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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Starting Sunday June 19th there is a fun Challenge starting to encourage us all to be better at couponing and saving money.  Every year All You Magazine runs the Grocery Challenge, and it is time yet again for this years competition.

Before you think that we are running down aisles playing some version of the supermarket sweep, let me tell the goal of this challenge to see how creative and healthy you can get to feed your family on a limited budget.

The Challenge:

Live for one month on a budget of $25 per person in your family per week.  So, for example you have a family of 5 then try to live on $125 a week for groceries.  Personally this is incredibly easy for us, our weekly budget is only $50 a week (or $10 per person), but for some of you this is a great chance to really start to focus on the big picture.

If you win, you get a $1000 Grocery gift card and get featured in an issue of All You. Last year one Southern Savers user came in the top 10, I firmly believe we can see at least one more top 10 placement this year!!

A big tip:

Use this as a chance to really look at what you are buying.  If you are saving a ton and finding that now you are able to buy more but you are saving more, then now is your chance to focus on buying the deals that your family needs and not just every deal that is great price.  The first things to go in our purchases when money is tight: juices, sodas, non-healthy snacks, and special seasonings.

If you want to try for it, go ahead and get registered so you are ready for Sunday!

    • Emhcoupon

      Hey that was me who came in 2nd place thanks to southern savers. In fact I was interviewed this week for a year follow up that was posted today. Check out the article!! I gave credit to Southern Savers and it is mentioned in this interview as well and gives the link!! I’m so thankful for this website!!


    • BoonaMom

      This is awesome motivation for cutting down on our grocery spending. I wonder what all it includes as groceries. Does this mean toothpaste, paper towels, etc? Also, what about my husband going out to lunch sometimes, but other times bringing food from home?

      • Dianak9938

        how will they track it.. do they need grocery receipts and meal menus ?

    • Autumnskies

      I just recently started couponing only four months ago, and I do feel I could do this! I think I will enter.

    • Birgit Gilbert

      I really don't understand how they will be able to track what we are spending, I registered,  there are three people in our household and I only spend 50 dollars on groceries a week but then I also spend money at the drug stores but never more than 25 dollars a week if even that.

    • Peggy

      I would find it incredibly easy to AVERAGE less than $25 per person per week.  However, some weeks when there are GREAT deals, I may spend more and the next week, I may spend WAY less.

      • guest

        I started this last year (and quit because it got too confusing, the first week there were 5 of us living in the house; then my mom moved out; then my teen son's friend moved in; then my son and daughter were both preparing to move out so I was trying to help them develop a stockpile for the their apartments, then I just threw up my hands and decided to try again this year) and one thing that really helped me is that the grocery sales here run Wednesday to Tuesday while the contest is Sunday to Saturday so in theory each week spans 2 sale cycles

    • Louise

      I just entered. Thank you for the tip. I love a good challenge!

    • Mommyjw

      Do you consider toiletries and drug items that are necessary each week as a part of your grocery budget? Or do you consider those items in a separate category? We lump everything into one weekly budget, and honestly I haven't tracked what we spend just on groceries. Since beginning couponing 3 months ago, I have saved weekly anywhere from $25 to $60 of our $160 weekly budget for a family of 4. However, that includes toiletries, trash bags, paper goods, etc…

      • kjmiller

        Same question.. just food items?

      • Our budget is for all personal, household, cleaning, paper goods and groceries.

    • Smiths9312

      Entered.  We'll just eat out all month!

      • Sheila

        LOL – I actually count the cost of eating out in my grocery budget.  That way, we're not tempted to go out more than once or twice a month.

    • cs

      I would find it easy to meet the money requirement, but for the healthy part….

    • Maria

      This will be easy, my grocery budget for a family of 5 is already $50 a week, so im already saving alot.

    • mommyof1

      this is a great way to really track what we spend on food.. we too lump various items together.. for instance publix has really great deals on body wash or paper towels or whatever we just buy it there.. i try to spend $50 or less there and then $50 or less at another store per week.. (sometimes walmart, target or kroger.. just depends) and then $10 or less per week at my drugstore of choice.. cvs.. so if we are talking “just food” then i think it will be easy for my family of 3 (well.. not including the dogs)..

    • Sheila

      Wow.  My family is at about $20/person/week for a family of 5.  We homecook all meals except for going out once or twice a month (I count eating out in the grocery budget).  I really thought about it and I could shave a lot out of that if I didn't have a junk food/vending machine habit.

