Monday, October 17, 2011

Saving Money Without Coupons

Normally I'm definitely a coupon shopper, but yesterday I needed to get groceries, and didn't have my coupons with me.  I had left them in the car Friday, and yesterday my husband took the car to work, leaving me with the van.  I have stuff going on tomorrow, and the commissary is closed today.  We were completely out of milk, and almost out of bread, plus out of a few other, less important things.  It had been over 3 weeks since we had been grocery shopping, so I decided that Elliott and I better go yesterday, even without my coupon binder.

We went to the commissary with a grocery list and two coupons.  Our list was pretty long, because we hadn't been to the commissary in three weeks (we had picked up fresh produce at the farmer's market, but that was all we had bought),  and we were out of, or almost out of, a lot of other things that we normally stock up on to last us for a few weeks to a few months.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that several of the things we needed were on sale.  Juice boxes were on sale by the case (and since I pack Elliott's lunch every day, we go through a lot of them, even with only one child), so I bought a case of those.  The individual containers of applesauce and Totally Fruit were on sale as well, so I stocked up on those.  Musselmans is actually having a great promotion right now, where you can get free giftcards and other items by sending in UPC codes, so I was pretty happy to see that they were on sale. :)  A 6 pack of applesauce was on sale for about $1 and the 4 packs of Totally Fruit (also included in the Musselmans promo) were even cheaper.  Elliott takes one in his lunchbox every day, and eats 3-4 at home every week as well.  My husband takes one almost every day in his lunchbox, too, so we go through a lot.  I also use it to replace oil in a lot of baking recipes.

Campbells cream soups were on sale 3/$2, too, so we definitely stocked up on those.  I'm not much of a soup eater, but Campbell's cream soups are the only ones I will eat that aren't homemade.  I also use them in casseroles and other recipes a lot during the winter.  My husband ate the last can of cream of chicken soup on Friday, so the timing on this sale worked out perfectly.  I ended up buying 20 cans.

Shredded cheese was another thing on our grocery list that I normally stock up on for a few weeks, and we were almost out at home.  Sargento's was on sale for about $3 for a pound bag, and there were coupons for $.40 off each bag, so I bought three (I would have bought more, but they were running pretty low, and I don't like to buy a bunch of stuff I don't need right now, if it's going to be even close to clearing the shelves). 

The last great deal we got was walnuts, on sale for $3.69 for a full pound, already out of their shells.  There were coupons there as well, for $.50 off a produce item with each bag you bought.  We needed lettuce, bananas, and cucumbers, so I grabbed three bags of walnuts and the accompanying coupons.

We ended up spending almost $140 total at the commissary, and only used about $10 worth of coupons, so our savings look pretty small on the receipt.  Compared to regular retail prices, I think we did pretty well, though!  And we stayed within our budget, even after skipping the grocery store during the first half of the month, so I think we did really well over all!

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