I found this interesting blog – the guy started on May first to pay only $1 a day for food (for just himself). So, he would have $31 to spend for the month of May. I find this fairly easy to accept as I spend about twice that a month to feed the three of us!
Here were his rules:
1) I will begin on May 1 and will have no accumulated food of any kind. I have $31 to spend ($1 for each day of the month). I can start buying food on May 1 and can not exceed the $31. I must document the cost of the food with receipts.
2) I can only use 2 computers to print coupons. Although I have access to more which would make this challenge much easier, we agreed that not everyone will have access to a lot of computers. However, we also agreed that anyone reading this has access to at least one computer and should be able get access to another one using a bit of creativity.
3. I can only use 2 inserts from the Sunday paper each week. Although I have access to many more than this (I usually pick up anywhere from 3 to 5 copies for free from the local coffee shop alone each week), we decided that not everyone would have access to dozens of inserts. We agreed that anyone could get the coupon inserts from at least 2 Sunday papers with a bit of creativity. I am allowed to use up to 2 of previous week’s coupon inserts that I already happen to have.
4. I can use as many coupons as I want that I can get in the grocery store where they are available to everyone.
5. I can only buy food from retail outlets (grocery stores, drug stores, food markets, etc). I can’t supplement what I buy at the store with free food from trees, dumpster diving, friends, food banks, donations, growing my own, etc.
6. I can only use deals that anyone else would have access to getting.
While I found it interesting to read through his posts — I was a little bothered about one thing: shopper courtesy.
He starts the month by taking 60+ coupons out of a dispenser for cream cheese at the store — and then bought them all that week! I try to be considerate of other shoppers: just because I COULD buy 40+ of something at one time doesn’t mean I would. It kind of stinks to be the shopper right behind someone who is taking an overabundance of an item and sees that they left none for the next shopper.
He had no intention of eating all of those, but new he wold get $.06 BACK on each one he bought (between the sale price and the coupon) – he was using that overage to keep in his budget and get other things like bananas, etc. He did donate 50 or so packs to the local food pantry so the food wouldn’t go to waste but gypped other shoppers the chance at the sale.
Here is what he donated (at the end of his 31 days) to the local pantry:
8 Deli Selections lunch packages
4 packages hardwood smoked turkey franks
2 Gillette body wash
3 sample packs of Maxwell House Vanilla Carmel Latte
1 Stayfree pantiliner package
1 Kotex U tampon package
5 Bayer children’s aspirin
2 sticks of deodorant
4 bottles Windex multi-surface cleaner
1 can of Pork & Beans
32 boxes of cereal
50 packs of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Minis
4 boxes (small) of Wheat Thins
2 Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean bathroom cleaner
2 Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean bathroom cleaner refill
A pretty impressive list but you can see what I mean- 32 boxes of cereal, 50 containers of cream cheese, etc.
If you are curious about the feminine care items, etc – he was really working the drugstore deals! He has a CVS Pharmacy and does some of the same things that I do with Walgreen’s. They have a lot of customer rewards too – we do have one in Madison, but it’s on the far west side and I can’t really make sense of all that gas to save a few $ — it seems like it would cost more to travel than to save.
He did drive a lot to do this — sometimes hitting 3 stores in one day, shopping almost every day. Again, that kind of negates the savings when you are spending 4x as much for gas than you normally do, LOL!
Read through for yourself, he can be pretty funny!