The article I wrote was on a gal who was recently featured on TLC's Extreme Couponing show. She's actually from Elk Grove, a suburb located south of Sacramento, so I was able to meet with her for a quick shopping trip a few weeks ago. We decided to go to a Bel-Air in Elk Grove, which worked out perfectly because I'd already planned to do my next $25 Shopping Cart at one of their stores. I figured I'd wait to see what I could learn from my shopper before I went shopping myself, and that was the right choice to make.
- 1 4.3 lb flat of chicken thighs (on sale at $0.99/lb) - $4.23
- 1 large acorn squash (on sale at $0.69/lb) - $1.10
- 4 bananas -
$1.25$0.25 ($1 off with manufacturer's coupon from Dole)
- 1 head of butter lettuce - $1.49
- 4 French Butter pears (on sale at $0.99/lb) - $1.30
- 1 16 oz. package of thick cut bacon - $3.99 (with special weekend store coupon)
- 1 8 oz block medium cheddar cheese - $2.50
- 1 dozen large eggs -
$1.98$0.00 (free with special weekend coupon, after spending $20)
- 1 16 oz. bag frozen sweet yellow corn - $1.50 (on sale @ 2/$3)
- 1 16 oz. bag frozen peas & carrots - $1.50 (see above)
- 1 lb sweet cream butter - $3.38
- 0.37 lb Israeli/Pearl couscous - $1.11
- 0.71 lb orzo - $2.48
Grand total, including store coupons & manufacturer coupons: $24.78!
As nice as my little cart of groceries ended up being, I have to admit this was the most nerve-wracking $25 Shopping Cart experience ever. Even Whole Foods didn't cause such panic! I was seriously stumped at one point, because I couldn't find anything that I wanted that I felt was reasonably priced, and the things that were somewhat reasonable were things I don't normally use.
Still, I persevered; Poor Girl would not be stumped! I just had to wind slowly through every aisle to scan prices & selection before committing to certain items. Kind of like what I do when I'm at the farmer's market - I do my rounds, then I buy from the stands with the best selection at the lowest prices. I made good use of their group of store brand items at low everyday prices called "Raley's Dailies", found the best items in their bulk section, and, of course, I used some coupons.
So what can I make with my loot?
- Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Bacon & Cheese Frittata
- Chicken & Orzo Soup
- Pear Salad
- And plenty of other soup, salad and sandwich recipes when I add the fruits of this harvest to the bare bones staples I already had at home.
That's it for this edition of The $25 Shopping Cart! Any ideas for the next trip? If you're local to Sacramento and know of a store I haven't tried (check out the full list here), then leave a comment below and I'll add it to my list. New recipes coming later this weekend, so stay tuned! :)