I have been meaning to start a thread like this for a while, but I have just been lazy.
Last season we stopped traveling (for the time being) though we are still living in our RV. I have had a chance to refamiliarize myself with some discounts and specials that I had not known existed. I used to coupon shop all the time in Ca. but since then, sort of lost track of it, and only now decided that dag nabit 700-1,000 a month for food/groceries is just way too much!!! SO here are a few ideas that many of you might not know, and hopefully I can learn some tricks as well!
The coupon shopping show on TV is not really an accurate depiction of what we can honestly save. The stores are getting free publicity to let them come in with 50 coupons, piggy back them, or split the order. 9 times out of 10, a store WILL NOT let us do that. But we can get a freebie now and again, save 20-70.00 a week, and stock back a little.
My main store (it is the closest) is Kroger. (AKA Ralphs and Smiths in different states). My number one savings has taken some forethought, (and a bit of exra money set aside). Every day you can go into a Kroger and buy gift cards. They have Shell, BP, McDonalds, Applebees, Sears (also can be used at K-Mart!) Lowes, Home Depot, Starbucks... Well, the list goes on and on. They will give you double fuel points for the cards you buy. So, with a little preplanning, if you know you have to go to Lowes and buy something that is going to run 50.00, stopping at Kroger beforehand, you get 100 points, and that equals .10 a gallon for up to 35 gallons of fuel (ONE TIME) or a savings of 3.50. This summer they are honoring a 2000 point max (VS their regular 1000 points) and July 1, I got 35 gallons of fuel for 39.00. Yes, I paid $1.13 a gallon for the gas! Where you can really save, is occasionally they place gift cards for 4X rewards points. They just had that special in June for Graduation and Fathers day, so I bought those cards I know I will use, and ended up with almost 4000 fuel points (but I also bought groceries all month!) Anyhow, it is worth watching out for.
Krogers has a rewards program (kroger.com/coupons) where you can add the coupons you want directly to your rewards card before shopping. So if you are on the road and can't grab sunday newspapers, there is a chance you can still save. Also, places like Eversave (I think i is) you can print mfg coupons out and take them in to use. If you have a "sunday paper coupon", Kroger will double (most) up to .50, and up to 5 like coupons (so you can buy 5 of the items) Which is something good to watch for. Most people wont bother with .35 cents but when it is really .70 cents it makes some of the things REALLY close to free.
Coupons and savings in Sunday papers differ from region to region. My daughter is cleaning up in Ca. on the ones I clipped in Indiana and sent to her.
The coupons that come out on Sunday are usually teasers to get you into the store. The new store ad comes out on Wednesday, so your best bet is to hit the store before that weeks super sale, vanishes. Also, sometimes when a coupon is about to expire, or they think most everyone has used them, they will put that item on sale and you can get a really nice savings!!!
This week, (as with many other weeks) there is a special buy sale going on where you buy 10 items, save 3.00 off those items, and the checkstand will kick you out another 2.00 off your next order. So, Gatorade was .69 but I also get another 2.00 off. If I go back in and use it for buyng more gatorade, it will make them .49 and again kick me out a 2.00 coupon!
So that is it for Kroger. More in a bit about a couple other places I have just started to shop at.
Posted 2012-07-11 10:55 AM (#7539 - in reply to #7538) Subject: Re: Couponing, discounts, frugal ideas, ETC
Remember I mentioned earlier that Kroger has Sears gift cards? Well, I bought a 50.00 one when they were 4X's fuel points and took it to K-Mart yesterday.
K-Mart OUT HERE will double up to 5 $1.00 mfg Sunday paper coupons. The catch is, you have to spend at least 25.00 in food, laundry, house type items (no clothes). K Mart will honor other advertised prices, so if you run to the local store to get your favorite "coffee" and they are out, take the ad to K-Mart and they will honor it!!! Plus, if you have a coupon, they will double it. If you have a 2.00 coupon they won add an additional dollar to the savings, but I did use one for 3.00 off 2 pantene (and the store had them BOGO) and I had a 2.00 off vitamins that they had BOGO also, so I got the 2 shampoos for 2.99, and the 2 vitamins for 3.00. They also have a rewards program that saves you on your fuel, but the gift card items I have gotten, you have 1 week to use them.
