Diary of a Realistic “Extreme” Couponer
Just a quick post to illustrate HOW MUCH you can get for just a little money, even when buying “real” groceries like butter, milk and cheese!! I also took advantage of a great opportunity this week to stockpile some tuna…both BumbleBee and StarKist brands were on sale for 59 cents at Giant Eagle this past week, and I had a few coupons accumulated.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know I collect my pocket change throughout the week and use the CoinStar machine at the start of my shopping trip…for all the food I get, I rarely part with any paper money!
To achieve this I used a $3 Catalina Coupon I had leftover from last week, clipped/printable coupons for many of the above items, awesome store deals, and a great Catalina deal on all the Axe item…I used the $3 Catalina from last week plus 3 BOGO coupons (and $2 cash) to pay for all these products, and I was given two more $3 coupons back at checkout. So essentially they paid me $1 for 4 Axe body washed and 2 Axe deodorants (and Axe is EXPENSIVE!!). I then applied those coupons towards the rest of my groceries, which I bought in a second transaction.
So, friends, all in all I paid $15.51 (retail value would have been around $90) for all of the above, which includes:
- 10 pouches of StarKist tuna
- 2 bottles of Sunny Delight
- 2 Giant Eagle brand packages of sliced American Cheese (16 slices in each)
- 1 pint of milk
- 1 package of Giant Eagle brand butter
- 1 can of black beans (Joan of Arc for both cans of beans)
- 1 can of kidney beans (making my chili tomorrow…ya!!)
- 4 Axe body washes
- 2 Axe deodorants
- 2 Suave deodorants
- 5 pounds of country style pork ribs
- 2 loaves of Roman Meal Bread (one isn’t pictured because it’s already in use for Mike’s lunches 🙂 )
This all averages out to around 47 cents per item!
I Buy Normal Food Every Week…Not Only What I Can Get for Free or Pennies (although that’s a perk sometimes!)
I want to show what I TRULY buy each shopping trip in these posts, rather than posting pics of my 25 tubes of toothpaste I got for 88 cents total. As you can see, I do take advantage of stockpile opportunities by buying more than we need for the week (this week it was the Axe and the tuna), but I also buy normal groceries staples at the most reasonable price I can find, and usually buy these items in a second transaction so I can apply any Catalina coupons that print out at the register to further lower my cost (again, the Axe deal helped shave off a bit of money from the perishable staples that rarely have coupons!! Ex. milk, cheese, butter). I’m not some “Extreme Couponing” monster bringing my man home only mustard, salad dressing, hot sauce and toothpaste because I can get it for free, and thinking I can feed the two of us on these items…which, incidentally, is what some episodes of the show of the same name insinuate about the shopping habits of some of families featured in the show. We eat well, I cook mostly from scratch (with some Hamburger Helper and such thrown in for lazy days), and our cupboards are bursting at the seams for around $20 per week (which includes the INSANE amount of toiletries/makeup items in my bathroom). I give a lot of what I get for free or almost free to family, friends, and people who are in need of it.
You Can Shop This Way Too, And Save BUNDLES!!
By taking advantage of the ONLY THE BEST stockpiling deals each week, and then purchasing whatever staples/perishable grocery items you need at the best possible price (using Catalinas if you can), you can soon “shop” your kitchen cupboards, freezer and pantry and have literally dozens of meals ready to cook…my meals regularly work out to be under $3, and often under $1 (that’s feeding 2 people, but they would feed four…we always have leftovers to eat for the next night’s dinner, or to pack up for our lunches at work the next day. We eat pot roasts, pulled pork, General Tso’s Chicken, Beef and Bean Burritos, Chicken Quesadillas, Tuna Croquettes, Beef Stroganoff, brownies, cupcakes, homemade quick breads and more. We are addicted to Capris Sun Drink Pouches. 🙂 We eat homemade (most of the time), we eat well, and we eat VERY, VERY CHEAP!
If you’re interested in shopping this way, please check out my coupon matchup posts for Giant Eagle and Shop ‘n Save. I also try to alert everyone to any great high-value coupons via my blog posts, or rare coupons for meat, eggs, cheese, etc.
I hope you’ll stop back, leave a comment, and/or subscribe to Frugal for Two (for FREE), but most important of all…Happy Shopping!!