I don't want to bore anyone with constant posts and photos about my couponing craze, but I just thought I'd update you all that, while I'm not posting about every shopping trip I make, I am continuing to find wonderful deals.
Last night I was at the self-checkout in Shaws when who should knock on the window from outside and then come running in but my friend Melissa and her husband Román! They had been inspired by my money-saving posts about groceries and had utilized my link to Deal Finding Mom and come to the store with printed coupons and scenarios, ready to save some money! I was so excited for them.
Here's what I got last night (purchased in three separate transactions so the coupons would work out right):
7 microwavable Healthy Choice soups
3 General Mills cereals (including Multi-Grain Cheerios - yum!)
7 boxes of Fiber One toaster pastries
11 boxes of Swiss Miss hot cocoa
and my "filler items" - things I needed to make my total the right amount so I could pay with $10 catalinas acquired from previous purchases:
5 boxes of Wild Harvest organic macaroni and cheese (on sale for $1.50; I used one $1 off coupon for each box - you can print as many as you want from here right now)
Then I ended up with a negative balance on one of my transactions (i.e. the store would have had to pay ME 50 cents to take these things home, which doesn't work), so I grabbed a 50 cent bag of Doritos right by the checkout and bought that for Nathan's little brother who loves Doritos.
My total out of pocket? $1.02. I also spent catalinas, of course - $40 worth - but I got more catalinas back - $39.50 worth. So if you include my catalina expenditure, my total cost for all those groceries was $1.52.
I made a trip to the local food pantry earlier this week and donated cans of soup, boxes of cocoa, boxes of cereal, and various other things like Hamburger Helper and instant mashed potatoes. Now I've already got another bag full of items to be donated!
Like I said, I don't want to bore anyone with all these shopping details, but I do want to try to inspire people, if possible, in two ways: One, you can cut back on your food budget without that much time or effort, and it will make a difference in your family budget! Of course things like produce are hard to get with coupons, and you will still need to spend money on groceries, but if you plan carefully, you can get the majority of your dry and canned goods, and even dairy products, at a very low cost. Secondly, you can make a difference in other peoples' lives simply by investing some time in learning to work the coupon system and then purchasing dry goods and donating them to those in need.