Monday, February 14, 2011

Adventures in Couponing - My First Time

Hi friends!  Today was my first couponing experience.  I learned a few lesssons.  I did pretty good, but I definitely learned a few things.  After saying a little prayer outside each store, here's my breakdown:

Things at CVS didn't go quite as I expected it to.  First, the circular that I had was out of date.  Lesson: ALWAYS CHECK THE DATES ON THE CIRCULARS!  Therefore, there were some deals I was planning on getting that didn't happen.  So I adjusted, picked up the current circular there in the store and flipped through it to see what I could get.  First, I stopped at the coupon scanner and scanned my Extra Care card.  I got a couple of coupons for candy, which I didn't want to get, so that didn't help me.  After studying the circular, I found a few deals on things I was planning on buying today.  A couple of things even gave me Extra Care Bucks (ECB) back.  ECB's are dollars that you recieve for buying a certain item.  It's advertised in the circular and on the item at the store.  When you buy the item, you get your ECB's printed on the bottom of your receipt and you can use them like credit on your next purchase.  I learned a little trick in using these.  If you do separate transactions, you can use your ECB's on the same items you're buying that same day.  You'll see in my breakdown how I did it.  Here's what I bought and how I got the discounts:

I had 3 transactions at CVS - and I warned the cashier that I would be a bit of a pain.  She laughed and said, "No problem sweetie."

1) Bought:  2 packages of Pull-Ups: when you buy 2 for 17.98, you received $4.00 in ECB's.  I also had a $2.00 off coupon that I used.
Total came to: $17.62 (including tax)
*Lesson: I had a second $2.00 off coupon that I forgot to use on the second pack.  Dum-Dum.

2) Bought: Gillette Venus Razor Cartridges: when you buy one, you get $2.00 ECG's back.  When I paid for it, I ripped off the $4.00 in ECB's from my previous transaction and applied it to the total.  I also had a $3.00 off coupon.
Total came to: $15.90 (including tax) Saved $7 on them!
*Lesson: I had a second coupon for $3.00 off the razors.  If I was smart I would've bought 2 of them and gotten $4.00 ECB's instead of just 2.  Dum-Dum.

3) Bought: Tide HE Detergent and 2 packages of M&Ms for my daughter.  I used the $2.00 in ECB's from the previous purchase and I had a $5.00 off coupon for the Tide. 
Total came to: $5.81 (including tax)
*The Tide alone with no discount was $8.99, so that was a great deal!

Total Spent at CVS: $39.33
TOTAL SAVED AT CVS: $21.38 (35%) with sales, coupons and ECB's

Didn't get too much here today.  They had Lysol wipes that were Buy One, Get One Free, so I grabbed a couple of those.  I paid $3.99 for two.  $4.24 including tax.

I didn't save quite a much as I was hoping here today.  Everything I bought was on sale and I had two coupons to use.  I did get some good deals, so I can't really complain. 

Total spent at Safeway: $62.23
Total saved at Safeway: $22.27 (27%) with coupons and savings card prices

I did well at Fry's tonight.  I had quite a few coupons that I used and just about everything we got was on sale.  Not everything, but most everything.  I was also lucky that Fry's had mailed me some coupons for free items, such as a pack of lunch meat and bacon.  They also had the bottom round roast that were Buy One, Get One Free...and those were about $15.00 each so I jumped on those! 

Total spent at Fry's: $104. 19
Total saved at Fry's: $78.99 (43%) with sales, coupons and savings card.
The only thing about Fry's is that on the circular this week, it says that all manufacturer's coupons are worth $1.00.  On my receipt, we didn't get that deal.  My coupons were worth their face value and we had quite a bit that were less than $1.00.  So I'm going to call the store tomorrow and speak to a manager to see if that deal has expired and if not, I will see if I can bring in my receipt and get that money back.  It will be a difference of $3.50, but if I should have gotten the extra discount, I'd like to get it!

So......overall today, here's how it breaks down:
Total Spent:  $209.99
TOTAL SAVED: 126.53 (about 38%)

Not too shabby for my first time huh?  Now I know to check the dates on the circulars!  And to really utilize my coupons to my best advantage.  We now have groceries for at least one week and we might be able to stretch it through the next two weeks (fingers crossed).  Can't wait to do it again!

Have you tried couponing yet?  What's the most you've saved in one trip?


  1. Congrass and good for you it takes a really patient persone to do this :) and you did great for a first time....
    Here is and example of my coupon shop this week:
    I like king kullen (grocery store)is usually a expencive store compare to others but they double your coupons even the $1.00
    huggies mega bb wipes refill 6.00
    edys ic 2.00
    clams dozen 4.00
    ground meat 4.00
    sour cream 1.00
    2 6pk snapple 8.00
    chinet cooffe cups 2.50
    kleenex hand towels 2.80
    2 cape cod potatoe chips 5.00
    8pk coca cola + deposit 5.50
    marzettu salad dressing 3.00
    total + tax 44.50
    coupons 17.60
    pay 26.90
    I think that's great deal for all the things I got.... of course it helps I have lots of 1.00 coupons :)

  2. I am a couponer from way back. I actually have a articles published in a refunding magazine for the way I saved. I have to say the coupons are not as good now so I don't come close to what I once did, but I would walk out of Kroger with 4 carts of groceries and they would owe me! It was crazy fun that I miss a lot!

    This week grocery bill 239 bucks and saved about $60 between coupons and card. Eh I will take it, but I miss the days when I never would have paid these costs we are dealing with today.