Extreme Couponing My Ass

“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.

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