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It Really Does Pay to Use Coupons ...

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Dillon's Receipt 10/24/09 Total Spent: $108.00

Yesterday was one of my biggest shopping coups to date. It was a BIG trip... with a LOT of planning and it took 3.5 hours at the store! I had a 10% Fall Rewards to spend at Dillon's and knew I wanted to get the most out of it! Baby Ryan is having trouble breastfeeding and the particular formula the doctor has him on is $25 a can!!! ACK! My goal was to get a high enough "reward" to cover the cost of 2 cans of the formula.... I reached my goal!!

The point of me showing you this is not to brag (ok...it is to brag a little...I mean, seriously..I saved $500!)... but to show you what you can accomplish with a little (oh all right, a lot) of planning and dedication. The proper combination of sales and coupons and voila!

A large potion of what I bought were food and supplies for several local charities. I have been slowly shopping to fulfill a challenge I posted on SuperJenn a few months back. I started with $80 and had $57.28 to spend when today began. You can see the original challenge and my progress at SuperJenn. This is the latest installment of my purchase...and I still have money left to spend! The items in this particular batch will go to Ballard Center, Health Care Access and The Shelter.

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Walgreen's

Quaker Quick Oats B1G1 Free 2/$3.19 after in ad coupon. Use the $1.25/2 from the 8/30 Red Plum insert and get each for $0.97. I don't often find coupons OR sales on Quaker Oats so this is a good deal. This also makes a great filler item if you are using Register Rewards because you are purchasing two items and using one coupon.

Dole Fruit cups are 3/$5 which is better than the sale at HyVee where they are 2/$4, although the selection may not be as good. Use 3 $1/1 Printable coupons in addition to the in ad coupon and get these for just under $1/each.

Trident Layers Gum is on sale for $0.99 with the in ad coupon. Visit Trident.com and get a $0.75/1 coupon. Pair this with the BIGI Free coupon from the 10/18 Smart Source and you will get 2 packs of gum for $0.25.

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has Ore Ida Crispy Microwave Fries for approximately $0.88/each. Go HERE and print off a coupon for $1.50/2and get each for appx. $0.13. I didn't make it to WalMart to check this out today so if you find the exact price, be sure to let us know!

CVS

Campbell's Chicken Noodle and Tomato Soup 2/$1. Print this $1/2 coupon and get them for FREE. You can print the coupon twice per computer and CVS has a purchase limit of 6. You can also use any of the many Campbell's soup coupons that have been in recent inserts.

3 Day Sale Sunday - Tuesday you can get Snack or Fun Size bags of a variety of candy 2/$4. Buy 4 and use 3 $1/1 coupons from the 10/4 RedPlum and 1 B3G1Free coupon from last week's inserts.

You can also get free or nearly free Reese's at Dillon's...the 8 packs are $1/ea and you can use a $0.55/1 coupon and when it doubles you will get it for free- $0.25.

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Comments

goldbaker88 5 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

overthemoon 5 years, 8 months ago

I think its great that you are using coupons to buy food for local food banks. This is a great use of coupons! Thanks on behalf of the whole community!

I look for coupons on occasion, but only rarely do I find any for foods we would purchase without the coupon. We don't regularly buy soda, prepared foods, chips, candy and prefer to avoid foods with ingredients you can't pronounce. Now that we are empty nesters, we spend less than $75 a week at the grocery store and eat very well. So the effort to find and use coupons just never makes sense for me.

I have stood in line at the store behind coupon buyers and have been amazed at the amount of food one can buy for very little money. However, scanning the stuff they're buying gives me pause. Heavily processed, salted, high calorie stuff that maybe shouldn't be eaten in large quantities.

I went to Michael Pollan's lecture last spring when he was touring with his "In Defense of Food" book. One point he made was that if they advertise it on TV and print coupons for it, its probably a good guess that its something you shouldn't be eating on a regular basis.

Ok, this last week I did try to use some coupons. Progresso beef broth. Read the ingredient list and put it back on the shelf. I get my broth for free by tossing the trimmings from vegetables into a pot of boiling water and cooking for 20 min. Easy, no salt or preservatives, no cans to recycling or the landfill, one less can to carry home. And I know what's in it.

SuperJenn 5 years, 8 months ago

Oh yes, thank you! I have an excellent consultant in KC. Ryan list a lot of weight early on and has a weak suck. I've done finger lactation, SNS and I'm still pumping. Hoping we can get past this soon. I'm still nursing my 22mo as well!

femmefatale 5 years, 8 months ago

Thats a fantastic idea helping out the pantries and saving $500 to boot! I'm inspired! I was just layed off and started clipping coupons again, but I only clip the coupons for products that we already use or are intrested in trying.

mommydaycare 5 years, 8 months ago

What about ALDI?? How come that store is never mentioned? Huge savings there and there products are great....try ityou might like it!!!!

headdoctor 5 years, 8 months ago

mommydaycare (Anonymous) says… What about ALDI?? How come that store is never mentioned? Huge savings there and there products are great….try ityou might like it!!!


