Thursday, September 23, 2010

Another Great Shopping Day 9/23/10

This week I had another great shopping week. Not as great as last week's trip, but I saved a very respectable 52%. It broke down to the following:

Total before discounts: $214.43
- advantage savings        $62.68
- coupon savings            $50.82
(-Total discounts             $113.50)
 Total spent                  $100.93

Even though I didn't save as much as I did last week, this week the cashier got a message on her register that a manager was needed to approve my transaction because I had exceeded my coupon savings amount. That totally made my day. It also made my day even more when the cashier said my total savings were some of the biggest she'd ever rung up in all her umpteen years of cashiering. So a big fat whoo hoo for me!

I know some of you are probably wondering how the heck I do this, and are thinking that there's some couponing 101 boat you must've missed. The only thing I do is match the store's loss leaders to the coupons I have (from the Sunday paper, online sources, and women's magazines). That's it. Easy peasy.

Here's an example of how I save money. This week at Price Chopper, Spic and Span cleaner ($3.39), Dial Bodywash ($4.99), Arm and Hammer laundry detergent/dryer sheets ($3.99 and $3.36), and New England's Best Coffee ($5.99) were all buy one get one free. Good sale.

But I also had coupons for these items (some I've been saving a month, others I printed out just this morning). Spic and Span: $1 off two (becomes $2.39 for 2), Dial: $1 off two (becomes $3.99 for 2), Arm and Hammer: $1 off two detergents ($2.99 for two), $1 off two products ($2.36 for two dryer sheets), and .75 cents off two New England's best coffee ($5.24 for 2). Now it's a great sale!

Once you get the hang of that and have a nice stockpile going, you can start stacking coupons, too.

It sounds so much more complicated than it sounds.

Here's an example of what I did today:

Price Chopper published a coupon in the Sunday sale flyer - Buy four Kelloggs cereals for $8 (normally $2.50 a box). Two dollars a box isn't bad, but it's not wonderful either. Now, the Price Chopper coupon says it's not to be combined with other manufacturer's coupons, but so far, mine have always been accepted. So, in addition to the store coupon, I had a manufacturer's coupon for $1 off two boxes of Rice Krispies, as well as another manufacturer's coupon for $1 off two boxes of assorted cereals. Rice Krispies and Apple Jacks were some of the selected cereals I could purchase with my store coupon, so I purchased two boxes of each. Stacking the manufacturer's coupon and the store coupon, I got 4 boxes of cereal for $6 or $1.50 a box.

It's quite a rush seeing the total on the cash register go up up up and then after you start swiping cards and coupons, the total plummets dramatically.

My stockpile is pretty stocked up too. I can quit buying cleaning products, toothpaste, shampoo, etc. for a while. We have a many-months supply on hand.

Oh, and my coupon accordian file organizational system worked really well today, too. I still need to tweak it a little (need a system to return the coupons I'm using to the file instead of dumping them in a pile in my shopping cart), but all in all, this whole process is going amazingly well.

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