    • alicia

      what if i don't have a family and just live with my boyfriend?  does this still count as long as we don't spend over 50 a week in groceries (which we nevvver do)?

      • alicia

        nevermind.  apparently only those 21 and over can enter. poop poop poop

    • kjmiller

      This would be hard for me to do if something I really love goes on BOGO at Publix. :)

      Seriously, part of why couponing and sale-watching makes sense is that
      some months I'll spend a lot on meat, while the next month we might
      stock up on frozen pizza and yogurt, the next on bread (that i freeze,

    • Adamsacreas

      I am so ready for this challenge!! My work is seasonal so during the summer~no pay check!!! So I try to live off of my stockpile!

    • Bee

      I would, but although we don't eat poorly, I can see where the magazine may not approve of all our food choices. There's no such thing as giving up the Diet, Caffeine free coke here. :)

    • Asolstice06

      Anyone know what the cheapest price we can get on the All You magazine subscription?

      • Sbig11

        join ebates on southernsavers then buy online there. you get cash back.

        • Christy

          You don't get the pull-out section if you subscribe and that is where most of the good coupons are.

      • Guest

        I don't remember it being this cheap before,but Wal-mart(that I despise) had the June issue for $1.88-I've probably already used$4-$5 from each of the 4 copies I purchased not to mention that pull out section in the center and the $15/$75 Catherine's coupons.Used none at Walmart,but several@ Publix,RiteAid,Ingles,etc.

    • Janet Foster

      I love this idea. We're spending ALOT on groceries for two people so this will be a good reason to look at where it's going. This might be fun.

    • connie

      I have a family of 4 with 7 pets(4 dogs, 2 cats, 1 bunny). My grocery budget is $200 biweekly. We did ok until about 2-3 days before payday then it was empty freezers and bare cabinets. Since I've been really couponing the last 5 weeks I've cut my budget almost in half and so far we've not run out of anything and actually have more food and toletries than I've ever had before. I couldn't imagine going back to generics and eating paycheck to paycheck.

    • WendiBrooke

      I entered. This should be fun! :)

    • Brandon P.

      make sure you know that TODAY is the LAST day you can sign up for this contest.

    • Oh gosh…if only my budget were $200 a week LOL My budget is $400 a MONTH! We eat pretty well, especially since I have a teenaged boy in the house! And we'll be having guests in our home during the contest time.

    • Sapphirestephy2011

      How will they take into account stockpiles? And what about WIC?

    • Ok I want to know how someone eats on ten dollars a week. Seriously! With four of our five home all day long and hubby taking snacks and lunches to work daily, we spend $300 every two weeks and I can't MAKE it go down any further! We drink a gallon of milk a day, which is $3 a day right there! That is amazing.

      • Bee

        Seriously, I don't know. There are five of us and I've been couponing over a year. We still spend $130 every week average. But we eat what we like and want. That also includes dog food (2 large ones), all cleaning, all toiletries and often ink/paper for the printer or an extra shirt or pair of shorts for a kid or two.

        With groceries going up, we've had less left over for the “extras” from the grocery budget. I'm not going vegetarian just yet–everyone here wants meat at dinner. There's also 2 teens in the head count.

        I still feel like I don't need to apologize. We don't eat hamburger helper, breakfast cereal (maybe a couple times a month), etc. I try to buy foods that are filling and nourishing-excessive carbs just aren't.

        We don't eat out at all, either.

        • I have to eat gluten free, so that accounts for my “extra spending”. When I save more with coupons I splurge and buy myself a small bag of noodles for $5… everything gluten free is expensive. My $150 weekly includes everything we buy at the grocery store too – pull ups for twins, cleaning supplies, everything. I do sale and coupon shop, but I too buy what we want to eat. I can't imagine only eating what I can get for next to free, how would we ever get any produce or meat? My hat is off to anyone who can happily feed a family on $25 a week per person, I sure can't!!!

