Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bragging Rights: Couponing Edition

I had an extremely good shopping trip at the food and drug stores recently and I just have to share! But first, I wanted to explain something for those of you not familiar with couponing and the area where I live:

We live in the mountains and the closest 'big' food store is Food Lion 18 miles away. That's also where CVS and Rite Aid are located. Other big food stores are in a larger town 45 minutes away and if I go there, I try to consolidate errands so we are not running down there for just one store or one thing. Many couponers like to frequent stores that double coupons, price match competitors ads and/or accept other stores' coupons. The stores down south must be really nice because the coupon website I go to, people are consistently saving 80 - 90% of their totals while shopping.

The Food Lion where I shop at is just a plain, old, regular grocery store. They don't double coupons or price match because they don't have any competition from any other stores. They know that a lot of people in town go there because they have no other place to go. But still, there are deals to be found if you know what to look for and the coupon website I frequent says that if you learn when your store has their sales, anyone can turn any store into a good store. This such trip was one of those sales.

Because of the Super Bowl, a lot of the 'party foods' and snack foods are on sale. There were several special deals and lots of coupons and I was able to pick up all of the above for a good price. It's my best shopping trip at Food Lion and I'm really pleased with that. There are some items here that I don't ever buy, like the Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough, the pasta mixes and TGIFriday's appetizer, but by combining coupons, sales, and deals, made it too good to pass up and will come in handy for those occasional meals I don't have time to cook from scratch.

  • 2- Red Baron pizzas
  • 3- Stouffer's French Bread pizzas
  • 1- Gallon Milk
  • 6- Ragu sauce
  • 4- Minute Maid O.J.
  • 6- Knorr Pastas
  • 1- TGIFridays appetizer
  • 2- NY Texas Toast
  • 1- Farm Rich Mozzarella Sticks
  • 1- Otis Spunkmeyer Cookie Dough
  • 2- Jose Ole Taquitos
Before sales and coupons: $87.52 Final Cost: $31.80! That's a savings of over $55.00!!

This next set of food was from CVS and Rite Aid-- drugstores. Before coupons, you'd never see me grocery shopping at drugstores. They're overpriced to begin with and why go there when I can usually get what I need with more choices at the food stores? But since learning how to extreme coupon, I just love drugstores! With the exception of the Vitaminwater, this is stuff we usually always have in the pantry.

  • 2- V-8 Juice
  • 4- Lipton 100 count Tea bags
  • 4- Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry juice
  • 3- Ragu Sauce
  • 4- Planters Cashews
  • 2- Vitamin waters

Total retail (drugstore) value: $78.86 After sales and coupons: FREE! Yes, free. Actually, I made a profit of $4.96. They paid me! Sweet!

If you total up the two: $166.38 before sales and coupons; Actual out of pocket costs: $26.84!

That's money that stays in the bank account! I have to work a little bit:: cut out coupons and match them up with the sales, maybe save receipts and UPCs to submit for a rebate, but in the long run, I am saving us money and we are eating well. If it was not for coupons, I honestly think we'd be on food stamps by now, because we actually do qualify for food stamps. I see a lot of people here in our town on food stamps and I wish I could teach them to make their money go farther by using coupons and sales. I take it as a challenge sometimes to see how much I can get for the least amount of money possible.

Ok, I'm done with the bragging. I'm just so pleased and it's good to look in my pantry and my freezer and know that my family won't go hungry.



Cheyenne said...

Wow, you really did great. I use coupons every week but I have never, ever done as well as you. And I doubt I ever will either.

jenny said...

Cheyenne-- Thanks! When I worked out the scenario for shopping at Food Lion, I was pretty stoked about it! I wanted every single thing I bought to have a coupon and you can find a lot of coupons online and even on Facebook, too! Red Baron has a FB account and if you 'like' them, enter their sweepstakes and "losers" get a coupon. The only items I didn't have coupons for were the cookies and the TGIF appetizer, but they were free through the deal, so I was ok with that.

I really am grateful to my stepmom for showing me how to do this-- it's really been a lifesaver for us!

Peg said...

Jenny, you say 'bragging' as if it's a negative thing -- you have every right to be pleased with yourself and this accomplishment! Especially because it's one of those situations where, if people put in the time and effort you did, others could achieve similar results! Thank you for the inspiration.

Deaf Pixie said...

Yeah, That's how I saw in facebook you can signed up and buy a book she wrote about how to saving money. you have to be more frugal for feeding your family, etc.

GrannyKaren said...

Love those deals!!! Do you have a Dollar Tree close by? If so, get your Sunday papers there at a discount. I am hooked on couponing!

jenny said...

Peg-- So right! If more people put in the effort to use coupons, they would save lots of money, too. Sometimes it's just the little things that can make a big difference!

Deaf Pixie-- There are many, probably hundreds, of different coupon websites out there. I have been to the one you linked to before, but her site doesn't fit my needs like some others do. we have always been frugal while shopping, going to thrift stores or recycling something into something else, the coupons just take us another step further!

GrannyKaren-- No Dollar Tree around here, dang it! There's one in the bigger town next over, but I can't run down there just for the paper. Luckily for me, I get coupons from family and friends, along with the 2 papers I usually buy for myself. The most I ever bought was 5 papers!! I needed 5 of the same coupon to get 5 bottles of laundry soap for free!

Johnna Sutton said...

I've been meaning to tell you that I started couponing 4 months ago...EXTREME couponing and I LOVE IT! I just go 16 containers of skippy for free! I've saved soooo much money. Happy shopping;)

Andrew said...

Johnna-- Isn't it great?!?! I think the only downside to extreme couponing is the time spent cutting out coupons!! Scissors cramp! LOL Sylvia (5) wanted to help me cut coupons once, so I showed her what to do, and when I checked on her progress, she cut off all the upc codes!! Agh! LOL Happy saving!! :o)

jenny said...

Johnna-- oops! I didn't realize I was on Andrew's account! that was me that replied to ya, up above this! LOL :o)

Deaf Pixie said...

Jenny, I do agree with you .. Somewhat I am try to ask my next door if they are interesting and I can pick it up next door. They are not using coupon.

Extreme Coupon TV show made me wonder how can they keep TON of stuff and food. Shave razor. I purchased almost 10 dollars for shaven for my husband. I got free instead of spent on 9.59 dollars something. My hubby say What? it is FREE? Wonderful!

jenny said...

Deaf Pixie-- I saw clips of that show, too. The people on that show border on hoarding and buy wayyy more than necessary. Sometimes I buy something, like toothpaste, I already have plenty of toothpaste, but sometimes, with the coupons and money back, it becomes a deal for me, so I go ahead and get it, then I will donate it to homeless shelter. I paid nothing for it, so it's not hurting me, and I am helping someone out. Everyone wins! :o)

I don't see how that guy on the extreme coupon show can eat all that salad dressing before the expiration date, plus keeping it in the garage is not the best place with temps going back and forth between hot and cold. People have to figure out how much to buy so that it gets used/eaten before it spoiled, and remember that it will go on sale again later.

Good for you getting the free razor! I think I got the same one! :o)

Jaggerfan1 said...

I've heard of that Food Lion place. I have an aunt who lives in Cynthiana, ky, and they have one down there. It's really affordable and I looooooooooove that.

jenny said...

Jaggerfan1-- I never used to like them before, when we lived at our old house and had other, closer choices to shop at. But since moving here, with no other choice, I've learned to love them. They're still not my number one store, but there are bargains to be found there! :o)