Shopping Warriors: My Trips for the Week of 3/31/12

This week, I broke out of the ordinary and actually made 3 shopping trips. All of them were on our way home from somewhere so it didn’t cost us any extra money in gas, thankfully. Keep in mind that printable coupons go fast so while I’ll list them, a lot of them are no longer available. These postings are just a way for couponers to get an idea of how to have a decent shopping trip when pairing coupons and sales.

Saturday on the way home from an Easter Egg hunt and making crafts at the library, I stopped at Jewel to grab some “loss leaders” including:

Green Beans, 1/2 lb $.41 on sale
Broccoli, 3/4 lb $.62, on sale
Organic Bananas $1.34
Mission Tortillas $1.69, on sale
Strawberries $1.77, on sale (bought 2) – Froze one bunch.
Blackberries $1.77, on sale
8 lbs of Oranges for $5.99 – used for snacks and to make orange juice!
Total = $15.36 plus tax

I received a Free French Loaf of Bread w/ $10 Purchase and $1/$6 cereal purchase store coupon that both printed as catalinas after I checked out. Talk about dumb luck! (You’ll see why soon..)

On Sunday after church, we made a Trip to Target and Jewel which included:

~Loaf of French Bread – Used Free Coupon from above. Turned into Pizza on a Stick!
~3 boxes of Kix and 1 box of Trix – Used 3 $.75 Off Kix Coupons and 1 $.50 Off Trix Coupon and $1/$6 Cereal Store Coupon from above.
~2 Palermos Pizzas – BOGO sale @ $7.99 – Used 2 – $1 Off Palermos Pizza Coupons (Coupon no longer available) – I keep on hand to avoid expensive carryout on busy days!
~8 Cans of Swanson Chicken Broth $.47 each on sale. Saving for weeks I don’t have any homemade ones on hand!
~Wild Harvest Organic Baby Spinach $3.49 on sale, Earned 10% from SavingStar eCoupon I added
~De Wafflebakkers Pancakes – Used Free Product Coupon I got at a conference
~Birdseye Steamfresh Veggies $1 each on sale, bought 2. Used $.50/2 Birdseye Veggies Coupon from 4/1/12 Smart Source Insert
~Fisher Sliced Almonds $4.99 (marked down from $7.99!) – Used $1 Off Fisher Nuts Coupon from 3/25/12 Smart Source Insert
~Stonyfield Organic Yogurt 32 oz $4.29 – Used $1 Off Stonyfield Yogurt Coupon
~2 Loaves of Butternut Bread on BOGO Sale for $2.99
~Chiquita Pineapple on sale for $1.99 – Used $2 Off Produce Jewel Coupon that was mailed to me = Free
~Kraft FreshTake $2.99 on sale. Used Free Product Coupon mailed to me from Kraft First Taste = Free

Total = $36.10 after tax. Earned Free Milk Coupon that I’ll use next week, as we still had quite a bit on hand.

Target Trip
~Cooties and Candyland Games on sale for $5. Used $3 Off Target Game Coupon stacked with $3 Off Game Printable Coupon (no longer available) = Free
~Sparkle Dora Ballerina on clearance for $13.64, down from $27.99. Used 20% Off Dora Toy Coupon = $10.61
~5 Carefree Pantiliners – Used 5 $1 Off Coupons from 3/18/12 Smart Source inserts and printable = Free (donating)
~Barilla Whole Wheat Rotini and Spaghetti $1.23 each – Used 2 – $1 Off Barilla Pasta Coupon = $.23 each ($.46 total) (coupon no longer available)
~Dora Easter DVD $6.99 on sale. Used $3 Off Coupon = $3.99 (coupon no longer available)
~Wubbzy Easter DVD $3.99 on sale
~Pretzel Crisps $1.99 – Used $1 Off Pretzel Crisps Coupon = $.99 (coupon no longer available) – Love these for snacks!
~Idaho Spuds Potato Bites $2.74 – Used Free Product Coupon = Free (coupon no longer available)
~StarKist Tuna Pouch $1.24 – Used $.50 Off StarKist Coupon = $.74 (coupon no longer available) – Saving for a picnic soon!

Total = $20.78 plus Tax. Only $2.19 came from grocery budget. $8 came out of the kids’ allowance as they chose to buy the Easter DVDs with their money this month. The rest of the money came from gift budget as I’m saving the Dora for b-day gift. The games will be donated to my son’s school fund-raising events. I always try to help them with prizes for raffles at their auction and Mother/Father Son/Daughter events. Always help out your local schools, if you can! It’s a great way to bring the joy of couponing to others!

Butcher Shop Trip – stopped on the way home from school
1 lb of Sliced Ham for Sandwiches
Green Pepper
Cherry Tomatoes

Total = $11.12 – Pepperoni straight from the butcher made for great Pizza on a Stick! I don’t think I’ll ever buy store-bought pepperoni again! They gave me a tip that I could freeze it so I have half left over in the freezer for a homemade pizza night!

So that’s my trips this week. I bought quite a bit so this next week, I should only need a few produce items and I’ll use that Free Milk Coupon I earned. Will pick up some eggs for dyeing, too.

All these items I bought are paired with the Organic Meats I have in my deep-freezer. We buy shares in beef and pork, and stock-up on Organic chicken when it’s on a hot deal. It’s tough coming up with the initial money to get into the shares when you start, but it will save you money each month on your grocery budget that you can tuck away for the next year’s shares.

Pairing sales with coupons–especially when you get to stack store and manufacturer coupons!–is the best way to save money. If your coupons have a fairly decent expiration date, don’t be so quick to use them if the items aren’t on sale or part of a hot deal. And remember, just because you have a coupon for something doesn’t mean you should use it. The easiest way to go over on your grocery budget is to buy far more than you need for the week. And as far as your food goes, always remember to Use It, Don’t Waste It!

While it’s great to walk out of a store for $4 or less, the ideal trips are not going to cost anything nearly that low. Your overall goal is to end up with healthy food that you will use throughout the week in your meal plan. Any extra money I have, I pick up extra non-perishables and in-season veggies/fruit to freeze to add to my stockpile. (Will share more on that soon!)

How did your week go? Did you find any hot deals? I’d love to hear about them! Sharing stories always helps my readers that are new to coupons/deals so thank you for sharing them!