          • Pinkandblackcrazy

            I am also Gluten free it is definetly expensive if you want to by the gluten free items, I have only been Gluten free for a few months it has been tough to add that much to the budget, and just getting used to finding gluten free recipes

            • If you are interested I post gluten free recipes from time to time on my blog, just click on my name and it'll take you there. And if you ever have any questions about going gfree ask away! I have celiac disease, and even a crumb will make me sick for hours. I know the ins and outs of gluten free eating on a budget ;)

        • CouponNinja

          For a family of 4 my weekly food budget was about $60 pre week. We are a one income family with one child in preschool and one at home. I always seemed to make it work buying on sales, using coupons, and being “creative” with meals, and it wasn't all just junk. My older child has a condition were he HAS to have 5 servings ea. of fruits a veggies pre day. So we had AT LEAST 1 fruit or veggie at every meal. Our motto is, “buy it now while it's on sale, save for later when it's not” :) Hubby usually took leftovers for lunch or a sandwich of sorts, I'd buy mass amounts of luchables while they were on sale for a $1 or less. Buy frozen veggies at kroger when on 10/$10 sales or better, and get meat at a local store that has a buy 5 for
          $19.99 sale for select meats. Fruits was usually whatever was on sale that week or the dole canned fruit that goes on sale periodically.

      • MelMel

        I have a family of 6.  2 adults, 2 teens and 2 younger ones.  I've been couponing for about 3 years and my weekly average is about $60.  I do my shopping @ Publix, Wal Mart, Winn Dixie and CVS and we eat WELL.  (i.e., steaks, chicken breasts, name brand foods, fresh produce, etc.)  It is possible to only spend $10 per week per person if you're diligent about it.  (Also, I live in north Florida – no double/triple coupons for me or good inserts with high value Q's.)  HTH.  :D

        • Mommas2moody

          You are doing awesome!

        • Aklholl

          Could you email me with some of your meal plans? My BF has a family of six and they are really struggling to eat “well” with coupons. I'm trying to help and I'd love to see what you are doing. You are awesome. :)  centsablekate@gmail.com  Thank you. :)

        • SunniNJimmy

          One thing i've done, Just an FYI that you also might try. I've written to Bi-Lo, Harris Teeters, and Hitchcocks and asked that they consider putting in a store in Middleburg/Orange Park where I live. Might help if others were to do the same.
          also I was told by the pharmacist at CVS today that Kmart sometimes does the double coupons ..it's usually once per quarter!

      • Mommas2moody

        This is were a stockpile comes in handy.  Due to limited storage for a stockpile, I spend about $700/mo on groceries, including all household, formula, and diapers for a family of 6.

        • SunniNJimmy

          Do you have a closet that you can clear out? Makes a wonderful place for a stockpile. We cleared out my office and are beginning to use that as our stockpile as our pantry is full as are 3 cupboards and the extra bathroom has stuff all over the extra sink (20 handsoaps, 10 extra laundry detergents , etc)…The sink under our kitchen sometimes leaks so we don't want to put anything under there that can get damaged. We've replaced the hoses and washers but sometimes it still comes loose.

      • Amelia

        Milk is one thing I love saving on. We mostly use it in our coffee, cooking and our toddler drinks about 2 glasses a day. I buy the Smart Balance when it goes on sale and stock up. Bi-Lo had it on sale for only .49 last week (with coupon + BOGO sale price). And one 1/2 gallon carton will keep unopened for up to 2 months. So I bought 6 of them which came out to be 2.94 for 3 gallons of milk!!! I also bought 4 Silk 1/2 gallons when they were on sale for .59/each with sale and coupon. We just use it in our coffee, so can't even taste a difference. 

        Most of the time for lunch for my husband I will send leftovers (as long as there is enough for us to eat the next night). If not he gets turkey or pb&j sandwiches. He will also alot of times just take a bowl of cereal and a banana and call that lunch. There are a ton of coupons for junk food out there. All the snacks I send with him I usually pay nothing (or very little) for. He does not get those prepared lunches such as lean cuisine or hormel (which he doesn't like anyway). 

        However, we are just a family of 3 (one of which is a toddler who only eats chicken nuggets, apple sauce and fruit and veggies). I can see how it is much harder for a larger family with older kids. One thing I can recommend to you is portion control. I was spending so much on groceries because I was letting my husband prepare his own plate at dinner and sometimes he would take 3x a serving size leaving nothing for leftovers the next night. Now, if you have growing boys that might be easier said than done, but you and you husband can definitely help save on money by eating only the recommend amount. You food will go further that way. Good luck to you on your money saving quest.

        • Dianak9938

          Wow wish I had a Bi-Lo, my son will only drink Silk Vanilla mixed with 2%.  The cheapest I can find it is 2.99 – $1/2 Q so $2.49 :(

        • Thank you, we do a lot of what you suggested! Hubby does take leftovers every day, when there are no leftovers he takes progresso soup (always bought on super sale). We portion control, but hubby and my 12 yr old both eat like teens, but love healthy snacks! A bowl of cereal and fruit is one snack my oldest eats almost daily, between breakfast and lunch. It's a lot to keep up with, and I promise none of us are overweight! I used to spend ovver $700 every two weeks before I started couponing and sale shopping, so this is our food budget already cut in half :) Thanks for the suggestions, and your kind thoughts!

