Sunday, April 3, 2011

How I saved $94.63 at the grocery store....

Today I hit the mother load in savings at the grocery store! Well, I'm not like the 'crazy coupon lady' but I did VERY well at the grocery store today. I also did very well despite the fact that it is my first time using coupons in a long time. This is how I saved $94.63...

I started out by clipping and organizing coupons. I had coupons from my paper and from my mom's paper. Although I haven't been using coupons on a regular basis, I have been clipping them every week, so I had some that were still valid from previous weeks. Also, I looked at my Giant Food grocery circular to see what items on my list matched up with my coupons. In addition, I went to the internet and printed out extra coupons from sites like: Coupon Mom and Wow Coupons. Here are the scanned copies of my receipts:

My total before discounts: $353.35
Total Bonus Card discounts: $32.67
Personal Thanks Savings (explained below): $9.66
Total Manufacturer Coupons: $52.30

As you can see, I have two separate receipts . I originally thought I would have 4 separate transactions, but I was actually able to use my Similac coupons all together. Please take note of the following purchases....

My total included:
the following items that I wouldn't normally purchase:
                            a $50 GC for Kohls,
                            a card
                            a coloring book for my daughter

more expensive items:

4 containers of Similac
2 packages of Diapers
a whole chicken,
2 packages of ground turkey,
a package of Italian turkey sausage
and many many other items.

I had 4 rebate checks for $5 for Similac, and I had 2 $5.00 coupons and 2 $3.00 for Similac as well. In addition, the Similac was on sale as well. This meant that I bought 2 canisters of Similac for $12 each and two canisters for $14 each.

I had a $1 coupon for a Hormel Meal, which was on sale $5.69. Also, with the purchase of a Hormel Meal, I received a FREE Country Crock side. (value $3.99) But I also had a coupon for $1.00 for a Country Crock side. So the store PAID ME $1.00!

Personal Thanks Savings:
Part of  the $9.66 that were "personal thanks savings" was the Country Crock side. However, it also included 3 $1.00 doubler coupons. Every once in a while, there are these special coupons in the grocery store sales flyer that comes in the mail that most people see as "junk mail". The coupons allow you to double manufacturer coupons that are $1.00. The store's normal policy is to double coupons up to $0.99. Therefore, the store is giving me $3.00 to use coupons. If you throw that "junk mail" away, you just threw away $3.00!

Other tips:

Wait for items to go on sale. I did buy some items that weren't on sale, because I needed to, but as I go along and continue with the couponing process, I will get to the point where I will stock up on sales so I won't have to purchase when items are aren't on sale.

Now, when I say stockpile I do not have a stockpile room. I live in a 1500 sq ft townhouse with a husband and two children. I do not have room to have shelves and shelves of groceries that will last me for 5 years. Nor would I want to. But, I did purchase 4 canisters of Similac because they were on sale. I did buy 3 boxes of cereal because they were on sale. These will get consumed within the month.

As you begin to watch the sale flyers, you will start to see a trend of when foods are on sale. For example, chicken breasts were on sale 2 weeks ago. At a competitor store, they were on sale 3 weeks ago. Therefore, I can pretty much count on the fact that in 2 weeks they will be on sale again. How do I know this? It has been the trend for the past year. Also, Easter is coming up, so meat will be on sale.

So, I couldn't buy chicken breasts. BUT whole chickens were on sale. I purchased one to cook in the crockpot and I will get 3 full meals out of it. If I had additional freezer space, I would have purchased more.

My plan is not to have to go to Costco this month, unless I need to get diapers for my son, toilet paper or paper towels.


I organize my list by sections of the store, in order my path around the store. I put an "S' if the item is on sale, and a "C" if I have a coupon. Also, I bring my coupon organizer with me in case I happen across a deal that I have a coupon for.

I created my coupon organizer by using a three ring binder, baseball trading card sleeves, and dividers. I got the idea from this site:

Last note: I can't wait for the series, Extreme Couponing that premieres on April 6th. I will never be as crazy as those couponers, but it is inspriring to see them save so much!

If you have any questions or want to share a savings triumph, comment below!

And don't forget to follow me!