A Few Grocery Deals and Freebies

I took advantage of being in town and grabbed a few deals at Target and Publix one day this week.  At Target, I found  Gillette Fusion razors clearanced out to $2.48.  I used the one P&G $4 off any Gillette Fusion razor coupon I had and was able to get the $2 overage which went against the large bag of large dog food that was clearanced out to $8 as well as some other things I needed.  Target usually has clearance items on the end caps of the aisles.  They had two different kinds of Gillette Fusion razors clearanced out and if I would have had more coupons…I could have stocked up on razors for free. 

Free razors with over $3 in overage. 

I also was able to pick up some Cheerios cereal that were BOGO $3.99 at Publix.  I had some .50 cent off 1 coupons that were doubled to $1 off each box and there was a blinkie machine that had .75 cents off 2.  So I used a few of those and stocked up on some cereal.  This ended up being a little cheaper than the big boxes of cereal I buy at Sam’s.  I also used the $2 off any Schick razors and used it on the 2-pack Schick disposable razors which were priced at .99 cents a package….and they gave me the overage on that too!  I also picked up some .30 cent cans of vegetables and some kitchen sponges.  All in all it was 5 sacks of groceries and household products for $13….pretty good for not being ultra planned or having a lot of coupons. 

Then I went to Sam’s and picked up the rest of our groceries. 

I was also able to get  10 coupon inserts from the newspaper recycling place, which I am hoping will help me stock up on some up coming deals

Other on going deals worth checking out: 

CVS diapers:  I check one CVS store and they only had one package of CVS diapers 50% off  (size 6)…so I wasn’t able to find the really cheap $2 diapers everyone has been talking about

Pampers Wipes:  Possibly the hottest deal on baby wipes ever is the Pampers $2 off coupon that has recently been released and I don’t have any of those coupons!!!  I looked on ebay…but the auction prices are soaring.  It’s a awesome coupon for stocking up on free Pampers wipes…if you can get a hold of it!  Check out this list of places where you can use the coupon and get them for free. 

Sam’s Club and Costco vs. Couponing at the Grocery Store

Is it worth it to shop at Sam’s Club or Costco?   Here are some of my thoughts on Sam’s Club and Costco vs. Couponing. 

You may not find Sam’s or Costco worth it if:

You are single.
You have a small family.
You have a small family with small children.
You don’t consume large amounts of food and supplies. 
You coupon full time and live within a short distance of the stores you coupon at.

You will probably find Sam’s or Costco well worth it if:

You have a larger family.
You have a smaller family with bigger kids or teenagers. 
You prefer purchasing bulk items for the convenience of not having to take regular trips to the store. 
You live in the country or have a driving distance to get to the grocery stores.
You prefer once a month shopping.
You cook and bake alot. 
You plan social and family events, host parties, or entertain. 
You use eco-friendly or organic products and like to find them for discounted prices in bulk.
Your looking for a higher quality food for less. 
You are a couponer but because of your family size or the volume of food and supplies your family uses, you need more food and supplies than what couponing brings in. 
You want good savings on tires and gas. 

A lot of families will find the large wholesale store well worth it and others will not depending on your family’s needs. 

Even being a couponer myself, I still find shopping at Costco or Sam’s Club a must to provide my home with the amount of food and supplies we consume, plus the added benefits of filling up our big vehicle with gas for cheaper than anywhere else.  I also find that the large wholesale stores are much easier to navigate and shop in compared to the grocery store.  I’ve also been impressed by the quality of the food which, in my experience and opinion,  exceeds regular grocery store food and far exceeds discount grocery store food (Sav-A-Lot, Aldi, etc)

When couponing at a regular grocery store, I have to weigh the time spent couponing, the amount of trips to the store (time and gas) and the amount of items I can get.  For me, now it is an automatic $20 in gas to get to my favorite couponing grocery and drug stores so if I go couponing, I have to plan that trip carefully to make it worth the drive time, gas money and effort.   Some things are cheaper at the grocery store and some things are not, you will have to get to know your stores and learn what are the good deals for your family.  For our family of 10, now that we live in a rural area, it is a combination of shopping at Sam’s Club or Costco, buying bulk grains, produce and fruit from co-ops, auctions and amish markets, couponing at the grocery store, raising our own meat, growing our own garden  and canning our own food. 

