Week 11: How I Saved Over 50% On Groceries (+ Aldi Haul!)

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how to use coupons

Each week I share how I saved money, hoping that some of these frugal ideas could be helpful to you.

Check out the Resources Page for tons of other money saving resources!

If you’ve read other How I Saved posts, feel free to skip down to the deals.

If you’re new, here’s a little background about why I share my savings…

You’d be surprised how much money you can save when you really put your mind to it. It’s the accumulation of lots of small choices and habits that dictate the path your finances take.

The money that you save might seem meaningless in small amounts, but it truly adds up. It leaves more money in your bank account that you can use to pay off debt, save for the future, or do more of what you enjoy.

I absolutely love saving money and wanted to start sharing how I save each week. Not to show off, but to hopefully demonstrate different ways to save and maybe inspire you to want to do the same.

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.

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 these methods can be applied to your life.

You can get caught up and read the rest of the How I Saved posts here.

Related: Flat out broke? Try these 5 tips.

Here are my savings for Week 11 – March 12-18

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Grocery Savings:

This is the easiest way to cut back on spending and save money. Each week, plan your shopping trip(s) based on what’s on sale. Then combine those sales with matching coupons to get the most bang for your buck. I always aim for at least 50% savings.

Related: Use one of these 5 easy meal planning strategies to make the most of your grocery budget.

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!

The absolute best place to print coupons is coupons.com. It’s where I get all my printable coupons.

Here are the deals!

Kroger Shopping Trip:

There were quite a few great Kroger digital coupons to clip and use this week. They’re so easy to use. Simple create an account on the Kroger website or app using your Kroger savings card number. Then navigate to the Coupons section and start adding coupons.

When you check out, the digital coupons you ‘clipped’ come off your bill automatically, assuming you are buying the applicable items. So easy!

I like the app because then I have the coupon list with me while I shop. And because they’re digital coupons, there’s nothing extra to remember to bring or lug around the store.

The current digital coupon promotion was a 5X event, which means that you can use the coupon 5 times per transaction. In other words, on up to 5 items.

Here are examples of a couple coupon deals:

There was a $1 off Kool-aid Jammers drink pouches coupon. They’re priced at $1.79 each, so only 79 cents after the coupon for a pack of 10. That’s less than 8 cents per drink!

I really love the Morningstar black bean burgers, but full price they’re $4-5 dollars per pack of four. There was a $1 off each digital coupon, and since they were priced at $3.99 this week, I got them for $2.99 per 4-pack.

I used two Free Friday coupons from previous weeks. One was for a free bag of tortilla chips, and the other for a free Lindt chocolate truffle egg.

You can sign up to get an email or text from Kroger every Friday, reminding you to clip your free item. You have a couple weeks to use the coupon, but it must be clipped on Friday.

There were also two different coupons for 30 cents off Kroger brand pretzels. They were on sale for 99 cents, making them just 69 cents for a full-sized bag.

On the day that I went, Kroger had their Red Baron frozen pizzas for $1.99 with the digital coupon. These make quick and easy dinner options for when you’re too busy or tired to cook. Far less expensive than ordering pizza.

Don’t forget to check the different clearance areas when you’re at Kroger. My store has several different ones – for dairy, bread/bakery, frozen, and produce. These items are typically nearing their expiration dates, but you can plan to freeze them or use them soon.

I always make sure to do the survey on the bottom of my Kroger receipts, because that gives me 50 bonus fuel points. You can do a survey once every 7 days, which ends up being 200 extra fuel points a month. That gives me 20 cents off per gallon of gas. I’d say 95% of their receipts have surveys, so be sure to check!

Amount Saved: $17.24

Amount Spent: $13.73

Percentage Saved: 56%

how to use coupons

Ibotta Savings: 25 cents off ‘Any item’ at Kroger

New to Ibotta? Click here for a $10 welcome bonus! You can cash out your earnings or use them to get a gift card to tons of awesome places like Amazon, iTunes, Nike, Target, Uber, and many more!

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.

Related: Here are the 70 best things to buy at Aldi.

Related: Want some basic grocery savings ideas? Here are 5 ways to save money without using coupons.

The Aldi in my area reopened after a month of remodeling, and it looks fantastic! They mailed me a $5 off $30 in honor of the reopening.

Here’s everything I got for $25.61. This really demonstrates how far your money can stretch at Aldi.

  • Almond Milk $1.99
  • Jelly $1.39
  • Can of corn: 44 cents
  • Jar of applesauce: $1.29
  • Mustard (20 oz): 65 cents
  • (2) Jars of Marinara: 99 cents each
  • Jar of Peanut Butter (big – 40 oz): $2.49
  • 5 lbs Red Potatoes: $1.49
  • 3 lbs Pink Lady Apples: $2.89
  • 3 lbs Yellow Onions: 99 cents
  • Turkey lunchmeat: $2.49
  • Vegetable Medley: 69 cents (marked down for nearing expiration date)
  • Breakfast Sandwiches (4-pack, frozen): $3.69
  • Frozen Waffles: $1.19
  • 100 ct. Ibuprofen: $1.95
  • Lemonade Mix: $1.19
  • English Muffins: 99 cents
  • Wheat Bread: 59 cents (marked down for nearing expiration date)
  • White Bread: 49 cents (marked down for nearing expiration date)
  • Buns: 65 cents (marked down for nearing expiration date)
  • Cheese Puffs: $1.09

Aldi grocery haul

Obviously, it’s rare to have an Aldi coupon like I did. But even without a coupon, it’s amazing to get these 22 grocery staples for $30.

I use my Foodsaver to preserve items that I won’t use before they expire. Here’s how I do it.

Want some basic grocery savings ideas? Try these 5 tips.

Amount Spent: $25.61

Amount Saved (assuming 30% savings +$5 coupon): $12.68

I use a collapsible shopping basket like this one for my Aldi shopping.

Gasoline Savings: $4.50

The gas station near Aldi is usually cheaper than the others in my area, and this week it was 30 cents per gallon less!

Miscellaneous Savings:

It was a balmy 55 degrees here on Sunday, so my husband and I decided to wash the car. We also vacuumed it and wiped down the interior, and my husband waxed it.

It occurred to me that we were saving quite a bit by doing this ourselves, instead of taking it to a car wash and paying someone to do it.

I looked it up, and it turns out that it would cost $50-75 to have our car detailed! Yikes.

We actually enjoy washing the car. It’s actually kind of fun when you get into it. We use this car wash brush and my husband got this complete car care kit for Christmas. They work great!

Related: Here are 12 things frugal people don’t do.

Amount Saved: $50

Grand Total Savings for Week 11: $84.67

Total Saved Year-to-Date: $992.07

You can read the rest of the How I Saved posts here.

Don’t forget to check out the Resources Page for tons of other money saving resources!

What are your tricks for saving money? How much did you save this week?

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