Finding Good Grocery Deals

I still have a list of items to get before the baby is born, however, I’m coming very close to being finished.  In between cleaning and organizing and getting my birth supplies ready, I’m continuing to stock up on food and fill my freezer.  I guess you never come to a point where you are all stocked up….at least not around here!

Last week, I visited the bakery outlet bread store and bought over $20 worth of bread.  Most items were .69 cents a loaf up to $1.  I froze loaf bread, bagels and buns. 

Yesterday, I was able to take advantage of some really great grocery deals this week at Kroger and Publix which helped in the area of my freezer and pantry stockpile.  I came home with a ton of stuff and saved over $130 in coupons combined with sales.  It was a very fruitful trip, especially since the coupons I used were internet printable coupons, hang tag coupons I found, peelie coupons and blinkie machine coupons!  I also stopped off at Kroger and found lots of clearanced out bakery breads for .49 cents to $1 which I froze for using for french toast and pizza subs.  I found cheap Bolthouse drinks as well.  They had them clearanced out to $1.64, which is a great price anyway, but they also had “save .55 cents” hangtag coupons all over them as well!  The expiration dates weren’t until October, so I stocked up on some drinks for me. 

I was thrilled to find free sour cream, .25 cent yogurt, $1 cheese and $1.09 Bolthouse.  I pay regular price for the Stonyfield yogurt even if I don’t have coupons for it.  I love the plain whole yogurt and add organic frozen blueberries (from Costco) or I mix other Stonyfield flavors with the plain whole yogurt to make it not so sweet. 

Here are some of the sweet Publix deals:

French’s Classic Yellow Mustard, 14 oz, BOGO $1.87
-$0.50/1 French’s Mustard
I used the $.50/1 printable to get FREE mustard!

Mueller’s Pasta, 12 or 16 oz box or 100% All Natural Whole Wheat Pasta, 13.25 oz box, BOGO $1.29
-$2/5 Mueller’s Pasta
Pay 25¢ using the $2/5!  This coupon does not have a limit on how many you can print, however, I had problems printing it.  I had to adjust my printer settings to landscape and adjust size to get it to print.  Even then, it took up the entire paper.  The store took it though even if it was a huge coupon!

Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Cake Mix or Cupcake, Assorted Varieties, 18.5 oz box, BOGO $1.59
-$1/2 Duncan Hines Products Publix Store Coupon– GA Toss 4 Cash Booklet (located at the front of the store)
2 boxes for .59 cents!! 

Yoplait Yo-Plus Yogurt, Assorted Varieties, 4 pk, 4 oz cup, BOGO $2.50
-$0.50/1 Yoplait YoPlus Yogurt, 4 pk
-$1/1 YoPlus Yogurt, 4-pk
-$0.50/1 Yoplus Yo Plus Yogurt, 4 pk 8/22/2010 SS Insert (exp 10/16/2010)
-$0.50/1 YoPlus Yogurt 4pk. 8/8/2010 GM Insert (exp 10/2/2010)
-$0.50/1 Yoplus Yogurt 4pk 7/25/2010 SS Insert (exp 9/18/2010)
I used the $.50/1 and paid 25¢ per package!

Dixie Plates or Bowls, Assorted Varieties, 20 to 48-ct pkg, BOGO $2.99
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$1/2 Dixie or Dixie Ultra Paper Plates
I also used the Publix store coupon in the Grill Up Some Savings booklet at the front of the store to get free Dixie napkins when you purchase 2 Dixie products.  Check out the napkins (160 count packages), mine had .55 cents off Dixie napkins peelie coupons on them—that I also used!  I bought 2 packs of plates, 2 packs of bowls and two packages of napkins (160 ct.) for a total of $2.88!!!

Newman’s Own Pasta Sauce, Assorted Varieties, 15 or 24-oz jar, BOGO $2.69
-$0.50/1 Newman’s Own Dressing, Marinade, Pasta Sauce, Salsa, Popcorn or Drink (IE) 2010-7-24 Bricks (exp 12/31/2020)
-$.50/1 Newman’s Own Pasta Sauce, Salsa, Marinade, Lemonade, Popcorn, or Cereal, any (8-15-10 RP)
 35¢ per jar when doubled!

