Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Major Lesson Learned

I just have to share this. It's still blowing me away. As I was putting groceries away tonight, I realized that another big thing I learned this past year was how to use coupons and save money. This has relieved so much financial stress in my life.

Because there were no new coupons in the Sunday paper this week, getting everything figured out for shopping was super fast (thanks to the Obsessive Shopper). We went to McDonald's for dinner because it was McTeacher night and the kids' school would get 20% of all that was purchased there tonight.

Afterward, we stopped at Albertson's because we had time before the oldest kids had to be at the church for Mutual.

We seemed to just zip through. I had #1, #2 and #3 with me--a much different story than having the youngest two with me. Must be why it went so fast.

Anyway, when we were in the cereal aisle, I asked the kids to get four boxes of Frosted Flakes and four boxes of Frosted Mini Wheats. I had coupons for these two kinds, but I totally forgot to to tell them to grab the sizes that were on sale.

When I got to the car, I was very disappointed because I was expecting to spend less than $100. It ended up that I had spent $123.37. Sigh.... I got to looking at my receipt. At the very top were listed the cereals. They were listed as $4.79 and $5.19 per box. Ugh! I mentioned this to the Warden, and he asked if I wanted to go back in. We dropped #s 1 and 2 at the church and headed back.

I left the wrong boxes with the guy working the self-check area and went and got the right sizes. They were $2.29/box and really only a few ounces less.

So, here's how it all played out without boring you with too many numbers. The guy refunded my money and the cereal coupons I had used. He returned $44.92 to me. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!!! He then scanned the right boxes. They came to $18.32--that's just for the sale price--no coupons. I had $5 worth of coupons I had printed online earlier in the day, so he put those in next. I had also received a $5 off your next purchase coupon when I had checked out with the original trip, so I used this.

My total ended up being $8.32.

It was just so astonishing to see all that cash left in my hands. I had saved $36.60. So, when it all came down to it, had I purchased the correct cereal on my first trip, I would have saved $204.90 and spent $86.77. Much more like what I was hoping for in the first place.

How did I EVER do it before coupons?


Breezy said...

Out of necessity I vowed this year to be a grocery coupon person. I am amazed at how much money I had been leaving on the table. It takes time and patience and yes I've had small breakdowns over shopping for hours and ending up with the wrong size item and I come home crying. However I think I'm getting the hang of it. Went shopping a few days ago and the end bill before coupons was 123 dollars after coupons, discounts, etc, $51. It's amazing where you can save money if you try.

Alyson said...

I shopped with coupons once upon a time, but no more, sigh. First, I don't take a newspaper. But perhaps more importantly, the foods we eat are rarely the kinds that have coupons—specialty vegetarian foods, vegetables and fruit, and 50-lb bags of Calrose rice. I sometimes wonder if I subscribed to a paper and got coupons if I might be able to save even more. But then my laziness strikes, because my tiny little grocery store isn't in any of the databanks and I'd have to spend a long time there every week sniffing out the bargains. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

i need to use more coupons!!!! for real!

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