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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!

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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:


Kroger:


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%



CVS:

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!)


Walgreens:

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!


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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!

Best of the Week: Friday, May 2, 2008

If you're planning your a Saturday shopping trip, be sure to check these blogs for some of the best deals out there right now!

BeCentsAble Grocery Gathering.

I can't say enough about what a great place this is to start! Check their list for your grocery store and find the best deals for the week as posted by other bloggers!

Kroger Deals

Detailed by me here.


CVS Scenarios

SO many great ones for you already figured out by Denise at The Centsible Sawyer; look here. She's one hard-working Frugal Chick!

Walgreens

This weeks deals at Money Saving Mom; click here.

Next week is shaping up to be a very good RR week with P&G products at Walgreens! Be ready; read MommySnacks post here.


Rite Aid

SCR (Single Check Rebates) deals for the week by Be Thrifty Like Us; look here.

Don't forget to utilize the forums at Slick Deals to find the new May CVS ECB deals here. Find Walgreens weekly deals here .

View the Walgreens May Easy Saver Rebate book here.


Fabulous Freebies:

Get Redbox codes here; visit The Centsible Sawyer for even more!
Free sunflower seeds for planting here.
Free bottle of Coffeemate here.
Free sample of John Freida Frizz Ease (just in time for summer humidity!) here.



If you have time, visit Twisted Branches forum and search through their lists for freebies that suit your fancy!


Frugal Blogs:

I've Paid for This Twice Already...

I can't say enough good stuff about this blog. She's currently reviewing Make Money Not Excuses by Jean Chatzky, a book I'd like to take a peek inside for myself!

Read about Snowflaking. Adjust your attitude on affording what you can and can't on your budget. Spend some time clicking around this great site; she's honest and forthright and informative. I'm glad I stumbled it!