        • My Bi-Lo doesn't seem to carry Smart Balance milk.

          • SunniNJimmy

            At least you have a Bi-Lo or a place that does double coupons..where i live it's nowhere! Although was told that sometimes Kmart will do it once per quarter!

        • Strawberryroses1

          LOL I'm really glad I'm not the only one who's noticed that their husband gets too much for his plate at dinner! I started serving my husband his food about a year ago when I noticed that the recipes I was making that should serve anywhere from 4 to 8 people would only last one meal! Only thing is it makes some of my friends and family mad because they think I'm being subservient to him when all I'm really doing is saving all my time and effort into making it and our money!

          • Guest

            Nah, you're not being subservient at all. I am a SAHM, so it is actually kind of my job description to do that type of stuff (which I would much rather do than go to a workplace all day and put our kiddo in daycare). But it also just makes financial sense. I mean, you are already fixing YOUR plate, so just do his too. No extra effort is required. I don't understand why that would make anyone mad. It's not like you are walking 2 steps behind him or anything, lol (at least I would hope not). And not only is eating recommended portions cost effective, but it's better for your waistline also!

            • Sabrina

              I would only all it being subservient if he is demanding or requiring you to fix his plate. You must look at it from the “if I fix it I am saving food” kind of stand point. Also, my girlfriend fixes me my plate every now and then when she is preparing the meal. She usually makes the servings too big so I prefer to fix my own LOL. And there are days that I fix her plate. It is all in doing something for the ones you love. Nothing wrong with that :)

      • SunniNJimmy

        One way we make Milk stretch in our home is we buy the BIG BOX of powdered milk. It’s just as nutritious and costs pennies per gallon.
        I also buy fruits and veggies at a local farmers market or one on the side of the road. 
        I coupon using b1g1 for things I want to splurge on. And I make sure I get my deals for cleaning. I also stockpile handsoap. When it was 10/$10 at Publix I bought 10 of them and I had $1 coupons off ea one making it totally FREE! 
        I look for all the deals and instead of buying a ton of newspapers just for the inserts I’ve become friendly w/ a few of the people on Ebay who I buy 5 or 10 at a time from from different parts of the country for about $.99 plus s/h for 5-10 making it a real deal (Times Union here is $2 per Sunday) , but only if there are coupons I will use. Like on the deals w/ Razors you can’t go wrong if you break even or make a $1 or 2.
        I buy real potatoes at a local farmers market , etc. 
        I only get makeup when I can use coupons to make it free or go after the Allure.com/free-samples the beginning of each month making it free.
        I no longer have to worry about a period so those things are out , but i get my daughter a ton of samples to help her save along w/ diapers for her son.
        I mainly buy Chicken esp when it’s b1g1 on sale on chicken breasts and i can make that into 4 meals for my family! Tonight we had Chicken burritos. I made flour tortillas from scratch, diced some onions, and tomatos from a local farmers market and used some of that for my spanish rice. I grated some cheese I had to add to the tortillas and voila a meal for all 6 of us for about $3.24 total or under $1 per serving! Very easy to do.

    • Amechilds

      what are you buying on your $50 budget?

    • ZMDC3

      Wish i could do this if it was an average of 25 per week that would be great but we are going on vacation with all the money we have saved just since jan. So while we are in D.C. and at the beach (hopefully) we are going to splurge!!!!

      • guest

        I am trying it even though we'll be on vacation for a week as well but I have an advantage in that it is just dh and I (no kiddos) and we're staying in a condo on our vacation w/ full cooking facilities. I am planning minimal cooking items (lots of fresh produce from the farmer's market there) I already have a nice “group on” which will cover a meal for both of us for one day.

    • Jwilson1

      We eat a ton on fruits,veggies, nuts, and meat (Paleo diet).  I am trying to really limit processed foods.  I am having a hard time keeping my grocery bill down because there are few coupons for these items.  Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!

      • This time of year at least around our area there are a ton of local market stands, they seem to have very competitive prices for veggies and fruits – maybe see if any are in your area and see what their products/prices are like?

      • Mommas2moody

        It's summer time….. meaning a lot of produce will be available at better prices.  Start buying extra and stocking your freezer to help cut cost for thses items in the winter.

