Thursday, October 13, 2016

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!! Shopping, Coupons and Deals, Oh My!!

So we had a busy weekend planned with a festival that we go to every year but it rained all day.  Who wants to do an outdoor festival in the rain? NOT ME!!

What else can you do when it rains?? Go grocery shopping of course! I was at the store for way too long and found more and more deals.  The reason I went to the store was to get the Saturday freebies (Swedish fish and Goodness Knows Bar) and the awesome $0.69 per lb whole chickens.  There was a limit of 4 chickens so I got 4 :)

Harris Teeter $31.31

The Puffs tissues were still on sale so I got four boxes for free.  I got two packages of Ivory soap for free after sale and coupon.  I got three packs of the yeast for $0.09 each.  I added the semolina flour to the basket from the clearance without a coupon (GASP!! ) but it was $1.89 and I really want to try to make pasta at home so I figured that it was worth grabbing one.  I got three Pillsbury biscuits and one Pillsbury crescent rolls which were on sale for $1 and I had a coupon for $0.30/2 so they were $0.70 each  which is way more then I normally spend but you will see why below.  I also got two packages of Betty Crocker fruit snacks which were shelf price of $2.99 and they were buy one, get one free and I used the $0.50/2 coupon so they were about $1 each (again way more then I normally pay but see below) and my son is almost out of them for his lunch so he will love this!! The Dixie Crystal Sugar was on sale for $1.97 so I used a coupon to get them for $1.17 which is almost as good as the deal I got the other day on the store brand.

I picked up a ton of deals more then I was expecting because of shelf signs.  I needed two rolls of Jimmy Dean Sausage and I had coupons ready to go to get them at $2 each.  It wasn't a great deal but I was ready to pull together a bunch of lasagna so I really needed it.  Then I saw the hang tag to get bacon for FREE!!!  I grabbed it and it was shelf price of $8.49 and I used a $1 coupon to save a little more so that means that I got an extra $1 off my other groceries.  I got cereal and decided to get the 8 items needed to get the free milk including the Betty Crocker fruit snacks and Pillsbury biscuits which I spent $4.79 but then I got free milk!!  Of course neither deal came off but the customer service person came to fix it at the register.  She just took off the bacon and just handed it back to me and manually entered the coupon for $1 and she took off $3.99 for the milk but it only cost $3.49 so that saved me more money on both deals. 

Harris Teeter $19.98
I got the two Saturday freebies only to go home and realize that they didn't come off the total bill for some reason!!  I went back to get it fixed and this time brought my son with me to help.  Together we did a second transaction with four chickens, three tissues, and three yeast just like before.  I also got a coupon for a free potato so I grabbed that too which I normally use to thicken soup so I got the loaded baked potato.  The main thing that I forgot in the morning was the ricotta cheese which was on sale for $1.50.  There was none of the whole milk one in the section so I grabbed the part skim and then found someone to ask.  She found me the whole milk one and we got lots of laughs but it was my last ingredient to make a bunch of lasagna for the freezer.

I turned in Ibotta rebates for $0.25 off any cereal and $0.25 Pillsbury Grands Biscuits so there is $0.50 in my account.  I have a lot of Saving Star rebates that I should get credited for when those are processed including $1/2 Honey Nut Cheerios, $0.75 Tiny Toast Cereal, $0.50/2 fruit snacks, $1/3 Pillsbury Rolls and there is another one for $0.30/2 for Pillbury Grands which I should also get for $3.55 total.

That being said, I can't pass up the whole chicken price (around $3.50 each) and because I was so far under budget last month, I am going to go a little over budget this month to stock up on the chickens that will last us through the winter months because we normally eat them once a week and enjoy the leftover chicken in lots of other meals like chicken enchiladas, fried rice, quesadillas, and more. Then I also make the chicken stock from the bones so it uses lots out of the $3.50.  I hope to stock up with at least 8 more chicken!!  So back to the store!!