Breakstone’s Sour Cream 16 oz, 2/$2  (Kraft Product)
-$5/5 Kraft Cheese Printable  If your having trouble printing the Kraft products printable, try going to www.kraftcheese.com and printing from there.  Limit 2 prints per computer. 
FREE after $5/5 coupon!!!

Kraft cheese blocks are on sale 2 for $4.  Using the $5/5 Kraft printable, cheese was $1 a package. 

Check out more Publix deals for this week over at  I Heart Publix….

Canning for the Home Pantry

This week has been a long week of focused food preserving around my house.  I still have lots more food to can and freeze, however, I ended the week with lots of frozen corn, lots of shredded zucchini, some peaches and was able to get a good start on my canning for the season. 

I put my 5 year old to work today washing and cutting lots of zucchini, tomatoes and squash.  She did an amazing job!  I had the boys bring in a 5 gallon bucket so we could throw all the scraps into the bucket for them to take out later to the pigs.  It quickly got the scraps off the counter tops and out of our way. 

We peeled the tomatoes.  Normally, I like to freeze the tomatoes whole and then take them out and put them in a large bowl of warm water.  The skin will come right off.  But I just peeled them with a peeler and a knife this time and then my 5 year old cut them up for me.  The fresh garden tomato smell filled the air and they tasted wonderful!

These tomatoes were the $.15 cent a pound tomatoes I bought at the produce auction. 

This time I lightly blanched the cut zucchini and squash and then added the chopped up tomatoes to a big bowl and stirred it up.  I was able to get more food per jar than the last batch that I raw packed. 

I ended up with 7 quart jars and 9 pint jars of zucchini, tomatoes and squash.  I’m planning on using the zucchini, tomatoes and squash mixture for soup and adding to casseroles. 

Here are the peaches, the dark peach jam and the zucchini mixture we canned up today. 

My canning efforts are starting to multiply and it makes me smile.  It’s a lot of work taking garden fresh food and  canning it, but it is well worth the effort especially when you can look on your pantry shelves and see all the goodness God provided and being satisfied with the work you’ve done in preparing ahead of time.  It’s even more exciting getting to use your canned food in your pantry and provide meals for your family. 

I plan on continuing the work to stock my pantry shelves next week.  Stay tuned for lots more food preservation adventures!!!

Your Pantry Home Store

I’ve written in the past on building your own pantry home store.  So what is a pantry home store?  Everyone will have a slightly different definition of what a home store means to them.  For me, my pantry home store is my grocery and household supply stock that is in my home and not at the grocery store.  I want to free myself from the dependence of the 24 hour stuff-mart and save money buy buying these items at rock bottom prices and building a home pantry with them.

It may take a while to get a nice well-rounded stockpile of groceries and supplies. My goal is to continue to grow my stock and have a well-supplied home store from which to pull.

Over the years I can not begin to count the number of times that I have been out of items and purchased them at regular price just because I was unprepared and needed it. Currently, I am working on building a stock of items that I regularly keep at home to avoid those panic times of being out of necessary items like baby diapers or bathroom tissue. It is a “Think Ahead” strategy of always being prepared that has escaped our modern mindset of always thinking it-will-be-there-when-you-need-it.  Not only am I wanting to stock up when a product goes on sale, but I am wanting to have a cushion supply of items for those rainy days.

Tips:
1.) Start collecting coupons for items you use. If you have the time, collect coupons for things that you would buy if they were outrageously cheap or free.

2.) Learn the coupon policies for the stores in your area.

3.) Watch for store sales and trends. Even without coupons, store sales are an excellent way to stock up. I recently purchased 5lb bags of potatoes for $1 a bag. This week they have a sale on bags of onions for the same price. Being that the cooler weather is moving in, root vegetables will keep for longer periods of time in a basement or in a garage.  Also, as you begin to strategically shop, you will notice certain items go on sale seasonally.  For example, canned milk is usually a really great deal around Thanksgiving to Christmas time.  Other baking items are also great deals this time of year.

