Wednesday, November 24, 2010

CRAZY shopping trip on the day before Thanksgiving!

So, today I decided to do my very first ever super coupon shopping trip.  Of  course I planned this last night and was planning on going when Connor was in school in the morning, so it would have just been Charlie (my 4 month old) and myself.  Well, school was canceled, so I braved the grocery stores, the day before Thanksgiving (yet another nutty idea of mine) with all three of my boys.  I had planned on going to Costco, Fred Meyer, Office Depot, Safeway, Albertsons, Winco, and Walgreens.

We started out by going to Costco because my ink for my printer was almost out and they refill the ink for less than it would cost to buy new ink.  It was $43.36 to refill them versus $97.98 to buy new ones (well, that is two black and all the color and I only refilled one black and all the color).  So definitely saved some money there!!

After we dropped off the ink to be refilled we made our way "across town" to Office Depot.  I had gotten a coupon from them for 25% off postage on your first package and I had a package to mail to my brother.  So, we went in there with the package and all my boys, waited in line, got to the counter and were informed that they do not ship to APO's.  It definitely would have been nice to have a sign out or even small print on the back to the car with the package.

Then we went to Fred Meyers.  They had Aquafresh toothpaste on sale for $1.99 and I had some Manufactures Coupons for $1/1, so this was a great deal.  They also had Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup 2/$1 and I had some Manufactures Coupons for $1/4, another great deal (especially since we go through TONS of this!).  So I got all of my stuff, went up to the register and forgot to split the order in half (I got two newspapers last Sunday, so I had two sets of coupons from the stores).  There was a limit to the store coupon of 3 toothpastes and 6 soups per transaction.  Ooooops.  I am still learning!  So, the total came out to a few dollars more than it was supposed to.  Of course, I couldn't do that.  I asked if they could void the transaction and start over.  They could not.  Off to the customer service line I went (the huge customer service line may I add, with 3 kids).  Anyway....something happened when they tried re-ringing it and I ended up getting 5 Aquafresh toothpastes (reg. $3.19/each) and 8 Cream of Mushroom soups (reg. $0.79/each) for $4.80.  This is the total!  So, I saved $17.47!  Of course, we were there A LOT longer than I had hoped we would be, but oh well.  Apparently I don't value my time much!!  It would have broken down like this if they would have rung it up correctly:

5 Aquafresh Toothpaste (on sale for $1.99 with $1/1 coupons)  $4.95-$0.99 each
8 Cream of Mushroom soups (on sale 2/$1 with $1/4 coupons) $2.00-$0.25 each

After Fred Meyers, we headed to Safeway.  This was going to be my big shopping "bill."  I did learn a few valuable lessons here, too.  I need to read the small print more (example-the Chex was on sale for $1.99 if I bought 3, but I only bought 2, so in the end I ended up spending the same on 2 as I would have on 3) and look better at what is actually on sale (I thought it was Puff Pastry which I had a good coupon for, but it was actually pie shells, which I didn't have a great coupon for).  Maybe it was because I was putting all of this together at 1:00 last night that I missed a couple of things or miscalculated, but it was a bit more than I had hoped for.  Here is what I got at Safeway:

5/12 packs of Pepsi/Diet Pepsi (buy 2, get 3 free)  $14.58-about $2.92 each
2 boxes of Chex ($2.99 each with a $1/2 coupon)  $4.98-$2.49 each
Eggs-Large Dozen ($1.99 with a FREE coupon)  FREE
Eating Right Dinner Entree ($2 with a FREE coupon)  FREE
2 Kraft Cream Cheese ($1.29 store coupon each with a $1/2 coupon)  $1.58-$0.79 each
2 (32 oz) Coffeemate Creamers ($1.99 store coupon each with $0.50/1)  $2.98-$1.49 each
Frozen Puff Pastry ($4.49 with $1/1 coupon)  $3.49
Dairy Glen Milk  $1.99
Bananas  $1.60
Fresh Express Salad  ($0.98 with a FREE coupon)  FREE
16.92 lb Turkey (reg. $21.83, with a $25 purchase only $0.29/lb)  $4.91

TOTAL after taxes $37.35 with a savings of $57.93!

