Fun Friday Game: How much did this mom spend?

groceries compressed

There is one among us who is a superior saver. She is my high school friend and regular community member New Mom! I am on Facebook with New Mom and almost every day she posts some new  fantastic deal she has found. She also has shared photos of products that she bought and then asked friends to guess how much she spent. So I thought it would be fun for us to play the same game: How much did New Mom spend on these groceries?

Write your answers below and then check back at noon and I will add to this post how much New Mom spent and some of her favorite sites for saving.

Update: Here is the grand total from New Mom: $19!! She saved more than $30 on that trip.

“I haven’t saved my receipts, but one time I did the math and estimate that we spend between $75-$100/week total on household stuff, including diapers (for a family of 4)!   But seriously, I can’t take credit for it, I just find the deals that others have already found, ya know?   www.southernsavers.com, www.groupon.com/atlanta are my favorites, but I also watch www.woot.com (thanks Clark Howard!) and www.amazon.com for their daily specials.   Southern Savers actually posts all kinds of deals found all over, in addition to all of the weekly ads, so you really can check the one site for so much.”

I think KMM guessed the closest at $18.45. Congratulations KMM! I have no prizes to give but just know you’re a savvy shopper!

New Mom tell us where you got the stuff and how you did it — coupons, BOGO, whatever.

Guys if you want to play this game more often you can just send me photos of your shopping trips, how much you spent, how much you saved and how you did it. We can play each week if you want! Email me at ajcmomania@gmail.com.

(We have two topics today. Look for the second topic.)

40 comments Add your comment

motherjanegoose

September 3rd, 2010
2:51 am

Great job newmom for being thifty…I have not seen you on momania in a while….guess you are clipping coupons…where have you been? Hope all is well!

new mom

September 3rd, 2010
6:58 am

Good Morning! I’m blushing now…Theresa asked for my permission to do this, but she is so complimentary! She is such a sweetheart.

I will mention, before anyone guesses prices, that this was my very first shopping trip after my first couponing workshop, and there are some expensive items there (batteries, contact solution) so please don’t guess a dollar. ;)

And MJG, I am sorry I haven’t been here lately! I need to, it’s just such a busy time right now. We’re getting ready for a trip and two birthdays this month, so my ‘free’ time is usually after the girls go to bed…and by then, much of the conversation here is over. I’ll try to come back this afternoon, after she posts the other websites, to give any additional info that might be helpful. It’s not like I’m a bargain genius, I just know the sites to check :)

MyOpinion

September 3rd, 2010
7:03 am

Uconn

September 3rd, 2010
7:29 am

JJ

September 3rd, 2010
8:13 am

motherjanegoose

September 3rd, 2010
8:13 am

@ newmom…good to hear from you. I am winding down on the groceries…due to everyone being gone now. I LOVE coupons and my kids tell me they will put this on my graveston:

DO WE HAVE A COUPON!

I am guessing $38.00

Is the Renu for contacts? That is usually at least $5 or so. The cashews are several dollars too!

JJ

September 3rd, 2010
8:15 am

I shop the clearance racks at Target. Yesterday I got some cat food for 1/2 price of a normal bag. It’s the brand my cats like, but not the one they are used to eating. But I saved 50%!!!!

I also got 200 count Vanity Fair dinner napkins for a whopping $1.98.

Sorry, didn’t mean to steal NewMom’s thunder. Welcome back, it’s good to hear from you again.

deidre_NC

September 3rd, 2010
8:21 am

good to see you newmom…..i used to be a coupon fanatic..need to get back to it…i guess $23

KMM

September 3rd, 2010
8:23 am

I have a love/hate relationship with the Target clearance racks. Sometimes there are great deals, and sometimes they take about 20 cents off and call it clearance.

My guess: $18.45

Kathy

September 3rd, 2010
8:26 am

newmom…..do you read the Southern Savers website? I am ADDICTED to it! I have saved so much money reading tips off of her website.

