What $5 Bought At Kroger Today {and a brief penny pinching rant}


Okie dokie guys, please be patient with me while I whine for just a minute, and then I'll show you how I grabbed everything above for just $5. promise.


Lately I've talked to countless friends, acquaintances, and *former* PPP readers who've told me they've chosen to “quit” couponing because it's just not worth it, nothing they ever buy is on sale, couponing takes too much time, or they just don't want to do it. And, truly, if they've got money coming out of their eyeballs, I'm all for quitting.


However, for some folks, there may not be enough money in the budget and they really do need to coupon. But they decide to skip out on it because they just don't want to take the time to pinch a few pennies here and there. I get that. Really, I do.


But here's the thing: if you're struggling financially and don't have abundance, there is no other place in your family's finances than your grocery budget that YOU have such control over. You can't just cut your mortgage in half, trim your car payment by $400 a month, or quit paying your electricity bill. But, you can decide how much you want to spend at the grocery store, and it's one area that you have COMPLETE power over.


So, no excuses.




I promise, if this girl can be a penny pincher, I know you can too.


‘Nuf said.


Now, here's how I saved big, so you can join in right along with me. 🙂


Transaction #1

Bought 2 Scrubbing Bubbles Spray $1.69

Bought 1 Scrubbing Bubbles Foam $1.99

Bought 2 Skintimate Shave Gel $1.69 after Mega Sale (coupon automatically deducted $2.69)

Transaction #2
Bought 1 Pampers Wipes $.99


Bought 2 Skintimate Shave Gel $1.69 after Mega Sale (coupon automatically deducted $2.69)


Bought 2 Cheerios $1.99 (these boxes are HUGE!)


See, you can do this . . . right? 😉  And if you really, really, really don't have time to coupon, puh-lease at least shop's your store's sales ad each week and don't just spend money blindly.


Got it? Great. Let me know how you do this week . . . I can't wait to hear!


See all the deals at Kroger this week, and check out the complete Kroger weekly ad to plan your trip before you go.  And if you're new to couponing and don't know where to begin, head on over HERE (and always feel free to ask in the comments section and we'll try to help you out there too!)


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  1. Shannon Smith says

    I wish I had a Kroger where I live. Such amazing sales. All I have where I live is Meijer and Wal-Mart. I would love to hear some good coupon stories for those places. I’m new to this. We had a house fire and lost everything. They used 5,500 gallons of water on our house that night. We have insurance, however, since my fiancee of 6yrs, and I are not married, none of my things got replaced. So e are attempting to replace all our things from clothes, to dishes, to groceries, to furniture, etc. We have one income, and its $700 every two weeks. $330 of it goes to my daughter’s preschool tuition. We also just had a baby boy in October. My only thought was to start couponing to save some money….even if I don’t get it free, that is absolutely fine. I just need cheap…really cheap.

    • Bless your heart Shannon ~ I know things have got to feel overwhelming right now!

      First – try price matching at Walmart if you have a “discount” grocery in your area (like Aldi’s or maybe Food Lion). Here’s more on that ~ https://passionatepennypincher.com/2013/03/my-first-walmart-price-matching-trip-it-worked/

      You can also find more Walmart deals here ~
      and I really like iheartthemart.com also.

      I think Meijers does have good deals, but it’s been a long time since I’ve couponed there (we used to live near one but it’s been almost 10 years!) Here are two websites that carry Meijers ads (they’re one that I’d love to add at some point!) ~


      Please be encouraged that this really can work for you – shopping the drug stores is also an option, and many times you can even find online deals on groceries! Don’t lose heart and hang in there … I have no doubt that you can save big too!!! 🙂

    • I lost my house a few years ago as well. We were able to save some things downstairs, like clothes, but the smoke smell was awful. An ionizer works wonders. I found a small one at Big Lots (long time ago) and would put in a sleeve for a day and move to another section. Eventually the smell was gone. It doesn’t work on synthetics though. As far as cleaning the smoke off nothing works like Lysol Bathroom spray cleaner. You can spray it and let it sit, then it amazingly comes off. No amount of bleach or dishwashing detergent works. I didn’ t have replacement insurance. I rebuilt 3 years later, smaller. My other house would have been paid for by now. It’s very sad, but no one was hurt and life goes on. Good luck. (I wish we had Kroger too! I have to be gluten and dairy free and Kroger an hour and a half away has the most of those items.)

