Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Becoming a "Coupon Queen"

Well, I may just be a "lady-in-waiting" instead of a "queen" still but it's sure been fun learning!  A few weeks ago I was chatting with a friend about coupons and she offered to help me get started. I went down to her house and spent some time taking photographs of her kiddos before Christmas and then we went to the local grocery store and she took them through. She walked me through & explained it all. She even had my scenarios all set for me with coupons and all. I never ever thought I would say grocery shopping was fun. I even had all three of my boys with me.

I went back last week & managed to do to okay scenarios all on my own - on the fly - in the store. This week I went prepared. I had three scenarios all ready to go & put one together on the fly in the store. Here's how things turned out. Each scenario (minus the last one) generated a $5 coupon (which I rolled to the next one) plus a coupon for 50 extra Box Tops for Education. I also learned it's better to have my scenarios all figured out before I go or leave the kids home so I can really concentrate.

Scenario #1

3 - boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios - $9.57
3 - boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch - $9.57
2 - cans of Progresso Soup - $5
Total before savings = $24.14
Minus sale price and coupons...out-of-pocket (OOP) = $3.30

I had researched pre-sale prices last week when I was in the store & thought the cereal that was part of the sale this week was regularly $3.99. It was actually $3.19 so this threw me off some. Based on what I thought I was spending I had originally thought this scenario would have only been $1.32 out of pocket. But still...all of the above for $3.30. I call that a steal!

Scenario #2

3 - boxes Hamburger Helper - $7.17
6 - bags Green Giant Steamer Veggies - $14.94
Total before savings = $22.11
Minus sale price & coupons - OOP = $4.63

Scenario #3

3 - boxes Hamburger Helper - $7.17
6 - cans Progresso Soup - $15
Total before savings =  $22.17
Minus sale price & coupons - OOP = $2.91

Scenario #4 (the one I put together in the store)

3 - boxes Toy Story Fruit Snacks - $8.97
2 - containers of Bisquick Shake & Pour -$5
2 - cans Progresso Soup - $5
3 - boxes Green Giant veggies - I had the wrong price here which is why this one didn't work as well
Total before savings = $20.94 (wrong price...veggies were more than I had figured)

Minus coupons & savings - OOP = $10.45

Scenario #5

2 bags of salted peanuts
2 bags of Hearts of Romaine Fresh Express salad mix
1 container of celery hearts
3 bags of baby carrots
1.61 lbs of bananas

I paid $10.41 for all of it. The bananas were free.

Total OOP cost for this grocery trip was $31.70!

A huge thank you to my friend Kerry who finally got me going with all of this. I have been reading blogs for quite a while trying to wrap my head around how this works. I finally figured it out thanks to her help. My goal now is to build up my pantry so that I can spend far less than I normally do each week. We budget $170 a week for groceries. Between my Shaw's run today & my regular grocery store run, I only spent $130. Not great compared to a lot of "coupon queens" but I'm getting there. And I'm having fun doing it too!


  1. I've been doing this for months, and still working on it. I think it takes lots of time and practice to just really get it right, and be able to just pull them out of your head. Good luck!

  2. Lisa, That's INCREDIBLE! I don't understand what a "scenario" is. And, where in the world are you finding these coupons?

  3. Hmmm....wonder what happened to my comment of several days ago. LOL I am impressed at your savings. I've never heard of scenarios. Currently, I don't see this working I don't have a variety of American shopping options...but I'm watching. LOL I suppose it helps to if you eat the foods that coupons are routinely printed for.....

  4. Awesome shopping, Lisa! I did not go after that cat deal, simply because I got the GM cat the last time around! Love me some shaw's!!


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