Friday, November 18, 2011

So, Yeah, That Couponing Thing

For a week, I have been printing out coupons, cutting out coupons, buying baseball card pouches and binders. I have been preparing to SAVE!

This past Sunday I bought not one, but two newspapers. I cut out more coupons, I placed them in my binders.

And last night? Last night was the night. I was going to use those coupons!

It started off with our nightly swapping of the parental duties in a parking lot. I arrived to find a no-nap Z that had not eaten since lunch at 5:30. She was excited. "Momma, we are going to the STO-O-O-ORE!! To buy GRO-O-OCERIES!" Everyone within earshot must have thought that we never buy food by how excited this kid was to go to the store.

"I know, I know," I yelled back at her as I tried to stop her from jumping her way to a certain death in the parking lot. (When she gets all excited about something, nothing else exists in her world, no cars, no dangers. She just jumps up and down non-stop yelling until she works it out of her system.)

We pack up in the car and head, binder in hand, to our local grocery store.

On the way in, I grab the ad for the week and add it to my binder. Then we begin to shop.

Here is what I learned:

  • Your first stop should probably not be the bakery for a free cookie. The sugar high and eventual low in your kid will  distract you from what you are trying to accomplish.
  • If your kid is running (or twirling or skipping) up and down the aisles screaming Nicki Minaj  lyrics at the top of her lungs, threatening to put her in the cart is not a great way to calm the situation. In fact, it may explode into a full scale temper tantrum which will end with her laying on the floor in the middle of the aisle. At 6 PM. 
  • 6 PM is not the best time to go grocery shopping with coupons. People are really not friendly after a full day of work. They see you, your 3"coupon binder, your screaming kid and your cart full of groceries and they feel nothing but an intense desire to not be behind you in line. 
  • Your 3 year old only serves to distract you from the deals that you are there to get. You think, "Ooh, BOGO crackers! The good ones!" She thinks, "I can climb that display." You end up not getting the right crackers. The expensive ones that are not Buy One, Get One. Your coupon doesn't even cover these. 
  • When you are finally getting in line to leave, your kid will now be starving. They will want everything that they can touch in the "last minute" aisle. Use the cart and your body to block them by the bag boy. 
  • When choosing which line you want, go for a line with an older "mom" cashier. The cashier I got was much more interested in the bagger's gossip than my coupons and missed several of the deals.
My total when I left the store was $72.86 which was down from the original total of $138.64.

Crappy picture, but this is everything I bought.
Once I got home, fed the kid and put her to bed, I checked my receipt. That's when I noticed the discrepancies.

I took a quick trip by myself this morning on the way to work, talked it out with customer service and received another $9 back plus some free products since the cashier and computer did not catch it the first time.

It was definitely worth my effort and I hope that the coming weeks will be more fruitful.

I'll keep you posted.


  1. Good job! Especially following up to get the additional savings. I have to get back to grocery shopping like this. I have a ton of coupons but rarely clip - that will change soon! I've found my best grocery shopping is done without my kids, at night when there should be less of a crowd. If that's not possible then during the day when it's just me, the boys and the elderly :-)

  2. I seem to always shop with my 4 kids and it gets pretty crazy.

    When I coupon I walk into the store VERY prepared... like the list of items (and how many I need to purchase) and the coupons already sorted, ready to hand to the clerk! Since my kids are older they can "help" "look" for the items I am trying to find, too:) Keeps them busy!!

    Other customers always seem steer clear of us, too:) LOL!! Some brave ones stand behind us and entertain the baby:)

    Kudos for getting out there to use those coupons! And MAJOR victory for finding that $9 and getting the extra stuff!


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