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Harris Teeter is having triple coupons this week. I was able to go yesterday. It was a surprise that they did it again so soon – the last time they had one was just in September. I’ll take it, though.
I was really pleased with how well I was able to do. The first order I spent $3.11 for $43.50 worth of merchandise. Then I drove across town to go to the other store. There I spent $4.13 for $39.84 worth of stuff. All in all, I spent a whopping $7.24 for $83.34 of stuff!
Here’s a combined list of what I was able to get:
Mueller’s Multigrain pasta (4)
Splenda Cafe Sticks (6)
Jolly Time Popcorn (4)
Knorr Sides Plus (6)
No Yolk Noodles
Martha White Muffin Mixes (2)
Ziploc Gallon Freezer Bags
Brawny paper towel (3)
Hungry Jack pancake mix
Mazola Pure Olive Oil spray
Domino Brown Sugar
Dawn Dish detergent
Coffeemate Liquid Coffee Creamer (2) (this is a real treat for me!)
Pilsbury Crescent Rolls
Borden Singles (3)
Harris Teeter states in their policy that you can only use 20 coupons a day, and I’ve seen store managers enforce that. They also limit the number of identical coupons you can use in one trip to three. Those seem like rather stringent rules, but honestly, I like them. The 20 coupon limit generally helps me keep my totals low (more on that in a minute) and not being able to use more than three of the same coupon helps ensure that stuff stays on the shelf for other customers. I went tripling one time at a store that did not have those rules, and most of the “good deals” (read: free) were out of stock. This way, even if I can’t make it to the store until the last day of the sale, there’s still a chance that I might get some good deals.
I’ve gotten super-picky about which coupons I’ll use, though. Most of the time, I’ll only buy things that I can get for free or nearly free with the coupons. Sure, some of the items I have coupons for are a good deal, but if I have a limited budget that day, I’ll usually stick pretty closely to free stuff. Yesterday I had $9.77 to spend at two separate stores, so I was pickier than usual.
Other times, I’ll compare prices to other stores (like Aldi and Wal-Mart – this is where having a price book and knowing area prices comes in really handy). If I can get generic cheaper elsewhere, then I generally won’t buy the item. Sometimes I will, if it’s a favorite brand of ours, but not always.
Another thing I’ve begun taking into consideration is convenience vs. the price of making something myself. Yesterday I passed up a loaf of frozen garlic bread – even though the price was only $.50 after the coupon. I can make the exact same thing at home for less, and the loaves I make turn out much bigger and softer than the one I was holding. On the other hand, I may have gotten it if I needed something like that for an upcoming event – the convenience makes it worth it. Sometimes. It all depends.
We’ve also become very non-brand loyal. If I can find a different brand that’s cheaper, we’ll try it. We’ve found some brands that aren’t as good as what we usually buy, but it doesn’t hurt to try it once. Another thing that helps us is not buying things we don’t normally buy. . .with one exception. I don’t normally buy biscuits in a can, but if I can get them for $.20 or less, I will – because I can’t even make them for that.
A goal of mine is to be able to stock up on things enough so that we have enough to last us through to the next good sale. I’d rather get half a dozen bottles of shampoo free with coupons and put them away, even though I have to find a place to store them – than wait ’til I run out, and then risk either forgetting it or having to pay more for it because my store just raised the price on it.
I used to think that this area wasn’t all that great for couponing, but I’m finding that that was a really wrong thought. I’m thankful that our stores triple as often as they do. It really helps with my grocery budget!
I prayed on the way to the store that God would help me do well and stay below the amount that I had to spend. I’m thankful that it went as well as it did!