As another episode of Extreme Couponing is set to air on TLC, I’ll spend time answering questions for confused newbie couponers. Shoppers that want to mimic the “expertise” shown on the show, and buy $1000K worth of groceries in one shopping trip for the small amount of $8 (or some other crazy amount.) They make it look so easy, so easy that my daughter didn’t understand why we couldn’t show up at our local grocer the next day, and purchase 200 Gatorades for free for “the boys.”
I am reminded of my post, Extreme Couponing – it’s not Reality.
99% of what will be shown on the Extreme Couponing show can’t be executed in one shopping trip without bending the majority of store couponing policies. So is it possible to be an “Extreme Couponer,” while still following all the couponing rules?
Absolutely, understanding and executing Grocery Guru shopping trips take time, but eventually, it just becomes a way of life – a savings mindset. When that savings shift takes place, you can relax and start enjoying the savings game. There won’t be a panic when you miss out on a couponing week because you know another one will come along. You won’t drive across town for that one “great deal” because you realize that it’s not the best use of your time or gas money. That free item will be there again, you may just need to wait.
My Grocery Guru shopping trips take place at Harris Teeter and Lowe’s Foods. Both stores have a limit of 20 coupons doubled a day, but the limiting factor is that you may only use three like coupons. For example, I can’t go in and purchase 20 yogurts, with 20 coupons. I can only buy three like items a day with three coupons. So, when there is an item on sale that I desperately want to stock up on, it would be so easy to buy an entire case at one time. Unfortunately, that would break their coupon policy. Typically, I will pop in five out of seven days, or if I happen to be in town every day, then I will shop each day of the sale allowing me to get around 20 of certain items in that week.
During my Extreme Couponing weeks, my shopping trips are quite boring because I buy the same thing every single day. This week, I have stocked up on three free milks, free yogurts, free Butterfingers, Kahiki, Propel, Cereal, Mission tortillas, detergent and a few other items within my stockpile price point. Today when we went shopping, my daughter said, “Mom, our cart looks pretty much the same as it did yesterday.”
For those of you who don’t want to mess with coupons, you could have been your own Grocery Guru today in the produce department. I purchased bag after bag of Organic Spring Salad Mix for only $0.79 due to a $3 off peelie, as well as lots of marked down produce. I then found tons of Veggie Burgers, originally $3.99, but with $3.00 peelies, also due to a short date.
With so much lettuce, I declared it Taco Salad night since it’s the perfect meal to eat lots of short dated produce.
I know you are all wondering how much I spent on this trip. It was good enough to get a chuckle out of my young clerk. At full retail price, it began at around $200, but came down to $17. Yes, everything on the counter, including the produce, veggie, burgers and about five more items that were already put in the fridge, came to $17.
Recently, I had my best Grocery Guru day, leaving the store with a cart full of groceries for only $3. I never posted it because the only things I purchased were items with coupons, and that’s not always reality for me either. This is a much more typical grocery trip where I combined coupon savings, unadvertised specials, along with being observant as I shopped.
Have you had any fun grocery shopping trips lately? (Can grocery shopping even be fun?”