This post is inspired by Rachel's recent post. (who, by the way, is the winner of the Spring Clean 2008! Congratulations Rachel!)
Last weekend we needed some groceries and I had a Visa gift card with a balance of 38.22. I was determined to spend only the amount on the card - and was on a mission. After cutting and gathering coupons, looking through ads, and making my list I headed out. This is what I came home with:
1 bunch of seedless grapes
2 whole "natural" chickens - reduced for quick sale - cooked one on Sunday, froze the other
2 boxes Lucky Charms - SO DANGEROUS. It's impossible to keep a box around for very long. :)
2 boxes Cheerios
1 Bag Chips
2 bags of cheese
2 gallons of milk
1 bag frozen broccoli
10 containers of yogurt
1 Dawn Simple Pleasures Dish Soap
1 Bottle of Cascade Dishwasher Soap
1 package of Cascade Action packs
1 container of Mr. Clean Cleaning Wipes
The total spent was 38.79 - (I had to do some digging in the car's change compartment to get the last .57)
According to the receipts, I saved 31.86. This does not include the four dollar "register rewards" that I received at Walgreens, the two dollar coupon I received for my next purchase of cereal at Randalls (aka Safeway), and the two 1.50 coupons for Pampers that are on the back of the Cheerios boxes. That's an additional nine dollars in savings.
I love finding deals like this. It totally makes my day. However, it is very time consuming and there is no way I could have done it all with a toddler in tow. With the prices of gas and food on the rise, I am even more determined to shop this way.
Thanks to Dave Ramsey and his Financial Freedom program, we have come a long way in budgeting and managing our money in the past two years. The area that I struggle with is budgeting for our food. I can figure out how much to budget for (thanks to Quicken) but need a system to actually carry it out. I find that it's easier to use the debit card, however, it is a lot easier to spend more than I had planned.
Here are my questions for you. If you budget for grocery shopping - exactly how do you carry it out? What's your grocery shopping system using coupons and ads? And, if you have a smaller family is it worth shopping at places like Costco and Sams?