My guess is $6

Roswell Jeff

September 3rd, 2010
8:34 am

$15.99

A couple of months back I got stuck in line at the grocery store behind this old codger that had a coupon for everything. I was getting irritated and impatient because the transaction was taking a long, long time. After watching him though, I was intrigued. He had coupons for everything and coupons for x amount of dollars off of total purchase. On top of that he was shopping on Senior Citizens day. The guy has a cart FULL of groceries and when the total was rung up, he pulls out a lone $5 bill! He even got back a few cents in change! He had really planned that trip to the store. It really made me think…

JATL

September 3rd, 2010
8:45 am

I’ll say $22.50. I’m betting the pasta was on sale for $1 and/or BOGO, and I bet some of the other double items were BOGO too. I love a good bargain and love my coupons!

SuwaneeMommy

September 3rd, 2010
8:53 am

Well, the real question is, will she and her family actually eat or use all of the things she bought. I’m all for using coupons and playing the drugstore game, but not when it yields wasteful purchases.

Peachy

September 3rd, 2010
8:59 am

I guess $17.82!

Roswell Jeff

September 3rd, 2010
8:59 am

All of that stuff looks like normal things you would have in your kitchen.

PhotoMomof4

September 3rd, 2010
9:05 am

motherjanegoose

September 3rd, 2010
9:45 am

It looks like 18 items in the picture…maybe I am WAY off…can you get these items for less than $1 each cumulatively? I love a bargain but do not think I am good at guessing brands I do not use.

LM

September 3rd, 2010
9:57 am

EnoughAlready

September 3rd, 2010
10:12 am

I’ll say $22.65. I see a couple of buy one get one free or two for one deals. I’m probably a little on the high end, if she made the purchase at Kroger and used the plus card.

Andrea

September 3rd, 2010
10:27 am

TechMom

September 3rd, 2010
10:48 am

I just got serious about couponing about a month ago. I’ve always clipped on occasion but a guy – yep, a dude, at work starting telling me how much he was saving so I decided I’d try it out. So far I’ve had tremendous success. I’m not an expert and don’t have a stockpile of everything so there are some things I end up buying when they aren’t on sale b/c it’s still cheaper than eating out.

Publix is definitely the couponers best friend. If you buy sale items (espeically BoGo) and add in coupons, it really adds up. Consider that Publix doubles all coupons for $.50 or less AND they’ll accept competitor’s coupons on top of a manufacturer’s coupon. One of my FAVORITE site is http://www.iheartpublix.com.

Also, one of the things I’ve learned is that internet coupons are worth it. I used to think- geez by the time i pay for paper and ink, I’ve lost money but not really. #1, I recycle the cover sheets from work! and #2, I print using the ‘fast’ setting and ‘black’ only ink.

JJ

September 3rd, 2010
11:05 am

Don’t forget the weekly “mystery” coupon at Publix. Every Thursday you can find one Publix item for a penny. I usually buy it wheather I need it or not, heck it’s a penny. Yesterday it was Corn Chips. The week before, Publix Frozen Pizza. I’ve gotten toilet paper, milk, paper towels, bleach, etc all for one mere penny.

Even if you don’t have the coupon itself, which is in the AJC on Thursday, the cashier has plenty.
They usually put the mystery item by the Express Line.

Michelle

September 3rd, 2010
11:44 am

Ummm….$13.50

I hate shopping and couponing even more! I don’t want to think about it. I just want to run in, get my stuff and get the heck out!

LWA

September 3rd, 2010
12:05 pm

I would guess around $7. The noodles are sometimes buy one get one free and if you have a coupon for 0.50 that is $1 off each one you purchase. The cheese is buy one get one free. The cereal was on sale and then you had a coupon. I just waw the bread on sale at Kroger I believe. Was it 10/10?

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 3rd, 2010
12:06 pm

I may wait like another hour to put up the answers because the game is over as soon as I put up the answer

should I wait one more hour or 1.5 hours????????

