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Target, Kroger, Meijer Shopping Trips: Spent $58.02, Saved $77.90

by Tara Kuczykowski on April 12, 2011 · 40 comments


I promised last week that I'd start sharing more of my shopping trips to demonstrate more practical approach to couponing than what you'll see on Extreme Couponing, and here's my attempt to do so.

As I mentioned back in January, our family is committed to cooking more from scratch and purchasing organic when it makes sense, so that has limited the number of coupons that I use for groceries. Instead I track the sales and prices on produce to get the most bang for my buck, and most of my coupon usage is for cleaning products and health and beauty items.

I had planned to pick up several other items at Target, like the Purex Complete Crystals and the Rayovac Batteries, but my favorite store seems to have grown in popularity and has been continually shopped out of everything lately. I was lucky to get the one Zyrtec that I did -- it had fallen behind the 24-count packages...

  • (1) Up & Up Cotton Swabs (300 ct.), $1.39

My total spent for this trip was $3.18, a savings of $8.50.



I stopped by Kroger on Saturday and found the great Santa Cruz Organic Juice deal. I've not been back in to see if they're still on sale, but I'm really hoping they are because I love the Orange Mango!

  • Bananas -- I cannot believe how much the price of bananas has skyrocketed! I picked up some of the discounted ripe bananas to freeze for smoothies to defray the costs a little.
  • (1) Cantaloupe
  • Organic Apples -- on sale for $0.99/lb.
  • (7) Voskos Yogurt, $1.69 -- used (7) $0.75/1 Voskos Yogurt blinkies that I've been holding onto, $0.19 ea.

My total spent for this trip was $15.12, a savings of $39.84.


Finally, I ran to Meijer yesterday to stock up on some eggs and frozen chicken breasts (hubby is doing P90X right now), and took advantage of some produce sales while I was there. I was hoping to pick up the 4/$5 Blackberries, but sadly our store was out of them.

  • (2) Tyson Bagged Frozen Chicken Breasts -- on sale for $4.99 ea.
  • (3) Meijer Naturals Chicken Stock -- on sale 3 for $5
  • (10) Ears Sweet Corn
  • (6) Ataulfo Mangoes
  • (5) Artichokes
  • (1) Brussels Sprouts
  • (1) Balsamic Vinegar

My total spent for this trip was $39.72, a savings of $29.56, and I received a $1 Catalina for a future purchase.

I also stocked up on produce during the 10/$10 get one FREE sale at Meijer last week. However, it's been awhile since I've stocked up on meats, so we'll likely be making a trip to Sam's Club sometime this week to do so.

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brandi April 12, 2011 at 9:57 pm

The Santa Cruz Organic Juice at Kroger is BOGO through Sunday, April 24th.

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2 Tara Kuczykowski April 12, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Awesome -- thanks for letting me know, Brandi. Need to get more coupons for sure then!

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3 Christie April 12, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Thank you for posting this. I appreciate a "good stewart" example!

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4 me April 12, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Was you able to use all 6 Luna Coupons in one transaction? Just curious, I have two but noticed it says one per customer so was just going to make two trips.

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5 Tara Kuczykowski April 12, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Hmm, I totally did not notice that. I did use them all in one transaction without any problems. You could always ask them to ring them separately -- most cashiers are very nice about it.

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6 Shannon April 12, 2011 at 10:29 pm

On the Zyrtec you said you used two coupons. I did not think you could do that, it is normally one coupon per item? Was one a Target Coupon and one a Manuf Coup?

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7 Tara Kuczykowski April 12, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Yes, it was a $4 Target coupon and a $2/1 manufacturer's coupon.

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8 jcfam2 April 12, 2011 at 10:33 pm

I don't get how b1g1 @ 4.29 - 2 75 x2 = 65 ea? should be more like 1.35 ea

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9 Tara Kuczykowski April 12, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Kroger stores in my area double up to $0.99, but $1.35 is still a great price for those areas that only double to $0.50.

