Monday’s With Mavis

I’d say this was a pretty good week in the grocery department… The Kellogg’s deal was my favorite of course… My shopping mantra is BUY when prices are LOW and HANG ON to your money when the prices are HIGH… It takes a bit of self control… and a decent stockpile to live this way… but it’s the end result were after… isn’t it?

** About 2 months ago Groupon had a $21 Fat Burger deal where you could buy for only $10.  When I saw the offer I was pumped!  I simply took the $10 out of my weekly grocery fund to buy it back in January and decided to save it for a rainy day…because you never know when the mood for a Fatburger is going to hit! If your not signed up for Groupon yet… you can sign up for it HERE

Free Panera… I was gifted 3 Panera gift cards last Christmas… People asked me what I wanted… and told them.  Don’t you love it when that happens?

Almost free beef…

Free Coffee and meat for stir fry night .02 cents

Costco $7.28

6 heads of lettuce and 5 loaves of bread

12 future heads of cabbage $2

Fred Meyer $1.90

Costco $4.99

Walmart $.91 cents


17 bags of Millstone coffee $26.18 ($1.54 each)

2.5 lbs chicken breast tenders $7.97

3 Banana’s .76


$34.91 before coupons

-$34.00 ($2 off Millstone coffee 2/13 RP EXPIRED)


.91 cents oop!

Albertson’s $19.78

I’ll get a rebate of $20 in gas gift cards

(I had other cereal upc’s in my food storage)

Here’s a close up look of what’s on the table

18 boxes of cereal

8 boxes of pasta

4 gallons of milk

3 packages of Oreo’s

3 Palmolive

2 Propel

1 Jello Temptations

12 Healthy Choice Soups

4 Mc Cormick Spices

1 Bag Food Should Be Good Chips

2 Thomas Bagel Thins

2 packages Jenni-o- Turkey sausage

7 Zone Bars

4 Bananas,  4 Apples

Free Danimals

28 Snickers Easter Eggs

Total oop this week $36.88 (I didn’t factor in the Kellogg’s gift cards because they’re for gasoline and not food 🙁

But lucky for me…  I’m starting off next week on a high note… I have $6 in Albertsons Catalinas, 2 coupons for free milk, $1.25 Fred Meyer Catalina (found it on the ground) and 1 Catalina for a free bag of Albertsons shredded cheese (I have no idea what I bought that triggered it)

So there you have it.

$314.46  spent on groceries/toiletries/dinning out so far in 2011.


  • myssssss

    You must enjoy stocking up and getting gift cards for presents, I use any gift cards I get to buy food for the poor..I stock up when I can get the cereal for nearly free and donate that too, milk I always get for about $1.88 or $1.99 and donate it, only two people in our household and we could never eat that much to begin with, try thinking of donating to the poor and hungry there are plenty up in the seattle burbs as you say you live in?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!hmmmmmm…as for fatburger the day I spend any money for a burger outside of our home will be a hot day down here in january..we just don’t roll like that, I can cook very well and when we dine out it is for food we never get to make in our home, fish, steak but rarely do we do that!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Shari

      For those of us with families to feed and like to have a night out as a treat with our children, we find her posts extremely helpful. AND, we also find a way to donate from our stock piles. Your post seems like you are just trying to make yourself sound better than Mavis and everyone else who tries to coupon to save money for their families and still donate to other charities. If you do not appreciate her posts about savings, then don’t read them.

    • Sarah

      I would guess that most of us who coupon donate to people in need. Just because we don’t brag about sharing doesn’t mean we don’t do it. II have plenty of friends that are tight on cash and could handle a grocery bag full of healthy food so I go through my stockpile and give them a bag full of fun stuff. My really good friends dad lost his job so I have been sharing my stockpile with them and teaching them how to coupon. I think you need to stop being so rude.

      • Kelly

        I love Groupon and being able to treat myself and my family. After a long day at home with my 3 youngins, some days I just don’t feel like cooking and Groupon helps me treat my family and stay in budget.

        Thanks Mavis I have challenged myself to cut my grocery budget down even more and I am so excited to see the results.

        Thanks for all you share!

    • Dawn

      Please be kind and positive. Please stop criticizing others.

      There is no need to always pat yourself on your back. Give graciously and without bragging.

      Just because your family couldn’t eat that much doesn’t mean others don’t.

