2018 Spending Totals

UPDATE: January 2, 2019

  1. January Totals: $449.55
  2. February Totals: $378.10
  3. March Totals: $437.22
  4. April Totals: $526.42
  5. May Totals: $538.02
  6. June Totals: $673.22
  7. July Totals: $557.57
  8. August Totals: $610.04
  9. September Totals: $513.78
  10. October Totals: $433.23
  11. November Totals: $572.68
  12. December Totals: $640.73

Total Spent: $6330.56


A constant frustration with how I shop is the number of stores I go to each month. As we start a new year, I am determined to minimize the number of times I shop and how much I spend. Looking at the 2017 totals, I still found myself shopping for groceries too many times each month. However, I did reduce our overall spending.


December Totals So Far...

Week 1: My Weekly Shopping Trips here.

Week 2: My Weekly Shopping Trips here.

Week 3: My Weekly Shopping Trips here.

Week 4: My Weekly Shopping Trips here.

Week 5: My Weekly Shopping Trips here.

Store Week 1 (12/02-12/08) Week 2 (12/09-12/15) Week 3 (12/16-12/22) Week 4 (12/23-12/29) Week 5 (12/30-12/31)
Aldi $42.88 $43.17 + $11.21 $37.18 + $25.41 $56.42 $28.86
Shoprite $37.32 $47.54 $49.90 $60.82 $34.60
Stop&Shop $0.71
Target $1.49 $18.57
Trader Joe's $23.29 $12.36 $25.49
Whole Foods Market $20.89 $34.19 $28.43
Totals $102.58 $125.21 $165.25 $158.03 $89.66

November Totals So Far...

Week 1: My Weekly Shopping Trips here.

Week 2: My Weekly Shopping Trips here.

Week 3: My Weekly Shopping Trips here.

Week 4: My Weekly Shopping Trips here.

Week 5: My Weekly Shopping Trips here.

Store Week 1 (10/28-11/03) Week 2 (11/04-11/10) Week 3 (11/11-11/17) Week 4 (11/18-11/24) Week 5 (11/25-12/01)
Aldi $46.69 $40.88 $35.43 + $18.66 $50.54 + $5.52 $35.49
Costco $15.67
Shoprite $5.98 + $21.48 $17.78 $30.10 + $24.90 $47.75 + $32.20 $31.09
Target $7.98 $6.99
Trader Joe's $19.51 $10.45
Whole Foods Market $2.18 $35.00 $12.08 $18.33
Totals $95.84 $117.31 $138.61 $154.34 $66.58

October Totals So Far...

Week 1: Weekly Shopping Trip here.

Week 1: Whole Foods Shopping Trip here.

Week 2: Aldi & ShopRite Shopping Trips here.

Week 3: ShopRite, Wholefoods Market, Aldi, and Trader Joe's Shopping Trip
here.

Week 4: Whole Foods Market, ShopRite, and Aldi's Shopping Trip here.

Store Week 1 (10/01-10/06) Week 2 (10/07-10/13) Week 3 (10/14-10/20) Week 4 (10/21 -10/27)
Aldi $18.99 $46.49 $33.31 $35.04 + $3.97
Costco $4.99
Farmer's Market $8.50
Shoprite $57.99 $52.14 $27.12 $33.97
Trader Joe's $14.02 $7.99 $17.02
Whole Foods Market $26.62 $20.97 $24.10
Totals $131.11 $106.62 $98.42 $97.08

September monthly totals are coming soon. Here are the September totals so far. I am nearing the end of the budget with 1 more trip to the stores during the week and then the weekend Farmer's Market. I may have to skip the Whole Foods run and have cheese sandwiches before the October budget reset.


September Final Totals


FINAL SEPTEMBER TOTALS: $513.78

September 1 Weekly Shopping Trip here.

September 9 Weekly Shopping Trip here.

Weekend Shopping Trip for September 15 & 16 here.

September 19 & 20 Weekly Shopping Trip here.

Weekend Shopping Trip for September 22 & 23 here.

