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Friday, May 2, 2008

My April Savings Totals: Kroger, WalMart, CVS, Walgreens

I'm linking up over at MoneySavingMom's Super Savings Saturday; be sure to visit the linkage for all sorts of inspiring deals!


Rather than a photo of my best deal for the week, I've calculated my savings totals for April now that I've had a few minutes to sit down with my piles of receipts.

I began April challenging myself to spend only $400 for the month on groceries and household/personal items for our family of five.

My actual total spent cash (via debit card) was $500.33, a 25% budget overage.

But for that $500.33 cash spent, I bought a total of $1276.57 of goodies using sales, coupons, ECBs at CVS, RRs and Easy Saver Rebate Gift Card $$ at Walgreens.

That's a total savings of 61%! Not too shabby!

Or, to look at it another way, I multiplied the buying power of each $1.00 by a little over 2.5.

Imagine if every $10 you spent bought you an actual $25 in goodies - that's how far my dollars stretched in April.

Here's the breakdown:


Spent: $440.31

Total Value of Goods Purchased: $878.93

Saved: $438.62, or 49%

Wal-Mart (I try not to shop here; if you've read Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, you may feel the same way)

Spent: $17.16

Total Value of Goods Purchased: $18.06

Saved: $0.90, or 0.05%


Spent: $25.54

Total Value of Goods Purchased: $294.48

Saved: $268.94, or 91%

(and earned numerous ECBs which I rolled into new deals!)


Spent: $17.35

Total Value of Goods Purchased: $85.10

Saved: $67.75, or 80%

(Much like CVS, I earned RRs to use and also had my Easy Saver Rebate Gift Card to use)

One quick note - I've done the math six ways to Sunday and I still have $0.03 in my final total of $1276.57 that disappears when I add up the individual store totals and savings. I'm willing to let is slide if you are!


While it's always disappointing to fall short (way short!) of your budget goal, I'm really not too upset about missing the amount I set for my challenge.

One, I went shopping for this current week (which is an April/May week) on Monday, meaning my budget for May will benefit from my overage in April

And two, it's always good to challenge yourself financially, set a goal, and track your progress. In some ways, that's the most important success of all - actually knowing where each dollar goes and how far it stretched.

Finally, we decreased our spending overall in this category so our household budget experienced a net benefit.

I'm setting a more realistic budget for May of $450 total with the hopes that I can come under by at least a few dollars. May is an event-filled month of fun in our family; I'm hoping that my creativity will help me keep our costs low as the good times roll.

I'm also considering going on a Cash-Only Diet for this category of our budget, something recommended by Dave Ramsey; read how it worked in real life here for my fellow BBJ Blogger, Andrea.

I still plan on growing my cash using Kroger's Tax Stimulus offer of 10% bonus on gift card purchases detailed here.

Do you use a Cash-Only Diet for your groceries? Do you plan on using any retailers offers of 5-10% bonuses if you buy a Gift Card for their store? And with Mother's Day, end-of-school, Memorial Day Weekend, and other events, is May a spendy month for you, too?

Comment and share your knowledge about how you face these challenges! That's what this blog is all about - sharing information to help others!


Evelyn said...

Can you talk about the book "Nickel and Dimed Out: on (Not) Getting by in America" It's not in my budget or room to buy another book and I am really interested in it. My Husband doesn't want another book to enter this house.

This is an expensive month for me. I have lots of graduation and weddings. How much is reasonible to spend? I have 10 invitations sitting on my table now. I guess the people in the blog sphere are young and have not run into this problem. Everyone gives money So how do you be frugal?

Help! A thought just popped in my brain. IF you do survey's collect them and use them for presents. At this point I have not done that. Maybe next year, but what about now?

Anonymous said...

I love seeing how well everyone is doing with saving money! And even if you spent a little more than planned, there is probably a lot of food in your pantry:)

1. My Points lets you earn point and trade them in for gift cards. If you ever shop online at major retailers you can go thru the My Points site and earn points for that also.

2. I think you should only spend what you can afford to spend and no one should be offended by that. But if you cannot attend all of the functions, I think that you could wait and send something with next month's paycheck.

3. Just get creative-frame a nice picture you have of the bride and groom or offer to do something in their wedding for the gift. A graduate might like an orgaizer (from the dollar store) with shower shoes, scrubber, and some body wash-kind of a going away to college present. Also, search the sales ads in the next week or two and you might see something nice on sale-I think it's totally appropriate to buy a similar item that is not on the bridal registry, but maybe I'm wrong.

4. Michael's and Hobby Lobby have 40% or 50% off coupons in their sales ads regularly. They sale a lot of home items that would be nice wedding gifts.

Carol S. said...

Hello. I recently found your blog (and have checked in daily) after a succession of other frugal living blogs, which all started with Get Rich Slowly. J.D. wrote an excellent review of "Nickel and Dimed" you can find here:

Anonymous said...

When I have not had money. I have bought a very nice Waterford picture frame off ebay and give the bride and groom a photo of the wedding day. Also a great gift for a grad is a hand made blanket or initials on a blanket or the school blanket all are not all that expesive and if you can't hand do a blanket many folks sell some they have made on ebay as well.