  2. I still use coupons, because, like you said, we *have* to. There are some weeks when I feel great about it. I enjoy looking at the receipt and seeing how much I’ve saved. However, other times, I get really discouraged when I go to the store and they’re all out, or I don’t have the coupon listed, or I can’t print from SS on my computer and printer, etc. Its not the work that’s frustrating, but the lack of fruit from my labor.

    But, again, I can’t. We do not have money coming out of our ears. 😉 We have 6 people to feed on a budget that was set back when we only had 4. We had to “cut” something somewhere- coupons were it!. (pun intended)

    • I completely understand and get so frustrated when it doesn’t go easily too Tracy, but have to keep at it! Today I lucked out and went to a Kroger in a “non-couponing” end of town, and everything was in stock and worked perfectly… that made it way more fun. But, it’s definitely overwhelming when there are set backs along the way ~ just still worth it!

  3. I agree with you 100%! Sure we all get tired now and then but it is the one thing I can do to make sure ends meet every month! I get tired of hearing that myself, friends and family who say they cant do it like I do because either they work or are too “busy”. It takes me no time to get ready to shop (thanks to you) and they are all for it if I tell them how and where and what and when to buy. Which I dont mind sharing my list but I dont know what they like and dont like, I give them your site and tell them you do all the work so it doesn’t get much easier then that!

    I thank you for teaching me how to save my family money!

    • I’m so glad that what we post is helpful Shannon – that means so much to me!!! I know people do get frustrated and it’s easier not to worry with it, but everyone can take a minute or two to check out the sales ad.

      Thanks for sharing PPP with your friends, and awesome job saving your family money!!!

  4. I want to and I do a little but I always just get so overwhelmed with it.

    • Hang in there Jennifer! Try picking just ONE store (the one that has the best deals in your area) and couponing at that store really, REALLY well for one month. If you can, treat it like a second “job”. Determine to figure it out, and see how it feels when you’ve pinched those pennies for the month ~ I know you can do it!!!

  5. factord_agin says

    Been couponing since ’08, but within the past two weeks I’ve made a big change in my buying habits. I’m switching us to organic/non-gmo foods. Couponing for that is nearly impossible, but I still plan to save where I can on the food side (which will be rare) and really go after the house stuff (diapers, wipes, cleaners, etc). Whatever I can save at this point, I’ll take.

    But I’ll be honest, watching my budget double is heartbreaking and vomit-inducing. Not used to spending this much on food. But it’s a choice I’m making for my family, and until the hubby says no more (and “I want my hot dogs back!”)…organic it is.

    • It is undoubtedly harder to drastically cut your budget while shopping organics, but, I think there are still deals to be had. Shopping crazy well for the items you mentioned, watching deals at Earth Fare and Whole Foods constantly, and making things from scratch should help…. I know you can do it!

      I think if you’ve made those changes and they’re important to you, it’s totally worth it. You might want to look at your budget and determine exactly how much you want to spend to get there – for example I normally spend $60-$75 on groceries, so I would probably change my budget to about $100-$110 if I wanted to make that switch over. And watch Amazon – they offer good deals on some organic foods too! (Hang in there – you can do it!!!) 🙂

    • Try signing up and using commonkindness.com to find coupons for some natural/organic items. May not be a lot, but there is a whole tab that is for mostly organics/natural items.

  6. Hi Laurie,

    I think it is great. We are in good shape financially but we have made a choice to have someone home with the kids. Couponing and being a savvy shopper has rejuvenated us that we can live on less. We are actually eating better meals and a much wider variety of foods. I can see how it is hard for people. It does take a certain mind for it I believe. i certainly can’t explain how I do it to people. I am very aggressive with competitor coupons and it can be very uncomfortable but it is where I make bank on our food. I also feel for people that do not have easy access to all the stores. I am minutes away from all the stores I shop at Giant Eagle, Whole Foods, and CVS so I can jump on sales. Believe it or not I do real well at Whole Foods but it is 3 miles from my house.