September 27 & 28 Weekly Shopping Trip here.

Weekend Shopping Trip for September 29 here.


Store Week 1 (09/01-09/07) Week 2 (09/08-09/14) Week 3 (09/15-09/21) Week 4 (09/22 -09/28) Week 5 (09/29-09/30)
Aldi $41.10 $36.77 $33.21 $39.25
Costco $4.99 $4.99
Farmer's Market $9.00 $8.50 $5.50 $9.00 $2.00
Shoprite $14.62 + $13.29 ($27.91) $60.09 $9.04 + $6.14 + $45.51 ($60.69) $7.97 + $9.06 + $17.81 ($34.84)
Target
Trader Joe's $28.10
Whole Foods Market $15.87 $24.84 $20.44 $23.04 $23.92
Totals $98.87 $158.03 $124.83 $106.13 $25.92

August Final Totals

Here are the final totals for August. Click on the links below for the individual shopping trips for more details. I spent $610.04 this month.

Weekly Totals

Store Week 1 (7/31-8/7) Week 2 (08/08-08/14) Week 3 (08/15-08/22) Week 4 (08/23 -08/30)
Aldi $49.07 $39.08 + $3.36 $28.36 $28.96
Costco $97.85 $27.25
CVS
Farmer's Market $11.00 $8.50 $6.50
Shoprite 34.35 + $4.36 ($38.71) $40.49 + $1.17 ($41.66) $48.07 + $21.53(-$4.99) $28.39 + $20.46
Target $21.45 $9.88
Trader Joe's $13.44 $18.79
Whole Foods Market $18.47 $11.00 $21.33 $1.92
Totals $228.54 $125.05 $160.34 $96.11

For more details on what I purchased on each trip click the following links:


1. August 25 & 26
2. August 23
3. August 19
4. August 15
5. August 8
6. August 1

July Final Totals

July shopping are here. I am restructuring my budget and shopping plan hoping to eliminate the number of times I go shopping. June was not a great month for the budget but I am determined to get back on track. Although, now that summer is here, I find we are eating more bread. Whether it's sandwiches for picnics or using the bread for hotdogs, I've been buying more bread lately. I may have to turn the oven on and bake some bread in this heat.

UPDATE: The totals are coming in and my hopes of eliminating the number of times/days I go to the store took a hit on Sunday.

The day started as it normally does when there are coupon inserts in the newspaper; I headed to the Dollar Tree Store. From there I planned on going to Whole Foods Market then Costco. After shopping at Whole Foods we made our way up the road a quarter mile, if that and waited in the car until 10:00 AM for the store to open. We got out of the car at 10:OO and made are way to the line but noticed the door wasn't open yet. Shortly after an employee came out and said the store could not open because there was a mechanical problem. Since we had groceries in the car we left and shopped for a few items at Shoprite.

I went back on Monday after the movies and shopped. It turns out there was a problem in the dairy room and the store opened around 11:00.


July 29

I spent $11.10 at Whole Foods Market

This reflects the 10% discount for Amazon Prime Members on the chicken legs and cereal bars. I saved $0.54.

July 28

I spent $6.50 at our local farmer's market:

  1. Lettuce - $1.50
  2. Cucumber - $0.50
  3. Tomatoes - 2 for $1.00
  4. Arugula - $1.50
  5. Zucchini - $0.50
  6. Corn - 3 for $1.50

July 25

I spent $45.27 at Shoprite

shoprite-7-25

I spent approximately $30.62 at Aldi:

As I started to bag the groceries, I noticed the $2.00 savings was not subtracted from my receipt. I was refunded the $7.76 but somehow misplaced the original receipt. Since I paid in cash and remember paying over $38.00, I have estimated my final total spent.

aldi-7-25


July 22

I spent $14.29 at Whole Foods Market

I spent $20.67 at Costco


July 18

I spent $48.39 at Shoprite

Shoprite-7-18

I spent $43.65 at Aldi

aldi-7-18


July 15

I spent $11.72 at Whole Foods Market

I earned my $10.00 Amazon Prime Credit while taking advantage of some great weekend sales paired with coupons for Talenti.

