This week, my husband made a lunchtime trip to Sam's and Dorothy Lane and spent an awful lot. Now, this means we won't need to buy any of these things for months on end. I did, however, want to make sure that this week we stayed at least within the $125 that is the topmost range of what I like to spend on food every week.
Let's just say that my massive first tuition payment of $2475 (books were included), is making me very, very careful. In September, that next payment is due, and we do not want to incur debt for my master's degree, or dip into our savings.
I thought this would be a great opportunity to challenge my cooking and shopping skills, and resolved to use what we had in the pantry, plus supplement with only $30 of fresh food.
Was I able to do it?
My strategy was to hit multiple stores and get the items I needed at the cheapest possible price for that item.
Sam's Trip: (not pictured)
$90 for 4 huge containers of Clif Bars for my husband, the athlete, plus our son, and Carnation Instant Breakfast for our son, to help gain weight.
Dorothy Lane: $5.49 for a gallon of organic milk. It was on sale, but that is still pretty pricey.
Fresh Thyme: $13.63
I was eyeing the blueberries for $0.99 each, but we still have grapes, kiwi, and some oranges, so I passed on them this week. Got to stay in budget!
We have an Aldi that is somewhat nearby, but I don't typically go there. My mother told me I can get a gallon of milk for $1.69 though, so I decided to head there, as we are going through a lot between the baby and my bread-making. An 8 oz block of cheese was only $1.59, and I noted for the future that I could get a pound of lunch meat for $3.49. The yogurt was cheaper than Kroger.
Kroger: $8.20 (minus gift card)
I probably only get the Kroger Free Friday Download 20% of the time, as they are typically overprocessed or have allergens in them. I was happy to see the Snapple tea, though, so I scooped that up for free. Unsweetened for me, please.
I used an ecoupon to get 4 bags of frozen veggies for $0.69 each, and just got a cabbage and some juices and almond milk. Nothing fancy! The original total was $13.20, but I had a $5 Visa gift card from a rebate offer I received, so my out of pocket was lower.
Total for the week:
$29.81 + $95.49 = $124.59
Next up- playing the drugstore game at CVS.
I am trying to switch from my $25 prescription antacid to a cheap OTC one. So trip #1 this week was $8.48 for the antacid, a savings of $16.50 for the month, and $1.25 for a single serving CVS version of Ensure. I got $1.25 back in ECBs for the drink.
Trip #2 and #3 was in one night at two different stores. My usual store was out of All Free and Clear, so I had to hike to another one.
Here is my haul:
For haul #2 I paid $17.94 out of pocket after using coupons and $13.25 in ECBs. I also got $3.75 in ECBs back. For haul #3, I paid $13.05 out of pocket after coupons and got $10 in ECBs back.
This was a total of $30.99 cash out of pocket, getting $13.75 in ECBs back, and I will submit for a $10 rebate from the manufacturer. After the rebate, my out of pocket will have been $20.99. I will roll those ECBs on another deal in the future.
I bought 16 items, so my cost per item was $1.31 each. Pretty great considering that All detergent was originally $7.49 each.