Kat

September 3rd, 2010
12:21 pm

SEM

September 3rd, 2010
12:46 pm

I’m a first time poster, but I frequently read your blog. I’m a big coupon user.
I’m guessing 10.50. She got the Yoplus for .25 each at Publix. One item was probably the penny item. The pasta was probably under .50 a box. The Emerald Nuts shouldn’t have been more than 1.00 with BOGO and a coupon. The other yogurt was probably free, I’ve seen free coupons for that floating around. Not sure on the Renew and batteries. I think the bread was bogo also.

Mattie

September 3rd, 2010
12:47 pm

I don’t understand anybody NOT using coupons. Yesterday at Kroger my order was $333.34, since all my college kids are coming home for the weekend. After coupons, $248.02, for a savings of $85.32.

I’m still trying to learn how people fill a basket for under $10.00 though.

penguinmom

September 3rd, 2010
12:59 pm

$11.50

@mattie – we have tried using coupons in the past but I usually either a) forget them at home b) forget that I have them and don’t buy the item or c) forget to use them at checkout (less of a deal when doing self-checkout because it asks).
It’s one of those ‘you Should do this’ things that I decided to not stress about. We still shop deals and try very hard to use our Kroger coupons which are actually really good (sometimes free) deals on things we often buy.

MomOf2Girls

September 3rd, 2010
1:23 pm

I would guess around $8.

I would love to use coupons, but they are usually for prepared / packaged goods, most of which aren’t Kosher. This adds to the challenge – when you only save $2-3 (maybe) on a $50 grocery run, it’s hard to be inspired to take the time to clip / sort / store.

JJ

September 3rd, 2010
1:27 pm

Mattie – my ONE college child came home yesterday, and I’ve already dropped $100 at Publix. But, I plan on making a few casseroles and a lasagne for her to take back with her and a chicken salad.

Guess I’ll be cooking all weekend. :)

TechMom

September 3rd, 2010
1:46 pm

I totally understand why people don’t clip coupons… you have to be consistent in order to make it work and you can’t be brand loyal to a certain extent. If you’re super busy, it’s one of those things that falls to the bottom of the list.

There are a lot of coupons I end up not using and then I feel like I’ve wasted my time which is I’ve started the filing method (i.e. not clipping every coupon on Sunday afternoon but filing the whole packet and just clipping what I need) and using internet coupons (I only print what I know my family eats). I also know that I’ll never get to the “I saved 80%” this week like some clippers but if I can save 50-60% on the staple items we use regularly (cereal, granola bars, pasta, sauces, & yogurt), then I feel like I’m doing pretty good. Oh and cleaning supplies- that’s an easy thing to stock up on. Last week I bought 6 bottles of Clorox cleaners for $.34 each and 2 bottles of Glass Plus for $.25 each.

What kills me about the coupon shoppers who say they’ve saved 80%. It’s a bit misleading when you look at what they buy. For example, meat and produce may go on sale but it’s rare to get coupons for them. Sure you might get coupons for hot dogs, sausage or lunch meat or even a coupon for bagged salad but if you eat fresh produce on a weekly basis, you’re going to have to buy stuff without coupons- you just can’t stock up on those things. Very rarely do you see these couponers post their pictures of items they spent $12 on and it include things like meat or produce. Now did they save enough on those other items in order to still lower their grocery budget? Sure. I’m just saying that it’s not like they’re saving 80% on everything.

JJ

September 3rd, 2010
2:01 pm

My roommate buys “manager’s specials” at Kroger, mostly the bagged salad and veggies. We usually have to throw at least half of it away, since it goes bad immediately. To me, that is a waste of money……let the manager throw it away.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 3rd, 2010
2:12 pm

I have posted the answer on top., If you guys want to play again, send me shots of your shopping with how much you spent, how much you saved and how you did it. I’m happy to do it each week if you want.

JATL

September 3rd, 2010
2:24 pm

I’m a store brand junkie! Rarely do I find that Kroger or Target’s store brands aren’t as good or better than a national brand. Kroger Comforts baby formula and diapers are great and literally HALF PRICE compared to Similac, Enfamil and Huggies or Pampers. For formula, the FDA mandates that ALL formulas basically have to be exactly the same except for specialty versions for gassy babies, preemies, etc. Kroger’s Private Selection brand items are great and their pizzas are better than California Pizza Kitchen. We save tons of money using store brands (ladies -if you use Tampax tampons -Kroger and Publix brands are both identical for much less!). My best find has been Kroger sunscreen. I’m addicted to the smell of Coppertone, but last year at the end of summer Kroger had their bottles of sunscreen for $2. It smells exactly like Coppertone AND works just as well! It’s another huge savings.

