Sunday, January 15, 2012

Kroger round 2

So since my dork of a husband unplugged the laptop and my first one got deleted, I'll make this short and sweet. I made a quick run to Kroger this morning to use the rest of my Nesquik coupons and the other coupons I had that Kroger had sent me that were expiring today. Anyhow, here's what I got:
16 cans of Chef Boyardee Ravioli @ $1 (and used 4 coupons for $1/4 from smart source insert)
12 Snack pack pudding (4 count each)@ $1 and used 4 coupons for .40/3 that doubled
20 pouches of nestlequik @ $1.15 each and used 20
6 boxes of ortega shells (found $1 each peelies on the box)
1 poise pads @$5.39 and used my kroger coupon for a free one up to $6
1 Oscar Meyer Hot dogs @ $3.79 and used my kroger coupon for a free one
1 9oz Oscar Meyer lunch meat (not sure about price) and used my kroger coupon for a free one
1 Kroger lunch meat @ $3 and used my kroger coupon for .40/1
1 Fleishmann's Margarine @ $1.25 and used my .25/1 coupon loaded to my Kroger card
2 1 lb blocks of Kroger cheddar cheese @ $2.99. (reg price $5.29)

It ended up costing me $33 and change, and was over $101 originally before sales and coupons!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

getting organized

So, my "puny" little stockpile got an overhaul today...Finally got some order to the stockpile again. This next year, I have a goal of tripling the size of my stockpile, so I can donate more to family, friends, and those in need. I also want to get a year's worth supply of items that don't expire for us to keep at home to have for emergency back up. That's the goal at least. Toothpaste is a big one. Last year, when Kroger let you stack mfr and e-coupons, I bought several tubes, and the only time I've bought them since if if they were free. I gave alot away recently, so it looks pretty wimpy now, but mostly because I haven't had much of a budget for this type stuff since we tightened our grocery budget.

Instead, I only buy stuff when its at the 75% off pricepoint (except diapers). That has been my big saver this year. Finding a low low price and stocking up in a big way. Of course it doesn't always happen that way, and sometimes you just have to take what you can get. Like I bought 3 cans of pasta sauce and manwich last night. But it was on sale for $1(normal for sale price) but then I had a rare E coupon to go with it, for 3 of them. So that's what I bought. This time last year, I bought several boxes of pasta (for free) and we are STILL eating on it! Now I have a few cans of sauce to go with it! We especially love the veggie pasta.

I also have a goal of bulding up an actual first aid kit, not just a medicine shelf. I don't think I paid more than $2 for EVERYTHING combined,on that medicine shelf. Most of it was free after coupons and catalina deals. I've got lots of cold meds, cough drops, kleenex, ocillococcum (or however you spell it...its homeopathic flu meds for kids...good stuff), benadryl, bandaids, contact solution and lots of other stuff.

I have about a 6 month supply of shampoo/conditioner now, so the only time I need to buy it now is if it's free, or if someone I know needs it. I also want to buy 2-3 more boxes of diapers and build of a wipes stock again. I finally just bought the first diaper wipes at all since May of last year. Kroger had a mega sale and I ended up getting like 40 (I think...maybe 30??) packs of wipes for free. Anyways, we are just now back out again. But Kroger had a sale on Comforts (kroger brand ) baby items and there were tubs of wipes for like $1.69 (i think...??) and I had .60/1 coupons (3 of them) loaded to my kroger card. So now I've three boxes of wipes again.

I feel like I'm starting all over building my stockpile again, when I look at where it was at certain points over last year. But the truth of it is, if I kept it all to myself, how selfish would that be? I try to give away as much as we can part with, while still being able to be responsible as far as providing for my own family goes. I don't see couponing and having a stockpile as "hoarding" because I don't waste stuff. Everything gets used either by us, my extended family, friends or a food pantry. In fact, I had intentions of giving a good percentage of a shopping trip for canned goods over to a food pantry a while back, and we've had to fall back on it for our own use to make ends meet. So I think stockpiling makes a lot of sense. I believe that if we are responsible with our money, God will take care of us. For me, that means being financially independent. There was a time when my husband was not working and we had to rely on food stamps. I don't want to be in that position again. I think it is a good thing, and should be available for a limited time if you need it. But I think there are many out there who take advantage of the system in order to not have to do for themselves. So, truth be told, I coupon because I feel like it's the responsible thing to do. JMO.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Supa Sava!!!

So I took the lil man shopping with me tonight. This was probably one of the easiest trips I have done in a while, to have gotten so many items. I have to say 1) If you haven't started putting ecoupons on your Kroger card, you have got to!! There are some pretty great ones right now, that go along with the P&G sale going on right now. Also, sometimes Kroger will have promotional deals where they have special high value coupons for limited time to download them, and then you have several weeks (usually) to use it. Like I had 3 coupons for kroger brand baby wipes on the card, for .60/1 each expiring a month apart.
2) I am really enjoying having Kroger so close to the house. I'll be honest, when I found out several months ago that we were losing all our area Schnucks, I was worried. Not so much because I was losing my favorite store-I rarely shopped there, at least not like I shop at Kroger. But I was afraid Kroger's prices would significantly rise, as they were losing a major competitor that also double coupons. Back last summer, I was able to stock up on several items in bulk (12 bottles of bbq sauce, 6 bottles of mustard, etc...) we are still using them!

