Organizing coupons and sale shopping

Well, I finally went grocery shopping. One of my local stores was having a good sale this week so I was inspired to go. I got all my coupons cut out and put them into my coupon holder. I have a small plastic file with about 10 dividers. I like it because it fits into my purse so I always have it with me. It came with little stickers so I could make up the categories myself. Some couponers like to set up their file so it matches the isles of their grocery store, but since I shop at a few different stores, that doesn’t really work for me. My file is broken up into categories that make sense to me. Some of my categories include: Meat, deli and produce; snacks; dairy; frozen; health and beauty; cleaning and cats; paper, plastic and bread; Italian, Mexican, rice and potatoes.  The reason paper, plastic and bread are together in mine is because the bread always seems to be in the same area as the paper and plastic items. It just made sense to me. You have to come up with a system that works for you. It might take you a couple tries before you are happy with the setup of your file. It has to work for you or else you won’t use it. Make sure you get a  file you can carry with you everywhere, since you never know when you’ll see a great deal at Target or Wal-Mart and just happen to have a coupon to match.

On to grocery shopping. I didn’t have a list with me this week since I was stocking up. I was there for the deals and some produce. The store was having a buy 2, get 3 free (B2G3) sale. Here are some of the deals I got:

  • store brand butter B2G3. Full price 3.49 each (butter is expensive in New England), sale price $1.40. Savings $10.49 or 60%
  • Dannon yogurt 20 for $10. I also had a coupon for $1 off 10 so I only bought 10. This is where knowing your store policy is important. At this store, you don’t have to buy the full amount to get the discount. I purchased 10 containers for $4 after the coupon. Total savings: $4.50 or 53%
  • Sargento shredded cheese was B1G1 and I had a coupon so two 8oz packages of shredded cheese was $3. Regular price $8. Savings: 63%
  • Keebler fudge shop cookies were on sale B2G3. Saved 60%. Paid $1.60 per package.
  • Same deal with pasta. B2G3 saved 60%. Paid .68 per package
  • Bread was B1G1. My husband eats toast for breakfast each morning so two loaves will go fast in my house.
  • I bought myself a loaf of potato bread. It was on sale for $2.50 but there was a coupon on the package for another 55 cents off. Look for those coupons on the packaging. Especially if the item is on sale. I’m on Spring Break this week so I’ve been eating at home. Sandwiches for me!
  • My best deal with week was on egg noodles. My husband thought I was nuts as I was walking back to the cart with 6 bags of egg noodles. They were originally $2.19 per bag. This week they were B1G1m which is a great sale where I am. Normally the best deal on egg noodles is $1.49/bag. I also had 2 coupons for $1 off 3  bags. Final price per bag 91 cents. Savings of 65%.
  • Boneless, skinless chicken was B1G1. I like their chicken because it’s trimmed well. I know I can get chicken less expensively, but it was still a good deal at about $2 a pound.
  • The grocery store I used also had a coin program. You get  coins for shopping which give you discounts on things. We were hungry going into the store so we each got 2 pieces of pizza and two cokes. We used the coins to get 1 piece of pizza free and one discounted so lunch cost us $8. I also used coins when shopping to get a discount on pickles, and lettuce. When I bought the pizza, I got one coin back and when I was at check-out, I got another one. I also got a coupon for $5 off my purchase next week. We’ll see how the sale is.

I bought a lot of  stuff this week. My cart was full. Total before sales $158.61. Total after sales and coupons $88.74. Savings $69.87 or 44%. My savings would have been a little better had a shopped alone. I wanted ice cream and the sales weren’t that great. My husband wanted a few things that were not on sale, but he generally buys store brands so it’s not so bad. Plus, I have a blast shopping with him. It’s much better than shopping alone.

The key to saving is matching up the sales with your coupons. You can either do it before going to the store with the sales flyer or at the store as you see items you need on sale. Depending on how much time I have, I’ll do it either way. During tax season, when I don’t have a lot of time, I match up everything at the store. I have a very good memory so I have a pretty good idea if I have a coupon for something.

Did you get any great deals this week?

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