Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Practical Homemaking: Groceries on a Shoestring

I'm not doing my normal wrap up today, because it's late, and I haven't had time to go through my receipts.  Mostly because I left my receipts in the van and it's been gone for more than 24 hours because the highways are closed and my husband can't get home from work.

Photo Credit:  s58y
Sunday we shopped, as usual, and came home and made a birthday dinner and had birthday cake and presents and then we all watched a movie together.  Then on Monday we had to get my daughter ready to go back to where she's living for college.  She had come down and spent the week celebrating the birthdays that we had, but couldn't stay through Christmas due to work.  It kind of sucks when your kids get so big they can't be with you for Christmas.  Her and my husband left, so he could take her to the bus before he went to work, and that's when I realized my receipts were in the van.  Normally, that would not be such a big deal, but then it started snowing.  And snowing.  And snowing.  They closed the highway at 3 pm, and my husband, and my receipts, were stuck in town.

Without going into specifics, since I don't have said receipts, I can say that I saved about $100 between sales and coupons.  That's FREE STUFF, people!  And if you're not looking at coupon shopping that way, you should be.  $100 in free stuff is a LOT for any family.

Best deal of the week:
The kids have been bugging me to buy dog treats for the dogs.  In truth, I know that training Bellatrix the puppy is easier with dog treats.  So when Milk Bones went on sale at Safeway, I decided to go ahead and get some, since I had coupons.

The Milk Bones were on sale at Safeway for $3.00.  As I usually do, I compared the price at Walmart, and found that they were cheaper.  In fact, the bonus packages were even cheaper than the other packages, at $2.50/box.  My coupon was for $1.50 off two boxes, so using it at Safeway, which doubles coupons up to $1.00, wouldn't be better.  Additionally, the bonus packages had peelie coupons on them for $2.00 off a Milo's Kitchen dog treat, when purchased with the Milk Bones.  I looked at the Milo's Kitchen dog treats, and the smallest packages were $2.48 each.  So for slightly less than I had already committed to spend at Safeway, I was able to get the bonus sized Milk Bone treats, plus the Milo's Kitchen Treats.  Total cost for 62 ounces of dog treats was $4.46, or $.07 per ounce of name brand dog treats.

I also had one of my best weeks at Walmart for coupon use.  I prefer to use coupons at Safeway because of their policy on doubling coupons up to $1.00.  But my latest order from The Coupon Clippers included a lot of high value coupons, and with Walmart's overall lower prices (in my limited shopping area), it was really beneficial to use them there.  I saved over $16.00 at Walmart this week, with coupons alone.

I do have to say that I was disappointed that my local Walmart does not carry the Glen Muir line of tomato products.  As I'm making spaghetti this week, I bought a lot of canned tomato products, and I had a great printable coupon for the Glen Muir line of organic tomato product.  Organic products are really hard to get here, and really expensive, so I was delighted with this coupon.  But no Glen Muir at my local Walmart.

One of my New Year's Resolutions is not only to spend our money more wisely, but to help you do so, too.  I have been getting a lot of questions, through Twitter, email and even a comment here, about how I manage to feed the whole family on such a tight budget.  So I will be starting a Series about Groceries on a Shoestring.  Because in this economy, we all need all the help we can get, and a lot of that cooking knowledge and skills to provide for our families on a shoestring has been lost.  If you're like me, your mom worked, and so relied on convenience dinners.  While she had a few weekend feasts she would spend several hours preparing, most of her meals were not from scratch-and she sure didn't have a lot of time to teach me to cook.  In our family, cooking from scratch has been both an object of necessity, because early on we couldn't afford convenience food, and continued out of a desire to feed healthier food to my family.  So in addition to the basics of couponing and sale shopping, I'll be talking about the lost arts of meal planning and cooking from scratch.

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