Saving money at the grocery store


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Yesterday we went grocery shopping at Dominicks. This is the regular grocery store in the Chicago area. It is part of the Safeway chain. Generally, we shop at Sam's Club or Food4Less because they are generally cheaper. I wanted to drop by Dominicks to make a deposit at the bank and just to pick up some items on sale. I decided to do a little homework first.

I looked at their website to see if there was anything I should pick up on sale while I was there. They had 93% ground beef on sale for $1.89 and a few other things I wanted to pick up on sale. I saw that I could make a grocery shopping list from their online weekly ad and so I did that. They had a coupon section where I could load coupons into my club card and not have to use paper coupons, they also had printable coupons, and a link to Proctor & Gamble brand savers, which I joined. I also visited upromise and coupons.com and sites of products which were on the shopping list that I didn't find a coupon for already such as Progresso soup and found coupons around the web. We also picked up a Sunday paper. Clipped and loaded, I was ready to go shopping.

With all the coupons in hand, it did take a bit longer to shop. We filled the cart with mostly sale items and proceeded to the checkout hoping for the best. I've done this type of thing to a lesser degree before and have saved $20-$30 at the store. I was expecting at least $60 off the bill. When the total came to nearly $330, I was a little anxious, thinking we bought too much stuff. I handed the checker my handful of coupons taken off the web and a couple of coupons that were on packages. Those totaled $8.10 (a bit disappointing). Then he swiped my loyalty card. The total started falling... and falling ... and falling. I said come on ... please get it under $200 and lo and behold, the total went down to $199.49. Whew! Oh, and I also earned United miles, gas credits and money towards my daughter's college fund.

I saved $121.78 on groceries.

Try this sometime. Doing the prep work really pays off.

Kat

the coupon queen

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Kat; You go girl!

I have been watching The Duggars, the TV show about the Arkansas family with eighteen children. They had a show about their finances which many people could benefit from. Don't watch the show where they go to the creationist museum.

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The Sunday grocery coupons in the Los Angeles Times routinely save me twice the monthly cost of a subscription. It's as if they're paying me to take the paper. (Fine with me. Adept writers, especially about entertainment, but they're all flaming statists.)

Don't know how long this will keep up, as we're only partly through the marketplace transition to e-coupons — but for now, at least, tossing those coupon inserts still amounts to throwing money away. And when those inserts vanish, newspapers' financial prospects will likely go from abysmal to cataclysmic.

Edited by Greybird
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Kat:

"Then he swiped my loyalty card." Out of curiosity was this the once a year savings - for example, at Kosco, once a year we get 2% of our prior years purchase which is significant?

Adam

Edited by Selene
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Yesterday we went grocery shopping at Dominicks. This is the regular grocery store in the Chicago area. It is part of the Safeway chain. Generally, we shop at Sam's Club or Food4Less because they are generally cheaper. I wanted to drop by Dominicks to make a deposit at the bank and just to pick up some items on sale. I decided to do a little homework first.

I looked at their website to see if there was anything I should pick up on sale while I was there. They had 93% ground beef on sale for $1.89 and a few other things I wanted to pick up on sale. I saw that I could make a grocery shopping list from their online weekly ad and so I did that. They had a coupon section where I could load coupons into my club card and not have to use paper coupons, they also had printable coupons, and a link to Proctor & Gamble brand savers, which I joined. I also visited upromise and coupons.com and sites of products which were on the shopping list that I didn't find a coupon for already such as Progresso soup and found coupons around the web. We also picked up a Sunday paper. Clipped and loaded, I was ready to go shopping.

With all the coupons in hand, it did take a bit longer to shop. We filled the cart with mostly sale items and proceeded to the checkout hoping for the best. I've done this type of thing to a lesser degree before and have saved $20-$30 at the store. I was expecting at least $60 off the bill. When the total came to nearly $330, I was a little anxious, thinking we bought too much stuff. I handed the checker my handful of coupons taken off the web and a couple of coupons that were on packages. Those totaled $8.10 (a bit disappointing). Then he swiped my loyalty card. The total started falling... and falling ... and falling. I said come on ... please get it under $200 and lo and behold, the total went down to $199.49. Whew! Oh, and I also earned United miles, gas credits and money towards my daughter's college fund.

