Thursday, October 3, 2013

Grocery Budget Frenzy{Day 3 of 31 Days of Revealing my “secrets” as a mom of 4 + time for decor & more

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Do you want to know another “secret”? I LOVE grocery shopping!!! I know, crazy, right? Well, over the years I have learned much and continue to learn daily. I have always been a huge lover of shopping, not necessarily to get “stuff,” but the challenge of saving money and staying under budget always gave me an adrenaline rush. I have learned many fun ways to grocery shop with my little ones and they too seemed to really enjoy grocery shopping day.

However, you know as well as I, that grocery prices have increased drastically over the last year especially. And, while the food costs soar our budgets don’t. Well, at least mine doesn’t. All this to say, I came home a few weeks ago in tears as I put my groceries away knowing that half my list didn’t get checked off because I didn’t have enough money. Right then I said OUTLOUD,”Something has to change!” Never before had I dreaded shopping day as I did that day. So, I set out on a mission to make something work.

Thus, today’s “secret” is…. PRICEMATCH!

Around here the coupons have been pretty limited. Well, I should say limited to me considering I am a scratch cook and baker. I don’t do all the processed junk but for an occasional fast treat for my kids. Unfortunately, the coupons just haven’t been great. And, I am not one of those couponers who goes out and buys 55 bottles of mustard because they were only 12 cents a piece. My budget is too tight to spend those extra 12 cents on mustard that will just keep my cupboard full. So, I set out to price match at Walmart at all places. I thought, “What will it hurt to try it just once?” If I hated it I would just never do it again.

This is my “secret” how to price match…

I still organize my coupon inserts for those coupons that actually are very helpful. The P&G inserts are still a huge plus for me especially for all the toiletries and diapers.

IMG_3552I then get all the weekly ads together in a pile and use a highlighter circling all the items in the ads that I would even “consider.” Remember, I shop for our needs and desires, not just what’s on sale. I also go to Southern Savers and print out lists from the weekly ads of the local stores that I didn’t have the actual newspaper inserts for. (ie Bi Lo & Harris Teeter are my favorites).


Once I have circled or printed the items in the weekly ads I fill out a table like this… I also have a column for coupons to let me check if I have coupons for that particular item.






Pepsi 12 packs






12 pack7 up, A&W, sundrop, and Canada dry



After my table is complete I go back through and highlight the best sales out there so I am not overwhelmed with tons of options. Example: Diapers are B1G1 free at CVS or they are $7.99 each at BiLo. I would very much highlight the CVS row to get the better deal.


After I have done all my highlighting I then write down at the end of my table the items that I do not have a sale for. Those items I then would price match via my Aldi 2013 price match list. I printed out Aldi’s prices so have each item at the rock bottom price. Oh, and another “secret” is that Sav-a-lot has some even better prices than aldi. And, Walmart prices matches them too. I get milk for $1.99 a gallon based on our Sav-a-lot price. Below you see my folder all organized with my weekly ads hole punched. Walmart does not have to check your ads and haven’t asked me yet to prove anything. But, I like to be above reproach and make sure my homework is done and organized. It takes me a few hours, but just wait and see what the benefits are.

IMG_3556     You can see my highlighted table below. This was an exciting trip for sure! I always wondered how people could afford to fill a cart at Walmart without spending tons of money. I usually hit almost 5 stores in order to save the most money and get the most food with our budget. I had a first…. I filled a Walmart cart and stayed under my budget on my first price match trip. I ended up saving $112 and about 43% of my original total.

IMG_3558 I shop every other week so I had time to get organized and excited about my second price match shop at Walmart. My 2nd shop was double the excitement---literally! I overflowed 2 shopping carts and still stayed under my budget by $9!!! I got $400 of groceries and paid about 55% less than my original total by price matching and coupons. The best “secret” about this is that I got EVERYTHING on my list AND Extras!!  This included flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs, bags of apples, pineapples, diapers for B1G1 and so much more. Can I just say, “I am never going back!!!” Well, unless Walmart gets sick of me and decides to throw the whole price match thing out.

Another IMPORTANT part of the picture is your CASHIER!!! Make sure you get a sweet one, they will make it miserable or enjoyable. I have a list of names from the Walmart manager of the best price match cashiers. I make it a big deal and try to keep them smiling through very long checkout times. I think I may even start bringing a small gift or something just to make them remember me in a good way and not hate it and run when they see me coming! :)

Here are a few pictures of my last trip. My kids had never seen this much food brought home before and I spent less money!!! Everything on the tables were B1G1 (Buy 1 get 1 free)IMG_3560IMG_3396   IMG_3568

I hope this “Secret”  becomes reality for you too. It has made my shopping days looked forward to once again, and my challenge of getting more with our hard earned money is fun again.

Looking forward to sharing “secrets” tomorrow about…