Sakariasen's Cheapskate Blog

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My Cheapskate Trip to Pathmark December 11, 2010

Pathmark is the closest supermarket for me. There are one or two other stores but they are way more of a trip and one of them doesn’t even have good deals most of the time. My last trip to Pathmark was a pretty good one. Here are the details below!

 

Spent: $56.45

Two items bought for someone else: $15.33

Actual Amount Spent: $41.42

Saved: $70.10 ($59.85 in PAC Savings; $10.25 in MFR. Coupons.)

Actual Amount Saved: $69.00

 

WHAT I GOT:

2 Boxes of Rice Crispies

1 Box of Tetley Tea Bags

2 Cans of Pam Spray

6 cans of Healthy Harvest Soups

2 Jars of Jam (One was bought for someone else)

1 14 lb Jug of Cat Litter

1 Huge Bag of Cat Food (Bought for someone else)

2 Jars of Peanut Butter

2 Packs of Stella Doro Breadsticks

5 Boxes of Royal Pudding

2 Packages of Starkist Tuna

2 Packages of Polly-O Mozzarella

2 Packages of Breyers Ice Cream

2 Packages of Oscar Meyer Bacon

1 Box of Devil Dogs

1 Box of Taco Shells

1 Package of Heart-Healthy Thomas English Muffins

1 Bottle of Naturally Delicious Salad Dressing

 

Stay cheap my friends!

 

My Cheapskate Trip to Walgreens December 9, 2010

My last trip to Walgreens went something like this:
-I spent $25.97
-I received back $5.00 in Jingle Bucks
-I saved $57.41. Yes. I saved more than double of what I spent.

 

What I Bought:
-Two 56 oz jugs of Softsoap
-Two gallons of Edy’s Ice cream (So, really I spent less than $20 because this purchase was for someone else.)
-Two dozen eggs
-Two jars of peanut butter
-Three cans of salmon
-Two four pound bags of Domino sugar
-Twenty pack of Energizer batteries (AA)
-Eight pack of Energizer batteries (D)

 

How I Did This:
-The Softsoap was buy one get one free. It’s cheaper to buy big jugs of soap and refill your little soap bottles that you have at home. I wasn’t able to pick up a Walgreens coupon booklet until later so I could have saved another $0.50 but really, I won’t kick myself over that. It’s not worth it.
-The Edy’s was buy one get one free. I would never have paid the price that it was for ice cream but someone else I knew wanted it so I purchased it for them.
-The eggs were on sale for $0.99/dozen. I had a coupon for $0.55 off two dozen eggs.
-I got all of those batteries almost completely free. I had a $10.00 off coupon and a $5.00 off coupon Energizer batteries that the company sent to me directly after writing them a nice letter. This was completely awesome. I saved $15.00 on batteries!
-I had a coupon for $1.00/can of salmon.
-The jars of peanut butter were on sale—2 for $3.00
-I had two coupons for Domino Sugar. One for $3.00 off any Domino product, so I ended up getting one bag for free, and $0.40 off any bag of Domino sugar.

 

Hopefully there is something great I can buy next week from Walgreens with my Jingle Bucks. Perhaps some Christmas stocking stuffers—like candy!

 

Stay cheap my friends!

 

Six Things to Never Pay More Than a Dollar For December 6, 2010

There are some things that I absolutely refuse to pay more than $1 for and you may wonder why. I have two primary reasons: (1) they go on sale regularly and (2) they are stockpile items. What does the latter mean? This means that I can buy many of these items at one time and they will last for awhile. As you see, these two rules aren’t applicable to everything on this list but they are applicable for most things. Here are six things I never pay more than $1.00 for—with one exception. πŸ™‚

 

Eggs – I will not pay more than $1 for eggs. Eggs go on sale regularly and will last for 1-2 months after you purchase them. Today I bought Grade A Large Eggs at Walgreens that were $1 per dozen. I bought two dozen because I had a coupon for $0.55 off two dozen eggs. Now that coupon is a rare find but finding eggs for a dollar isn’t. If I was absolutely desperate for eggs, you might find me willing to spend $1.50 but I have only had to do that once in the past six months. This was the one exception I mentioned above but it is also the one thing I can’t really stockpile.

