Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hot Grocery Deals!

I have to confess that I didn't do to much coupon clipping this Summer. In fact, I didn't do much of anything this Summer besides working, running my kids to assorted fun (for them) Summertime activities, packing and unpacking assorted kids for assorted Youth Activities; laundry, laundry, and more LAUNDRY; drink massive amount of Diet Coke to keep my eyes open and somewhat coherent on 5 or less hours of sleep (teenagers DO NOT go to bed at 8:30pm, or come home one nanosecond earlier than curfew), preparing for and attending numerous family and neighborhood picnics and BBQ's (that was fun), and praying the Housework Fairy would come visit my house occasionally(never happened) :( !!!!. This Summer's grocery budget definitely reflected my lack of Frugal shopping! I was afraid I may have forgotten how to be a Coupon Queen. However, I am happy to report that I haven't lost my touch! I went to Albertson's this morning to redeem some cheese coupons (that my wonderful Mother brought me! Thank you Mom!!!!), and I came home with this:

  • 6 boxes of Capri Sun juice drinks; $1.99 each, $.99 each after using $5.00 Catalina
  • 5 (8 oz) packages of shredded cheese on sale 2 for $4.00, used a coupon for $5.00 off 5, making them 5 for $5.00 (FREE after using a $5.00 off Catalina)
  • 6 (8oz) packages of shredded cheese on sale 2 for $4.00, used 3 $1.00 off 2 coupons, making them 6 for $9.00 (6 for $4.00 after using a $5.00 off Catalina, or $.67 each)

  • 7 (15 oz) jars of Miracle Whip on sale for 2 for $5.00, used 3 coupons for $1.00 off 2 making them 7 for $14.50 ( 7 for $9.50 after using $5.00 off Catalina, or $1.36 each)
  • 7 (15 oz) jars of Kraft mayo on sale for 2 for $5.00, used 3 coupons for $1.00 off 2 making them 7 for $14.50 (7 for $9.50 after using $5.00 off Catalina, or $1.36 each)
  • 5 packages Oscar Mayer hot dogs on sale for 2 for $3.00, used 2 coupons for $1.00 off 2 making them 5 for $5.50 (5 for $.50 after using $5.00 off Catalina, or $.10 each)
  • 10 packages Oscar Mayer hot dogs on sale for 2 for $3.00 making them 10 for $15.00 (10 for $5.00 after using two $5.00 Catalina's, or $.50 each)
  • 10 (8 oz) containers of Cool Whip on sale for 5 for $5.00 (FREE after using two $5.00 off Catalina's)
Grand Total (before coupons and Catalina's): $101.44
(after coupons): 80.44
(after Catalina's): 30.44

Catalina's are coupons that print at the cash register when you buy a certain number of participating products. Catalina's change frequently, so it best to keep an eye out for new ones. Krazy Coupon Lady and Pinching Your Pennies (in the State Forums section) are great sources for keeping current. Grocery ads will also frequently advertise them. I used these fabulous deals to restock my "pantry". For example:
  • I was out of Mayo and Miracle Whip. By stocking up a year's worth on this sale I spent 2/3 less than if I would have, if I bought them as I needed them (probably not on sale).
  • I bought A LOT of Cool Whip, but Holiday's are just around the corner. I bake a ton of pies and desserts that require whip topping during the holiday's, as well as, salads. It's better to get it free than to pay $.99 or more for it when I really need it.
  • The same with the hot dogs. 15 packages is a ton, but that will get me through until hot dogs are a great deal again (probably next summer). Hot dogs will keep in the freezer for 9 months to a year (if you double wrap them). $.50 (or $.10) each is much better than $2.50 each.
  • Cheese can be frozen (shredded cheese freezes the best. Bricks tend to be crumbly when sliced or grated, after they thaw.), so stocking up when it is CHEAP makes sense. It is also an item that is each to incorporate into the menu if you have extra on hand. Parmesan cheese was included in the sale, so I bought four bags. I love shredded Parmesan cheese vs. the kind in the green can, so I stock up on it when it is super cheap (plus Parmesan will stay fresh in the fridge for a long time).
  • ATTENTION SPORTS MOMS (OR DADS)! Using Catalina's is a fabulous way to stock up on team drinks and snacks that you will at some point during the season be asked to provide. Two of those Capri Suns have been hidden for Child #4's flag football treat!
One important side note. In order to get all the Catalina's I had to buy the products in the allotted amounts. That meant I had to divide them up and pay for each group separately. This is a Great Big Pain in the Patooty for the sales clerk if you have lots of transactions! So, I found the following thing really help speed things along, and make things go as smoothly as possible.
  • Plan ahead. Map out what you are going to buy, and how much.
  • Combine manufacture's and store coupons with Catalina's to get the best deal (I used coupons that were already at the store, so keep your eyes peeled for them).
  • Organize your coupons for each transactions to make it easier for the sales clerk ringing you through.
  • Bring cash, if possible. Cash doesn't freak out the computer, like swiping your debit card multiple times can. A lot of check register won't take more than two checks in a row either without approval from the manager (which does not make him your best friend).
  • If you must, use a combination of payment methods. For example, write a check, swipe your debit card as a debit once, swipe your debit card as a credit once, and pay cash several times.
  • Be polite. It is not worth getting a cruddy reputation at the grocery store because your are being rude, just to get cheap or free food. Believe me sales clerks remember the people who are being naughty and nice (just like Santa Claus), and you will be treated accordingly.


  1. Good shopping ... I am so impressed! Recently at our Albertson's, I was passing the meat counter and saw spice-marinated steaks Buy 1, Get 2 Free. Thought I was reading it wrong, but ended up with 6 steaks for the price of 2!!! Smokin' deal!

  2. I thought I did good at Albertsons. You did AWESOME!! Thanks for all the great tips. You are the best at this and will never lose your touch!!



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