Saving with Coupons

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A Followup

Just to demonstrate the power of coupon savings, Sherry and I went to the grocery last night.  It was a two person job because sometimes you have to “game the system”.  In this case, its the limit on coupons per trip.  Our store limits the number of doubling (or in this case tripling) coupons to 20 per visit.  Some people solve this by making two trips, which could be as simple as filling a cart with your items that use your 20 coupons, loading those in the car, coming back in and doing it again or in our case, take two people, two carts.  I think its cheating, but if your going to play the game you have to push the rules to their limits.

So we filled my cart with the items that used 20 tripling coupons.  The total before any discount was $86.  The store rewards card knocked off about $15 and the coupons $51 for a total savings of $76.  Translating that I spent $20 on $86 in groceries, or 76% (funny how the dollar amount and the percentage worked out — gotta slip a little geekness in here!)

Sherry’s cart was not so lucky, she had the non-sale, non-coupon items as well as the items where the coupons did not double/triple.  She ended up using 18 tripling coupons though, nearly maxing out our capacity.  Her total cart was $118 and even with the non-sale items, she only spent $56, for 52% savings.  Our aggregate savings over the two carts was $82 spent on $204 in groceries or 59% of the total.

Here are some of the big deals we got.

6 – half gallon’s of Tropicana Orange Juice.  Retail $3.49, on sell two for $5.00 with a coupon of a $1 off of two bringing each half gallon carton to $2.00 instead of $3.49.  We had 3 coupons.

Dole pineapple, $0.99 per can with a coupon for $0.55 off of two.  So two cans at $1.98 minus $1.65 (tripled coupon) equals $0.16 per can.

Then we got Grands Biscuits 10 count cans, which are regularly $2.19 per can, on a Buy One Get One (bogo) with a $0.25 coupon off of one which tripled to $0.75.  Each can was $1.09 – $0.75 for a total of $0.34 per can saving a total of $1.85 per can or 84% off of retail.

Smithfield Bacon (and we all know everything is better with bacon) retail price $4.99 for a pound package was on sell for BOGO, bringing each pack to $2.50.  We had a tripping $0.55 coupon that was worth $1.65 letting us buy a $5 package of bacon for $0.85.

She has earned her title as the “Queen of Free” (or as I quietly say, she’s “coupon geek”).

Now to put this in perspective.  Lets say you spend $200 per week in groceries, you’re going to spend over $10,000 per year.  If you can average 50% savings, you’re going to cut that to $5,000 per year.  That folks is a nice new 60″ plasma TV and home stereo installed and probably a nice 24″ iMac to go along with it!

As I mentioned earlier, you need to find a site that helps you out.  For instance Savvy Dollar ( has members who learn about sales a week in advance and even when triples are coming.  Perhaps they work in the print shops that print the sale flyers or somewhere in the store offices, but somewhere in the chain, there are “friends” that produce a list of whats on sale, what coupons are floating out there and this list can be downloaded which matches up the item with the coupon.  You seriously need to be on this site.

While on this trip, we didn’t get any Free items, several items were free.  For example:

Lipton 16 count Ice Tea bags retail $1.29 with a $0.50 coupon, tripled to $1.50 which means free (and some stores will credit your total bill with the overage, in this case an extra $0.21 knocked off your order).  Your price: FREE.  This item will always be free during triple coupon week because there are always coupons out there.

Muellers Spaghetti was on sale BOGO $1.50 which gives you two boxes for $1.50.  There is a coupon for $0.55 on two, which triples to $1.65 less the $1.50 equals FREE!. Now we would have jumped all over that deal, but Sherry spent all of her coupons to feed a hockey team a week ago.

Go forth.  Spend and Save!

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