Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A drunken coupon stupor

I didn't even go to the Walgreens 2 day sale, I was so pumped about the triple coupons at Marsh their 'sale' seemed weak in comparison.

I'm positive that the triple $1 coupon sale at our local Marsh Grocery was a once in a lifetime.  By Monday afternoon- the store shelves were cleaned of any product that had a coupon out for it and the cashiers looked like they were about to start a coupon bon fire in the parking lot.

But it was amazing.  Absolutely amazing.  A couponers dream.  I made a total of three trips (I couldn't stop!).  My total before coupons (after sale price card discounts) was $439.97.  After all my coupons, my cash out of pocket was $42.72.  I'm not kidding.

I only bought things that were free or dang near it with the tripled coupons.  I paid attention to what I was willing to pay on a normal sale price for an item before chucking it in the cart just because I had a coupon.  And I spent quite a bit of time in there on Friday looking at each item with whatever coupon I had for it.  For me it was like a dream.  Which makes me wonder if there is a support group for couponers, cause I think I'm gonna need it.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I pink puffy heart love you triple coupon days!

Waking up this morning and seeing a super special message on facebook from Marsh Supermarkets (I pity you if you don't have Marsh Supermarkets around you today) that they would TRIPLE all coupons up to $1 through Monday was exactly what my emotionally worn soul needed.

Nothing gets me excited like an opportunity to go hounding for deals with my coupons.  And with $1 coupons being worth $3- the deals were a plenty to be had!

Being that I was supposed to be working- forgive me for providing only this picture.  Just know that in there laundry detergents, 4 12 packs of cokes, yogurts, meat marinades, seasonings, new oreo icing & smores icing, two premarinated pork roasts, 4 packs of hot dogs, buns, chips, ice cream, lots of cheeses, batteries, cookies, cheese filled crackers, bacon, jet dry, foil, paper plates, dentastix dog treats, zip locks, soap, deodorant and more.  Because I was allowed to use two of each idential coupon, there are two of everything I listed.

Before my coupons (after my shopper loyalty card), my total was $254.57.  After my coupons, I paid just $27.02 cold hard cash.  (plus I got back 2 $4 coupons for my next shopping trip because of buying $24 in Nestle Ice Cream- of which I of course used coupons on).

I love you Marsh.  I love you coupons.  I love you free groceries!

Because some of my items were less than $3, and some were more, the overage from any coupons went toward my more expensive items- like the bacon, pork roasts, etc.  For example- the Weber Grill Seasonings are $3.59- but are on sale buy one get one free.  But you can use a coupon on the free item too.  So I paid $3.59 for both- used two $1 coupons that tripled- so I had $2.41 overage that went toward my balance.

I was glad to see there was still plenty of product left for everything I was shopping for- and that they limited each shopper to two of each item.  It made it fun to shop for deals knowing that there was plenty to go around!  Couponers unite- see you at Marsh!

I'm about to pee my pants & it totally figures

I was tired last night and would have preferred putting off my grocery grocery shopping for one more day.  But I didn't- I pushed myself to go do it.  And I was satisfied with my results.  Although too tired for a big item photo (sorry), my initial total was $117.47 after my shopper loyalty card- and after coupons it was $76.43.  Plus I got back two of the $4 catalinas for my next shopping trip from the Nestle ice cream thing (spend $12- get back $4).

And I was all prepared to hack out the top deals for the week.  Until I logged onto facebook and got a notice that Marsh (where I shopped less than 12 hours ago) is TRIPLEING coupons up to $1 today through Monday (limit of 2 identical coupons per customer).

At first I was all- wow, grab the keys and get to Marsh.  And then I was all, poop- wonder how much I would have saved had I waited until today to go (procrastination sometimes pays).  I saved $38.05 last night in regular coupons (with the up to $.50 doubling).  Had I waited until today- I would have saved ANOTHER $30.10.  Uhg.

Oh well- I'm still going back.  Triple coupons- that is a sure win for a couponer!  I just have to get there while they still have some product left.

