Britney Dearest: Shopaholic Strategies for Tight Budgets {Part 2: Groceries and Other Products}

/ Thursday, August 14, 2014

Shopaholic Strategies for Tight Budgets {Part 2: Groceries and Other Products}




If you haven't, you can read Shopaholic Strategies for Tight Budgets Part 1: Clothes and Shoes where I explain my shopping strategies for finding the best deals on clothing and shoes.

"All other stuff" includes, but is not limited to:
  • hygiene (deodorant, lotion, soap, etc.)
  • hair products and supplies
  • nail polish and care items
  • home decor and organizing items
  • electronics 
  • clothing and shoes
  • groceries 
  • home cleaning supplies
  • etc.

My Grocery Shopping Strategies

In all honesty, I'm better at finding deals on non-food items (e.g. clothing and shoes, etc.), but I do okay with groceries too. I like to shop at Trader Joe's a lot, but they don't offer coupons :-( I try to stick to a mostly healthy, organic meal plan, buuuuuut, we enjoy our share of processed foods too.


  • I shop sale items and I use coupons and base my bi-weekly meal plans off the deals. I'm not a crazy couponer or extreme or whatever. I get the Sunday paper free and I don't want to waste the coupons.
  • I don't buy extra newspapers for more coupons and I very seldom use my printer ink to print coupons. Those costs adds up. I don't pay for couponing services. I don't make more than two shopping trips per week, I pick 3 or 4 stores to go to each week. I plan for 2 stores a day, 2 days a week (errand days). Gas isn't cheap.
  • I only use coupons for items my family really needs. Example, I don't use Tide Pods or Downy Unstopables and if I can't get them for $2 or less, I won't buy them. I don't need to "boost the scent" of my clothes longer lol. We're great with liquid detergent and pretty smelling fabric softener sheets.
  • I use local couponing and deal sites like PennyPinchinMom.com and RedefinedMom.com (formerly KansasCityMamas.com). Both sites have prices and coupon match-ups listed for the best sales. There's also a great group for local women on Facebook that enjoy getting good deals from, "Why Pay Full Price?"
  • Before I purchase something on sale, I check the price at other stores, like Walmart or Amazon's website since I normally find the cheapest prices on those sites. I like to find the best deal :-)
  • I stock up on the best sales, with or without coupons. For example: 
    • Kool-Aid Jammers were on sale for $1.87 (I may be a few cents off) and BOGO free. I bought plenty to last my kids for a couple months of school lunches. 
    • Oscar Meyer deli meat and Ball Park beef franks were on sale for about $2.54 or something like that AND BOGO free as well. I also had some coupons, but even without coupons, those are great deals!
    • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts were on sale for $1.99/lb, I bought about 7lbs. Chicken can also get down to $1.69/lb. That's when I really stock up. 
    • After going to three different stores to get the best deals, and using coupons, I spent a grand total of $140 for 2 weeks of breakfast, lunch, and dinners and I stocked up on some items as well. I saved a little under $70. Not bad for feeding a family of 5.

My top shopping spots and strategies for everything else...

1. Amazon.com- Don't get me started... If you're not an Amazon Prime member you are missing out honey pie. 2-Day free shipping AND a video and video service similar to Netflix. YES I will! Seriously though, I'm an AA, Amazon Addict, and so is my husband. He likes the electronics marketplace. He bought me a factory refurbished white Nikon 1 J1 Digital Camera with a 10-30mm lens for $160 and it's beautiful. I'm getting another lens and I can't wait! It's original price at the time was $400+. You can find any and everything on Amazon: clothes, shoes, food, home cleaning items, diapers, etc. I did majority of my Christmas shopping on Amazon last year. RedefinedMom.com (formerly KansasCityMamas.com) keeps me updated on the best deals by email throughout the week.

2. Target- I love their Cartwheel app. They have a Target debit OR credit card where you can get 5% off every purchase. The debit card is NOT a credit card (f.y.i.). At Target you can stack cartwheel, Target website printed, and manufacturer coupons! Plus, I can shop their home and clothing clearance sections all day long. Also, they have the cutest stationary items! My husband says I'm a stationary hoarder.
  • Here's a list of a few great Target [expired] Deals from earlier this month that were on KansasCityMamas.com... I copied and pasted them directly from the website.
Bic Cristal Pens (10 pack)- $1.00
Use $1/2 Bic writing items Target printable coupon
And then use $1/2 Bic Stationary items from 8/3 SS insert
Free after coupons

Post-It Notes (90 count) – $.99
Use $1/1 Post-It Notes Item Target Printable Coupon
FREE after coupon

Purchase (2) Scrubbing Bubbles Foaming Disinfectant Bathroom Cleaner Spray – $2.46
Use $1.25/2 Scrubbing Bubbles Items Target Printable Coupon
And then use 15% Off Scrubbing Bubbles Target Cartwheel Coupon
And then use (2) $1/1 Scrubbing Bubbles Bath Cleaning Product Printable Coupon
And then use $.50/1 Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Products Checkout 51 Credit
Pay $.31 each after coupons and Checkout 51 credit

Old El Paso Stuff n Stand Taco Shell – $1.14
Use $.75/1 Old El Paso Taco Shell Printable Coupon
Pay $.39 after coupon

Purchase (2) Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Aerosol Cleaner – $2.75
Use $1.25/2 Scrubbing Bubbles Items Target Printable Coupon
And then use 15% Off Scrubbing Bubbles Target Cartwheel Coupon
And then use (2) $1/1 Scrubbing Bubbles Bath Cleaning Product Printable Coupon
And then use $.50/1 Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Products Checkout 51 Credit
Pay $.61 each after coupons and Checkout 51 credit

