Monday, June 22, 2009

Ask Sara! Answer 2

OK, Anonymous asked me:

How about more details on how you spend next-to-nothing on groceries? I'm sure you could help out a lot of us.

Firstly, my IRL and bloggy friend Shosh had a great post about couponing here. BTW, Molly, Shosh is a Jewish blogger like me :)

So. Back to stealing getting cheap/free food.

I (and Shosh!) spend lots, and I mean LOTS of time getting ourselves ready to go shopping. I NEVER shop without a list or a plan. And RARELY do I ever get anything that's not an AWESOME sale. But when the awesome sale is going? Beware! I might run you over with my cart full of 50 small cans of Hunts tomato sauce, like I bought recently. Why 50 cans of sauce? Well, you see, we use small cans of sauce every Sunday to eat our pasta with cheese and sauce (yes, we're losers and eat the same lunch every Sunday). We use 1-2 cans of sauce. So...there is an AWESOME sale, and stacking that awesome sale with an awesome catalina (remember what Shosh wrote about catalinas?), and stacking the catalina and sale and a few coupons, got me 50 cans of tomato sauce for $1.29. Yes, $1.29. For food I ALWAYS buy.

I went to Jewel and bought 3 items only:

2 eye shadows which were on major sale
50 cans of sauce
6 flowers/tomato plants which were 50% off-I had been waiting for plants to go 50% off, and I just picked up my tomato plants for the summer.

Total paid after coupons was $4.46, $1.62 of which was tax.

So it's really all about the planning, and not buying unless it's a rock bottom price. My major savings come from the catalina sales-Shosh and I figure out ways to buy the most products for the least OOP (out of pocket).

I also take advantage of the drugstore loyalty programs-CVS and Walgreens have the best deals--look at the ads for CVS-notice how they offer ECBs (extra care bucks) for buying certain items? Well, usually there are coupons for those very items-either from circulars or from printing online-so if you stack the coupon with the ECB offer, you can usually get toothpaste/shampoo/soap/mouthwash for, if not free, darn close to it.

Like Shosh said, there are many, many blogs that spell out what's going on and how to get things for cheap or free. Frankly, I often just follow the scenarios set out by the blogs-I'm a big copier! I remember the first time I came home from CVS...I was GIDDY! I could not believe it-how had I been paying so much for toothpaste when I could get it for free? And I never looked back. Now I have a stash of toiletries-I will never pay for toothpaste again!

Beware, couponing takes time. You will not walk into the grocery store, and POOF! only spend $15 on your groceries for the week. But if you're willing to put in the time and effort to really search out the deals, you will not be disappointed, I promise you.

And if you every want to talk coupons, email me at!

Still waiting for more questions....


Anonymous said...

sara - go back to your last post. there are a bunch of questions there. -tamar

Anonymous said...

what is involved in your day to day care for dovi?