Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Grocery Shopping This Week

My official 2016 weekly grocery budget is $100/wk for 4 people (2 adults, 2 teens) but I really aim to spend $50 or less. 

However this week I found a bunch of meat on clearance at Save A Lot and marshmallows also on clearance at Aldi, and I also stocked up on sugar, pasta, oranges, and tortillas (again!), so I allowed myself to go over that $50 mark.

Let's see how I did!

Budget for the week: $100.00
Total OOP: $67.99
Rebates expected: $1.74
Total spent after rebates: $66.25
Money left in budget: $33.75

Baking Supplies: $4.91 OOP

  1. The sign on the window at Save A Lot advertised the sugar as being on sale for $1.79 but when I got to my car and checked my receipt,  I realized that I had been charged $1.89 per bag so I went back inside to get my $0.30 back.
  • 1 can evaporated milk (Aldi) @ $0.69
  • (3) 4-lb bags Domino's sugar (Save A Lot), on sale @ $1.79 each, minus $0.40/1 coupon from insert and $0.75/2 printable coupon = $4.22

Beverages: $1.00 OOP

  1. I decided to treat myself since I love hazelnut-flavored coffee but the one I'm brewing right now is plain.
  • Dunkin' Donuts hazelnut creamer cups (Publix), on sale @ $2.00, minus $1.00/1 digital manufacturer coupon = $1.00

Breads/Baked Goods: $2.60 OOP
  1. I couldn't resist buying 3 more bags of Ortega tortillas at Dollar Tree since I had another $1.00/3 any Ortega product coupon!  I need to make room in my freezer to freeze all those tortillas, though!
  2. The Home Bake Value wheat bread has gone down from $1.12 to $0.98 at Walmart. Yes!
  • (3) 12-ct bags Ortega flour tortillas (Dollar Tree) @ $1.00 each = $3.00 minus $1.00/3 printable manufacturer coupon = $2.00
  • (1) loaf white bread (Aldi) @ $0.85 and got $0.25 back from MobiSave = $0.60
  • (1) loaf wheat bread (Walmart) @ $0.98 but FREE with Swagbucks gift card.
  • (1) loaf French bread (Walmart) on 50% clearance @ $0.50 but FREE with Swagbucks gift card.

Cereals: $3.98 OOP and will receive $0.50 from Ibotta and KFR points
  1. It's been a while since I've paid (so much or at all!) for Special K cereal, but we were out and I figured that the large boxes might last us if I admonished my daughter not to eat more of it since the boxes are larger. We'll see if she can resist!
  2. The Grape Nuts wasn't needed since I have 4 or 5 boxes on my shelf, but I did have that Ibotta rebate which isn't anything to spit at, lol.
  3. I really wanted Crispy Rice cereal to make rice krispie treats but Aldi was completely out so I bought the Crispy Oats instead. I can make treat bars with those too and the price had gone down to $1.19 a box, which is a really good deal. This time, though, I'll only put out half of the rice krispie treats so they last a little longer!
  • (1) box Grape Nuts (Walmart) @ $2.92  but FREE with Swagbucks gift card and will get $0.50 back from Ibotta so $0.50 MONEY MAKER.
  • (2) value-size boxes of Special K cereal (Publix), on BOGO sale @ $4.79, minus (2) $1.00/1 manufacturer coupons from Kellogg's Family Rewards = $2.79
  • (1) box Crispy Oats (Aldi), on sale @ $1.19