  1. Organic Strawberries (Prime Deal): 2 for $5.00
  2. Virginia Ham: $4.32 (0.36/lb. @ $11.99)
  3. Talenti Gelato 2 for $6.00: With 2 $1.50 coupons and the 10% Prime Discount I spent $2.40 for 2.

wfm-prime-day


July 10

I spent $31.69 at Shoprite

I received $2.00 off my next shopping order because I bought 3 boxes of cereal.

shoprite7-10


I spent $45.79 at Aldi

aldi7-10

July 9

I spent $50.12 at Costco

CostcoJuly9


July 8

I spent 28.14 at Whole Foods Market

This reflects the 10% discount for Amazon Prime Members on the lunch meat and ground beef. I saved $6.72.

july8wholefoodsmarket-1

I spent $17.33 at Shoprite

Shoprite7-8

July 3

I spent $38.67 at Shoprite

Shoprite7-3

I spent $45.29 at Aldi

aldi7-3-1


July 2

My youngest 2 love to hunt for the pirate and parrot at Trader Joe' so they can get a cereal bar and lollipop from the treasure chest. I decided to go there after the [movies](https://www.simplegrocerydeals.com/a-good-deal-and-50-cent-movies/) instead of on Tuesday when I go shopping by myself. Also, this purchase is for the month of July.

I spent $33.53 at Trader Joe's

traderjoesjuly


July 1

I spent $21.15 at Target

target-july-18jpg


Store July 1-7 July 8-14 July 15-21 July 22-31
Costco $50.12 $20.67
Aldi $45.29 $45.79 $43.65 $30.62
Shoprite $38.67 $17.33 + $31.69 $48.39 $45.27
Whole Foods $28.14 $11.72 $14.29
Target $21.15 $8.50
The Fresh Market
CVS
Trader Joe's $33.53
Dollar Tree Store $6.00
Farmer's Market $2.00 $4.25 $4.00 $6.50
TOTALS $140.64 $183.32 $103.76 $125.85

Projected Monthly BUDGET: $500.00
FINAL SPENT: $557.57

June Final Totals

UPDATE: The final numbers are in for the monthly budget and I was over budget. I am restructuring how I shop now that summer vacation is in full swing. I hope to limit the number of times I actually shop. I shopped early on a Tuesday morning and that seemed to work. Look for the new shopping totals soon!

I usually spend 40% of my budget during the first week of the month because I stock up on those items that we ran out of the previous month. I started shopping for June on Wednesday, May 30, because I wanted to take advantage of expiring Ibotta offers and coupons before June 1. Also, it was Field Day at our boys' school.

June 28 & 29

With a birthday on Friday, I went back to the store for the cake and picnic supplies. I claimed a $20.00 Whole Foods Market gift card from Ibotta to buy the lunch meat, cheese, and cookies to take to the beach.

June 26

With the kids home for the summer and not going to camp, I decided to go to Shoprite early in the morning then Aldi. Normally, by the time I drop the elementary age kids at school there is just enough time to go the bank before Aldi opens at 9:00 AM. The trip went well and I even had time to go back to Shoprite for a missing digital coupon.

I spent $41.27 at Shoprite

IMG_1958

I spent $17.94 at Aldi

IMG_1956

June 22

I made it Aldi and Whole Foods Market today.

I spent $36.12 at Aldi

Aldi622


I spent $16.27 at Whole Foods Market:

I've been buying lunch meat more often now that the children are home for the summer and we are going on more picnics and eating them at the playground.

June 19

I shopped on a Tuesday this week to take advantage of the sales at Shoprite. I skipped going to Aldi on the same day since the kids are home for summer vacation.

IMG_1903

June 13

I shopped today since this was the last day of school!

I spent $31.56 at Aldi

Aldi6-13

I spent $59.67 at Shoprite

SR6-13-1

June 7

Back to shopping at the end of the week.

