Sunday, April 17, 2011

Not Extreme, But Smart Couponing

With all the noise around TLC's new show, Extreme Couponing, I have noticed the different reactions that I have received at the grocery store when trying to use coupons myself. Cashiers and managers are more cautious because more customers are using coupons and not aware of store policies. At one store the cashier called the manager over from the service desk to let her know she had coupons, closed the aisle and the cashier, manager and one other clerk went through the coupons and groceries together.

At a second store the cashiers mentioned they have been made aware of possible coupon fraud as a result of the show and were told to watch for that. Other customers, especially those giving coupons a try for the first time now, are keen to see how much you are saving and wanted to know where we found all our coupons.

I don't really blog about coupons, but I do try to share the best offers, deals and steals that I can find when there is time for others to take advantage of them. I was raised on coupons though and my mom made the family budget stretch more than most can believe-- spending less for 11 than most families did for 4. It does take time to clip, match up coupons to sales and plan out your grocery trip, but once you get a system down it is a lot easier and can be done quickly.

This week I helped my mom do a lot of grocery shopping for the family, the first time in a long time with the hospital and doctor visits, so we needed just about everything. In all, we hit 4 grocery stores and 2 drugstores ( I did those 2 myself) because we have one place we prefer to purchase produce, a second where we prefer the butcher, Jewel for the basics and regular groceries and then Dominick's for unexpected deals.

Even with all the produce and meat purchased, we ended up saving between sixty and seventy percent when we used coupons with sale prices.
Some of the best deals included:

-Chobani 4 Pack Greek Yogurt Reg. $3.39, Paid .30 each x 4
-Fresh Express Salad Bags Sale $1, Free with coupon
-Minute Maid OJ 1/2 gall  Reg. $3.19, .60 after sale & coupon
-Coke Sale 4 for $4, paid $2 with 2 $1 off 2 coupons with any deli purchase and I had 2 Free Wholly Guacamole coupons which qualified!
-There were also my fave Garnier styling products on a clearance shelf, 50% off and with coupons for $1 off they came out to less than a dollar!

-Purex Crystals $2.99 sale, .99 after coupon and free after $1 toward next purchase printout
-Creamette Pasta, 3 for $3 on sale, $1.35 after coupons and .35 after $1 toward next purchase coupon printout
-Shrimp 5lb bag B1G1 at $9.99, $6 after 2 $2 off coupons!
-Rump roast 2 @ about $15 each, there was a coupon for B1G1 and 2 $5 off coupons, so I paid $5 for 2

Regardless of what some of the extreme couponers are pulling with their coupons, it is possible to have really great savings while using coupons the proper way and for the products they are meant to be used on.