July 26, 2014

Extreme Couponing Tip (even if you don’t cut coupons) – Unadvertised Specials


Having just walked in the door from my Sunday grocery trip, I’m reminded of one of the best extreme couponing tips available to all of us. Yes,  advise that you can apply immediately, even those of you who don’t want to cut one little coupon.

It’s such a simple grocery tip, that we often miss it.

Always be observant, keep your eyes out for unadvertised specials, and look for coupons located in the aisle .

Today’s sweetest of deals came near the checkout aisle. I noticed a large stand alone box filled with my favorite Butterfingers. Since I have been trying to use a little self control with my sugar intact, I nearly missed this, but the “Save $1/2″ on the tear pad got my attention. I knew it had to be a good deal, but since there was not a price advertised near the box, I didn’t realize just how sweet it would be until the check out aisle, and I saw this.

Buy one, Get one Free. Now, I’ll let you do the math. I bought one for $0.95 and I got one free. I used the $1/2 coupon that I did NOT have to cut or save because it was right there waiting for me, and guess how much I paid for my Butterfingers?

Nothing. They were Free!

By being observant, noticing a sale that was not in the flier, pairing the sale with a coupon that was waiting for me at the end of an aisle, and the results mean my family will enjoy some free treats.

Now, when these kind of blessings fall in your lap, please remember the difference between cheap and frugal. As much as I would have loved to take every single coupon on the tear pad, that would have been cheap  – not illegal, but selfish.  I took three coupons to use for today’s shopping trip (since our store only allows 3 like coupons/visit per their coupon policy), and I took a few extra for tomorrow.  Yes, I admit, it took self control to not take the majority of the coupons. A minuscule portion of me wanted to be a Coupon Hoarder, but that mentality will ruin it in the long run for all of us.

However, one thing to note. When I see tear pads/blinkies with coupons for items that I am interested in, I do take a few for future sales. Often, the grocery item will not be on sale when the coupon is offered,  but sales cycle indicate that they typically will be on sale with in a week or two, so I wait patiently to use them.

Today’s example demonstrates a special free candy treat, but I usually find one similar type of unadvertised special once a week. Honestly,  if you cut coupons, you will have a greater chance of savings,  since often my large unadvertised specials come from marked down items, paired with a coupon. Earlier in the week, I “bought” two Kraft  Sandwich mayos – Garlic and Herb, as well as Chipotle. They were marked down to $1.45, and I had two $0.75 coupons which doubled the face value. Final Cost: free.

A few months after I started blogging, my first post about this topic was entitled “Slashing Grocery Prices – #1 Be Observant.” I shared the secrets of how I purchased these Jimmy Dean sausages for only $0.25 (without clipping a coupon.) Since then, I regularly get great deals on marked down sausage/ground turkey with coupons.

And I also posted about my steal on Hot Fudge that lasted me for a good long while. (Both posts showing you my new blogging description on savings. I crack up when I read them).

So slow down just a bit when shopping and open your eyes to signs and sales around you.  It’s not always going to be Butterfingers, which is a good thing for our health, you may just find Almond and Organic Soy milk, which was my unadvertised steal last week. Yes, from natural and organic to processed and preserved. I take them both. :)


  1. I always check the clearance items and marked down items. I always check the coupons too. Great deal on the Butterfingers. Yum!

  2. I had a happy accident at the store this week when I found Seventh Generation laundry detergent on clearance, and I had a $2 catalina coupon stuck in with my receipts from the week before. I always stick the cat coupons in with my receipts just in case.

    Jen Reply:

    Oh, that is a fun surprise. I LOVE free cleaning supplies. :)

  3. I am new to using coupons, and wanted to know if you can use two coupons for one item? I would assume not but just thought I would ask since you are the queen of coupons:) Thanks!

    Jen Reply:

    Very few stores allow you to use two coupons on one product. Some do allow what is called, “stacking” which is using two, but one will be the actual store coupon (issued for example by Target) and then a manufacturer coupon. Some Targets allow that, as well as stores that issue their own personal coupons. :)

  4. It truly amazes me the people who walk right past the marked down section of meat or shopping carts filled with marked down items. We live in a small rural town in NE AR with one fairly local grocery store and Walmart. The local store “tries” to introduce new products, such as organic items but do not have much success so they usually end up in the marked down baskets. One of the cashiers tries to hide when she sees us heading to the check out because she knows my buggy full is probably all mark down! In the last few months my husband has become a coupon addict FINALLY. He is like a kid when he finds a good coupon on a display and has learned that usually we wont use them that day but grab a few and save them for a sale :)

  5. Oh Jen, I’m so glad you showed self control on the tear pad … so many times I walk by and see just the cardboard piece, even a big rip in the display from someone so greedy to grab them all … it’s sad because ultimately, those coupons most likely will go to waste because they expire before you can you them all (unless they are being SOLD) … but butterfingers, baby, I would have been all over that deal even without a coupon!!

  6. What store did u see this special?

    Jen Reply:

    HArris Teeter, but I bet candy is on sale all over right now. :)

  7. I look for quick savings like that too. My favorite one not too long ago was for the new chocolate frosted mini wheats…there were boxes for on sale for $2.00 w/ $1.25 off coupons stuck to them. I bought 4 boxes, fighting the urge to clear the shelf LOL. I do clip coupons some, but it’s nice to find surprise deals like that.

  8. Just remember to check the dates on items… I bought those same Smuckers’ toppings & realized before I even opened one of them that the date on it had expired .

    Jen Reply:

    That would be a bummer. These were a good year out. I was in heaven, but now they are finally gone. :(

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