Welcome to Southern Savers, where finding deals and steals is simple and rewarding!

See I told you, this would help!

Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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Happy New Years Eve!

This year has flown by, and I think every year gets faster.  We had a great year for savings and ended 10 dollars less than last year on total out of pocket!  (I’m all about making it a competition even if it wasn’t planned).

First this weeks shopping:

We ran out Thursday night to use up some expiring coupons and to pass out a ton of free coupons that I just didn’t have freezer space to use myself.

Publix:
Total before sales and coupons: $112.05
Total Spent: $54.90
Total Saved: $57.15 or 51%

(You guys always beg to see the coupons I used… now that we can remove coupons from the shopping list here is my actual shopping list.  The quantities I hand write on there but you can at least see the deals)

Kroger:
Total before sales and coupons: $72.18
Total Spent: $19.45
Total Saved: $52.73 or 73%

This was all P&G deals and I’ve already submitted the receipt to get a coupon booklet sent to my mom.  Hopefully she’ll share it with me!  See the actual shopping list.  I bought pretty much one of everything except the deodorant.

Year End Totals:

Just for comparison sake, here’s last year:

2009 Year End Totals
Before Sales: $6991.06
Spent: $2281.22 ($43.86 weekly average)
Saved: $4709.84 or 67.3%

and drum roll please…

2010 Year End Totals
Before Sales: $7893.81
Spent: $2272.47 ($43.71 weekly average)
Saved: $5621.34 or 71%

I have big plans for 2011, first we are going to stick on the same budget but take a strong healthy spin with our shopping.  I also plan to have you guys hold me accountable with a weekly plan of weight watcher friendly meals based on deals (you can skip that post if you don’t care).  My youngest is helping me out with being able to keep the same budget… she just finished potty training!  For the first year in almost 6 years I don’t plan to buy any diapers (unless they are free like this crazy week in September at Rite Aid).

How did you do this week or this year? Leave a link to your savings or leave a comment!

    • Not sure if my link is ever going to show up-if it does sorry I did it twice!
      Vickie
      Getting the Grocery Bill Low

      http://www.gettingthegrocerybilllow.com/2010/12/walmart-shopping-trip-12-31.html

    • breese

      Do you have a spreadsheet that you use to track spending and savings? If so, would you please share? Thanks!

    • Newboldjanelle

      woo hooo. Cant wait to that menu too!

    • couponstrategy

      I'm getting back in weight watchers mode too! I'll be glad to hear any tips, meal plans, and recipes any time! Thanks so much for all you have saved me this year!

    • Lawpirate

      Glad to hear everyone is out of diapers at your house. I know with twins, it was a double blessing to be done with that!!! Diaper coupons and sales STILL catch my eye and my twins been out of diapers for 3 years!

    • Ortegacrew

      I would be interested in the spreadsheet too!

    • A friend from college told me about your website around June, and though I did a little bit of couponing, your website helped me maximize my savings. Thanks so much. Happy New Year!

    • Mogatoret

      Thank you for all you do! You did a seminar in Summerville, SC back in 2009. My mother-in-law attended and shared information with me. In Oct 2009, I was able to attend a seminar and that is when the light bulb moment happened!

      I included all meals eating out when I figured in our budget and savings. We saved $8,600.00 for 2010 compared to 2009! Too excited for my first year, plus I am in charge of the coupon ministry at our church! I get to meet new people and share hope with them also!

      With learning the ropes about couponing, I found out about Swagbucks! For me they go hand in hand! LOL! I made around $350 in Amazon cash! This was the first year I had Christmas purchased, wrapped, and all before the first week of December! Was able to find wii games like wii music for $7, back in September! The deals just were amazing on Amazon!

      Have a blessed New Year!

    • Mzlinzy

      Went to the session you dd in Pelham, ALabama in September. I was already couponing some. About a month later, once my orgainzation was done, I meticulously made my list, got my coupons together, and headed to Publix….I saved over $140 that trip. Made my husband sit up and take notice! My 16 yr old son's epiphany occurred at Walgreen's either that week or the week later. $86 worth of stuff for $7.95!

    • Staasee

      Happy New Year and THANK YOU for everything you do! You are amazing! I would love to attend the seminar if/when it is near me in Atlanta GA. My FAV deal this week was Old Spice Deod. Sale, with my “BOGO Body Wash Free” coupons I paid .07cent for 4 deod. and 4 body wash. AWESOME! I look forward to big savings in 2011. Have a blessed and safe evening everyone!

