Monday, July 20, 2009

GCC Shopping Round Up - She Used A Coupon!!!

A lot of people do one of two things when they read my blog. They either assume that I use coupons to get my budget this low or they try and convince me that I should be using coupons. In fact the coupon crowd is a very passionate one and I'm hesitant to even bring up my lack of couponing because as I result I sometimes get "YOU FREAK, YOU NEED TO BE USING COUPONS" hate-mail, or I get rudely discussed on coupon forums whenever I talk about the fact that I very seldom use them. I'm not anti-coupon, I'm just not willing to invest the time and education into figuring out all the creative ways to manipulate them to get the best deals...YET. I'm not saying never. Just saying IF I ADD ANYTHING MORE TO MY PLATE RIGHT NOW I MIGHT JUST HAVE A TOTAL BREAKDOWN.

So, for where I'm at right now, I have a few rules in my personal coupon use...
  • If it's for something I would normally buy, I'll use one.
  • If it creates a price cheaper than my local liquidators, I'll use one.
  • If I don't have to travel miles out of my way to redeem it, I'll use one.
  • If it's simple (no figuring out what to match, no buying extra newspapers, no research, no educating myself on doubling or tripling) I'll use one.
So today I actually found one that I could use. My local liquidator had a "buy $15, get $5 off". I almost screamed because THAT is a coupon I could use. I normally spend that much anyway so I ended up getting $5 of free stuff. Plus I ran a quick errand at a local Safeway last week and picked up a prescription and received a "buy $10 in produce and receive $3 off". So I'll try and figure out how to make the most of that one soon.
So here's how the shopping went...

S & S Liquidators (I accidentally got the bandaids in the wrong picture so disregard these)

2 cans of pears $1.38

garbage bags $.99

2 packs of strawberries $1.98

2 diced tomatoes $.78

2 cans beans $.78

1 can artichoke hearts $.69

soy milk $.99

grape tomatoes $.99

12 apples $3.00

Coffee $1.99

Bananas $.79

4 candy bars (not in picture $1.00

(-$5.00 off coupon)

Grocery Outlet

Bandaids $.99

3 Mac & Cheese $1.00

Olives $.79

Whole Chicken $6.33 (-$1 off)

Sliced turkey $1.99

Mozzarella $1.99

Parmesan $1.99


2 gallons milk $3.96

Lemon juice $1.79

Cilantro $.38

Tomatoes $1.85

French Bread $1.48

Frozen corn $.98

Grapes $2.32

Bulk Fusilli Pasta $.89

Bulk Couscous $.82

Bulk cranberries $.57

Bulk pine nuts $1.81

Bulk chicken soup base $1.29

Bulk dried mango $.65

Bulk granola $1.72

Bulk oats $.21

Bulk cumin $.24

Bulk tortellini $5.15

Bulk whole wheat flour $1.23

Celery $.71

2 margarine $1.56

2 yogurt $3.56

Lime juice $.54

Grand Total $58.15

If you'd like to share your shopping trip please make sure to link directly to your post, not your homepage, and please include a link back to The Grocery Cart Challenge.


Teaching My Little BookWorm said...

oh yea your using mcklinky its the best I use it all the time for my open ended art wednesday! :)

he does great customer service if you ever have a problem, which so far no problems!

I need to participate but i never remember to take pictures i just unload and put away!

Anonymous said...

I think it is great that you have access to so many grocery liquidators and/or inexpensive grocers. If I had stores like that to go to, I would not have to use coupons very often. I think you do a great job at finding deals whether you use coupons or not. Keep up the great work.

Terri and Bob said...

You do this better 'n anyone!

The Queen Bee said...

I rarely use coupons too and I also don't have very many (only one) discount grocer's in my area. I just buy what I need and make almost everything from scratch. Good Job!!

Life is Good said...

well, the other thing that coupon people don't tell you, is that they only make coupons for processed food or name brand stuff anyway. It is the rare coupon that can be used by some trying to feed their family healthy food (meijer catalinas excepted, of course)
Have no guilt. I used to use coupons all the time, but it was actually just a step toward making better choices, not the end. Now I use them only a couple times a month. And my groceries are cheaper than ever.

Stephanie said...

I use coupons often, but I have had to put many of your rules in place when doing so :)

Savings Ninja said...

Some weeks I use loads of coupons, and some weeks I use hardly any. I think there's a lot of ways to save money on groceries, and I always try to be open to different strategies. Different things work for different people, and that's ok! As long as you're getting what you need and staying within your budget, you're doing it right :)

liza said...

I always use coupon on grocery shopping and save lots.try

DarcyLee said...

My rules match yours to a "T". I have several discount stores to choose from, which I'm very thankful for, so I rarely have to play the coupon game. And almost all of our food is from scratch.

Kathleen Jaeger said...

I am encouraged that you don't use coupons and can still feed a family of 6 on $60 or less. It is inspiring!I also feed a family of 6 and the thought that I don't have to have an elaborate coupon system (simply the way you mention), makes it seem more doable. I'm doing better at keeping under the budget we do have and maybe I can keep making it less & less. Keep up the good work.

Michelle in TN said...

I'm like you Gayle, I just haven't been able to make coupons work for me with my limited time resources. I gave it a try, but it was just too much!! I've saved SO MUCH by just sticking to my budgeted weekly amount and making things from scratch. Thanks for all your inspiration!!

Kris said...

The great majority of coupons that I use are for non-food items. I also let others figure out the plan - sites like HotCouponWorld are great for that. But I have to say...I haven't paid for razors, toothpaste, etc in years because of coupons! lol

I think it's awesome you can get so much for such great prices -- I'd love it if we had liquidators around here! We have one scratch n dent store, but it's a 40 minute drive, so we don't go too often.

Thanks for all the great hints!

Donna said...

I am always so impressed at your ability to feed so many on so little. I would, though, encourage you to learn how to CVS for toiletries and other non-food products -- I think you could get those things far cheaper or free, and that would free up more cash for food. I haven't paid for razors, shampoo, toothpaste, makeup, hairspray, or sanitary napkins for a long time and I have a stockpile.

Not that there is ONE THING WRONG with what or how you do it!! And I hear you on the "if I add one more thing my head will explode." I come to your blog for encouragement and your creative ideas. Keep up the incredible work!!

Megan said...

I think it's great that you have such great stores around that you can keep your budget so low and not need coupons!!!

I use them ALOT but don't blame anyone who doesn't. You have to do what works for you. I'll be the first to admit that they do take time each week to keep up with!!

Great week and that was an AWESOME coupon you used!!

Kerentz said...

So, tell the truth, did you eat the candy bars on the way home? : )

Ha ha...

Anonymous said...

I think everyone has to figure out what works for them best. For me I don't have discount stores, so i try to incorporate them as much as possible. i use to be a super couponer, but I have slowed down drastically. i only use them now on things I know I need or will need soon, and try to pair them with the best store sales.

Those were some great coupons at your discounts stores, and super easy to use. Way to go.