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.
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.
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!
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