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Coupon nirvana!!!

February 3rd, 2011 at 05:40 pm

I finally did it. I saved a ton of money using coupons. For one brief moment, I became that lady, who cut her grocery bill by 60 percent via coupons.

Can you tell I'm excited. On a lark, I decided to check out couponmom.com and see what kind of deals I could get this week. Kroger is having its Game Day promotions. Things are on sale, then if you buy 10 participating items, you get $50 cents off of each.

I have a decent stock of coupons built up, because my mom brings me her Sunday circulars, ad I combine those with mine.

I spent 45 minutes combing through fliers clipping multiples of a few coupons. Then I tackled the grocery store. At the checkout, I was convinced it was too good to be true. I was scanning my Game Day items, and none of the discounts were showing up. I thought I had been had. Now I know they don't show up until you or the cashier hit the Pay button, then all the discounts magically come off.

I was sweaty palmed as my bill hit $80-- way more than I was planning to spend. By the time the cashier handled my stack of coupons AND I got the gameday discount, I was down to $35.19. Totally awesome!!!

I got:
2 giant tubes of colgate, for free. On sale for $1.50 and had two 75 cent D (double)coupons
2 giant tubes of Crest for 50 cents each, $2 on sale, had two 75 cent D coupons
3, yes 3, free Dove deodorants. On sale for $2, and had three coupons for $2 off. Too too good to be true.

I also bought 9 cans of Hunts diced tomatoes, reg. 99 cent, on sale for 49 cents, plus I had three 45 cent coupons (off three). I paid about 20 cents a can at the end.

And, as if the stars aligned, Kroger mailed me a packet of coupons to thank me for being a customer. Four of them were for FREE store brand items. I got 1 lb of butter ($3.29), 1 pack of cheese ($4.19), 1 dozen eggs ($1.69) and 1 free jar of peanut butter ($1.99).

All told, I saved $52.57 due to coupons (according to the receipt). $16.90 in manf. coupons, plus $35 in coupons including the Game Day discount and the store coupons for free items.

It felt really good to have this sort of degree of success. I know I won't be able to do it all the time, but I certainly will do it as often as I can.

After I went to Kroger, I took a trip to ALDI to fill in on basics that weren't on sale at the regular store.

The items I bought today-- some are now in the basement cabinet, which is where my stockpile is. The more I can stockpile for deep discounts, the more I will be able to wait to buy until we have a great deal in the future. It just takes time, I suppose.

The toothpaste experiment

January 10th, 2011 at 04:42 pm

I've been testing my coupon skills (I'm a total newbie) on the low-hanging fruit this week: toothpaste. It's always on sale, I'm not brand loyal, and there is always a coupon.

Today was my first ever free tube of toothpaste. Colgate, on sale for $1, I had a 50 cent coupon, and the store doubled it. I should frame that tube of toothpaste and refer to it every time I need some inspiration!!

Earlier this week, I got a tube of colgate for 29 cents at Target, using a manf. coupon plus a store coupon. That also felt good.

I wanted to test out the BOGO plus using two coupons thing at Walgreens. I was skeptical. But, it worked. I paid more than I ever will again for two giant tubes of toothpaste. Reg 4.29, BOGO, plus I had two 75 cent off coupons. Final price: $3.08 for two tubes.

Also, I had hoped to get some free toothbrushes, but alas the coupon was not good for the ones that were on sale. Using the double coupon policy, I did get two $2.23 toothbrushes, used two 75 cents ($1.50 each doubled coupons) so paid about 73 cents each for the brushes. Fair enough.

I think I'm starting to get the hang of it, although I have yet to figure out when to use the coupons and when to hold on and look for a better deal. I don't want to get so excited that I just go all will-nilly buying things we don't need or using up good coupons when I'm not getting the best deal. Alas, it takes time.

Learning the fine art of cheaper groceries

January 5th, 2011 at 09:59 am

I'm halfway through week one of my attempts to coupon and cut my grocery bill. I'm wondering if I'm in over my head. It's so much to think about!

My goal is to save 30 percent or more on the items we use frequently.

The highlights of this week:

I bought two large packs of boneless chicken breasts. They were on sale for $1.99, down from $3.29 a pound. I saved $13.54. I divided the packages into small, serving size bags in the freezer. I also used a $1 off Catalina that I found at the self-checkout.

I used my grocery discount card to save 30 cents a gallon on 10 gallons of gas. ($3.03 to 2.73/gallon)

I signed up for a CVS card, and used it to get BOGO cocoa roasted almonds. Reg price: $6.49 a can. Got one free, plus used $1 coupon, so $5.49 for 2. I eat these when I am in fat club, so I'm happy to have some on hand.

I was not able to get any of the items couponmom.com marked as "free" or really great deals at my local grocery and drug stores. I was mad at first, but realize I'm not going to score every time.

I also missed out on coupons for Horizon organic milk and seventh generation because the coupons were no longer online by the time I got around to hooking up the printer and installing the coupon software. I clearly have to jump on these things when I see them.

I realize it is going to take time. I need to build up a cache of coupons, pay attention to sales flyers, etc.

I am going to start simple:

Buy loss leaders
Buy on sale, and match sale items with a coupon
Look for catalinas

I signed up for Couponmom.com, to get me started. I also began saving all of my Sunday coupon inserts (as per coupon mom system) and am now looking at the mid-week grocery ads and the CVS and Walgreens ads.

I realize I am not going to be able to save big all at once. I hope to slowly build a stockpile of the items we use frequently, so then we can start only shopping sales.

So, I have repurposed the built in cabinets in the basement bathroom. They are mostly empty, so it will become our pantry stockpile.

Coupon adventure starts tomorrow.

January 2nd, 2011 at 09:08 pm

I'm feeling emboldened by my recent sign up at couponmom.com and my desire to coupon, coupon, coupon.

Tomorrow, I am going to try my hand at a couple of CVS deals.

Namely, $1 marcal paper towels with $1 coupon = free

Buy 2 revlon tools (the ones I want are less than $3.50 and I need them--toenail clippers!), get $7 in ECB back= free

And, buy one get one on my favorite nuts. I have a coupon for the one I "buy" ,and plan to pay for the rest with the ECB.

We'll see how it goes. I'm skeptical and nervous!!