      A family of 2 can easily eat out at a nicer place — however a family of 6 can rarely go have steak and seafood without breaking the bank. Our family enjoys going to this pizza place that is all you can eat pizza, salad, pasta, dessert and has games and rides and prizes — We go about 4 times a year and it costs us about $100 each time. I know you probably would never — but we do 🙂

      Be grateful and gracious. 🙂

      I think it is wonderful that Mavis and the Frugal gals have a stockpile.

      I would love to have a year supply of food storage for my family of 6 — actually more so I could help others but that will come as I work on my couponing skills.

    • Andrew

      First off, I’m a college male who happens to eat a lot of food. I have to use coupons and rack up big deals to get all the food I eat. It’s not like I’m stuffing my face for the fun of it, my body needs it. I’m 6 foot 3, 165, and eat between 4,000 and 5,000 Calories a day.

      I really don’t like your attitude, you act like you are better than the rest of us because you donate your excess. Well maybe some of us are in a financial position where we can’t afford to donate?

      If you are a good cook why is it that you never cook fish or steak in your own kitchen? I have always been able to cook a nice tender juicy steak and I can take just about any kind of fish and find a way for a fish hater to like it. I don’t even consider myself a great cook.

      Go out and find a cookbook thats on sale and use it. Steakhouses are probably the worst places to spend your money, they charge a lot for mediocre food. Places like Fat Burger generally have a better dollar to food quality ratio.

    • Susy

      I think Mavis is an awesome couponer! Her ideas are outstanding. I am trying to convince my husband about the couponing. He hasnt quite got it.

      I am a lucky recipient of people sharing their food storage. I am the only one working in my home because my husband was laid off and he went back to school. We have 2 kids.

      Bragging about you sharing is not what people want to see. The more you do with out asking for anything in return or acknowledgement is more rewarding. Even with our one income family, I am still able to help those families even less fortunate than me.

      So please dismount off your high horse and realize LESS IS MORE.

      Hugs to “our” FAB FRUGALS! Thanks for making couponing easy for the rest of us!

    • Drea

      Well Myssssss, I think Mavis is doing a Fab job. I always stock up for my family first and then give away the surplus. Why don’t you start your own website and call it ” I’m a saint and your not!” Geez lady, chill out!

    • Brenda

      You posted a “snarky” comment last week, which I chose to ignore, but two weeks in a row is too much. If you don’t like what Mavis does than don’t read it. You have no idea wether she donates food, toiletries, etc. so you have no business standing in judgement.
      Also, bragging about what you do is rude and you obviously don’t understand what giving is all about.

    • woo crotto

      I hadn’t previously seen this message. OUCH!!! I personally knew nothing of Mavis before about 1 year ago. I graciously met her in my local store couponing. One thing she is not is uppity and pretentious. Mavis is truly a gem, does donate a HUGE amount. And is always willing to help a new couponer with tips and deals. She never clears the shelf and often shares the wealth. My mother in law (who is a teacher), still enjoys the free Rite Aid tissues that you insisted I pick up a few months back.

      If you don’t have anything nice to say…perhaps you shouldn’t say it.

      • Beth

        I think we need to not respond to Myssssss. She is always leaving mean remarks on the coupon blogs. It makes me wonder if she gets a kick out of making people upset. If we don’t react to her maybe she won’t leave these kind if responses anymore.

  • Denise

    Aren’t you going to tell us how you did it?

    • Sarah

      You really are awesome Mavis. I am a college student and coupon to stretch my pennies. You are inspiring. I have to say that aAlbertsons was pretty amazing this week. Thanks for the heads up on the Catalinas. I went and bought a bunch of pasta. YUMMY I love pasta 😉

  • Sherry

    Very impressive! Will the Fruit Loops & Apple Jacks work for the rebate? They are not on the list I see but my kidos would rather eat those than Corn Flakes.

    • mavis

      NO… the Fruit Loops and Apple Jacks are not on the rebate list. Luckily I have a bunch of Rice Krispies and Raisin Bran Crunch cereal in my pantry… so that’s how I got up to 20 Upc’s.

      • Sherry

        Bummer & I forgot about the rebate until you mentioned it. I was only able to round of 3 from my cupboards right now but I’m sure I will get more between now & when the rebate ends. Stinks I had some in my recycling bin that got picked up today before I thought about it. It’s nice they let you do 5 rebates instead of just 1. I’m planning on getting all 5. 🙂

  • sarah

    Thanks for sharing your extreme couponing ways! I love the idea of asking for giftcards for Christmas and using them for food and such.