      • Frootloops20

        right now you can get a Lauras Lean beef coupon on there website just for signing up. Dont know the actual site name , just look up Lauras Lean and I'm sure it will pop up. Also if after the first coupon prints you can hit the back browser button for another coupon. These are for $1 off and most every other week or so these are on sale at Target if you have one in your area. Also there are some green giant frozen veggie coupons $.35 off. Hope this helps.

    • Dsquared

      A good way to cut down on meat prices is buying a cow (or 1/2). We have a great butcher about 20 mins from our house. Been buying a cow and pig from him for about 10 years. We get great meat and it costs way less than store bought in the long run.

      • Emsmith8

        What do you mean, you buy a cow?!  How does it come?  Do you get it all at once?  I'm so intrigued, even though I don't get it!

    • jessc5

      I have 7 in my household, and will have 7 people coming to visit for a week (or more).  I'm real curious as to how I will be expected to keep it all straight?  I'd love to participate, but there are lots of questions….

    • Sdavisva

      Today is the LAST day to sign up! (per their website)

    • Bella

      Hi, I only ever spend $100 or less a week on food and cleaning supplies. So do I win ;-)
      We do eat a huge amount of fruit and veg, we just know how to make a whole chicken cover 3-4 meals etc etc or using left overs to make some kind of bake or soup or paella etc etc
      I also freeze alot of home made meals, cakes and muffins. which makes it alot cheaper. I have just started to do the freezing thing and it is great. I really recommend it, buying 20 potatoes when they are on sale and cooking them in different ways and then freezing them, they work out great very impressed. We also buy lots and lots of lemons when they are reduced and I juice them and freeze them and then we make lemonade with them. 

      We are a family of 4 not including our dog!

      • connie

        Potatoes are something we eat alot of in my house. What kind of ways do you prepare them before freezing and how do they turn out after thawing?

        • Bella

          Hi I do alot of twice bake, with sweet pots and normal once. I have also slow roasted them or cut them into little squares with a lemon spice seasoning on them or garlic salt and then freeze them. I usually put a reminder on my weekly meal planner to remind me to put them on the fridge the night before. I have just left them on the counter for a couple of hours and we have not been ill from them.

          Then I pre-heat the oven to about 350 and warm them up for 20 minutes or with the roast and squares I will leave them in the oven a little bit longer so they get crispy again. Usually works out really well. tonight I had the twice baked and we did steak on the BBQ and I didn't have to do a thing as my husband did the steaks and he just put the potatoes in the oven all ready done. Great cooking night for me ;-)

    • savings

      I keep getting an error message

    • WTH, it's already closed the entries?  Some of us do work….lol!

    • Mandy

      Just tried to sign up and they said that the sign up is now over, bummer!  That's okay!  I would have loved to try, maybe next year!  Thanks to your website, I only spend approx $65.00-$70.00 per week on groceries, toiletries, paper and cleaning products, and diapers/wipes for our family of 4!

      • Bailey

        Send them an email (“contact us”) …. their rules say sign up is open until midnight EST tonight … there's clearly been an error in closing it down early. Perhaps you can still get in. Seems to be a sad contest if they're not willing to honor their own rules! ;)

      • Bailey

        Send them an email (“contact us”) …. their rules say sign up is open until midnight EST tonight … there's clearly been an error in closing it down early. Perhaps you can still get in. Seems to be a sad contest if they're not willing to honor their own rules! ;)

    • wow I could total do that my budget for a family of 6 is 100  and I normally stay withing 50-75 range :)

    • Too bad it's ended!

    • Michelle

      It is just my husband and me and when I grocery shop (using coupons) our budget is $75 a week and that is not a meal for every night of the week. Usually we eat cereal one night and go out one night, so like 5 meals or so. I have tried to figure out how people do it on less than this but can't for the life of me. The only thing I can figure out is that most people must eat a lot of boxed foods or eat the same thing on a regular basis (like one night a week that is always spaghetti night, etc). We do eat a lot of variety in our meals and I try to make them vegetable based (lots of tomatoes for instance). 

      Can anyone let me in on the secret? Like, what does a typical meal plan look like for you? I do stockpile and I don't buy meat that isn't on sale but still this is average for us. Also we do live in Charlotte NC so it is not a small town, we do have high food tax.

      • Jerwagner

        Harris Teeter!! This sun is a great sale!!

        • Michelle

          Yes this is where I shop.

