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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Weekly Groceries--saved 81%!

I did 6 transactions this week, which means my before-coupons total was well over $150. In fact the savings listed on my receipts totaled $177.82, or 81%. My total OOP was $41.27 for 78 items. How did I do that? Two words: COUPON OVERAGE.

Because I pair my coupons with sale prices, I can often get things for free or better than free. This week I took advantage of BOGO sales and doubled coupons, which gave me overage on many things, effectively saving me money on my other groceries. I also used a $5 OYNO catalina from the Kraft cheese that I forgot to use last week--which is why I try to always use them the same week on another transaction!
These items were better than free (gave me overage): Colgate toothpaste x2 (made $1.04), Star Olive Oil x2 (made $1.01), Fisher peanuts x2 (made $1.11), Ronzoni pasta x8 (made $1.64), YoPlus and Fiber One yogurt 4-packs x16 (made $8.46). Total overage: $13.26

These items were free: Campbell's tomato soup x4, Quaker oatmeal x1 (my printer malfunctioned so I only got one coupon--oh well!), Hamburger Helper (free with store promo for buying hamburger--plus there was a $1 peelie on the package which brought down the cost of the hamburger!)

These items were $1 or less: tomatoes, bananas, cottage cheese, chocolate milk, eggs, syrup x2, Life cereal, Quaker oatmeal, Healthy Choice frozen meals x5, Healthy Choice Fresh Mixer meal, Marie Callender meal, Ken's ranch dressing, tuna x4, Campbell's Chunky soup x6, Fiber One muffins, and light bread.

I also bought a LOT of meat! Hamburger, chicken, and pork were ALL on sale during the same week, so I was very thankful for the overage that helped keep my total low even though I bought almost 3.5 lbs. of ground beef, almost 2 lbs. of boneless pork ribs, and over 7 lbs. of fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts (some plain, some marinated). And, of course, I bought 4 gallons of white milk. Unfortunately, my store didn't accept the free chocolate milk coupon, so I'll try using it at another store next week. Other items that were over $1 were Purex laundry detergent x2, dill pickles, and lettuce.

I also went to Aldi this week for a few things and spent $9.98, which makes my weekly total $51.25 for our family of 6 (going on 7)! :-)

What deals did you snag this week?


Anonymous said...

Do you take your kids shopping with you? I only have one, but it makes it a lot harder to shop..just curious.

Jessica-MomForHim said...

No, I definitely prefer to shop alone, so I go after my hubby is home from work. It can be very confusing to keep your different transactions and coupons separate if you have distractions.

That being said, sometimes it can't be avoided, so I have brought them with me (all 4 of them!) before. I usually only do 2 (maybe 3) transactions on those days, though, and I try my best to plan out my transactions as much as I can at home before I leave. On days when I am by myself I can "wing it" a little more and do a little less planning.

Anonymous said...

Good. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who has trouble coupon shopping with a toddler in tow.

One more question - this is the ad I have for next week, so I am planning. With the BOGO deals, to get to the $25 total, can you only count the price of 1 item? i.e. yoplus = 2.59/2 because you are getting the 2nd one for free with your club card?


Claire said...

The one thing I don't understand about the Double Coupon day at Rainbow is this:
Does you transaction have to add up to $25 before OR after the coupons?

Jessica-MomForHim said...

In my experience last night, both items counted toward the total, which meant after the card was scanned and before coupons, a couple of my totals were below $25--the cashier even mentioned it once, but then the coupons doubled fine. I had my other transactions on the belt, and I knew I had a couple "filler" items just in case that I could move around (things that didn't need coupons, like produce, milk, etc.). So plan on them both counting, but have a backup just in case! :-)

Jessica-MomForHim said...

Your transaction must be $25 BEFORE coupons are taken off. So before you hand over your coupons, the total should be $25, then your doubled coupons come off, bringing your total down to around $15. Make sense?

And see my reply above about BOGO items. Sometimes your total can be slightly under $25 and still double your coupons, depending on your items and the sales. I always have some backup items, just in case my total isn't high enough to double my coupons.

Claire said...

Ok, my pregnant brain isn't working today. If you did 6 transactions and doubled 5 coupons on each, bringing the total to about $15, how did you only spend $41.27? Even taking into account the $13 overage, I can't figure the math out.


Jessica-MomForHim said...

My receipt totals were: $5.11, $5.59, $1.49, $8.04, $8.78, and $12.26.

Keep in mind I also used several coupons that were over $1, like the $5/5 Healthy Choice, 2 $4/1 Star Olive Oil coupons that they mailed me awhile back, and a $2/1 Ken's dressing from the paper. I also had 2 free Fiber One coupons from my SIL (which got me 4 free yogurts because of the BOGO sale). I also used a $5 OYNO catalina which helped!

Some of my transactions were a little under $25 because of the BOGO items, but my coupons still doubled.

I also often use free item coupons that are mailed to me (by winning in sweeps or applying to company panels like Psst) to help get my total to $25, which later brings it lower than $15.

Another reason is because there is a local store in town that puts coupons in the newspaper. Because it is right near the particular store I shop at, they accept the competitor's coupons. So the Purex, Colgate, light bread, chocolate milk, and eggs all went in as regular price, then the cashier credited me the difference. This brought my total a little lower yet.

The moral of the story: know your store's policies, and don't limit yourself to only $1 coupons.

I hope that helps--and I understand about the pregnancy brain! :-)

Anonymous said...

That is totally awesome! Could you post your list before Wed. so I could copy and getthe same great deals? I am getting pretty good at this shopping game but not good.

Thanks, Peggy

Jessica-MomForHim said...

I'm not sure exactly what you mean. I do post the coupon matches every Tuesday to allow people to print coupons and make their list. However, not everyone has the same coupons in their stash (like from mailers, All You, or the newspaper), so I don't post those.

Several of the items I bought I did list in my Tuesday post (yogurt, Ronzoni, Healthy Choice, Chunky soup, Fisher peanuts, Campbell's soup, Quaker, etc), but some of them I had coupons for that others probably didn't (like the Star Olive Oil that the company mailed me, for example).

Another reason I don't post my actual shopping list beforehand is because every family's needs are different. Most families I know don't buy 4 1/2 gallons of milk a week, for example, so their transactions would be all messed up (wouldn't make it to $25, etc).

One last confession: I'm not as organized as a lot of people think I am. (shocker!) I print off a bunch of coupons, write a list of things I know I need and sale items I am planning to get, and then head to the store--usually without a specific plan as to how many transactions I will do once I get there. I add my groceries as they go in my cart, and when I get to $25, I start a new transaction.

If you see your grocery bill going down, that's great! If you think you can bring it lower, challenge yourself. Don't stop with the printable coupon matches I post--though I hope those help--go through the ad yourself and look through your own coupon stash to see what other deals you might be able to snag. :-) You can do it!

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