Harris Teeter $34.37+ $7.89

So the whole family went to the store and I did my transaction with most of the stuff pictured here and four chickens and my husband checked out with the last two chickens in the store and three of the yeast.  I used up all the tissue and yeast coupons so consider us full stocked until I get more coupons!!  Super excited to get free Ivory soap and tissues.  Pumped to get the $0.09 yeast.  Also excited to get the Rev wrap which I kept forgetting to get which was $0.50 after coupon and I got two $0.50 rebates back so it was a money maker.  The Prego spaghetti sauce is still confusing me because it was $1.98 with an electronic coupon and printed coupon so I paid $0.48 and I was sure there was a rebate on one of the apps but I couldn't find it but I did get $0.10 back from Mobi Save so it was still a bargain although not free.  The olive oil was totally gone at home so I grabbed this little bottle which was shelf price at $8.99 (CRAZY HIGH) but on sale half off and I had a $0.55 coupon off which doubled so it was $3.40 for a 16 oz bottle.  Is that a good deal??  I forgot to check Aldi to see what theirs is but I remember that Nathalie didn't like one of them so I figured this was a better bet :)  I did get the Buy Two, Get Three Free Deal for the Coke products even though we still have plenty at home because it made it $2.80 a case instead of $6.99.

After the cashier scanned all my items, he told me that the scanner gun doesn't work and the new barcode doesn't scan on the machine so the customer service person had to come over and enter in the amount but he counted all my coupons as $0.50 instead of the different amounts so I quickly had to add them up and it was $14.60 in coupons so he added more money off to the machine so I actually ended up getting an extra $0.60 off because I don't think that he added the two numbers he put in correctly.  

 Either way glad that trip was over but we went straight to Home Depot to pick up insulation so my husband brought the chickens home and put them in the fridge and left the soda in the car for two days.  Oops!!  We were exhausted from getting 30 rolls of insulation for our attic so I think that we totally forgot so my son took a picture of that separate so that is why it is a little blurry because either his camera lens is that dirty or he didn't wait for it to focus but I said great work and finished making dinner so the soda could be cleared to the basement.

Aldi $13.19

I needed oil because I used the last of it and the mozzerella cheese for the top of the lasagnas.  I grabbed the salsa, lettuce, and saltine crackers because we were out of them. I added the celery and sweet potatoes to the cart because they were on sale.  The celery was $0.69 and the sweet potatoes were $0.99 so we are going to be having those soon.

Harris Teeter $6.87

I was in the middle of my crazy cooking spree with my extra surprise day off on Monday.  I had chicken broth on the stove simmering with the bones from the chicken I made the night before with all the leftover veggies in the house.  I made salsa sloppy joes for dinner later in the week.  I also made sausage spaghetti sauce because I was planning on making lots of lasagna.  The kitchen was a disaster after spending the morning cleaning it all up.

I made two smaller pans for the freezer and one big one for dinner with the family this week but I ran out of ricotta cheese!!  I was up to my elbows in lasagna and asked my husband since he was out and closer to the store to stop there and get it but he didn't sound like he was going to say yes.  So I ran to the store and grabbed the last chicken on the shelf and two ricotta just to be safe!!  You can't tell from the picture but I actually finished the container before taking the picture. Luckily I only needed one so there is another one in the fridge which is still good for a long time.

Long story short...too late (don't know what movie that is but I am thinking Clue).  We aren't even at the middle of the month and the budget is most certainly exceeded  the $160 monthly budget.  The great news is I think that I have gotten a lot of things in the month and stocked up on lots of chickens.  I probably will only need milk and a few other perishables for the rest of the month and I am hoping to make due with everything we have at home and my incredibly stocked freezer.

It is packed with chicken broth on most of the first shelf.  The second shelf has bags of chicken and ground beef on the left side and bags of cooked brown rice on the right.  There is another whole line behind of other bags of things like diced onions, onions and celery, enchilada sauce, pizza sauce, and more.  There are two pans of lasagna on top and one pan of stuffing on the bottom.  The third shelf is a bunch of things in the back including more chicken broth and chicken bones to make more broth but the front is a bunch of chickens and there are two tucked in the back so there are 13 chickens in the freezer (one in the fridge for this week and one already eaten).  The bottom section has mostly cubed up toasted bread to make stuffing or bread crumbs at a moments notice.  There are some other things on the door for easy access but it is really jam packed.  I think we are ready to live through a zombie invasion or at least a long winter.

