All posts by Frugal Mel

How I Saved 48% at Safeway

Since my husband was happy to care for our son while I was out on New Year’s Day, saving money on groceries for the week, I thought I’d make the most of it!  Also, I was enjoying singing along to Barbara Streisand’s greatest hits.  (Love her!)  After grabbing deals at Sprouts, Bashas, and Albertsons, I drove over one more block and popped in to Safeway to buy a few more items.

Here’s the breakdown from my Safeway trip last night:

  • (1) jar of Kraft mayo @ $1.99/ea with in-ad coupon = $1.99
  • (2) cartons of 12 count eggs @ $1.27/ea with in-ad coupon = $2.54
  • (2) Arizona Republic Sunday papers (for the great coupons this week!) @ $2.00/ea = $4.00
  • (2) loaves of Oroweat Potato Bread (the hubby’s fav) @ $2.99/ea with in-ad coupon, less (2) $0.55 manufacturer coupons = $4.88
  • (1) pack of Farmer John hot dogs @ $0.88/ea with in-ad coupon = $0.88
  • (1) pack of clearance lunch meat (due to expire in 1 week) @ $2.10/ea = $2.10
  • (3) packs of Oscar Mayer P3 portable protein snacks @ $1.49/ea with in-ad coupon, less $1.50 off 3 manufacturer coupon = $2.97

Amount paid at the store including tax was $20.01 less $0.55 rebate (on 1 Oroweat bread) from Checkout 51

= $19.46 Net Total for (17) items

At non-sale prices, these items would have retailed for $37.40.  By carefully selecting items on sale and using coupons, I saved 48%.

I also completed a survey offer on the bottom of the receipt to enter a contest to win a $100 gift card.  And I noticed another offer on the bottom of receipt regarding filling new or transferred prescriptions and getting up to $75.  I guess my next Rx will be filled at Safeway!  One last thing… my purchase got me 21 gas points and once I reach 100 points, I’ll get 10 cents off a gallon at participating stations.

How I Saved 58% at Albertsons

And after my quick trips to Sprouts and Bashas’, I went one more block over and grabbed some good deals at Albertsons.

Here’s the breakdown from my Albertsons trip last night:

  • (3) boxes of Golden Grahams @ $1.67/ea with in-ad coupon, less $1.00 manufacturer coupon = $4.01
  • (1) bag of Gevalia ground coffee @ $3.99/ea with in-ad coupon, less $1.00 manufacturer coupon = $2.99
  • (1) bag of frozen hash browns @ $1.49/ea with in-ad coupon = $1.49
  • (1) bag of frozen potatoes o’brien @ $1.49/ea with in-ad coupon = $1.49
  • (2) boxes of frozen waffles @ $1.49/ea with in-ad coupon = $2.98
  • (2) packs of Jennie O lean ground turkey @ $2.99/ea with in-ad coupon = $5.98
  • (2) pints of strawberries @ $0.99/ea = $1.98

Total = $21.26 after tax for (12) items

At non-sale prices, these items would have retailed for $50.22.  By carefully selecting items on sale and using coupons, I saved 58%.

How I Saved 67% at Bashas

After popping in to Sprouts for produce last night, I went just one block over to Bashas’ to pick up a few deeply discounted items.  Here’s the breakdown from my Bashas’ trip last night:

  • (3) bags of Ruffles @ $1.77/ea = $5.31 (I wouldn’t normally buy these, but it’s my son’s birthday party next weekend and I wanted some chips for snacks.)
  • (3) packs of blueberries @ $0.88/ea = $2.64
  • (1) pack of blackberries @ $0.88/ea = $0.88
  • (2) pears – 0.84 lbs @ $0.87/lb = $0.73
  • (1) pack of Sargento sliced cheese @ $2.47 less $1.00 coupon = $1.47

Total = $11.24 for (10) items

At non-sale prices, these items would have retailed for $33.76.  By carefully selecting items on sale and using a coupon, I saved 67%.

 

How to Get Cheap Produce: Sprouts Shopping Trip for $11.32!

My local Sprouts always has great weekly deals on seasonal and organic produce.  Last night, I paired some deals with some ibotta and Checkout 51 rebates and got some awesome fruits and veggies for the upcoming week for my family of 3.

Here’s what I purchased:

  1. Brussel sprouts (13 count) – 0.35 lbs at $0.98/lb – $0.34 less $0.25 ibotta rebate = $0.09
  2. Cucumber (1 count) = $0.34
  3. Hass avocados (6 count) = $2.00
  4. Jonagold apples (2 count) – 1.20 lbs at $0.50/lb – $0.60 less $0.25 ibotta rebate = $0.35
  5. Organic baby carrots – 1 lb bag – $0.98 less $0.25 ibotta rebate = $0.73
  6. Organic broccoli – 1.39 lbs at $0.98/lb = $1.36
  7. Organic cauliflower – 2.09 lbs at $0.98/lb = $2.05
  8. Red bell peppers (1 count) – $1.25 less $0.25 Checkout 51 rebate and less $0.25 ibotta rebate = $0.75
  9. Red seedless grapes – 2.20 lbs at $0.98/lb = $2.16
  10. Sweet onion (1 count) – 0.85 lbs at $0.99/lb – $0.84 less $0.25 ibotta rebate = $0.59
  11. Bananas (4 count) – 1.63 lbs at $0.59/lb – $0.96 less $0.25 ibotta rebate = $0.71

Amount paid at the store $13.07 less $1.50 rebate from ibotta and $0.25 rebate from Checkout 51

= $11.32 Net Total for (11) types of produce

Who says it’s expensive to eat healthy?!?!

