Jessica has been avidly coupon-ing for many months now. Check out her blog for lots of ideas and resources! I however, am just getting started. I dabbled a bit last year but then when I got into full-blown pregnancy and working every day 15 miles away, I didn’t devote the time to grocery shopping/planning that it takes to use coupons. My New Years resolution was to cut the grocery bill each month by a significant margin. I don’t know how I am doing so far, but I feel like I am finally heading in the right direction!
This week is Triple Coupon days at Harris Teeter. I am also a VIC card holder and e-VIC member which sends a weekly email for their specials. Now usually when I heard about triples, I had just done my shopping trip or I didn’t really have a stash of coupons to make it worth it. BUT this time, everything worked out just right. I had some coupons, we were just about out of groceries, and I found out in time to stretch what we did have and not shop too soon.
I am not going to lie, shopping the sales and using coupons is definitely time consuming. But I can see it getting easier the more you do it. I also have a system for making my list that simplified it for me. In the past, I would try to sort out my coupons by type and wander the store seeing which ones were a good deal. As you can imagine, that is exactly the nightmare it sounds like. Now that I am an e-Vic member, I just click on the weekly email and make a list online at the Harris Teeter website. Then when the list is printed, it divides all the items by section. I go back with my coupons and write in those items in their respective sections. That way when I get there, I can make one big loop without too much back-tracking. It’s actually not a bad little system!
This week was the first time I really felt like it was worth it. And it makes me want to do it again! When I checked out, I saw my bill going up, up and away. I loaded up on Chicken (buy 1 get 2 free) and other staples that tend to be more expensive. I also shopped for at least 2 weeks, as opposed to my normal once a week to get more value out of the savings. I wondered if I had just done a very bad thing when the total was $234.27. Then the Vic savings came off, and then the coupons. My total: $133.40 !!! I saved $100.87 ! The cashier actually had to call the Store Manager over to approve my order because (and I quote) “you saved too much”.
THAT was a good feeling.
I understand that the out of pocket was still pretty high, but truth be told that is not much more than I would normally spend for a weeks worth of food (I try to stay under $100) and we got way more food!
I also want to say that it’s really useful to utilize the VIC card deals. The majority of my savings came from there. I saved about $70 with VIC deals and another $30 with coupons. I think I will do better with coupons in the future because I will have a better stash, but this was a great start!