Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Super Savings - Grocery Edition

I've touched a bit on coupons once or twice before on this handy dandy little blog of mine. But today I want to get a little more in depth.

Back when my husband and I were first married, I couldn't understand what all the hubbub about coupons was. I would see ones for 50 cents off a $4 box of Cheerios and couldn't really fathom how it would save me more than a couple dollars each week.

Was I ever wrong.

I think there's a lot of misconceptions about coupons. People tend to think that they either:

#1 - Save them only a couple dollars per week.

#2 - Take too much time.

Now time to confront those misconceptions.

#1 - I honestly save anywhere from $30 - $40 per week on a regular basis from using coupons. That adds up to at least $120 a month...or about $1500 a year! Um, hello! I started using coupons a couple years ago because I randomly stumbled across the now super famous blog, $5 Dinners. Erin Chase, the founder and author, daily blogs a recipe that costs $5 or less for her entire family of 5 AND they're completely healthy, balanced and nutritious meals. No EasyMac dinners in her house. Wow! I was impressed. Upon closer inspection, I realized that the way she was able to do this was through the use of coupons.

Here's the secrets to becoming a super awesome couponer:

Most grocery stores (not Target or Walmart) double coupons up to $1. Which means that if you have a coupon for 0.50 off, it becomes $1 off and a 0.75 coupon "doubles" to $1 off.  The grocery store I went to back when I started couponing would double any coupon entirely, without stopping at $1. So if I had a 0.75 coupon, it became $1.50 off.

Here's the most important "secret" -
When you use a coupon at a store that doubles (and all stores in the Kroger family do every day) AND buy that item when it's on sale. You can totally get items for free! I can't tell you the last time I paid for toothpaste or toothbrushes or more than $1 for cereal (that includes the good mom-friendly kind).

And I've heard that you can use Buy 1, Get 1 Free coupons at Publix during their Buy 1, Get 1 Free sales to get TWO items completely free.

Here's what I got this week super cheap thanks to my coupons + the weekly sales:

Quaker Hearty Oatmeal: $0.49
Rotel Tomatoes: FREE
Hunts Fire Roasted Tomatoes: $0.09/per can
Ritz - $0.98
Uncle Ben's Rice: FREE
Ronzoni Garden Delight: FREE
Philadelphia Cream Cheese (cheesecake anyone?): $0.49/each

I forgot to include the four packages of dishwasher detergent for $1.00 each. Oops.

Oh, and a 12 piece chicken wings box from the deli - FREE!

And my total for almost an entire week's worth of groceries (I had to go back today because a few things were out of stock and I also forgot a few more - which is why you don't grocery shop at 10:00 pm on a Sunday) 

$46.35 (+$26 from today)

Through my coupons and the weekly sales I saved $64.04!!! (+ $17 today)

My husband is always really impressed with my skillz. This time when I handed him the receipt, he looked at it he said, "Holy crap!" 

Misconception #2 - Coupons Take too Much Time!

My mom was one of the people who always told me, "Honey, that's great but I just don't have time." That is, until she saw how much money could save. I spend about 60 minutes (usually while watching Real Housewives of Atlanta) cutting coupons, planning my grocery trip, and writing my weekly meal plan. And to me, that's totally worth $40 each week.

Here's another secret: There's tons of blogs out there who will go through "your" grocery store's weekly ad and post all the best deals along with which coupons to use. I really appreciate these people because they help ensure that I never miss out on a fantastic deal while saving me tons of time. I use Springs Bargains and love it.

To ensure you're getting the right deals, find a savings/deal/coupon blog in your area by visiting BeCentsable and clicking on your state. Then you'll see a list of which blogs keep track of which grocery stores.

So, are you already a coupon lover? Are you going to at least give it a try sometime soon? Please?

If you've scored some sweet coupon-related deals or just want to share your tips, use the Mr. Linky below and link up! I'd love to check them out.


  1. This is great information. I've been a couponer for many years and love it. I always hear that stores double coupons but Utah stores just don't do that...even the Kroger store. I sure wish they did, though. Anyway, thanks for sharing the wonderful world of couponing.

  2. Hey, thanks for the info! Our stores here don't double the coupons, either. I'll be checking out the links you gave for the local blogs. They're all new to me. Will definitely be worth an hour or so if it can save me money each week like you're doing! Right now, I'm working on what's in the pantry that I canned last summer. Cold tomato juice, applesauce and plums, yum! Looking forward to more of your money saving tips. Our budget can use a little help right now. :)

  3. Yeah, in Utah we only can imagine what it must be like to double up coupons. ☺

  4. That's so weird. I've never heard of entire states not doubling coupons. Sorry Utah people!


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