Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More Frugal Fun at the Grocery Store

Hi everyone!  I hope you are all keeping warm these cold days & nights?  We’re doing fine here on the Prairie Farm.  Our new windows still are amazing in the way they keep out the cold drafts!  But now we can really feel the lack of good insulation in  the living room and kitchen walls.  Brrr~~ 

I’ve been continuing with my 7-9 hours of sleep per night and I’m trying to get in at least 3 times of sewing/quilting each week.  Just today I downloaded some audio books into iTunes to put on my MP3 player when I’m doing handwork.  Currently I’m listening to “Enchanted April.” 
I’m also trying to read a little every evening.  And I am watching at least a little tv with my Farmer (his favorite form of relaxation) or play some Kinect bowling and not spend as much time on the computer.

With the start of a new year, the economic news and some changes in our farming practices, I’ve been thinking of more ways I can save money.     

One way, is by playing the coupon, loss-leader game at the grocery/discount stores.  Last month, I saved $27.37 by getting the loss-leaders, price matching and coupons. 

Some examples:
Loss-leader Sales
Hormel Thick-cut bacon, less than $3 per pound.
Betty Crocker Family-sized Brownie Mix, 89¢  (woo hoo!)
Store brand Dry Roasted Peanuts, $1.69
Crystal Farms shredded cheeses, 8oz, $1.39 (great price, so I got a lot!)

Hershey’s candy bars, BOGOFree:  saved $1.48 and got 2 FREE!
Ziplock sandwich bags: $1.00 off 2 packages
Contact solution 2-pack: $4.00 off pack
Rayovac D Batteries, 6-pack: $1.00 off multi-pack

Russet baking potatoes: 59¢ per pound, saved $1.11 on 3.6#
Land O Lakes Milk, 1/2 gal: $1.39, saved $1.20 on 2 and $1.00 C on 2 containers
Crest toothpaste, 6.4 oz: 99¢, saved 40¢, $1.00 C (FREE!)
Old Orchard frozen all juice: $1.00, saved 48¢ on 4
Orowheat Bread: $1.99, saved 50¢
Hefty garbage bags: $5.99, saved 90¢ PM and $1.00 C

I saved $4.59 in price matching and $11.95 in coupons alone!

During last month we took the opportunity of a little extra in the budget funds to stock up on pantry staples.  We purchased that $1.39 cheese, unbleached flour, sugars, ziplock bags and toilet paper.  All items I can store for several months and they will be available for leaner times later this year.

On Monday this week as I mentally took stock of my pantries before the “Major Winter Storm” set upon us. I decided we were stocked up except for Half-n-Half for my coffee.  So, I did a little price-matching on sale items that would be going off-sale on Tuesday.   I got the following: Yoplait yogurt for 50¢ each and with a 40¢ off on 6 coupon
Era laundry soup, 96 loads, price-matched for $8.69 (Very good price, normally I pay $10.88)
Fresh asparagus (regularly $2.94#) price-matched at $1.79#
Heinz Ketchup, 40oz, $1.69 (was on sale for $1.98)
Pepsi products, 12-packs, $2.50, regularly $3.98 and I was able to get the “throw backs” made with real sugar for this price.

That was a savings of $10.08 on price-matching and coupons.  Plus I saved the ads for the Era and Pepsi products and will get more before those ads expire.  Of course the store I price-match at **cough** (wal-mart) **cough** has a tendency to pull items with too large of a price difference off the shelf and then say they are “out.” 
It pays to check all the ads as the Era was at a big box “lumber” store and the Pepsi at a higher-end discount store (did that make sense?? )

(oh, and guess what one thing I forgot to pick up at the store... yes, the Half-n-Half!! >_<  )

And while I’ve been doing a bit of grocery shopping, at the same time, I’m shopping my pantry and freezer too.  Our chest freezer is almost bare!  We bought a hog from a co-worker and our beef goes in to be butchered in 2 weeks, so we want to eat all the remaining meat.  Right now I have 3 packages of pork chops, 3# of sausage, 4# of ground beef and 3 packages of short ribs, plus several chickens, some fish, 1# of bacon and a few packages of leftover spiral ham.  My upright freezer is full of cheese, some easy lunch items (ravioli, chicken strips) and frozen fruit, veggies and chicken odds and ends to make stock.
Our pantry has a nice variety yet and I want to use up the canned goods I bought last fall and start to bring in some new stock.

Also I’ve been buying a few more staples in bulk, such as Real Maple Syrup, EVOO and vanilla at the natural foods store.  I get my eggs there from the bulk cartons too.  I filled 2 containers of EVOO (5.46#) for $8.49#.  Seems high but this is cold-expressed oil and always tastes fresh.
I also got a little over an ounce of crystalized ginger for $1.17 ($14.59#)  The same amount (or less) in the small jars at the grocery stores was over $7!  I’ll be going back soon for more eggs and I need cayenne pepper.  I’m eager to see the price difference on that!

I know this is a long post with a lot of numbers.  I didn’t write it to brag, but to encourage you to read the ads, cut the coupons, read the saving blogs and start cutting that grocery budget.  Create a pantry (even a small one) and start saving for a small chest freezer. 
Remember that “Mega Winter Storm”.... a friend of ours in Missouri shared a photo of the empty bread aisle at his local Wal-mart.  I read several other friends status updates on needing to go get “supplies” just a day after the storm passed here. 
I’m not belittling anyone, but just want to pass on some peace of mind.  If your pantries are well-stocked with easy to prepare foods and the ingredients to make staples (like bread), you won’t have to worry about being snowed- or iced-in. Then you can concentrate on filling water jugs, maintaining an alternate heat source and light sources. 

Just a little wisdom, I’ve learned through the years, living on the Farm.

And just in case anyone is looking at those candy bars, brownie mixes, soda with a critical eye... what can I say... it’s mid-Winter and my Farmer has a sweet-tooth. 

Stay warm and safe, my Puffins!


**Thrift comes too late when you find it at the bottom of your purse.  ~Seneca

1 comment:

  1. You stay warm down there. I just finished my grocery run for a while as it's supposed to snow here again this weekend. I'm still deciding how to spend my $50......I love the shopping as much as the getting. Thanks again!!!