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.
This is the easiest way to 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 my savings for Week 6 – February 5-11
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Here are the deals!
It was very snowy here in Michigan this week, thanks to “Winter Storm Mateo.” Luckily I was able to sneak out between snowstorms to stock up on the deals I wanted to get. Here are a few pictures from a walk my husband and I took at a nearby park over the weekend.
Meijer Shopping Trip:
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.
My absolute favorite Meijer deal this week was my totally FREE furnace filter. In the fall, Meijer had an mPerk reward where when you bought 3 furnace filters, you got a digital “coupon” for a free one. You could get that reward more than once, so when they had a a buy one, get one 50% off sale, I bought 6 filters. Three of them were half price, plus they had mail-in rebates for $5 back on every 2 filters.
Still with me?
So since I bought 6, I got rewarded with 2 future free filters. I’ll pick the other free one next time I go to Meijer. I wasn’t sure if I could get 2 free ones in one visit or not.
Speaking of mail-in rebates, I had a $10 Visa gift card arrive as part of a Black Friday deal from Kohls. (I still have a $50 one coming – woot woot!) I used that Visa toward my Meijer purchase this week. Only a very small percentage of mail-in rebates are every actually sent in, so companies are happy to offer them. Don’t forget to send yours in if you come across one!
The Sunbelt granola bars were on sale for $1.67 each, and I had 3 coupons for 75 cents off each. That made them 92 cents for each box of 10 bars. My husband likes these for breakfasts or snacks.
Meijer has started mailing me coupons for some of the items I buy regularly, so I used a couple of those coupons toward a package of bottled water, eggs, and a frozen pizza.
Amount Saved: $51.24 (including Visa gift card)
Amount Spent: $23.26
Percentage Saved: 55%
Related: Here’s how I use a Foodsaver to save me hundreds of dollars and keep my food fresh longer.
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 items. The signs will let you know how many participating sale items you need to buy.
Kroger mailed me a coupon for $50 off my next shopping trip if I transferred a prescription to their pharmacy. I was super pumped about that. I took a prescription over there and gleefully cashed in my free $50.
That $50, plus the Mega Event sale and my coupons made for a great trip. My favorite deals included Minute Maid orange juice for $1.44 (on sale for $1.99, minus coupons for 55 cents off each), Campbells Chunky Soup cans for 64 cents each (on sale for 89 cents, minus a 50 cent off 2 coupon), and Bear Creek Soup Mix for 49 cents (on sale for $1.99, minus a coupon for $3 off 2 that printed at the register last time).
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: $95.68 (including $50 off for transferred prescription)
Amount Spent: $6.37
Percentage Saved: 93%
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.
Guess I did a lot of shopping this week! I needed quite a few things from Aldi, including trash bags and toilet paper. They have such great prices!
Want some basic grocery savings ideas? Try these 5 tips.
Amount Spent: $30.08
Amount Saved (assuming 30% savings): $9.02
I use a collapsible shopping basket like this one for my Aldi shopping.
Ibotta Savings: 25 cents back on “Any Item” from Meijer
Every little bit helps! : )
New to Ibotta? Click here for a $10 welcome bonus!
I didn’t need any gas this week, hooray!
We have Sprint for our cell phone service, and I saw on their website that we could save $5 per line, per month, if we sign up for AutoPay (where the payment gets pulled from your bank account automatically on the due date).
I enrolled in it last month, since that would be $20 across the 4 lines we have on our account. Naturally, our bill was not $20 cheaper, so I called them. Apparently, that doesn’t count with our specific Sprint plan. But the customer service agent was kind enough to give us a one-time $20 courtesy discount for my trouble. It almost always pays (pun intended) to call and inquire about a discount.
I also cancelled the insurance on one of our older phones, which is worth $13 a month. I’m happy to get these discounts, but I really can’t believe how expensive cell phone service has become.
Amount Saved: $33 (plus $13 on future months)
Grand Total Savings for Week 6: $189.19
Total Saved Year to Date: $490.88
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You can get caught up and 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? I’d love to hear your deals!