In addition- be sure to print this $10 off your order of $100 or more coupon.  It says a particular location, but I asked at my service desk if they honored it and she said yes.  It scanned without a problem.

Also- get your 4 day freebie eckrich smokey links coupon if you spend $50 or more!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Strategy

When I initially started couponing- a little over a year ago now- I was obsessed (and overwhelmed) with all of the 'deals' that I was seeing.  I had tons of blogs that I read and made lists of every.single.deal (most of which turned out to be free) and felt like I had to chase them all.  Which is totally exhausting. 

I've become a bit more lax in how I shop now.  I have 4 (basically- plus Target which will ALWAYS be my true first love of a place to shop) stores that I compare sales to coupons each week (and yes- I still use blogs to track special deals and sales), I make my list and sometime during that sale cycle I try to get there to pick up what I wanted.

There are lots of things that I KNOW I can obtain for free or very little, and I would think that for the rest of my life I will not pay for those items (side eye to toothpaste and contact lens solution- oh and pony tail holders, you too!)  By following the sales and using coupons- I have eliminated most all personal care items completely from our budget.

But as for 'regular' old shopping.  My goal is to save as much as I spend.  That's all.  If my total is $56, I want to see that I saved at least that much from the store sales and my coupons.  And for the most part, I do.  Meat is always a tricky item that will jack up a grocery total- so when stocking up on that my savings are usually a bit less.  But since I stock up on it when it is on sale- then typically the savings are still there.

Now that I am in a good 'rhythm' of couponing- we have a good supply of most items.  I have plenty of drink mixes, cake/brownie mixes, canned and frozen veggies, frozen meat 'treat' items like fish sticks and such, pasta & sauce, all cleaning items, all toiletry items, etc.  All I really NEED on any given week would be our perishables- milk, eggs, bread, fresh produce, etc.  When I find a great price on an item- then I add that to my list and stock up on it.

I am obsessed with these couponing shows.  O B S E S S E D.   But I must say- they probably confuse a lot of folks who think that every week these crazy gals go out and buy $1000 in mustard, sports drinks and hot sauce for $11.  They don't.  They probably do exactly what I'm doing.  But for the show- their big giant debut- they bought up extra coupons, saved up all free product coupons, saved catalinas, and went overboard when an item was a money maker.  After all- it was their one chance in the light- their day to shine.  Saving $40 on a $80 order wouldn't have excited anyone.

But I'm afraid that all the new folks that are trying out couponing, because of the show, are completely confused.  And now they feel like they need to buy every.single.jar of mustard on the shelf, because it is free.

You don't.  Buy a couple- how much mustard could you really use anyway?  Don't clear the shelf, don't hoard your stuff, and for crying out loud- don't dedicate a whole room to your products.  Although you can bet your boots that if we had any single extra square of room in this house I would have already ordered my shelving units (I could play grocery store at home!) Ahem.

Couponing is a way of life- and I personally LOVE it.  But I do think we have to be careful about going way crazy and overbuying for stuff we don't need/can't use. (Like the lady on the show who has $8000 in razors just because she got them for free).

Anywho- keep your eyes peeled at Target folks!  The jars of Classico Pasta Sauce (which is REALLY good by the way) still have hang tags on them- buy two cream sauces get a red sauce free.  My local target isn't a grocery so they don't have the cream sauce- so I went to an actual grocery target in order to actually FIND the cream sauces.  I bought six jars- 4 cream and 2 red.  Used 2 hang tag coupons as well as 3 $1 off 2 jars coupons from the insert a few weeks ago.  Each jar was $1.99- after my coupons the cost was just $4.96 for 6 jars of sauce.  That is a good price to me.  Plus they had crystal lite on clearance for $1.77- I used the buy 2 get 1 free coupons, two $1 off coupons (printed off internet), plus $1 off 3 target coupons(printed off target.com), which made it $.54 for all three.

See- coupons don't always mean free mustard.  They can mean cheap sauce for your free pasta!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The M word

Alright- so I'm fickle.  I said never again.  Today I went back.  again.  This is like number 3 since I said never.  But I do promise to not 'grocery' shop there again.  Just sale item shop.  And I think that makes a point.

