Shopping Trips

I’ve been tinkering with coupons on and off for years, but I never took the time to learn the ins and outs of couponing, so I’ve probably only saved $5 over the past several years. Earlier this year I had a major financial hardship and knew it was either learn to coupon or have absolutely nothing. I did some research, saved my change so I could start buying the Sunday paper (told you my hardship was MAJOR!), and prepared to begin my couponing journey.

After several weeks I was ready to make my first grocery run. I had my coupons clipped, my binder ready, my shopping list prepared, and even a list of what store I would visit first. I headed to the first grocery store. I went in, went straight down my list, got everything I wanted, and even picked up a few more items that had in-store coupons and that had manufacturer coupons for.

On checkout I knew my balance would be more than projected because of the extra items I had added, but I still had a rough estimate of what my total should be. I proceed to watch the screen as the cashier rang up each and every item, watching my total slowly climb to way more than the amount of money I had in my pocket. At one time I even got nervous and was about to tell her to stop ringing, but I shook that thought off and let her keep going.

Before my store card and coupons my total was $90!! Needless to say my heart stopped a little! I hand her my store card and automatically my bill is cut almost in half. I then hand her my coupons praying that the amount would be no more than $50. She finishes my coupons, looks at me and says, “You’re total is $42.77.” Can we say happy dance!!! Not only did I beat my budget, I ended up $8 cheaper than I wanted! I left the store with an extra little pep in my step and headed off to store two.

At store two I only had a few items on my list so it was a quick in and out. I did add a few items because of some unadvertised sales, but for the most part I stayed right with my list. I head to checkout. I watch diligently as the cashier scans each and every item. Hint, if you do not already watch the checkout screen, start today! So many times items will not ring up sales price, but too many do not pay attention and end up paying full price. Once the cashier rings everything up, she announces my total…”$64.62..” Not too bad, but definitely more than I’m willing to pay. I hand her my store card and coupons. I’m crossing my fingers hoping my math is right and my total is around $30. Once all the discounts are given she announces my new total…$30.54! Now, I know that’s not a huge savings, but it’s still over half of my original total, so I’m ecstatic! For a person who has never had any luck with couponing it’s like saving a million dollars!!

So, recap of my day….the original cost of my groceries, without adding in sale prices, store cards, or coupons was $154.62. After sales, store cards, and coupons the cost that I paid was $73.31. That is $81.31 that did NOT come out of my pocket!!

I am nowhere near acquiring the discounts that I would like, but I am still happy. With this being my first week of seriously couponing I do believe a $81 savings is a huge accomplishment!

Stay tuned as I continue to post about my shopping trips with the newest savings.

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