Last week they had a sale that if you spent 30.00 on P&G items, a register coupon would kick out for 10.00 off your next purchase. Being P&G items were on sale, plus the Sunday coupons (P&G come out every first of the month except holidays), you would get alot for the 30.00 to start, but to add an extra 10.00, WOOHOO!!!! They had toilet paper on sale for 6.00 insead of 10.49, and I had a .75 coupon. I can handle a 15 pack of TP for 4.50!!!
They had a Rewards member special this week. Buy a package of cooked chicken (Oscar Mayer I think) for 2.99 and get a free Barilla pasta and Ragu pasta sauce. SO, my chicken alfredo dinner ran 2.99!!!
I lucked out and saw a coupon taped on one of the sale items, and by doubling it, I ended up getting a 5.00 item for .25. It was not on my list, but then again, it is something I will use, and will need to buy soon enough, so may as well get it now!
They run 50% off sales on houseware items, so I ended up buying a small plastic chest of drawers for 22.00 (instead of 39.00!)
Got all done, earned another 800 points (.80 cents) in rewards points, used my coupons (that ended up 19.50) and the 50.00 gift card, and paid a few dollars out of pocket!
Posted 2012-07-11 11:12 AM (#7541 - in reply to #7538) Subject: Re: Couponing, discounts, frugal ideas, ETC
Last weeks Sunday paper out here had a 5.00 off a 25.00 purchase at Family Dollar, so I thought I would investigate it. This is an interesting store to try to coupon shop at. If you have a mfg coupon, and they also have a store coupon for that item, YOU CAN USE BOTH. many items are smaller in packaging than regular stores, so be aware, if a coupon states a "certain ounce or better", they might not qualify... BUT, if the price is less for the smaller size, and you have a dollar or so coupon on top of it, the price could work out to being much less per ounce than at a regular store with your coupon. They had a mail in P&G visa rewards card if you spent 25.00 on items. With my coupons, I squeezed in PRECISELY 25.00. Then, I had a couple extra items in my cart that I rang up, and they honored the 5.00 store coupon too, which was a nice bonus!!!
The manager stated they honor others advertised prices. I will remember that one too!!! I don't know how often I wold try to coupon shop this store, but if it saves me money, I wont scratch it off my list!
Posted 2012-07-28 7:10 PM (#7591 - in reply to #7585) Subject: Re: Couponing, discounts, frugal ideas, ETC
I see a trick that companies like P & G places their coupon inserts the first Sunday of the month, and I think Kimberly clark falls a week or so later EVERY MONTH. (well, that I have tracked) I have since gone and filled up my tanks for 69.00. That made fuel 1.80 a gallon. I wont do as good next momth, as I think I am only up to 700 points for this month. They are clearancing their summer things out NOW, so I was able to get a few goodies for 50% off.
Last week I went to the store, spent about an hour and a half in there, used $26.00 in paper coupons, Got $4.50 in E coupons, added to the specials "Buy ten and save $5.00" etc. original price was a bit over $200.00, and I walked out for $105.00. NOT necessarily saying that I would have forked out $200.00, some of it I might not have bought, but it was quite inexpensive on sale with the coupon, so several items I decided to try. I did stock back on several more toiletries items, ended up with 2 large cereal containers for 5.00 ea. (Vs 10.99) and a bag of charcoal for 1.50. Doing pretty good now, and I hope to go to the store one last time this month to round out my gas savings. (they are in increments of 100 ponts, so if you go over, or fall short, of the next 100 points, they become unable to redeem. (Sneaky huh?!?!?!)
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