Saturday, March 20, 2010

Shoplifting with Permission

Here in the Frozen Tundra, we are not blessed with one of those magical stores that allows customers to double their coupon values all day every day. I have heard of such places, but only in fairy tales. We do have a grocery store chain, Copps, that doubles 5 manufacturers coupons every Wednesday when you spend $25.00.

I've always been a deal shopper. I knew who had the best price for what item and what the best sale price was but it has only been in the past 18 months or so that I've given coupons a try. To be honest, it never seemed that coupons would save me any money.

I was wrong.

Even only getting 5 coupons doubled, if they are paired with items already on sale, will save you a LOT of money. Shopping at stores which don't double coupons, like Walgreens or CVS, will still save you money if you pair coupons with sales.

Here is my shopping trip to Copp's this past Wednesday. I filled my cart and had three separate transactions. Yes, I checked out three times. You are thinking I looked like a freak, but we've already established that whole thing and we're moving on.
Here is what I purchased:

13 lb. turkey
2 gallons of milk
10 lbs of apples
2 lbs of baby carrots
1 lb shredded cheese
12 boxes of cereal
4 bags of granola/nut clusters
2 bottles of salad dressing
2 jars of spaghetti sauce (to use in a pinch)
5 lb bag of flour
4 lb brown sugar
1 box frozen fruit thingys
2 dozen eggs
2 cake mixes (Ellie loves to make these for the guys)
4 deodorants

The total for all of this before sales and coupons would have been $127.56. I gave them $30.56 in cash to allow me to walk out of the store legally. But it gets better, they gave me a $3.25 coupon to use on milk and another $2.00 coupon to take off of my bill the next time I shop there. But wait...there's more...I put a rebate form for $5.00 in the mail today from buying the turkey.

So, I spent $30.56, but I have $10.25 coming back to me in coupons and rebates. If my math is right (and there is good chance it isn't), I spent $20.31 and saved 84% off of the regular retail price on this food.

Now, I would never pay regular prices at this store. If I didn't use coupons, I would only get a few items here every so often because they were on VERY good sales. Other stores in town, have better everyday prices. However, matching sales with coupons works!

We don't eat cereal everyday for breakfast here on the farm, even if I can get it really cheap. There are just better things to eat to start your day. Some days, cereal is the breakfast of choice though and it is great to know that we are eating it for pennies a bowl. If only we could get a cow...

We also don't have a terribly bad problem with body will take quite a while to go through that much deodorant. Plus, I have some more in the basement.

Why do I keep all this stuff? I only buy things when they get below a certain price - we stock up. So, when we're out of toothpaste, we go "shopping" from our stockpile. Additionally, purchasing things so cheaply allows us to donate a good deal of food and toiletries to local food pantries and shelters.

Double coupons have double benefits!

Here's a bit more to think about, it probably took me about 1 hr to get all of these deals together and matched up with coupons and the ads. It took an additional 2 hours max to do the shopping (I had the 3 littlest young'uns with me so that added a bit of time). If we round the numbers, I saved about $100 off the regular prices so I made about $33.00 per hour and paid no taxes on that hourly "wage."

That makes it all sound "doubly" good!


  1. That's amazing. I'm getting inspired to pay more attention to coupons.