  • Jaime

    Wow Mavis, I have to say I’m impressed! Thank you so much for sharing how you work things in the grocery store!

    To ~ “mysssss” comment….I hope you know the whole point to her posts is to show that she can feed her family on $100/mo. budget and to show others how she does it, not about what she is donating (which I’m sure she does). I’m glad you only have 2 to feed in the house and that you have the opportunity to donate as much as you do. I have a large family on a limited budget so I donate as much as I can, but my family always comes first.

    So, thank you again Mavis for sharing…I know you’re helping many!

  • Desi

    Thank You Mavis for sharing yourself with us! Your an inspiration to those who use a budget. I too got the cat for Albertsons 8oz. cheese (I bought 3 gallons of free milk, Nabisco go cups, Zone Perfect Bar, and Budding Turkey) does any of that match up with yours?

    • mavis

      YES… One of my transactions was 3 packs of oreos and 3 gallons of milk. Another was 3 zone bars. If I had to guess I’d say it was the Oreo’s and Milk!!!!! Anyone want to try it and let us know?

  • Renee

    Mavis – Keep up the good advice. Giftcards are a great idea – it sure beats the random gifts that end up going to garage sales or thrift stores. Also Mavis – mysssss is such a “debbie downer” who needs to go back to her charity work. Take care.

  • Kelly

    I got the Free shredded cheese coupon when I bought 6 boxes of Purina cat food for FREE. I think it’s just random! Yay for FREE!

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Dawn

    How do you purchase milk, fresh fruits and veggies and eggs each week?

    A $100 a month would not pay for milk and fresh fruit and veggies in my home.

    I have a family of 6 and a home daycare (9 daycare children at the moment)

    I average 16 gallons of milk a month. Sam’s club usually has the best price in my area and I just paid $3.04 a gallon (price just went up) That is about $48 in just milk, now lets add fruit and veggies which costs me about $15 a week which is $60 a month, Now let’s throw in eggs at about $12 a month (I pay $1.98 for 18 eggs). I will leave bread out for now.

    Milk $48
    Fruit (Apples, pears, frozen strawberries) and Veggies (salad fixings) $60 (I also hit up neighbors for the Fruit growing on their trees which I get for FREE — It is orange season now)
    eggs $12 a month
    That is about $120 a month just for these things.

    There are no doubles in my area at ALL!!!! No Albertsons near me either.

    And I don’t know about you but I think these are pretty good prices (except for the milk but what can I do – Sam’s Club is MOST always the cheapest) these things are necessities for my household and rarely go on sale for better prices and usually no coupons for these items.

    Buying a cow is not an option –LOL — Have you ever milked a cow? So NOT fun — grew up on a ranch been there done that and you have to milk twice a day NO MATTER WHAT = no vacations (not even long day trips) My area is not zoned for it anyway. Milk goats way easier but again you have to milk twice a day at the same time each day NO MATTER WHAT.

    I spend average $842 a month just on food.

    I would like to get this down to at least half.

    I do not live close to shopping. I can shop once a week and the stores that are closest are Sam’s Club, Walmart, Safeway and Target. I go to Winco once or twice a month because it is further away.

    Suggestions anyone?????

    • mavis


      #1 Buying a cow and milking it is not high on my list of priorities either 🙂

      #2 One thing I forgot to mention in this weeks post was a few weeks ago I bought some Kellogg’s Cereal and they had “Buy Kellogg’s cereal get $1.00 in free produce” peelies on them. I simply saved those peelies and used them this week when I bought cereal… That’s how I was able to pick up almost free fruit at Albertsons. When it comes to something like $1.00 off fruit coupons… I simply try to buy fruit that is as close to $1.00 as possible. AND… In the summer we pick blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and currents for free and then freeze them to use the rest of the year. I will be posting about this later.

      #3 If I had to guess I’d say we drink 2-3 gallons of milk a week. A lot of times I can work milk ($1.79 a gallon @ Rite Aid w/ my Wellness Card) into my Rite Aid Freebie deals… it’s especially easy when I combine free offers (via coupons & rebates) with their Save $3 off a $15 purchase coupons that sometimes print at the bottom of the receipt. This week I had to pay for 2 gallons at Costco… and then was able to score Free milk at Albertson’s on Sunday with the Kelloggs deal…

      #4 Eggs: We have pet chickens that are kind enough to lay eggs for us 🙂 I’ll probably blog about this at some point.