I spent $51.30 at Aldi

I spent $26.06 at Shoprite

June 3

Finally our Dollar Tree Store has plenty on Sunday papers to go around. So it was off to the store by 9:00 to get the coupon inserts! We are fortunate to live in an area where the stores are close together which is why I often shop at multiple stores in one day. After getting the papers, I planned to go to our local CVS and Shoprite to take advantage of the sales early. After redeeming enough Ibotta offers to cash out, I chose a $20.00 Whole Foods Market gift card. I used that to buy lunch meat and a few other items. Then it was off to Trader Joe's to pick up frozen fruit because, after all, I pass the store on the way home and I needed to pick up frozen fruit and cereal.

I spent $23.08 at Shoprite

Shoprite Coupons Used

Coupon # of Coupons Amount Total
Enlightened/Clipped 2 $1.50 $3.00
Enlightened/Printed 1 BOGO $3.88
Ben & Jerry's/Clipped 2 $1.25 $2.50
Newman Own's Pizza/Printed 3 $1.00 $3.00
Peanut Butter/Clipped from Store Flyer 1 $0.89 $0.89
Bush's Baked Beans/Clipped 1 $1.00 $1.00
Peaches/Clipped from Store Flyer 1 $0.99/lb. $1.74
Catalina Coupon 1 $3.50 $3.50
Total Coupons Used 12 $19.51
  1. The Catalina coupon was earned after purchasing 10 Minute Maid items.

  2. The clipped coupons were from Sunday inserts and the printed coupons for pizza were from coupons.com but are no longer available.

  3. The Enlightened printed BOGO can be found here.

  4. Ibotta: I redeemed $1.00 for each Enlightened Ice Cream and Newman's Own Pizza I purchased.

I spent $4.13 at Whole Foods Market

Here is what I bought:

  1. 1/2 lb. Black Forest Ham - $6.41
  2. 1/4 lb. Provolone Cheese - $1.64
  3. Organic Strawberries - $2.50
  4. Croissant 12 Pack - $6.99
  5. Whole Chicken (3.68 lb.) $6.59

I spent $14.13 at Trader Joe's

Here is what I bought:

  1. Bran Flakes - $1.99
  2. Frozen Raspberries - $2.49
  3. Frozen Pineapple - $5.37 (3 @ $1.79 each)
  4. Frozen Blueberries - $1.99
  5. Black Pepper Grinder - $2.29

May 30

I spent $43.04 at Aldi

I spent $52.65 at Shoprite

I took advantage of the Ibotta rebates for:

  1. 4 Whole Fruit Tubes and Bars - $4.00
  2. 2 Coleman products - $3.00
  3. 1 Red Pack - $0.50
  4. Any Item - $0.25
  5. Scotch Brite Scrub Sponges (not pictured) - $0.80

I took advantage of the SavingStar rebates for:

  1. Whole Fruit Bar - $1.00
  2. Land O' Lakes Butter - $0.40
  3. Land O' Lakes Butter - $0.50

I only purchased 1 Land O' Lakes Tub Butter but received 2 rebates!

I spent $63.91 at Costco

I spent $22.31 at Target


Totals So Far...

Store Week 1 (05/30) Week 2 (06/07) Week 3 (06/14) Week 4 (06/21) Week 5 (06/28)
Costco $63.91 $21.76
Aldi $43.04 $51.30 $31.56 $36.12 $17.94 + $11.17
Shoprite $52.65 $23.08 + $26.06 $59.67 $59.89 $41.29 + $16.13
Whole Foods $4.13 $8.84 $19.01 $16.27 $0.64
Target $22.31 $12.03
The Fresh Market $
CVS
Trader Joe's $14.13 $17.42
Dollar Tree Store $2.00
TOTALS $186.91 $123.41 $161.45 $112.28 $87.17

**Projected Monthly BUDGET: $600.00
FINAL SPENT: $673.22


May Final Totals

May 23 Shopping Trips

I spent $27.43 at Aldi

I spent $37.43 at Shoprite

May 18 Shopping Trips

With the children back in school, I finished my grocery shopping for the week and picked up a few things to make it through another rainy weekend in Connecticut.

