Week 15: How I Saved (And Earned) $88

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how to save money at Aldi

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 15 – April 9 – 15

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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.

coupon matchups

Here are the deals!

This month I’m planning to do a freezer and pantry use-up. We have quite a bit of food on hand, since I always stock up on things when they’re at their rock bottom price. So I won’t need to buy too many items for dinners.

To that end, I’m setting an ambitious goal for April of spending $150 or less on groceries. For the entire month.

I did this last April and was able to spend only $125! Since our monthly grocery average is between $200-250, I saved at least $100 by using what I already have.

Even if you don’t have a fully stocked freezer and pantry, it’s great to plan your meals around what you do have. Especially if you have a week or a month where you want to save extra money.

I only shopped at Aldi this week, partly because Meijer and Kroger didn’t have any impressive deals. But also because it’s just so easy to save money at Aldi.

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.

Since I’m trying to spend as little as possible this month, I just ran into Aldi for a few things. I picked up:

  • Coffee creamer $1.49
  • Jar of marinara sauce 99 cents
  • Light olive oil mayo $1.89
  • Salad $1.99
  • Turkey lunchmeat $2.49
  • Tortillas $1.99
  • 3 lb. Apples $3.29
  • Bread 89 cents
  • Lemonade $1.19

Amount Spent: $16.21

Amount Saved (assuming 30% savings): $4.86

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.

how to save money at Aldi

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

Gasoline Savings: $3.00

I saved 20 cents per gallon at Kroger using their fuel rewards.

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 every month. I’d say 95% of their receipts have surveys, so be sure to check!

Miscellaneous Earnings:

Usually I have miscellaneous savings to report, but this week I actually have earnings to report!

IbottaSince Aldi purchases aren’t eligible for Ibotta rebates (though hopefully that changes soon), I didn’t use Ibotta in the traditional sense this week.

Except that I did cash out $50 from my earnings! You can choose to either receive money (via PayPal) or gift cards, and I chose the cold hard cash. : )

Totally worth taking a few seconds of my time after each shopping trip.

New to Ibotta? Click here for a $10 welcome bonus

I also am a participant in Pinecone Research surveys, and they pay me $3 for each survey I do. I usually do about one per week.

This week I cashed out my rewards for $30. I enjoy getting a glimpse into new product ideas, and love getting a check a few times a year even more.

Amount Earned: $80

Grand Total Savings & Earnings for Week 15: $87.86

Total Saved & Earned Year-to-Date: $1280.95

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!

Linking up with The Thrifty Couple for Thrifty Thursday

What are your money saving tricks? Have you ever done a pantry challenge?

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