Anyhoo, I stumbled across a few cereal sales at Albertsons in the past, and had NO IDEA that people actually shopped those kinds of sales all the time. I found a few blogs that keep track of things very nicely--inform you of the super deals you just can't miss out on, and I started clipping those coupons. I even made myself a binder. (For someone less OCD than me, I would recommend one of those photo books-2 per page or something, or ya know- an envelope)
So, yesterday was my first big, plan it out, couponing trip and this is what I got:
10 boxes Mac n Cheese
4 boxes Capri Sun SUnrise
3 boxes HOney Bunches of Oats w/ Almonds
3 boxes Velveeta Shells & Cheese
6 bottles of BBQ Sauce
10 Yoplait Yogurts
2 Salad Dressings
6 boxes of Jello
2 dozen eggs
2 strawberry milks
5 Frozen Dinners
and Butter Toffee Peanuts
I was pretty excited, but not done yet. Because there were more deals I wanted to get before my dbl coupons expired. So I went out again today:
4 boxes Ritz
4 boxes Honey Bunches of Oats
2 boxes Pops cereal
2 boxes Frosted Flakes cereal
1 box Fruit Loops...
18 boxes Mac n Cheese
4 Easy Mac Cups
1 box Capri Sun Sunrise
2 bottles of salad dressing
1 BBQ sauce
1 Miracle Whip
1 box Wheat Thins
2 cheetos snack things (filler item)
Now, I really try not to hoard. I s'pose I did go a little overboard on Mac N Cheese...but it is like our food storage so, deal with it ;)
So, if you want to embark on a very affordable grocery game journey of your own...you can do it!
This site has a Grocery Guide tool. Just enter your zip code, select the stores you shop, and it will tell you what is on sale...there is a "find coupon" link, but I haven't gotten it to work for me. I would say, look through to see what products you buy are on sale, then look through your coupons (helps if they are organized into categories or alphabetical).
So that is a site helpful to you no matter where you live (even June Lake or Ridgecrest;) ) Those in Idaho/Utah can check out some of my fave frugal blogs for more specific tips/sales:
A Thrifty Mom
Being Frugal is Fabulous
- MC=manufacturer coupon
- catalina=coupon printed after a transaction
- RR=Register Rewards (name of the catalina coupon that prints at Walgreens)
- SS= Smart Source Coupon (comes in the newspaper or print from your grocery stores website)
- RP=Red Plum coupon (also comes in the SUnday paper)
- P&G=Procter & Gamble (comes in the Sunday paper)
- blinkies=the coupons in the displays at the store that stick out from the shelves
- peelies=the coupons attached to products
Tips/rules I've learned (mostly the hard way)
- You can only use one store coupon AND one manufacturer coupon per item.
- If you use RR or catalina you earned from item "A" to pay for another item "A", you won't get another cataling/RR. For instance:
1 Mayo $3.99
1 Miracle Whip $3.99
Kraft promo $3 off $10 purchase -$3.00
MC buy 3 Mac n cheese get 1 Free -$1.00
MC $1/1 Mayo -$1.00
MC $1/1 Miracle Whip -$1.00
Double Coupon (Albertsons had 3 in their ad)
I used 2 -$2.00
Total paid $3.98 + tax
Mac n Cheese catalina prints for $1.00 off next purchase.
I used a $1 catalina I had from the day before (forgot it was from Mac n Cheese) so the new catalina wouldn't print for me. Make sense? So use the catalina/RR to pay for a different transaction to make the most of your $$.
- You won't use EVERY coupon you clip...don't bother trying.
- Expired coupons can be sent to military families and are still usable for up to 6 months after expiration. C'mon, I KNOW you know someone in the military that can stand to save a few bucks.
- To save the most money, you want to use your coupons when the item is on sale. I started saving my coupons for 2-3 weeks before I did my first shopping trip.
- I still make a 1-2/month trip for regular groceries that I don't happen to get on the sales. We have a Winco, so things are pretty well priced, but I'll still use my coupons there. That is the only instance where I will use a coupon with a full price item. If you have to buy it anyway, use the coupon. But if you can wait to get it on sale, that's the best.
Good luck and thanks for letting me share!