I spent $34.63 at Aldi

I spent $23.48 at Trader Joe's

May 15 Shopping Trips

Here is my latest Shoprite purchases. I only went to one store because I have another sick kid that I had a doctor's appointment in the morning. Since I prefer to go to Aldi when it opens I'll wait until the end of the week to go.

My Best Bets This Week

Product Amount Sale Price Coupons Out of Pocket Rebates Earned
Van's Waffles 2 $1.99 $1.00 x 2 $1.98 $2.00
Ben & Jerry's Pint Slices 1 $2.88 $1.25 + $.75 $0.88 $1.75
Lipton Tea 1 $2.99 $1.00 + $0.40 $1.59 ----
Oscar Mayer Classic Weiners 1 $2.49 $0.55(Doubled) $1.39 ---
Bush's Baked Beans 2 $1.99 $1.00 + $1.00 $1.98 ---
Cooked Perfect Meatballs 1 $2.74 $1.00 $1.74 ---

Amount in italics represent printed coupons. Those numbers that are not reflect digital coupons that were loaded to my Shoprite loyalty card.

Van's coupons can be found here!

May 11 Shopping Trips

I made an extra trip to the stores this Friday. I redeemed a $20.00 gift card at Whole Foods Market from Ibotta and used it to purchase our Mother's Day meal. My family eats a lot of cheese so I picked up another block of cheese at Costco. Next month I will put 2 blocks on the list to avoid the extra trip.

May 8 Shopping Trips

Another Tuesday and I am off to the stores. I've shopped earlier in the week this month, taking advantage of the sales and coupons. Earlier this year I missed out on getting free toothbrushes because by the time I shopped on Friday the selection was picked over. I had the maximum 4 coupons for Shoprite but was only able to use 2 of them after finding the toothbrushes mixed in with other brands.

I spent $31.06 at Aldi

I spent $33.72 at Shoprite.

The laundry detergent was FREE. Shoprite had it on sale for $1.99. With a 2 $1.00 clipped coupons and 2 $1.00 digital coupons, I paid nothing! Also, I earned $5.70 on the detergent, Veggie Fries, and hotdogs.

I spent $1.50 on food and $14.92 on Household/Personal Care products.

April 30 & May 1 Shopping Trips

This month has started off with a large portion of the grocery budget spent. However, that was planned when I ran out of staples at the same time. I also took advantage of The Fresh Market's Chuck & Chicken $2.99 Tuesdays to stock up on meat. Our nearest Fresh Market is a 20 minute drive so I decided to go to Costco on Monday, April 30. Leaving the 4 stores for Tuesday.

I spent $76.28 at Costco

I spent $39.11 at The Fresh Market:

  • 5 lbs. of Ground Beef
  • 5 lbs. of Chicken
  • Coconut
  • 1/2 of deli ham
  • .33 lb. Sweet Trail Mix

I spent $58.79 at Aldi

Check out the latest price list here.

I spent $57.12 at Shoprite

I spent $18.12 at Trader Joe's

Totals So Far...

Store Trip 1 (04/30-05/01) Trip 2 (05/11) Trip 3 (05/18) Trip 4 (05/25)
Costco $76.28 $4.99
Aldi $58.79 $31.06 $34.63 $27.43
Shoprite $57.12 $33.72 $35.41 $37.43+2.98+6.51
Whole Foods $7.59 $1.20
Target $14.96 $18.14
The Fresh Market $39.11
CVS $1.50
Trader Joe's $18.71 $4.98 $23.48
Dollar Tree Store $2.00
TOTALS $252.01 $98.80 $111.66 $66.06

**Projected Monthly BUDGET: $500.00
FINAL SPENT: $538.02


April Final Totals

FINAL UPDATE: Sadly, my budget was stretched thin and finally broke at the end of April.

Check out my current totals for the month here!

