Saturday, January 10, 2015

Back in the Game!

I have been out of the "game" for a while.  I have dabbled here and there since my last post, but I have learned that stretching my dollar as far as it will go it ALWAYS as good idea because I had some bad luck at the end of 2013.

My usual shopping day is Saturday, so I am usually too late to benefit from some of the deals, but it's the only day I have to shop (and sometimes I don't even get Saturdays.)  I am still trying to figure out how I am going to organize myself to maximize my savings.  I still use Money Saving Mom and Southern Savers to track deals and find coupons.  I only shop a few stores so that limits the research, but it still takes a couple of hours to organize everything before I can do the actual shopping.

Today I shopped at Dollar General and Target.

Dollar General

I used Dollar General's digital coupons to take advantage of $5 off $25 today and looked for stuff I needed and could stock up on.

I took advantage of the buy 2 get 1 free Kellogg's savings and purchased:
2 Frosted Flakes
1 Mini Wheats
2 NutriGrain

The Poptarts are regularly priced at $2.00 and they had a peelie coupon for $1.00 off 2 boxes.

Also, they had Quilted Northern toilet paper (12 double rolls) for $5.75 and used a $.45 coupon.
The slippers were $6.00 and the Head and Shoulders were $5 each and I used a $1.00 digital coupon.

My total spent was $30.99 after taxes with a savings of $14.38.  I'm still learning how to get the best savings at Dollar General.  I know that the digital coupon apply after everything has been rung up, and that the $5 off of $25 is after everything else, but all the minuses seem to confuse me.


I did MUCH better at Target.  I planned it out and took advantage of some of the $5.00 gift card deals, used Cartwheel savings and did 3 different transactions.  I also use Shopkick (I earned 30 kicks for walking into Target).  I was able to redeem a $5.00 gift card to us on one of the transactions.  (I tried to use another $5.00 on the last transaction, but it gave me an error.  I didn't realize until later that I was putting in $10.00 and didn't have enough points.)

Transaction 1

Selected Kellogg's cereal and snack bars were $2.50 each and if you purchase 5 items you earn a $5.00 gift card.

I bought 2 each of the snack/pastry bars and a box of Special K cereal and used the $5.00 gift card from Shopkicks.  I spent $5.76 and earned a $5.00 gift card.

Transaction 2

Money Saving Mom clued me in on a deal to earn another $5.00 gift card from purchasing 10 Barilla pasta, Ragu pasta sauce and Old El Paso items.  See her post here.

My purchases were a little different than what she posted because I had different coupons.  I bought:
3 Barilla Whole Grain pastas ($1/3 coupon)
2 Barilla Plus ($1/2 coupon)
2 Ragu ($.75/2 coupon)
Old El Paso shells and 2 avocados ($1.00 coupon)
2 refried beans
1 chopped green chilis ($1/3 coupon)
1 mild Enchilada sauce (to get me to the 10 items - the Barilla Plus was not part of the deal)

Total out of pocket: $9.03 after taxes and $5.00 gift card from previous transaction.  Total savings $11.52 and earned another $5.00 gift card.

Transaction 3

I needed some miscellaneous groceries and looked at what was available on Cartwheel and bought:
Chobani yogurt was on sale 10 for $10 and there was a Cartwheel of 20% off Chobani 100.  They only had blueberry in the 100 variety so I only got 4 of those.
The frozen fruit was 2/$3 with a 5% Cartwheel.
The Ponds lotions are travel size and it takes me a while to use one jar, but they only had a few so I bought 2.
Finish was on sale Buy 2 get 1 free
I used the last of my creamer this morning so I decided to just get more and it was on sale.

My total out of pocket was $27.57 after using the $5.00 gift card from the previous transaction and taxes.  Total saved: $8.47.  Not as good as the other ones, but I got stuff I needed and would use.

Total spending for the day:  $73.35.  My goal was to stay under $100.00 which I did.  Now I only have to get a couple of things from Winn Dixie for the week and I will do that shopping tomorrow.  Winn Dixie usually has a 3 Day Sale starting on Sundays.  Hopefully I can keep that cost down to around $25.00.

Wish me luck!