Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Just did my grocery shopping Sunday.  I planned everything out to take advantage of the sales in my local papers.  Matched up all the coupons I've collected so far to the items on my list.  I started out with a coupon for everything on my list.  Visited three stores total to get the most mileage out of my coupons.  I used the smaller coupons, under $1 at the grocery store where they double up to $1 along with my shoppers card.  Saved 28% on everything I purchased there, even though 2 items I had intended to purchase were not available locally and I had to purchase store brands instead. 

Also saved around 28% on my items purchased at my local Kmart store, although I had no coupons at all to use there.  I took advantage of their sale items for buy one get one free on snacks and saved $2 on 2 cases of Diet Pepsi by purchasing 2 cases at a time.  Picked up info on their shoppers rewards program while in the store and signed up for the program, so I'll save more on my future visits there. 

Didn't do quite as well at Wal Mart.  Still save over 20% by using coupons on sale items but I misread one of my coupons and had to add an additional item at the last minute, which lowered my total savings to around 25%.  Still, I feel my experiment in extreme shopping was a success.  While I may never get a spot on TLC's TV show, I think getting 1/4th of the items I purchased free is a pretty good deal.  As I've said before, I only use coupons on items I would purchase anyway, so I'm not stockpiling a bunch of stuff I'll never use.

My biggest savings from the whole experience comes from eating at home more often.  Since I actually have a store of groceries in the house now, I'm much less tempted to go out to eat.  According to my calculations, if buying groceries keeps me from going out to eat at least 5 times per month (which means I'll still eat out quite a bit) I'll save enough to pay for all my grocery purchases with money to spare.  Having money left over from the food budget goes directly towards debt reduction and building my investment accounts.  As a result of my savings through couponing, I've already boosted automatic monthly contributions to my investment plan by 20%.  I figure I'll be able to raise it even more as I get more organized at couponing.  It's like free money!!!

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