Well, the past 6 weeks has been a bit of a strain on the budget but with college spring break last month, a middle schooler wanting home lunches, sick kids, and 2 birthdays I am well over my initial $400.00 budget. I am planning a trip to Fresh Market to stock up on chicken and ground beef since my oldest son wants hamburgers for his birthday dinner. I had a pound of ground beef in the freezer to use for our son's birthday dinner but I still went to buy the cake, ice cream, and the all the fixings for the hamburgers.

I spent $12.37 on groceries at Aldi

I spent $48.26 on groceries at Shoprite

I spent $8.31 with tax on personal care products at Shoprite, saving over $18.00.

See The Savings

Product Regular Price Sales Price Coupon Digital Savings Total
Softsoap $6.29 $5.45 $.75 (x2) $2.46 $1.49
Dove Bath Soap $8.49 $7.89 $1.00 $1.90+$.075 $4.24
Purell $3.29 - $1.00 $1.00 $1.29
Colgate 360 Toothbrush $4.29 $3.49 $.75 (x2) $1.00+$.50 $0.49
2 Colgate Toothbrush $1.79 $1.35 $1.00/MB2 $.50+$0.72 $.48 for 2
Sub Totals $25.94 $22.82 $6.00 $8.83
Out of Pocket Total(including tax) $8.31

Note that where you see 2 numbers in the digital savings column multiple savings were listed on the sales receipt.

I spent $5.27 on groceries at Target

I spent $12.34 on groceries at Trader Joe's


Here is the most current shopping trip a day early. Since I had an appointment at an office that shares the parking lot with Aldi, I shopped on Thursday!

I spent $55.60 at Shoprite

I spent $41.65 at Aldi for 2 weeks


Well my second trip for April's budget was a bit chaotic. I made six planned stops and an additional one to bring a change of clothes to school for our Kindergartner. All with a sick kid at home with Dad waiting to go to another Doctor's appointment for a cold that just won't go away. Since I calculate my shopping list prior to going to the stores, I noticed the totals were off at Shoprite and Costco. Shoprite missed scanning one coupon for a dollar, which customer service refunded me. Costco's total was almost $5.00 more than my list's total. I knew the amount would not be exact since Costco's prices vary on some products I buy each month. After the cashier looked at the receipt, he noticed he charged me for 5 yogurts instead of 4.

Here are the four of those stops were for grocercies and below is where I went and what I spent on this trip:

I spent $4.95 at Aldi:

With sick kids at home, I went through all the applesauce and bananas in 1 week. Since the stores are so close together, it was easy to run into Aldi before going to Shoprite.

I spent $38.74 on groceries at Shoprite:

I spent $14.57 on personal care products at Shoprite:

Why so cheap:

Coupon # of Coupons Amount Total
Culturelle 1 $18.59 $18.59
Oral B Toothbrushes 2/$1.98
Tom's of Maine Kid's Toothpaste 2/$7.00 $7.00
Sub Total $27.57
Culturelle/Instore 1 $5.00 $5.00
Culturelle/Printed 1 $5.00 $5.00
Oral B/Printed 2 $1.00 $2.00
Tom's/In Store 1 $1.00 $1.00
Total Coupons 5 $13.00
Final Out of Pocket Total $14.57

I also earned $1.00 Ibotta rebate from the Culturelle purchase.

I spent $7.19 at Target on groceries and $1.99 on household products:

I needed to buy juice boxes for an unpcoming school field trip for our Kindergartner. Unfortunately, the school requires that all lunches be disposable and had to spend the money. The granola bars are also for a carebox for our freshman in college.

I spent $52.62 at Costco


March Madness: Busted Brackets and Budgets... My budget was busted about the same time most brackets were in mid March. I shopped for April a few days early. Here is my first shopping trip for April. I've struggled with how to shop and what best works for our family for some time. Alternating from every week to every two weeks. Shopping every 2 weeks worked when I was only going to Costco, Wholefoods Market, and Trader Joe's. I took advantage of the savings when an item at Costco was featured in its' Monthly Coupon Book and when there was a sale at Whole Foods Market. Prices at Trader Joe's don't fluctuate week to week and there are no coupons, so how much I bought determined what I spent. Now I'm trying to shop like that but at different stores (Aldi and Shoprite). It feels like putting a square peg in a round hole so now I've switched back to every week. I shop every two weeks at Aldi and weekly at Shoprite with Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's, Costco, and Target mixed in. I found myself missing sales when I only shopped every other week at Shoprite.

