Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Grocery Shopping This Week

Wednesday is my main shopping day. My official 2015 weekly grocery budget is $100/wk for 4 people (2 adults, 2 teens) but I've been trying to stick to a $50/wk budget since February.

Let's see how I did!

Budget for the week: $50.00
Total OOP: $60.13
Rebates expected: $0.00
Total spent after rebates: $60.13
Money left in budget: OVER BUDGET by $10.13

Baking Supplies: $0.00 OOP

  • None needed.

Beverages: $2.98 OOP

  1. I had told my daughter she would have to pay for the Arizona tea that she wanted, but there was a sale so I got 4 of them instead of the 2 she wanted and then I told her they were on me :)
  2. I wasn't planning on getting black tea since we have many boxes of it, but the coupons were good and my Publix won't be selling this type of tea after October, according to the label on the shelf.

  • (4) 23-oz cans of Arizona tea (Walgreens), @ $0.99 each, minus $1.96 store coupon = $2.00
  • (1) can of Murphy cherry limeade (Murphy USA), FREE with store e-coupon
  • (1) can of Left Hook energy drink (Racetrac), FREE with store coupon
  • 2 boxes of Lipton Black Tea (Publix) @ $1.99 each, minus (2) $1.50/1 store coupons = $0.98 ($0.49 each)

Breads/Baked Goods: $1.70 OOP
  1. The homemade bread is great for on-the-spot snacking, but not so great for making sandwiches for the next day so I'll keep buying bread from Aldi for Greg and our kids' sandwiches to take to work and school and I'll be making homemade bread for dinner that night.
  • 2 loaves of white bread (Aldi) @ $0.85 each = $1.70

 Cereals: $0.00 OOP
  • 3 boxes of Special K Red Berries (CVS), on sale @ $2.00 each = $6.00, minus $1.00/3 printable manufacturer coupon, minus $3.00 in Extrabucks from previous trip = $2.00 (or $0.67 each) but FREE after paying with CVS gift card earned through our American Express Rewards program. I also earned 240 Kellogg's Family Rewards points.

Dairy: $10.82 OOP
  1. My daughter requested 6 cups of yogurt so I'll be buying more yogurt from now on.
  2. The brie wasn't on my list but it is sooooo good with homemade bread :)
  • 1 round of Brie cheese (Aldi) @ $2.99
  • 8 oz of mozzarella cheese (Aldi) @ $1.59
  • 16 cups of Fit & Active yogurt (Aldi) @ $0.39 each = $6.24

Dry/Pantry/Freezer Goods: $3.28 OOP 
  1. I was happy to be able to once again stack the coupons that Pinchme sent me with a store BOGO coupon to continue stocking up on my favorite sweetener!
  2. The tortellini weren't on my list but we like them and they don't need to be refrigerated.  They used to ring up for $0.99 but they corrected their mistake this week and they rang for the advertised price of $1.29 :(
  • (2) 80-ct boxes of PureVia stevia (Publix), @ $3.99 each, minus $3.99 BOGO store coupon, minus (2) $1.00/1 manufacturer coupons received from = $1.99 
  • (1) package of tortellini with Porcini mushroom filling (Aldi) @ $1.29
Produce/Juice: $21.23
  1. The strawberries were marked at $2.79 but rang up for $2.99. Thankfully I caught the price mistake right away and my cashier was awesome as she didn't even question me and did a price adjustment on the spot. I'm going to take the Target survey and pay her a compliment.
  2. We couldn't find the mandarin cups at Aldi so we checked Dollar Tree and found some there. My daughter wanted them for salads.
  3. The 2 bags of baby carrots were a few cents more expensive than the 2-lb bag of carrots but I won't have to peel and cut them so I decided to get the baby carrots this week :)
  • (4) quarts of Driscoll's strawberries (Target) @ $2.79, minus 5% Cartwheel discount, minus (4) $1.00/1 printable manufacturer coupons from Driscoll's Consumer Panel, minus $1.00/$7.00 in produce Target digital coupon, minus $3.00 Target "Apology Coupon", minus 5% RedCard discount = $2.37, but FREE with part of the $5.00 Target gift card received 2 weeks ago for buying cereal.  
  • (1) pint of grape tomatoes (Aldi) @ $1.49
  • (2) lbs of baby carrots (Aldi) @ $0.69 each = $1.28
  • (2) mangoes (Save A Lot) @ $0.69 each = $1.28
  • (2) Haas avocados (Aldi) @ $0.55 each = $1.10
  • 2.09 lbs of bananas (Aldi) @ $0.39/lb = $0.82, and I got $0.25 back from Checkout 51 so $0.57
  • 4.91 lbs of grapes (Save A Lot) @ $0.99/lb = $4.87
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms (Aldi) @ $0.99
  • 8 oz spinach (Aldi) @ $0.99
  • 3 romaine hearts (Aldi) @ $1.99
  • 5 lbs baking potatoes (Aldi) @ $1.69
  • 3 lbs Red Delicious apples (Aldi) @ $2.89
  • 3 mandarin fruit cups (Dollar Tree) @ $1.00
  • 1 bag of frozen broccoli florets (Aldi) @ $1.09