I thought for some reason that the total would only be around $30, but I did end up paying more for a couple of things like I said above.

After Safeway, we went to Albertson's to use our doublers.  These were in the Sunday paper as well, so I ended up having 6 doublers.  Again, a lesson learned, you can only use 3 doublers in a single transaction.  So, the poor cashier had to re-ring all my stuff after we realized this.  He was very nice about it, though, so that was great.  I did feel sorry for all these people in line behind me, though.  :(  I have become "one of THOSE" people!  So, here is what I got at Albertson's (VERY proud of this shopping trip!):

2 Sierra Mists (on sale for $1.25 and I had two $1/1 coupons)  $0.50-$0.25 each
Ziplock medium square containers (on sale for $2.50, had a $1/1 coupon+doubler)  $0.50
8 Green Giant canned veggies (on sale for $0.47 each, 2-$1/4 coupon+2 doublers)  FREE
2 Kraft Shredded Cheese (on sale 2/$4, $1/1 coupon+doubler)  $2.00-$1.00 each
2 Pillbury Grands Biscuits (on sale $1.67, $1/2+doubler)  $1.34-$0.67 each
2 Kraft Cream Cheese (on sale for $1.25, $1/2+doubler)  $0.50-$0.25 each

TOTAL after taxes $4.77 with a savings of $37.23!

After Albertsons we decided to brave going to WINCO.  I don't think it really slowed down since the grand opening (well at least a week after it opened).  It was still PACKED!  Luckily this trip was SUPER straight-forward, since everything I was getting here was FREE.  Here it is:

Eggs-Large dozen (reg. $1.24)  FREE
Bar S Bacon (reg. $1.98)  FREE
Minute Maid Orange Juice (reg. $2.48)  FREE
Pop Tarts (reg. $1.48)  FREE
Franz English Muffins (reg. $0.58)  FREE

TOTAL after taxes FREE with a savings of $7.76

After Winco, we went to Walgreens.  Here is another place I should have read the small print (or at least know how much 6 oz. is).  I had two sets of coupons.  One coupon in the set was for $0.99 Nabisco crackers/cookies (6 oz) and another for what I thought was $3 Aleve, which was actually $3 OFF Aleve.  Then I had Manufactures Coupons for $1/2 Nabisco crackers and 2-$1/1 Aleve.  Once I got there, I realized that the Manufactures Coupon for the Nabisco crackers was for full sized boxes, so I couldn't use it.  I still ended up getting 6-6 oz boxes of Oreos for my husband and two boxes of Aleve.  I actually had learned by this point that the store coupons had to be used in two transactions, so there wasn't a huge ordeal this time and it all went super smoothly!  It broke down and totalled like this:

6-6 oz boxes of Oreos (on sale for $0.99 with store coupon)  $5.94-$0.99 each
2 Aleve (50-count) (reg $6.79 with $3 store coupon and $1/1 coupons)  $5.58-$2.79 each

TOTAL after taxes $12.16 with a savings of $11.06

Then we went back to Costco to get the ink and to Okie's Barber Shop to get the boys' hair cut ($7 each there and they do a great job on boys' hair!).  It did take us a few hours, but I know that next time it won't take as long because 1. I have learned some valuable "couponing" lessons, 2. I will not have all my boys with me next time, 3. I won't go the day before Thanksgiving, and 4. I won't go when the roads are crazy like they are today!  :)

Here is a total of money spent vs. saved (I don't have my ink in this total because, like I mentioned before, it isn't accurate since the black was only filled once vs. sold in packs of two):

MONEY SPENT  $59.08     MONEY SAVED:  $131.45!!!

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