It’s a Grocery Guru shopping week here in the beauty and bedlam household, and I got a cart full of groceries for next to nothing. Some call this extreme couponing, but as I know, this is nothing compared to those who really stockpile. I buy what we use. My coupon binder is completely disorganized, which leads to a more frenzied shopping trip, but I have big plans get it under control this next week.
Remember my prediction that Green Giant, paired with a General Mills nationwide deal, would have a loss leader sale sometime this month? Well, I was correct and it came just in time since my frozen veggies stock pile was nearly extinct. (I sure hope you printed the coupons when I shared.) Many stores nation wide are doing the General Mills “Buy 20, get $6 off instantly” Catalina deal.
Since there is a daily limit, I will be going back Monday and Tuesday to make sure I fill that freezer. With fresh veggies going out of season, costs will be rising and I plan on having a stocked freezer since we eat a lot of produce. (Have you missed the reason behind my bulk shopping madness? See my article on the “How to: Stockpiling 101.”)
Often, readers respond that they just get burned out from couponing, and I completely understand how that happens. It even happens to me and I am someone who has dreams about coupons. 🙂 My recommendation is to focus two weeks out of the month where you will do an intense coupon week. Focus on matching the store fliers with coupons, and take note of the hundreds of dollars you save. That alone with help with the burnout. Trust me! Not a week goes by where I don’t use at least a few coupons, and typically I get free items every time. Be assured that I do not do a stockpile session every week, nor do I stay on top of my coupons very well. When I see items at a loss leader price, it’s then that I stock up, and that doesn’t happen every week. This week, the frozen veggies and Totino pizzas are nearly free with coupons, and the General Mills deal, so yes, I definitely take advantage of that.
This is a fairly typical shopping trip when I don my Grocery Guru title.
Take a guess how much all of this was? (Remember, this was with produce, Starbucks, Kaiser bakery rolls, organic milk – gasp, it wasn’t even marked down, but it was on sale, and Pork Tenderloin.)
Total? $35 for an overflowing cart of groceries.
Besides the milk, produce and organic sweet tea that my hubby snuck in the cart without my approval, every item was matched to a coupon, even the Starbucks, which wasn’t a steal, but cheaper than purchasing already made . (Just so you know, I jest about the sweet tea, but it ruined the savings ratio. ;))
I even purchased black olives, which I haven’t eaten for ages. I forgot how much I love them. If I had wanted to show you more of an impressive dollar amount, I would have kept a few of the high dollar items out, but this is what I came home from the store with just hours ago, so it’s a realistic picture of my shopping trip.
Does the thought of using coupons still overwhelm you? Then just take one step at a time, and begin with my #1 Grocery Guru Money Saving Tip. Remember – just a little savings here and there, added up over years and years makes a HUGE difference.
We are moving to NC soon, but on our house hunting visit I didn’t notice grocery chains I’m familiar with anywhere. Any recommendations? I can only hope the prices are better than here in Charleston, SC. We are moving in part to take my son to Duke for follow-up treatment for a bone marrow transplant. You can imagine the medical bills after two years of chemo and a relapse.
Kristin- In NC, depending on the city you move to, the stores that double coupons all the time that I am aware of are Harris Teeter and Lowes Foods. I generally counce between Aldi, Harris Teeter and Walgreens.
We’re heading to the Raleigh area. I did see a Lowes Foods, but we don’t have them there. I would love to be near Aldi. We have Harris Teeter around here, but it’s too far away. Thanks Amanda!
@Amanda, Thanks so much for giving your advice to Kristen. 🙂
Glad I could be of assistance. 🙂
@Kristin, Oh Kristen, I can’t even imagine. As much as I want to warmly welcome you to NC, I wish it was under different circumstances. Amanda chimed in with the stores I recommend. You’ll love Harris Teeter for their triples and super doubles. They are in every town and near Duke, every corner practically.
I love it when they do super double and triple coupons. I haven’t been able to get my bill as low as $35 (I bow down to the Grocery Guru) but we made it out of Harris Teeter this week around $73 and saved a total of $92! I’ll take saving more than I spend any day.
We love that Wholly Guacamole. I got some with a coupon this past week. 🙂 Way to go on the $35! Absolutely amazing!! You’re very good at this. Kelly
You are an inspiration!!! I remember early in my marriage I was a cashier at Meijer. I saw so many people save tons of money with coupons that it inspired me to try it. I got pretty good, but nothing like you! I am going to get back in the game. Can’t wait to see how much money I start saving 🙂
Hi. Thanks for sharing. I just found your site a bit ago. I have a question though… is it possible to do couponing and save as you do while still eating nutritiously? Meaning no boxed prepackaged processed foods? I haven’t tried to coupon b/c I’m not sure the work would be worth it yet unless it is possible. Feel free to leave a message here or at my email. I’m really curious and I am being sincere. I’m not trying to hurt or offend… but our family is working towards eating healthier and I am not sure it would be possible to coupon and get good deals on whole foods? Thanks!
@Connie Jean, No offense taken. That is the presupposition that a lot of people have and I have done a post on it, but I’ll have to do another one since it’s been quite awhile. Do you use toothpaste, deodorant, toiletries, organic salad dressings, condiments, Ziplock bags, wipes etc? All of these things you can get for free or nearly free with couponing. There are many organic companies that have coupons out all the time, it’s not just processed foods. If you look at my picture, do you not purchase frozen veggies, olives, yogurt (you can get the organic kind as well), wholly guacamole with no additives, etc? I think the pizza and pillsbury were the only prepackaged type foods, but yes, there are definitely more of those coupons out there as you know. Now, when I buy my frozen veggies, I buy only the pure, no sauces, but my hubby picked these out and he bought the cheese sauce one…ugh. 🙂 Last time, I stocked up on Kashi cereal, cereal bars etc. I’ve gotten whole grain brown rice, organic milk, organic eggs etc with coupons, so yes, the sky is the limit. You will be a bit more limited, but you can get alll of your toiletries with coupons. Thanks for asking..I never mind answering the harder questions. 🙂
ugh….I SO should have talked to you about this on the trip…….I want to shop like that…….I need to spend some time LEARNING. You amaze me! you really do Jen!
Excellent shopping trip!! I find I “don’t have time” for couponing but I also CAN’T buy something when I KNOW there is a coupon online for it. So I take the time to do it and I feel better. We went to lunch with friends yesterday and ended up going to Perkins where we NEVER go but I agreed. It totally bugged me that there were coupons at home on my desk for Perkins that we couldn’t use!!
Do you have a previous post or would you be willing to blog on your coupon book setup? I’m new to this and just the organization of the ‘binder’ you mention is what I’m looking for.
I so would love to join your coupon fun, but even with them in hand we have no such grocery store to gain such value. I wish I could find a way to accomplish this for my family but have no idea how. I would appreciate any advice you may offer.
How do you organize your coupons? I have tried various methods, but I’m still “searching” for the one that works for me.
HA! I just realized that Katie asked the same question.
Sorry for the repeat 😉
No worries, Kimberly. I am working on that post for this next month. It’s a struggle for any couponer.
Great job! I had my best day ever yesterday! I spent $38.06 and saved $106.89. It makes me feel SO excited that I’m able to save our family so much money for a couple of hours clipping and organizing each week ;). I use a coupon bindertoo, by the way, and mine is also a mess right now!
P.S. I read a previous post, and yes, it’s very easy to eat healthy and save money. I think that food companies realize that consumers, in a lot of situations, are trying to eat healthier and are releasing coupons for their products. A great way to find coupons for organic,etc products is to check that company’s website. You’d be suprised what is available! 😀