Thursday, October 1, 2015

End of the Month Shopping and Budget Update

This month, I got my middle of the month review up (here) which showed all my trips at the beginning of the month and how crazy I got which didn't leave a lot for the rest of the month's budget but I did the best that I could... sadly going over budget a little bit.  Check out all the trips and see how you think that I did.

Harris Teeter $41.26

I went a little crazy with this shopping trip because it was my first really big shopping trip back to the store to try to coupon. We have eaten and used most everything in this trip so even though it was way too much of the monthly budget, I still think it was a good trip overall.

Safeway $1.37

My husband took my son to get a doughnut while I was getting my very expensive root canal :( 
I would have rather been eating a doughnut!

Aldi $24.16

A trip with my son to grab a few things which turned into a lot more then was on the list but it was early in the month so I wasn't super worried. I used it all so it obviously wasn't too bad of a choice except the fudge pops which my son was not a fan of.  I guess grandma will be eating those when she comes to visit because she likes ice cream.

Shoppers $4.31

I went to get margarine because I was out of sticks and I wanted to make chocolate chip cookies.  Funny thing was that I made another recipe and didn't use it then but I did use one box this month and still have one going forward...the ice cream is long gone.

Harris Teeter $24.11

I went to the store to get some deals and I got really carried away with all that I got for free that I picked out two very expensive items that we really didn't need yet-toilet paper.  Although I know that we will use it, this wasn't the lowest rock bottom price but I was going to grab one of them and decide which one to buy and I ended up getting both which were about $5 each after sale and coupon so that was about half of the shopping trip but they will get used so not a big problem.

Harris Teeter $14.38

I couldn't stay away after getting so many deals so I loaded up my mom's card with all the online coupons and went back to grab a bunch more super freebies which we will greatly enjoy.


Harris Teeter $20.98

I went back to try to get a few more of the deals that still weren't on the shelf but used some rain checks to get the Puffs tissues (because we were totally out) and the Quaker Big Chewy Bars.  I added the Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice because it was on sale for $2.00 each and they are my husband's favorite.  I was hoping to break is new soda addiction which did not totally work.  I turned in this deal for $0.20 back from Ibotta for frozen veggies.

Harris Teeter $2.08

I was still trying to get the Domino Sugar which I totally missed at the other store and they didn't have it but I grabbed two more chicken tenders- YUM!!  Totally a splurge at $1 but they are so tasty!!

Aldi $23.18

I sadly had to get juice boxes and oranges for soccer in this shopping trip which was the main purpose of the trip other then that we needed milk.  There were a few other things that we needed and I have already used this month like the celery, eggs, oyster crackers, oil and brown sugar.  I don't feel like I went too crazy but I feel like my total was a little high so I am mostly blaming the soccer supplies at almost $6 but it is the cost of playing soccer to bring once a season.

CVS $14.15 and CVS $0.85

I did this as two transactions because CVS is much easier to do like that.  I bought the Meta Bars with a rain check (which I was dreading using) which made it free after CVS coupon.  I kept the ad with the rain check and the coupon just in case there were any questions...sadly, it took a long time to find all that in the moving mess around the house but I finally did.  There was a coupon in the P&G coupon insert for $2 off any Meta bars.  I needed the Excedrin and if you bought two then you got $10 back.  I used coupons and got the first transaction for $14.15.  I used the $10 ECB to buy the Coke and I used a coupon for $1/3 so I grabbed two boxes of tissues since they didn't have the Children's Advil that I was planning on using as a filler and I paid $0.85 after coupons for the second transaction.

Harris Teeter $15.46

My crazy splurge was going to the store after I knew that I already went overboard for the month and continuing to shop but there were a lot of deals that I couldn't pass up especially the $1.97 for the 18 count eggs.  I paid more than that for the 12 count that I got earlier in the month.  After looking on the websites and seeing a few of the other deals that they had at the store, I couldn't pass it up including getting to $15 so that I could use the $3 off $15 purchase that I got from Wegman's which Harris Teeter accepts as a competitors coupon.  I saved over $40 with the sales that I got and I didn't even use any rain checks.  I will be getting $3.29 back for the soup from Saving Star

Total Retail $524.83
Total Savings $338.54
Total OOP $186.29

 Total Over Budget $26.29 

I earned $0.60 on Ibotta, $0.50 Checkout 51, and $7.25 Saving Star with an additiona1 $3.29 pending for a total of $11.64 rebates.  It might not be all that I was over budget but I think that is a ton of great money back on a great month of shopping!!