Proteins: $8.59 OOP
  1. I was wondering if the cashier would refuse to redeem the raincheck I had gotten for the eggs last week since it had been written for $1.29 a dozen (the other cashier had made a mistake, it should have been written for $1.99 a dozen but I didn't notice until I got home several hours later, honest!) but she didn't bat an eye. However, she did forget to scan one of my ECB vouchers ($2) so I called the store later on and they took my card number and will research the coupons from that register.
  2. I bought tuna even though it wasn't on my list because I saw it and thought I had forgotten to stock back up after making tuna patties last time... but when I got home, I realized that I did actually have 4 cans already. Oh well, it won't go bad.
  • 2 dozen eggs (CVS), $1.29 each with raincheck = $2.58 but FREE after paying with CVS gift card earned through our American Express Rewards program.
  • 3-lb chub of Jennie-O ground turkey (Aldi) @ $5.99
  • 4 cans of chunk light tuna (Aldi) @ $0.65 each = $2.60

Snacks: $11.53 and received $5.00 in Extracare Bucks
  1. The snack section of my posts is going to be more expensive from now on: Greg requested Clif protein bars. But they were $5.79 a box of 6 at Target and Publix (although Target has them on sale for $5.00 right now and I have a $1.00/2 store coupon) but Aldi has several versions of protein bars too. So I got 2 different types this week so he can decide which one he would prefer.
  2. My daughter requested these cereal bars since she investigated cereal bar prices at various stores and realized that Aldi had the best price and she also likes them.
  3. We have 2.5 bags of Almonds in the fridge already but decided to get more since we could get a good price on them and also some ECBs. 
  • 2 bags of Heavenly Light Popcorn (CVS), @ $1.00 each minus $2.00/2 printable store coupon = FREE
  • (3) 16-oz bags of Abound almonds (CVS), on sale @ $7.99 each = $23.97, minus $3.00/$15.00 store coupon from kiosk = $20.97 but FREE after paying with CVS gift card earned through our American Express Rewards program, and received $5.00 in Extracare Bucks
  • 2 packages of peanut butter crackers (Aldi) @ $0.89 each = $1.78
  • 1 package Excite mints (Aldi) @ $0.99
  • 1 box of Swiss rolls (Aldi) @ $0.99
  • 1 box Fit & Active Protein Meal Bars (Aldi) @ $3.99
  • 1 box Millville Protein bars (Aldi) @ $1.99
  • 1 box Fit & Active Vitality cereal bars (Aldi) @ $1.79

Did you get any good deals this week?


  1. Hi Nathalie, you were very close to your food budget. I have set ours at £100 a week but haven't managed to stick to it yet in the last two weeks. Do you just shop once a week because I think that is where I am going wrong! We don't really have many coupons or offers in the UK but my son does have an interview at one of the supermarkets next week for a part time job at weekends whilst he is at University and if he gets it I will get 10% off my shopping bill. Fingers crossed. Well done on your shop xx

    1. Yes, I started doing my shopping once a week instead of going whenever I "needed" something last year and what a difference it's made! Before that I would pop in to Publix (did you go to a Publix grocery store when you were here? They're the best!) every morning and sometimes twice a day because it's pretty convenient (just 5 minutes away from my house and on my way back from my daughter's high school when I was still dropping her off every morning) but I was spending so much money and wasting so much gas (when I went outside of school drop-offs). I used to think I was frugal because I used coupons and mostly shopped for things that were already on sale and for which I used coupons. I had big stocks of food and so much of it got thrown away because of poor planning that I got tired of it.

      Since I don't work, I can afford to be gone for a few hours and shop at different stores. I picked Wednesdays because that's when the new Aldi weekly ad starts here. Thankfully there are a lot of American bloggers who somehow get a hold of the stores' weekly ads ahead of time so they post what items will be on sale and what coupons are available for them. Aldi doesn't take coupons though so shopping there is much less complicated but I do go to the other stores to score items that either Aldi doesn't carry or that end up being cheaper because of a promo/coupon combo.

