Sunday, October 16, 2011

Grocery Challenge: Week 1

This week, in preparation of not spending more than $40, I did a good bit of comparison shopping.  I went onto the websites for my two preferred grocery stores (Giant and Wegman's), CVS, Target and Walmart.  The latter two didn't net me much information grocery-wise, as the prices online are not applicable at my local store.  The first three, however, were a goldmine of information.  (And I am keeping the inserts for Target and Walmart from the paper I bought today!)  I even figured out how much more it would be to go to the cheaper grocery store (Wegman's) that is 20 miles from my house.  (I'd need to save $4.39 in groceries to make the extra miles worth it, gas-wise.)

I downloaded three separate coupon apps onto my phone (Android), as well as a spreadsheet onto my laptop that helps in figuring out how much I will spend.   I was prepared to spend $29.95 before tax.  I had input the prices I was willing to spend into my grocery list app as well, so I was ready!

Since most of what I needed was fresh produce, I didn't end up using any coupons this week, so I didn't take them with me.  That was a mistake!  I had a coupon for free eggs if I bought 2 packages of a certain brand of tomatoes, and lo and behold, I think those tomatoes were BOGO.  I might go back!

Despite a few things that didn't go as planned, I am pretty pleased with my trip to Giant. I didn't end up getting bagels because they were .80 more than I had anticipated (glad I had my list of prices on my phone!), but I did end up buying a pound of lentils that wasn't planned since my 'special rewards' indicated I would get .25 off any bag of dried beans, which I can always use.  My grocery store has those nifty scanners you take around with you as you shop so you can keep a running tally!  Sometimes special coupons will pop up for your trip and while most of it's stuff I don't buy, I have received a few good deals!  I just need to remember to check for it in the future when it pops up on the barcode scanner.

I also bought the newspaper since it was a double coupon issue - woot!  I am sure that my savings will more than make up for spending $3 that I didn't anticipate.

With my scanner coupon, getting $.05 back for each bag I brought with me, I spent a grand total of $29.05!  I have plenty to eat for this next week (and beyond) and I even got a treat for myself - apple cider.

I think that I just might be able to do this ...

What are your tips for keeping your grocery shopping trip to your budget?  Does your grocery store give special extras like barcode scanner gun coupons or cents off a gallon of gas?

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