Dairy: $11.71 OOP
  1. The milk plastic wrapper had a coupon printed on the back for $1.00 off any DairyPure whipping cream or half and half product so I clipped it. My CVS didn't carry either, unfortunately, so I'll check Walgreens or Publix.
  2. The butter has gone down to $2.49/lb so I bought 1 lb and froze it. I'm hoping it'll keep on going down so I didn't want to buy more. If it reaches $1.99, I'll buy several pounds.  NOTE: I shopped yesterday. The new Aldi ad is up online this morning and butter is down to $1.99 and will remain so through Easter. Gah!  I'll buy 4 or 5 lbs next week and freeze it.
  3. The Swiss cheese slices are for the Reuben sandwiches that I plan on making. I probably should have priced them at Publix since there is a $0.50 Sargento rebate, darn it.
  • (1) gallon whole milk (CVS), on sale @ $2.79 but FREE with CVS gift card earned with our American Express Rewards.
  • (1) lb unsalted butter (Aldi), @ $2.49
  • (4) cups yogurt (Aldi) @ $0.39 each = $1.56
  • (2) 8 oz blocks mild cheddar (Aldi) @ $1.89 = $3.78
  • (1) 7-oz package Swiss cheese slices (Aldi) @ $1.99
  • (1) package Fit & Active string cheese (Aldi) @ $2.79
Dry/Pantry/Freezer Goods: $3.81 OOP 
  1. I'm really annoyed at Walmart and at myself because the thyme was clearly marked $0.94 on the shelf (I took a picture) but it rang up for $1.12 and I forgot to check the prices as the cashier was scanning the items so I missed it and didn't realize it until I was home, typing up this post! However, I was thrilled to finally find thyme for a low price (and actually for free since I used my Swagbucks gift card).
  2. Inversely, the grape jelly's shelf price was $1.65 at Aldi but apparently it rang up at $1.59 (you can't see the display at Aldi and I didn't check my receipt until I was home)
  3. Then at Publix, the cashier only scanned one of my coupons but I did check my receipt in the car and realized it, so I went back to Customer Service.  The attendant there gave me the 3rd degree about it, so we went back to the cashier's who pulled the coupons and the C.S. attendant scrutinized my receipt and accusedly said that I had gotten all the discounts that I was entitled to. So I pulled each coupon one by one and matched it to the receipt until there was $1.00 coupon left that didn't figure on the receipt so THEN they refunded me the $1.00 and apologized-- begrudgingly.  I was annoyed.  I agree they should check those things but I've done mystery shopping at Publix before and one of the reasons why I stopped was that one task had me go to C.S. and lie about something that they couldn't verify (I won't reveal the exact scenario) and they were supposed to refund me, no questions asked.  So to be given the 3rd degree in today's situation was unsettling and definitely made me feel like they thought I was a criminal. Maybe I'm just being thin skinned?
  • (1) 0.5 oz bag dry thyme (Walmart) @ $1.12 but FREE with Swagbucks gift card.
  • (1) jar grape jelly (Aldi) @ $1.59
  • (1) container iodized salt (Aldi) @ $0.39
  • (1) jar Reese marinated artichoke hearts (Publix), on sale @ $1.20, minus $0.75/1 printable manufacturer coupon = $0.45
  • (4) boxes Mueller's pasta (Publix), on BOGO sale @ $1.69, minus (2) $1.00/2 printable manufacturer coupons = $1.38
  • (1) can Progresso soup (CVS), on sale @ $1.49, minus $0.50 store coupon = $0.99 but FREE with CVS gift card earned with our American Express Rewards (not pictured)
Produce/Juice: $14.07 and will get $0.25 back from Ibotta
  1. I went overboard with the produce: goof deal but I still have several pounds of it in my pantry, I already have 4 lbs of onions waiting for me to dice them, and I had about 2 or 3 lbs of pinto beans left in my pantry too! The strawberries have been delicious and I want to make some scones this week so I bought 3 lbs. I might dehydrate some too, we'll see.  The oranges have been delicious so I had to buy 2 more bags!  
  2. I'm going to plant jalapeño seeds again because it's ridiculous that I'm buying some when, last year, I had jalapeños coming out of my ears, lol.
  • 10 lbs Russet potatoes (Save A Lot), on sale @ $2.49
  • 3 lbs yellow onions (Save A Lot), on clearance @ $0.75 and got $0.25 back from Checkout 51 so $0.50
  • 1 cantaloupe (Walmart), price matched with Save A Lot @ $0.99 but FREE with Swagbucks gift card
  • 3 lbs strawberries (Aldi), on sale @ $1.29 each = $3.87
  • 2.96 lbs bananas (Walmart) @ $0.56/lb = $1.66 but FREE with Swagbucks gift card
  • 12 oz frozen mixed vegetables (Walmart) @ $0.98 but FREE with Swagbucks gift card.
  • 2 lbs dry pinto beans (Dollar Tree) @ $1.00
  • 1 cucumber (Aldi) @ $0.55
  • 8 lbs navel oranges (Aldi), on sale @ $1.79 each = $3.58
  • 1 lb kiwi (Aldi), on sale $0.99
  • 1 Boston lettuce (Aldi) @ $1.39 and got $0.30 back from MobiSave so $1.09
  • 1 lb grape tomatoes (Aldi) @ $1.69
  • 0.03 lbs jalapeño (Walmart) @ $1.98/lb = $0.06 but FREE with Swagbucks gift card and will receive $0.25 back from Ibotta so $0.25 MONEY MAKER