Here is my used list at the end of the shopping day.

I spent $74.95 at Aldi

I spent $59.73 at Shoprite

I spent $20.30 at Trader Joe's

Since Aldi was out of frozen blueberries, raspberries, and raspberry jam. I stopped at Trader Joe's to pick up those items plus pineapple. I was pleasantly surprised to see some of the prices were reduced.

Product Previous Price Current Price Savings
Blueberries $2.49 $1.99 $0.50
Pineapple $1.99 $1.79 $0.20
Raspberries $2.79 $2.49 $0.30


April Totals

Store Trip 1 (03/28-04/06) Trip 2 (04/07 - 04/12) Trip 3 (04/13-04/19) Trip 4 (04/20-04/27)
Costco $52.62
Aldi $74.95 $4.95 $41.65+$2.98 $12.37
Shoprite $59.73 $38.74 $55.60+$7.99 $48.26+$24.60+$6.50
Whole Foods $6.01 $15.75 $12.14+$20.26
Target $1.49 $7.19 $5.27+$5.99
CVS
Trader Joe's $20.30 $12.34
TOTALS $156.47 $109.51 $123.97 $136.47

**Projected Monthly BUDGET: $400.00
FINAL SPENT: $526.42


March Final Totals

Here is my latest shopping list for my latest trip to the grocery stores. Our area Dollar Tree Store did not receive the Sunday papers, so most of my savings came from in-store sales and printed coupons.

I've been working on keeping the budget at $400.00 this month. However, I'm stretching it to around $425 without feeling too guilty, here's why I spent money to save more:

  1. Spring Break: Our oldest was home for spring break for a week. I spent an additional $7.98 on "take out" from Trader Joe's. We like the Mandarin Chicken and Chicken Gyozo Potstickers. It's a cheaper alternative than spending around $60.00 ordering from our favorite restaurant.
  2. More Home Lunches: Our middle schooler is now taking lunch from home most days. I was spending over $15.00 a week on school lunches. I purchased additional lunch meat at Whole Foods but the cost is still less than a week's worth of school lunches.
  3. Waffles: I normally don't buy frozen waffles but I did this week to break the habit of getting bagels when going on a small road trip. Normally, we would spend around $15.00 at Dunkin Donuts each time we drive our oldest to college. I spent $6.28 on waffles at Aldi and Whole Foods Market. I toasted them before we left and wrapped them in foil to keep warm.
  4. Chocolate: I picked up extra chocolate for Easter at CVS. We were craving some chocolate and ended up eating most of our easter candy.

I spent $50.24 at Aldi.

I spent $55.08 on groceries at Shoprite

I spent $0.71 on personal care products at Shoprite


I am headed to the stores tomorrow. I've been working on my shopping list, trying to keep the budget around $200.00 for 2 weeks of meals and snacks. Our oldest will be home from college for a week so I'm sure we will get take-out at some point.

UPDATE: Here is my list as I shopped Aldi, Shoprite, and went across the parking lot to CVS. I spent $199.05 on groceries and $4.10 on personal care products for 2 weeks. I only had $12.00 in coupons on this trip, which was a lower amount than the previous weeks. I am a bit disappointed that I wasn't able to snag a free item or two this week or have more coupons to use but I think I still bought a lot without spending too much! What do you think?





March Totals...

