Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Shopping Update

So yesterday I made my first real attempt at shopping for groceries for a week, using a menu that was based off of coupons, sales and store promotions. My goals was $50. I want to get that down even further eventually, but hey-I'm just starting out with this coupon thing!

I first went to Hy-Vee where I realized I'd made my first mistake: Weekly specials are changed every Wednesday so last weeks specials were still up, while I had this week's coupons from the Sunday paper. Oops. But it worked out fine because Hy-Vee was offering some things at sale prices that I also had coupons for. If you remember my list from yesterday, I ended up buying cottage cheese, yogurt, sugar and hot dogs from Hy-Vee.(plus a few other items)
  • I bought 2 4-packs of brand name yogurt for less than a dollar each because I had TWO coupons, for each. (One printable, one from the paper.) I think I spent less than .50 on each!
  • The cottage cheese was name brand, but it was on sale, and then I had a coupon for .50 off so it made it cheaper than I could have bought it for at Aldi. That's a deal!
  • All in all my total was $10.10 because I saved over $6 in coupons! This ratio encouraged me because the first time I attempted coupons with no real list and no real plan, I saved $10 and spent a total of $80!

At Aldi . . . I also messed up there. I had left my blog post up on my iPod so I could read my list at the store. When I arrived, for some reason, it only showed a white page. (And it had nothing to do with the fact that I wasn't connected to the Internet in case you are wondering if I'm that stupid.) So I had to re-create my list from memory . . . which means I forgot some stuff after the fact. I did however discovered a few things at Aldi:
  • Chicken is cheaper there than Sams! $5.49/3lbs vs $11.89/6lbs at Sams
  • Produce isn't really cheaper there (nor is it that great). A head of lettuce is $1.19 and I can get romaine or a head of lettuce at Hy-Vee for .99. Grapes at Aldi are REALLY good, but they are more expensive.
  • You can't pick just a few potatoes or a few onions at Aldi. So although it might be slightly cheaper or the same amount to buy a 3 lb bag of onions at Aldi, I wouldn't do it because I know I won't use all of those before they go bad and I only need 1 or 2 anyways. I'll keep getting my produce at Hy-Vee so I can pick exactly how many of each thing I want.
  • Canned items are hands down way cheaper at Aldi. Trust me.
  • I got a dozen of large eggs for .77 at Aldi!! That's a deal!
  • My hot dog purchase at Hy-Vee was a great deal . . . until I saw that I could have bought the same amount for less at Aldi. This is a prime example of how even after using a store discount combined with a coupon, sometimes Aldi is just cheaper!
After I was done at Aldi (where I only spent about $22.00 for almost everything else on my list!) I stopped back at Hy-Vee to grab some ham because I wasn't sure if it was cheaper at Aldi or not. There I realized I'd forgotten some things from my Aldi list and my time was running short so I had to grab the cheapest thing I could (Hy-Vee brand) for each item. Guess what happens when you go to the store with no plan and no coupons? You spend almost $18.00 for about 5 items!

Although I made a few mistakes and spent way too much at Hy-Vee that 2nd time, I'm glad I was able to see the drastic difference between shopping with a plan and coupons, and NOT. Plus, I was able to add more items to my list of each store. Like I mentioned before, I take my trusty iPod with me and I have a running list of prices for the things I regularly buy. This will help as I do future planning because I can figure out ahead of time if the coupon deal will be cheaper or not.

Stick with me-I hope to keep saving more money!

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