Proteins: $13.05 OOP

  1. I wasn't planning on buying all this meat at Save A Lot, but the clearance sales were too good (the Jennie-O turkey breakfast sausage was marked down to $1.50 each and I had $1.00 off coupons!) and then I decided to use up my last 2 Butterball coupons too since it looked like they were running low on the Smoked turkey sausages and I was afraid they wouldn't get them back in stock for a while.  None of this took a lot of room in the freezer.
  2. I had meant to get Walmart to price match the boneless skinless chicken breasts from Aldi ($1.49/lb) as Rosie had suggested in a comment last week, but since I stocked up on the clearance meat at Save A Lot and my freezer is full, I decided against it at the last minute.
  3. The corned beef was marked down to $1.98/lb at Walmart. I'm glad I had seen it there last week because it was $4.69/lb at Aldi!  I got a small package to make Reuben sandwiches later on in the week.
  4. My Aldi cashier was rushing because she wanted to close her register after she was done checking me out.  You can't see the display in Aldi so I didn't realize until I was home that I benefitted from her being inattentive: she only charged me for 2 dozen eggs instead of 3, and she also only charged me for 1 jug of cat litter instead of two!
  • 3 dozens large eggs (Aldi) @ $1.29 each = should have been $3.87 but my cashier only charged me for 2 so $2.58
  • 1 lb Black Forest turkey (Aldi) @ $3.49
  • 1.99 lbs corned beef brisket (Walmart), marked down to $1.98/lb = 3.94
  • 2 links Butterball Smoked Turkey (Save A Lot) @ $1.99 each, minus (2) $0.75/1 printable manufacturer coupons = $2.48
  • 5 lbs Jennie-O turkey breakfast sausage rolls (Save A Lot), on clearance @ $1.50 each, minus (5) $1.00/1 printable manufacturer coupons = $2.50
  • 1.03 lbs bottom round steak (Save A Lot), on clearance @ $1.94/lb = $2.00

Snacks: $12.86 OOP and will get $0.99 back from SavingStar

  1. Remember how fast those rice krispie treats disappeared after I made them last week?!  Since I'm pretty sure my kids looooove them, I was thrilled to see the Valentine's Day-themed marshmallows on clearance for $0.25 a bag at Aldi, and I grabbed 8 bags. I'm going to hide them so we don't eat them right out of the bag. And when I say "we", I mean "I", lol.
  2. The chips will actually be our side "dish" on Sunday night when I make the Reuben sandwiches
  3. The donuts were for the kids' snack this afternoon. My daughter told me, afterwards, that she doesn't care for Walmart donuts so I guess my son will have to eat them all. I may help him.
  4. I treated myself to a small lemon pie for $0.25 today since I didn't have any pie for Pi Day yesterday :)
  • 8 bags marshmallows (Aldi), on clearance @ $0.25 each = $2.00
  • 2 bags TasteWorks chips (RaceTrac), @ $0.99 each but FREE with redemption of 2 survey reward codes
  • 1 bag potato chips (Aldi), @ $1.49
  • 1 package peanut butter crackers (Aldi) @ $0.89
  • 1 box protein bars (Aldi) @ $1.99
  • 1 box red berries cereal bars (Aldi) @ $1.79
  • 6 creme-filled donuts (Walmart), on 50% clearance @ $1.39 but FREE after Swagbucks gift card
  • 1 mini lemon pie (Walmart), on 50% clearance @ $0.25 but FREE after Swagbucks gift card
  • 1 box peanut butter bars (Walmart), @ $1.48  but FREE after Swagbucks gift card
  • 1 large bag M&Ms (CVS, bought on Saturday, not pictured) @ $4.70
  • 1 bag Skittles (CVS) @ $1.19 minus $1.19/1 manufacturer coupon (won in an IWG) = FREE
  • 1 Cadbury egg (CVS) @ $0.99 but FREE with CVS gift card earned with our American Express Rewards (not pictured) and will receive $0.99 back from SavingStar

