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More Shopping Savings and a Neat Treat!

Oh you guys…I am really hooked to this coupon/savings thing.  I know these posts get long, but if you read through them, I just know you’ll learn some things, and I hope you’ll be inspired.  So read on!

My mother-in-law…Queen of Couponing…sent me the link for a free site…Frugal Coupon Living.  The site owner puts out weekly lists as well.  Although her lists aren’t color-coded and don’t indicate if items are at rock-bottom prices, she does provide some gems.  The wonderful thing about her site is that she posts weekly sales immediately after the items go on sale; whereas, the Grocery Game doesn’t post its lists until Sunday, when the coupon supplements come out in the paper.

Regardless, I found some real nuggets in her posting this week, and armed with coupons, I headed out to Publix.

Now, a red light automatically goes off when you’re buying five items, and you hand the clerk ten coupons.  I had two coupons per item – a store coupon along with a manufacturer coupon.  This is allowed in couponing.  It’s called stacking.

I should have known something was up when I watched the clerk pull on rubber gloves.  Ok…I can understand that.  She works in an industry where there are a lot of germs exchanged.  But let me tell you…it was a foreshadowing of the inspection I was about to receive.

She scrutinized every coupon I presented.  At one point, I had to admit defeat when one of my mfg coupons was emblazoned with a Target logo.  Shame on them for doing that because Publix wouldn’t accept both that and my $1 Target coupon.  They considered both store coupons even though one was cut out of the Sunday paper.  Whatever.  It was only $.50.  Annoying, but I’ll live.  They did let me use the $1 Target coupon, so at least it was something.

Several of my items were moneymakers…a term that refers to items, when combined with coupons, resulting in the store owing you money.

Yes folks, this is allowed as well.

I bought a small can of tomato sauce for $.89.  I had a $1 coupon for any size of said can.  That put me ahead by $.11, which I figured would help me pay for the Mr.’s expensive toilet paper ($6.35/pkg).

I had two coupons for frozen waffles, which are on sale for 50% off.  $2.79 – $1.40 instant savings – $1.50 coupon printed online – $.25 Target coupon (my store accepts competitor store coupons) = a credit of $.36…more for me to apply toward the rest of my bill.

The cashier was livid by this point.  She wasn’t going to give me the full value of my coupon, even though the store gets reimbursed the full coupon value!  She called the manager over, and the manager took my side.  I got the full value, as I should have.

You can imagine the cashier’s ire when she then encountered two $2 coupons off of ant spray.  Regular price was $3.89…making this another moneymaker.

I did have to pay a bit for my toilet paper, and I also had to pay a little for the package of batteries…even after the two coupons I used. But, after a bill that totaled $21.47, I walked out of there only spending $4.97.

Now, I was in for a little treat (and it’s not the treat I’m referring to above).

When I got home, I opened my package of batteries.  You see, I had noticed that the AA packages had $10 worth of Proctor & Gamble coupons inside.  I wanted to see if they were on items I use.

Folks, I found a $1 mfg coupon off of the Mr.’s toilet paper!  And it wasn’t stamped with Target’s logo!

Guess what I did.

Yep…I drove right back to the store and told them I’d just found the $1 mfg coupon.  Without blinking an eye, the very nice customer service representative gave me my refund.

That brought my final total spent to $3.97.  I had saved 82% today.

I LOVE days like this!

On the way home, I ran to Walgreens to take advantage of a Ben & Jerry’s B1G1.  Their pints are usually $4.79 per item.  I had a $1.00 off of two, making each pint $2.08.   I wound up saving 57%.  Was it a necessary item?  No.  But the kids sure will enjoy it!

For fun, I’ve created a spreadsheet so I can track my savings.  I thought I would keep a running total somewhere on my blog (I’ll try to stick it in the sidebar).   I had to total this out without my very first grocery trip because the Mr. has the checkbook, and I can’t find the receipt.  Since June 30, when I started “The Game,” I’ve purchased items worth $394.09.  I’ve saved $241.44, resulting in a total actual spending of only $152.65 out of my pocket!  That’s an overall savings of 61%!!!

Are you fired up yet?  I know I am!

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