Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Recipe Coupon Match Up 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. At Aldi, you usually have to buy a big bag of something.
  • 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 4 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!


Becky said...

Do you use any grocery apps on your ipod? I use Grocery IQ and love it!!! You can set the isles up to how the store is laid out. You can also add as many stores as you want.
Can't wait to see you this weekend!!

Dee said...

If you go to you can make your weekly list of Hy-Vee items and it will tell you exactly how much an item is, with coupons, and how much you'll save. The list is printable so you can take it with you. Coupon Mom also has Walmart & Target sales.