You don’t have to be an “Extreme Couponer” to get “Extreme Savings”

As you guys know, I have been using coupons at grocery stores for a while now.  In fact, I started before I started blogging about it (you know, to get the hang of it). Now that the new extreme coupon show has started, tons of people are out there with all kinds of opinions on grocery store coupons.

My frustrations come though when people think that they need to spend hours clipping coupons or end up with a basement full of stockpiled toilet paper and toothpaste in order to really use coupons.

I am guessing that 99% of people reading here, and people I know, don’t have hours to clip coupons or need basements full of pasta and sauce.  What we do need though is some EXTREME SAVINGS on groceries.

Here is what I have found:

  1. I limit my couponing to grocery stores, primarily one grocery store (Publix).  I have found that the pharmacy couponing is a bit more complicated and is typically stuff I don’t need right now.  Trying to compare prices and sales across multiple grocery stores is also time consuming and I really like just going to one store.
  2. I limit my coupons to ones I can print online or find in store.  I tried buying newspapers and saving magazines for a while, but it was a lot more time consuming and I didn’t feel I was getting the savings back out of it.  We live in a small area, so our Sunday newspaper doesn’t always get a lot of the good coupons that bigger areas like Atlanta or Orlando get.  In order to get the B1G1 savings out of the newspaper you have to buy two which costs me $3 and I didn’t think I was consistently getting $3 of savings back out.
  3. I try to always shop with a $5 off your total purchase coupon.  This is one of the easiest largest savings you can do.  I typically use the Save-A-Lot coupon which my Publix accepts but often there are Publix coupons that are mailed to us or in the newspaper (I will pick up a paper if I know this is in there).  I either calculate my total to be about $25 or I ask the cashier to stop the register at $25 and use my coupon.  Even if I use no other coupons and buy full priced items, this is a 20% savings on groceries.
  4. I do stockpile, but only the things I know we will use.  I think the buying for 4-6 weeks is a great rule of thumb to get you some great savings.  Again, even if there aren’t any coupons but you know its an item you use a lot and its on sale, buy enough to get your family through a few weeks.  It now KILLS me to have to pay $3 for a bottle of ketchup, $2 for salad dressing, or even $1 for a box of pasta.   The only other items that I occasionally will buy more of is the “money makers”.  These items actually have the coupon value higher than the price of the item so it saves you money off your total.  You may remember I bought a lot of the vitamins that ran about $4 each but I had $6 worth of coupons.  That is an extra $2 off something else in my basket like milk or meat that hardly ever has coupons.

This week I did two Publix trips.  We didn’t really need groceries but there were some good sales I didn’t want to miss out on.

Trip #1

Boneless Skinless Chicken $2.99/lb x 1.8lbs = $5.38

Ground Chuck $2.99/lb x 1.2lbs = $3.58

I used a $3 off any $8 meat department coupon from Harveys.  This brought the price of the meat down to about $1.85/lb. 

Reynolds Heavy Duty Foil $4.35 B1G1 w/ two $0.75 coupons = $1.40 each

LouAna Oil (we were out)  $3 w/ $0.50 coupon = $2.50

Tena Pads $5.19 each with a B1G1 (store) coupon and two $2.50 (manufacturers) coupons.

My order total was $26.70 and then I used my coupons including my $5 off Save-A-Lot coupon and my purchase total came out to about $6.70 plus tax.  This is about a 75% savings!

Trip #2

Pork Spare Ribs $1.99/lb x 4.5lbs = $8.95

I used a $3 off any $8 meat department coupon from Harveys.  This brought the price down to $1.32/lb

Tena Pads $5.19 each with a B1G1 (store) coupon and two $2.50 (manufacturers) coupons.

Playtex Spill Proof sippy cups (I bought 2) $1.99 each each with a $2 off coupon

Natures Own Bread $2.69 B1G1

Gallon of Milk $3.89

My order total was just over $30 but after my coupons (again using another $5 off Save-A-Lot coupon), my total out of pocket was $7.89.  Again, this is roughly a 70% savings (the meat alone was more than my total!).

So anyways, just two examples of how you can still buy items without coupons and get extreme savings!

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