My Weekly Savings: Grocery Store & CVS

Last week, I did two coupon-heavy trips. None of these are things that I need *right now*, but they are perfect for illustrating the stocking up principle. That is:

Buy IN ADVANCE and IN BULK when the items your family uses are at their ROCK BOTTOM PRICES.

No, we don’t need 20 cans of crushed and diced tomatoes this week. Gosh, we probably don’t even need 20 cans over the next month! But we do use canned tomatoes a lot for cooking, sauces and salsa. And I love Red Gold.

Our local grocery store had them on sale Buy 10, Get $5 Off Instantly. And most cans were on sale for less than $1/can to begin with. I also used a variety of Red Gold coupons, including $.50/2 (which doubled up to $1 at this particular store).

After the sale, cash-back and coupons, I MADE a little over $1.50 buying all 20 cans.

I applied that overage to the two 5-lb bags of flour – on sale for $2.29, plus I had a $.50/1 coupon (no longer available) that doubled to a $1, making it just $1.29 per 5-lb bag.

All told, I spend $4.14, which was mostly for tax.

Later in the week, I hit the CVS post-Halloween clearance. I had a lot of ECBs that were expiring, so I was happy to get some cheap-o candy and cookies.

After I applied my ECBs, I paid $9.50 out of pocket for 4 big bags of mini-Oreo snack packs (clearance for $1.49 each – I’ll be sending these with my boys to school for their Shabbat party snacks), 2 huge bags of M&Ms snack packs ($3.50 each after coupon), 3 smaller bags of snack-size candies ($.50 each after coupon), and 2 bottles of Advil ($4.50 each after sale, coupon and ECBs back).

Had I got the school Shabbat party snacks at Costco, I would have paid more than that for just one box of cookies or bag of candy. And here I got 11 items! Include 250 Advil capsules (which, after my weekend, I really need!).

Our total grocery expenditures for the week were $75, which also included:

  • Aldi – $16.59 for cream cheese ($.89/each), milk ($2.99/2 gallons), broccoli, tomatoes, pasta, sweet potatoes and a few other ‘staples’


  • Dollar Tree – $5.43 for an extra copy of the Sunday paper + $1 Thomas English muffins and bagels
  • Walmart – $26.48 for pasta, pizza dough (no homemade this week), cucumbers, peppers and a few other basics (DH also did this trip, while I had the kids at Tae Kwon Do one night)

How’d you do on your grocery budget this week? Are you off to a good start this month? Did you snag any better-than-free deals?!


  1. I just stocked up on Earth Balance margarine. It’s on sale right now at Whole Foods for $2.99 – the lowest they go (at least in the year or so I’ve been watching). I bought 18 to make a case for an additional 10% off. That makes them $2.70/box or tub. Seeing as the current lowest “regular” price is $4.26 at Trader Joe’s (the price went up AGAIN), I just saved $1.56 a box/tub and they will keep just fine in the freezer. The only thing that would have made it a better deal was a coupon, but those are pretty rare for Earth Balance.

  2. So here’s my question? How do you know how much to spend on stock piling while still obtaining the rest of the items that you need for the month? How much of your monthly budget do you allow for stock piling or bulk purchases?

  3. Miriam in savannah says

    sara – I use an envelope system for budgeting and have made bulk purchases a separate envelope from my food costs; If it’s more than I would feed my family in the next month – 6 wks, it comes from bulk. If I see meat on sale and have it in mind to freeze for the next upcoming holiday, I’ll take it from the bulk folder as well. I just started couponing in August though, and I’m noticing the need to shuffle the budget a bit though. Eventually it would be nice to establish enough of a stockpile that whenever I need to make dinner I go to my pantry rather than go shopping (and be at the mercy of whatever market prices are for my necessities); It’s changed the way I meal plan . . . I used to sit down with a month at a time, but now I look at my pantry and can only do a week’s worth. Getting there though . . .

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