About Me

I recently started couponing on January 1, 2011 as a New Year's Resolution. I had never really couponed before because it always seemed time consuming- "how could a 25 cent coupon REALLY save you money?" I thought. Plus, I have never really stuck to a New Year's Resolution. So this year I decided to make a change- I would stick to both! And I have. So far I have cut our weekly grocery budget 70%! We used to spend $150 a week on little things that we could not even make a meal out of AND then we would eat out on top of that! Thousands wasted over a year. Now I spend on average $58 a week on groceries and personal items (toilet paper, body wash) AND I stock up on many of these items so I won't need them again for another 6-12 months! These number keeps going down as we begin to live off our stockpile. If you follow my blog, I will teach you some of the ways this newbie couponer has saved lots of money!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Strategy Behind Coupon Savviness


I tend to be a Publix grocery shopper, so most of my examples are Publix; however, ALL of this strategy applies to Kroger, Meijer, etc. Every grocery chain has some type of BOGO (buy one get one free) or 10/$10, etc. So this strategy is the same regardless of your store.

Above is what I purchased tonight at Publix. Definitely not my best trip, but a decent one. I was kicking myself because Publix just put out new coupons (in their ad area when you walk in), and I found $1 off 2 Steamfresh (of which I bought 6) so I could have saved an ADDITIONAL $3 by pairing my manufacturer's coupon with the store coupon (I did use $1 off 3 and it was 50% off each). $3 wasted (which stressed me out a bit), but it's ok since maybe some of you can be wiser than me and get in on this deal. :)

The strategy and tactics behind my purchases:

First, I used couponmom.com and southersavers.com to get my list and print off any coupons I did not have. Then once I had all my coupons cut and organized, the fun began. Note: I did not buy much produce or meat on this trip. We have tons of produce left over from last week and tons of meat from my Kroger trip (see blog), so this was a pure stockpile & needs driven trip!

1. Honey Bunches Cereal (2): BOGO $3.71, so $1.85 a piece. I had $1 off Post cereal from the 2.27 newspaper circular coupons, so these were 85 cents each. Saved $5.72

TIP: BOGO does NOT mean you have to buy one to get one (it is all a marketing tactic to get you to buy more). You can buy 1 and the item will be half price. (Check store policies but this is typical at Publix, Kroger, etc.)

2. Fiber Plus Cereal (1): BOGO $4.49, so $2.24 a piece. I had a $1 off printable, so $1.24. Saved $3.25.

3. Pepperidge Farm Deli Flats (4): Normally $2.79, on sale for $2. I had 50 cents off from 2.13 newspaper circular, which Publix doubles so $1 off each making each $1. Saved $7.16.

TIP: Stock up on bread when it is on sale. Especially the expensive healthy kind! These are my favorite since they are 5g of fiber a serving and only 100 calories. They make great breakfast and lunch sandwiches!

4. 1 Publix Paper Towel Roll: FREE! This was the Penny Item tonight. If you spend $10, you get an item free.

TIP: Shop on discount days, Penny Item days, meat sale days, etc. Call your store or ask customer service to see which are the days they run days like this.

5. Vitamin Water (4): On sale for $1. I had (4) printable coupons from Whole Foods for 50 cents, which Publix accepts and doubles. So these 4 bottles were completely FREE!!!

TIP: Search for competitor's coupons and find a store that accepts them, especially if they double them. Publix, for example, accepts Target, Whole Foods, Kroger, etc. coupons. They don't advertise this, but they will gladly. Call your store to find out if they do. Walmart just changed their policy and most stores now accept competitor coupons.

6. Can of Tomatoes (1): This was BOGO and it is one of my favorite brands. Normally I would not buy tomotoes without a coupon, but these are yummy in my marinara and for 96 cents I couldn't pass it up!

TIP: If you don't have a coupon, but are very partial to a brand or need it, if it is on sale, BOGO, etc. just buy it. I wouldn't recommend stocking up merely on sale items though. For stocking up, use coupons+sales.

