Thursday, January 22, 2015

New Location

Hi Everyone,

In case you are new to this blog, I have a new location called Tight BUDGET Sandwich.  Click on the link to see the latest posts and groceries deals.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Daily Meals on a Budget

The best way to save money on groceries is to have a menu planned for a week, two weeks, or more.  That way, you know what you'll be eating each day, and you won't be caught at 5:00 pm going to the fast food restaurant because you have no idea what to cook.  Also, because you have your meals planned, you won't shop for groceries as much, and you won't be tempted to buy extra food that you really don't need.

It's easy to say that the more time you spend in the stores, the more money you'll spend.  If you've read about some of my "hauls", you've seen that I always wind up buying a soda and some kind of snack at the check-stand.  Those unplanned purchases can add an extra $2-$4 per shopping trip.

Planning your menus lets you shop once for what you'll need, making it easier to turn a blind eye to unplanned grocery purchases.  Planning menus for an entire month of meals takes a lot of work, but you'll save time and money because you're in the store only once a month, and you have less temptation to spend extra money. The drawback in monthly planning is that you miss the weekly sales.  Planning bi-weekly menus allows you to take advantage of a couple of the weekly sales while staying away from the stores as much as possible.  If you plan your menus one week at a time like I do, you'll be going to the store more often, but you'll be able to take advantage of the weekly sales.

Below is my menu based on the food I already had at home and what I bought at Safeway and FoodsCo this week.  *Some meals are repeated during the week.  I often use left-overs.  That's why you'll only find five suggestions per meal.


  • Biscuits and eggs; *cereal,milk/yogurt, and fruit; waffles, sausage, and fruit; oatmeal, toast, and eggs; bagels, cheese, and yogurt
  • Hot dogs and baby carrots; Church function (ate at church); spaghetti (left-overs), salad; bean burritos (homemade from left-overs), salad and fruit; chicken soup (left-overs), cornbread, and fruit; *lunch meat sandwich, baby carrots, and fruit
  • Chicken and stir-fry vegetables, rice; Barbecue Kielbasa, baked potato and broccoli; *chicken soup (homemade) and cornbread; *baked chicken, pinto beans, rice and salad; catfish, baked french fries and salad
Snacks and Desserts
  • Popcorn, brownies, Cheese Nips, watermelon, plums, apples, yogurt
If you plan your meals, how often do you do it?  Has it changed the way you shop?  Please share your experience with us in the Comments Box below.

Monday, August 25, 2014

It's the End of the Month. Time for the 99 Cents Store!

Too much month left at the end of your cash?  Well, I'm there with you.  I paid a trip to the 99 Cents Only Store last week, and I was surprised at what they had. They had name brands and produce!  Their lettuce is always 79 cents, and it's just as good or better than what I get at the big name stores.   That's what I'm talking about.

Last month I ran out of dishwasher soap, but it was the end of the month, and I couldn't afford the $4.99 they were charging at Smart and Final.  I should have gone to the 99 Cents Only Store.  They had a pack of 10 Cascade Pods (the brand I use) for, of course, 99 cents; that would have been enough to get me through until the 1st.  Instead, I went to Dollar Tree and got some off brand that wouldn't even melt during the wash cycle.  I have learned my lesson.  If I need to buy something, and it's the end of the month, I'm checking out the 99 Cents Only Store before I go anywhere else.  But, why wait until the end of the month? Don't I like to save money every day?

Check out what I purchased below.  I checked, and everything is still there this week. Unless otherwise noted, these were all 99 cents.

Guerrero Flour Tortillas  10 ct.
32 oz. Black Sweet Plums
Awesome-Plumber Drain Opener (Kitchen drain was plugged up. Thought I'd try it.)
Seedless Personal Watermelon  79 cents
*Diet Pepsi 20 oz.

Total with tax= $5.02

*I know.  I'm addicted.

