Friday, May 6, 2011

Non-Extreme Couponing

Coupons are becoming more and more important to me as we draw closer to the wedding and as I look for great deals to help stock the pantries of those in need. The power was out at my house for four days, so we ended up tossing everything in our freezer and most everything in our fridge. Could've planned better to save them, but there were more pressing issues at the time.

This is where I have to give Publix a huge shout-out. I just love Publix. Even if I could save even MORE money at Wal-Mart, I don't think I could ever shop Wal-Mart again after the amazing Publix experiences I've had in the past several days. I've preferred Publix for a while, but the past week really sold me on them for sure.

1. Publix's staff members are generally super-friendly and helpful.
2. Their coupon policy rocks - doubling coupons worth less than $0.50 every day. Can't find the item you are looking for? They will HAPPILY write you a rain-check!
3. The stores are clean, stocked, and easy to navigate.
4. You can make a shopping list from their online weekly circular. When you print the list, you might pee in your pants a little - it's that awesome. It organizes what's on your list by AISLE NUMBER (according to the store YOU select) and also lists the sale price. You can type in items you need that are not in the circular and it will recognize those items and also organize them in the list. If the item is in a freezer or cooler on the perimeter of the store, it will tell you the general area (back center cooler; dairy case; far left cooler). It is AMAZING.
5. MOST of the clerks know the circulars fairly well themselves, and if they know Publix offers a coupon that you don't have, they will often scan one for you. This has happened to me twice in just the past week!
6. Their bathrooms are CLEAN. (Very important!)

Publix has some great deals this week, especially if you already have coupons. My goal was to get some items that can be donated, as well as items to restock our own pantry. I wanted to share some of the savings we got yesterday as an encouragement for those of you out there who, like me, want to "do" something but feel you have little to offer. Without income from a job, my budget is TIGHT. So, coupons and shopping the sales are a great way to help me help others.

For the record, he recent addition to TLC's line-up, Extreme Couponing, isn't realistic. (Hopefully you already know that if you've ever seen an episode.) I actually have a lot of problems with this show because I feel like they don't show the realistic side to couponing. Generally, most people will save 50-75% on groceries. To get the 99% savings, you have to bend the rules a little and then you end up with a garage full of supplies you will never use while feeding an unhealthy obsession for shopping. But, my rant on Extreme Couponing can stand for a post in and of itself. I guess I just want to say that, if you are new or unfamiliar to couponing, don't expect to save $879 your first trip... or ever.

My list from yesterday:

R = Regular price C = Coupon S = $$ off from sale price XC = Multiplied Coupon

1. Folgers coffee (1o oz brick): $4.57 (R) - $1.58 (S) - $1.00 (C) = $1.99 (Savings of $2.58, and I bought two - I usually buy the LARGE cans, which are $9-12, so I really saved a WHOLE lot by buying the smaller bricks on sale and using the coupons I had!)

2. Kraft Mayo (30 0z jar): $5.09 (R) - $2.54 (B1G1) - $1.00 off for 2 = $2.05 (Savings of $3.04 per jar, and I bought 4 jars - some for donation!!!)

3. Sister Schubert's Rolls (8 pack): $3.69(R) - $0.69 (S) - $0.50 (C) - $0.50 (XC) = $2 (Savings of $1.69 per bag, and I bought two bags)

4. Philly Cooking Cream: $2.99 (R) - $0.99 (S) - $1.50 (C) = $0.50 (Savings of $2.49 per jar, and I bought 3 jars)

5. Bird's Eye Frozen Corn (16 oz bag): $1.79 - $0.90 (S) - $1 off for 2 (C) = $0.39 (Savings of $1.40 per bag)

Those are just a few of the deals we found yesterday. We also bought some things that were just on sale, without a coupon. I was able to get my Yoplait Smoothie mixes 50% off!!! That made me happy, since I had to throw away three bags from the freezer melt-down!

I guess I wanted to write this post to say this - if you want to buy groceries or house supplies for families in need, check your papers and the coupon wesbites first! You may be able to get MORE for your money and help more families than you originally intended! Match the coupons you have with what is on sale. People are going to be in need of groceries even AFTER the city is rebuilt from this storm - there were people in need BEFORE the storm!! So, learn the basics of couponing - and, again, expect to save 50-75%. Use your abilities to help those in need, and do so while being frugal with your own budget!

Some great sites:


  1. Katie, love this site called Krazy Coupon Lady, too. And lately, I've been hitting the 50% mark on most trips, which really is pretty awesome and worth a little extra effort to clip. Got my binder made, too. Super cool about the aisle by aisle list. I had no idea!

  2. I like her website, too, though she DID go "dumpster diving" for coupons on Extreme Coupons!! :)

    And yes - the aisle by aisle list about made me pee in my pants. In a good way! Haha!