Meijer- 5/22/11

$8 Smuckers sundae syrups $2 each ($1 after coupon)
$6.54 Duncan Hines brownie mixes $1.09 each ($.09 after coupon)
$4.50 Kool Aide $.10 each ($.06 after coupon)
$3 Aunt Millies buns $1.50 each ($.50 after coupon)

-$4 4 $.55 off Smuckers Surups (meijer rounds up to $1)
-$6 6 $.50 off duncan hines brownie mixes (meijer doubles $.50 coupons)
-$1.50 buy 10 get 5 free kool aides
-$2 2 $.55 aunt millies coupons (meijer rounds up to $1)

$8.54 out of pocket after coupons.  My total was a little higher as Meijer only doubles the first two coupons- which I learned this morning.  Had I known that- I would have just bought two of each and stopped back later for two more of each or taken dan and rang two orders. But I was there- so I didn't.  Lesson learned for next time.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Time to give back

I'm not quite sure what I was thinking when I wrote this post and said I would participate............THE WEEK OF THE AIR SHOW!  My hands were so full that there was no way I could cram in another single thing- therefore I am participating this week.  Better late than never, right?

So here is what I have bagged up to give away.  It includes:
4 boxes of cereal
2 boxes of cream of wheat
1 box of instant oatmeal
26 boxes of pasta
2 boxes of pop corn
7 tubes of toothpaste
3 razors
1 aftershave
1 tabasco sauce
6 body wash (mens are a shampoo combo)
1 shampoo
6 bars of ivory soap
2 bottles of contact lense solution
4 Reach toothbrushes
1 mouthwash
7 deodorants
3 laundry detergents
1 fabric softener
2 5packs of hanes mens underwear

Want to know how much all of those 79 items cost me out of pocket?????    Less than $15.  Totally not joking.  And that is figuring it all a little on the high side.  COUPONS ROCK!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Walgreens & Marsh 5/17/11

 Total spent- $24.18, received back $10 in rewards to use next week.  The best deals I see this week are
  • Tape- buy 1 at $1.99 get two free with in ad q, plus use 2 $1 off coupons and get three for FREE! 
  • Gilette body wash is 3/$10 and you get a $3 reward back.  I used one buy a body wash get a deodorant free (I could only find ONE deodorant left) and three $2 off from 5/15 paper, which means I paid $1 for all four products. 
  • Off Personal Fans- they are not on sale but I chose to use my q's this week.  Fan $9.99, bought four, used two b1g1 q's printed from the manu site, used two $2 off q's printed from the manu site (because you are allowed to use a q on the free item), used the $1 off q in the May walgreens book (took off $4- $1 each).  Made all four $12- just $3 each and I have been wanting to try these this summer.
  • Reach toothbrushes- buy 2 get $1 reward, buy 3 get $2 reward, buy 4 get $4 reward.  I bought the cheapest one for $.99 each- used 4 $1 off q's from the paper a few weeks ago (needed to be adjusted down to $.99) and got back a $4 reward.  MONEY MAKER.
  • Finish dish washing soap- $3.49.  Used $1.75 coupon from a facebook offer a few weeks ago, paid $1.98, got back $1.50 reward.  Made it $.48.
  • I didn't buy any of the Dove deodorant- but it is on sale for $3.99- and you get a $3 reward.  So if you have any of the $1 coupons, it is basically free this week.
  • The dogfood we just needed.  It's probably cheaper to buy the big bag at Target but I was too tired for another stop so I just gave in.  It's $5.99- I used $1.50 q's and $1 q from the May walgreen book- which made them $3.50 per bag.  I'll total up the cost per pound for the big bag next time I buy it at Target- but I'm sure it's cheaper that way.
Purex is on sale for $3.99.  I used the $3 q's from the 5/8 paper and paid just $.99 each. 
Tabasco sauce is $1- used $.50 q's that doubled so I got them for free.
Philly Cooking Creams are $2.  I didn't purchase any because I still have some in the fridge and I am out of coupons- but if you have the $1.50 q's left- that makes them just $.50 each.  I used the garlic one with some chicken I'd cooked in a little butter and fresh garlic, my free pasta from last week and a bag of steamed broccoli for a super cheap dinner that was DELICIOUS!  If you haven't tried these yet- they are totally worth even full price!
They also had their Purdue boneless chicken breast buy 1 get 1- as well as Edy's ice cream b1g1.  No q's to go with it- but still something I purchased.  It made the chicken around $2 a pound, and we were out, so there you go.

