3.10.2010

Who Takes Pictures Of Their Groceries?

Um, that would be me.

Not always. Just this time.

In another move of utter self-exposure, I am telling (or showing) you exactly what I got at the grocery store(s) yesterday. There is actually a point to this.

One of the entities I perpetually try to winnow is our budget. Well, let's be honest. Perpetually is definitely a wrong word choice. It evokes in my mind images of constancy; toiling without letting up until something's accomplished or achieved. I whimsically buy enough overpriced 20-ounce beverages when I'm out and about, lah-dee-dah, to rule out using "perpetually" to describe my budget-winnowing efforts. So to be a realist about it let's replace perpetually with "frequently".

Okay, whatever. I frequently try to winnow our budget, looking for where we can cut cost or spend less, or even shift spending from one area to another. And I love when the trying actually materializes into doing and we find new ways to loosen up some funds we may be wasting or overlooking or putting towards the wrong things. My SisterFriend isn't much different (of course, we do share DNA). Along these same goal lines, she started the epic adventure of extreme couponing around two months ago. She is pysching all of us out with her ridiculous savings and huge hauls of depletable resources for her zoocrew of six to use. Her kids have recently commented on her couponing adventures saying the deals are so good it's like she flat-out stole the stuff.

Alas, as is often sometimes the case with siblings, I took the ol' big sister's cues and started my own journey into the vast dimension of couponing. Believe me, it is another dimension and I hear Twilight Zone music every time, but it's starting to pay off.

I have no desire, and even less the energy needed to explain all of the ins and outs of couponing methods (Ma Luffin' Mayun is out of town for this from Tuesday through Sunday, thus leaving me with...well, everything...thus the lack of energy, verily I say unto thee). I certainly can do that at a later time if any of you show interest. But I do want to just whet your appetites to see what an awesomely great couponing experience can look like and result in.

If you enjoy the recap, thank you, thank you very much. If you don't, blame it on SisterFriend. She started it.

Let me show you everything I got. Then I'll tell you what I spent.

FRUITS & VEGETABLES

19 bags of fresh-frozen veggies

2 bunches of fresh asparagus
3 cartons of prewashed sliced mushrooms
3 heads of broccolli
2 bunches of bananas
5 cameo apples (and since they're cameo apples they came with a free bright red thingy that I'm not sure what to do with...here's how this dude decided to use his...and a cassette tape of "Word Up!")

DAIRY PRODUCTS
1 dozen eggs
2 gallons of milk
2 blocks of natural cheddar cheese
26 containers of yogurt

BREAD
6 loaves of wheat bread
4 bags of pita bread

MEATS
2 icky, disgusting lunchables Brilliant Beauty couldn't be more thrilled about
3 packages of sirloin steak
4 packages of all-natural boneless, skinless chicken breast
4 packages all-natural sandwich meat

PANTRY MISCELLANY
1 bottle extra virgin olive oil (I can't call it "evoo". Actually, I refuse. I also can't pay $137 for a bottle of it just because Rachael Ray's face is plastered on it. Uh, oh. Did I just alienate some readers? Do I have readers? Did he just call himself "the talent"?)
1 bottle vegetable oil
5 cans soup (I actually think I lost a can somewhere between Here and There)
2 boxes instant oatmeal
2 pouches single-use dried potatoes

FROZEN NONSENSE (a little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men)
5 bags frozen biscuits
2 bags cinnamon rolls
2 bags mini cinnamon rolls

JUNK (read: What My Butt Won't Thank Me For Later But My Us-es Will)
2 boxes of brownie mix
2 bags of cookie mix
3 cake mixes
3 cake frostings
2 2-pack single serve desserts
4 packages of ready-to-bake cookies
2 bags of flavored snack mix
2 boxes of crunchy granola bars
2 boxes of popcorn
5 boxes of chewy granola bars
1 bag of tortilla chips

TOILETRIES
3 bars of kid soap
4 containers of floss
4 deodorants

HOUSEHOLD SUPPLIES
4 bottles of dish soap
1 box of trash bags



Pretty good looking pile o' stuff. I shopped at Kroger and Publix. Here's my spending breakdown per store:
Publix
$125.99 total retail value
$ 58.28 total spent
$ 67.71 total saved
That's a savings of 54% off of the retail value.

Kroger
$207.91 total retail value
$108.33 total spent
$ 99.88 total saved
That's a savings of 49% off of the retail value.

My combined totals are:
106 items
$333.90 total retail value
$166.61 total spent
$167.59 total saved
That's a savings of 50% off of the retail value.

Wowzers. I saved more than I spent, and stuck within the amount I wanted to spend on groceries. And actually, $166.61 is LESS than what we have been spending the last several months on groceries without couponing, buying virtually nothing name brand, and absolutely not stockpiling any items. Nice.

So I've winnowed some grocery cost. I aim to get even better at it. I know I can reduce the spending even more as I figure out what I'm doing a little more in this surreality of couponing.

How about you? Are you saving money in some way? Saving time? Winnowing your own "too much" of something, making room and space for something better? Let me hear from you.

P.S. Laundry's backed up. Dishes are dirty. I'm stepping over toys and clothing the us-es seem to teleport out of. BUT my pantry's full.

Don't despise the process...

5 comments:

  1. Way to go! I have been buying many of the same items with similar savings and I must say it really tickles me! I actually feel really guilty when I have to pay full price for anything. In fact I can feel that I am doing something downright wrong if I pay full price! And I am with ya sista with the whole evoo thing. Totally annoying at best!

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  2. Will you teach me to do this ?

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  3. You go girl! My friend Melissa over at http://melz-world.blogspot.com/ is quickly perfecting couponing and posts her "Kroger Shakedown" every week. You ladies have mad skills!

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  4. How do u think I fed 8 for 500.00 a month. My pantries are also bursting from the hindges. Happy shopping!!!

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  5. Melissa Minish-Beach11:31:00 PM

    girl- i feel ya - our pantries are similar- and ive gotten so cheap i cant even stand myself -lol - I call myself coupon nazi

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