I had done my research (by reading every word of the Beginners Section of The Krazy Coupon Lady), clipped coupons from last Sunday's paper, printed numerous internet coupons and had sale papers in hand. Although I felt I was ready for the challenge, I was also nervous.
Nervous I wouldn't find the right sales.
Nervous I would get caught in the emotion and buy way too much stuff that *gasp* wasn't on sale nor that I had a coupon for.
Nervous I could have bought the generic brands instead and all of the other familiar reservations I've had about coupon shopping.
But four stores later and somewhat mentally spent (pardon the pun), I saved $75.71 on my purchases.
Now I'm sure some of you (or even alot of you) are questioning my trip to three different stores.
This was also a huge doubt for me and I've even said before to other coupon shoppers, "Now I'm not going to go all over town, spending tons of money on gas, just to save a .50 cents on toilet paper."
Now do I feel stupid or even moreso ignorant.
Going to three different stores wasn't bad at all as each of these stores are all on the same stretch of highway that I pass when I make my dreaded, every two-week trip to Walmart!
*you totally have to change the way you think about grocery shopping. It's no longer about making a huge list and doing your shopping all at one time; it may require several trips to the store to specifically hit the sales at that store for that time frame,
*buy items that are on sale and that you have coupons for (this is how to make the most of your coupon shopping),
*prepare to stockpile. It's about buying items at a cheaper price, storing it away and having it on hand when you need it so you don't have to go and buy it at full price.
This is what I learned about my first shopping day:
*Buy more Sunday papers. I know what you're thinking because it's a thought I had too. "Why spend $2 each on those papers when I could use that money on my actual groceries." It really does work. Even though you may not use all of the coupons on one shopping trip, these are coupons you can file away to use when those particular items go on sale.
*Shop early in the week. I had several items on my list to buy at CVS, but several of those items were sold out. I was so disappointed!
*CVS was the most expensive store and the Dollar General was the cheapest. I wish I would have started shopping at Dollar General years ago.
*I learned more about regular priced items at all three stores. I have kept the last three receipts from my recent Walmart trips so I had a pretty good idea on their pricing, but taking my time in CVS, Dollar General and Walgreens allowed me to really notice regularly priced items vs. sale items prices and compare the three stores. This will be a huge benefit for the next time I do my shopping.
Here is a summary of the purchases I think I got the best deals on.
Dollar General (total savings-$11.25):
*Kraft Singles-on sale 2/$5.00 (regular price each: $3.25); coupon used for $0.55 = price each: $2.22, total savings on each: $1.03.
*Maxwell House Coffee 34.5 oz-on sale for $6.00 (regular price $6.95); coupon for $1.00; (total paid $5.00 where I usually pay $3.98 for the smaller 11.5 oz size).
*Colgate Toothpaste 6.4 oz-on sale for $1.50 (regular price $2.00); coupon for $0.50; total price paid $1.00
Now I didn't have coupons for these items, but I was happy enough with the sale price so I bought them anyway: :)
*Dial pump soap-sale price $1.00, regular price $1.50
*Angel Soft Tissue 12 big rolls-sale price $5.00 (the last pack I paid $7.57-eekk!)
*Always Super Combo Pack-buy one get one free at $3.00 each=sale price $1.50 each.
*Coupon received at checkout $5.00 off purchases of $25 or more to be used this Saturday-one day only.
CVS (total savings $26.61):
*Crest Whitestrips-sale price $34.99 (regular price $44.99) coupon used for $10.00; price paid $24.99.
*Gain dishwashing liquid $0.88. This was the cheapest price of all the stores.
*Bounty Basics 8 roll count on sale for $5.88 (regular price $7.99-compared to $8.97 at Walmart).
*Honey Bunches of Oats cereal, buy one get one free at $3.99 each-probably not the best deal, but I was okay with it-would have been better if I had a coupon.
Walgreens (total savings $37.85):
*Cottonelle Flushable Wipes-coupon 2/$5.00 (regular price each $5.49).
*Mitchum Deodorant-coupon $1.99 each (regular price $3.99).
*Scope-on sale 2/$7.00 (regular price each $3.99), coupon used $1.00 off.
*Gain Laundry Detergent 32 load-on sale for $5.99, $coupon used $1.00 off.
*Dial Soap 8 pack-on sale buy one get one free at $5.98 (paying only $3.00 each).
*Crystal Light-on sale 2/$5.00 (regular price each $2.99) coupon used $1.00 off.
*Kleenex-$4.00 for a four-pack, coupon used $1.00 off paying only $3.00 where I usually pay $1.74 for each at the other store.
Did I do it "correctly" or shop frugally? That I'm not quite sure yet, I know I made some rookie mistakes, but overall I'm pretty happy with my first-time shopping day as a Coupon Virgin. ;)
Can't wait for Sunday!
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