Tuesday, February 10, 2009

i never thought i could love grocery shopping...

until I realized how much money I could save. Now it's become almost a game to me, a hobby, a huge obsession! And I owe it all to couponing. I can remember my mom doing it years ago. She would hit up all the neighbors for their Sunday paper coupon inserts. I recall many a Sunday afternoon, sitting with my mom and clipping coupons together. The idea was to wait to use your coupon until that particular item went on sale, and then you'd receive an even greater discount and deal. But it was a lot of work! Now, probably 15 years later, and with access to the Internet, it's become so much easier. You've probably heard of these services...Pinching Your Pennies, Grocery Smarts, The Grocery Game...some are free, some you can join for a small monthly fee. I am a member of CouponSense, and I LOVE it! Via email, I get a weekly newsletter with a list of the lowest priced supermarket products (which they also match with manufacturers' coupons and other specials) so that I can receive the best savings possible. They do all the hard work and research, and then tell me what to go get. I also have a personal instructor who sends me her own newsletters twice a week. She just sends out the best of the best...the SMOKIN' HOT deals, since couponsence literally has thousands and thousands of items in their database. I have a handy dandy filing system for all my coupon inserts, and I don't cut coupons until right before I head out to do my shopping. This system is designed not only to save lots and lots of money, but time, too. The fact that they understand how our time is equally as valuable as our money...is just another thing I love about this.
So anyway, just to give an example, last week I spent $50.00 on groceries that would have normally cost me $220.00! I brought home 72 items, and paid an average of .69 cents for each item. Here's what I got:


2 Johnson's Buddies (kids' soap)
2 Loreal Revitalift (30 count) Moistened Cleansing Towelettes - reg. price 6.50
6 4 pk Cotonelle Toilet Paper
3 Palmolive liquid dish soaps
3 Dial liquid hand soaps
3 liquid Softsoaps
1 Speedstick 24/7 Deodorant
6 Colgate Toothpastes - reg price 2.99 each
1 KY Yours and Mine - reg price 19.99
1 Suave Coconut Shampoo
1 Suave Coconut Conditioner
5 lbs fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 Boxes Totinos Pizza Rolls
4 Containers Fresh Blueberries
1 Loaf Nature's Own Bread
4 Boxes Pop Tarts
3 Boxes Fruit Gushers
3 Bags Fritos
11 32oz Gatorades
4 Boxes Ritz Crackers
6 Manwich
3 Chef Boyardee Ravioli
1 64oz Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry fruit juice

All of it was on sale...so, after getting the stores' sale prices, and then using my manufacturers' coupons, several of these items ended up being absolutely FREE! And who doesn't just LOVE getting free stuff?

Well, I do...and now I'm Obsessed! Seriously, I can't hardly wait 'til my next shopping trip!


natalie eve said...

that is grossly amazing!

i thought my $30 or $40 i saved every week was good... the best i can do is look in the ads and see what is on sale at fry's for the week and only buy things on sale.

i would love to get into couponing but as much as you explained it, it still sounds confusing and hard. haha.

maybe i am just lazy.

nicole said...

nat, it only sounds confusing and hard because i didn't explain it well. trust me, it's not confusing and hard...at all! let me know if you want more info, i could explain it better in person...maybe next play date?

really, it is so fun!

ahe said...

I love couponing. I have found that I am addicted and have started to buy things that we don't use or aren't healthy just because they are super cheap and I am not going to do that any more. Last week I saved 60%. Seriously so awesome!

Brooke said...

That's so great Nicole! Looks like you are totally stocked!.....Someday!

Karissa Kay said...

That's so great! I've been trying so hard to use more coupons. I'm going to check out those websites!

sarahtuckett said...

Oh I love it too -- I can'twait for the ads to come! It is totally an addiction.. I love when frys has the 10 things..and then you have coupons for them. I can't remember the counting to 10 in my head while I am shopping so I have to make little tick marks on my ad... I guess I am too easily distracted. I am going to have to try that coupon sense thing.

Jeff and Diana said...

are you kidding me? o have heard about these web sites and never took the time to look into it mainly because it looks tricky. maybe i need to call you so you can give me the details. jeff would LOVE it if i did this! i suck at waiting for things to go on sale!

Travis and Teresa Wilson said...

I totally just signed up for coupon sense I am glad to see it works. I am still a little overwhelmed by the whole coupon thing but I am going to make it work because when it works you save major money!!

Jane said...

How exciting! I love shopping trips like that and you are right, it is so addicting and fun.

buddens said...

Sorry to be the one to bring this up, but you are brave for putting the KY Yours and Mine on there! Shazam! I totally would have been too embarrassed to put that on the list; it would have remained my secret shopping victory.

nicole said...

melanie- i was kinda hoping that this particular item would fly under the radar. but i couldn't NOT put it on there because it was a higher priced item (still only paid 4.99 though)...yet I was still able to save 69% on the entire transaction!

talk about EMBARASSING.

diana rose said...

haha! i was totally going to mention the ky, didn't fly under the radar, it was one of the first things i saw! haha, but for $5, what a steal!

this totally makes me want to jump on the bandwagon and start clipping coupons... (all the savings, not all the ky. haha!)

nicole said...

oh...and amy...i totally know what you mean when you talk about buying items that you don't use or need. i came home a few weeks ago with 6 bottles of french's mustard...and we don't even like mustard, but it was FREE, so i couldn't resist. and i still can't figure out why i have three blood-glucose monitors sitting out in my garage??? we don't have (or even know a soul who has) diabetes. but once again, they were FREE (regularly 19.99) so i couldn't pass it up. maybe i'll come across someone who can use them!
and i totally know what you mean about buying junk food, just because it's really cheap...just look at my picture! haha...ruby is loving me right now :)

Dad said...

Unbelievable! Your mom would be in seventh heaven!!! Ha ha. Great job! I think we've got a pretty fair stretch of bad economy ahead of us, and we all need to learn how to save and conserve.

Sarah Williams said...

i had to laugh at the ky too- but hey if its almost free- might as well try somthing new. thats why its so fun you get to try stuff you normally wouldn't try. its like a little present every shopping trip.