Welcome to the Penny Pantry blog

Welcome to the Penny Pantry blog.  This blog is my journey to spending less and stocking more.  I have been learning how to build a useful pantry while saving money.  Lots of moms are looking for ways to drastically cut their grocery bill in our current depressed economy.  Many moms would love to have a stocked pantry, overflowing, filled to the brim with all sorts of food and household staple items.  But just exactly how do you build a great pantry?  A pantry that could weather a storm, feed an army or be ready for any and all situations to arise.  A pantry that you didn’t pay retail price for.  A pantry that you paid pennies for.

With a few tips and ideas and some encouragement, you can build a really great pantry.  When I was starting to learn about how to save money on groceries and build a pantry, I really loved looking at other mom’s pictures of their stockpile of food and household supplies that they paid pennies for.  It amazed me that someone could bring home 20 bags of groceries for $15.  More amazing than that, was that many times these women were bringing home free food and household supplies!  Who ever heard of such things!  I quickly learned what I could from these women and went on to figure out how to super size my savings and stock a pantry for my family all the while literally saving thousands of dollars.

I hope you can gain a wealth of money saving information here and be encouraged to build your own pantry for less!  I will be posting a lot of my past grocery deals for some encouragement along with lots of new “how to” information.

Check out my new e-book called The Penny Pantry.  It will be for sale here on the blog shortly, but I’ll leave you with part of the introduction.

It wasn’t too long ago that the average housewife took great care to build her pantry.  She thoughtfully considered her family size, likes and dislikes as well as nutritional values of different foods and built her family a pantry with a variety of foods and supplies that would aid her in her job of preparing meals for her family.

In a culture dependent on the 24 hour stuff-mart, building a large pantry may be  considered Grandma’s old fashion idea.  Building a home pantry is a lost art that many women would love to rediscover!  I rediscovered Grandma’s pantry idea and am hooked on the idea of building my own pantry store within my 4 walls.  There is such a deep and gratifying satisfaction when a woman has a pantry filled with food for her family.  A woman that has a stocked pantry is a free woman.  She is not subject to want or need because of lack of preparation.  She isn’t stressed because there is no food in the house nor is she dependent on the grocery store to being open every hour or day.  A woman who focuses on building a pantry can rest in the fact that her managerial skills in building a pantry will benefit her and her family by not only saving large amounts of money, but offering great peace of mind.

Beautiful country style pantry from Country Living

Pantry 2009 End of the Year Update

The year is winding down.  It’s December and winter time.  This year I started a series called Pantry 2009 of which I had high hopes for adding more content to the site about pantry building.  I didn’t blog about all the Pantry 2009 things that I did get accomplished, but I thought I would start afresh next year with the 2010 Pantry.

To end out the year with Pantry 2009, I did get back into some pretty serious couponing over the last 3 months after my 3 months of canning.  Couponing has helped me find an ultra frugal way of saving money but it also helps feed my large family and build my home pantry.

Because we live out in a rural area, couponing takes a lot more planning.  I don’t just “run up to the store”.  I have been planning one day out per week, to go do my errands and couponing.

I find it better to focus on a few stores.  My favorite store currently is Publix.  They run buy one, get one free sales weekly.  You do not have to buy two products because they actually just 1/2 the price of the product.  I can use 2 coupons on 2 products that are already half price and usually come up with some pretty sweet savings.

Here’s an example of some of my recent savings:

Dixie paper plates were BOGO at $2.99.  (buy one, get one free)  I had 10 coupons for .50 cents off any dixie paper product.  Those coupons doubled to $1.  I used two of them on each BOGO…knocking down the price 2 packages of paper plates to .99 cents!  That was an exciting deal…but what made it even better was that the plates had peel off coupons on them that said, “When you buy 2 Dixie plates, get one package of Dixie napkins free…up to $3.50″.  So I came home with 10 packages of paper plates and 5 huge packages of napkins for less than $5.  Sweet!

