other ?'s right now?

  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Aug 4, 2010

    dogluvr - As both you and Nancy pointed out, couponing is like learning any new skill. You have to give yourself time to get up to speed before it becomes second nature. Even then, you still have to think a little more on some of the more complicated deals (like the HT Kellogg's Catalina/coupon deal that started today and some of the drug store rebate deals).

    I wrote a series of articles in the Spring on couponing 101, drug store deals and meal planning. It lays out the basics of all three and is a good place for you to start. I'll post the links to the articles in the box at the top of this page.

    Whether couponing is worth your time depends on what products you use. If you buy products including pasta, rice, condiments, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, cereal, yogurt, etc, you can save 50% - 100% off those items every week by couponing. Yes, it will take some time before it is second nature, but it does get easier every week.

  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Aug 4, 2010

    LOL - you are very funny Nancy! I'm up now! Actually I was up bright and early to hit the HT sale, go to the dentist for a cleaning (all that free floss is working!), get haircuts, go to the library...... Just no time to post until now. But I am back to drinking Coke Zero so I'll probably be up all night posting again!

    Thank you for helping out dogluvr, Nancy! As always, I really appreciate the help!

  • Nancy Aug 4, 2010

    sssshhhh, I think Faye is sleeping - she was quite the night owl it seems, posting in the predawn hours ;)

  • Nancy Aug 4, 2010

    "Rolling" the deals means the three drug stores all have instant savings coupons that print out when you make certain purchases they have designated in their ads. Rite Aid = UP rewards; CVS = Extra Care Bucks (ECB's); Walgreens = Register Rewards (RR's) They are like cash, once you have them you "roll" them into the next transaction, reducing your out of pocket (OOP) expense to buy the next item on your list. The idea is to get the most product for the least amount of OOP.

    It is NOT uncommon to have a list of lets say 8 items at one drugstore you wish to purchase, and say half or more have the instant cash refund (ECB, UP or RR) attached to the purchase. You don't buy them all in one transaction, but rather split up the transactions and use the reward from the first as cash toward paying for the next and so forth. Cashiers at these drugstores think nothing of a customer saying "I'll be doing 4 transactions today" :)

    Yes, it's a "new" world in couponing!