Yippee! I got free groceries this week! Not all the groceries, but some of them, and some other really great deals, too.
I’ve recently had to totally revamp my grocery shopping strategy, since my store of choice closed. It’s been a real learning experience, that’s for sure. And I’m still refining my ways, but I’m very happy with what I’m saving. Here’s what I got for free or super cheap, and how I got it:
Lipton sparkling iced tea (lemon), a pear, and cole slaw — I knew that Baker’s had digital coupons and the weekly freebie attached to my rewards card, but I could never get the darn thing to work. I took some time this week to figure out the BakersPlus.com site, change my bar code, and load digital coupons. The iced tea was the Free Friday deal, the pear used a .50 DC, and the cole slaw was marked to .99 with a DC for Dole (which had to be entered manually, but it worked).
Another thing I like about my Baker’s card is that I get extra rewards points when I buy gift cards, as well as the groceries. That gives me about .10/gallon discount once a month, which is really nice. The gift cards are for upcoming gifts, as well as to restaurants where we will go for birthday dinners this year.
Yoplait yogurt, a grapefruit, bananas, and bread — Have you heard about the Checkout51 app?! Weekly deals load on Thursday mornings. If you buy the items among their deals, and scan in your receipt, you earn dollars. When you reach $20, they send you a check! You can combine any qualifying purchases with sales, coupons, etc., and can upload as many receipts as you want each week. The Yoplait was .40 with a .50 C51, the grapefruit used a .25 C51, the marked-down bananas (for smoothies) used a .25 C51, and the bread was .49 with a .50 C51.
Another bread — I won the Free Bread Friday on Country Hearth’s Facebook page several weeks ago. I waited till the bread in the freezer ran out, then snagged a nice loaf for the guys with the coupon they sent me.
Cereal, lemons — I discovered the Cartwheel app by/for Target! This app offers discounts from 5% to 25%. You add the deals to your account (there is a limit), then the cashier scans your smartphone barcode and applies the discounts. But be careful, because the computer does not always recognize and apply the deal. Customer Service will take care of you, though. Sales – Target coupons – manuf coupons – Cartwheel – C51. My head is spinning. Cereal big boxes 1.14/box. 3# bag o lemons (I use them often) = .31 each lemon (cheaper than Aldi).
I found lots of hamburger buns for .49 (going to Project Hope), cans of RTE chunky soup for .79 (also going to Project Hope), and a nice loaf of French bread for .39 (in the freezer).
And that’s just the food!
Glade auto spray refill — At Walgreen’s I got the Glade 4.99 – $2 manuf coupon, with $1.50 C51 and a $1 Register Rewards, which is effectively .49. I need to remember, though, that they will only apply your rewards points (for dollars off) when you ask them to.
Purex detergent — Target sale 3.99 – $2 manuf coupon – Cartwheel = 1.59.
As you can see, I’m venturing back to Target, even after “the incident” that upset me so. (Forgiveness.)
I’m heading to Walgreen’s, too, but I’m still finding that the shelves are bare of deal items, so I have to prepare myself to be disappointed each time I go. For that reason, I only stop there when I’m passing by on other errands.
I even stepped into HyVee this week, for the yogurt and grapefruit. I need to explore more deal-doing opportunities there.
However, I’m finding that now (as opposed to a handful of years ago when I did the deals routes regularly) the deal-gettin’ is rougher. So many of us are savvy consumers, hitting the deal blogs, and snatching up the coupons (print and digital). No matter how well I prepare, there is always a minor issue with missing stock, an unavailable coupon, a product limit or what have you. Well, it’s only a grocery deal, not the end of the world!
I’m proud of me, too, with regard to my buying habits. I’m only getting what I know we will use, turning down “deals” more regularly. There was a time when I had waaaaay too much product in my house. Then I would end up complaining and donating a bunch. Well, I’m buying my donations separately these days, still getting great deals for that, and planning that into our budget. So it doesn’t sit around here for more than a week, and it’s planned giving.
Through all of this shopping, deal-doing, and scooting around, I’m constantly reminded of the Daily Bread we receive. Not only food for our bellies, but everything. All that we have is not ours; we are only stewards. This is why I’m so happy when the budget is met, and the dinners are fixed, and the donations are delivered — His Will is done. So the best free things I got this week were His continued grace, comfort, strength and guidance to do that Will.