Did you get any great deals at the grocery store this week?  Please link up or share your finds in the comments :)


  1. I love reading about how you get such great deals on your grocery shopping with your coupons and gift cards! I used to coupon more at one point than I do now. And I haven't done any Swagbucks, etc. I do occasionally get the CVS cash rewards, which I redeem for toiletries, etc. But I am very much an amateur when it comes to couponing, etc.

    1. I really like CVS, it's so much better than Walgreens. Walgreens' rules for couponing are so convoluted that I feel like an amateur every time I tried using coupons there!

  2. I love the vanilla coffee creamer but they don't do creamer in the UK so the only time I can get it is if I'm over with you. I crave this constantly and my eldest said he would bring me back some but I don't know if he can bring it through customs.

    You got lots of bargains today Nathalie especially the meat.

    I might make some chocolate crist cakes at the weekend I haven't made any for ages xx

    1. You don't have creamer in the UK?! How odd! Yes, it's going to be tricky with Customs, they don't like you bringing food in, especially if it's liquid. I hope you get some anyway!

  3. You found a ton of great deals!! Especially that turkey sausage, nice. I love rice krispy treats so much. Actually, i love them too much and can practically eat the whole pan myself. So I try not to make them too, too often. I saw those marshmallows at our Aldi, but they never dropped that low in price. I think our folks are still getting used to having the Aldi here, so things are snapped up quickly where in other places people might be more apt to wait for prices to keep lowering? I don't know. I do know that there has been enough response to our one Aldi that they've committed to opening another here in Jacksonville -- not close to me, but I'm glad that more are opening here.

    Tara -- I've seen recipes online for homemade, flavored coffee creamer, so maybe you can make your own?

    1. I think getting those deals at Aldi are hit and miss. It'd been several weeks that I hadn't really seen anything on clearance. I hope they open an Aldi in Gainesville, in case my daughter gets accepted at UF!

  4. Good for you for having gone back in to the stores (both of them) to get your money back that was due to you. It is a PITA to have to go back in to correct their mistakes, but if more people did it, then perhaps they would clean up their act. If that had happened here with the bags of sugar being charged more than the advertised price, one of those bags would have been free. That insures that the price is changed immediately on the computer, so they don't continue to overcharge. We have been the recipients of free merchandise under this "scanner price accuracy code" up to a value of $10, or if the price discrepancy is over $10, then a reduction of $10 is awarded after the correct price has been applied. It keeps the stores on their toes. Whatever happened to "the customer is always right"?

    1. Publix does that here and I've gotten free things several times over the last 15 years there although recently they've been much better. But Save A Lot, Walmart, even Aldi... they don't care. Save A Lot and Aldi don't even have a Customer Service area so you need to hold up the line and get the cashier to understand what happened and refund you. Aldi is always so busy, I usually don't even bother. Their American cheese slices, for instance, have been marked $1.79 on the shelf for months but they've been ringing up for $1.89. I mentioned it once. They said "OK" but didn't offer a refund and never changed the shelf sticker so now I just budget for $1.89. But it does annoy me.


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