Friday, December 23, 2011
Despite Hoards of Last Minute Shoppers, Target, Walmart. & Rite Aid Today
I didn't relish the prospect of the inevitable crowds completing their last minute shopping sure to crowd the stores, but I had prepared this week's grocery coupons, matched carefully to the store's sales. My trusted and valiant chauffeur at my side, I ventured forth to see what deals I could find~ both to replenish my sad stockpile and also in anticipation for the coming wedding of my eldest daughter to her wonderful fiance scheduled for March.
Our first stop was the Rite Aid in Hampden. The crew there is awesome. Always knowledgeable, always ready to share a tip on upcoming sales or news. They understand coupons and how to use them to the best advantage. It is for these reasons that I gladly drive 15 minutes farther than the Belfast Rite Aid located closer to my home. I did not have many things to get this week. I needed to get some Chex Mix, though; our youngest daughter being near to mutiny if we did not get some soon. And, I have not been wearing nylons since my fall. If you think they are troublesome putting on with two working hands, try getting your bottom in them with only one. I have needed to replace the ones with runs, but I had been waiting for a good sale before doing so. Rite Aid had these on sale for $4.49 with a Buy one, Get one 50% off AND a $3 RR when you buy 2. It cost me $7.07 out of pocket and I earned $3 RR. I misunderstood the sale for the Chex Mix and now can't think what I was trying to do. I bought them for $1.60 each- much more than I would normally pay. I thought there was an RR for these, but none printed, so I must have mixed up something. I would have returned them, but was in fear of returning home without them.
She knows where I sleep.
At Walmart, I had a larger list. Armed with coupons and new binder in hand, I shopped. I purchased: (6) boxes Chex cereal on sale for $2.28/box. I used (3) $1/2 coupon to make them $1.78/box. (4) Whisker's cat treat bags at $1.07. I used $1.50/2 coupon to make these .32¢ each. (1) Idahoan Instant Potatoes were .98¢ each, but I had a coupon which was for one FREE bag, so it cost me nothing. (6) Clif Bar for my future son in law at .98¢ each. I used (3) B1G1 Free coupons to make these .49¢ each. (4) cans Dole Pineapple on sale for .88¢ each. I used (2) .50/2 coupons to bring the price down to .63¢ each. (2) Betty Crocker cake mixes were on sale for $1.25 each and (2) Betty Crocker frosting were priced at $1.64 each. I used a two $1/1 when
you buy both to make them $1.89 for both or .95¢ each. My husband spotted the Olivari olive oil on sale for $4.88 with a $1/1 peelie on the neck to make it $3.88. (2) Johnson & Johnson brand butterfly band aid boxes were priced at $1.52 each and J&J 10 ct gauze pads were $1.56/box. I used three $1/1 coupons to buy these for .52¢ each and .56¢ respectively. (In this house, I always keep a stock of first aid supplies handy! Besides my broken arm, my daughter Kristen sliced open her elbow to the bone and my husband punctured his nose with a screwdriver at work fighting with a hostile kitchen sink. We resorted to "bubble wrapping" my youngest as a preemptive measure. Back to shopping...) I purchased (4) Pillsbury Grands! biscuits on sale for $1.50 and used a $1/2 coupon to make these $1 each. (1) Hood sour cream priced at $1.66 with a $1/1 coupon became .66¢. Fleishmann's Pizza Yeast was marked to $1.06 and I used a .40/1 coupon for a price of .66¢ each. Celeste Tea was on sale for $2.18/box. I bought four and used (4) $1/1 coupons to cost me $1.18/box. I was running low on Excedrin and purchased (4) boxes for $3.24 each. I used (2) $4/2 coupons to bring the price to $1.24/box. My husband could not resist the "Oops! We Over Baked Rack" and snagged himself a cake for $3.74, which was my only unplanned purchase. The total came to $78.04. When my coupons were scanned through, my total came to $54.72. This was higher than I thought it should be; I expected it to be around $45, but with long lines behind me, I was not going to hold up the Customers behind me to dissect it there in line, item by item. When we returned home, my husband and I went item by item through our receipt and realized what happened. My (2) $4/2 Excedrin coupons were not scanned. That was $8.00 I was missing! I called the store and talked with Alison who took down my receipt information to forward to the accounting department. I will update you with what happens, once this is resolved.
Finally, at Target, we wrapped up our shopping for the night. I found some great coupons for Keebler and Nabisco crackers, which will come in handy for use in Bridal parties and gatherings in the coming months. We purchased (2) Keebler Townhouse crackers on sale for $2.50. I used (1) $1/2 Target coupon stacked with (1) $1/2 manufacturer's coupon to make them $1.50/box. Nabisco crackers were on sale for $2/box. I used (3) $1/2 coupons to make the six boxes of Nabisco crackers $1.50/box, also. (2) Boxes of Lipton Tea, on sale for $1.19 became .69¢ each using a $1/2 coupon. Pillsbury all natural chocolate chips cookies were marked at 2.50 each. I stacked a $1/2 Target coupon with a $1/2 manufacturer's coupon to make the price $1.50 each. Lastly, I bought (3) Swiss Miss hot chocolate boxes on sale for $1.19 each. I stacked a .50/2 Target coupon with a $1/3 manufacturer's coupon to make them .70¢. The total retail for my Target purchases was $34.86, but I paid $21.82 out of pocket. I saved $13.04 with coupons.
Clearly, this was by no means the MOST EXTREME COUPONING trip I have taken, but after being out of the saddle for awhile (catch the pun?), I was happy with my modest results. I should have saved a total of $60.85 and I didn't do anything really exciting to get there; no series of multiple transactions to make, no complicated mathematics to figure. So, ponder this. Take this average trip's savings and multiply it by 4.5 weeks in a month. Could you find other things to do with an extra $273 in your budget each month? Or consider it in a years time of modest couponing, could you think of anything to use $3,000 on instead of groceries? I get asked often if clipping coupons is worth my time. My answer is always, "Yes."