A place for Maine's Frugalistas to Share Information on Matching Coupons with Upcoming Sales to Maximize Savings to Your Budget. Welcome, Friends ♥

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Personal Object Lesson and Helpful Reminder

I should have taken a picture of my Walmart shopping trip before I put them away or started to prepare them for my daughter's family bridal shower tomorrow, but I didn't. After a few hours of shopping, I was tired and knew that I had a looooong night ahead helping Meg and Kris to prepare the party favors- they are the official hostesses of this event, after all. I am happily relegated to the roles of shopping assistant, baking assistant, chauffeur (they are 11 and 13), and suggestion maker for this one. I did capture my Shaw's shopping trip, which was mostly for the cupboards, anyway. But, what a difference it makes budget wise; shopping to add to my pantry's inventory (I hate the word "stock pile" and therefore refuse to use it.) and shopping for a single event- even with the use of coupons!
I was reminded as I watched the register total my sale of how I used to shop. And, it dawned on me why some of my friends have expressed the thought, "I try to coupon, but I don't see those results! I don't know what I am doing wrong." I do. I did it today out of necessity and because of this very personal reminder, I thought it to be a good thing to recap it for all of you.

Let's compare. My shopping trip to Shaw's was based on the principle that I was only buying things already on sale at a good price and for which I had a coupon (or two) to match with it. I would buy enough of the sale item to ensure that I would not run out and need to go to the store mid week and buy the same item at full price. Just because an item is "on sale" does not mean that it is at a good price. Some sale prices are higher at some stores than the regular price is at others. It does no good to find these sales and then only buy one of the item. How quickly will that item be used and gone, and leave me buying it at regular price? Here it is:

Items purchased were: 6 bottles of V8 Splash juice (3 flavors), 4 Welch's juices (3 flavors), 4 Shaw's brand fruit punch, 4 Shaw's brand Ginger Ale, 2 boxes Barilla pasta, 1 box Shaw's brand pasta, 2 Newman's Own Alfredo sauces, 2 Newman's own salsa, 3 GM Cocoa Puffs, 7 GM Cinnamon Toast Crunch, 2 containers of tomatoes, 1 lemon, 1 bag carrots, 2 sleeves garlic, 6 Mentos Up 2 U gum. Cost out of pocket, $22.95 for over $107 in groceries. You can read about my sale match up choices for Shaw's this week HERE. In addition to what I already posted I had planned to buy, I used a .25/1 coupon for the carrots from the Shaw's game ticket bringing their price to 1.54/bag. The lemon was free in my email from Shaw's about this week's exclusive coupons. If you have not already signed up for that, you can do so HERE. Each week I get sent to my email about $10 in coupons for Shaw's items. This week, there was also a coupon for $1.50 off any pasta sauce when you buy any pasta. Barilla was on sale for $1 this week, which is normally not a stock up price for me, but when I can buy Newman's own sauce for .69¢ by purchasing a $1 box of pasta, that is a deal I will do. I did it today twice. The My Essentials pasta was free from a catalina when I spent $10. And, I had a $5 off printable Shaw's coupon when I spent $25.00, which came from the email club sign up and a $2 off catalina when I spent $25. Oh, and the Big Chill soft drinks were on sale for .88¢, but there is a .25¢/1 coupon in the same Shaw's game tickets, making them .63¢ each. (I don't usually buy off brand sodas, but for things like grape flavor, ginger ale, or fruit punch flavor, I don't mind since I am probably going to mix them with fruit juices to make punch with them and they work well taste wise for that.) And, the gum were all .01¢ money makers. They were on sale for .99¢. I used the $1/1 coupon from the Sunday insert for that.

Of all the items I purchased, I am planning on using the tomatoes to fill with yummy boursin cheese for Caitlin's shower tomorrow, the carrots for the veggie tray, and some of the Big Chill to create a fruit punch. Everything else goes into my cupboard to have on hand. I will not need to buy cereal for a while! In fact, since I still had 8 boxes left from the last time I bought them, I didn't need to buy them now, but I paid .68¢/box for 2 boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, .88¢/box for 2 boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and $1.48/box for the rest of the cereal, it was a good stock up price. I did have more of the coupons to make the cereal $1.48/box, but though it was a good price, it was not a great price. Had I had more of the printable .60¢/1 and .50¢/1 coupons, I would surely have used those!

I decided to do the rest of my shopping at Walmart because without coupons, they have the lowest prices on average. Also, I ordered the cake I wanted for the shower there and planned on making some magnets from printing wallet sized engagement pictures at the photo center. I used coupons on any items I planned on purchasing, when I had them, but I only saved $14.00 shopping this way.

I purchased: 1 pineapple, 1 package of celery, 1 package green grapes, (I passed on buying the strawberries and watermelon I wanted because they looked real sad) 1 State Fair mayonnaise, 1 jar green olives, 2 Oreo cookies, 2 Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa, (1) 2 tier cake, 1 Hood sour cream, 1 Good Seasons Zesty Italian packet, 2 Hormel ham/turkey and cheese party trays, 2 Hormel pepperonis, 2 Philadelphia cream cheese, 2 bags shredded cheese, 2 Pillsbury cookie dough, 1 Nutrish dog food, 2 Helluva dips, 6 Ortega taco seasoning mixes. My total came to $94.32 and with the coupon savings, I paid $80.32. There were some savings. The Ortega taco seasonings were only .68¢ and I used a $1/3 coupon on them to make them .35¢ each. And, I used a $3/1 Hormel tray on the 2 trays I purchased on sale for $7.50 each to make them only $4.50 each. The Nutrish dog food was only $5.97 with my coupon.

The cake was the best buy. It only cost $14.98. Originally, I wanted to order a simple 2 tiered cake made, but they start at $49 or so and you have to pay half of that the day you order them. This is a great deal, but I didn't have my wallet with me or anticipated this deposit, so with the help of the bakery fairy, we concocted a regular 1/2 sheet cake and a 8 inch rectangular cake combination which I anticipated costing less than $30 and no deposit. I was pleasantly surprised when I picked it up that she had pre assembled the cake for me and only charged me for $14.98 for the entire thing. The down side to this was that it did not turn out as elegant as I had pictured in my head, but it was very whimsical and followed the snowflake theme of Caitlin's shower. My teens loved it and thought it looked very beautiful. I am happy with the cake and ecstatic with its price and that since I didn't have to fuss with the baking or staging of it, more time for making homemade garlic & cheddar and chive & onion cheese balls, tomatoes stuffed with boursin, tuna finger sandwiches...

Shopping today was a good reminder for me of why I purchase household needs the way I do. And, also why people who use coupons without matching them- do not realize the full saving potential of them, get frustrated, and quit. I would if my Walmart trip was a typical coupon shopping trip. But, when I think back to my Shaw's shopping, putting everything together, that kind of shopping, storing, planning, and saving is what makes taking the few hours each week to sort, file, and plan my trips worth while.

Happy Saving!
Sonja ♥

1 comment:

  1. I want to see pictures!! You MUST share the prepared food from your trip and the cake for the shower!! You MUST!! :-)