Well Bust My Budget… NEVER!



1.a supply of material, as a pile of gravel in road maintenance.
2.a large supply of some metal, chemical, food, etc., gathered and held in reserve for use during a shortage or during a period of higher prices.
3.a quantity, as of munitions or weapons, accumulated for possible future use.

Today’s “stockpile” trip to the market.


The word “Stockpile” has taken a turn for the weird.

Our televisions are delivering shows into our daily diet, filled with people designing bunkers to fill with supplies for the end of days as we know them and seemingly crazy coupon folks sprinting through markets for T.P. Now when we hear the word stockpile, most of us picture dank basements busting at the seams with more food than any 3 mini marts put together. Please take a picture and grab some parting gifts at the crazy stand in the living room. Thanks for visiting, you may now remove your precautionary gas mask, the drill is over. Least that’s what I picture when I hear stockpile and I actively maintain one of my own! You can read more about my stockpiling here: http://justalittlenutty.com/stockpile-your-way-to-freedom/

I’ve found through my couponing adventures, to maximize my savings, I needed to pick up products and goods when they fell to the lowest price not purchase just because I had a little discount. By simply watching sale cycles and becoming familiar with the retail costs of the items we purchase most, I am able to make an educated guess at what/when I feel is the best price to purchase at. It also helps to have some wonderful blogs to look to for coupon match ups and a community of shoppers there that freely share all the wicked deals that you and I might have looked right past.

Southern Cali Saver  can’t help but LOVE and appreciate Josie @ Southern Cali Saver! She covers all the ground of the big blogs with many writers contributing and then some as a one woman stockpile of knowledge. Way to go girl!

Several times a year, like clockwork, excellent coupons are issued in our newspapers. Excellent coupons go out each week BUT the excellent I refer to is the FREE stuff. Free is for me… see I read minds too. 🙂

How do I know when to get the coupons and get my free stuff?

Simple. Have the Sunday paper(s) delivered to your door each week. Bing! You gots coupons. 😉 Now when to use them…. hmmmmm, that’s a personal call. I know from years of couponing that late Spring and early summer, coupons are issued for the products I want and I have to just wait for the sale to roll into town to grab all things BBQ free or super cheap. We have not paid for ketchup, mustard, marinates, many spices, mayo, salad dressings, BBQ sauces for many years, yet we always have WAY more than enough to share with others. Hello! Coupons people!

This time of year we start seeing fabulous deals on many outdoor or party cooking type of products. SWEET! When the ketchup goes on sale 10/$10 and I use my $1.00 off coupon… making it free to me. Thanks coupons! I use multiple coupons and pick up 10-12 containers of it. Who said HOARDER! I’m keeping an eye on you trouble maker. 😉 Now we have a jar to use per month and extra to bring to a potluck, help out a friend or donate. All our sauces, dressings and condiments go right into a box and tucked away on a shelf. By stockpiling bit by bit, our family frequently is able to go weeks between runs to the market. No kidding, our small stockpiling ways have allowed us to cut our monthly food/supply budget by MORE than half! If I already have enough for my family and it pops up again for free, I’ll pick up some for donation or call a few friends and dole out the coupons for them to take advantage. Never hurts to share!

Today I went to 2 stores with a list of 46 items to get and $30 in my pocket to spend on picking up those items to add to our stockpile to use over the next few months. Not a fill my fridge run but a very deliberate attempt to gather those sale items that usually are costly. Stockpile price= rock bottom. Albertsons, Here we go…

Stouffer’s Farmers Harvest meals for 1



I saw on Southern Cali Saver that there was a printable coupons for the Stouffer’s Farmers Harvest frozen meal for one. www.stouffers.com Using those coupons, I got each bag for .99. We have not tried them but trust the Stouffer’s name. Always looking for a healthy yummy frozen quick dinner option that we enjoy! 6 for just under $6.



http://www.dole.com/bananas/ Hello grip of Nanas I scored for .39 per pound! .69 cents spent on fresh fruit for my monkeys! I take my left over bananas, mash them up and freeze the mash in 1 cup baggies. That way when I want to make muffins, bread, pancakes, puddings… I’m ready to rock and already portioned! Sierra, from VC Frugal Living tossed her idea of chopping and freezing her extra nanas for the healthy smoothies she likes to make. I think I may have to hijack that idea and put it to use in my kitchen! Thanks for sharing Sierra!    

Oh my Holy! As I live and snarf down snacks! Behold my weakness- GRAPEVINES!


