Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I could do better, but I save 50-60%

This post is by special request from my darling, Ashley!

I have posted a few weeks on facebook and told all my friends what I spent vs what I've saved that week at the grocery store.  I do coupon, and I am that nut that won't buy anything that isn't on sale, unless I have a spectacular coupon for the item.  So, here's how I do it, this works for me, you tweek it and make it work for you

I do my shopping at Publix, because they have amazing BOGO (buy one get one) sales (and there isn't a Kroger nearby me).  In Alabama, that means the items are half off, and equal BOGO.  Now, I know in other states that BOGO means literally that, Buy one and full price, get the other free.  So, call your local store and ask them
So, there you have 50% savings automatically!  Just kidding, it's not quite that easy unless you literally only buy the BOGO items. 

I'll walk you through how I prepare for a trip:
  •, click the "weekly ad" link at the top right, enter your zip, choose your store and view the weekly ad
  • Click each item on the virtual ad and you will bring up a box, if you want the item on your grocery list, click "add to list", and it goes to your grocery list that you can later email or print out
  • Keep clicking and adding, but only things that you know you will eat, don't waste money!
  • Print or email your list to yourself from the site.
Now, I must tell you, every Sunday, I buy a minimum of 2 Sunday papers for the coupons.   Sometimes I'll buy 4.  How do I decide how many?  Publix ads run Wednesday through Thursday so I know how large my list will be, before Sunday.  If something we use a lot of is on sale, I will buy a lot of it (my definition of a lot is 4-6).  How do I keep them organized?  I was clipping and organizing them into a binder in baseball card holders with dividers for categories, but that turns out to be a nightmare for me.  Instead, thanks to the fabulous website I'm about to tell you about, I just pull the coupon inserts, write on the front in black marker the date, and insert it into an accordion file.  You have to figure out your coupons the best way you can for you.  That works really well for me.

  • Click on the Publix Ad and Coupons link (I don't want to link it because I don't want to make an outdated link)

  • Read through your Ad & Coupons, here is an example of one that I have on my list:

stockpile button13 Publix Ad & Coupons 9/8 to 9/14 (9/7 to 9/13 for some) Old El Paso Dinner Kit 8.4 to 19.2 oz, BOGO $3.19
-$0.50/1 Old El Paso Products (exp 10/2/2011)
-$0.60/3 Old El Paso Products Rolling
-$0.50/2 Old El Paso Products 8/7/2011 SS Insert (exp 10/1/2011)
-$0.50/1 Old El Paso Products 8/7/2011 SS Insert (exp 10/1/2011)

 First line is your sale item, size, and it's sale price, so in this instance, 2 for $3.19
Next line is underlined, meaning it's a link for a coupon, CLICK IT!  GET IT!  Especially the 0.50/1!  Publix doubles coupons up to 50 cents, making them equal $1.  
Print as many of these coupons as the site will allow.  I'll tell you why in a minute
Next line, tells you the coupon you can find in the SS Insert, what's that mean?  Super Saver Insert from your newspaper.  
The last line, in this example, is why I buy at least 2 papers.  50 cents off of one of the dinner kits.  Well, it's BOGO, so why not buy 2?  Because of that tid bit of info I gave you about Alabama pricing their BOGO the way it does, you can use 2 coupons.  One for each item.  As long as you are physically paying money for each item, you can use a coupon for each item.
So, let's do the math with this example, 2 items for a total of $3.19 with no coupons.   $1.60 for each box.  Now, add your coupons in.  If you got the 50 cent coupons, and got 2 like I suggest, each coupon doubles to $1 each.  You have two, so....3.19-2.00= 1.19 for two taco kits.  
We eat tacos a lot, the kits don't really spoil, so here's where you stock up.  Here is where making sure you have 4 50 cent coupons comes in handy.  I can now get 4 taco kits, which regular price not on sale, would cost  $12.76.  Instead, with this BOGO sale and 4 0.50/1 coupons, I can now buy 4 taco kits for $2.38.  That's a savings of just over 81% on that one item!
Let me tell you, I get so into this that if I can't find 4 coupons like I think I should have or should be able to print, I get a wee irritated!!  And, I won't buy the 4 if I don't have the coupons!  Unless we really need it.  For this particular item I'm showing you, we already have some on our shelves, so I won't be terribly upset if I don't find 4 coupons.  

  • So, armed with my printed Publix list, I get on iheartpublix and copy and paste the items with their matched coupon info onto Word.  Then print.  
Now, you'll find me sitting on the floor of the living room, accordion file, Publix list, and iheartpublix info spread in front of me.  I'm matching up coupons that I've printed, and clipped from my stockpile and write the info on my list.  
I also like to write the full price of the items on my list on the back.  But, only what I'll spend total on the BOGO if I don't have coupons, so using my Old El Paso example I would write $3.19.
I add up everything, without coupons or taxes.  I like to make my grocery budget off of that total, no coupons.  Why?  I'll explain in just a bit

  • Once in the store, I go straight to aisle 1.  The fabulous thing about the Publix list (I don't know about Kroger), it puts your items on your list by aisle, so you just start at 1 and wind your way across the store and you can skip the aisles that don't have any of your items on them!!  TIME SAVER!
  • I pull out my calculator (yes, I keep one in my purse), and as I put an item in the buggy and cross it off the list, I also add it up with my calculator...this goes back to the budget I made, without coupons, remember?  If I make sure those two add up and are equal, I know I will be under my budget because of coupons.  Always works!
How much has this method saved me?
The best I have done is spent $52, saved $56, 92% savings!
 Spent $46, saved $42 
Spent $19 saved $29 

Of course I've been shopping more than 3 times, but these are the totals I remember  

Now, if you're a Kroger shopper, like I know my mother is, you can follow this too, but go to iheartkroger

Always call your store and find out where to read their coupon policy, along with who their competitors are.  Target is one of my store's competitors, so I can stack Target store coupons with manufacturer coupons!  MEGA SAVINGS!  Oh yeah!!

How do you get Target coupons?  Why, of course!  You have to scroll to the bottom to get to the coupon link.

So, there you have it.  Hope you are armed with knowledge to save money, and not confused!!

1 comment:

  1. THANK YOU! Thats helps a lot! I've always got the basics of couponing, but had no idea how those extreme couponers can do so well. I use coupons now but just for the stuff I know we'll eat and I still buy the store brand if it's cheaper. Now just got to decide if I want to start buying Sunday papers. The accordian file system sounds much better than those binders that the other blogs say to get.