Steak on a budget?

Last night, I was in the meat section at the grocery store when a woman caught my attention. She was walking back and forth shaking her head, and finally she said, “I can’t believe these prices! How are we supposed to ever eat meat with prices like this and afford anything else?” It caught me off guard.

So, the question is….is it possible to buy steak on a budget? The answer is yes (with careful planning, of course).

Here’s how I did it last night:
LOOK FOR THE YELLOW TAGS! (this means markdowns at my store at least) I found a package that was marked down to $9. I had a Kroger store coupon for 20% off any Private Selection Angus beef. I also had a wine tag for $3 off any beef purchase (if you’re not familiar with wine tags, they are apparently coupons that are around the top of a wine bottle – I’m not a wine drinker, and I have never seen any in my stores, but I trade for them on various coupon trading sites…I always trade for the ones where no wine/beer purchase is needed!) So, I paid $4.20 for a package of 3 steaks. They are not huge, but they are decent sized, the cut of meat is actually good, and my husband will be happy.

People often ask me if it’s worth it to clip coupons and can you really get “real” food using coupons. It takes a little time and some planning, but I think it’s worth it when I look at our savings (last night it was 71%)

Here’s what I got for $23.50 last night (my total before coupons was $84.72): (I’ll let you decide if it’s worth it)

gallon of skim milk, 1.5 pounds yellow squash, two packages of Tyson chicken breast, hot dog buns, Cottonelle toilet paper, 3 pounds bananas, paprika, 3 pkgs Totino’s pizza rolls (my kids love these, so I let them have them every now and then), Kraft salad dressing, beef stew meat, Pillsbury crescent dinner rolls, Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, 1.5 pounds zucchini, steak, 6 packages Kool Aid, 4 apples, 2 packages wheat thins, 3 bottles of Hormel real bacon pieces (I use these in recipes that call for crumbled bacon), 3 containers of Daisy sour cream, 1 bag of grapes (2 lbs), 1 Pillsbury pizza crust, 3 cans 98% FF cream of mushroom soup, 3 cans 98% FF cream of chicken soup, 1 bag of rice, 1 bag of pinto beans

Here are the coupons I used:
$6 off any $60 grocery purchase (got this in the mail from Kroger)
2 $1/1 Tyson chcken (they chicken was BOGO free)
.25/1 Kroger hot dog buns (from a mailer)
.25/1 Cottonelle toilet paper (tripled)
.35/1 Totino’s pizza rolls (tripled)
Free Kraft salad dressing WYB 3 Kraft products (that’s where the Kool Aid comes in)
$1.50 off a $7 beef purchase (Kroger coupon from the mail)
.25/1 Pillsbury crescent rolls (tripled)
.30/1 Pillsbury sweet rolls (tripled)
20% off Angus Private Selection beef (from a Kroger mailer)
2 $3 off any beef purchase (NWBPN) wine tags
$1 off any $4 fresh fruit purchase (Kroger mailer)
3 – .35/1 Hormel coupons (tripled)
3 – .35/1 Daisy sour cream coupons (tripled)
.30/1 Pillsbury pizza crust (tripled)

If you’re wondering if you can eat “real” meals on a budget, I think so. Here’s our dinner menu for the week:

Sunday – chicken rice casserole
Monday – crock pot pork chops
Tuesday – taco pie
Wednesday – chicken stroganoff
Thursday – french dip sandwiches
Friday – baked ziti
Saturday – steak (it was supposed to be lemon chicken puff, but I switched it now that we have steak!)

Kroger deals, week of 8/13-8/19

Here are a few Kroger deals that I spotted this week: (you can view the full ad at

They have a promotion going where you get an instant $5 off when you spend $20 on selected products (marked with a yellow tag). Some of the ones listed include:

Gerber 3rd foods – 3/$2 (plenty of coupons if you sign up on their website –
Gerber 2nd foods – 2 pack ($1)
Gerber 2nd foods – 2/$1

Juicy Juice – $2.44, get printable coupons here:

Purina Beggin strips – 2/$5 (coupons for $1 off in last week’s inserts)

Ozarka Spring water – $4 (there are coupons from the 5/18 Red Plum insert that expire on 8/31)

Hot pockets – $2

Lean Cuisine frozen entrees – $2.20 (printable coupons here:

BOGO free:
Oscar Mayer hot dogs (use your All You FREE WYB and you will get another package for free also!)