 

Pasta – Boxes of pasta regularly go on sale for $1 or less. If you are slightly more health conscious, I often find whole grain Barilla pasta on sale. If you’re not particular, you can easily find them for $0.88/box. And when you do, STOCK UP. You do not even need to cook half a box of pasta for one person and pasta will last forever. (<—Understood hyperbole inserted here.)

 

Pasta Sauce – Again, pasta sauces regularly go on sale for $0.88-$1.00. You can buy the canned stuff but I prefer the jars. I have found some sauces to be more watered down than others but overall, I find that I can get brands that I love on sale. I always stockpile my sauce alongside my pasta.

 

Canned Tuna – Tuna is on sale more often than any of the abovementioned items. Tuna is regularly on sale for $0.69-$0.99/can depending on the brand and type. Light tuna is usually cheaper than regular tuna but sometimes not by much. For a healthier option, stick to the water, even though we all know it tastes better in oil.

 

English Muffins – More than ever I have seen English Muffins on sale—a 6-pack for $1.00. Thus, I often find myself buying 12-packs for $1.99. Recently I received coupons from Thomas so I was able to get a 12-pack for $1.00. What do I do? I freeze them! You can easily defrost them when you’re ready to eat them but just keep an eye on them—if they’re in the freezer for too long, they may start to shrink. Otherwise, I don’t have a problem with freezing them.

 

Canned Vegetables – Let me make this clear: I will never buy vegetables if I cannot get TWO cans for $1.00. For the most part, I stick to corn but if your palate isn’t as particular as mine, you can probably stretch that even further. These are very quick and easy sides for so many meals and they are an absolute staple.

 

Stay cheap my friends!

 

Three Ways to Cut Your Breakfast Costs: Part Three November 3, 2010

NUMBER THREE: STOP EATING OUT

Sigh. This one really pains me. Making my own coffee and buying cereal only when it’s on sale is easy. But I love eating at diners. Love them. I love waking up right before the breakfast special is about to end so I can get the best deal possible. The problem with resisting eating out for breakfast is multifold: (1) It’s awesome not having to cook your own breakfast (2) It’s so cheap when you really look at it for the amount of food you’re getting (3) It’s delicious. But when you actually look at how much breakfast items will cost you, you can see that you will save money. Here are some things to consider when you’re buying items for your breakfast needs.

  • Eggs: If you’re not particularly picky about what you eat (read: you don’t need to eat organic eggs), purchasing eggs is a great way to save money. I regularly purchase a dozen eggs for a dollar. If you eat two eggs a day, that’s less than .17 cents/day on your eggs. If you don’t have time to cook in the morning but want eggs on the run, hard boil them! Eggs are great because they will last in your refrigerator for awhile and they’re so fast and easy to cook/prepare regardless of what you’re making with them.
  • Toast: Bread is always on sale and I will never pay more than $2.00 for a loaf of bread. We only buy whole wheat or multi-grain breads nowadays. Keep your eye out for deals: we were able to purchase three loaves of healthy bread for $3.00 from an Entenmann’s outlet. We store the extra loaves in the fridge to keep them fresher for a longer period of time. Keep your bread in mind if you want to change things up for french toast.
  • English Muffins: We buy English Muffins when they are on sale for $1.00. Sometimes it’s just easier to toss in an English Muffin—plus, face the facts, they taste good. We store additional packages in the freezer.
  • Pancakes/Waffles: We tend to buy the mixes when they are on sale and these mixes last for a long time. You really need to think about which is cheapest for you. If you buy water-only mixes, you might save money not needing other ingredients like oil and eggs. Again, buy syrup for these items when it is on sale. It goes on sale regularly. Know your prices to know what a good deal is!
  • Potatoes: I actually never make potatoes for breakfast and only eat them when I go out to eat. If you love your home fries, I would suggest making them when potatoes are on sale. For example, if you know that you will be making potatoes for dinner, save some for breakfast at a later date.
  • Bacon/Sausage: We only buy bacon and sausage when it is on sale. (Sausage is easy to freeze if you want to stock up.) Bacon needs to be less than $3.00/package and sausage needs to be even cheaper. We also don’t make tremendous amounts so that we get to enjoy it for a longer period of time. Generally, we only make 2-3 slices for each of us when we’re making bacon. If you can tolerate turkey bacon, which I cannot, this is generally cheaper than :ahem: real bacon.
  • Cereal: Read my previous entry regarding cereal. πŸ™‚
  • Coffee/Tea: Read back two entries regarding coffee. But the same applies for tea if you’re a tea drinker. Only buy tea when it is on sale and if you can’t afford specialty teas, you’ll have to give them up for awhile if you’re trying to save money.

