Stephanie Nelson | 

How I Scored a Week's Worth of Groceries for My Family of Four for $61.69

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The average American family of four spends about $295 a week on groceries. Maybe you don’t spend that much, but if you want to trim it down by 75-80% like I did, you need to plan your meals around coupons and store sales.

Also, comb through your pantry and refrigerator to use up what you have on hand so you’re only buying what you need every week. This list reflects that I didn’t need to buy a lot of things like rice, ground beef, cooking oils, condiments, coffee, laundry detergent and more on this particular week. But, when I follow the strategy I used here, I’ll come in around this same amount during weeks I buy those items as well.

To get started, download the KCL app and pay close attention to stock-up prices. Also check out our beginning couponing page.

Here’s what my week looked like!


1. I spent $10.47 on produce, dairy and eggs.

3 lb. bag oranges ($2.58): Ibotta rebates are my go-to for saving on produce. You can usually redeem them up to five times per receipt, so your only problem will be if you can eat it all before it expires. I used a high-value $1.00/1 3-lb. bag of Cara Cara oranges (reg. $3.58). Any offer over $0.50/1 is considered high value when it comes to produce! Look for offers on pears, apples and more.

Learn more about Ibotta rebates.

7 Bananas (FREE): A few times a year, you can find an offer for $1.50 cash back on bananas at Walmart inside the app. Bananas are $0.52/lb. at my Walmart, so I can usually get about seven free bananas.

TIP: Look into a produce co-op like Bountiful Baskets if you need more produce. For $18-$20, you’ll receive six fruit items and six vegetable items (one “item” could be anything from a bunch of bananas to a cantaloupe to a bag of potatoes). This comes out to about $1.60 per item. It’s not unusual for produce to retail around $40.00 for everything included.

5 containers yogurt ($0.60): I got five Dannon Oikos Greek yogurts for $0.60 total. These are usually $0.87 each at Walmart. I stacked five printable $0.50/1 coupons for Dannon, along with a $0.25/1 Ibotta offer that I could redeem five times per receipt. If I wanted to double this amount and get 10 yogurts, I’d print coupons from my husband’s mobile number and redeem Ibotta offers on his phone as well.

See all yogurt coupons and deals.

2 packages shredded cheese ($3.00): I got two 8-oz. bags of shredded cheese when I stacked a manufacturer coupon for $1.00/2 Sargento shredded cheese with a BOGO Free sale at Kroger. They are normally $3.99 each!

See all the Kroger deals.

2 dozen eggs ($2.30): I bought two dozen Great Value eggs from Walmart and saved 57% just by opting for the generic brand. I use this strategy when I don’t have a coupon to stack with a sale.

  • Eggland’s Best Large AA eggs, 12-ct.: $2.67
  • Great Value Large AA eggs, 12-ct.: $1.15

1 gallon milk ($1.99): I lucked out because this week at CVS I stacked two Ibotta offers with a sale on milk. Look for milk brand offers like “$0.75/1 DairyPure milk” that you can use with an any-brand offer like “$0.25 off any brand of milk.” In this case I used both of those with a sale price of $2.99 (reg. $3.79). If you can’t find a perfect storm like this, generic is often the best option.

See all the CVS deals.


2. I spent $14.72 buying chicken breasts and pork roast.

5 lb. pork roast ($9.73): Anytime I can get meat for under $2.00/lb., I’m happy. I decided to go with pork this week — it was a clearance price at my local Kroger (reg. $12.50).

3 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts ($4.99): I picked up a bag of frozen chicken breasts at Kroger when they were on sale (reg. $6.99/3 lb. bag). If I didn’t have any options for saving on chicken, I’d grab generic frozen chicken breasts at Walmart for $2.05/lb. — only a couple pennies more than a stock-up price.


RELATED: What Is a Stock-Up Price?


3. I spent $11.73 on cereal, oatmeal, pasta, pasta sauce and frozen pizza.

2 boxes cereal ($2.00): A few months ago there was a stock-up deal on cereal at Walgreens, and I bought enough for six months. It came out to $1 per box, and we go through two boxes per week. Stockpiling is really the way to save big money over time, because you’re only buying when items are at their all-time low price.

Learn how to build a stockpile for less than $10 a week.

1 box Quaker instant oatmeal ($1.00): Last fall during Kroger’s Mega Savings Event, I bought a three-month supply of instant oatmeal when it rang up at $1.00 per box, no coupons needed.

4 boxes pasta noodles ($3.00): Barilla pasta was on sale at Target, and I found a manufacturer coupon for $1.00/4. I bought four boxes at $0.75 each after the coupon (reg. $1.19 each).

1 jar pasta sauce ($0.75): Ragu was on sale for $1.50, and I had a newspaper (manufacturer) coupon for $0.75 off 1 jar Ragu.

2 frozen pizzas ($4.98): At Walgreens, Red Baron pizza was marked down to $2.99 (reg. $4.99). But I saw an Ibotta offer for $1.00/2. Handy for me since my family needs at least two. I got them for $2.49 each.

TIP: You can always grab newspapers at Dollar Tree for $1.00 each if you don’t want a subscription.



4. I spent $5.78 on bread and tortillas.

2 loaves bread ($2.00): Bread is always $1.00 at your dollar store. Look for higher-quality brands like Oroweat or Thomas’ and Nature’s Own. I grabbed two loaves for the week.

Learn about the 13 Items You Should Always Buy at Dollar Tree.

20-count flour tortillas ($3.78): I bought these at Walmart, and they’re really the only thing I paid full price for. Win some, lose some!


5. I spent $18.99 on toilet paper and toothpaste.

30 rolls Kirkland toilet paper ($18.99): I bit the bullet and stocked up on toilet paper this week at Costco. This purchase will last me for weeks to come, but it’s always a big chunk out of my week’s grocery budget! I’m OK though since it comes out to $0.01/sq. ft., which is a stock-up price.

Learn how to never pay full price for toilet paper.

1 toothpaste (FREE): Colgate Optic White was on sale for $3.50 at CVS (reg. $4.99). I stacked a $2.50/1 manufacturer coupon with a CVS store coupon for $1.00 off to get it for free. Look for CVS store coupons in the ExtraCare Coupon Center.


6. I spent $0 on peanut butter and Ritz crackers. (Yep — they were free!)

2 jars JIF peanut butter (FREE): I bought two jars of JIF when they were 2 for $5.00 at CVS (reg. $3.89 each). I paid with $5.00 in ExtraBucks that I’d earned couponing the week prior, making it free.

Learn about ExtraBucks and couponing at CVS.

2 boxes Ritz crackers (FREE): I had a $0.75/2 Nabisco cookies or crackers manufacturer coupon, so I used it on Ritz crackers that were on sale for $2.49 a box (reg. $3.79). Same thing as before — I paid with ExtraBucks I had from a previous deal.


UP NEXT: 20 Ways Couponing Has Changed in the Last 10 Years

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