    You and a couple of other ladies save me so much time! It is all about a stock pile and not buying what you want but what is on sale and if the coupon is attached!

    Keep pounding your message Laurie! True happiness is about living on less and owning your life ie. no DEBT!


    • Thanks so much for your encouragement Jim! I definitely think it’s easier for some to catch on, but really think everyone can do a bit of it with some persistence – but it’s definitely not a hand out. (We have to work for it, right?) 🙂

      I do also think certain stores make it MUCH easier to coupon. This was a fantastic week to shop at Kroger (which I don’t really think comes around very often), and I’m very lucky to have Publix and CVS nearby. But, I really think just about anyone can save anywhere if they find one store to really learn how to master. Love that your family is sticking with it too!

  7. Factord…we have 75% of our food organic…it can be done on less. Find local farmers. We bought a 1/4 of a cow for $4 a pound…delicious meat. I found three families to split a cow. Whole Foods had a one day sale on organic strawberries last week for 2.99 a lb. Cascadian Farms and Earthbound Farms have excellent coupons and they both sell organic frozen fruits. I have a freezer full of Organic Blueberries and Strawberries for around $4 a lb. It can be done.

    • factord_agin says

      Thanks! I’ve checked around on a share on local cow and so far it’s averaging about $8/lb. But I’m going to keep looking. My problem is there isn’t as much cattle here as soy, cotton and corn. And if my n’hood covenants would allow it I’d have a nice garden out back, but they don’t. We will have a Whole Foods opening up within a year that will be fairly close. So far, Kroger is about my only option for organic (Walmart stinks!). I’ve also got joining a co-op on my list of to-do’s. Heard you can save some $$ that way.

      • I love the idea of getting a cow, and think you *might* be able to get it cheaper (I can’t remember, are you in North Alabama?) I actually know someone who does sell portions of cows that are grass fed organic cows (I believe) if you are close by! Also, then you’ll have that portion of your budget out of the way so you can focus more just on groceries. . . at least it wouldn’t hurt that bad then! 🙂

        • factord_agin says

          Thank you! That’s so sweet of you! But I’m in central MS. There are cattle farms, but the grass fed ones are harder to find and tend to be real proud of their product (probably for good reason!). 🙂

          • Wishful thinking! The children’s minister at our church actually sells portions of cows here in our area ~ they live on a farm and I’ve heard so many people who are very pleased with it. Hang in there though – I’m betting you’ll still find a few deals out there! 🙂

        • I live in North Alabama. Can you send me the details portions on the cows? We would be interested in something like that. Thanks!

  8. hey what was the catalina $2 back coupon for?

    • Ooops! When you buy 3 Scrubbing Bubbles products you get a $2 catalina – hope that helps! 🙂

      Buy 3 get $2 on your next order
      Buy 4 get $3 on your next order
      Buy 5 get $5 on your next order

  9. what was the $2 catalina back for?

  10. When you do get a Whole Foods. They put out a coupon book every quarter and you can combine it with manufacturer coupons. I have 6 boxes of seeds of change rice (didn’t even ever know the brand) for .49 cents a box. $3 off each box stacked coupons…delicious organic rice (cuban rice we loved)! They also have sales weekly that they post on internet every Wednesday. Then they have one or two items for Sale every Friday along with items for sale just for the weekend that doesn’t come out until Friday morning so normally I load up the kids for Friday mornings to catch all potential sales items. They also take competitor coupons!