 

If you really want to go out for breakfast, I would suggest making sure you have the money ahead of time and saving it for a special occasion like a birthday. (I mean, who wants to cook on his or her own birthday? I don’t ever want to cook so I definitely do not want to cook on my birthday.)

 

The only thing I would hope someone could chime in about would be oatmeal. I don’t eat oatmeal because I don’t like it so I generally don’t know about pricing regarding oatmeal. Eat on, friends.

 

Three Ways To Cut Your Breakfast Costs: Part Two November 1, 2010

NUMBER TWO: DO NOT BUY CEREAL UNLESS IT IS ON SALE


Cereal is great. I love cereal. I could go on and on about how much I love it and how much I enjoy eating it. Cereal is a quick, great meal for a number of reasons. For one, there are so many different kinds that if you get sick of one, you can easily purchase something else instead. Secondly, it’s a very quick meal that requires no preparation and it is good if you need to eat something fast before you’re on your way. Thirdly, it is often on sale and this is something you can take advantage of regularly.

 

However, you need to take a few things into consideration. If you are looking for particular kinds of cereal, more expensive kinds that never go on sale, you’re going to have a difficult time partaking in this. The other thing you need to consider is the type of milk you drink. I drink whole milk, essentially whatever I can get on sale. (Read: CHEAPEST.) If you drink different kinds of milk, such as soy milk or more expensive brands, this will also not necessarily be incredibly cheap for you. However, when you consider the costs of meals, you can really work out how much itΒ  costs you per meal once you understand how much your food costs.

 

Rule One: Never buy cereal unless it is on sale! Period. Before you shop, look through the circulars of your local stores. Don’t limit yourself to the grocery stores either. I have noticed that many drug stores, such as Rite Aid, often have cereal sales. Read the print carefully and make sure you’re eligible for the deal. Sometimes stores say you will get the sale “after additional $30 purchase” or make you buy a certain number of boxes.

 

Rule Two: Check regularly for coupons, whether it be your Sunday newspaper or other newspaper that contains them. (Our local paper often has coupon inserts.) Companies that make cereals, such as General Mills, provide coupons regularly for their products. Keep on the look out for Catalina Coupons, those coupons the registers print for you after purchase. I have gotten tons of coupons for cereals from these coupons in particular. Also, check websites, such as BettyCrocker.com or SmartSource.com for your coupon needs.

 

Rule Three: Buy in bulk! I live in small apartment so I know that many people cannot buy in bulk. However, I do have some cabinet space to store cereal boxes. I highly recommend you buy in bulk when you can when you see the best prices available. For example, if you see a great deal on Cheerios and eat Cheerios all of the time, buy as many as you can. Cereals last for a long time and if you eat cereal regularly, it will pay off in the long-run.

 

Try to keep these things in mind:

  • Store brand does not always equate to being cheaper. When “big name” cereals are on sale, they’re often cheaper than the store brand.
  • Get a general sense of what a “good deal” actually is. If you know that you can get particular cereals for $1.50 per box, you would know that the same cereal on sale for $2.50 is not much of a deal at all.
  • Buying on sale does not have to mean you’re buying junk. You can easily buy healthier cereals that are on sale if you want to. Also, if you’re looking for gluten free, we have also been able to purchase various types of Chex regularly.