7. PAM Olive Oil Cooking Spray (1): This was $3.70, on sale for $3.19. I had a 35 cent coupon, which Publix doubles for 70 cents. Normally I would not buy this since this was not a huge sale nor was it BOGO, but the coupon was about it expire so it was use it or lose it and I need Pam soon. Paid $2.49, saved $1.21.

TIP: If you have a coupon that is about to expire and there has not been a sale on an item, use it before it expires if it is an item you need.

8. Pompiean Olive Oil (16oz) (1): $6.85, BOGO for $3.42 and I had a $1 off coupon. Paid $2.42, saved $4.43.

9. Worschestershire Sauce (1): Normally $1.50, on sale for 99 cents. I had a 50 cents off one bottle, which Publix doubles, so this was FREE!

10. Glad Freezer Bags (1): This was BOGO from $3.19 to $1.59, and I did not have a coupon for Glad. I need Freezer bags soon (especially since I will be freezing all that bread!) so I got this because $1.59 isn't that bad. :) Saved $1.59.

11. Egg Beaters (1): BOGO for $1.67. I had coupons for these but used them all up. I need more so I have been waiting for this to at least go BOGO. Saved $1.67.

12. Sargento Cheese (1): On sale 2 for $4. I had a $1.50 off coupon from www.coupons.com, so this was 50 cents! This is normally around $3+ a bag. Saved $1.50.

13. 2 Roma tomatoes.

14. Steamfresh Vegetables (6): 50% off from $1.79. I had a $1 off 3 coupon. (I should have pair this coupon with the Publix coupon of $1 off 2 and this would have been 16 cents each!!!) 56 cents each, saved $7.40.

TIP: ALWAYS check out the circular and instore coupons when you walk in. I went in a different door and it was raining, so I forgot my own tip and it cost me $3. :)

15. Butterball Turkey Sausage (1): $3.49, BOGO for $1.74. I had a printable 75 cent off coupon so this was 99 cents, saved $2.50.

Total: $23.10+ tax
Saved: $44.67
Saved: 63%

Price per item: 83 cents each.

I actually had some FREE items I missed out on because the shelves were cleared....items I missed out on: Pedigree Dentastix for 89 cents, FREE Propel water (6) and FREE floss (6). The free items tend to get shelf cleared quickly. :)

TIP: Do not freak out if shelves are cleared. You usually have a week for the sale and stores restock. Also, you can get rainchecks if it is an item in the ad that is advertised on sale and it is a commonly stocked item.

Below is what a raincheck looks like:

To get a raincheck, just head on over to your customer service area in your grocery store. They will happily issue you one and when the item comes in, you use your raincheck with your coupon to get the sale item, even if the sale has passed!

TIP: If your coupon expires because the item was out of stock and you still have your raincheck, most stores will accept the expired coupon because it was their fault. Just be pleasent with them and 9 times out of 10 they will let you do it. Stores get reimbursed for the full face value of the coupon plus an 8 cent handling fee, so they want you to use coupons!

When I first started, I would get so upset when the shelves were cleared. I had planned my trip, got my coupons and was ready to get my deal on. Now that I have become more veteraned, I don't worry, because I know most likely I will get a raincheck or get the item when it is restocked. A lot of people are couponing because of the economy, so this is just what happens, no biggie.

I hope these tips helped you, even if you don't have a Publix. The strategy and concepts still apply regardless of the chain you shop at. If you do have a Publix, head on in for these deals! They are good for the next week.

Happy couponing!


  1. We shop pretty much only at Publix. Every now and then we use Walmart ot Piggly Wiggly but 99% of the time is Publix.

  2. Jaclyn,
    You give me hope that I can do this on my own.
    All your tips are understandable and useful.
    I was about to give up on couponing and now because of you I have the faith that I can really help my family budget go a lot farther.
    Thank you soooo Much ! :)

  3. Bonnie,

    Thank you so much for your kind words! I truly appreciate them. As long as I know that this helps one person, then it is worth continuing! The reason I started the blog was to help others save money. Please let me know if you ever have any questions or need help.


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