A common question I receive from readers and friends is, “Are coupons really worth the hassle?”

Guess what, 92% of the time…they are not!
Yes, you heard it from the grocery guru’s mouth.

92% of the time, the store is going to make money on you whether you cut a coupon or not.

Your miscellaneous coupons will not skyrocket you to grocery guru status.

But understanding that 92% of all items are priced to make money, while the other 8% of the store items are yours for the picking, will make a phenomenal difference in the way you view shopping.

You see, on any given week, 8% of the store has certain items that are “loss leader” products.

In layman’s terms, these are the rock bottom prices. The store needs to move those products out of the store because the manufacturers have new shipments that are coming to town.

I’ve talked about how sales are cyclical, typically every 10-12 weeks (6-8 in some regions), and at the end of the cycle, stores have a choice -recoup a fraction of their money or lose out completely.
Obviously, they won’t to recoup any amount they can, so they slash those items big time.

It’s that 8% of the store in which I focus, and why I use coupons.

If you understand how to stock up on that 1/12 of the store where the prices are slashed, the grocery guru title will be yours for the taking.
I’m at the point now where I shop my own “store”, excluding produce, and only replenish at the rock bottom prices. If you are just beginning a stockpile, you can be there as well in just three short months.

Continually I share that just because you might have a coupon, doesn’t necessarily make it a good deal. In fact, there were plenty of coupons that I didn’t use this week even though they would have been tripled.

I typically let about 75% of my coupons expire. I wait until the product hits their “loss leader” rock bottom price and then I stack on the double (or triple) coupons.

I know many of you have shared that you don’t have double coupons in your area. Understanding the “loss leader” cycle at your grocery store, mixed with your single coupons, will still net you an incredible savings.
For those of you with triples this week, take advantage of them, there’s no reason you can’t become a grocery guru.

(I’m cracking myself up as I reread this. I sound all mathematically minded and I SO am not. 🙂 But, it is interesting…More details on how this works in my “Grocery Guru” workshop.)

I just got home from my Sunday grocery trip.
Take a guess at what I paid for all of this (and you can’t even see it all because it’s stacked with a bunch hiding behind the yogurts).
One of the many common misconceptions include that couponing is only for processed foods.
Yes, I did get five Grands biscuits, two large boxes of General Mills cereal, three boxes of Chex mix bars, fruit gushers, Chex snack mix, Snyder yummy seasoned nibbles, Welch’s jelly, Fiber One bars, and I admittedly splurged on Toaster Strudles.

But within your guestimate, include in your total – 18 Dannon yogurts, two pounds of grapes, two large bags of marked down fresh stir fry veggies, three bags of flour tortilla and ten boxes of Green Giant frozen veggies….

Any guesses? ELEVEN DOLLARS!!

Yippee, yes, I do get excited at the check out and often do a happy shopping dance (in my head, of course).
Trips like that occur more often than not. I just stopped posting about them all the time because I thought you might get tired of my grocery pictures…hee hee 🙂

Coming home to this easy family dinner was the best part of my trip.

I pulled out the bagged chicken from this post, tossed it with some soy sauce and steamed the veggies. Serving it over the free rice that I purchased and stocked piled from a previous grocery run, our family of seven feasted on an incredibly healthy, quick dinner that even the skeptics would approve of…for under $3 (with left overs…)

I’ve even gotten my oldest brother excited about this. I left a voice mail tempting him with a cart full of groceries for under $10.

Guess what? I am taking him on a brother/sister date tomorrow to show him how it’s done.
He loves a deal, and I’m even sharing my coupons.
As any true couponer knows…that’s the ultimate sacrifice.