Couponing with Amy: Triple Threat of Coupons

February 24, 2012

Each week, our resident Couponista, Amy Leneker, shares her personal shopping experiences and extreme couponing tips so that you too can be a Coupon Expert!

Today is Sunday. Before I had kids, Sunday mornings meant sleeping in and then reading the paper at Starbucks with a latte and a pumpkin scone. Now that I am a mom, Sunday mornings mean I’m up bright and early with my kids, and I read the paper fast and furiously, trying my best to clip the good coupons in 24 minutes, which is precisely the length of one Dora the Explorer cartoon.

There were so many great coupons and deals in today’s Sunday paper that I doubled up the Dora episodes and allowed myself a full 48 minutes of coupon clipping. By the time Dora had completed her second adventure, I had scoured the triple threat of coupons and planned the week’s meals based on the best savings.

Here are the three components of a coupon triple threat:

1. Store Coupons

When planning my weekly grocery shopping trip, I always start with the store coupons first. Today the Fred Meyer ad had some great deals. They had the “buy 10 and save” deal where if you bought 10 of any combination of certain products, you saved big! I was able to save $ 8.17 using store coupons.

I always plan the week’s worth of meals around the best savings, so this week on the menu we have:

  • Monday: steak – on sale for $ 3.48 a pound
  • Tuesday: chicken breasts – on sale for $ 2.98 a pound
  • Wednesday: chicken fajitas – I saved on the tortillas, cheese and sour cream
  • Thursday: Baked potato soup and bread – I saved $ 1.55 on the soup and $ 1 on the bread
  • Friday: Pizza night – I saved $ 3.33 on the pizza, and $ 1 on the salad

I was also able to use Fred Meyer’s digital coupons to save $ .60 off their store brand of baby wipes and $ .50 off Pampers baby wipes. It only took a few minutes to load the digital coupons on my Rewards card and that saved me $ 1.10.

2. Manufacturer’s coupons 

In today’s paper, I found some great manufacturer’s coupons on products my family uses. (A good coupon tip—no matter how cheap the product, it’s not really a savings if it isn’t something your family will use!) In addition to the Sunday paper, I always check online for manufacturer’s coupons, too. Today I saved over $ 6.35 on my shopping trip today from manufacturer’s coupons. I find it’s a good idea to limit the amount of time that I’m going to search online for coupons. Typically, I will give myself 30 minutes. Today I spent 30 minutes and saved an additional $ 6.35. Not bad!

3. Sale prices

The third piece of the coupon threat is being aware of the sale prices in the store, so you know which items to layer on the coupons. Here are some of my favorite examples from today:

  • Tombstone Pizza: on sale 3 for $ 10, store coupon for $ 1, manufacturer’s coupon for $ 1, so I got 3 pizzas for $ 7.
  • Wheat Thins: on sale 2 for $ 4, manufacturer’s coupon for $ 2, so I got 2 for $ 2.
  • Kraft salad dressing: 2 for $ 4, store coupon for $ 1, manufacturer’s coupon for $ 1, so I got 2 for $ 2.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is I spent $ 126.05 at the store today. I saved $ 14.52 on coupons and over $ 33 by buying the sale items. That is more than enough to buy a latte and a pumpkin scone. Now if I could just find a way to sleep in!


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