Purchase (2) Del Monte Fruit Cups – $2.00
Use (2) $.75/1 Del Monte Printable Coupon
And then use $1/2 Del Monte Target Printable Coupon
Pay $.75 each after coupons

Purchase (3) St. Ives Facial Scrubs - $3.79 Buy Three, Get a $5 Target Gift Card
Use $3/$10 St. Ives Products Printable Coupon
Pay $1.12 each after coupon and gift card

Schick Quattro Women’s Disposable Razors - $6.69 Buy Two, Get a $5 Target Gift Card
Use (2) $3/1 Schick Quattro Disposable Razors Printable Coupon
Pay $1.19 each after coupons and gift card

Children’s Uniform Polos – $5.00
Use $5 Off $25 Target Mobile Coupon (text OFFERS to 827438)
Pay $4.00 each after coupon

George Foreman Grill – $17.00
Use 25% Off George Foreman Grill Target Cartwheel Coupon
Pay $12.75 after coupon


You can find more Target deals on TotallyTarget.com and PennyPinchinmom.com.

3. Wally World (Walmart)- "Always Low Prices!" Ad matching. Coupons. Their new thing, SavingsCatcher; scan your receipt, they compare deals and if it's found cheaper at another local store they reimburse you the difference with a Walmart eGift card! What's better than that?!
4. CVS & Walgreens- I go to these stores every once in awhile, mainly when they have a BOGO sale on Shea Moisture products so I can stock up on hair products. Take advantage of rain checks if they're sold out! In my area, they don't expire. These stores can get expensive if you don't use your coupons with their rewards points/store cash correctly, but their sale prices are usually equal to Walmart's regular prices. Figuring how to get and spend the rewards bucks or whatever, it's all too much for me. I still haven't quite figured it out to be honest. I don't have the patience. When I do shop these stores I first check out PennyPinchinMom.com to see the best deals. Here is some information on a recent purchase :-)
  • Recently, I went into Walgreens to buy Tide 32-36 loads for $2.99 after coupons (that's a great stock up price if you have multiple coupons, but the sale price of $4.99 is awesome too), select Always products were BOGO 1/2 off, 13 oz Kelloggs cereal boxes were $2 each and I had coupons for Always and Kellogg's so I took advantage. I spent $12 on multiple boxes of the named items.
  • Here's one example of what I'm referring to about drug store vs. Walmart prices, a good deal vs. a better deal... I took a photo while I was at Walgreen's last week and a screenshot of the Walmart.com price, which is the same in-store.
Both are 100oz. bottles of Tide Detergent. At Walgreens, you will pay $9.94+tax AFTER the $2 manufacturer coupon from the Sunday paper. At Walmart, the normal price is $9.87, so you would pay $7.87+tax after the $2 off manufacturer coupon from the Sunday paper. 



5. KIRKLAND'S AND Old Time Pottery are two of  my favorite home stores to shop at. I only shop at Kirkland's when I have a 20% off or higher coupon. Old Time Pottery doesn't have coupons, but they always have a great sale going on.

6. Shutterfly.com and Snapfish.com are great for uploading and ordering photos from your phone or camera. They have sales a few times a years where you get 100-500 FREE photos and you only have to pay for shipping and handling which is most definitely worth it, especially if you're like me and love taking thousands of photos of your kids :-) If you want canvas prints and posters prints, check out Winkflash.com. They run great sales and they're a reputable company.

7. I LOVE handmade nail polishes (indie nail polishes) by independent businesses, they're absolutely gorgeous, but they can be pricey so I follow "@nailthedeal" on Instagram for the best deals.


A little extra insight from my personal experiences:



*I would suggest coupon newbies proceed with caution. Not all deals are good deals. It's easy to start off buying any and everything that seems like a good deal because you have a coupon for it and it's on sale, but then you realize you're spending more money {overall} on stuff you don't need or on more expensive brands than you were spending on the stuff you need before you started couponing.

Or maybe I'm the only one that happened to.

*Here's another minor example of good deal vs a better deal: I needed dish washing liquid (my stash had dwindled over the course of about 2+ years and I am now down to 3 bottles) and I had 2 Dawn coupons. This weekend, Family Dollar had a sale for Dawn dish detergent for $1.79 for a 25oz bottle (as well as a good school supply sale). CVS and Walgreens had 9oz bottles for .99cents. You'd be paying $2 for 18oz before coupons when you could pay $1.79 before coupons for 25oz. The better deal is the Family Dollar deal because I paid less for more than double the oz.

*Name brand body wash, hand soaps, and deodorants I can usually find on sale and/or clearance at Target or grocery stores and I pair with coupons and pay $1 or less per item. Example: Recently, my husband and me found Right Guard Body Wash for men on clearance at a local grocery store for $2, I had a coupon, $2 off 2. We got them for $1 each. They normally run $4-$5. Another local grocery store had 65ct Puffs boxes of tissues on sale for .50cents each, I had coupons and bought 6 boxes for $2 and change.




So seriously, let's talk. Do you have some hidden shopping strategies I don't know about? If so, tell me PLEASE! Comment below. :-)



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About Me

Hi! I'm Britney. I'm a wife and a mother to 3 children + 1 fur baby. I write about everything family, home, and DIY related. I'm slightly obsessed with home decor Instagram accounts and DIY blogs. Junk food is my peace. Read more

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