I did pick up a few rain check items at CVS- and matched up a few other high coupons with a couple sale items to get my total over $25 so that I could use my $5 off $25 purchase coupon they emailed me.  Then the cashier scanned one of my other coupons first which brought my total under the $25 and she said I'd have to save my CVS coupon for another trip.  Which kind of preturbed me, but I really like that cashier so I just blew it off.  All in all I paid $2.02 for over $30 in stuff, so obviously it is fine.  Just not as I planned so I'm not even going to blog about it.

I haven't made it to Kroger yet- but shopper Sarah mentioned that the Tide laundry detergent is included in the buy 10 get $5 off sale- as well as the same Ronzoni pasta from last week.  If you look in your 5/15 coupons, there was a $1 off one box coupon- so if you utilize the buy 10 savings you end up paying $.49- use your $1 q and you MAKE $.50!
But that sale in our region ends today.  I hope to swing by there before it ends.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Biting at the bit!

With so much work to do at my actual job last week- shopping trips had to take a back seat.  But rest assured I am BITING AT THE BIT to get my coupons sorted and jump back out there.  When I catch my breath, I promise to update.  I haven't even gotten to read the sale papers yet!  Hang tight, I'll post something soon, pinky promise!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Free Pasta

I wish I would have had a chance to post this earlier.  Our Kroger stores here in Central Indiana run on a Thurs-Weds sale cycle- so that means you only have a day left to do this.  But check this out.

Ronzoni pastas are on sale for $.99 (whole grain, smart choice, garden vegetable- all of them) and when you buy 10 of their sale items (I bought 10 boxes of pasta) you get another $.50 off per item.

Go here and print coupons for $1 off 2 boxes (be sure and hit your 'back' button three or four times after you print it once and you can print it a second time).

Which means you get totally free pasta.  which si a fabulous pantry item and I would say 'free' is a nice stock up price.  Can't use it?  Don't like it? Have enough already?  DONATE IT!  This is a great item for our food banks!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Free Clean and Clear Wash at Walgreens

Remember a few weeks ago when I posted about how the girls had been wanting that new Clean and Clear Morning Burst Body Wash?  And I had buy one get one coupons and then there was a sale at CVS (I can't remember the details- but like spend XXX get $X cvs bucks?) so I bought a few bottles because I hadn't seen a better price?

This week at Walgreens- it is buy one get one free.  When combined with the buy one get one free coupons (the ones I only have one left of since I bought all that stuff at CVS) you get two bottles for FREE!

Couponing is like poker- you got to know when to hold em!  Oh well- you win some and loose some.

Friday, May 6, 2011


$20.47 out of pocket
 (plus 2 2-liters of Pepsi Max that aren't in the picture and a 1/2 gallon of chocolate milk)

$1.69 chocolate milk (we're the snack bucket people today)
(2) $2.49 right guard deodorant
(2) $.88 Pepsi Max
(3) $2.99 tostitos queso
(2) $2.99 tostitos chips
(2) $2.77 colgate max fresh toothpaste
$6.99 Bic Soleil razor
(3) $1 teddy grahams (again- snack bucket)
(2) $1 aquafresh kids toothpaste (had a raincheck)

-$.75 colgate (These had a full price reward- so with the coupon it is a $.75 money maker)
-$.75 colgate
-$1 any tostitos ( I had four more coupons- but the clerk wouldn't honor them- he said one per customer- I've never seen that before on a coupon, bummer!)
-$.88 free pepsi max with chips & queso purchase
-$.88 same
-$2.49 b1g1 free rightguard (after the $1 reward per each item, limit 2, it makes these $.25 each)
-$1 kids aquafresh (made these free)
-$1 kids aquafresh
-$3 bic soleil (after the $3 reward, this will be $.99)
-$5 cvs buck from last week
-$5 cvs buck from beauty club (I must have hit the $50 again)

$20.47 out of pocket PLUS I earned $5 cvs bucks for buying $15 in pepsi co prods (tostitos), $5.54 for the 2 tubes of toothpaste, $2 for the 2 rightguard, and $3 for the Bic razor.  $15.54 to use next time!

