Couponing 101

You might recall my mentioning that I am totally inspired to begin couponing since the launch of the show Extreme Couponing.  Well, after attending my friend’s coupon party on Saturday where advice was offered on how to start couponing in the form of a three page Microsoft Word document I got right to it once I got home.  I must say thanks to the ladies who hosted the party for providing a superb brunch including fruit salad, french toast casserole, egg and sausage casserole, mini muffins, chicken salad, and fruit pizza.  Here is my plate from the “bruncheon.” ;)brunch

A taste of it all except muffins and fruit pizza.

I immediately logged on to Southern Savers to find out what deals were at my local Winn Dixie.  This website is a lifesaver when it comes to couponing.  All of the hard work is done.for.you.  Jenny, the site coordinator, matches in-store deals with online printable coupons and manufacturers’ coupons that can be found in the Sunday papers.  That is key to saving money and getting groceries for little to no costs.  Jenny also includes drug store deals as well.  Take a look at the site if you are interested in saving money because I’ve only done it once, but am a total fan.  I can see how couponing can get addictive and turn into “Extreme Couponing.”

Next, I’ll take you through my purchases on my first couponing experiment and explain along the way.

First, save money with store deals such as:

BUY THIS

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GET ALL THIS

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BUY THIS

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GET ALL THIS

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I tacked on a coupon for the three boxes of cereal which made it an even better deal.

Next, you can save with BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE also known as B1G1 or BOGO.

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All of the above was BOGO.  Plus I had coupons for the cheese and pastas so I cut costs again.  *Tip* Since it is two items that are being scanned, you can use two coupons—one for the purchased item and one for the free item (unless coupon states, for example, $1.00 off of any 2).

Then there are the items that are on sale in the store—either a price cut or 3/$4, 10/$10, etc.  All of these items were on sale plus I had manufacturers’ coupons for each item. *Tip*  Just because it states 10/$10, you don’t have to purchase all 10 items.  You can just get the amount you want or need, but still get the sale price.DSC01204

The cheese below had what is called a PEELIE.  It is a coupon on the product itself that can be peeled off and used immediately.  Really, I made the purchase just because it had the $2.00 coupon on it; I’m not quite sure what is going to become of the BRIE cheese quite yet.DSC01205

These next three items were simply on sale within the store.  I had no additional coupons or discounts for them.DSC01207

Finally, I paid regular price for this final item.  Just.one.item.  Bananas.

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Overall, I was pleased with my savings.  I did have a slight oopsy when I handed the stack of coupons over to the cashier; I failed to take out the two coupons for olive oil.  I chose not to use them because the olive oil was not on sale as the weekly ad stated, so I wouldn’t be maximizing my savings of $4 off as planned originally instead only saving $1 with the coupon.

My total bill came to $163 and some change prior to scanning the rewards card and coupons.  Now for my total SAVINGS–

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Yes, I saved $84.41.  That is over a 50% savings.  And I get 35 cents off my gas purchase at Shell using the Winn Dixie Rewards Card.  *Tip* Don’t forget to get your coupons from the Catalina machine that sits next to the receipt printout.  I got $5 off my next purchase of $50, a $1 coupon courtesy of Dole, and a Free Gallon of Milk.  I’m proud of myself and my husband was pretty shocked when I got home to let him know of all the savings.   

Now, the DOWNSIDE–

*I couldn’t buy my usual greek yogurt or hummus and chips because I only made purchases it if it was on sale aside from the bananas.

*I may not ordinarily eat or use the free items.  I’m hoping Chris will.

*I found myself making purchases just for the deals—like the cereals.  I do not eat all that much cereal and generally try to go with Kashi brand for the nutrients and fiber when I do.  But the cereal is good for over a year so hopefully I’ll be able to use it up.

*The cashier seemed annoyed having to scan all of my coupons.

* The cashier seemed annoyed when she had to scan all my coupons with the hand scanner rather than over the table scanner since it wouldn’t work properly.

* The customer behind me seemed annoyed when the manager was called over the intercom when I couldn’t find two of the items included in the laundry deal.  (Sidenote—I was looking in the wrong spot.  The deals are usually displayed on the end cap.)

* The customer behind me seemed annoyed when I handed the cashier a large stack of coupons.

Oh well, I saved $85.  Bet she didn’t.

Do you have any money saving tips to follow when grocery shopping?

In other news–

My husband made dinner tonight.  He slow cooked a beef rump roast on the grill.  It had a delicious, smoky flavor.  He was so proud that he snapped his own picture and I wasn’t even home yet.

roast

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One thought on “Couponing 101

  1. I love the behind the scenes look at couponing! I think it is fascinating, but I tend to agree with your “downside” that I don’t eat the foods that are usually on sale, and/or I can’t get my favorites. But maybe one day I’ll look more into couponing :)

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