This week, I put my coupon skills to use. I used to do this all the time, but will admit, I fell off the wagon and stopped when we moved south. After some nudging, I've just recently gotten back into it. For two shopping trips, I've gotten $77.08 worth of groceries, and only spent $14.02 on it!
Here's what all I got for $14.02:
15 cans of Campbell's soup- ranged in sale price from $.68 to $.99
3 loaves of Pepperidge Farm bread- on sale for $2.49
4 bags of Voila meals- on sale for $2.99
2 Sara Lee Pumpkin Cheesecakes- $6.99
2 Deli Creations Sandwiches- $2.50
4 cans of Swanson's Broth- on sale for $.69
1 gallon of Milk- on sale for $2.19 (it just went up- sadness!)
1 can of Spaghetti-o's- on sale for $.49
1 package of Hamburger Buns- on sale for $1.29
1 20 ounce soda (it was an impulse purchase, I admit it, but boy was I thirsty!)- $.98 + $.10 deposit
1 30-count package of Halloween rings (another impulse buy)- $1.49
I got both cheesecakes completely FREE with the purchase of 2 Chicken Voila meals (each- 4 meals = 2 cheesecakes). I had coupons for 2 free Deli Creations (otherwise, they are too pricey at $2.50 each for a sandwich that won't fill a person up!). The broth cost me $.09 each.
For buying 4 cans of broth, I got a $1 coupon towards my next purchase. For each of the 5 soups/1 bread combo, I got a $5 coupon towards my next purchase.
I broke my trips up into 2 transactions each, to get the best deal, because the soup & bread was only good once per transaction. I wound up with $16 in coupons from the shopping trips, which helped whittle away the costs.
On top of all this, I had coupons for the soup each time, for both sets of Voila meals, for the broth, and the cheesecakes.
All in all, the soup won't last us a terribly long time. When we have soup together, we use 2-3 cans for the 5 of us. With all the great sale prices on soup lately, we've had it on the menu twice a week. It's my fall-to, cheap meal.
What's a fall-to, cheap meal? It's the meal I make when I have no desire to cook, and thoughts of McDonalds or Little Caesar's enter my mind. It's faster than running out to grab food, and certainly cheaper!
If I use 3 cans of the $.68 soup, and half a loaf of bread, and 5 slices of cheese, it costs me roughly $3.82- without calculating in the coupons used. I wound up saving $.80 off 4 cans of soup today when I bought the $.68 cans. That makes them $.48 each, instead of $.68, so it would cost me more like $3.22 for a family of 5 to eat a sandwich & can of soup. That's a mere $.64 per person!
You can't even buy a cheeseburger at McDonalds for that price. The $5 pizza's at Little Caeser's are nice, but we go through 2 of them in a sitting- that's $2 per person! If we stuck to JUST a $1 cheeseburger at McDonalds, that's $1 per person. Except that those rinky dink things certainly aren't filling, so we add in fries, or we break out more food when we get home.
Eating can be expensive. It can also be cheap, it's all in how you eat, and how you shop.