Happiness Is Banner

Happiness Is Banner

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Extreme Couponing Experiment: Week 1

So, it's been one full week of dedicating my shopping to sales and coupons.  Here's how it went.

According to this weeks receipts, I saved $100.88 at Safeway, that was 31% of my bill.  I also saved $64.90 at Target.  That was 45% of my bill. Admittedly, my grocery bill was about the same as usual, but I got a lot more for my money this time!  I expect that it will be that way for the first month, while I work on my collection of coupons and begin my stockpile. 

Stockpile in progress
I realized very quickly that this new project of mine could quickly become overwhelming and all-consuming.  Sunday and Monday all of my "free" time (which was is very short supply with two sick, not sleeping, babies) was dedicated to clipping, sorting, organizing coupons and sifting through adds to pair my coupons with.  I was going to have to come up with a strategy, quickly!  By Tuesday, not only had I upgraded my purple 1 1/2 inch binder to a pink 3 inch binder, I realized that I would need to focus my efforts on one or two stores and then maybe visit others stores if there is a deal on something we love that is just too good to pass up.  My two stores will be Target and Safeway.  These are stores I already visit a few times a week, and are closest to me. 

There are a ton of websites online that are dedicated to couponing and provide lots of resources and help sifting through the deals.  I like The Krazy Coupon Lady because I find her site the easiest to navigate.  Also, she is from Northern California as well, so the deals she shops will likely have the same rules as the stores I visit (like no doubling or tripling coupons *super pouty face*).

And so, with my pretty, pink, coupon binder, and my shopping/coupon list, I set out to Safeway and Target.  Here are a few of the best deals I cashed in on this week:

  • 4 Safeway pastas + 4 Classico pasta sauces = $6  Like paying $0.75 each
  • Sure Deoderant = $0.50 each
  • Wrigly's 5 Gum = $0.29 each
  • Gerber Good Start Formula, reg $21.09 = $0.49
  • Acne Free Terminator, reg $5.99 = $1.74 each

I also set out to purchase Ponds wipes (regularly $4.99) that after coupons should have been $1.49 each, but had a mix up and purchased more than I had coupons for, so I paid $2.74 each instead.  Still a good price, but not what I was out to get.  Lesson learned, stick to the plan mapped out on the list, and don't rush through the store.

Our biggest challenges this week have been giving up our brand loyalty.  We have to change the way we think about shopping.  The idea is to purchase whatever is on sale and that you have coupons for, before you need it and sometimes that means buying a different item than you're used to.  We've been used to certain foods and conveniences (like squeezable mayo!) for such a long time, it's hard to switch to the product that's 90% cheaper when it's on sale and paired with a coupon!

Did anyone try this out with me?  What were your best finds?  What's your secret?

I'm already plotting next weeks shopping trips!  Now, I feel like I have a better strategy and will be better equipped to seek out our best deals. This week's goal: 40% savings at the grocery store, and to get our total purchase under $200.  And 60% savings at Target, spending no more than $40.00 for the week.

1 comment:

  1. Check out never pay retail again. She links up coupon matchup websites. Best way to save. Also make sure to buy things on the front page of the flyer. They are the loss leader items. Things they are basically giving away for free.