    • Barnes_kentucky

      Thank you for all you do to make the world of couponing a lot easier for the rest of us. I can't tell you what it has meant to me and my family. As a stay at home mom of two, a fellow WW, and one who makes ends meat on a very limited budget I have found so much support on your site. I tell EVERYONE about it…them tell them not to buy so many things I can't get my deals!

    • Hi Jenny,
      I have so enjoyed your blog. Have a Happy New Year.
      Elizabeth

    • Ckworkman

      The Weight Watchers meals are a great idea!!

    • grandmak

      Jenny, thanks so much for all you do! A friend told me about Southern Savers in June and I can't believe the money I've saved. Can't wait to see how much I can save in 2011!

    • firstbrownie

      My mom told me about your site last January and I've been going strong since then!!!
      Quick question for anyone to answer: Jenny's total for this year…is that just grocery spending? (not drugstores, etc.) Just curious! Thank you!

    • Droopyd99

      Jenny, my sister in law turned us on in March, we have been doing it ever since saving at least 50% every week! Thank U jenny!!!

    • Here are my year end totals: Total value of my purchases-$15,800, Total savings-$13,044, Total $ spent OOP-$2,756 for an 83% overall savings for 2010!

      Publix, CVS, Wags, Winn Dixie, Albertson's and an occasional Walmart trip.

      I donated well over $3,00 of stuff to several different charities and helped out a family across the street throughout the year. LOVE COUPONING!! Thanks Jenny!!!

    • There are 2 Excel spreadsheets available for download at thecouponproject(dot)com and at mommysnacks(dot)net. both easy to use, just set up slightly different.

      • Natalie

        Thanks DeeDee! This is exactly why I clicked on this post. thecouponproject(dot)com has a Google docs spreadsheet that I just set up. Now my hubby and I can both view and edit it from anywhere. Yeah! I'm excited to start tracking.

    • Thesmithsofop

      Where did you submit your P&G receipts to?

    • Savergirl

      Jenny – Happy New Year! You've helped make 2010 a blessed year, showing me how to save my family money. I look forward to your healthy menus in 2011. I'm focusing on providing my family with healthier meals/snacks also.

    • Jenny's Mom

      Mom will be glad to share the P&G booklet with you! Happy New Years!

    • Kbuck2003

      I like the Weight Watchers menu idea!

    • Diane

      I live in No California, but I read check in here daily. I appreciate your wonderful conbination of gentle, yet efficient savings. I love the reminders to donate or not empty shelves. My town and it's residents are struggling. I am pleased with the generous donations that shopping with your guidance have helped me to make. I look forward to 2011. Thank you, with your help, we can each improve our little corner of the world. Diane

    • kelli

      Happy 2011 everyone!!!

      I think that I actually ended up making more money then I spent. I went really insane this year with coupons. Hubby and I have a really big mortgage payment and until recently, he was the only one working. I've finally found a job, so I'll probably be a little less crazy about getting every deal and sending in every single rebate that I can make even a few cents off of. I've got to enter all of my receipts for this week and then add up my spending for the year. I'll post tomorrow once I get everything figured out. :)

    • Nwhite71

      My co-workers have dubbed me as the coupon princess.Christmas was so exciting I couponed at least 90% of my kids gifts. just last week. I got 9 12packs of pepsi products for $1.67 @ Rite Aid, 5 boxes of kellog cereal for .45 cents total. I'm loving all the money that I am saving.Thank you for all the time and effort that you put into posting the information. My grocery bill has gone from $500- $600 monthly to about $250 or less.

    • Acanar3

      I love your idea of incorporating Weight Watchers ideas! I am going to try the same this year, a bit healthier, not so much processed. I look forward to your ideas! Thank you.

    • Jacsmom

      I am so excited about your WW menus! Today is the first day back on the wagon for me! Next year this time we can list our money saving and weight loss! Two great numbers to come!

    • Mirandacollins1

      Thanks so much for doing the WW menu plans! I have recently started back after having my second child and this will save me so much time and money with your help!

    • Jenn B.

      Trying to decide if eating out should come out of the grocery budget or 'fun money.' Any thoughts?