Have you made any awesome finds at the 99 Cents Only Store or at Dollar Tree?  Please share your experience in the Comments Box below.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

For Coupon Newbies, Don't Throw Your Coupons Away

If you have today's Sunday paper, it should have included two coupon booklets.  The first is titled "Redplum" (see the top left side of the booklet).  The second one is titled "Smart Source Magazine".  Both have some really high value coupons inside, so don't throw them away.  You can write today's date on the covers and then put them aside until you see a sale on a product that matches one of the coupons in the booklets, or you might see a message from a couponing blog like this one saying that a coupon can be found in the August 24 Redplum (RP) or Smart Source (SS).  An alternative would be to go through them both and cut out the coupons you think you might use. You can store your clipped coupons in an envelope for right now, or go to Dollar Tree and get a coupon folder.  Later on you can develop a more elaborate system.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Safeway Friday 8/22/14

Sorry this is so late.  Today I took advantage of the $5 Friday Sales at Safeway.  You must be a Just 4 U Rewards member in order to get the reduced prices. Below is the breakdown of my transaction.

Buy 2 Boxes Cheerios at $5 (4 for $10)
Use a $1/2 Any General Mills Cereal Coupon (from 8/17/14 Smart Source coupon book)
Cost was $4 for the 2 boxes

Buy 2 Boxes Trix at $3.34  (3/$5 or $1.67 each)
Friday Special.  After today it goes away.  But, you can still use the 4 for $10 deal.
Use another $1/2 Any General Mills Cereal Coupon, making this $2.34.
Safeway gave me another $1 discount as a Just 4 U member reward.
Making these 2 boxes $1.34 for both or 67 cents each.

Buy 1 Gallon Whole Milk  Regular price, $4.99 - Free with the purchase of four boxes of General Mills Cereal for $10.
I was able to get the milk for free, even though I used the lower priced Trix deal (3 for $5) for the final two boxes of cereal.  I could have gotten four boxes of Trix and paid an even lower total price, but I didn't want that many boxes of one cereal.
Use a 55 cent off coupon.  See ground beef below.  There is a printable coupon for this savings.  Even though the milk was free, the register still took off the 55 cents..
Total cost -55 cents 

Buy 1.33 lbs. Lean Ground Beef  at $4.83  
The ground beef packages come attached with a 55 cent peelie, which is immediatly good on any California Dairy Product.

Total cost for today's trip was $9.62, a 63% savings on my grocery bill!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

My $11 FoodsCo Shopping Trip 8/20/14

Below is a list of the grocery items I was able to purchase at FoodsCo, a Kroger affiliate. These prices are good until Tuesday, 8/26.  If you have a FoodsCo Rewards account, you might want to download their new app onto your cell phone.  You can get coupons downloaded directly to your card.  It will save you time and money.

5 lb. bag of potatoes     .79 cents
5 lb. Blue Ribbon Long Grain Rice      $1.99
4.22 lb. Chicken Leg Quarters (.75 cents per pound)    * $3.17
Joseph Farms Chunk Cheese 16 oz.     $3.14    
Used 35 cents off printable coupon
Suave Naturals Shampoo   * .39 cents  
Used 50 cents off any Suave product printable coupon
(2) Cheese Nips 7 oz.     Paid approx. .61 cents each  
Used 75 cents off 2 Nabisco cookies or crackers coupon from 8/10/14 Smart Source
1.33 lb. Yellow Onions  @ .33 lb.              Paid  .43 cents
Total without coupons = 12.74 plus tax
Total with coupons = 11.14 plus tax

I plan to go back later and get the broccoli crowns for .59 per pound, the white onions for .29 per pound, and the gala apples for .89 per pound.

*This is a stock up price, and normally I would buy enough for six weeks.  However, I've never used this brand before, so I only purchased one package.  

Update:  I was able to get another Suave Naturals Shampoo and Conditioner for 39 cents each on my next shopping trip.  Although I don't use that brand, they are good to use as give aways to homeless shelters.

Friday, July 11, 2014

K-Mart Shopping Trip

I took advantage of the double coupon days at K-Mart for their Shop Your Way Rewards members this week, and boy was I surprised that the coupons actually doubled without a lot of beeping and without the cashier having to consult a supervisor.  I had a really nice cashier by the way.  She even wanted to start couponing when she saw how much I saved..  Below are the results of my trip to K-Mart on Monday, July 7, 2014.

Febreeze Air Effects    2.50 - $2 ($1/1 coupon doubles to $2) =   .50
Tide Pods (16 count)   5.49 - $4 ($2/1 coupon doubles to $4) = 1.49
Lays Potato Chips       1.49                                                    
Sparkling Water (2) .50 x 2 = 1.00
CRV  .20                                                  
TOTAL = 4.98
-Shop Your Way  Redemption  -2.23

 I could have saved more, but I had a craving for junk food.