I saved $121.78 on groceries.

Try this sometime. Doing the prep work really pays off.

Kat

the coupon queen

I went shopping for a new car. Cost: one million dollars. However, I had a coupon from the dealer and got $980,000.00 off.

Seriously, how much did you save with manufacturers' coupons?

--Brant

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I went shopping for a new car. Cost: one million dollars. However, I had a coupon from the dealer and got $980,000.00 off.

Seriously, how much did you save with manufacturers' coupons?

--Brant

On a good day, maybe ten or fifteen percent. It all depends.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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With all the coupons in hand, it did take a bit longer to shop. We filled the cart with mostly sale items and proceeded to the checkout hoping for the best. I've done this type of thing to a lesser degree before and have saved $20-$30 at the store. I was expecting at least $60 off the bill. When the total came to nearly $330, I was a little anxious, thinking we bought too much stuff. I handed the checker my handful of coupons taken off the web and a couple of coupons that were on packages. Those totaled $8.10 (a bit disappointing). Then he swiped my loyalty card. The total started falling... and falling ... and falling. I said come on ... please get it under $200 and lo and behold, the total went down to $199.49. Whew! Oh, and I also earned United miles, gas credits and money towards my daughter's college fund.

I saved $121.78 on groceries.

Try this sometime. Doing the prep work really pays off.

Kat

the coupon queen

HOLY COW!!!! That is IMPRESSIVE!!!

I use Upromise as well - but haven't really found any coupons on their recently. I wish I could load coupons on one of my store loyalty cards. I shop at Walmart, Sam's Club and Kroger's depending on what I am getting and how the sales are going. However, I have to admit I am not as much as a coupon shopper as I could be. For bread, I do my best to hit the Mrs. Baird's Outlet store once or twice a week - where we can buy good bread for cheap squishy white bread prices.

By the way - here is an excellent blog I read at least once a week: getrichslowly.org/blog

I usually find some good information every time I visit the site.

One thing that my husband and I have been working on for the past few years is getting better at managing money, and cutting spending and maximizing how we can save money on every day things is such a key - but one I am working on more.

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Thanks. I just thought it was cool to be able to save that much moolah without doing rebates or collecting coupons for more than a day. It wasn't any special promotion, just the normal weekly sales combined with electronic and paper coupons.

Thanks also for the website Sherri. I've seen that one before. I also look at ones like zenhabits.net and livingonadime.com and a few others from time to time.

Kat

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Thanks. I just thought it was cool to be able to save that much moolah without doing rebates or collecting coupons for more than a day. It wasn't any special promotion, just the normal weekly sales combined with electronic and paper coupons.

Thanks also for the website Sherri. I've seen that one before. I also look at ones like zenhabits.net and livingonadime.com and a few others from time to time.

Kat

Yes - I believe JD Roth, the writing, reads and likes to both of those quite a bit, and may even have those writers do guest posts from time to time.

I like it because he doesn't push a one stragety fits all approach - ie., how some people are died hard snowball fans (Dave Ramsey) and some are die hard pay off highest interest rate first, or you have to "sacrifice" your true pleasures and values and become a miser to become financially successful. To me financial success means being able to sustain a lifestyle that you allows you to chase your true values without killing yourself. That is different things for different people. (By "killing yourself" I don't mean hard work. I mean the whole keeping up the Joneses, but being able to truly balance one's time and energy to attain their life they want.)

Have you ever read "Your Money Or Your Life"? I read this back in the 90s and it really opened up a lot of new ideas and things I hadn't previously thought of. I bought an updated version a few years ago, but since I had started studying Objectivism, I had a little bit of a hard time ignoring the altruistic them. However, if you can ignore it, there is a lot of good stuff in the book.

I hope someday someone writes a version of this book without out the altruistic over tones.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Thanks. I just thought it was cool to be able to save that much moolah without doing rebates or collecting coupons for more than a day. It wasn't any special promotion, just the normal weekly sales combined with electronic and paper coupons.

Have you ever read "Your Money Or Your Life"? I read this back in the 90s and it really opened up a lot of new ideas and things I hadn't previously thought of.

I routinely save over 75, often over 90%, at Safeway (owner of Dominick's chaim) and Walgreens without rebating or spending much time per week cutting/printing out coupons.