      You should google "couponing in the UK" or "frugal shopping in the UK" or even modifying the search with your area of the UK in it and you might find bloggers that do the same over there. A lot of times people just aren't aware of all the ways to save money. I do know that my family in France doesn't use coupons and when I was there this summer I rarely saw any in the stores and almost never on food. I do occasionally read some UK blogs whose authors talk about the points they accumulate through various UK supermarket loyalty programs and that they then redeem for free merchandise so maybe you should look into your various stores' programs if you haven't already. Also look for apps that offer you rebates on items if you scan your receipts. We have several other here (Checkout 51, SavingStar, Ibotta, Snap by Groupon and more) but I'm not sure if they're available in the UK. Again, google that :) Mostly though, they talk about buying those discounted produce and deli items after 9 p.m. at grocery stores and they seem to get incredible deals that way. Can you go shopping at night?

      Well I did just find a blog that might interest you as it seems to list coupons and Supermarket voucher programs in the UK as well as strategies to save in UK supermarkets! Check it out!

    2. My own blog cut me off, LOL. Here is part 2 of my reply :)

      Swagbucks does work in the UK though, so if you have a little bit of time every day, you should sign up for it (and if you haven't signed up yet, I'd appreciate it if you would use my referral code! and do a couple of activities a day to earn Swagbucks. Eventually you will have enough of them to redeem for a gift card. I'm not sure what the amounts needed are for the UK or what gift cards are available there. At first I earned only a few Swagbucks a day so I would earn only a $5 gift card about once a month. This past month I've already earned $75 in gift cards! I always redeem my Swagbucks for Amazon gift cards but they have tons available over here.

      Foremost, remember to inventory everything that you have at home (your fridges are much smaller over there than here !) and shop your own stash FIRST before heading to the store. Make a menu plan for the week that uses up what you already have and don't be afraid to make substitutions instead of blindly buying an ingredient or spice that you don't stock because it's part of the recipe. Usually the recipe will turn up just fine anyway! Doing those has saved me so much money! I could have spent less than $20 on food this week, easily, if I had truly bought only what we needed for the meals that I planned, eggs and fruit. But since I'm not trying to pay down debt, my $50 a week guideline is just that. I allow myself to go up to $100 if need be. Good luck!

    3. Hiya Nathalie, Thank you so much for all the tips. I am definitely going to try shopping just once a week and try ALDI, at the moment I go to ASDA pretty much every day because like you its five minutes away from where we live.
      We never went to Publix (oh I feel like we missed out). We only went to Walgreens. We stayed on International drive because it was much more expensive to stay on Disney although I would have loved too. Our flight and hotel cost about £1000 each but to stay on Disney was about £1350 each.

      The main reason that we are trying to reduce our spending is because we want to come back in 2017.

      Thanks for the details of the sites I can visit to get more information on how to save money from the supermarkets, I will have a look hopefully they will give me some good tips on how to save money (yay).

      Do you visit your family in France very often? My other half has to work in France once or twice a year and he said it is very pretty. I have only ever been to Calais.

      I am doing my Fridge clear out tomorrow so I will shop my cupboards and fridge/freezer first when I work out my menu plan. (Ha ha yes our fridges are much smaller than yours). So are our washing machines (so jealous).

      I am going to join swagbucks so I will use your code 😊. I do most of my Christmas shopping on Amazon, I can't stand dragging the kids around the shops! So the vouchers would definitely come in handy.

      I'm off now to order a couple of bits for my little Ollie's birthday on Saturday from Amazon. I could have done with some vouchers now.

      Have a lovely evening x

    4. Do check out the Swagbucks program for the UK and make sure it lets you redeem your points for Amazon gift cards like it does here. I do know that there are people from the UK using Swagbucks and they release special Swagcodes for the UK, Canada and Australia that aren't good for US users and vice-versa but I'm not sure what the redemption options are for UK users. Their site will know from your IP address where you're located so you should be able to see what applies to you.

      Yes, we do have very large washing machines here compared to Europe! Everything seems bigger here. I don't really go to France often. I had to go twice in the last 3 years for family emergencies but the last time I had been there before that was 17 years prior. I did take my youngest 2 this summer for a month-long vacation with my family, it was their first time over there. I'm not sure if I'll go back next year. I think this past year's vacation probably was enough for all of us (them and us!) for a while, lol. It's quite expensive to go even though I don't have to pay for a hotel room.

      Happy early birthday to your son!


Anything you'd like to add? Share away!