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Friday, January 25, 2008

Frugal Update #6 – Matching Sales with Coupons

I’m pretty excited about my day! I spent a little over 2 hours and saved lots of money, thanks to tips and announcements from sale announcing, coupon sharing, frugal friends on Gather!

I haven’t walked out of anyplace being owed money yet, but this was my first truly organized trip. (I’ve used these methods in the past, but didn’t ever develop it into a science.) Even my husband was impressed with my savings! He’s not a real romantic, but I know this much: one of the things he loves about me is that I’m frugal! (My kids have always said he’s just plain cheap, but I like to say he takes frugality to the max). :~)

Here is my report in the order of my stops:

CVS (my best savings)

I purchased a total of $40.96 – my final out of pocket: $11.97!

I bought six 12-packs of Pepsi products (these will last us months!!) and cashed in the spend $20 on Pepsi products and get $10 back. Then I purchased Mennon deodorant for $3.99 – get $3.99 extra bucks; bought M&M’s buy 2 – get $3.00 extra bucks. Finally, I cashed in a $5 off $30 and a $4 off $20 CVS coupon I printed from on-line.

I’m pretty excited about this and my goal for CVS is to come out of the store at least once a month owing nothing. I was careful not to even look at anything other than what was on my list. That, I think is one of the keys. I wrote down what I planned to buy and what the rewards were and took that list with me in the store.

Walgreens – only needed two items they had on sale

I bought Scott toilet paper and Puffs tissues for $4.88. I had a coupon for both items and they were both on sale at Walgreens. My final bill: $2.98 for a savings of $1.90.

At the bottom of my Walgreen’s register tape is a toll-free number to number to call for a short survey and be entered in a sweepstakes to win $3,000! Wish me luck!

Food Lion – only purchased coupon items except for cheese
(Plus the beer and aim-n-flame my husband called to ask me to pick up!) I divide up the cheese into 1 cup servings and freeze them in snack size ziplock bags.

Purchase price total: $82.71 – final out of pocket: $64.87
I had a coupon for both the pouch and dry dog food I bought plus a coupon to save $2.00 on a $10 total purchase of pet items. As I said, I had coupons for the other items except beer and the aim-n-flame. The additional savings were due to the in-store specials, which I matched with the coupons. I also ended up with a Save $1.00 on Breyers Light Yogurt (six 6-oz containers). They have this on sale currently at Food Lion, so I’ll probably buy some more in a few days using my coupon.

Last stop: Kroger

This is my “regular” grocery store. I like them and since they added discount gas (with Kroger card and spending $100) I shop them almost exclusively for my big grocery story trip. (Kroger also rewards pharmacy customers with $5.00 off groceries for every 5 prescriptions.

Purchase price total: $29.43 – final out of pocket: $19.89
Kroger kindly informs customers the percentage of total savings for each visit. Mine was 33%!

My purchase price total for the day: $157.98 – final out of pocket: $99.71 which means I save about 37% on my purchases today! My goal: save at least 60% as I get more skilled (and have a larger coupon collection and continue to read Gatherite’s advice!)

Overall, I’m very pleased and feel empowered. My husband bought a load of wood today from a gentleman who sold us some a while back. He had mentioned to Jim he was going tomorrow to his dad’s farm and help him slaughter some pigs (sorry, I know it’s a little gross). Jim asked him if he would have any sausage we could buy. On Monday, well have 5 pounds of freshly ground sausage at a great price! I love it when my family gets on board!

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