The grocery store gods looked kindly upon me and made this month a whole lot easier. Safeway started a huge breakfast cereal sale that includes Kellogg's cereals where a catalina coupon (the coupons you get from the cash register that are good for your next purchase) is still active until this Friday 5/14. What does that mean? Free (and nearly free) food!

The deal that made me smile is for Kellogg's Corn Flakes. The 12 oz box is priced at $1.00 each when you buy 4 for a total of $4.00. There are a variety of places where you can get a $1 off 2 coupon that includes Kellogg's Corn Flakes

$1 off of 2 coupon (
$1 off of 2 coupon (RedPlum)
$1 off of 2 coupon (SnackPicks)
$1 off of 2 coupon (Kelloggs)
$1.00 off of 2 Kelloggs All Bran, Crispix, Rice Krispies, Smart Start, Raisin Bran or Cornflakes from the 4/11 RedPlum Sunday newspaper insert.


This is part of a month long challenge to eat well while spending an average of only $1 a day on food. You can find the beginning and the rules of this challenge here


Using 2 coupons, this brings the price down to $2 for four boxes of Corn Flakes. The current Kellogg's catalina is for $3.00 off your next purchase when you buy four boxes of Kellogg's cereal meaning that I was able to make $1.00 every time I purchased 4 boxes of Corn Flakes. As per the rules of this challenge for me, I am only allowed to use 2 computers and the inserts from 2 Sunday papers. Using all the above sources, I was able to get 14 coupons for the Corn Flakes. Each time I would buy 4 boxes of Corn Flakes, I would also add something that was about $1.00 to get it for free / nearly free. This is what I purchased on my 7 trips through the checkout line:

1. 3 bananas – cost: $0.03 (on sale for $0.79 per lb)
2. 1/3 lb ground beef – cost: -0.01 (2.69 per lb)
3. 4 tomatoes on vine – cost: $0.05 (on sale for $0.97 per lb)
4. 2 broccoli crowns – cost: $0.09 (on sale for $0.99 per lb)
5. Oroweat 100% whole wheat Triple Health bread – cost: $0.99 (Although I could have purchased bread for less, this was much healthier – The bread was on sale for $2.99 and I used a $1 of 1 Oroweat coupon I had)
6. 2 jars of Classico pasta sauce and 2 Safeway brand pasta (spaghetti and rotini) – cost: $0.00 (Safeway has Classico Pasta Sauce on sale for $4 for 2 and when you buy 2 Classico Pasta Sauce, you get 2 Safeway brand pasta for free. I had two Classico coupons. One was a buy one, get one free – it was an Internet coupon a few weeks ago, but no longer is available – and the other was $1 off of 1)
7. Mystery Purchase – cost: $0.05

day 12 purchase

28 corn flake boxes

So, purchasing all of the above (including the 28 boxes of Corn Flakes) cost me $1.20. I don't think I will need any of these Corn Flakes as I have 1.5 boxes still on hand, but I am going to keep one more box just in case and will donate the 27 others to a food bank tomorrow.


Breakfast was the usual beginning with a cup of oatmeal in the early morning (this time topped with half a banana so it tasted much better than yesterday's) and then a bowl of Corn Flakes (also topped with half a banana and with a small glass of spicy V8 juice) a couple of hours later:

day 12 breakfast


I ended up having lunch on the fly — I came home to drop off all the things that I had purchased for myself and went straight out to buy food for the food banks in my area. I grabbed a peanut butter and banana tortilla with some chips on the side and was out the door for another few hours of shopping.


Now that I had a little time and a lot of new food to work with, it was time to put together dinner. I put 1/2 cup of the rainbow rotini pasta I purchased on the stove, cooked up the 1/3 lb of ground beef and boiled one of the broccoli heads. When the hamburger was cooked, I took half of it and stored it in the refrigerator. The other half I added to the rotini with a few large spoonfuls of the 4 cheese pasta sauce. I ate that with the broccoli:

day 12 dinner

I also had another small bowl of tortilla chips as a snack while writing this.

This is the current list of what I have purchased:

Money Spent $13.60
Money left to spend: 17.40
Retail Value of everything bought: $455.59

1 mystery purchase
1/3 lb ground beef
4 tomatoes on vine
2 broccoli crowns
1 loaf of bread
2 jars of Classico pasta sauce
2 Safeway brand pasta (spaghetti and rotini)
1 celery stalk
2 bags tortilla chips
3 cans tuna
1 bottle Welch's grape & peach 100% juice
1 bottle V8 Fusion fruit / vegetable drink
1 bottle V8 spicy vegetable drink
2 boxes of Caprisun fruit drinks (10 packs)
1 jar of salsa
1 bag of black beans
1 half gallon of milk
36 boxes of cereal
1 dozen eggs
2 avocados
11 bananas
2 boxes of Quaker Instant oatmeal
14 packs of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Minis
1 package of Knudsen Light sour cream
10 apples
2 lbs of carrots
4 boxes (small) of Wheat Thins
1 jar of Skippy All Natural peanut butter
2 cans of pork and beans
1 bag of long grain brown rice
2 packages of Mission 100% whole wheat tortillas (10 count each)

Donated Food to Food Bank that was purchased with my $1 a day

2 sticks of deoderant
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


The Beginning ::: Day 13: I Hate Shopping


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  1. Oh, oh! I want to know about the mystery purchase. Great job on your purchases. I am amazed!!

  2. When you do these multi purchases using catalina’s do you make multiple trips through check out or do you have it figured out and just break up your purchases on one go-through?