Pro Tips

#1:  If you take into the consideration the 3% cash back I earn from my credit card on grocery purchases (in this case $0.39) my net spend was only $10.93.  I always try to use the appropriate card for specific types of purchases to maximize cash back rewards and I highly recommend everyone else try it, too!

#2:  After snapping pics of your receipt for rebates, don’t be so quick to toss it out.  Review your receipt to see if there are any offers or contests you might want to take advantage of.  In this case, my Sprouts receipt had 3 offers I was interested in:  a challenge to win groceries for a year, a survey for a chance to win $250 in Sprouts gift cards, and a chance to sign up to receive their emails with coupons.

Disclosure: The links to ibotta in this post are referral links.  If you use my links, you’ll get $10 and I’ll get $5!  Win, win!

How I Made ANOTHER $300 in 2 Easy Steps!

I recently posted about how I made a quick $300 from opening a new Chase Total Checking account.  Well, I have some more good news.  Since the account opening bonuses are by social security number and not by household, our family was able to bring in ANOTHER $300 for opening a Chase account for my husband.

Step 1 – My family went to a Chase branch and opened a Premier Plus Checking account for my husband.

Step 2 – We set up a portion of our direct deposit to go to our my husband’s new Chase account.

We received a second high value $300 bonus coupon in the mail and I was curious if we could use it again so I checked with my local branch and they confirmed we could use it for my husband.  (If you don’t get the high value coupon in the mail, this online coupon and this one works well, too.)  And since he is prior military (Army), Chase offers him a FREE Chase Premier Plus Checking account which has some cool perks that my Total Checking account doesn’t have!

As with any deal, it’s important to understand all the requirements.  Make sure you read the fine print from Chase, but here is a summary for quick reference:  

  • To qualify for his checking bonus, 1) my husband deposited at least $25 in the account when he opened it and 2) we set up our direct deposit immediately to meet the requirement of the first direct deposit posting within 60 days of opening the account.
  • My husband qualifies for a FREE Chase Premier Plus Checking due to being prior military, but otherwise he would have to 1) keep an average daily balance of $15,000 or more in any combination of qualifying Chase checking, savings and other balances; OR, 2) have automatic payments to a qualifying linked Chase mortgage from a Chase account. Payments set up through Online Bill Pay do not qualify. Mortgages must be in good standing and be first mortgages with servicing retained by Chase. Otherwise a $25 Monthly Service Fee will apply.
  • He’ll also need to keep the account open for at least 6 months, but that will be easy because we are going to use this account as a sort of digital envelope system where our direct deposit goes in every two weeks and set up our mortgage payment to auto deduct each month.
  • According to Chase, it could take up to 10 business days for the bonus to post to his account.

And, easy as that, my family is $300 richer and we have a better system in place to make sure we have enough to cover our mortgage payment on time.

How I Made an Easy $300 in 2 Steps

If you’re like me, figuring out how to bring in extra funds is something you think about often.  Sometimes I’ll lay in bed at night perusing Pinterest to get some inspiration.  But there are so many posts with ideas about side hustles and freebies.  All the options can be overwhelming and it can be hard to even know where to start.  I decided to cut through the noise by focusing on one of the highest dollar payout ideas requiring the least amount of work on my part.  I decided taking advantage of a bank account opening bonus was the best place for me to focus my energy.  And it was over and done with just 2 easy steps:

Step 1 – I went to a Chase branch and opened a Total Checking account.

Step 2 – I set up a portion of my direct deposit to go to my new Chase account.

Although you can get an online coupon from Chase here, I received a higher value coupon in the mail from Chase offering me a $300 bonus if I opened a Total Checking account with them.  The coupon also offered an additional $200 bonus if you open a Chase Savings account with a $15,000 balance for 90 days, but since I don’t have that kind of money laying around, I just did the checking option.  If you don’t receive the higher value coupon in the mail, the online version is a great deal, too!

As with any deal, it’s important to understand all the requirements.  Make sure you read the fine print from Chase, but here is a summary for quick reference:

  • To qualify for my checking bonus, I deposited $25 in the account when I opened it and I set up my direct deposit with my employer immediately to meet the requirement of the first direct deposit posting within 60 days of opening the account.
  • To qualify for no monthly service fees on my Chase Total Checking I’m making sure my monthly direct deposits are at least $500 a month, which to me is the easiest option.  The other options are to keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or more in your checking account or keep an average daily balance of $5,000 or more in any combination of qualifying Chase checking, savings and other balances.
  • I’ll also need to keep the account open for at least 6 months, but that will be easy because I’m going to use this account as a sort of digital envelope system where my direct deposit goes in every two weeks and I set up our 2 car payments to auto deduct each month.
  • According to Chase, it could take up to 10 business days for the bonus to hit, but once the first direct deposit hit my account, it only took Chase 4 days to deposit my $300.

And, easy as that, I’m $300 richer and I have a better system in place to make sure I have enough to cover our car payments on time.