Store Week 1 (03/01) Week 2 (03/17)
Costco $20.06 + 10.48
Aldi $92.46 $50.24
Shoprite $101.60 + $4.27 $62.07
Whole Foods $19.32 $23.44 + $9.13
Target $2.85 $3.48
CVS $4.99 $2.13 + $4.00
Walgreens $3.00
Trader Joe's $15.72 + $7.98
TOTALS $228.49 $208.73

Projected Monthly BUDGET: $400.00 $425.00
FINAL SPENT: $437.22


February Final Totals

Happy Valentine's Day! Here is my current grocery list for February 14. Thanks to soup, I shopped early this week. One of the Well Yes! Campbell Soup coupons I had expired on February 14. Since our local Shoprite doubles manufacturer's coupons under $1.00, my $0.75 off coupon is actually a $1.50 savings. With 3 printed coupons and 2 digital store coupons, my soup was FREE! Here is the math:

How I Got Free Soup

Coupon # of Coupons Amount Doubled Total
Printed 2 $0.75 YES $3.00
Printed from Company Site 1 $0.75 YES $1.50
Digital Store Coupon 2 $0.75 NO $1.50
Total 5 $6.00
Well Yes Soup 3/$6.00
Final Total FREE

I spent $170.52 for 2 weeks. When I total my list I don't include the coupons

Here is what I purchased at Aldi, Shoprite, and CVS. Thankfully, the weather was nice enough and CVS is close enough to walk to from the Shoprite parking lot.

I spent $71.34 at Aldi. However, our local store was out of frozen raspberries and chicken tenders.

I spent $66.48 on groceries at Shoprite.

I spent $18.90 on household and personal care items at Shoprite. The shampoo and toothpaste were FREE.

How I Got Free Toothpaste

Coupon # of Coupons Amount Doubled Total
Printed 2 $0..50 YES $2.00
Printed 1 $0.50 NO .50
Digital Store Coupon 1 $0.50 NO $0.50
Total 4 $3.00
Colgate Toothpaste 3/$3.00
Final Total FREE

The second printed coupon did not double because the store does not offer cash back or apply the additional savings as a credit.

How I Got Free Shampoo

Coupon # of Coupons Amount Doubled Total
Clipped 1 $4.00/2 NO $4.00
Clipped 1 $2.00 NO $2.00
Digital Store Coupon 1 $1.50 NO $1.50
Digital Pick 3 Savings 1 $3.00 NO 3.00
Total 3 $10.50
Shampoo 3 @ $3.49 each $10.47
Final Total FREE


I spent $13.27 at CVS.

February Totals...

Store Week 1 (02/01) Week 2 (02/14)
Costco $36.94 $(0.00)
Aldi $76.05 $71.34
Shoprite $79.57 $66.48
Whole Foods $14.07
Target $12.84 $9.77
* CVS $5.26 $5.78
TOTALS $224.73 $153.37

TOTALS: $378.10

  • I included the total for CVS since I purchased some candy. Every food purchase counts toward the overall budget. So, occasionally, there will be a small purchase at CVS, Target, or Walmart.

I redeemed my Costco Reward check early, the kids have been asking to go to Costco. They like going through the store looking for samples. Since the kids were off from school I decided to go a week early.


January is a birthday month in our house so there will be an extra trip to the store. I'll pick up the cake and birthday dinner ingredients that I don't want to spoil before the big day!

January Totals...

Store Week 1 (01/05) Week 2 (01/12) Week 3 (01/18) Week 4 (01/25)
Costco $60.07
Aldi $36.04 $55.88 $39.24
Shoprite $72.79 + $27.15 $38.55
Whole Foods $47.43 $15.74 $4.89
Target $11.46 $9.06
Trader Joe's
Fresh Market* $31.25
Walmart*
TOTALS $94.93 $231.63 $118.10 $4.89

January's Total: $449.55
I am $0.45 underbudget!

On Tuesday I went to Fresh Market for the first time to buy fresh ground chuck and chicken breast. Since it was on sale for $2.99/lb I purchased 6 pounds of chicken and 4 pounds of ground beef. The Fresh Market's regular price is $5.99/lb. I was hestitant about going there because it is a bit of a drive. Facturing in the gas for the 40 mile round trip the actual price is approximately $3.50/lb. That is still a great price for anti-biotic free, all-natural chicken. Aldi's price for their Never Any! chicken is $4.29/lb. and ground beef at Whole Foods Market is $4.99/lb.

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