I also recently picked up free canned corn, 9 cent canned all-natural chicken broth, free sour cream, free baby wipes, free pasta, .49 cent pasta sauce, .49 cent canned milk, .49 cent frozen veggies, $4 bags of diapers and boxes and boxes of cheap tea.

I like stocking my pantry with coupon finds.  In 2010, my plan would be to supersize these efforts and see what can happen when I seriously focus on building a 2010 pantry.

Other upcoming 2010 Pantry Building ideas:

  • Bulk food ordering with other ladies in your community.  We’ve had a great time this year ordering apple, pears, peaches, grapes, grain, flour, oranges and grapefruit.  You can cut your grocery budget with these types of co-ops with other women.  If you can’t use a bushel of apples…you could split with a friend.  I’ve found bulk food ordering is much cheaper than even Costco!
  • Growing your own meat.  Most people are limited on their ability to grow their own meat.  But there are many options and ideas out there for those interested in supplying their freezer with a beef, pork or lamb or a combination.  If you hate shopping at the store for meat…you should seriously consider growing your own meat!  It’s so good!
  • Canning.  I finally did it!  I canned with a pressure canner this year and LOVED every moment…even if I did burn myself a time or two.  Canning is seriously addicting!

Mama at Work

I have great admiration for hardworking women of the past.  Past days long before dishwashers and washing machines.  Long gone times before grocery stores and fast food.

washboardpicture

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I like my dishwasher and washing machine.  I like my indoor plumbing and hot water.  I like my electric stove and bread maker.  But I also love learning about real life outside of the last 100 years .  My life now wasn’t “real life” for thousands and thousands of years and I am intrigued about that old fashion “real life” my ancestors lived day in and day out.  It inspires me to pull back from my ultra dependence on “stuff” and rethink how I live and practice.

The fact is…if something happened to the grocery store and the electricity for any extended period of time…people would die…literally.  It’s just a wise and prudent thing to examine our extreme dependencies!

In examining my dependencies, one of my greatest concerns is growing, preparing and preserving food for my family.  I’ve met women who have experienced emergencies, such as Katrina, and saw the stark empty grocery store shelves…no food…no water.  I’ve been to the store right before a Tennessee snow storm and seen the grocery runs people make for a possible inch of snow.  Many people dismiss such possibilities as rare and unlikely.  Many people do not believe that the all-American easy life will ever fade, diminish or pass.  That’s fine…believe what you want…the facts remain…we are a spoiled rotten, dependant society who will not survive in real crisis.

I have been enjoying reading the old time wisdom and learning about canning and preserving food from the book, The Farmer’s Wife Canning and Preserving Cookbook.  The book is based on a monthly magazine, The Farmer’s Wife,  that was published between the years 1893 and 1939.  Here’s a little bit of “encouragement” for you from the book…

In an era long before the Internet and high-speed travel connected us all, the magazine aimed to offer community among hard-working rural women:  to provide a forum for their questions and concerns and to assist them in the day-to-day goings-on about the farm – everything from raising chickens and slaughtering hogs to managing scant funds, dressing the children, keeping house, and running the kitchen…..

On no kitchen topic was the magazine’s expertise more critical than on preserving… A farmer’s wife had plenty to preserve.  She put up myriad stores from her gardens, fields and orchards–not just the niceties of jams and jellies and pickles but the fundamentals of plain fruits, vegetables, sauces, and soups that formed the backbone of meals during the long, cold months when nothing grew.

Nothing would have signified a greater failure of Farmer’s wifery than a scantly-stocked canning cupboard.  Unbountiful stores would have indicated a failure of crop raising, or a failure of thrift, or a failure of time-management (or, most horrifying of all, a failure of all three!), resulting in a winning-out of the greatest of all sins:  sloth. 

How many women know how to can their own food?  How many women grow or manage any food out of a garden or field?  How many women are at home preparing their pantry stores for winter?  It was once common place.  It’s rather rare these days.

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