Monday, December 1, 2008

Sales trends, lists and understanding where to shop

Always remember to check out for those extra coupons you need!

You are now ready to begin to figure out where to shop. I strongly recommend for the beginner. You can get a 4 week trial offer for $1. After those 4 weeks it is $10 for your first store and $5 for each store after that. This will gain you access to all the stores that are on their lists in your region. Here in Lex., KY that included Krogers, Meijers, CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens. At the end of your trial period (choose before the trial period is up) you can pick and choose the stores you want access to.

What this site does is compiles all the sales for those stores for the week. They will take the Kroger sale prices and compare them with their database and list all prices. Prices that are at the lowest that they have been for 12 weeks are indicated with blue and if an item is FREE it will be green. They also match up the coupons that have been released over the last 12 weeks that match with those sales. This makes things so much easier for you especially if your a beginner! A lot less work that's for sure! The list comes out anywhere between Mon. night or Tues. morning by 8a.m.

There are several other sites out there that have lists such as (which is free and a great site) however I have found that when I began all this GG was the easiest for me. It's very organized.

Occasionally you will have coupons that they don't have or vice versa. This happens to me when I have used the coupon at one store then another store on the list hits a rock bottom. The individual lists don't compare to each other. That's your job. Also when I get coupons directly from the manufacturer these aren't published so there is no way of them knowing this. There for I do tend to check everything on the list "just in case".

Starting out and coupon organizing

One of the main questions that I am asked is "You get all this with coupons?". Be sure to check out for coupons!

Coupons are a very BIG part of it but they aren't all of it. I shop for items at their lowest prices and stock up so that I won't need that item again until it hits it's lowest possible price. There are always some needs items such as produce, milk (although you can freeze milk). However no more $4 boxes of cereal or $9 razors!

Sale trends tend to run on a 12 week cycle. That means an "butter" will hit it's lowest rock bottom price approxomately every 10-12 weeks. Then the "butter" will be on sale for about 2-3 weeks. Coupons tend to come out at the time of those sales or a few weeks before. In between you may see the "butter" on "sale" but it's not at it's lowest possible price so don't let it fool you. When it does finally hit it's lowest price I estimate how much my family will use for 12 weeks and combine my collected coupons for that "butter" with that rock bottom price.

For example: butter has ranged in price from $1.75 to $2.50 for 10 weeks. I have 6 .50/1 coupon. The butter hits rock bottom at $1.50 at my store that doubles coupons up to .50 (making it $1 off). I then purchase 6 packages of butter at .50 each costing me $3.00. I simply take them home and toss 5 in freezer until needed. At that point I have saved anywhere from $4.50 - $12.00 for 12 weeks.

I am addicted to anything I can get for FREE. The free things or below .50 each are things like H&B items such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, razors. I find most household cleaners in this range as well. Now, because if I have extra's I can donate those items to charities. Yes you can deduct health and beauty products such as soap, shampoos, conditioners and household items from your taxes but that's another posting. Women's Centers are a great location for donating!

Coupon organizing
This can be a:
3 ring binder
flexible coupon holder
labeled envelopes

You may have to experiment a few times to get it right. I personally use a 4 inch 3 ring binder. I have it in 2 sections. First household including Health and Beauty then Grocery. Pet food goes in grocery. Everything is alphabetized. This was my second solution to organizing coupons.

The inserts I use to hold the coupons may be bought at office supply stores or even Walmart. They are base ball card holders that come in sheets and usually a couple dollars a pack. You need the seperated pockets to keep the coupons organized where you can see them and they don't mix up with each other. It will not work for you if they aren't organized because you will get frustrated and give up.

Where do you get your coupons from?
- Is my favorite of course! It's a membership which is different from some coupon clipping services but that makes it cheaper. For $5.00 a month you get to choose up to 80 coupons (20 coupons per week) plus access to our newsletter that comes out monthly.
-Sunday paper inserts (and yes there is a method and schedule for coupon inserts)
-Ask friends if they aren't going to use their coupons to give them to you
-You can print coupons from online at sites such as and . Be aware that some stores don't accept online printed coupons or they are strict about them.
-Go directly to manufacturer sites. Often they will have coupons to print.
-Email the manufacturers and tell them if you enjoy their product(s). We have been very successful with this. Often they send coupons that you will never see printed in the inserts.
-Download Proctor & Gamble coupons at to your Kroger card. You can also download food coupons from to your Kroger card. Recently they have come up with a way to download them through your cell phone at I haven't done this because I don't have a cell phone.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

CVS, Kroger and Meijer $201.54 for $31.94

I have to say I'm not disappointed in how I did yesterday. Finding the ground round at .99/lb was a super find! There's just not much you can't do with ground meat! I really was huge so I'm not going to break it down by transaction. Again I use manufacturer coupons, P&G coupons, coupons, CVS coupons and ECB's.

Totals for the day:
Total Shelf Price: $201.54
Total Savings: $169.60
Total Out of Pocket: $31.94

Shelf Price: $104.80
Savings: $100.35
Out of Pocket: $4.45

Walked out with $14.24 in additional ECB's to keep rolling!
Talk about ECB heaven!

1 Playtex tampons
1 Loreal Juicy lipgloss
1 Aussie Instant Freeze hairspray
2 Colgate Total Advance toothpaste
1 Sally Hansen Maximum Growth quick dry nail polish
2 Hershey Milk Chocolate bars (there is a story behind this and it's funny!)
1 Loreal Juicy lip gloss
1 Cover Girl Smoothers pressed powder
2 York Peppermint Patties
1 Eucerin Daily Soothing Moisture Lotion
1 Eucerin Redness Relief Soothing Cleanser
1 Eucerin Redness Relief Perfecting Lotion
1 Palmers Coco Butter cream
2 CVS Make Up remover cloths
3 G2 (Gatorade) bottles

The ground round was originally $3.99lb so that is an unlisted savings of about $19.00 that doesn't show up on the register receipt.
Shelf Price: $43.36
Savings: 32.09
Out of Pocket: $11.27

6 packages (average of 1.19lbs per package) ground round
1 Kroger shredded cheese
1 Tyson Bacon
1 Kroger Decaf Tea bags
1 Betty Crocker Frosting (Thanks to manufacturer coupon and Shortcuts this was FREE)
1 Danactive drinkable yogurt
2 Dole Iceburg salad blends

I didn't plan on buying the Jello pudding but when I realized I had the Meijer mealbox coupon that I could stack with the manufacturer coupon I just couldn't pass the deal up!
Shelf Price: $53.38
Savings: $37.16 (This should have been $38.16 but a $1.00 q got missed according to my receipt)
Out of Pocket: $16.22
6 Containers Cool Whip
12 boxes Jello Instant Pudding
3 cans Endust
1 lb I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
1 Spray bottle I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
4 Daisy Sour Cream
1 Fresh Garlic
2 cans Meijer Cream of Mushroom soup
1 gallon Meijer milk
1 Aunt Millies whole grain bread
1 Aunt Millies english muffins