  3. I love these posts. You are an inspiration to those of us who thought we were using our coupons to their best advantage. Good luck for the rest of the month.

  4. You know I am amazed at the amount that you have purchased vs what you have spent but I’ve to say this: I started following this because I am really trying to learn these methods (couponing, blinkies and such) but the menus that you have been eating is not very inspiring to even try this. I love burritos also but I would be gagging by the time I got to this day. You are EATING but I don’t know if this qualifies for “well”.

  5. Saw a post that the monthly deal at CVS for Reach Dental Floss @1.99 is printing the $2.00 ecb. Use the $1 off coupon and it is a $1 mm. The limit is 2 so a $2 mm. On Sunday CVS has canned salmon & chicken breast 2/$3. Go source of protein.

  6. Sorry forgot to say I can confirm it works as I bought the $1.99 Reach Floss, used the coupon and got back the $2.00

  7. I’d consider holding onto another box of those cornflakes. Those can be used as a crust in a dessert or as a breading.

  8. Did you really go through the check out all those times or do you just stay there and do all the individual transactions at once? I’m new to couponing but that has been my biggest difficulty! The embarassment of going through a check out 7 times! Lol! Advice please!

  9. @Pam: Yes, I do multi purchases with multiple trips through the line. I’m not confident enough to break up all the purchases in one go at this point in case something goes wrong. One purchase at a time I know what things should be.

    @Princessperky: Yes – you have to ask though and that can be kind of embarrassing…

    @Maxine: Um, if you are following this to get menu ideas, you are going to be sorely disappointed. I hate cooking. I hate shopping. While the meals may not be inspiring, I’m eating a lot more healthy than I bet most people would imagine you could on only $1 a day. And if someone that hates shopping and cooking can do this, then anyone can.

    Of course my menu is going to be severely limited since I didn’t begin with any base of food at all. If I continued this over time, that bas would expand and give me more choices, much like building a stockpile of food.

    @erika: Yep, I do. I know how you feel, especially when the cashier acts like you are trying to cheat or something. I don’t know if there is a perfect answer, but I do try to find the cashiers who appreciate the deals that I have been able to find and avoid those that don’t.

  10. Erika, there are cashiers that will act snooty to one coupon or to multiple coupons (or no coupons). The bottom line is they are being paid to check people out regardless of the type of transaction-their job they chose it. They are not there to police your purchases or how you purchase your items. These such people are joy stealers. They are not happy so they don’t want others to be happy. Don’t let them steal your joy at getting a deal.
    Back to adm: I am really enjoying your posts-I even told someone about your project yesterday. You are getting an amazing amount of food and product for your money – AND I am learning from you. LOL no not recipe LOL LOL. I have a daughter that eats this way-is happy to open a can of tuna eat it from the can and calls that a meal? She is a horrible cook and has 2 kids! My grandkids are learning to cook in self defense and they are very young. I do have to admit they are healthy and growing very good even though their sit down meal might consist of meanus such as yours. She routinely hits up the kids eat free places and orders herself a small dinner. The 3 of them eat for about $4 most nights because she has a rule always water with meals. Juices only go with snack.

  11. Wow you have been getting some great deals!
    Tip: Water your juice down slightly, you won’t notice the difference, and it will help your juice last longer!

  12. Of course you can buy 1/3 lb of meat. You can buy the exact quantity of anything you need at the meat, fish, deli, cheese counter. The prepackaged items are there for your convenience, and usually cost more, unless they are packaged by the store itself, in which case the price per lb. is the same as at the counter.

    I don’t see why asking for 1/3 lb is embarrassing. Nobody knows why you want it. You might be struggling to make ends meet, you might be making a dip that requires a precise amount…who’s to judge?

    Think about this…you’ve been taught to reach for prepackaged and settle for the quantities the industry sets as a standard. You are free to buy as little or as much as you want!

  13. I hope the mystery purchase was chocolate! 🙂

    At the risk of being nosy, I wonder what your line of work is that you are home during the days. Sorry if I’m being intrusive.

  14. I’m in Canada and I don’t know about coupons in the states but almost ALL of ours up here say “can not be combined with any other offer or sale” I’m amazed they let you just slip through the loopholes but BRAVO for all the planning and smart moves.

    I see how you do it all and get the math but how they allow you to do it…crazy

  15. Amanda, I think you should look at online coupons and manufacturer coupons more closely. I am currently living in the States, so while I can’t look at any coupons that come in a Canadian Sunday paper, I can look at several printed coupons – they are often not restricted to the U.S. (meaning they are valid in Canada) and no coupon contains the language you’ve noted.

    What’s more, I have worked as a grocery store cashier in Canada and I was never told that coupons could not be combined with sales (“offers” may refer to manufacturer offers, but store sales are independent of the manufacturer). As with the U.S., Canadian cashiers operate under a “if the computer takes it, then I don’t care” assumption, and the computer reads the bar code, not the fine print.

    I know for a fact I had some ladies come through my lane with stacks of coupons and end up with tiny totals for large quantities of food. I was very impressed.

    The only “loophole” being used here is that he’s able to use the overage from coupons that exceed the price of the item toward other items. Some store policies require that the coupon be reduced to the price of the item. Bear in mind though, that this is pure greed on the store’s part – the manufacturer doesn’t know how much the store charged for the item and the store will be reimbursed the full amount of the coupon.

  16. This is great, but with all the time you spent organizing and shopping, couldn’t you have just worked a little more and made enough money to eat better?

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