I absolutely love saving money! It’s become like a game to me. Maybe it makes me feel like I’m getting one over on ‘the man’ or something.
I strive to save on groceries, eating out, clothes, gifts, gasoline, etc. You name it, and I want to save money on it.
My main motivation for saving money is to pay off our mortgage in the next 2-3 years. Every dollar saved is in honor of that goal.
We’ve paid off thousands of dollars in debt over the past couple years. Wouldn’t it feel so awesome to be completely debt free? And get to keep most of your paycheck instead of immediately sending it away to pay bills? I think so.
Our objective is to pay $25,000 toward our mortgage principal this year.
I thought I’d share how much I save each week by using my favorite savings formula: combining sales and coupons. Or whatever other ways I come up with to be frugal. Hopefully some of my methods can be applied to your life.
Flat out broke? Try these 5 tips.
Here are my savings for Week 1 – January 1-7
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This is the most common way I save money. Each week I plan my shopping trip(s) based on what’s on sale. I combine those sales with matching coupons to get the most bang for my buck. I always aim for at least 50% savings.
And I buy everything else at Aldi.
It was sub-zero temperatures here in Michigan this week, but that didn’t stop me from chasing bargains. I don’t always go to three stores in one week, but I didn’t want to pass up on these couponing deals, and hadn’t been grocery shopping in a couple weeks because of the holidays.
On to the deals…
Meijer Shopping Trip:
I stocked up ground beef ($1.99/lb) and boneless skinless chicken breasts ($1.69/lb) to ‘preserve’ with my Foodsaver and store in the freezer.
I used paper or digital coupons for pretty much everything else I purchased, and every item was on sale.
Some of my favorite deals were:
Centrum Gummies Vitamins: I printed out 2 coupons for $4 one bottle. Meijer had a promotion that if you bought two bottles, you saved $4 immediately at checkout. The bottles were originally $6.99 each.
$13.98 (for two bottles)
-$4.00 (immediate savings)
-$8.00 (printed coupons)
=$1.98 or .99 each
I also stocked up on some other store brand vitamins since they were having a BOGO sale.
Knorr Pasta or Rice Side Dishes: These weren’t on sale, but Meijer had a digital coupon of Buy 5, Get 5 Free. Regular priced at $1 each, that equated to .50 each after the coupon. They make quick, easy side dishes on a busy night.
I had a couple other digital coupons off my total purchase. Last time I shopped there, some of my digital coupons didn’t come off like they were supposed to, so I called customer service and they added courtesy coupons to my Mperks account.
Don’t forget to check your receipts, and speak up if something didn’t work out right.
These are just examples of a couple deals. I recommend checking out your local ads and finding online coupon matchup sites for your favorite stores to plan your shopping trip.
Amount Saved: $64.67
Amount Spent: $32.33
Percentage Saved: 67%
Kroger Shopping Trip:
My Kroger trip was particularly excellent this week. They had a one-day digital coupon deal on cheese for .99 on Saturday, so I made sure to shop that day. There was a limit of five, so I got five of course.
They also had my other favorite Kroger-shopping scenario going on: a Mega Event! During Mega Event sales, they have totally awesome prices on certain items, as long as you buy a specific number of items. The signs will let you know how many participating sale items you need to buy.
I use coupon matchup sites to plan my deals. My favorites are Kroger Krazy, Meijer Madness, and Bargains to Bounty. They make it so easy by spelling out exactly what the sale items are, and which coupons to use. Such a couponing time saver!
Back to the deals…
I got all these items for $10.81, thanks to Mega Event deals. I used mostly digital coupons. (See, you can still ‘coupon’ without a printer!) The Larabar and fruit cups were free, thanks to Free Friday Kroger digital coupons. Every Friday they offer a digital coupon for a certain item for free. You have to clip it that day, but have two weeks to use it.
I also got a bag of tortilla chips that didn’t make it into the picture. Oops!
A coupon for $2 off my next shopping trip printed at the register as well, because I had bought $10 in Kroger brand snacks over the past couple months. That’ll come in handy next week.
Amount Saved: $31.83
Amount Spent: $10.81
Percentage Saved: 75%
Aldi Shopping Trip:
Aldi is one of the most effortless ways to save money on groceries. You’re going to save 20-50% on most items there, compared to other stores. You don’t have to wait for sales at Aldi. Some items are a little cheaper during certain seasons, but everything is always affordable.
I buy many staple items there, or whatever else I need/want that I can’t get cheaper elsewhere. For the purpose of these How I Saved posts, I’m going to estimate a 30% savings (and I think that’s being conservative). I am saving money by shopping at Aldi, so it totally counts.
Amount Spent: $34.58
Amount Saved (assuming 30% savings): $10.37
I use a collapsible shopping basket like this one for my Aldi shopping.
Ibotta Savings: I actually didn’t use Ibotta this week.
Want some basic grocery savings ideas? Try these 5 tips.
Nothing to report here this week. It was quite literally zero degrees, so I just went to the closest gas station, instead of seeking out a deal.
Hungry Howies, a pizza chain near us, sent my husband and me each a coupon code for a small one-topping pizza in our email. We weren’t about to let that pass us by. Free dinner yo! I get lots of restaurant coupons by just being on their email lists. It pays to subscribe!
Amount Saved: $15
Grand Total Savings for Week 1: $121.87
Every week won’t be as great as this one, in the savings department. But even I’m shocked that I saved over $120 in one week by shopping the sales and using coupons.
I realize not everyone is interested in going to multiple stores or bothering with coupons, but any money saved is helpful!
What are your tricks for saving money?
Linking up with The Thrifty Couple for Thrifty Thursday!