OK, here’s where my cart derailed… Grapevines! I preach AVOID THE IMPULSE BUY. Ahem, Meg? Yeah… pot kettle ya hippo. Around here when someone is treading in hypocrite waters, we kindly point it out by simply name calling… Look out Hippo coming through! Hippos are viscous critters, I don’t think I want to be one so here I am, your shining example of what not to do. 🙂  In my defense, they were on sale for $1 and I NEVER find them. Yeah yeah yeah, lip service. I NEEDED them, WANTED them and oh yes, enjoying them right now. I owe my budget a buck. I short changed our budget with this but not my taste buds so it’s a half win in my book. 🙂 Fat Free makes me feel better about consuming the whole thing in under 24 hours. Oh, you know you do it too. Someone told me about your eating ice cream in the shower habit… glass houses my peeps. 😉

Rice-A-Roni! Seriously can you say the name without feeling compelled to sing the whole jingle? Just me? Well, we knew I am just a little nutty already. 😉


I nabbed 6 boxes of Rice-A-Roni for .75 each.This was not the be all and end all lowest priced sale for this item. It was a good buy, NOT a great buy. I lean to Rice-A-Roni as a easy quick meal filler. It consistently performs the same way in my kitchen so I tend to use it worked into recipes. I happened to have a recipe that I wanted to give a run at so I picked up some boxes until I find a better deal.

Wanna BBQ? I’ll bring the McCormick Grill Mates!


 I picked up 10 McCormick Grill Mates seasoning spices… I paid .75 each for them. They retail in my local market for $3.67! My small investment will cover all the grilling out and in we do for the whole summer and then some. They are on sale this week 2 for $3.00, making them $1.50 each. I used 10, .75 off coupons from my newspapers bringing this deal home. Nabbing deals like this is how we can afford to host friends and family for dinners frequently. That meal that looks so pricey only cost us pennies on the dollar!

Oh Lawry’s, have I told you lately how much I love you? I’ve told everyone else here… a few times.


 No, I’m not secretly working for Lawry’s… I should but alas, I’m not. It’s just a brand that sets my heart a flutter and transforms the dishes I make. From marinates to spices, Lawry’s is been the keystone of my cooking. A foundation that I appreciate and pass on. Are you ready for this… hang on to your socks… all 12 of these Lawry’s marinates were FREE! What? Oh Yeah! On sale buy 2 get 1 FREE. Albertsons allows us to use a coupon on the free item as well SO I did. $4.49 retail price, on sale for $1.49 each. I used my $1 off coupon on each of the 12 bottles. Using the coupon on the free bottle took care of the remaining .49 owed on the other 2. Making every last one FREE! Thanks Albies! We’re stocked up on marinate for the next 6 months+ and all it cost was a bit of brain power! Pretty Spiffy!

A little salad and cucumber! We eat salad with nearly every dinner.


I usually don’t grab iceberg lettuce but the price was right and I’ve overloaded the kiddos on “weed” salad. Weed Salad= the mixture that looks like you just grabbed a hand full from the sidewalk crack, pulled and served on a plate… at least that how my small friends view a hearty spring mix. 🙂 $1.50 per bag and .99 for the cucumber. The cucumber price could have been better but I was desperate for some better veggies to toss in this less healthy salad.



$1.99 retail, on sale buy 2 get 1 Free. After sale each bottle is $1.00. Last Sunday we got a .55 cents off Sunkist or Sun Drop coupon in The Festival of Reading portion of The LA Times Newspaper. Using my .55 cents off coupons, like magic the final price drops to .45 cents each!

Yeah, I’ll have a few for that price, thanks. We try not to encourage soda drinking BUT I do like to keep plenty on hand for get togethers, Slurpee making and when water just isn’t doing it for you at the moment. Summer time is around the bend and that means tons of extra kiddos hanging out here. Soda can be a good thing in moderation. Anyone have a coupon for some Motrin? It gets loud here in the summer when our house is busting at the seams with kiddos having a blast… wouldn’t change it for the world. 🙂

Final Score:

Meg: 44 items going home @ 81% savings ($114.64 saved!)

The Store: $26.81 of my hard earned cash and the pleasure of my company. 🙂

(My Albies ladies are the VERY BEST! I look forward to visiting with them at checkout. They make shopping there a pleasure!)




The bottom line… the proof is in the receipt. Big savings can be found. Are you looking?


Still have a few dollars left to stockpile with… heading 2 miles up the road to hit another store. Jons Marketplace!

20 lbs of Potatos and 6 onions!


20 pounds of potatoes for $3.00! 6 onions for .68 cents!

