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Labor Day weekend

September 5, 2011

Happy 3 day weekend everyone! I hope you are all busy doing fabulous things to celebrate the end of summer. I wanted to make sure this three day weekend was as much about productivity as about having fun and I think I have succeeded in that goal! There were lots of things I wanted to get done (laundry, grocery shopping, washing sheets and towels, working out, etc), things that I had to do (work a shift at the hat shop, catch up on some work for the school since classes start next week), and things that I wanted to do (watch some college football with friends at a bar, go to a happy hour with coworkers, go shopping in Old Town Alexandria with Allison, start reading my September book club book, etc.). At this point, I can say that I have completed all of these tasks and I am happy to know that I still have the rest of the day today to relax.

I don’t know about you all, but I get a little excited when I see my fridge and cabinets getting empty and I know it is time to go to the store and buy new groceries! It is like getting a start fresh. I realized I needed to restock earlier last week, but I was able to hold out until Saturday morning to make the trip. I like to go on the weekend because I tend to take a long time planning for a trip and at the store to make sure I am saving as much money as I can and making healthy choices.

I have to admit, I NEVER used coupons when grocery shopping until I saw Extreme Couponing on TLC last year. Have you seen that show? It is amazing how they can save sooooo much money and it definitely changed my outlook on grocery shopping. I have not become THAT extreme, but I do cut coupons and it has saved me so much money over the past few months! I can usually cave $10-$30 on any given shopping trip, which adds up! Sometimes my roommate and I buy the Sunday paper (we more than make up for $2 it costs with the money saved through the coupons) and sometimes my mom mails me the coupons from her Sunday paper!

Before going shopping I make a list of things I know I need:

Then I look through our coupon collection to see 1) If we have coupons for the things on my need list and 2) If we have coupons for any extra fun things I might want! We organize our coupons in 4 categories:

  • Food
  • Beauty (razors, shampoo, make up, etc.)
  • Household products (soaps, detergents, toilet paper, paper towels, etc.)
  • Specific restaurants

Then I go shopping! Not only do I take time to pay attention to the coupon restrictions, but also to the store’s specials. Here is what I got this time around:

Chocolate chip cookies mix, oats, canned corn, black beans, kidney beans, salsa, 6 pack sparkling water, cream cheese, frozen broccoli, frozen veggie burgers, Morning Star ground “beef,” shredded cheese, 2 blueberry favored greek yogurt, 4 pack peach yogurt, sour cream, a dozen eggs, bagel thins, sliced turkey, 4 bananas, bag of grapes, box of strawberries, 2 limes, 1 cucumber, quarter of a watermelon, chopped dates, and 1/2 gallon of skim milk (not all pictured)

Spent: $63.88

Saved: $14.33

Savings Value: 18%

I think my loot from this trip, combined with a few things left over from previous trips, will get me through the next two weeks until I leave for a wedding in Cape Cod!

How do you save money on trips to the grocery store? Do you have any couponing tips to share?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 5, 2011 1:06 pm

    Yay new blog! I do some couponing, though not in an extreme way, and I’d say the only other thing I would add is that it doesn’t really save any money at all if the product is something that you wouldn’t ordinarily buy anyway. BOGO on your favorite deodorant? Definitely buy. $.50 off two bags of Cheetos? Probably not…

  2. September 8, 2011 4:37 pm

    I love your strategy of sorting the coupons by category! I’m definitely going to borrow that one. 😉 One thing I try to do is keep coupons sorted by expiration date – closer dates in front. That way I’m less likely to step up to the cashier with expired coupons.

    (Love the new banner, too! 😉

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