      #5 I don’t shop at Sam’s Club or Winco so I can’t help you there… but… Walmart… I’m quickly learning that if you have a money maker coupon (like the $3 off Gain dryer sheets) then you should take it to Walmart and use fruit and veggies as filler items. And as for Safeway… I typically only shop there if I can get something for free or super d duper cheap.

      I hope this was helpful. The one thing I’ve learned about reducing our budget is just picking the deals that work for my family and stocking up when I can 🙂

  • KoriAnn Anderson

    Thank you Mavis for the great inspiration! My goal this month is to spend $100 on groceries, toiletries, etc. Thanks for showing me that this can really be done!

  • Mandy

    Am I missing something?? You can only use the Kelloggs UPC’s that are listed on the Gas reawards right??? Kelloggs Frosted flakes and Applejacks don’t count or do they??? Let me know if you know.

    • mavis

      You are correct. You can only use what is listed on the gas rewards rebate. Fruit Loops and Apple Jacks do not count.

      I already had a bunch of other Kelloggs cereals matching the rebate promo… so I simply clipped those UPC’s in addition to the Corn Flakes I purchased.

  • Brooke

    Mavis you are truly an inspiration! Two questions for you:
    #1 How many newspapers do you buy?
    #2 When are you going to tell us how you flew to Europe for free?

    • mavis

      #1 I don’t buy newspapers… I will talk about how I get my coupons later in the week.

      #2 Tomorrow… Tuesday’s Travel Tips

  • Heather

    Ohmygoodness totally reminded me that I bought that FatBurger groupon too and we need to use it very soon! Love that fact that you show how its done, saving money and still living well. I just started couponing about 4 months ago and am still learning, but following your lead I am gaining inspiration! One quick question though…I have two Costcos that I can shop at for basics like milk and I realized that the prices are different for the same item(s) at the two stores. Like milk…$5.59 at one and $4.99 at another for 2 gallons/Red Whole Milk kind. Have you ever noticed this? Unfortunately, the cheaper is the furthest, but worth it if I have other shopping to do in that area. (PS. I never knew that Panera sells bread to take home-Awesome! I know what I am asking for my birthday gift cards for now on! 🙂 )

  • Lucy

    Hi Mavin,

    I love ur savings and look forward to hearing how u do it!! I’m just a beginner and have to stretch my pennies as far as I can too!!! lol…So i love ur guys site and you guys are truly inspringing!

  • Kari

    Mavis… YOU are a breath of FRESH AIR! I want one of your T Shirts. I LOVE IT!

  • Beth

    I just found you Mavis and really enjoy reading your posts. I am trying really hard to reduce my grocery bill for my family of 5. I live in an area that does not double, nor is there an Albertson’s. 🙁 All the good stores for deals (CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens) are so spread apart in my town that what I would save going to the stores for deals, I would burn up in gas. 🙁

  • Mavis,
    one of my 2011 goals is to keep my grocery bill under $100.00 a week. I have SIX boys (11 to 18 months) and man do they eat A LOT of food!! So far, so good on my goal! I can’t wait for the post on getting coupons with no papers! I love all they great info you and the rest of the team types up for me and many others!

  • Rainy Simpson

    Great job! I totally was a disbeliever last week when I saw your groceries……..I told my husband, “Check this out, there is no way this woman and her family can live off of these groceries alone for a week!” But now I see that it is all about the stockpile. A pantry must be key. There are some things that I think are a little cheesy (example: most of us do not have a collection of gift cards lying around).. But for the haters, come on people…….take what you like from the ideas and leave what you don’t. Keep reading and maybe she will surprise you with an explanation down the road. I have learned some things from your posts and know that they will help me cut down on my budget for groceries. And that is an amazing thing! Thank you Mavis!

  • Angela

    Mavis you rock!! 🙂 I’ve been reading your posts and I feel so inspired! In fact I even started my own challenge to feed my family for as little as possible each week. It’s been a really fun challenge. I’m a stay at home mom, so I feel like couponing really is my “job”. It’s a fun one though!! I love it. I totally nerded out and started my own “savings journal” where I record what I bought and staple in my receipts so I can look back at my awesome savings. Heads up Fred Meyer couponers…my Freddy’s has a “coupon exchage basket” near the grocery entry of the store. Here people put in coupons they don’t want or don’t think they will use. Sunday I stopped by to check it out and found the whole PG “Have you tried this yet?” mailer. Holy cow those were some awesome coupons! I think I actually squealed out loud…

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