July 9, 2009

$8.00 Bananas and Other Tales from Shopping Day One

Last night I scoured my circulars and matched up my soon to expire coupons with some of the sales I found in them as well as lined up some coupons for things we needed. The baby and I headed out first thing this morning to hit the first of three stores: Publix.

Normally, Publix is my BEST store. I regularly average about $25.00 of spending on any one trip there when I match my coupons with the sales. I knew that this was going to be a bigger spending trip than normal because I had my $50.00 BP gas gift card to buy, and even with my $10 off coupon that meant spending $40.00 right off the bat. But I tried to put that out of mind and just focus on the task at hand: Getting the items on my list.

I generally like to meander around the store, which is the direct opposite of the first rule of saving money during a shopping trip. But I was doing research and needed to make a mental note of the the prices of things, so I just kept going on my merry meandering way. I saw the turnstyle of gift cards right off the bat and made sure I grabbed my BP card so I wouldn't forget it, but after that, I just sort of shopped by the coupons in hand. So here is what I got today:

All the stuff you see here cost me the whopping total of $95.33, but $40.00 of that is gift card, so I spent $55.33 on the grocery items pictured. And yes, for what's pictured, that does seem a bit high for someone who didn't buy a single thing without a coupon!

These are the items that ran my total up. The Nilla Wafers, the bananas and the ground beef all were $1.00 off IF I purchased the corresponding items of the Starbucks coffee, the Cheerios and the Hamburger Helper. Now, I did not have to buy two boxes of Cheerios or three boxes of Hamburger Helper to activate the other coupons, but since I had to have a coupon to purchase the other items as well, then I had to play by the rules of those coupons. So, I stacked the coupons like this:

  • $1.00 off Starbucks Coffee + $1.00 off any Nabisco cookie or cracker with purchase of Starbucks or Seattle's Best Coffees.
  • $1.00 off 2 boxes of any Cheerios + $1.00 off bananas with purchase of one box of Cheerios.
  • $0.80 off 3 boxes of Helper + $1.00 off ground beef with purchase of Hamburger Helper
Now, if the Coffee, Cherrios, or Helper had been on sale, then I likely could have saved five more dollars on this deal, making it less of a total waste of money. And since I did not truly need the Cheerios or the Helpers, I feel like I ended up spending $7.98 to get some bananas and $8.40 to get slightly over a pound of ground beef. And it wasn't even ground sirloin! Oh, the things I do in order to have some fruit and beef.

It wasn't all bad, though. I got the Betty Crocker frosting for $0.50; it was on sale 2 for $3.00 and I had a $0.50 coupon that doubled to $1.00.

I got the Blue Diamond Almonds and Planter's Peanuts for $0.60 each; they were both on sale "Buy One, Get One Free" (BOGO) and I had $1.00 off coupons.

But I'd have to call this trip a bust, mostly for the extraneous spending I had to do to get what I wanted.

Next we went to Target.
I spent $45.53 on the items pictured here. The main purpose of this trip was to get my vitamins and the OFF! Clip-on mosquito deterrants. I've been trying to buy these things for a month, but they are always out of them when I go to the store! They were one of the "best buys" of the trip, because I had two BOGO coupons, making these only $4.47 each. The best deal was the razors. They were $2.59 and I had a $2.00 coupon, so they were only $0.59. I love these things to take on trips, because I hate to take my "real" razor anywhere! I usually end up forgetting it and then I have to spend big bucks to get a new one. These you can use and toss! And for $0.06 each, I don't mind that so much!

The worst buy: Can we just talk about Kleenex for a second? I have used some horrible generic tissues before, but Target brand tissues never bothered me. They are acceptably soft and meet my needs. So a coupon for Kleenex is really a waste of paper. The coupon I had was for $0.50 off THREE boxes. Well, thank you so much, Mr. Kleenex, for offering me not quite $0.17 off each box. I can go buy than mansion with all my savings. The point is, Kleenex was on sale for $1.29 and I had a coupon and it STILL was more expensive than the Up & Up brand!

Also, did you know you could be charged sales tax on the PRE-coupon amount? I did not until I checked out my receipt from Target tonight! Is that legal? I didn't buy any non-food items at the other stores, so I don't know if that's the case all over, or just at Target!

Finally I hit up BiLo.
I was a shopping rockstar at BiLo. I didn't buy much, but for what you see here I only paid $13.51. That's right: I essentially paid for all these items what you would normally pay for the two ice creams. Here's what happened: I had another Buy One to Get One situation, but it worked in my favor. I needed to buy 10 packs of Kool-Aid in order to get $2.00 off any granulated sugar. Then I had a coupon for $1.00 off 10 packs of Kool-Aid. So I picked out a sugar that was on sale for $1.99, which means I got 10 packs of Kool-Aid and a bag of sugar for $1.50!

So my first day spending total is $154.37, with a total savings of $81.85, but some waste, too.

And now I just need to find someone to come over and drink some Kool-Aid with me. Any takers? :-)


Whitney Bouknight said...

Thought about you today when I saw this Arby's coupon. Not sure if y'all eat Arby's or not, but if so, this is a pretty good deal (it expires Sunday, so act quickly!). According to the fine print, you can substitute any other sandwich if you don't want this particular one.


clippedblog said...

We USED to eat at Arby's. However, we had a bad experience there and I got absolutely ZERO response from customer service (well, except to ask if I had gotten any response) so I said I wouldn't eat there anymore. They have a free food item each Wednesday, and I'm not even taking advantage of it because I'm still so mad at how much they don't care about me as a customer. BTW: Arby's, If you're reading, this was back in MARCH. I hold a grudge. Take note.