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 5 – January 29 – February 4
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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. The key is to combine those sales with matching coupons to get the most bang for my buck. I always aim for at least 50% savings.
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!
And I buy everything else at Aldi.
Related: Read the rest of my How I Saved posts here.
On to the deals…
Meijer Shopping Trip:
I actually didn’t shop Meijer again this week. Guess they should up their sale game! Nothing too impressive lately.
Kroger Shopping Trip:
They had my 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 them. The signs will let you know how many participating sale items you need to buy.
I had quite the successful Kroger trip this week! I hit the jackpot in the clearance section, with bread for 29 cents and hamburger buns for 39 cents. These freeze really well, so I don’t mind stocking up.
My favorite coupon deals were:
Juice boxes were priced at $1.49 in the Mega Event. I had three coupons for $1.25 off 2, which made them 87 cents per 8 pack. I got six packs for my daughter’s lunches.
The Creamette pasta boxes had a sale price of 49 cents each, which is good in and of itself. But since Kroger sends out paper coupons based on what you buy, I had a store coupon for $1 off 3 boxes. That made each box just under 16 cents.
There were some Farm Rich brand appetizers on closeout, so I got some boneless chicken “wings.” They’ll be good on a salad or in a wrap. They were priced at $3.84 each, and I had a digital coupon for $2 off 2, and $1 off 1. That made them $2.84 each.
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: $29.92
Amount Spent: $17.46
Percentage Saved: 63%
Christmas Tree Shop:
I don’t often think the groceries at Christmas Tree Shop are that great of a price, nor do I go there for groceries. But this week my mom and I stopped in there and they had boxes of 12-pack individually bagged Cheez-its marked down to 98 cents. I bought 4 boxes, (which is 48 little bags). So great for lunches, and the built-in portion control is priceless.
Amount Saved: $11.92
Amount Spent: $3.92
Related: Want some basic grocery savings ideas? Try these 5 tips.
Ibotta Savings: 75 cents
I had a 25 cents off any item rebate for Kroger, and a 25 cents off any brand of frozen chicken wings . My boneless “wings” counted, so I got a 50 cent rebate from Kroger this week. There was also a 25 cent rebate for any item at Target (see below), so I used that too.
New to Ibotta? Click here to get a $10 welcome bonus!
Gasoline Savings: $6.00
Because I do the Kroger survey every chance I get, and they had a variety of items worth triple points recently, I ended up with 40 cents off per gallon!
I stopped at Target, and they had SO MUCH stuff on clearance. I happened to see this wallet that I super loved clearanced down to $5.08, and noticed there was a Cartwheel offer for an extra 20% off clearance clothing and accessories. That, along with my Redcard (which saves me another 5%) means I paid only $4.09, including tax. If you deduct the Target Ibotta rebate, I only paid $3.84.
I love the wallet so much that I gave it it’s own photo shoot : )
Have you ever heard of Pinecone Research? If you are a member, they send you surveys periodically, and pay you $3 each for completing them. I’ve been doing it for a few years now. Every now and then, after a survey they send you the product to try out at home. After you try it, you do another survey about it and get another $3.
This week was my lucky week! After I did a survey, they sent me the product to try, so I made $6 and got something for free. (I’m not allowed to disclose what the product was. Sorry!) I’m not going to get rich doing these surveys obviously, but I enjoy hearing about new products and giving my feedback. And earning money and getting free stuff doesn’t hurt of course.
My mom and I went out to lunch and I used a Restaurant.com gift certificate. It was worth $10, but I only paid $2, saving us $8 on our meal. I love buying discounted restaurant certificates!
Amount Saved: $8
Grand Total Savings for Week 5: $56.59
Total Saved Year to Date: $301.69
Mortgage Principal Paid in January: $2365.47
You can get caught up and read the rest of my How I Saved posts here.
What are your tricks for saving money? Do you ever use coupons?