This is a thread about coupons which are of no concern when it comes to AldI stores. AldI sells for the most part a collection of basic staples of their own brand or off brand mixed with a few special purchase items. If you watch your sales and use your coupons you will at the least come out at or below shopping at AldI stores. While it would serve the purpose for some need items or items that coupons do not apply to, driving very far out of your way to get there isn't practical for many people. Their prices are such that very few items are cheaper than watching for sales on generic/store brands in other stores.

headdoctor 5 years, 8 months ago

Seamus (Anonymous) says… Coupons are for processed foods. Buy fresh, whole foods. If possible, buy them locally. Yes it's more expensive, but the health care costs from later in life will likely far exceed whatever savings you've realized in the short term.


You are either baiting for a response or you have know idea what you are talking about when it comes to coupons. There are coupons that cover items from dog and cat food to cold medicine and not just processed foods. Couponing isn't just about food it is about lowering the cost out of pocket for anything you can and making the family budget stretch farther.

I like to buy local when and if it is feasible. The harsh reality is local producers can't even begin to supply locals with what they need. Not eating a healthful variety of foods doesn't do any of us any good. I like fresh, whole products too but I doubt you could come up with an accurate study without bias that proves eating fresh over frozen or canned products is any worse for you in the long run. You can even throw in organic to the search if it makes you feel better. Except for salt intake which you can adjust for, there isn't any. Our growing season here pretty much dictates that we have to eat things that aren't always fresh or whole.

julieanderson 5 years, 8 months ago

Jenn, I've said it before and I'll say it again -- you are the Coupon Goddess!!! You are an inspiration. Thank you.

mommydaycare 5 years, 8 months ago

Why do people have to attack on a suggestion that was made? Aldi is not far out (across from Target). I see so many people shopping in there it would make your head spin!!! I love coupons myself, but was only suggesting this store!!! Let's all be real and adults!!!!!

headdoctor 5 years, 8 months ago

mommydaycare (Anonymous) says… Why do people have to attack on a suggestion that was made? Aldi is not far out (across from Target). I see so many people shopping in there it would make your head spin!!! I love coupons myself, but was only suggesting this store!!! Let's all be real and adults!!!!!


Let"s be real and adults? I agree. This is a public forum. Posting an opinion or a couple of facts is hardly an attack. I have been known to shop at AldI too, if I am in the area and need something they have that I know I can't get cheaper elsewhere. I did point out that it is a store for need items and or where coupons do not apply. I also occasionally shop at Checkers as some have also wondered about. Both Checkers and AldI are hard to post about on this type of thread. One doesn't take coupons and the other gives no one anyway to have advanced information until you get to the store to see.

Katara 5 years, 8 months ago

overthemoon (Anonymous) says… I look for coupons on occasion, but only rarely do I find any for foods we would purchase without the coupon. We don't regularly buy soda, prepared foods, chips, candy and prefer to avoid foods with ingredients you can't pronounce. Now that we are empty nesters, we spend less than $75 a week at the grocery store and eat very well. So the effort to find and use coupons just never makes sense for me. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is not true. You use toilet paper, don't you? Cleaning products? There are many coupons for nonfood items that you use everyday and what you save on those, you can use toward the pricier items (such as fresh produce) and still spend less overall.

I also get some great organic foods coupons too. I recently just got some Kashi cereal coupons in the mail that were a nice surprise. 2 - $3/off 1 box & 2 - $1.50/off 1 box. Kashi is $3.99/box @ Dillons so I will only pay $.99/box for 2 boxes.

I find with the organic coupons I have to sign up on their websites but they deliver tons of coupons for some really great tasty products. Here are some good organic products sites.

http://www.annies.com/freeloot http://www.kashi.com/account/new

I have not used this one but it looks promising. http://www.organicfoodcoupons.com/

Katara 5 years, 8 months ago

Seamus (Anonymous) says… Coupons are for processed foods. Buy fresh, whole foods. If possible, buy them locally. Yes it's more expensive, but the health care costs from later in life will likely far exceed whatever savings you've realized in the short term. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is not true either but I realize that educating you on this is a waste of time based on previous posts by you.

You keep spending the extra. I'll keep scooping up the deals and feed my family not only healthy food but food that allows me to stick within my budget.

Hop2It 5 years, 8 months ago

Yes.....these comments seem to be protected by the "crazy coupon police" that doesn't let anyone make any suggestions. I thought this was supposed to be about helping people.....

Katara 5 years, 8 months ago

Hop2It (Anonymous) says… Yes…..these comments seem to be protected by the “crazy coupon police” that doesn't let anyone make any suggestions. I thought this was supposed to be about helping people….. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I'm not sure who you are directing your comment at but when people come in to tell you that you can only do this or do that with coupons and it is not true, then those people need to be educated as to what one can do and can't do with coupons.