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10 Lisa April 12, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Can you really use Target coupons at Krogers?? If so, I never knew that. Wow, I have been missing out on a lot of deals.

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11 Tara Kuczykowski April 12, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Oh no -- I used them at Target. There are three different store trips included in my post.

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12 Lisa April 12, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Sorry Tara, I didn't read it correctly. My mistake. Thank you for clarifying this for me.

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13 katherine f April 12, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Thanks for posting this. It is encouraging that your trips look like this because this is what mine are tending to look like but I feel like I am doing something wrong [and not getting the best deal]. It is hard when you are trying to do organic and natural on a budget...even with coupons!

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14 renelle April 12, 2011 at 10:56 pm

These are the types of trips I like to see posted, the realistic ones that are similar to my own:) Question though, do you like the Voskos yogurts? I picked some up for free after coupons (on sale for $1 and I had $1off coupons) but after trying them, they are hard to swallow :) I was thinking to maybe make some dips or smoothies or something to break up the tastes/consistency.

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15 Tara Kuczykowski April 12, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Actually, now that you mention it, I don't think I've tried one as is. I've been using them in smoothies.

My favorite yogurt is Oikos, but it's more expensive and coupons are few and far between.

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16 sarah April 12, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Wow, I seriously never thought to just freeze bananas... I always freak out if I forget to use them and end up with a GIANT smoothie that I am drinking all day.. lol

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17 Tara Kuczykowski April 12, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Oh, frozen bananas make smoothies really creamy and thick. You have to try it!

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18 renelle April 12, 2011 at 11:07 pm

I always keep some in my freezer to make banana bread too, they squish up nicely after you thaw them :)

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19 Hona April 12, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Am I not seeing the Target 1.00 Q for the purex crystals? Or is it not avail. anymore?

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20 Lacey April 13, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Nope. Stopped sometime last week.

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21 janet r April 13, 2011 at 12:34 am

Just a hint for the bananas.....when they are really ripe like that, but not too mushy, peel them and freeze them individually in tin foil. Take them out and just eat them like a popsickle!! They're fantastic like that!!! Almost taste like fake banana pops! I recommend doing them in halves though...sometimes they start to soften/melt in your hands by the time you get to the end and then they're just a mashed banana. But great for the upcoming hot weather!!

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22 Tara Kuczykowski April 13, 2011 at 9:34 am

LOL, I've caught my daughter swiping them and eating them. Tin foil sounds like a great solution -- she's just been wrapping a paper towel around them.

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23 Jennifer April 13, 2011 at 1:14 am

I would like to say thank you for sharing this. This makes me feel much better in the great deals I have been getting.

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24 Am y April 13, 2011 at 2:13 am

Wait, wait - you can freeze bananas?? Please share! i've never done this!! I always end up with banana pudding, smoothies, or, sadly, they go in the trash if i just dont have time. =/ Do you peel them then freeze? And just put in a ziploc?

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25 Tara Kuczykowski April 13, 2011 at 9:37 am

Yes! I just peel them and stick them on a wire cooling rack in the freezer. After they're frozen solid, you can transfer them to a large Ziploc freezer bag and use them as you need them.

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26 Sarah Jo April 13, 2011 at 4:13 am

Thank you for posting this

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27 Mere April 13, 2011 at 5:59 am

What Amy said. I never froze them either, and I've been complaining mightily about the price of bananas lately. Now that it's getting really hot, I'm making myself huge smoothies for breakfast and lunch and constantly running out to buy them.

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28 Jennifer April 13, 2011 at 7:41 am

A little off the subject (sorry, but I just had to know!), but what kind of camera do you have? It takes beautiful pictures! :o)

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29 Tara Kuczykowski April 13, 2011 at 9:40 am

I have a Canon Rebel XSi. It was worth every penny -- it does take beautiful pictures.