(Not directed at Kat or anyone in particular:) When people say they don't have time to clip coupons that's like saying they don't have time to stop for a quarter or a dollar or a fiver no strings attached if it were being offered up on a silver platter. Oddly, a lot of people miss the point of coupons. They are a form of payment. Once you discover the least time-consuming methods for finding coupons, it can be to your distinct advantage to shift some of your leisure time to acquiring them rather than spending cash. Unless you're clearing enough $/hour to not care how much you spend on groceries, it's much easier and cheaper to find or buy extra coupons than it is to earn enough to pay full retail.

Following the line of thinking in "You're Money or Your Life" how many pre-tax hours does it take to pay for $300 worth of groceries w/o coupons or rebates? How many leisure hours did it take to save $121.xx? What if you focused slightly more leisure time on cutting your grocery bill by 75% (or more) without sacrificing convenience, taste, healthfulness or quality?

There are hundreds of forums for exchanging info on hot deals, coupons, online discounts etc., not just for groceries but for just about any conceivable consumable. Here are a few high traffic sites that are helpful, friendly and reasonably well-moderated:

slickdeals.net

hotcouponworld.com

fatwallet.com

To the above comment re: eCoupons, electronic and internet printable coupons constitute barely 1% of all redeemed drugstore and grocery coupons. Newspaper inserts, store tearpads, on-package coupons and home mailers are still the dominant methods of distribution.

Edited by lurker
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Thanks. I just thought it was cool to be able to save that much moolah without doing rebates or collecting coupons for more than a day. It wasn't any special promotion, just the normal weekly sales combined with electronic and paper coupons.

Have you ever read "Your Money Or Your Life"? I read this back in the 90s and it really opened up a lot of new ideas and things I hadn't previously thought of.

I routinely save over 75, often over 90%, at Safeway (owner of Dominick's chaim) and Walgreens without rebating or spending much time per week cutting/printing out coupons.

(Not directed at Kat or anyone in particular:) When people say they don't have time to clip coupons that's like saying they don't have time to stop for a quarter or a dollar or a fiver no strings attached if it were being offered up on a silver platter. Oddly, a lot of people miss the point of coupons. They are a form of payment. Once you discover the least time-consuming methods for finding coupons, it can be to your distinct advantage to shift some of your leisure time to acquiring them rather than spending cash. Unless you're clearing enough $/hour to not care how much you spend on groceries, it's much easier and cheaper to find or buy extra coupons than it is to earn enough to pay full retail.

Following the line of thinking in "You're Money or Your Life" how many pre-tax hours does it take to pay for $300 worth of groceries w/o coupons or rebates? How many leisure hours did it take to save $121.xx? What if you focused slightly more leisure time on cutting your grocery bill by 75% (or more) without sacrificing convenience, taste, healthfulness or quality?

There are hundreds of forums for exchanging info on hot deals, coupons, online discounts etc., not just for groceries but for just about any conceivable consumable. Here are a few high traffic sites that are helpful, friendly and reasonably well-moderated:

slickdeals.net

hotcouponworld.com

fatwallet.com

To the above comment re: eCoupons, electronic and internet printable coupons constitute barely 1% of all redeemed drugstore and grocery coupons. Newspaper inserts, store tearpads, on-package coupons and home mailers are still the dominant methods of distribution.

lurker thanks for the site - I haven't heard of those and will check them out.

I read Money or your life several years ago - great book - I wish they would come out with one that is less focused on giving back haha so it is easier to read know that I am studying Objectivism. However, I still think it is a very valuable book and changed my thinking about money in many ways when I read it.

You are right about the coupon thing - I haven't made time lately for doing that as much as I should - and am guilty of not utilizing all the coupons I have found. Though I do often look for things on sale and buy in bulk, I am throwing a bit of money out the window because I have been coupon lazy.

The thing for me with coupons though - one of the reasons I am not that great with them is that most coupons I find are for brands or items that I don't ever buy or want to buy. I buy a lot of generic brands, and I don't see coupons for those. As I said, I will check out those three sites you mentioned; many times though, the coupon for a different brand product I normally buy is still more expensive than the brand I usually buy.

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Lurker:

Welcome. Excellent forum and I am always looking for another Italian to help convert the non believers!

Adam

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