Total Retail $326.07
Total Savings $212.46
Total OOP $113.61

Total Monthly Retail $451.11
Total Monthly Savings $277.10
Total Monthly OOP $174.01


  1. Wow Alison. Just wow. You did great stocking up on chicken like you did. Great price for whole chickens. Will you roast all of them whole, or do you "butcher" them into pieces for frying or baking? There are great you tube videos showing how to cut up your whole chickens. I think you get better at it with practice.

    Free milk, Ivory soap and tissues and 9 cent yeast packages? I am totally amazed, and jealous. I love that you have savings of hundreds of dollars though careful shopping of sales and couponing.

    Mmmm. Lasagna. You have to love having prepared meals in your freezer ready to go.

  2. I normally do my Herb Butter Roasted Chicken recipe which is really tasty and easy to mix up a little with different seasonings and putting rosemary, garlic or citrus in the chicken cavity. I have another recipe that is great which is a brick chicken recipe but I rarely make that because it means that I have to be in the kitchen most of the time. The 90 minute cook time make it great to throw it in the oven and pick up my son from school and come home to dinner ready!! That is my favorite thing by far to not be rushing before dinner.

    I actually watched them butcher a chicken on Americas Test Kitchen (PBS show) and I got the special knife they recommended and I have done it just a few times. It really isn't that hard but I love the easy of the whole chicken and then making the broth which I currently have a freezer full with leftover veggie pieces.

    I actually just finished a piece of leftover lasagna for lunch and it was yummy!! We love it here and didn't know it was so easy to make at home but I am glad that I mastered it because you can throw together a lot of different ones at the same time and be set for the month.

    Love the free and super cheap things!! Going to get some more coupons now at the library!!! Yeah coupons :) They certainly help me make my budget.

  3. You did great with the stocking up! Great price on the whole chicken and so glad you were able to get as many as you did at that price.

    Loved the picture of your freezer and how nicely you've got it organized. I try to keep my freezer organized, but usually end up shoving stuff where it will fit! Then I've no idea where anything is!

    1. LOL!!! I have my freezer really organized but my husband still can't find the things I send him down there to get. I am lucky to have a lot of room in there but too many things to put in right now.

      Bad news is that I didn't defrost it :( I got lots of things and it is going to last a long time past when I should have defrosted. Oh well, good excuse for me!!!

  4. LOL at all your chickens and how they're stacked in your freezer! But I'm only laughing because I'm envious of your organization of course. I just hope for you that you didn't stash anything else behind the chickens because it's going to be hard to get to it, hahaha. I really need to defrost my chest freezer too, it's ridiculous. I'm going to have to pull everything out of there but then I'm afraid that all of it will fit in there again so I have to wait until I make a new dent in my frozen stock!

    Wonderful job on the deals, look at you! Even if you double your monthly budget this month, you'd still be way under what most people spend in a month.

    I just hope you come across a great sale on that cranberry drink again soon :)

    1. I actually did put some stuff behind it in the freezer because I didn't realize how high the chickens would stack and there are actually two chickens behind that too. Doesn't it look neat :)

      I totally need to stop shopping and defrost but it never happens. I guess we are a few chickens away from defrosting again.

      My husband always says the budget is way too low and with less going out to eat this month, we can fit in a little more stocking the freezer instead (at least in my book). There isn't a lot of extra money to work with this month because we just paid the car taxes and the car insurance so we are already going into the hole but I think that it is money well spent for such a good price and always ends up saving money in the long run.

      Keep good thoughts for the cranberry juice because my husband is sick AGAIN!! He swears that the Vitamin C helps fight it off so he always ups his drinking of that when he is sick. Hoping for good prices!!

    2. I'm sorry to hear he's sick. Greg used to swear by Vitamin C as well, but he wants his in OJ form.

    3. I would take mine in OJ form as well but he swears by cranberry juice. I think that we only have two left now because he is downing them so I better start searching the ads!!


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