I’ve made no bones about how I’m an extremely cheap person. I pretty it up by calling it frugal, but that’s just my secret code for cheap.
So when it comes to coupons, I’m a participator. No, I do not have shelves of got-it-for-free air fresheners and cup-o-noodles in my basement, instead I go the cheapest route and just don’t buy them in the first place. Same thing goes for beauty products, feminine hygiene, (I use a Luna Cup) paper towels and cleaning products.
I just now got home from walking to Fred Meyer (Kroger) for a small grocery shopping trip. I made sure to bring my coupon organizer, as I always regret it when I leave it at home. (A certain day after Christmas Pyrex loss leader sale sticks in my mind, as I could have combined the sale with a coupon for spectacular savings.) My shopping list was pretty simple:
- Milk, nonfat and whole.
- Cocoa mix
- Four boxes of cereal.
- Four Luna bars.
- Refrigerator light bulb.*
- Some kind of fruit.
I was able to combine a $1.50-off-four General Mills coupon with Chex cereals being on sale for $2 apiece, and considered using a 50¢-off coupons for brand name tangerines, but chose not to, as the nameless bag was still cheaper.
I was winding my way to the checkout counter and made a detour to customer service to pick up the weekly circular, and whattayaknow, there was an in-house 4/$5 coupon for half-gallons of milk. This meant it was cheaper to buy two half-gallons of milk rather than the single gallon! Goofy but true.
My grocery total was $26.23 after the $3.30 coupon savings. But as soon as I finished paying, I remembered that I had a $2-off your next shopping trip coupon that spit out after I bought two tubes of Colgate last week. (They were buy-one-get-one-free, and I had two $1-off coupons.) I took my coupon over to customer service, where I spent a full 60 seconds showing my receipt and being handed two crisp dollar bills.
A lot of people assume that coupons are only for unhealthy foods such as Lunchables, frozen meals and pudding packs. And yes, the coupon circulars are 90% full of these, but the other 10% are dried pasta, sour cream, decent cereals and other real foods. Heck, my Just4U online Safeway coupons are often for avocados, onions, lettuce and tea!
So if you’ve shied away from using coupons because you assume it’s only for Extreme Couponer types, you are missing out on potential savings.
Today I saved $5.30 using coupons. Had I done a full fledged shopping trip, the number would have been more along the lines of $20-$30, which last time I checked makes it worth the effort.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
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*Refrigerator bulbs were $1.49 apiece, which killed me as I know they’re 2/$1 at The Dollar Tree store. I’ll have to remember to pick up a pack next time I’m buying my soap and shampoo.