Friday, June 13, 2014

Sensibly Extreme Couponing: grocery trip for the week of 6/8/14

Sorry for what appeared to be a bit of a hiatus!  I was originally planning on skipping any major shopping this week -- we'd spent a little money at a festival over the weekend and I wanted to cut back on spending this week, especially given that we have a pretty good food stockpile at this point.

However, when I saw the latest offer at ShopRite -- a $25 gift card when you spend $60 on certain brands -- I knew I had to work out something.

The deal sounds good by itself, right?  40% off is pretty sweet!  But with a few months of experience under my belt, I knew that this was even better.

Deals like this are often considered before coupons, and in ShopRite's case they pretty much always are.  So coupons don't count toward the $60.  Also, a secret among the ShopRite faithful is that in most cases, when earning a gift card or a Catalina coupon, the minimum you have to spend is "pre-Price Plus" pricing.  That means, if the sale item requires your Price Plus card to get the deal, the amount used toward that dollar threshold is the "shelf price" -- the price you would pay if you didn't have the card.

Considering all of this, I had a feeling there was a big deal to be had here.  Typically I take advantage of the deals that other people come up with -- there are a lot of brilliant couponers out there, and it saves me a ton of time!  But this week, the deal that my favorite site, Living Rich With Coupons, suggested involved some printable coupons that were no longer available and multiple paper coupons I didn't have.

My husband was kind enough to give me some extra time to do some number crunching this week, so I made myself a spreadsheet.  I listed out all the items in the deal I'd consider purchasing, their shelf prices, their sale prices, and the best coupon deal I could find on each.  Then I played around with items and quantities, keeping in mind that for printable coupons I'd only be able to print out 4, and eCoupons would only apply to one item, until I got myself over $60 for the shelf price and under $25 for the actual price paid.  The spreadsheet itself took a while but once everything was in there, it was pretty easy to figure it all out!

I will say I hit one snag at the store -- some of the sales did not require a Price Plus card, so that meant that the deal used the sale price toward the threshold.  So when I first checked out, I was unfortunately a few dollars short.  But thankfully I still had my spreadsheet, and was able to quickly and easily figure out exactly what I needed to get to reach the $60 and ran back to the store real quick after printing off one more coupon.  And it was still a money-making deal.  I was so happy!

The only thing I'm kicking myself for is not being more proactive last week when the Catalina machine didn't work at checkout.  I didn't worry about it because I wasn't planning on making a big trip this week, but had I gone to customer service, I likely could have had my $10 off $50 for this week.  I would have been able to use that store coupon as well, which would have made my whole trip a moneymaker!  Oh well.  The Catalina machine was broken at the first checkout I went to yesterday, but when I went back for my second quick purchase, I got all my coupons then.

Now that I have the $10 off $50 for next week, I'm determined to make a new spreadsheet for one of the other $25 back on $60 offers to try to get another deal.  They're good through next week.  The extra $10 should make it easier to make it into a moneymaker.  I can't say no to a cart of free stuff!

Here's what I got yesterday:

After rebates and gift cards, all of this cost me about $2!
And here's the breakdown:

For the $25 gift card on $60 of General Mills products:

  • 4x Honey Nut Cheerios on sale for $1.88 ($3.49 Pre-Price Plus)
    • 2x $1.10/2 printable MC
    • Total: $5.32 ($1.33 each)
  • 4x Cheerios on sale for $2.99
    • 4x $.75 printable MCs, doubled
    • Total: $5.96 ($1.49 each)
  • 3x Kix on sale for $1.88 ($3.69 PPP)
    • 3x $1 printable MCs
    • Total: $2.64 ($.88 each)
  • Cookie Crisp on sale for $1.88 ($3.79 PPP)
    • $1 printable MC
    • Total: $.88
  • Lucky Charms on sale for $3.99
    • $.60 printable MC, doubled
    • $.50 eCoupon
    • ($.50 SavingStar rebate pending)
    • Total: $1.79
  • Fiber One Brownies, on sale for $2.49 ($3.49 PPP)
    • $.50 printable MC, doubled
    • $.50 eCoupon
    • ($.50 SavingStar rebate pending)
    • Total: $.49
  • Nature Valley Granola Bars, on sale for $2.99
    • $.50 printable MC, doubled
    • $.50 eCoupon
    • ($.50 SavingStar rebate pending)
    • Total: $.99
  • 4x Green Giant Frozen Veggies, on sale 3 for $5
    • 4x $.40 printable MC, doubled
    • Total: $3.47 ($.87 each)
  • Toaster Strudel, on sale for $2.50
    • $.40 printable MC, doubled
    • Total: $1.70
Total "spent" toward this deal, using pre-Price Plus prices and sale prices before coupons: $60.42

Total actually spent out of pocket, after SavingStar rebates, to get the $25 gift card: $23.24
$1.76 moneymaker!

Other things I bought:
  • 2x Arm and Hammer detergent, on sale for $1.88
    • $3/2 coupon from the paper (6/8/14 SmartSource insert)
    • Total: $.76 ($.38 each)
  • Joy Ice Cream Cones, $.99
    • $.35 printable MC, doubled
    • $.35 eCoupon
    • Total: -$.06
  • Zatarain's Rice, on sale for $1.50
    • $.75 coupon from the paper (5/4/14 RedPlum insert)
    • Total: FREE
  • Horizon Mac and Cheese, $1.49
    • $.55 printable MC, doubled
    • $.55 eCoupon
    • Total: -$.16
  • Klondike Bars, on sale for $1.88
    • Store coupon to get one for $.99
    • $3/3 printable MC
    • Total: $1.75 ($.58/each)
  • Kandoo wipes, on sale for $.99
    • $1 printable MC
    • $.50 eCoupon
    • Total: -$.51
  • 4x Premier Protein bars, on sale for $1
    • $.50 printable MC, doubled
    • Total: FREE
  • Domino Sugar, store coupon for $.99
  • ShopRite Ketchup, store coupon for free
  • Yellow onions, store coupon for $.99
Total for everything, including tax and after SavingStar rebates: $27.02, plus $25 gift card!

I'm pretty proud of this deal because it's truly mine.  It took work to figure everything out (even though it didn't work out quite the way I thought it should have).  And once you factor in the gift card, the fact that everything here was just over $2 -- it was definitely worth my time!

Then I ran over to Stop & Shop and bought 4 Breyers Ice Cream for $5 (on sale 2/$6, $4 off instantly when you buy 4, plus a $3/3 coupon), because I have an ice cream problem.  I needed something to put in those free cones, right?


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