Not too long ago, I posted about my attempts to save and become more frugal. I was actually quite frustrated at what I was feeling was not a very successful venture. Since that post, I have been doing more research, reading more blogs, and trying even harder to understand what it is I need to do to save money. I've signed up for several couponing websites and put in for several coupons to be sent to me. I can't say I have become anywhere near an expert. But, I believe I am gaining a greater understanding, and today, I went out and tried my hand at the local Kroger store. Yes, I stuck with Kroger...mostly because they were having a MEGA-sale...buy 10 participating items, and you get $5.00 off. I saw people posting about their savings all over the place and had to try. I was determined to only buy items I had coupons for, and was having a difficult time figuring out where to get some of the coupons people had talked about until I came across this blog. She laid everything out, and included where to get some of the online coupons, and bam, I had tons of new coupons and ideas of what I could include in my shopping list. Also, reading her blog let me know that I could use my e-coupons (ones added to my card) in addition to my paper coupons, which offered even greater savings.
I must admit I was extremely excited (and somewhat nervous) about my shopping trip today. In addition to Kroger, I was going to try my hand at CVS with their Extra Care Bucks today and also try and get some good deals at Walmart. I couldn't sleep last night thinking about it (I'm weird). And I actually had to go in to Kroger and run through to make sure I understood what I was doing once, before I purchased all my items. Ha.
Ok, on to the good stuff. Here is what I bought and my savings.
I'll start with Walmart (have to save the best for last you know!! Building anticipation!) I got all these items:
for a grand total of $23.12! That may seem like a lot (the kitty litter did me in...I can't find any great deals on kitty litter...especially not the kind we like...and had to settle for the fact that I at least had a $1.00 of coupon) but let me tell you my savings... $17.00!! My favorite coupon from this trip was for the Scrubbing Bubbles shower cleaner. It was $13.48 at Walmart (must cheaper then Kroger's $25.00 price) and I had a $10.00 coupon that I got offline.
I then went to CVS, where I am brand new at the Extra Care Bucks (ECB). From what I understand, you have to participate in this for a little bit and put some money OOP in the beginning in order to start getting good savings, so I am going to give it about a month to see if it is truly as amazing as it sounds (with people getting $50some worth of groceries for $1, I hope I can figure it out...). I got this (don't mind the already eaten candy bar, I was hungry after shopping for 3 hours this afternoon/morning):
for a grand total of $16.41. Not awful. Pepsi is expensive now adays... But, I saved $13.84 after coupons and because everything I bought was on sale. After my purchase had earned $5 in ECBs. So, I technically got everything for $11.41... Next time I go in, I'll have $5 to use to purchase more items that will earn me ECBs. I am taking this one slow and steady...
And finally, my Kroger trip! I purchased all of this (excluding the kitten):
for a grand total of $74.67! That is 52 items right there! And guess what I saved? $99.23!!! I saved more then I spent! That is an absolute first right there! I probably would have spent even less if I had purchased only items I had coupons for or were on sale, but I had to give in and purchase a few items that there were no coupons for... I made sure the meat was manager's special (savings there were not included in the final total, but on the pork chops alone, I saved close to $5), and the water, well, B and I like the flavored Aquafina, so I made an exception. I'm really excited to have saved so much. Had I actually had more faith in myself, and more time after I figured out what I was doing, I would have purchased more and probably been able to save even better. But I'm not going to complain.
In all today, I spent a total of $114.20 (and $10.11 for gas, which I got for $1.69 a gallon! Who would have thought I'd see the day when it was that low again!). I saved $130.07 (and probably about $1.80 on my gas purchase). So I saved more then I spent!! Although, I was quite tuckered from my trip and forgot to get the ink for my printer... :)
My goal is still to spend no more then $50 in a week total for everything. I am proud of the fact that in all, my bill came to about as much as I was typically spending at Kroger alone in a week. I'll get it down eventually (especially now that I have discovered the art of stockpiling...), but realize it is going to take some additional work, especially since Kroger's doesn't run MEGA-sales every week.
I'm going to keep trying and keep posting about my efforts. Hopefully you all have some luck with sales too!