“I promise that if we sign up for the weekend newspaper I will start using coupons at my weekly grocery shopping. That alone will make up for the cost of the paper.”
And when I said that, I was sincerely going to do it. Eventually. For the first few weeks I simply forgot that I was supposed to even look at the coupons (Although it didn’t stop me from bitching that the comic section has REALLY gotten skimpy.) And then I did remember to cut out the coupons and put them in a ziplock baggie. I did this sporadically for a few more weeks. Okay long enough for the first group to expire so I had to go through the entire batch with extra strong reading glasses.
But this weekend I was finally ready to experience EXTREME COUPONING!! I scoured the Sunday paper looking at the store flyers and decided since this was my virgin run; I would be smart and not try to overdo it. So I chose three stores that were all really close to each other: Wal-Mart, Walgreens and Kroger (comparable to Publix in the south and Vons in the west). I had my coupons separated into three envelopes with each store name and store flyers in hand. And off I went on my new adventure!
Wal-Mart was first and that was pretty easy. Being smart, I only used coupons that were $1.00 or more since no store will double coupons over $1.00. And most of those were in the personal hygiene aisles. Except I thought I could “buy one get one free” for ANY Axe product but there were restrictions. I did take the time to smell each and every Axe body wash for my son. Not that it would really help; no matter what he would still smell like a teenage boy on Gatorade.
On to Walgreens. Here I had to use their store sales and coupons as well as my newspaper coupons with their sale items. I have never bought so much stuff at a Walgreens in my life. I was disappointed that I couldn’t buy the $12.99 Heineken on sale because it was Sunday (sigh – I really could have used a beer when I got home.) I was all checked out and on my way to the next store when I happened to look at the receipt and discovered that my “buy one $5.99 container of nuts and get one free” store sale and then my $1.50 off coupon didn’t work. Because the stupid store charged me $5.99 twice – I didn’t get the second one free. So back to the store I went and then had to wait for a manager to give me back my money and then write a novel on my receipt.
Getting kind of tired by now but off to my last and final store where I should get the majority of my cost savings! I swear I have never spent so much time wandering grocery store aisles looking for specific brands and sizes and doing mental math to make sure I was getting a bargain.
Here is what I have learned:
- When you go grocery shopping, it probably would help if you start with a shopping list (And I will tell you the same thing I tell my husband: I have the list in my head and quit bitching that we have, like, 8 boxes of Stove Top Stuffing.)
- My son was really excited that we now have the following flavored creamers in the fridge: Amaretto, French Vanilla, English Almond Toffee and Vanilla Chai Spice.
- I had to stop by the in-store Starbucks for a Grande Chai Tea Frappuccino with extra whipped cream for incentive to finish this task.
- My husband had to call me to make sure I was okay and then worried that longer at shopping = spending more money.
- There were coupon shoppers that had three-ring binders with dividers. Just scary.
- And I seriously doubt the $8.59 black eyeliner that I got for my daughter is ever going to happen again but I did get to use the $2.50 off coupon.
My total coupon savings: $20.94! What? That’s it?? For 4½ hours of grocery shopping? I will so never do this again. Extreme Couponing my ass. But I did pay for the newspaper.