Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I did an EXTREME coupon trip today!

Much like you'd see on TV except the TV cameras weren't following. The store wouldn't give permission for the film crew to come in. So I was left with a stack of coupons to use and the news station looking for another retailer who will let us come in and shop for mega savings.

So, I didn't want all those coupons and all that time going to waste on the strategy I had developed. I followed all the coupon rules, I even went so far as getting my coupons pre-approved by the store manager who stood over the cashier in case there were any questions.

I bought items that with coupons, all retailed for under 50 cents. I didn't buy more than 20 of an item. My coupon rule of thumb is 2 items per person in the family. We are a family of 8, so 16 is our "limit"...the extras are being donated to a food drive at dd2's school.

I broke it up in to two transactions in order to maximize the use of competitor coupons. At one point, my total was down to 37 CENTS with coupons still to ring. She was given the go-ahead to run the rest of the coupons and I ended up with a balance of -$3.63! The cashier was downright afraid that she had to give me back change! And to be honest, it felt weird to me, too!

So, we decided to roll that negative balance in to the next transaction. Again, I got down to a negative balance which took money off my sales tax. This made me feel weird, but the manager said that since my coupons were all for items I had, no coupon funny business, then the overage was allowed to come off the tax. Since the store will get reimbursed for the total amount of the coupons, that excess will go towards the tax eventually. Sounded funny to me, but what do I know.

After all was said and done I got

20 cans pineapple
14 brownies
18 frozen veggies
20 boxes yakisoba
14 snickers eggs
7 crackerfuls
2 vinegar
2 smart balance milk
1 gravy mix

Retail value of more than $160. I paid $2.09

Part of me wish I would have had a bigger audience. People applauding my mad couponing skills. But, in the end, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with this level of extreme couponing. It felt like I was cheating the system. I played by the rules. No coupon fraud. Bought what I was supposed to. I didn't clear any shelves.

Yes, extreme couponing on this level CAN be done. It takes time. But ya know, I'm going to be content with my usual 80 percent savings at the store. That's still amazing savings. It still lets me stock up on pantry items for dirt cheap and spend more money on fresh fruit and produce.

I may do a mega-extreme trip every once in awhile, but I don't think I'm going to make a habit of this.

5 comments:

  1. That's so awesome!! Congratulations. I'm cheering for you from NY if it makes you feel any better.

    And I know what you mean about feeling funny. I didn't pay tax at Rite-Aid on Sunday- it was a rather dramatic visit- and I still feel very uneasy about it all.

    I also love your 2/person rule! That's a great standard.

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  2. ok, Im a coupon fan and always use them but I dont get how you are not paying anything...what guidelines are you following?

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  3. 4thelove: My stores double up to a 50 cent value coupon. I am also able to stack store and manufacturer coupons. On top of that, I can use $off total purchase coupons. On some items, the value of the item was LESS than the coupon value, so that difference was also applied to my purchase.

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  4. interesting....I am doing some reading on this before work this morning. Clearly I could be saving more! thank you!!! Talk with you soon.........HM

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  5. I am so impressed! I was under the impression that extreme couponing at publix was just about impossible. Good to know it's not since I'll be leaving in that area soon!

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Thanks and have a great day!