So we have been living off the stockpile for the last few days, since I haven't had time or energy to get to the store. I made myself go tonight, after seeing alot of the great deals at Kroger tonight. Let me preface it with this, I mostly used E coupons tonight, and just a couple printable coupons. Kroger limits printable coupons to 2 coupons per brand of product (so now more than 2 internet coupons of kellogs, not more than 2 of yoplait, etc) It works out perfect for me, because we only have one computer that can print, and each computer you have can print 2 of the coupons (from most websites like,

So we have been trying to eat better around here, and part of the plan for this week was to stock up on on healthier foods. I found a deal on Yoplait yogurt cups. They are on sale at Kroger for .60 each. I have coupons for .40 off 6, which doubles at all Kroger in our area to .80/6. I bought 12 cups, used 2 of the coupons, and then b/c I bought 12, it printed out $1.25 off my next order! So I ended up getting them for about 43 cents a cup! Hannah and Jonah love yogurt, so I stocked up!!

Kroger in our area also has a deal on Kashi and Kelloggs Special K and Fiberone Cereals. So I hunted online for coupons for those items and I found some good ones. If you a member of recyclebank, they have a $2 off any kashi product coupon on there. Also, Kelloggs website has coupons too (not a lot but some) that you can use.

Another thing I have found that saves tons is shopping the manager's specials. I scored big time on some items tonight. I like to buy bakery pies, rolls, and breads from manager's special, because they are often 75% off the orig. price, and they can be frozen if you won't eat them in the next day or two. Plus, day old french bread makes great french toast or homemade croutons! The manager special bread is always in the bread section. Other manager's special items are usually in a different section, everything thrown together. In my Kroger, the clearance stuff is next to the health foods section. I scored some super cheap baking staples for pennies on the dollar! I got 2 boxes of Swan's Down Cake flour reg price $3.19, clearance price $1.50. I got 4 cannister's of Kroger brand cocoa powder reg. price $2.99, I paid $1.30. I found 4 boxes of Kelloggs KRAVE cereal, reg price $4.19, marked down to $2, and on the box was a coupon for $1 off 2 boxes. You can bet that I used my keys and sawed into that box right then and "cut" those coupons out.
And let me say this, just because it is on Manager's special doesn't mean it's expired. Sometimes, they buy items that just don't sell, so they mark it down. Sometimes the manufacturer changes the packaging and they want to get rid of the old style quickly. Sometimes they order too much and need to sell it so they don't have to store it. Sometimes the outer pallet is damaged but the inner contents is salvagable. Sometimes it is close to or after it's exp. date. There are all kinds of reasons for things going onto manager's special and there are things that I will and won't buy on it. I will never buy chicken on mgr special for example-both times I bought chicken that was marked down, it smelled rancid when we opened it up. But as long as they have another day or two, and look fresh, I will buy beef if it's cheap enough. But these items were all 6 months or more away from the exp. date so there's no reason to NOT buy them!

Also one more tip is to compare prices of the different sizes. I always was told to buy the bigger size would save you money. This is true, to an extent. You just have to check though. Sometimes, it is to your advantage to buy the smaller size, especially when you are using coupons to buy them with. Example:
Jonah won't drink white milk, so I add just a little bit of Nesquik. We usually buy the tub of it, it's like $4.79 *or so, i'm not looking at it right this second* for a 37 serving container. A couple months ago, they put out coupons for .60 off any 1 nesquik. Now, that $4.79-$.60 (the .60 will double to $1.20 off) is still an ok price. But not if you buy much of it!
So using 1 coupon, it would be $3.59 for 37 serving tub.
Instead, Nesquik also has 7 serving packets for just $1.15. If I use that .60 coupon, it would take off a much higher percentage by using the smaller package. So you could get the 7 serving package completely free. So for every coupon you have, you can get a free pouch! Now, I will say, I don't do this often, but I did order coupons online for this. The nesquik coupon expires Sunday, so I wanted to be sure to get several. I paid $5 (from 2 people) total for 40 total coupons to be cut out for me and mailed to me quickly, on this. So if you add in the cost of coupon, I was able to get nearly 4 tubs worth, for $2.50 (just the price I paid to have them mail me their extra coupons they cut out!) I got 20 tonight (I made sure not to clear the shelf and leave some more for others, but I'll be going back to a different Kroger tomorrow or Sunday to get 20 more. This is one of those ways to save big, BUY IN BULK!!

Ok, so all that being said....
This was what it looked like when I got home and unloaded it all. Only thing missing is the milk (in the fridge) and the potatoes (out of the picture).

So here's the breakdown of what I bought.
3 tubs of Comfort baby wipes
2 canisters of baby puffs
1 box Luvs diapers
1 pack Charmin 12 pk double rolls, ultra soft
1 comforts baby diaper rash cream
4 packs Bic crystal pens
3 cans manwich
3 cans hunts spaghetti sauce
2 boxes Swans Down Cake flour
4 canisters Kroger Cocoa powder
1 bottle veg. Oil
1 bottle EV olive oil
2 boxes Kashi cereal
2 boxes Fiberone Cereal
4 boxes Kelloggs KRAVE
12 cups Yoplait yogurt
1 Marine Callender's Family lasagna
1 bag banquet chicken nuggets
2 febreeze air freshener sprays
1 febreeze plug in
2 Swiss Miss hot cocoa, 10 ct.
1 Old Spice Deodorant
1 Secret Deodorant
1 case of Kroger brand bottled water
1 bottle Ken's salad dressing
2 family packs of boneless skinless chicken @ $1.99/lb
1 4pk Ribeye steaks @ $6.99/lb
1 box parkay margarine
24 count american cheese, kroger brand
1 bottle Tide (approx 30 washes)
2 gallons milk
20 packets *7 svg size* Nesquik
an apple pie from the bakery
cinnamon raisin bread from the bakery

Total I paid, after tax $143.43
Total before coupons, kroger card, and manager's special prices, an est $270!!!
My reciept says savings of $110, or 44%, but it doesn't take into account the mgr special price as savings. It just marks it the price labeled on the item, and doesn't add those savings the the total.