Saturday, April 11, 2009

April Challenge, April 8-14

Menu for this week.

Buy Low
  • Grandma Sycamore's bread: $2.00
  • Sour Cream: $1.97
  • Milk: $200
  • 10 Yoplait yogurts: $6.00
  • Large Vanilla yogurt: $2.39
  • Hamburger: $4.13
  • 2 lbs. carrots: $0.67
  • 1.39 lbs. Fuji Apples: $0.46
  • 2.29 lbs. bananas: $1.15
  • Blackberries: $2.00
  • Blueberries: $2.00
  • Strawberries: $1.50
  • Ice Cube Tray: $2.19
  • Subtotal: 28.46
  • Tax: $0.94
4/8-4/14 Total: $29.40
Total Spent: $69.01
Budget Left: $80.99

Monday, April 6, 2009

Blunders to learn from

So, I've made a few mistakes while learning how to coupon. In order to help you not make the same mistakes, I present to you a list of blunders I've made. (This list will probably grow over time, sadly.)
  • When using Rite-Aid rebates, always make sure you're buying during the right dates. (Unlike Walgreens, Rite-Aid doesn't do all of their rebates over the entire month.)
  • When doing rebates, make sure you check and double check to make sure you have the right product, size, quantity, etc.
  • Count the number of coupons you hand the cashier. Then count the beeps as he/she scans them to make sure they all got scanned.
  • Before you leave the store (I usually do this in the car), compare your shopping list with your receipt and make sure that the price matches what you expected.
  • When buying "Try Me Free" products (you buy it, then send the receipt in to the manufacturer to get a rebate for the purchase cost), make sure the tag on the item has the right date. (I just found out my latest shampoo rebate had to be purchased between 1/1/08 and 7/31/08. I bought it on 3/23/09. Seriously... why was that even still on the shelf?!)
  • When buying multiple "Try Me Free" products, make sure each is on a separate receipt; each rebate requires you mail them the original receipt.
Most of all, if you make a silly blunder, laugh it off. See if you can return the product, or somehow fix the problem. Also, don't worry too much, because chances are, you won't make the same mistake again!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Challenge, April 1 - 7

Menu for this week (links to recipes to come as meals are made.) Groceries needed (plus a few other "essentials") below.

Buy Low
  • 10 lb. bag of potatoes: $1.50
  • 1 dozen brown eggs: $1
  • 2 cans biscuits: $0.49 each
  • Celery stalk: $0.50
  • 3 cloves garlic: $0.99
  • 10 ct. flour tortillas: $1.50
  • Zucchini: $0.31
  • 2 lb. sharp cheddar: $6.99
  • Subtotal: $13.77
  • Tax: $0.41
  • Total: $14.18

  • Two 4-lb. bags of sugar: $1.39 (with $0.50 coupon)
  • 10 Lipton Pasta sides: $10
  • Fresh whole frying chicken: -$0.83 ($4.17 plus $5 savings for buying 10 Lipton Pasta Sides)
  • Subtotal: $11.95
  • Tax: $0.36
  • Total: $12.31

  • French Bread: $1.50
  • Tax: $0.05
  • Preferred Card Savings: $1.55
  • Total: $0.00
  • We had two free sandwiches for filling out a survey, so we ate out, and decided to also buy fries. $1.71
BYU Cougareat
  • Twice BJ made it up to campus late and needed breakfast, so there were two Taco Bell purchases for $2.04 each
  • One lunch on campus for $5.38
Church Office Building Cafeteria
  • When I actually work in SLC, I find it's just as cheap, and much easier, to eat at the cafeteria than to bring my own lunch. For soup and a breadstick, $1.95.
4/1-4/8 Total: $39.61
Budget Left: $110.39

April Challenge

So, for March I had a $100 grocery budget. However, I didn't have a strict challenge on eating out. We stayed under our vague budget for eating out, but we both knew it could be better. (Though, for the record, we did have 2 weekend trips this month, so there was eating out along the way which we wouldn't have done at home.) So for April, we decided to make a goal that included all food expenses. $150. This is groceries and eating out. To make it even more fun, our cupboard is pretty bare from last month, and we're moving, so eating out is going to be very tempting. However, we're determined. So if any of you know of any good recipes that are cheap to make and last for several meals (we don't mind leftovers), please share! We're thinking we'll have lots of pasta, rice, potatoes and soup this month. :) Also, this time I think I'll just do weekly updates instead of an update for each shopping trip. (Unless a specific trip is just too amazing not to post.) And hopefully I'll get back to couponing for other stuff as well this month and you'll get updates on that as well.

Budget left: $150

Grocery Challenge, final

Yesterday was the last day of the month. It was also my turn to make dinner for dinner group. I was also out of milk and had had to borrow eggs from someone else. So, after work, I decided a quick trip to Smith's was necessary.

  • Crescent Rolls: $1.25 (saved $1.34)
  • Milk: $1.49 (saved $0.36)
  • Eggs: $1.00 (saved $0.37)
  • Salad: $1.27
  • Roma tomato: $0.21
  • Tax: $0.16
  • Total: $5.40

Budget left: $3.45 (-$0.56 w/o buffer)
Buffer left: $20.99

Overall, I think I did pretty good for the month. I only went $0.56 over my allotted budget (and it came out of my buffer, so I didn't actually spend any money on it). And that was after realizing that of my allotted $100, I only had $28 to spend. $28.56 for 2-3 weeks isn't bad, methinks. Granted, now my cupboard are pretty bare... but we're moving this month, so that might be a good thing.