Monday, June 27, 2011

Extreme Couponing

Couponing is no foreign concept in my family. It's thrilling to be able to get things for virtually free and if you look hard enough, you are bound to find a coupon or discount for any item that you want to buy. I, however, am not a full-time stay at home mom. I have a job so I try to spend as much time with my kiddos as possible. Ever since the show, extreme couponing has aired, I have been asked by many if I extreme coupon. I've seen the show, but can't see myself devoting that much time to saving money. I say its great if you have the 30+ hours to spend a week to coupon (like those that are on the show), but my philosophy is 30 minutes a week. Any extra time I have, I'd rather spend with my kids.

In my 30 minutes, I let other people do the work for me. I read coupon and discount blogs that tell me what is on sale, what coupons are out there and how I could save the most for my buck. My favorite coupon blog I like to read lately is coupon geek. If there is a great deal out there, it's bound to show up on this blog for me to read.

Every couple of weeks, I visit my coupon sites to print out coupons that I need. If it is a great coupon, I'll print several out. My favorite sites are:
I'll also load coupons to my store savings card at I'm pretty bad about storing my coupons. All of them end up in an envelope. When the weekly ads come out, I'll see what is on sale and try to match up the items that are on sale with the coupons that I have on hand.

Here's my scenario for this week. We are low on cereal so I was thrilled to see Albertson's advertising cereal for $2.00 each. That's already over a $1.00 savings on each box. It's hard to stomach spending $3.29 or even $4.28 on a box of cereal. I have no problem with buying cereal at Albertson's, BUT it would save me more money if I went to Target for several reasons. Target has their own coupons which you could use on top of manufacturer coupons AND I could use my Target Visa for an extra 5% off, not to mention getting 5 cents off each bag I bring in to use. I try not to grocery store match at Target because it is such a hassle (you have to go to the customer service counter), but I couldn't resist the extra savings this week.

Here's the best scenario for getting cereal this week.

Price match at Target with Albertson's ad

2 boxes of Pops for $4.00
2 boxes of Rice Krispies for $4.00
Use 2 mfg Pops coupon for 70 cents each ($1.40 total discount)
Use 1 mfg coupon for $1.00 off of 2 Rice Krispies
Use 1 Target coupon for $1.00 off of 3 Kelloggs cereal
Use Target Visa Card for 5% off total purchase
Bring 2 Recycle bags for 10cents off

Without coupons and sales ad, I would have spent, $3.29 for each box of cereal for a total cost of $13.16. Printing my coupons, my purchase price for those four boxes was only $4.28 which is a huge difference. However, my savings didn't stop there. I found this coupon on my rice krispy cereal box for a free bag of M&M's.

I also found this coupon for a $1.00 off fruit with cereal purchase.

AND on top of that, on special marked boxes of cereal, there is a code to get free things like a $5.00 gas card or $5.00 concession stand cash at the theaters. What does that mean? For these 4 boxes of cereal I bought, I received a bag of M&M's ($3.00 value), $1.00 worth of fruit, AND a $5.00 gas card for only $4.28. I was paid basically 72 cents to take away the cereal, M&M's and fruit.

Of course, 4 boxes of cereal really doesn't last long in a family with 4 boys, so I did walk away with a cart of cereal, several bags of M&M's, and will get several gas cards. I used other cereal coupons on the kellogg's and website to get the most variety for my family. This week's find took me less than 30 minutes to find, but it was a huge savings nonetheless. It is a rarity that I purchase this much of any item, but the deal was too good to pass up and we will definitely consume it all in no time.

If you are needing cereal, start doesn't end until Tuesday :)

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