      • Heather

        We have a family of 6 ( 5 that really eat) and we spend on average $50 a week.  Our meals are similar many months~ we make monthly meal plans based on meats that frequently come on sale, like chicken here.  You need less meat than you think you do, 4 oz is considered a serving, but frequently  most people eat much larger servings.  A typical week of dinners for us~ taco night, chicken and stuffing, baked pasta and salad, chicken & white bean chili, taco salads or quesadillas, quiche and fruit~ we just add veggies to the meals..  We pick 2-3 proteins on sale and work them and leftovers into meals~ the leftover chicken from night 2 goes into the white bean chili, all the leftover meats/veggies make the quiche, etc..  we dont do a lot boxed, most from scratch~ couponing on common ingredients like rice, and not paying for cleansers/toiletries/etc, allows us to keep our budget small~ Jenny taught me how to do all of that!  As for tomatoes, you can buy 25lb boxes of tomatoes that have small blemishes on them from farmers markets for an average of $5 a box~ which you can prepare into sauce and can yourself making 30 jars of sauce, or just can them whole for a higher yield.  We eat lots of tomatoes/sauce too!

    • Emhcoupon

      Hi. That was me that placed in the top 10. I actually came in second. If you have the All you magazine from Nov 2010 check it out. I'm on page 81 at the top Michelle from Holly Springs, NC. They just interviewed me this week as a year follow up. It is posted on the All you website. I mentioned southern savers in my recent interview. The challenge was a lot of fun and I still shop the same way. The best advice I can give is be active on their blog, give advice to others and try their recipies. Try to think outside the box of other ways you can save that maybe you've not tried yet. I'm still doing that now. I average 55-60 a week for a family of four and all my kids friends. I shop mainly at Harris Teeter. I still did my stockpiling during the challenge. I could have probably not spent any money accept for milk and produce but that would have not been wise shopping. The actually have contestants that didn't spend any money but they still didn't place. Remember it is also healthy and creative not just how much you spend. Eating out counts towards it as well. Let me know if you have questions and I'll try to help if I can. Have fun!!

    • DebbieB

      I need HELP! I have been trying to clip coupons and shop for things when they are on sale so I can combine the savings but it seems that I am spending more than I was before. What am I doing wrong?

      • Mindyinsc

        first WHERE you shop is a biggie. If it is at Walmart, you won't save like you would at Publix, Kroger and so on….Second, are you planning your shopping trip? I write down everything I plan to buy with the totals AFTER sales and coupons, and STICK to that list. I took my families grocery cost of $180 a week down to about $35 for a family of 4. Starting out the first few weeks you won't save as much (my first time I only saved $8) you need to get a good supply of coupons on hand. My trip on Thursday I saved $143.62!  Email me in you need more help or need specific questions answered, and  please don't give up..There are so many people on here that will help and support you!!..mindyinsc@yahoo.com

      • Mjsizzle

        Debbie, I was always using coupons it come from my Dad and going to the store with him when I was little he always had a coupon or more for things that were on sale. We went from a weekly food budget of $250. for a family of 7 and with my step daughter doing the shopping ( we are truck drivers and out on the road) to a budget of around $75 for 7 per week. Now its down to 3 in less than a yr to feed and I spend at the most $45 a week and those weeks that I spend that much is when there is a good buy on meat ands I stock up on it and freeze it. Go to the local farmers market and find fruit and veggies that your family likes and ask if they have any seconds, they will run you on the aveage $3 to $5 dollars cheaper than firsts and there is nothing wrong with them its just that they are “pretty” I freeze and can all summer long. I just put up 15 gallon bags of peaches and 8 jars of peach jelly. at the cost of $11 for everything needed. Start with a good coupon stash ( it will grow weekly) and make your shopping according to the sales ads. Good luck and if I can help I will
        mjsizzle@yahoo.com just put southernsavers on the about line so I know its not spam.

    • Terri

      This is an easy do if your stores double coupons. I feel it's unfair for those of us here in Florida who have no stores that double. Michelle from Holly Springs, Did your store have double coupons last year when you won? Just curious. Congrats on the win.

      • Emhcoupon

        Yes at Harris Teeter we have doubles everyday and we also had super doubles during the challenge as well. Do you cook from scratch? I make all my meals. Nothing comes from a box. I still think you can do ok without doubles.

    • lisasmith1019

      Wow, it appears the sign-up is already closed!