For example, this myth that coupons are only for processed foods which has been repeated twice here. It is not true and I am not the only one who has shown this not to be true but that still doesn't stop people from coming on this threads to promote that myth.

Do you consider coupons for organic milk to be for processed foods? What about coupons for salad? Last time I checked, lettuce is not a processed food.

People have posted helpful suggestions but then get told they don't shop local and that is bad and you want to say it is the "crazy coupon police" who are the ones that are the problem?

This "crazy coupon lady" spends less than $75/week (on average) for a family of 4 and that includes my household items and also includes the 1/4 beef (which I buy locally) that I purchase twice a year.

A typical dinner at my house, for example, is a roasted pork tenderloin ($4.99 as a BOGO @ Hy-Vee), corn on the cob (was 10 for $1 @ Target this summer that I froze) and steamed broccoli (purchased @ Dillon's for $.49/bag).

I've spent a total of $9.48 for a home cooked, nutritious and healthy meal for a family of 4 usually with leftover meat to make a nice sandwich for the lunch I take to work.

So you keep on naysaying the work Jenn does for you on this thread and keep on naysaying the people that have done this for years and have heard all the objections to using coupons or shopping for things on sale. I'll keep on saving my money and enjoying reducing my debt significantly and increasing my bank balance.

Katara 5 years, 8 months ago

What a time to be a dingbat on the math! The price of my home cooked, nutritious and healthy meal is $5.88, not $9.48.

SuperJenn 5 years, 8 months ago

I meant to reply to some of this earlier in the day...but I'm SO not into typing one handed on my iPhone when I really have something to say! The house is quiet and I can think for a couple of minutes now to respond!

The thing I hear again and again is that coupons are just for junk....not things they would buy for themselves or their families. I used to think the same thing! The truth is...there IS a lot of junk out there....my guilty pleasure of pop tarts and snickers top the list :) But there is SO MUCH MORE to coupons than what meets the fleeting eye.

For example: There is currently a coupon for $0.75/1 Dole Pineapple... FRESH pineapple... that you can print here: http://print.coupons.com/couponweb/Offers.aspx?pid=13903&nid=10&zid=xh20

Several months ago I was able to purchase 3.5lb whole, natural chickens at Target for around $2 each. I bought 12 of them and stuck them in my freezer. I used Target sales, Target coupons and manufacturer's printed coupons to get this price. Overthemoon, I use those chickens from time to time to make my own stock as well!

As Katara mentioned..there are ALL KINDS of coupons for organic foods...and generally if you have a product you really enjoy...you can contact the company and tell them so...ask them if they have any coupons and you will generally receive some.

I've said before that I will occassionally shop at Aldi. They DO have good prices...unfortunately for most items...the prices are comparible to WalMart and several other stores that do take coupons...and lower the prices. The things that I DO buy at Aldi's on a regular basis are fish; salmon, tilapia, etc...they are a great quality and an even better price...I know that they have frozen turkey fillets that are a good and well priced. I also buy their home brand, Fit & Active, frozen fruit....this is a great price and is very good.

Watch this week in print and on the blog ... I will post an article that covers more in depth the "health food" aspect of couponing! In the meantime...be sure to post good deals, coupons and prices that YOU find...share the good news so we can all partake in a sweet deal!

Katara 5 years, 8 months ago

SuperJenn (Jenn Hethcoat) says… Several months ago I was able to purchase 3.5lb whole, natural chickens at Target for around $2 each. I bought 12 of them and stuck them in my freezer. I used Target sales, Target coupons and manufacturer's printed coupons to get this price. Overthemoon, I use those chickens from time to time to make my own stock as well! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Haha! I did the same thing with that sale. Well, not as many chickens but it was an awesome deal and they are sitting in my meat freezer. We almost always get more than one meal out of those. The leftover chicken is used for chicken salad most of the time.

I'm hoping they have a good ground chicken sale sometime. I have a tasty sounding Greek chickenburger recipe I found that I have been dying to try but I don't have a meat grinder.

Katara 5 years, 8 months ago

Oh yeah...if you want to use that chicken to make some chicken n' noodles, Reames noodles (12oz.) are on sale @ Dillon's 10/$10. The 9/27 Smart Source insert has a $.50/1 coupon & you can also print off 2 Reames noodles coupons on their website (also $.50/1).

http://www.marzetti.com/products/reames/

Since Dillon's doubles the coupons, those are free noodles in your shopping cart.

headdoctor 5 years, 8 months ago

Haha, I just left the grocery store with $34.19 worth of food and only paid $6.76 out of pocket including sales tax. No the cart wasn't full of processed food. The bulk of it was healthy food including 2 bags of greens.

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