    • Jessa

      What is the deadline for sending in your receipt to get a P&G coupon book?

      • Barnes_kentucky

        Jan 14

    • jenny

      I am link number 81. I just started bloging so it is just my introduction post, but I am hoping to start a bog to just keep up with my totals and what I get.

    • Christy

      Does getting into Weight Watchers mean buying more fresh produce? We eat pretty healthy in general, a lot like WW suggests. I have saved a ton of money since I started couponing, but can't seem to get under $100/wk for a family of 3 (used to be a lot more) because we buy a ton of fresh produce. When we go to publix, our cart will be only half way full when we get to the produce isle (last) and then it will be full to overflowing by the time we get to the register. I buy lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes every week and onions whenever the bag gets low. I always have to have stuff for salads. We also always have carrots and celery on hand for various casserole recipes plus my 3 year old loves carrots and celery (why argue with that). So we buy those every 2-3 weeks. We also buy broccoli and/or green beans every week. We buy a bag of potatoes every week or 2. We also buy a lot of fruit. My son and I both eat a lot of fruit and we buy a gallon of OJ every week or 2. I won't say that we NEVER throw away rotten produce but it is rare; we eat it. I find that this is why it is hard to get down lower that $100/week. I buy the fruit that is on sale, use coupons on Fresh Express when I can, and use the $5 off Rite Aid coupons (usually breaking it into 2 transactions). I used to use the Food Lion produce coupons but I haven't seen one in a while. I do use coupons to buy frozen and canned vegs. when on sale that I use in casseroles, buy we have salads 2-3 times a week and we like to have fresh carrots, green beans, or broccoli on non casserole nights.

      So… all of this is to say that I am looking forward to seeing how you save $ if you buy more produce on WW.

      • I am doing WW and they just started the new PointsPlus system that does focus on more fresh fruits and veggies in your diet, but based on what you said about how much produce you already buy, I don't think you would find yourself buying MORE than you already do, you are probably pretty on track with that. It will probably be more about cutting out carbs and sweets for you if you were to WW. Hopefully there is a way to save more on the produce you already buy… but I don't think your produce bill would increase. I hope this somewhat answers your question?

    • Schraw

      Thanks to your site's tips, I saved almost $5200 this year! My son is in college, so I'm able to provide him with groceries, school supplies, personal care items, etc. I've also been able to donate items to my church, friends, family, and families who lost their homes to fire. Thanks for all your help!

    • Jenny,

      Is there a program you use to keep a track of all your savings?

    • SusanW

      Okay, Jenny and all my SouthernSavers pals…you have completely inspired me! Last year I really made a huge difference in our budget by beginning to use the Southern Savers methods and learning from all you experts. I've lowered my budget again and am treating this like a competition (to see how much better I can do over last year). I'm switching to a cash-only system and hope to cut my grocery bills in half (again!). Can you tell how much I was wasting by not using coupons if there was that much room to cut??? I cannot begin to tell you how much you've made a difference in our lives! THANK YOU!!!

    • Abby

      I LOVE being able to delete lines from the coupon matchups on the grocery list. I did it or the first time this week. I assumed that feature had been there all along and that I just finally discovered it. THANKS!

    • Jenny, I've been following your site for almost two years and I love it. However, I found that with couponing, I bought my “buy price” items and then I was up to the weekly amount without getting much produce. Finally, I made a budget committment that has made a DRASTIC improvement in our eating healthfully. For one thing, each week I REQUIRE myself to spend at least $20 on fresh produce. Then we, my family of five, have to eat it before the next week. Giving myself a quota for fresh fruits and veggies forced me to buy the stuff that was really good for us. In the summer I used it at the farmer's market. The remaining budget can go to coupon deals and stocking up, but often I have to cut off the “deals” that I can buy because I met the produce quota. Having the quota helped me to make an important mental shift in my shopping though. It has been a great change. It's just a suggestion . .

    • Rebecca

      We purchased $7,095.41 worth of groceries.
      Spent $3,209.79.
      Saved $3,885.62 or 55%
      Average weekly spending of $61.73 on groceries (food, paper products, pet food, cleaning products, the whole enchilada). We did not sacrifice our preference for organics, fresh produce, and locally grown options. In 2008 and 2009 we typically spent $100+ per week. Thanks so much Jenny!!