      • Smartgirlsaving

        I saw that too.;(

    • Ktraiford

      wow you spend $10/person for groceries? does that include the items like body wash, shampoo, toothpaste, etc? i am in SO MUCH need to do this and i can't seem to make it work… would you consider posting your weekly plan for a month or so? i must say i'm not doing this correctly bcuz i'm not really spending less. (although my publix receipt say's i'm saving 50% almost every time). the drugstores are completely over my head unless i have someone (like you) giving me the “game plan”  i've looked for a “mentor” here locally for me but have yet gotten anyone to agree to do it. could really, really use a post for the week.

      there use to be a blog $30 week for groceries but it no longer follows that plan

      • Khale19802000

        where do you live I live in florida and would like to help I have been able to find good deals on body wash, deoderant. ect. for around $1.00 or less I just got a good deal at publix last week Dial body wash was bogo rang up at 3.91 for 2 and I used 2/2.00 dial coupons and got them free plus .09ct money maker.

      • Busymomandboys

        what town do you live in?

      • Marytasch

        I would love the same support and ideas!  I have a family of four.  2 teenage boys and I can not seem to bring my bills down to $100 a week!  I try to only buy what is on sale and use coupons but still feel I am not doing a great job.  I would love the menu and purchasing ideas that any of you all can supply.  New to couponing as well.  Any ideas and help appreciated.  email  Marytasch@cox.net put Southern savers in the RE line

    • Heather

      Wow!  We've been doing this for years!  We have a family of 6 and I budget $50 a week already!  :)  If I could get better deals on meat we could drop that too….but we learned from necessity, not out of convenience!

    • Earnhardtjdw

      walgreens on norelco rzr 3499 my sub 2784 and$10 on a rebate i like saving

    • Earnhardtjdw

      i like saving

    • I would really like to know how someone does $10 a person a week.  I have 3 teenagers (two of them boys), and am a single mom.  I usually don't get home until 6:30 or 7pm, so cooking every night is a struggle when you have to go to bed 4 hours after you get home (especially when school is in session) because you have to get up to get kids to school. 

      My teenagers are eating me out of house and home.  I spend $5 a week on just bread (and that's finding it for a $1 a loaf).  One boy alone probably eats $5 worth of cereal a week.  I stayed at home with my kids when they were little and I cooked a lot and was able to do this (but it's been years ago too).  Now, I can't see it.  Any tips would be appreciated.

      • Shaunascoupons

        I was raised by a single mom so see where you are coming from. As soon as we turned 12 each of us was assigned a night to cook dinner and clean the kitchen. My mom would help us plan the menu and provide us with recipes in advance and dinner was ready when she got home (or else). I learned how to cook beans & cornbread, chicken soup, spaghetti, lasagna, chili, tuna casserole and lots of other things like that. We ate meat but it would be in small amounts. For produce we focused on items that were under $1 per lb. And all of this we did without coupons.

        We ate a lot of the super cheap foods. Here are some:

        dried beans
        turkey ham (aldi has this for $2/lb)
        managers special ground meat

        pasta (free for us with coupons)

        Produce:lots of stuff we could only afford if it was in season
        lots of bananas apples and oranges

        These days I do a combination of the super cheap foods with the coupon items to keep costs down. It is a lot nicer to use the coupons to help cut costs and bring nicer foods into our price range but relying on the staples keeps things in perspective. ie we still dont buy the single serving oatmeal thats b1g1 with coupon when the bulk oatmeal is still way cheaper per serving.

      • Amelia

        I'm a SAHM and love cooking, but absolutely HATE cleaning the kitchen. One thing I do is when I make a meal (specifically a casserole) I will double the recipe and make one to eat and one to freeze. This is something you can do on a day off. Just cook a bunch of chicken or ground meat at one time. Make 6 casseroles (3 different kinds and 2 of each) and then you have meals for the week and 3 more to freeze for another busy week. One week we have chicken week where everything is chicken and another week might be ground turkey week and another might be breakfast for dinner and things made with prepared foods such as steak-umm sandwiches. 

        If your family is not big on casseroles, then just cook a bunch of ground turkey or beef at the beginning of the week and use that all week. You can have taco night, add it to jared spag sauce for spaghetti night, or use it any way you like. It is such a time saver as the most time consuming part of cooking is chopping, waiting for the meat to cook and cleaning up. Some weeks I will just cook all my chicken tenders for the week at one time. I will bake some with French's onion straws, some will cooked on the stove top to be added to something later in the week and some baked with bread crumbs to use later as chicken parm (just add marinara sauce and cheese and throw in the oven or microwave until the cheese is melted since the meat is already cooked). And the sides are easy. We like veggies so I will just steam some veggies most nights, or oven roast zucchini or broccoli if the oven is already going to be on for something. 

