Thursday, October 14, 2010

Couponing 101

From time to time, I have friends ask about my couponing, so here is a one example of what I consider a good shop.

I enjoy couponing. It is a game for me to get free razors, rice, and toliet paper. I normally do a weekly shop at Giant Eagle that I try to keep around $50 for the week (after coupons). That includes Sal's Reagan's blueberries, bananas, and 2-3 gallons of hormone-free milk weekly. Then anything I have great coupons for that will make it free or cheap goes into the cart. If it is something I can get for free that we don't use, I get it and donate it because it still goes towards the fuel perks I WILL use.

 These shops don't include meat since I don't buy that from GE, but shop a local market for that.

Giant Eagle
Actual shelf cost: $87.10
Cost after GE card: $77.85
Cost after coupons: $53.85
Cost after rebates: $43.85
Total Savings: $43.25
50% savings! I'll take that!

Since I shop weekly, I scour the sales and stock up as necessary. About the only thing I buy, at retail price, on a weekly basis is milk and fruit. I also try to stay away from processed foods for our family, but sometimes the only thing the kids will eat for lunch is plain pizza.

This week I found a great deal in the clearance cart. Tom's of Maine Natural Toothpaste. Retail price: $2.73. It was on clearance for $1.24. I had a coupon for $1 off. There were two tubes left and I had 2 coupons.

I also like to shop the cheese section carefully. We always put a cheese board out when we entertain, so I like to have a variety on hand. At Giant Eagle, as cheese closes in on its sell by date, they stick a $1 off sticker on it. Cheese is pretty pricey these days, so even that little bit helps. Today I stumbled on small chunks of White Stilton, some with lemon zest, cranberries, or blueberries. Most of these chunks were under $3. The four that I purchased cost $2.55 total, one of them being a whopping nickel! If they don't get consumed this weekend, I'll either freeze them and use them for cooking or just make a sauce with them.

There has been a wine deal going this week as well. Casillero wines are $9.99. If you buy $20 in groceries, the catalina machine spits out a $10 rebate. Free wine. Well, postage cost minus a penny. You can do this deal as many times as you'd like, but it has to be seperate transactions. Meaning you can't buy 3 bottles if you are spending $60. The machine will only generate one, but if you want to break up your shopping or do seperate transactions, the machine will spit one out for each $20 order.

Things I stock up on when I can get them cheaply; rice, pasta, and paper products.

Things I have to keep on hand and stock up on when they are on sale: YoCrunch (only chocolate chip flavor) for Reagan. This week they were on sale 3 packs/$6. I had $1.50 GE catalina coupons and a manufacturer coupon for $.75 (doubled to $1.50), so I got all 3 packs for $3.

I might not be the best couponer out there and I know plenty of people that would have gotten all this stuff for like, $1.34 or something crazy like that, but I was pretty happy with this shopping trip.

*not pictured are thebribes donuts the kids got for being good in the Eagles Nest.

1 comment:

Kara said...

I'm impressed just reading it! I'm VERY bad with coupons!

Hey, check out my friend's site - - I think you'll like what you see!