Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ebay for coupons and today's deals: Safeway and Raley's

Just a quick note for those of you who wonder where to get specific high-value coupons. I know coupon services are available, but I've never used one because I can usually find what I want quickly and easily on ebay. Coupons are usually available in lots of ten or twenty and a typical cost could be five to ten cents per coupon, although you could pay more if the coupons are high-value, "free item" or in high demand. For instance, I knew I needed to watch for a sale on Celestial Seasonings teas so that I could stock up again. I had recently gotten a coupon for .55/1 in the Sunday newspaper, so it was a good bet that these would be available on ebay. I happen to live in the North Bay Area, one of the areas in the country that gets fewer high-value coupons, so I had a hunch that there might be coupons "out there" with a higher value than .55. I was delighted to find that there were 1.00/1 coupons listed on ebay and I completed a sale on a "Buy It Now" lot with a reasonable cost for the combined price and shipping rate. The coupons arrived within four days and then I started watching for sales on Celestial Seasonings teas!

I ran to Raley's tonight before they closed to pick up some of the best deals I've seen advertised for a while. Those of you who have access to Aldi's or who don't live in California (!) may think these prices are high, but honestly, they're excellent for this area.

I got:

8 jars Classico pasta sauce @ 2/4.00 = 16.00
(one free box of Ronzoni pasta with every purchase of two jars, priced at 1.00 each on sale)
1 ten-lb. value pack of ground beef, 1.69/lb. if purchased in bulk = 16.88
10 boxes Celestial Seasonings teas, 3.19 and BOGO, minus 1.00 coupons on each box = .60 ea.

(minus 2.38 for tea for friend)
(minus 20 cents bag credit since I bring my own bags)

Total spent = 36.25

I could have gotten more tea at this sale, but like most people on a budget, I have a finite number of dollars that I can spend right now. The coupons are good through April 11, so chances are good that I'll find another sale before they expire. I did buy four boxes for a friend who drinks a specific variety that she can seldom find. She'll be happy to reimburse me for the tea and cost of the coupons at this price!

I do try to cook more and more from scratch, since that is the best way to save on costs (and to know what is going into our food!). However, I know from experience that in this household I have to have quick and easy options available for the times I'm rushed, or not feeling well, or hubby cooks dinner. Jarred pasta sauce is, for us, key to a healthier and less expensive option than the drive-thru or even most inexpensive frozen food. Sometimes the less frugal option at the front end (in this case, purchasing the jar of pasta sauce) leads to a far more frugal result at the back end (the dinner that ends up in our tummies on one of those rushed and harried nights).

I then stopped at Safeway for some of their "Dollar Deals" for the week. They were out of the Safeway Apple Juice (.99) but I got a rain check for four bottles. The tomatoes were .99/lb, but they didn't look very good, so I skipped those. Canned albacore was priced at .99, but I'm stocked up on that, so I skipped it. There were other value-priced items, but nothing that grabbed my interest.

I got:

7 jars of Ragu sauce @ .99 each
(daughter loves Alfredo sauce and Ragu has a "light" version that I'm okay with for occasional use)
2 cans Progresso Italian Wedding soup @ 1.25 each
(another quick meal option - this happens to be daughter's favorite)
(used .50/2 coupon)
1 loaf fresh bakery French bread @ 1.25 each

(minus 5 cents bag credit)

Total = 10.13)

Total spent at both stores = 46.38

Added these items to stockpile:

10 lbs. ground beef (to be split up and frozen in 1-lb. packages)
15 jars pasta sauce
4 1 lb. packages pasta
6 boxes herbal tea
2 cans soup

(And what was never intended for the stockpile, but would never have made it anyway - the fresh French bread - I'm afraid we got into that right away!)

Blessings on your day!


Libby said...

Great job grocery shopping. I have a hard time keeping under our $50 budget sometimes for several reasons. Alot of the stores around here don't have MEGA deals like you read about on some blogs, and I don't have a deep freeze. We are putting in a HUGE garden this summer to help cut back on grocery costs, but I will probably end up canning a lot of it since we don't have a freezer.
Blessings your way,

Michelle said...

Thanks, Libby! I only wish I could get by on a 50.00 per week grocery budget, but it's just not doable in this area with our high cost of living. What does work for us is to keep a well-stocked pantry and freezer based on whatever bargains I can find and then to get the perishable things we need (dairy, eggs, produce, bread) at the best prices I can find.

We also have a garden, as much as we can cram into the space available for it. We freeze as much as possible, but I've been a bit too chicken to try canning. I hope you'll share on your blog when you do start canning. It may just inspire a few of us to try it!

Good for you that you're going to maximize your lot. (You do live in the country, right?). That's one of the biggest blessings of living outside of towns and cities!



Jennifer said...

I love getting coupons from Ebay, I can't get just what I want for a great price.