PLUS:  I had a hard time finding the shimmer razor at my store.  But I happened to notice ONE on the bottom shelf mixed in with a bunch of CVS brand razors.  And it had a bonus pack with a free headphone.  So I paid $3.99 after my coupon- got a $3 reward for next time AND got a cool new set of headphones!  SWEET!

After I got home from CVS, I checked my email and wouldn't you know it!  They had emailed a $4 off $20 purchase coupon.  Dang!  Oh well- I may go back and do that pepsi co deal again.  It says limit one in the ad- but my receipt says I can do it twice!  And this time I'm hoping they will honor all of the coupons (one per item).

Monday, May 2, 2011

A long overdue shopping trip

Sunday morning, before church, I totally ditched Dan with the responsibilities of preparing our children for worship and ran to Walgreens.  I knew it would be the only opportunity I had for the day, and I was hoping to beat that cartload couponer (which was already at the checkout when I got there)(I'll save my story about her for another day but she makes them ring like 37 transactions and takes over 2 hours to check out and she clears the shelves of every single item, SERIOUSLY).

Walgreens:  5/1/11
$22.34 final cost- $11 back in register rewards- (my actual out of pocket was $12.34 because I used some register rewards from last week)
2 transactions (no one was in line behind me- so yes I did two transactions)

$4.49 Right Guard Body Wash
$.50 Right Guard Body Wash (not sure why it rang up so crazy- ad said b1g1- shelf said b1g1 for $.50?? Whatever)
$2.50 Right Guard Body Wash (again with the crazy price ringing up?)
$2.49 Right Guard Body Wash
$2 Gum flossers
$5.99 BIC Sol Bella Razors
$1.29 3M Roll of Tape (filler so I could use register reward from last week as payment) (remember- at Walgreens you can only use one coupon per item- so since I had a coupon for every item I was buying, I needed something else in order to use a register reward coupon too)
-$.90 in ad coupon for tape
-$3 BIC razors (in 5/1 coupons from paper)
-$4.49 right guard body wash (b1g1 coupon in 5/1 coupons from paper)
-$4.49 right guard body wash
-$4 register reward from last weeks splenda
$1.29 tax
$3.67 total out of pocket
Received back $2 register reward for the GUM flossers (made them free) and $2 register reward for the razors (made them $.99).  Uh- just realized that since I didn't have a coupon for the flossers I technically didn't need the filler tape.  Oops.  But still- $.39 for a roll of tape is good and we go through ALOT of it.


$5.99 BIC soleil razors
$1.29 3M tape
$2 GUM flossers
$5 cottonelle
$5 cottonelle
-$.90 3M Tape (in ad coupon)
-$3 razor coupon (clipped from 5/1 paper)
-$2 cottonelle (walgreens may coupon booklet, -$1 on each 12 pack)
-$2 register reward from last week (can't remember what this was from)
$1.29 tax
$8.67 total out of pocket
Received $2 register reward for razors (made them $.99), $2 register reward for flossers (made them free), and $3 register reward for buying 2 cottonelle (made them $2.50 per 12 pack).

Supposedly there was supposed to be a coupon for the Noxema razors for $3 in yesterdays paper, but I sure couldn't find it.  It may have been regional.  But if you have it- you can pair it with the sale price on the disposable razors and their current reward promotion to make $1 buying them.  Good luck to you if you have it!

I was also surprised that I didn't have a manufacturers coupon on that Cottonelle to sweeten it a bit, but I didn't that I could find.