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30 Beth April 13, 2011 at 7:42 am

I freeze bananas all the time. I freeze them right in their peels. You can thaw them and use them for banana bead/muffins, they pop right out of the peel! No mushing necessary! Or you can pop them out and use them for smoothies, etc.
Food has always been my nemesis when it comes to couponing. I live in a rural area and rarely shop at my local grocery store, but there is a small city about 30 miles away with Target, etc. The best chain grocery there is Weis, (they used to be Giant), and I have found that if I take advantage of doubling...they double to .99...and catalinas, along with meal planning at least dinners I do o.k., but it's getting tougher with the rise in food prices and the shrinking of packages. We also are planting a garden this year so that should help also. The best advice I can give for someone in my situation is to try and save as much as possible on everything else.

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31 Carrie April 13, 2011 at 7:54 am

Great, Tara. Thanks so much for this post. Can you/do you have a post on how to read register receipts to figure out the discounts? That would be most helpful. Store receipts can be kind of hard to decipher with the store coupons, with your Kroger card, manufacturer and e coupons in the mix.

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32 Tara Kuczykowski April 13, 2011 at 9:42 am

Good idea, Carrie -- I'll see what I can come up with!

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33 HCL April 13, 2011 at 9:06 am

Thank you for sharing! We do not have those grocery stores in our area, but I still appreciate your approach to using coupons! I use the same approach, eat healthy and save on the household, beauty, etc!
P.S. I am doing the P90X...Good luck to your husband! I just finished phase 1 and finally lost all the baby weight from both kids in just those 30 days!Cant wait to see what the next 2 months bring from it!

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34 bsmith April 13, 2011 at 10:00 am

Beginning May 1st, Meijers will no longer price match on Food, got the sad news this week.

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35 Becky April 13, 2011 at 7:56 pm

This is a little off topic, but I just want you to know that making chicken broth (since you bought it) is so easy and it is practically free. I make mine all the time. Put bones from a chicken (like a rotisserie chicken or bone in chicken) in a crock pot and fill it with water. Cook on high for about 5 hours then cool, drain the bones and there you go. No need to spend $5 on it in the future :)

Thanks for the post though, it is good to see that I am not the only one who is saving money but no where close to those people on TLC.

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36 Tara Kuczykowski April 13, 2011 at 8:08 pm

I don't think that's off topic at all! I definitely do want to try my hand at making my own chicken broth, but my problem is we don't eat a whole lot of bone-in chicken -- and we use a lot of chicken broth. I use it to make whole grain rice for the added flavor. My kids used to turn their noses up at it until I started doing this. I love the crock pot suggestion though!

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37 Becky April 13, 2011 at 8:20 pm

If you make a turkey for Easter, use the turkey carcass. If it is a big one, you can break the bones into 2 pots for broth. Its turkey broth, but close enough.

Also, keep a gallon size bag in your freezer and put whatever chicken bones you have into it. When it is full, then you can make chicken broth. This way you can at least reduce the amount of broth you need to buy.

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38 Sherrie April 13, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Sadly, our Target almost never has the items you list. No Purex crystals last week when we had the great coupon deal. This week the price is back up and there's plenty on the shelf. Also, the cashiers are not consistent. One will take a $1 coupon on a 97 cent item, and another says that if she does that she will be fired. I keep trying, but it gets discouraging when you have your list and your coupons worked out, and the store doesn't have what you want.

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39 Tara Kuczykowski April 13, 2011 at 8:41 pm

I completely understand, Sherrie. As I mentioned in the post, this is also starting to happen at my store. I suspect some of it is the "Extreme Couponing" effect, so hopefully it will die down as time goes on, but until then just keep trying.

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40 michelle April 15, 2011 at 5:33 am

This just happened to me last night at Kroger around 10pm. The lady said she was warned a few days ago to keep coupons at 4 per transaction, no matter what they say on them. She wouldn't even let me do another transaction, because it would "register on my card". I told her I didn't need my card for one of the items, but she still refused. She said she didn't want to get fired. Sheesh! They don't want to sell anything do they?

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