The wonders of couponing.

No C-Money I was not ignoring your request, I was just trying to decide how to best approach the topic of couponing. I went shopping for the week’s groceries this morning and was actually quite please with my purchases. Then this afternoon, someone who shall remain nameless thought of another meal that they really wanted. So while we were out and about we ventured into another grocery store in town with no coupons in hand. The difference: for 1 week I spent $56.89 and for one meal (plus a large luxury item) we spent $45.61. Simply by couponing you can see the difference. So that you can really get the picture I will list both reciepts and denote special things like B1G1 items, coupons and rain checks that I was holding from previous trips and sales. I have also included the original price beside the item. Abbreviations will be:

  • Manufacturing coupon: MC
  • Store coupon: SC
  • Buy 1 Get 1: B1G1
  • Rain Check: RC
  • Advantage Buy (Limited time price at Publix): AB

Publix Receipt (This is 1 week of groceries, no meat, and stocking up on certain items, but includes 6 dinners.) I also think it is important to note that I did not do as much couponing as usual for this week so savings can actually be much higher.

  • Publix Milk 1 gallon $3.19
  • 6 Stonyfield Organic Yogurt $1.30/each – RC so $.50 each
  • Publix honey yogurt $.47
  • Publix sour cream $.95
  • Conecuh Sausage $4.79
  • 2 Post Selects Cereals $4.41/box – B1G1 so @4.41 for both
  • 2 Nature Valley Family Size granola bars $5.49/box – B1G1, 2 $.40 MC so $4.69 for both
  • Premium Saltines $3.03: on sale for $1.89
  • 2 Barilla Penne pasta $1.43/box: on sale so $1.58 for both
  • NO YOLKS egg noodles $1.99: $.75 MC so $1.24
  • Publix Yellow Rice $.89
  • Kraft Mac and Cheese $2.50: on sale for $1.67
  • Couscous $2.19
  • Hershey’s Dark Cocoa Powder $2.99: SC for $.50 so $2.50
  • Publix Dry Kidney Beans $1.69
  • Nutella $3.79: AB so $3.00
  • Publix Black Beans $.83
  •  Publix Cooking Spray $2.59
  • 2 Del Monte Diced Tomatoes $1.53/can: B1G1 so  $1.53 for both
  • Artichoke Hearts $2.19
  • Publix Chick Peas $.83
  • 12 oz Sliced Mushrooms $3.09: on sale so $2.50
  • Fresh Strawberries $5: on sale so $1.97
  • 2 Fresh Express Romaine Hearts $3.69/bag: B1G1 and SC of $1/2 so $2.69 for both
  • Publix eggs 18pk $2.69
  • Sara Lee Bread $2.40: on sale so $1.99

Here is a summary of this trip:

  • I used 1 $5 off of $20 coupon (these are referred to as dollars off coupons)
  • I used 2 store coupons (one Publix and one Target) for a total savings of $1.50
  • I used 4 MC coupons for a total savings of $2.05
  • Advantage Buy totals: 1.19
  • Advertised Savings (on sale items): 22.31
  • Total with Tax: $56.89
  • Total Savings: $32.05 (This number does not include the savings from B1G1 items I bought.)
  • Total Savings with B1G1 savings: $48.46

Winn Dixie – this is one dinner and luxury item and coffee

  • Diamond Slivered Almonds $3.99: on sale so $2.99
  • Snow Crab legs $29.22: on sale so $16.22
  • Ground Beef $4.43
  • Red Beans and Rice Seasoning $1.79
  • 2 Hunt’s diced tomatoes $1.49/can: on sale $1.00/can
  • Winn Dixie Kidney Beans $.80
  • 2 Winn Dixie Tomatoe Sauce $.69/can
  • Black Beans $1.00 on sale
  • 2 Campbell’s Bean and Bacon Soup $1.67 on sale
  • Winn Dixie Chili Beans $.80 on sale
  • McCormick Chilie Seasoning $1.49
  • Maxwell House Coffee large can $9.49: on sale for $5.99

Summary of trip:

  • Total with Tax: $45.61
  • Total Savings: $18.48

As you can see even only a few coupons made a big difference in the total bill, it’s also important to note that while at Publix I was very intentional in shopping the sale items. This means that sometimes even though I don’t need something right away, I buy it anyway and stock up.

So the next question to address is how to learn the lingo and how to start couponing. My first suggestion is to start with the Sunday paper where there is usually 2-3 coupon inserts each week. If you don’t get the paper find a friend of neighbor who doesn’t want their coupons and get it from them. The next place is to start looking online. I am going to give you some blogs to check out and look around. These women are serious couponers and they definitaly are willing to help you learn. Also go to the website of certain products that you want and get a coupon right from the company. My favorite – Nestle Toll House they offer 2-3 coupons every month for their products. I have an account with them and then I just check it every month.

Another way to save is through Upromise which is offered at certain stores. Check out their website and read about it.

As for toiletries and personal health products I would reccommend shopping Walgreens and CVS. I prefer CVS because I feel like it is easier to figure out. The websites I will give you can give so pointers.

Personal Advice:

  1. Don’t let your coupons get out of hand. Take the time to clip each week and then organize them however works best for you.
  2. Always take your weekly ads to the store with you when you go and don’t be afraid to ask the employees if you have a question.
  3. Get to know the management team at your local store and find out what their coupon policy is. Each store will accept different combinations of coupons so it’s good to know.
  4. Be patient with store employees because sometimes coupons can be a pain in the rear for them to deal with.

Here are the websites I would check out:

  1. Eastern Shore Moms (this is where I got started – check out the other link for coupon sites and other blogs on here.)
  2. Frugal Fairhope (not my favorite, but still good coupons) this site is also the site to check for Redbox Coupon codes – I never pay for movies from Redbox.

After you check these out, let me know if you have any questions. Hope that I have given some good information and showed you the impact of coupons.

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1 Comment

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One response to “The wonders of couponing.

  1. myironingboard

    AWESOME!!!!!!! I am SOOOO Excited about learning the art of couponing! 🙂 Hopefully I will have mastered this before May… 🙂 Thanks Ms. Economist Once again you have saved the day/ the wallet! haha miss you!

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