        Not only does doing this save a TON of time, but also money. You are not using your stove/oven every night so it saves on the power bill and you make sure all your ingredients get used, so you are not wasting food. I really hope this helps you some. And like another person said… make your kids help. I already have my not quite 3 year old in the kitchen “helping” me. It really does take some effort to begin your meal planning, but after a couple of months you will get the hang of it.

      • Patti

        I have two boys, 16 and one 20 at college. I totally understand what you are asking. You cannot feed teenage boys noodles. I come in from work about 4. The key to cooking for your teenagers would be. . . teach them how to start supper. . . use a crockpot. . .organization of meals is the key!!!!. Find inexpensive meals they like which are healthy. Double recipes and freeze. Eating at home does save you money but it's hard when your kids are coming and going from one event to another. As far as a budget, I spend 75-100 per week when both boys are home. Less during school year.  Also hard when your stores are not the kind which accept all of the target , cometitors coupons. You would be surprised how showing them to cook as teenagers will benefit them when on their own. But it takes time to do this, well worth it and they can do more than fry an egg. Good luck!

    • Winkinatya79

      Awesome! I would say for a family of 3, we are at $40-50 per week right now, so we can definitely handle this challenge! Our bill used to be about $100-120 per week.

    • Durhamknights

      Guys this years challenge starts tomorrow, so it should reopen tonight!

    • Cheryl

      It is saying it is closed! :(

    • SunniNJimmy

      I just contacted All You because I too can't sign up and the rules states I have till midnight tonight! I already do $50-60 per week for my family of 6 so this should be a blast should they allow me to sign up! 
      BTW – Congrats to Michelle From Holly Springs..I don't have a Harris Teeters or Have a Hitchcocks but there's a Hitchcocks 33 min away. The HT is way too far about 50 miles from me in Middleburg. Any other suggestions? Thank you.

      • dj in ga

        1. HOW TO ENTER: This contest begins 12:01 A.M. EST on June 19, 2011, and ends 11:59 P.M. EST on July 16, 2011. To enter online, go to allyou.com/grocerychallenge by 11:59 P.M. EST on June 17

        From the ALL YOU contest rules website. 
        Looks like we missed it this year.

    • Susie

      There are 6 (2 teens, 2 elementary) in my family and 3 are allergic to ANY food coloring and one allergic to nuts.  I cook from scratch, never eat out and pack lunches for my children and husband.  No way, we could do it on $60 a week.  Fortunately, Aldi's has lots of items with no artificial coloring and that saves alot.  If you don't read labels, you would be shocked what goes into even the most simple products.  ANyway, sorry to sound so cynical, but I just don't know how people do it.

      • Emhcoupon

        For the challenge you would have $150 a week for a family of 6.

      • Amy

        I am also allergic to certain food coloring (it's in everything!). Eating natural food products and baking from scratch takes care of the problem but it can be expensive. Even so, I do believe $150 a week is totally doable. To avoid high produce costs, I plant a fairly large garden every year; however, if you do not have access to a yard or community garden, you could still grow some plants indoors to help cut back. Remember, it's just a challenge and if you think of it as a number it may be difficult to see the goal come to fruition. If you don't think you can meet the challenge set above, you could always make up your own challenge or decide on a different goal.

        • Susie

          THank you for the response!  Yes, food coloring is in EVERYTHING.  Even some skim milk gets coloring so it isn't blue!!!  So for one member of my family, I have to buy 2%.  I currently am doing less than $150 a week for food, but it can be discouraging seeing others post spending only $10 per person per week.   do agree that setting a different goal would be more doable for me.  Thanks again

    • Cheryl

      Since sign ups are over and I can't “officially” enter, can anyone answer these questions for me so that I can play along?
      1.)  Is the $25 budget per person strictly for food products, or does it include personal care (such as toothpaste, paper products, etc.)
      2.) I have a 3 month old and decided to not include her in the budget, as well as not include her products (diapers, wipes, formula).  Do you think that is fair to say or should I be including her?
      Thanks for any help! :)

      • angela

        Hey: I know for sure the $25 budget is JUST food..so dont count any personal items. just things you eat and drink.

        And a 3 month old wouldn't count..so anything you use for her, doesn't count.

    • does anyone know the exact day that the all you magazine comes out in greenwood sc and any other place than walmart that sales it???? plz help