I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 grocery budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).
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I went to Kroger on Friday to pick up some deals that had popped up in the past few days and to spend the $32 I still had left in our grocery budget for the week to spend.
I had a l-o-n-g list of things I was hoping to buy. And I didn’t have a lot of time to shop.
I also knew that I was going to be doing multiple Buy 5 Participating Items, Get $5 Off deals. Because you can mix and match items, but you also need to have exactly 5 items. And our store was out of or didn’t have certain items I had planned to buy (or maybe I just couldn’t find them?)
Then, while I was shopping, I checked my e-coupons that I had loaded to my account and discovered that at least 5 of them that I had thought were on there weren’t loaded anymore (I’m guessing maybe they had expired?). So that changed what I was going to buy, too.
Because of these hiccups and because I had to revamp my list of what I was planning to buy in the store, it took me at least 30 minutes to shop — which is about twice as long as usual!
Then, I got up to the self-checkout and realized that I probably had more items in my cart than was really “acceptable” for self-checkout. I mean, they don’t say there’s a limit for self-checkout, but they also don’t offer a lot of space to put groceries after you’ve rung them up.
(I usually always use self-checkout because it allows me to take my time and double-check the screen carefully to make sure that all of my e-coupons came off and that all of the specials/sale prices were correct.)
I decided to just bag my groceries and stick them in the cart as soon as I rang them up. This worked well and everything was going to smoothly… until I needed to ring up my coupons and rain checks.
The Kroger employees are usually so kind and helpful and gracious, but I think that this woman was just overwhelmed and had a lot on her plate because she acted like I was a big inconvenience.
I tried to be as gracious and kind as possible, but she was upset that I had a rain check and I had already rung up the items on the rain check (I haven’t used a raincheck in a long time and haven’t used one at self-checkout so I didn’t know I should just wait and have them ring the items up individually.)
And then she was upset when she also discovered that the rain check was for the 4-day sale items. She told me in no uncertain terms that I was not supposed to have gotten a rain check and she needed to “train her employees better”. Clearly, you all were right about saying that they shouldn’t have given me a rain check on the 4-day sale items! Live and learn.
(Note: Our store hasn’t had signage on the 4-day sales that says “while supplies last” nor have they posted anything about “no rain checks” on the 4-day or 1-day sale items. But it appears that this is likely the direction they are going based upon what she said and based upon what the rest of you have told me.)
She said that since they had written me a rain check, she would honor it. But then she had a really hard time voiding the five items and re-ringing it up correctly. She finally got it to work, but I could tell she was really frustrated.
Again, I just tried to be grateful — and I was also grateful that I only had a few other paper coupons in addition to the raincheck! I’m not sure what she would have done had I had a big stack of coupons!
One thing I learned: it’s honestly so much easier to do the smaller trips. I know some of you have commented about how that seems like so much more work and how you can’t imagine going to the store multiple times per week.
But truthfully, I realized that it’s so much less complicated to only go in and buy 8-12 items and use 1-2 coupons + a few e-coupons, then to have purchased 30 items, have a raincheck for 5 items, a coupon for a free item, a few other coupons, multiple e-coupons, 4 different Buy 5, Get $5 off transactions.
Whew! So I survived the shopping trip and I got some great deals, but I wanted to share the details of this trip with you to encourage you that not every shopping trip is a home run for me!
I was super excited to find this deal in store — and I’ve not seen anyone post about it elsewhere so I wanted to call attention to it here. The Santa Cruz drinks (lemonade, raspberry lemonade, strawberry lemonade, and more!) are on sale for $0.99 when you buy 5 participating items.
I was already considering getting some of these because they are organic and so delicious. But then, as I was looking at them, I discovered that some of the bottles had hangtag coupons on them for $1 off 2 bottles!
So I ended up getting 4 bottles — for just $0.49 each after the coupon! Definitely check your store to see if you find these coupons, too!
Friday Kroger Shopping Trip
- 2 boxes of Cheerios — $1.48 each when you purchase 5 participating items
- 3 packages of Goldfish crackers — $0.99 each when you purchase 5 participating items
- 1 Gillette shave gel — $0.95 when you purchase 5 participating items
- 1 Palmolive Dish Detergent — $0.99 when you purchase 5 participating items, used $0.50 e-coupon (no longer available) = $0.49
- 1 package Kleenex wipes — $0.79 when you purchase 5 participating items, used = free + overage!
- 1 package Nature’s Own hot dog buns — $1.49 when you purchase 5 participating items
- 1 box Outshine Fruit Bars — $2.49 when you purchase 5 participating items, used $1/1 coupon that Kroger mailed to me = $1.49
- 6 Greek Yogurts — marked down to $0.49 each
- 1 Yogurt Mix-Ins — marked down to $0.39
- 2 bags of apples — marked down to $0.99 each
- 1 bag of clementines — marked down to $0.99
- 2 cantaloupes — marked down to $0.99 each
- 1 gallon milk — $2.69
- 4 bottles of Santa Cruz lemonade — $0.99 each when you purchase 5 participating items, used 2 $1/2 hangtag coupons = $0.49 each
- 1 box Cascadian Farms cereal — $2.49 when you purchase 5 participating items, used = $1.49
- 1 case of DeerPark Sparkling Water — used FREE coupon
- Total with tax: $32.01
This Week’s Totals
Total spent this week: $69.45! (I can’t believe how close I got it to $70 this week!!)
Rebates: $0.25 for submitting a receipt to Ibotta, I also earned the equivalent of a few dollar back from Fetch Rewards in points for scanning my receipts. I had three receipts that qualified for points + the 500 bonus per receipt (because of the BBQ sauce I bought last week and the Oscar Mayer lunchmeat and Goldfish Crackers I bought this week).
Plus, I earned 200 points per receipt for scanning a few other receipts that had no qualifying items on it. I think I earned the equivalent of about $3 total! If you haven’t signed up for Fetch Rewards, you can and use code WW7XJ and you’ll get a bonus 2,000 points (worth $2).
Note: 1,000 points = $1 in gift cards on Fetch Rewards.
And I’m still loving Fetch Rewards, but I’ll keep you posted. I’m curious to see if I can actually earn $5+ in Amazon gift cards every month just for scanning my receipts and buying things I’m already planning to buy! You can read some of my initial thoughts here.
Do you want to take better control of your grocery budget? If so, you’ll want to read my newest eBook, 5 Days to a Better Grocery Budget!
This eBook will give you all the tips, tricks, and practical advice you need to create a grocery budget tailored to your family’s needs that you can actually STICK to (because that’s the key!)
In this eBook, you’ll learn:
- How to create a grocery budget that fits your family’s needs and your finances!
- New systems to help you keep track of what you spend at the store!
- How to actually stick with your new budget and save money for years to come!
- Ways to save up to $50 off your grocery bill THIS WEEK by using the 10 simple strategies outlined in this eBook!
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