  11. AMEN Sister! Don’t you dare take this down! Because of people like YOU who help us save I was able to go to publix and get this… 2 aunt jemima waffles, 6 john frieda hair spray, 4 12 pk. sprite, 2 rezer au gratin potatoes, 2 velveeta casserole dinners, 2 smitfield ham slices, 1 kraft fresh take, 2 smart balance butters,1 mentos…all this for… wait for it… $.86!!! Look, I am someone who needs this, and without couponing I”d be hurtn’! Yes, it takes work, dedication, & commitment, but it is sooo worth it! I had 3 different people watching and asking how I did it. I get that a lot and I give them my info but they never get back to me. And I’m willing to tell them how or show them how to get started, but as much as I hate to say this… some don’t want to do the work to be able to save like we do. I know that sounds so mean but I have found it to be true. And some think they just don’t have the time, I get that, I do. But remember, anything worth doing good does take some work. What blows me away are people like YOU Laura, with kids and you are still finding the time to do it and even have a site like this one to help the “coupon world”. You go Superwoman! Your post was not mean, but maybe it lit a fire under someone who needed it. Thank you for all you do, we need this and we appreciate it, all of it!

  12. …oopps! I meant Laurie! My bad, must have been all the excitement. I left off a couple of things from publix too. 1 4pk. angel soft toilet paper & 2 yoplait yogurt. Big deal. My point is that if I can get all that for $.86 ANYONE can!

  13. I am always surprised by the negative comments I get from coworkers and random people I had a coworker just tell me she thought it was silly to spent all this time on coupons ( I really don’t have to spend that much time ) well this same person had a car repossessed recently . I love having thr power to control our spending with coupons .To be honest I wouldn’t stop if I had millions in the bank . Same for stopping by ppp 😉 love you Laurie

    • Thanks so much for your kind encouragement Tina!!! 🙂 I have the exact same people in my life who think I’m “silly”. Ugh! Even if it’s not for them, I think they should still be kind about it and am amazed that people so willingly criticize couponers – especially when they may have their own financial struggles.

      You did FANTASTIC this week shopping, and I love hearing about it!!! Keep it up, and thanks so much for stopping by PPP!!! (really, I’m amazed by it every day) 🙂

  14. Haha Laurie, were you in line behind or in front of someone who thought your transactions were ridiculous? Hopefully you just gave a little smile and nod and went your way with your CHEAP-O purchases!

    Shopping the ads is key, and that’s usually the first thing I tell people (and the reason I like to know in advance if I’m going to be in charge of food for something…in situations like that, if I can at least have a heads up on a Monday so I can shop this week’s Publix ad or next week’s, I’m a happy camper). 🙂

    I also do not understand the people who refuse coupons I offer. When I check out, I typically choose the longest line and wait. This gives me time to double-check my Qs (like did I really get everything I have coupons out for) and my list (like did I really get everything on it), and it also gives me time to look at the cart in front of me and see whether I have Qs that match. Most people are surprised and grateful, but I’ve actually had people turn down my offer of product Qs or a $5/30 Q for (what I could tell was) no good reason. It’s not charity…it’s free money and cheap products!

    • 🙂 Kailin! I wasn’t in front of anyone in line (thank goodness!), but have heard WAY too many times lately people letting me know that they “want” to do it but really don’t want to do it. (And, some people way too close to me remind me pretty frequently that it’s just not worth it to them…. and obviously I’m a wee bit passionate about it!) Even if I won the lottery I’d still keep this up, because it just seems silly to throw money away. I don’t get it!

      I have also had that same experience in the store with the $5 off coupons, and never understand it. I hate that even now there’s a mentality that using coupons is for “poor” people ~ we’re all just some seriously savvy shoppers!! 🙂

  15. I use to love my kroger store…have been shopping there since i was made to go in and grab some butter for my mom. but last night…..BIG FAIL!! i decided to use the $4.00 coupon off of the huggies goodnights. there trial size is only $1.47. the coupon does not specify any size, so this is a no brainer! i went to the register with my limit of only 4, and she would only take of $1.47. i said, “but my coupon says $4.00” she imformed me i wasnt paying that much for them, so i couldnt get the $4.00 off. WOW, i said to her “what make the difference, you are gonna turn that back into the manufacture and get the full $4.00 back, even though you only gave me $1.47” long story short, i said forget it, she slipped my coupons in her drawer, and as i was walking out i remembered she had my coupons…Now that was slick, they were about to redeem for themselves something, again, that they hadnt passed back onto their customer….so i went back and asked for coupons back. I cant tell you how upset i was, i wasnt looking to get cash back, i did however calculate the overage and bought more products with the overage, but really? how can they not give you full coupon credit, but get it for themselves from the manufacture?? Goodbye Krogers!