When it comes to coupons -I love them, but I don’t waste too much time with them. I use them for products I’ve been wanting to try and when I see them for things we always use, but most of the time the store brand is still cheaper than the national brand WITH the coupon -although Kroger send out some great coupons to Kroger Plus card holders and sometimes their for completely free products you buy a lot.

new mom

September 3rd, 2010
3:28 pm

Hi guys!
Hope y’all had fun with Theresa’s game today. I never did take any other pictures from other shopping trips, I know I had some more interesting purchases and deals :)
I use http://www.southernsavers.com religiously, it makes it very easy to save. Personally I do clip my coupons each week and sort them, but some weeks I have more time for it than others. However, many people will simply save the entire inserts, label with the date, and file them. Then you go to southernsavers to make your list–find that store’s current ad, and under each item will be listed the location of any applicable coupon. If it’s from the paper, it may say RP 8/15 which means it was in the Red Plum insert from August 15th. Then you pull that week’s insert and clip. Or, if there’s a printable coupon, they have the link to it right there, it really couldn’t be easier!
I tried to read all the posts, and I’d like to answer some of the questions/issue that were raised. First, I don’t really know my exact percentages that I save…yes, produce and meats are harder to get sales on. I will stock up on meats when they are on sale and try to get enough to freeze and last till they go on sale again. I do that with Publix boneless skinless chicken when it’s 1.99/lb…which it’s due to go on sale soon!!! It was May when it went that low last time, and we are finally out of what I had frozen. Anyway, I do that with other meats too…it’s honestly much more convenient to have meat ready in the freezer than having to run to the store to fix dinner.
Produce–we eat a lot of it around here. I first try to buy what’s on sale/in season, it will be better and fresher anyway. But even if it’s not on sale, it’s ok…I’m not one of those crazy people who won’t buy anything unless it’s ‘on sale’.
OK–about the what you buy–going this route has helped us not be so brand loyal. Even my husband was sold when I asked him if I could get him some body wash that was a different brand. He hesitated and I said ‘it’s free’. He said well, ok…It’s amazing what you

new mom

September 3rd, 2010
3:35 pm

(sorry my sentence was incomplete…my computer was acting crazy!)
Anyway, it’s amazing what you’ll try when you realize how little you could be paying. My price point for yogurt is .25, I don’t pay more than 1.00 ever for cereal, and never ever pay for toothpaste, toothbrushes, body wash, shampoo, razors….seriously.
And don’t forget, if you have too much or things you won’t use before they expire, donate them to your local co-op. Ours is hurting right now, like many I would guess, and they always need donations.
Other crazy deals I’ve found: (non-groceries) our blu-ray player was $59, toy story and toy story 2 combo packs were $18 each, plus free toy story 3 tickets, a fernbank annual pass for $40, $100 worth of photo books for $25, I could go on and on. The biggest thing I missed (because I stopped to email hubby to ask how many to get) was a portable DVD player for $19. Went back to order and it was gone…Lesson–if you find an insane incredible deal, it won’t last.
One more thing (then I’ll shut up, I promise) If this isn’t the sort of thing you enjoy, then don’t do it. I think it’s fun, and if it weren’t fun, I would be miserable and resentful of ‘clipping coupons’. I just love getting a great deal :)

new mom

September 3rd, 2010
3:41 pm

OK, just one more thing ;) If you are interested in doing this, I highly recommend going first to the ‘Learn to Coupon’ tab at the top of Southern Savers. There’s a lot of information there, so go slowly and try not to do it all at once, or else you can easily get overwhelmed.

Roswell Jeff

September 3rd, 2010
3:59 pm

Thanks for the great info.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]