Mis-Adventures in Couponing

28 Jun

Have you ever had one of those days where you are so exhausted (be it warranted or not) that it hurts to even sit? Yeah, I’m having one of those kind of days.

I’ve been trying to get into couponing, because money is tight, but I am just not getting the hang of it. Seriously, I am up to my eyeballs in coupons, I go to all of these frugal coupon-y websites, I scope out the ads and I just can’t seem to get $500 worth of groceries for $1.57. Is it just me? Like yesterday, for instance, I stopped at Kroger (one of our local grocery stores) to pick up a couple things that were on sale and that I had good coupons for. I had my list all planned out, coupons in hand, ready to save some money.  My plan was: bratwursts (on sale 2/$5, plus 2 $1/1 coupons for a total of $3/2 or $1.50 each), deodorant (on sale $2/1, 3 $1/1 coupons for a total of $3/3 or $1 each), cereal (no sale, no coupon, just the good ‘ole cheap-generic-giant-bag-o-cereal), and pasta (on sale 10/$10, 1 $1/2 coupon, 1 $.50/1 doubled coupon for a total of $1/3 or $.33 per box of pasta). Turns out, I didn’t read the sales paper closely enough and the bratwursts on sale were not the ones I thought were on sale, so even with the coupons they weren’t that good of a deal. I was annoyed, but still excited about the awesome deal on deodorant I was about to get (this is the only D.O. that doesn’t make my armpits itch, for some reason, so I was pumped about being able to stock up on non-itchy-arm-pit deodorant and not break my budget). That is, until I realized that the coupons I had were for a specific type of the deodorant, which just so happened to not be on sale. Grrrr. I was just this side of pissed off, so I just grabbed my cereal and pasta and peaced out.

I did get a pretty good deal last week, though: Powerade was on sale for $.59 at Kroger and I had 4 $1/5 coupons. Since Rob loves Powerade, I went ahead and bought 20 bottles of powerade, for a grand total of $7.80/20 or $.39 each. Rob said that in gas stations (where he used to buy a Powerade or Gatorade every day) the drinks could run upwards of $1.40, so in that scenario, I saved over $20 which isn’t too shabby.

I apologize for lack of depth in this post–I’m in a bit of a funk today. But, at least I wrote an entry, so that’s good, right!?

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2 Responses to “Mis-Adventures in Couponing”

  1. Elizabeth L. 06/29/2011 at 4:18 pm #

    I think the trick to couponing is a) practice and b) studying everything really well. I do think it’s possible to buy $200 of groceries for $2, but I don’t think it’s wise. You’re going to end up with a lot of food/tolietries you’ll never use and not enough of the basic food groups to make a meal.

    Personally, I think your best bet is to use coupons/sales/bogos/etc when there is something on sale that you regularly use or is a brand you are willing to use, but then shop very frugally for everything else. Plan a menu, make a list, and don’t buy anything else. Buy meats only when they are on sale, and buy in season produce. Try to reduce your food waste and cook only what you will eat for one meal and maybe for lunch the next day. You might also try shopping at Aldi. They don’t take coupons, but they are MUCH cheaper. I just wouldn’t buy my meat from there.

    Read all of The Frugal Girl’s posts on grocery shopping and menu planning. She does it best I think. If she can feed (and buy toiletries) for 6 people for under $100 a week, then you should be able to keep it around $25 a week.

    • patienceamber 06/29/2011 at 4:54 pm #

      Very good tips!!

      And I LOVE The Frugal Girl–she is one of my favs!!

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