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Project Mortgage Payoff: How I Saved This Week

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how to save money

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 3 – January 15-21

This post may contain affiliate links. You can view my full disclosure policy here.

Grocery Savings:

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 the deals!

coupon matchups

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.

Meijer was running one of their 10 for $10, get the 11th item free sale. One of my favorite sales! There are hundreds of items included, and this week I purchased 11, including salad dressing, frozen pizza, refried beans, and even a loofah.

My favorite deals:

There was a printable and digital coupon for $1 off 2 Old El Paso items. I used it to get 2 cans of refried beans for 50 cents each. I hadn’t printed the coupon so I just used my digital coupon.

Last week when I was at Meijer, a coupon printed for a free Seeds of Change rice mix, so I picked that up too. Nothing beats free!

I have chicken and bell peppers in the freezer (that I vacuum sealed with my Foodsaver), so these items will make great side dishes to fajitas.

Related: Read how I save tons of money with a Foodsaver here.

Amount Saved: $9.54

Amount Spent: $8.79

Percentage Saved: 52%

how to save money on groceries

Kroger Shopping Trip:

Another Free Arla crean cheese digital coupon popped up in my Kroger account, so I grabbed one of those.

Make sure you check out the clearance sections at your grocery store, if they have one. In the freezer clearance, I got Sister Schubert’s rolls and Twix ice cream bars.

I had coupons for 75 cents off each of the rolls packages, making them 94 cents each, and I plan to use them to make little baked sandwiches.

I used Ibotta to get $1.50 off each of the Twix bars, making them 39 cents each after rebate! They’re dangerously delicious! I also used an Ibotta rebate for 25 cents off any item.

New to Ibotta? Sign up here to receive a $10 welcome bonus.

In the checkout lane, they had packs of Orbit gum on closeout for 69 cents each. I bought 4, and had 2 coupons for 50 cents off 2, making them 44 cents each.

Their eggs have been super inexpensive lately, and I got a dozen for 49 cents. That’s cheap eating, folks.

I also used Free Friday digital coupons for organic popcorn and Chobani yogurt (not pictured). Every Friday, Kroger has a digital coupon for a specific free item. You have to clip it that day, but you have 2 weeks to use it.

I also had a $2 off any shopping trip coupon that printed at the register last week.

Amount Saved: $10.92

Amount Spent (after Ibotta rebate): $2.91

Percentage Saved: 80%

save money on groceries

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.

I got the ingredients to make a big pot of chili (except for beef and bell peppers, which I already had in the freezer), plus apples, turkey meatballs, and a few other things.

Related: Want to save money without coupons? Try these 5 tips.

Amount Spent: $12.82

Amount Saved (assuming 30% savings): $3.85

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

Gasoline Savings:

I actually didn’t need to fill my tank last week. Hooray!

Miscellaneous Savings:

Kohls: I’m part of their Yes2You rewards program, and they sent me a $5 coupon to use on anything. I paired it with the 30% off promo code (that I receive monthly because I have their credit card) to buy this cool marble stapler and earrings, both on clearance. I paid $8.31 for both. Ordered online with free shipping.

how to save money at Kohls

Disclaimer: When and if I charge things on my Kohls credit card, I ALWAYS pay it off when the bill comes. They have a crazy high interest rate, and I ain’t about that! I would not recommend getting their (or any) credit card if there’s any chance you won’t be able to or remember to pay it off immediately.

Goodwill: Twice a month, the Goodwill stores in my area have 50% off all donated goods. I definitely don’t go every month, but when I can, I try to stop in and see what they have to offer. I’ve gotten quite a few articles of clothing there over the years. I didn’t love any of the clothes this time, but found a few treasures in the book department.

I’ve been wanting a bread machine cookbook, and found a good one at Goodwill. I hopped on my Amazon app to read the reviews. It had great reviews and was selling for over $13 on Amazon. I don’t usually buy novels, but they had one of the books in the Shopaholic series. I own the rest of the books in the series, so I added it to my collection, and also picked up a funny book to give someone I know who likes funny books.

thrift store finds

All together I paid $3.71, including tax.

CVS: For some reason, CVS sent me a coupon for a free item up to $3. Since I can’t pass up free, I stopped in and picked up a free cuticle oil. Incidentally, it is quite hard to find something for $3 or less at CVS.

Grand Total Savings for Week 3: $24.14

I guess every week can’t be as great as Week 1 or Week 2, but I appreciate any and all savings I can get. It really does add up over time!

Total Savings Year to Date: $235.85

I realize not everyone is interested in going to multiple stores or bothering with coupons, but any money saved is helpful!

In case you’re wondering how we can eat so cheaply, we do have a lot of food in the house already. I have a fully stocked pantry and freezer thanks to years of couponing. I don’t just buy food for one week at a time. Also, we always eat leftovers for lunch, and we don’t have fancy tastes or particularly high standards.

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

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

What are your tricks for saving money?

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