    • I definitely think they can be difficult and was thrilled to shop at a store yesterday where everything was in stock and they allowed my coupons without issues. I hardly ever pick Kroger over Publix, but was thrilled it worked this week! I heard someone else this week have the same experience at Kroger with overage and hate that they’re making it difficult to save there 🙁

  16. Oh how timely your posts always are ! I seriously needed this today. Ill be hanging out in your beginner series!

  17. Alexandra says

    There is also a 50¢ saving star offer on Cheerios.

  18. Bridgette says

    Hey Laurie!! I LOVE your website and am totally addicted to it and now couponing. You make it so easy for me to sort out and find the deals because either you’ve already figured it out and posted it for me or already have it broken down by stores so I can sort my coupons quickly and plan my shopping. A manager at the CVS store recommended your site to me. Very nice man! He told me to go to your website and follow your tips! VERY NICE MAN!! I am incredibly thankful I took his advice and checked it out! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!!! I don’t know why I haven’t been couponing for years now. I’m sick at how much money I’ve wasted over the years!!! Not anymore!! I’m following your suggestions and stocking my pantry and shelves so I won’t have to pay full price for anything (unless I’m desperate). If we are out of something, it now goes on the list for sale watching. SO please continue to rant and remind us of the benefits so when we have one of those days where we are contemplating our couponing…..we’ll your rants (or pep talks (smiles) ), and know we have your support and a kick in our pants to keep going!!! Many thanks for all the time and energy you put into the site and tracking down the deals for us!!!

  19. I started couponing a little over two years ago and so very thankful that my best friend kept talking to me about couponing. She wanted to coupon and I wasn’t sold on the idea even though some money could be saved. You see, over 25 years ago a co-worker couponed and was avid with rebates. She informed me how to do it so I tried – for a very short time. I lost touch with her when I changed jobs. Over the years, I would use a coupon but not like I have over the last two years. About 8 months after I started couponing and following your site for the sales and coupon matchups, I was laid off. The job paid well but I failed to save. I was blessed to find another job but it was about a 35% cut in salary in a single income/single mom home. Due to my couponing efforts, I had a small stockpile of necessary food items, toiletries, etc. so I could drastically cut my food bill. Unfortunately, my couponing trips were limited to about once a month and only IF there was anything we were getting low on.

    My financial situation hasn’t changed much but I’m either finding better bargains or better sales. I now go couponing about every 2 to 3 weeks! WOOHOO! It’s great when you get asked by the person behind you “How do you do it?”. I always refer them to your website and let them know you have information for beginners as well as the sales with coupon matchups.

    A few of my friends have mentioned I need to show them how to do it but none seem to want to take the time to let me show them. They seem to think it takes too much time. Hmmm, when I can save 50% or more on a shopping trip – I feel I have paid myself well! I’ve even had suggestions to start a “coupon club” to share my knowledge and to swap coupons. I’m not sold on the “coupon club” idea but willing to share my knowledge – they have to be willing to listen and put forth the effort. Hey, if they want to pay more than necessary rather than pinch pennies, then so be it!

    Another friend of mine who coupons, recently told me she lost her coupon binder when they moved and has yet to find it. She hadn’t even bought any papers for a while so I suggested she come to my house and I would help her get started again. I gave her a binder I found and after she made her shopping list, I gave her the coupons she needed. We went shopping the following Saturday together. She saved 80% on her purchase and I saved 67%! I was thrilled for her.

    Laurie, I really enjoy your site and look forward to reading what you share on it. Keep up the good work! God bless you for all you do!

  20. I think a lot of people who quit are frustrated because their OOP totals are not “EXTREME” like they read about on the many money saving blogs. I do not go out and hit every deal, I shop at Publix, only use IP and buy food we like to eat. I manage to save around 70% each week. But whether it is 70% savings or 30% it is money saved. Couponing does not have to be extreme to make a difference in your finances.

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