I’m smack dab in the middle of one of my Grocery Guru Super Doubles weeks at my local Harris Teeter grocer. I hit the store nearly every day, stock up on the best deals available using my twenty coupon limit, and then typically don’t even step in a store for well over a week.
Ever since Extreme Couponing, I’ve shared my new strategic, grocery shopping strategies for how I attack my grocery adventures. I do have to give myself extra time to shop, since it never goes as planned, but it’s opened my eyes to new ways to shop. I really go in with Eagle Eyes, at every store, all the time.
I was tempted to show my counter full of free to nearly free deals, but I know that for many of you, doubling of coupons isn’t even done at your store. I want to help encourage and educate all of us who want to slash those grocery prices, so I thought I would show you only the Grocery Guru “Extreme Couponing” deals that I could buy with absolutely NO coupons.
I’ll start easy, but by the end, you’ll have to put on your “accountant” hats.
1. Mission Flour Tortillas are some of our family favorites. They are on my “Go To” List for Ten Minute Dinners, so I stockpile these when they are BOGO. I try and give myself at least five extra minutes to square the bakery, dairy, meat, produce and convenience food areas for these wonderful yellow stickers. When I saw the Fresh, Ready to Cook tortillas marked from $2.99 – $0.99, I grabbed all three packs.
2. We are huge Hillshire Farm fans, and these Gourmet Creations are typically something I won’t buy without coupons, but today, it was short dated and marked down $2. I then saw a hang tag directly under the shelf that said if you bought any Gourmet Creation, along with a Small Pack of Soda, there would be an additional $3 off taken at the register. Nearly free soda, marked down meat (with Jalapenos no less…my sons/hubby’s favorite) and quick cooking tortillas sounds like a perfect quick and easy Ten Minute Dinner to me. (Use a Hillshire Farm coupon and it makes it even a sweeter deal, but it’s still great withOUT one. :))
Gourmet chips virtually never come into our home. It’s hard to justify smaller bag sizes at larger prices when they are gone in literally five minutes, but when they are marked down to this price, I wish they would have had more. Plus, the Rice & Beans Snack Chips made me fondly think of Dave Ramsey. 😉
Since we’re big smoothie lovers, I never pass up marked down produce. Grapes might be an interesting twist. 🙂
Now it’s time to put your math hats on just a bit.
The largest amount of money that slips through most shoppers hands are the unadvertised specials. The extra “hoops” that manufacturers and stores make you jump through to receive great deals really add up, if only you know which way to jump.
For instance, Chex Cereal is on sale 2/$5 making them $2.50/box. That is NOT a good stock up price, but most people will buy it thinking it is. My rock bottom cereal price WITH coupons is $1 and under (and I shoot for $0.75.) If you consistently put on your “Eagle Eyes” during your shopping expeditions, your eyes gravitate to hang tangs and the small print. This week, under the Chex Cereal is a hang tag that says “Buy 2 participating Chex Cereal and get the third free.” That now makes 3/$5 getting you a great deal if you don’t use coupons.
Regardless of if you use paper coupons or not, everyone should take the time to register your store cards. Take the few minutes and receive lots of additional savings each week. Many stores now offer their own card holder coupons. Every week, I save all the on-line coupons available whether I think I will use them or not. I typically don’t keep track, so it’s just an extra little surprise at the end of my shopping trip. I had already loaded an additional $1 off Chex Coupon onto my card, which now makes them 3 for $4.
For non coupon users, that’s a stock up price. (I did have a $1/3 coupon, which doubled, making my final price 3/$2.) SWEET!
Edited to add: This $1/2 GM cereals was just added this morning. Print this Chex cereal coupon now for more savings.
Are you starting to see a theme? Even if you don’t cut coupons, there are strategies to follow to receive maximum savings.
This next deal is one main reason I went to the store four days in a row.
(Yes, giving you a glimpse at what the top shelf in my pantry looks like now)
Blue Diamond Almonds and Blue Diamond Crackers were on sale BOGO (buy one, get one free). I LOVE all the different flavors of almonds, so BOGO is a great deal period, but IF you looked closely, some stores had the hang tag telling about this amazing catalina special, other stores did not.That’s where it gets tricky and lots of money is lost. You don’t know, what you don’t know.
Keeping your receipts which announce upcoming Catalina deals is savvy shopping. It’s a pain, but it’s savvy. Weeks ago, separate receipts announced that if you bought 2 Blue Diamond products, you received $0.75 off, but if you bought FOUR products, you received a $4 Catalina good on your next shopping trip.
So let’s put our math hats on.
The Almonds are $3.89 at my store (prices vary), but with this week’s BOGO, they’re 2/$3.89.
Remembering the Catalina, I didn’t just buy two, I bought 4 at $7.78 (and will receive $4 off my next purchase).
Are you following the math?
I am essentially getting FOUR cans of almonds for only $3.78 WITHOUT any coupons. That’s an amazing deal. (Of course, I wouldn’t be a Grocery Guru if I didn’t use at least a few coupons with this, so I used 2 – $1/2, which doubled making all of my cans free. Yes, I am mourning the fact that I only had four of those coupons, but I “bought” EIGHT cans of FREE almonds (with the rolling catalina).
This next transaction is why I made it my personal mission this week to tell every one I came in contact with about this non-coupon deal, including poor unsuspecting bystanders in the store. 🙂
Once my almond coupons were gone, I moved onto the cracker sale. Remember, “hoops” that you need to jump through are very specific. Do not try and substitute like items on catalina deals. It has to be exact. You can’t buy 8 of these products and expect $8 off. There’s a limit of 4 per transaction. I only did this deal once per shopping day and rolled my catalinas each day, meaning I paid the full amount the first time, but every transaction after, I had the $4 to apply to the total.
Blue Diamond Crackers are $2.99, but this week’s BOGO make them 2/$2.99. Buy four in one transaction at $5.98 and receive a $4 catalina essentially making them 4 for $1.98. Yes, $0.50 cents a box without COUPONS!!! Unfortunately, the great deal with coupons runs through Sunday night, but the catalina deal ended 11/7.
With the holidays approaching, that is SUCH a stock up price and why I have gone now four days in a row. BUT, for you that want to get your feet wet with coupons, there was a $1/2 coupon in 10/16 Smart Source insert (found the date by using my coupon data base.) Yes, those coupons doubled this week, making this a money maker with catalina. That is a rare occurrence and one I am so excited about that it caused me to announce it to unsuspecting strangers.
For some of you, this is how you shop every day, but for many of you, you would love to take me along to the store and show you how to do this.
Hopefully, this step by step look at the process behind Grocery Guru shopping helps you look at shopping through new eyes – EAGLE EYES. 🙂
For under $20, I bought dinner, chips, crackers, snacks (lots of snacks), fruit, soda and breakfast without any coupons.
That is Grocery Guru shopping, and any of you can do it well with just a little extra time.
P.S. For those heading to Harris Teeter after reading this, Large Jars of Ragu are Buy 2, Get 3 free – NO coupons available, but a worthy, worthy stock pile price.