A little wrinkled but we can still see!


http://www.jonsmarketplace.com/ Did you notice that I used NO coupons on my last transaction but still got a screaming deal? That deal is a product of taking 5 minutes to scan the ads when they arrive in my mailbox on Tuesday afternoons. I always make sure to look at the daily deals Jons Market runs. I find great produce there quite often for prices that amaze even me. Keep your eyes open and you’ll find great things too!

I know your all dying to know how I’m going to rid myself of 20 lbs of potatoes before they head south. 😉

You’ll be seeing potatoes in action soon! We have a large dinner party coming and a smaller dinner with some beautiful friends or maybe I should call them family because to us, they are. Plus, I do love to make and freeze knish to nibble on later. Every last spud will be given a new make over and will taste oh so good.

Some things for our stockpile and some fresh produce on the cheap.

Did I just solve world hunger? Nope. World peace? Negative. Was my shopping trip earth shattering breaking news? Not so much. I hope that you can understand a little bit better how to make your budget work FOR you. Where to find and how to seal your deal. Saving money really is easy but can seem intimidating when your first learning the ropes. Since I can’t shop with each and every one of you, I hope that some examples and some encouragement will help you along your couponing path. I was down right terrified the first few times I entered the stores with a plan in mind and coupons in hand. No big coupon monster is going to leap out and devour your cute little hiney, PROMISE! As you go, you’ll learn, get more comfortable with the process and then nothing can stop you, Super Shopper!

I was intimidated by the check out process. I didn’t want to be THAT lady holding everyone up or get there to find that something wasn’t valid or scanning right. I was scared. I found that a little nice goes a long way. I’ve had some snarky checkers but for the most part if you are kind and stay cool, anything can be worked out and usually it ends in my favor. I always keep the ad with me in case, like today, something wasn’t in the computer correctly. I pointed it out and it was immediately fixed with many apologies. I frequent many of the same stores so I have gotten to know many employees. These are the same people who I look forward to seeing and also look out for me when I’ve befuddled myself during check out. I find many of my favorite checkers are now joining the coupon bandwagon. They are seeing the savings coming through their line and want a piece of it too. Smart! Love new members of the Coupon Club! Inclusive, all you have to do to join is have a desire to save some money. No membership dues, lots of deals and meeting some new like minded friends is just the icing on the saving cake!

FYI… this Friday-Sunday with your in store coupon (found on the Albertsons ad) and manufacturer coupons issued last month(SS 3/11/12) in the newspaper, you too can score some FREE Ken’s salad dressings! Heads up FREE coming through!

See you at the market! I’ll be the one trying to practice what I preach and not go Hippo Style on my budget! 😉

FREE is a beautiful thing!

Keeping Coupons Classy,

Meg xoxo



Permanent link to this article: http://justalittlenutty.com/well-bust-my-budget-never/


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    • Sierra on April 19, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I’m officially your biggest fan 🙂 I can’t wait to see what you do with all those taters 🙂 Jons market is great! I still haven’t made my way over to Valley produce yet, but people keep telling me that I must check them out.

    p.s. Thanks for the shout out by the way 🙂

    • Meg on April 19, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Thank you my dear… back at ya! xoxo Valley Produce runs some great produce deals. When I’ve tried to nab sweet deals in the afternoon, it always seems to be gone. Shoot for early AM if you want choice pick.Their melon prices during the summer can not be beat! UGH… the smell from the meat counter is such a turn off for me. I’d shop there more if my nose wasn’t being abused the whole time. BEST place to find ethnic foods and imports! They have the only challah worth purchasing in this little valley of ours, IMO.

    • Sierra on April 19, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    haha… I’ve heard the same thing about the stick… lol

    • MCasey on April 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I just love your blog!! You make it so much fun to read. I love Jons, they have such great deals. I like Valley Produce as well but I swear their vegetables go bad much faster than the ones you buy at Jons. Also the smell isn’t as bad there as Valley Produce. I can’t wait to see what the new Vallarta has in store. 🙂 Anyways keep it up!! 😀 I’ll check back from time to time.

    • Meg on April 22, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks M! I’ve notice the same thing about Valley Produce and thought it was just my nutty. 🙂 I’ll pick up a free “green” veggie bag or two when I’m in Ralph’s or Pavillions to use for my Valley Produce… oh yeah pun intended. 🙂 I’ve been reading about Vallerta and can’t wait to see what they have! It’s people like you that make doing something I LOVE already such a pleasure. I thank you for your kind words, encouragement and taking the time to read. xoxo

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