Crazy Coupon Shopping

Today I saved $254.65 on my family’s weekly groceries!  However did you manage that? I hear you ask.  It took a lot of prep, two hours of shopping at two different grocery stores, lots of bribing Grace, plus a trip through the Burgerville drive-thru on the way home. My deeply discounted purchases included organic beef, wild caught salmon, organic fruit and vegetables and organic milk, and I saved big on every single one.

Before I tell you how I did it, let me tell you who inspired me. I read this article in our local paper a few months ago about Louise Jaffe, a local coupon guru who regularly saves 75% off her grocery bill just by shopping smart. She blogs about it so I turned to her site for advice last week to see if I could do the same while still shopping sustainably.

I’ve always been a coupon clipper from the paper but now I’ve gone hardcore, at least this week.  First I perused my Sunday Oregonian for grocery store ads and manufacturer’s coupons.  I compared what was on sale at different stores to my grocery list and made a list for each store.  I chose to focus on just two stores as I knew my schedule (and sanity) couldn’t accomodate more. I chose Safeway and Thriftway since they’re both reasonably close and had the best prices on the things I needed.

My list for each store was made almost entirely of items on sale at that store that I needed. I also found I had a number of matching manufacturer’s coupons plus both stores offer double coupons. On top of that, both stores offered $10 off your order of $50 or more this week through coupons in the paper.  I stocked up on items that were really, really cheap and would store or freeze easily.

Here are some examples of my favorite deals today:

Safeway

  • Buy one, get one free on organic blueberries and organic grape tomatoes (neither available yet in the farmers’ market but both coming soon to our yard!)
  • Wild Atlantic salmon for $9.99/ pound. I bought 5 pounds, had the butcher wrap each pound separately for easy thawing and froze them all.
  • The clearance section was full of organic beef tenderloin at 50% off. I bought four packs (about 10 pounds worth $76) for $38. It’s all in the freezer.

Thriftway

  • Organic Valley milk is on sale for $3.69. I printed off $1 off coupons from Organic Valley’s website (you can print the coupon up to two times) plus used double coupons to get a total $1.50 off each half gallon, or $2.19/ half gallon.
  • Kettle chips are on sale 3 for $5  or $1.69 each. I was kicking myself for not having anymore $1 off coupons from the Chinook book. If I had I could have doubled them for 50 cents more off (the max Thriftway will double a coupon) and paid $0.19/ bag. Alas I did not have any more but $1.69 is still a great price.
  • While not organic, I did save really big on my husband’s favorite Raisin Bran Crunch cereal. The Thriftway insert in Sunday’s paper had a coupon for buy 3/get 3 free. Then I had 3 manufacturer’s coupons totaling $3.50 off. My double coupon gave me another $1.50 off. All 6 boxes cost a total of $7 or $1.25/ box. He’ll be happy with that for quite a while while I enjoy my Barbara’s Shredded Spoonfuls.

My total bill between the two stores was still higher than a normal weekly shopping bill.  After all the savings I still spent $228.44. However we’re now stocked up on really nice meat and fish for at least 2-3 weeks. We’re also headed to the beach with friends this weekend so my bill included several meals for 12.

I don’t think I could shop this way every week but I don’t think I’ll have to to still save big. If I do crazy coupon shopping (my new moniker for it) every 2-3 weeks I can stock up on canned goods, cereal and meats I can freeze when they’re on sale. We’re growing a lot of berries and veggies and buying the rest of our produce at the farmers’ market so I figure I can shop there weekly for fresh items.  Now that I know how much money I can save if I just put some thought into it, I’m pretty sure I’m hooked.

I’d love to hear what deals you’ve found and how you manage to save money for your family while shopping for sustainable foods. What do you do? Have you tried this kind of crazy coupon shopping and does it work for you?

Advertisements

4 Comments

  1. Louise Jaffe said,

    June 13, 2009 at 7:24 am

    Hi. I just read your article and you’ve figured it out! When you stock up and shop at home, you don’t have to shop as much.

    Great job on your crazy coupon savings!!

    Louise

  2. Julia said,

    June 22, 2009 at 9:40 am

    It’s not as easy to buy organic foods with coupons, but here are a couple of links for deals I was happy to find:

    http://www.organicheroes.org/get-coupons/

    http://www.organicheroes.org/

    Also, my local co-op store has several of these on sale this month, so I’ll be headed there soon to use my coupon and be able to send in for the free subscription. =)

    I know other families are part of local co-ops that get organic foods straight from the farmers.

  3. July 31, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    I just came across a free calendar offer which includes a coupon page for Annie’s Naturals products.

    http://www.annies.com/calendarhome

    • Beth said,

      August 1, 2009 at 1:24 pm

      Hey thanks! I just went to the site and ordered my own calendar. I just happened to have a box of Annie’s cheddar bunnies in the pantry (you have to purchase one Annie’s product to be able to get the calendar).

      Beth


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: