Works for Me Wednesday: Strategic Couponing

April 15, 2009

I tried something new last week.  Instead of looking at the grocery store’s sales circular and making a list, then pulling coupons for items on the list, I went about it sort of backwards.

First of all, I didn’t use the circular.  I always feel like I have ADD when I look at them… there are too many pictures, too many colors, and too much fine print.  Instead, I used the store’s online version of the circular, which is SEARCHable.  I let my computer do the hard work of scanning for good deals so my poor mind and eyes could take a bit of a break.

Second, instead of looking for items and then checking my coupons, I checked my coupons FIRST.  I pulled every single coupon out and searched the store’s circular to see if the items I had coupons for were on sale.  If they were, the coupon stayed out and the item went on the list.

It  took slightly longer to do it this way but I believe it was worth it.  Check out some of my real steals:

  • Land O Lakes butter:  reg $4.19, on sale for $1.99, additional $1 off for buying 3 Pillsbury items, coupons for 50 cents (doubled) = two pounds for 98 cents / 49 cents each!
  • Daisy sour cream:  regularly $1.49, on sale for $1.00, coupon for 60 cents (doubled) = I got paid 40 cents to take two containers home!
  • Barilla whole grain pasta:  regularly $1.89, on sale for 89 cents, coupon for $1.00 off of two = 78 cents for two boxes / 39 cents each!
  • Barilla Piccolini pasta:  regularly $1.89, on sale for 89 cents, coupon for 50 cents (doubled) = I got paid 11 cents to take this home!

(Oh, and just for the record, I think these “regular” prices are pretty ridiculous!)

In total, I would have paid over $74 for the groceries without any discount card or coupons.  But I ended up paying less than $29!  My total savings was 61%.

I should point out that this trip to the store was not without its problems.  I grabbed a can of Duncan Hines frosting (not on sale) when I meant to grab a Betty Crocker.  Instead of paying  50 cents for the Betty Crocker, I paid $1.99 for the Duncan Hines.  Naturally, I didn’t realize my mistake until I got home and went over the receipt.

Additionally, the cashier didn’t scan the  coupon I gave her for some juice boxes, so I ended up paying the sale price ($2.00) instead of $1.50.  Again, I didn’t realize this until it was too late.

I would like to think that I might have caught these mistakes if I hadn’t been so busy telling Sophia and her friend to be quiet / keep their hands in the cart and no-you-may-not-have-any-candy.  We’ll see if I fare any better this week when I try to do it shopping solo.  🙂


  1. Have you discovered The Grocery Game? http://www.grocerygame.com
    For $10 every 8 weeks, this site does the coupon/sale matching for you. Each week you get a list of everything that’s on sale for the store you shop at, which coupons to use, when those coupons were pusblished, and tells you what your total savings will be on each item. It has been such a hge time saver for me, and I found several great pirces on the list that I had completely missed in the online ad. Great investment! Worth the $5 per month!

  2. I like Grocery Game, too! I also like Couponmom.com. And I agree with you about those ‘regular’ prices. Regular highway robbery, if you ask me! Thank goodness you can freeze butter. We eat a lot of it and I’d be more broke than I am if I had to pay nearly $5 a pound for it every week or so.
    You’re doing the right thing by combining coupons with sales. Another thing to remember is that you want to buy things when they are at their cheapest, not when you need them. You’ll build up a stockpile this way, which will help reduce the amount of stuff you have to buy each week. Just be sure to keep track of what you have on hand, or you’ll end up with 10 jars of peanut butter and no jelly!

  3. You go!! I am all about the coupony goodness lately. I have gotten some great deals — free deodorant, free Softsoap, free shaving cream …. WAHOOO!!

  4. It is amazing the deals you can get when you combine the sales with coupons. I love it, don’t you?

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