I knew that I was over budget and I still made a choice to go back to the store to get a few more deals at the very end of the month because I couldn't pass up the free Pronto pasta, freebie from Saving Star on soup and $1.97 for 18 ct eggs.  I hope to do a little better next month but overall, I got a ton of things that we used and creatively baked to add some other items to our meals including bread, applesauce bread, pumpkin bread, chocolate chip cookies, cherry coffee cake, oyster crackers, seasoned crackers and more.  I am hoping that with a little more work, I can start stocking up on somethings so that we have a little more cushion to go forward in the coming months.


  1. You should pat yourself on the pat and not despair over the little you went over budget, Alison, you got some awesome deals!! It was totally justified to go back and go over budget on purpose to get those great deals. Free pasta and less than $2 for 18 eggs, oh yeah :)

    1. Who could pass up those eggs right?? Prices are so high now and I only have two left in the dozen I got at Aldi during the month. There were so many more deals but I did put the ketchup back when I realized that the darn coupon was expired! UGH! I love using those $ off coupons too because it is such a good bonus to those already good deals. I am trying to be happy and make my new normal since I don't have a stockpile of food anymore like I had before. I guess we will see if the budget needs to be increased going forward...especially with my crazy work schedule.

    2. Do you check the Walgreens and CVS brochures for sales on eggs? My CVS had the eggs advertised for $1.59 a dozen last week and I went to 2 stores to get 2 rain checks that I'll redeem in the near future (I didn't buy any this week since I had gotten 4 dozens at Target for $2.50 each with another rain check).

      I think the prices might be starting to come down on those. Aldi had them for $2.69 a dozen yesterday and they were $2.89 just last week.

      I'm still mourning the loss of the $5.00 off $30.00 Winn Dixie store coupons (which then became $5.00 of $50.00) that we used to get in those Enjoy the City coupon books that I was buying for something like $2.50 a book (and got $25 worth of coupons per book) because I could use them at Publix. I had so many of those that I gave a lot of them away and then ended up throwing a lot of them away too. I still made money off them! I've pretty much stopped shopping at Publix since those went away because without those, Aldi beats Publix's sales even when stacked with coupons. So Publix might be happy those coupons aren't around anymore, but they're no longer getting most of my grocery dollars so I'm not sure how that worked out for them.

    3. I would miss the $5 off of $30 coupon too. I am going to miss this new Wegman's coupons that just opened so they are sending out lots of coupons. I went to a consignment sale this morning and didn't realize that I we were going to drive right by Wegman's so I didn't have my coupons but I am planning on going and buying some chicken and/or ground beef and using my coupon because when do you ever get to save that much one fresh meat :) I do usually look at CVS but I don't know if I saw the eggs but that is where I often get olive oil there because it goes on sale for $3.99 and there is a printable $1 coupon to make it pretty cheap. Walgreen's never had them the whole sale and by the time I needed them or could make it back there, the rain check expired so I don't do Walgreen's!! I haven't been shopping the drug stores in a long time since I cut back the budget :)

  2. I'm thinking that perhaps I should re-examine the reasons I stopped using coupons and rebates. Was it laziness? Too much work? What? When I see how much you and Nathalie save over how much it should have cost, I am blown away. Great job!

    1. Some people think that you can only get junk with coupons but I think that you can save on a lot of good things. Especially because if you save a lot on toothpaste, toilet paper and other things, you have money for some of the nicer things like higher end meats. Couponing is a lot of work and I am the first person to tell you that jumping in and chasing every deal could take over your life (been there and gave it up). I coupon now but only usually grocery stores and maybe every few months at the drug stores with a good deal. I don't usually do rebates for grocery shopping. There has to be a happy medium where you coupon and get great deals but it doesn't take over your life. If you want to start small then only shop the sales and buy the things on sale and stock up on a few extras. I buy flour when it is on sale for $0.99 for a 5 lb bag around the holidays and I have enough to use all year round and I don't have to buy $2-$4 for a bag later in the year. Same goes for soup, canned tomatoes, peanut butter and other items because every penny you save goes back into the budget for another month where you don't have to buy that item. Hope you try it out and see what savings you can have :)

    2. Did you see that Southern Savers just posted about the upcoming Harris Teeter Super Doubles? I thought of you!

    3. I knew that it was coming up but I wasn't sure when...I am sure that I will have some excited posts going up, especially since I haven't done a shopping trip yet this month except the groceries that my mom bought...which I didn't even get a picture of but we got to use lots of them. I can't wait to stock up on lots. I am thinking about going once before to get some free chocolate and other good deals like that crock pot spice.


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