Other deals:

Little Debbie snacks – 10/$10 (there is a .25/1 coupon that expires on 8/31…it will triple in TX)

Crest – 10/$10 (there is a $1/2 coupon from the P&G insert this month)

Hunts Snack Pack pudding – 10/$10 – use .30/2 coupon from recent inserts (it will triple in TX!)

Rice Krispie treats and Quaker granola bars – 2/$4 (there are $1/2 coupons for each of these)

Pillsbury crescent and cinnamon rolls – 10/$10 (there are printable coupons here: and on and there have been coupons in the inserts recently, too – free or almost free rolls!)

Huggies rebates

After you’ve gotten the hang of bargain hunting and using coupons, you will soon learn how to MAKE money buying diapers 🙂

There is a company called The Caregivers Marketplace which gives $1 back for every package of Huggies diapers/Pull Ups. You do have to send in your original receipts and you have to have purchase at least 5 before you can send in for the rebate. There are lots of other products including Nature Made vitamins and Cottonelle moist wipes.

You can find out the details and register here:

If you’re doing the Huggies deal at CVS this week, don’t forget to save your receipts!

More Walmart deals

I’ve said before that I’m not a Walmart fan, but I know that there are some of you who are limited on grocery store options or who like Walmart, so I thought I’d share this link. She has matched up everyday prices of items at Walmart with coupons and lists a number of things (pet, grocery, health & beauty, pets, etc.) that are free or very cheap.

Here’s the link:

*Keep in mind that prices vary from one area to the next. I know that some of these items are more expensive in my area.

Looking ahead – CVS week of 8/24

DISCLAIMER: When I post these “look ahead” posts, it’s so that you can start planning and get coupons to match up if they are available. I only post them after I have seen ad scans on other sites, but sometimes the ads vary from market to market, so these may not be the exact ads that you get in your area. You can see the ad scans and full link on Hot Coupon World:

This actually looks like a pretty good week, which is a relief because the week of 8/17 is a SLOW week. There are tons of ECB deals. These are just the ones that stood out to me:

*Pepsi products, 4/$12, get $3 ECB back

*Buy Schick Intuition plus razor blades, get $5 (priced at $9.99)

*Tampax Pearl, 2/$8, get $2 ECB

*Carefree/Stayfree/OB, 2/$9, get $5 ECB (there are coupons for these)

*Playtex, $4.99, get $3 ECB (there are $1 off coupons for these)

*Kotex Light Days, $1.49, get $1.49 (Free after ECBs)

(apparently it’s women’s hygiene week at CVS)

*Zipfizz, $5.99, get $5.99 (Free after ECBs)

*Spend $15 on the following, get $5 ECBs (Centrum Kids – $7, Centrum Cardio or Caltrate – $9, Centrum – $11, Dimetapp – $7, Advil Cold & Sinus – $10, Advil – $10) – there have been LOTS of coupons for all of these

*Buy 2 CVS hand sanitizers, get $1 ECB (I don’t know the prices on these, but the pen looking ones are AWESOME!)

*Propel, Sobe, or Gatorade – 5/$5, get $2 ECB (not bad if you have the Sobe coupons)

*Buy $10 of Hershey’s candy, get a free candy dish

LOTS of BOGO deals (remember you can use two coupons if you have them!):

*Ajax dish detergent

*Colgate toothpaste/toothbrushes (couldn’t make out specific types)

*CVS batteries

*Kellogg’s cereals (couldn’t make out specifics, but Special K and Raisin Bran are pictured)

*Lays chips

*Revlon cosmetics

*Thomas English muffins