Realistic Couponing

  My daughter, posing with all our groceries on January 16th, 2012

Sometimes people get so caught up in “Extreme” couponing that they become disappointed with “normal” couponing. Normally, a person can expect to save around 50% on their groceries if they combine store sales and promos with coupons. That is a reasonable expectation and is nothing to be ashamed of! If you budgeted $6000 a year for your groceries and only spent $3000, that would certainly be an accomplishment!

In this post, I want to share a realistic couponing photo with you. I felt that maybe my website photo gallery was part of the problem, since I show some of my best trips. My photo gallery has pictures of extraordinary trips that I’ve done, perhaps during Super Doubles or Triples Week or maybe I just caught a crazy sale or promo. But since trips like what you see in my photo gallery don’t come around all the time, I thought I should include a photo from a normal shopping week. This was done during a regular week at Harris Teeter. I bought on sale, as usual, and applied coupons to most of my items.

How much do you think I spent? Call in to the radio show at 332-6390 between 10-11 a.m. to take a guess and win!

UPDATE- I paid $42.53 for everything and that actually includes over $2 in tax!

Pictured: 2 Boxes of Hefty Trash Bags (45 count), 2 Coffemate Creamers, Stayfree Maxis, 3 Boxes of Snackwells 100 calorie snacks (Yogurt Pretzels and Caramel Popcorn), 2 Colgate Cavity Protection Toothpastes, 2 Colgate Toothbrushes, 4 Bananas, 4 Packs of Ortega Taco Seasoning, 1 Harris Teeter Brand Applesauce, 4-pack of Activia Yogurt Black Cherry, Sara Lee Iron Kids Bread, 2 Smart Balance Peanut Butter jars, 2 Blocks of Kraft Cheese, 4 Boxes of Kelloggs Crunchy Nut Cereal, 2 Big Palmolive Soft Hands Dish Detergent, 8 Big Cans of Pillsbury Biscuits, 2 packs of StarKist Tuna Salad, 2 64-ounce Old Orchard Organic Apple Juice (Total of 42 items)

Triple Coupon Trip #2

 Pictured: Fiber One Strawberry Bars, 4 boxes of Betty Crocker Scalloped Potatoes, 3 Boxes of Nature’s Valley Granola Thins, Mahatma Rice, 2 Boxes of Muellers Whole Wheat Spaghetti, One Loaf of Sara Lee Iron Kids Bread, 4 Bananas, 4 Cans of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup, 3 big Bags of Krunchers Potato Chips, 100 count Bounty Napkins, Chock Full o Nuts Can of Coffee, Fiber One Brownies, 2 Packages of Wholly Guacamole, 100 count Vanity Napkins

Since I can only triple 20 coupons per day, I went back today for my second triple coupon trip. I made out pretty well- spent $12.95 and saved $70.56.

A couple of notes about this trip: I took advantage of the General Mills promotion (on page 3 of the Harris Teeter ad), where you can get 50 bonus box tops by buying 8 of the listed products. I don’t know if you care about box tops, but as a parent with a child in school, I do! Box Tops can be turned into the local schools where they redeem them for money for the school. 50 box tops is the equivalent of $5.00. So I got excited when I saw this promo.

As a bonus, almost everything listed on that page of items that qualify for the promo were on sale and had matching coupons! After tripling, many of the items ended up being less than $1. For example, the Fiber One Brownies were on sale for $2.50. I had a seventy-five cent coupon, which tripled to $2.25 off, making them only $.25! Theoretically, if you bought eight of those, it would cost you $2.00. Then at the register, you would get a $5.00 box top reward, making you $3.00! Now, truthfully, you’re not supposed to be able to use more than three of the same coupon in one trip, so that shouldn’t work but you could certainly buy other items that qualify for the promo that also end up being really inexpensive after triple coupon. I believe the Betty Crocker potatoes also count. They are on sale for $1.25 each and I had a coupon for $.50 off of two. After the coupon triples, it ends up being $1.00 for both boxes, or $.50 each. You only need to buy eight items to qualify and you can mix and match any items on the page. All of those matching coupons were in the recent Wilmington Sunday paper.

A couple of other deals that I liked were the Muellers Whole Grain Pasta, which is free after using the $.55 coupon. Also I paid only $.50 for the package of Bounty Napkins after using a $.25 coupon that tripled and also using a digital coupon from my EVIC page. The Krunchers chips (which I bought for my upcoming workshop), were on sale for $2.50. After a $.75 off coupon tripled, they only cost $.25!

There are so many great deals to be had this week! Please share with us any great deals that you find!