Couponing for Community Event May 8, 2010

A fellow mom blogger, Saving With Amy, let me know about the upcoming Couponing for Community Event during the week of May 2nd- May 8th.  The goal is to give a portion of your stockpile away to a local community food bank, shelter, or even a friend who is in need. Its great way for couponers can give back to their community. 

If you are in the Middle Tennessee area, bring your stockpile items, such as boxed meals, rice, canned foods, feminine products and more to be donated to The Journey Home, a mission for the homeless in Murfresboro. 

  • When: May 8th
  • Where: Publix- Lee Victory Pkwy, Smyrna
  • Time: 10:00am- Noon

Bring your items to Publix between 10 am and noon.  It’s a great opportunity to meet other mom bloggers and couponers and others who will be giving what they have been blessed with to those in need.  For those that do come by, there is also going to be two Publix gift card giveaways!

Check out more information on Amy’s website, Saving With Amy!!!  She has made a facebook event page that you can rsvp if you plan to stop by!

This event isn’t just happening in Middle Tennessee, check out ChaChing on a Shoestring for national locations and if you want to participate in organizing an event in your area.

Publix Weekly Deals 2/24 – 3/2

Here are a couple of pantry stocking deals you can find at Publix:

Hormel Chili Master reduced price $1.59
-$1 off coupon from blinkie machine
.59 cent chili starter (great pantry item)

I saw the blinkie machine last week and was thinking there would be a sale on these soon!  When I go this week, I will make a note about how long the reduced price will last.

(Thanks I Heart Publix for posting this deal)

This week starting Wed. 24th thru Tues. 2nd

Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers, Assorted Varieties, 12 oz bag, BOGO $2.39
-$.50/2 Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers Frozen Vegetables, off any 2  (2-21-10 SS)
-$.40/1; $1/2 Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers Frozen Vegetables, Any (1-03-10 general mills)
-$5/20 Italian Days Coupon from booklet or

If you use the .50/1 printables, you’ll end up with two packages for .39 cents!  There are lots of scenarios for this deal, using a combination of the .50/1 printables and the .40/1 manufacturer coupons and the $5 off 20 items, you can really stock your freezer with frozen veggies for pennies!

Lipton Family Size Tea Bags, Iced Tea Brew, 24 ct box, (Excluding Decaf) BOGO $2.65
-$.60/1; $.50/1; $1/2 Lipton Tea Bags, any (1-31-10 RP)
.33 cents if you use the .50 cent coupon and your store doubles.  Remember you can also buy the smaller boxes for .09 cents after the doubled .50 cent coupon too!

StarKist Chunk White Tuna, Premium Albacore, 6.4 oz pkg, BOGO $3.19
-$1/2 StarKist Pouch Products, 2.6oz or 6.4oz Chunk Light or Albacore, Creations, New Tuna Salad and Lunch To-Go (2-14-10 RP)
-$1/2 StarKist Pouch products, choose from 2.6oz or 6.4oz Chunk Light or Albacore, Creations, NEW Tuna Salad and Lunch To-Go – BH&G, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, February 2010
-$1/1 PRINT
If you use the printable $1/1, you’ll pay .60¢ per package!

Ragu Pasta Sauce, Assorted Varieties, 16 to 26.3 oz jar (Excluding Organic) BOGO $2.29
-$1/2 Multiply Your Meals & Savings Booklet (26.3 oz jar only) found at some Publix stores
-$.30/1; $1/2; $.75/2; $1.25/3; $.60/2 Ragu pasta sauce, any  (1-31-10 RP)

Green Giant Canned Vegetables, 11 to 15 oz can (Excluding Specialty Corn Varieties, Three Bean Salad, And Asparagus) BOGO $1.29
$1/4 Green Giant Canned OR Jarred Vegetables, any FOUR Tearpad
-$5/20 Italian Days Coupon or PRINT

Del Monte Tomatoes, Assorted Varieties, 14.5 oz can, BOGO $1.39
-$1/4 Del Monte Tomatoes (11-15.25oz), Any (4)  (2-07-10 RP)
-$1/4 PRINT
.45¢ per can


Ethical Couponing Questions

There has been a lot of talk around the couponing blogs lately about “ethical couponing”.  I thought I would weigh in on the discussion by posting  about ethical couponing.  I completely agree that one must be completely honest and ethical when couponing.  I don’t take the privilege of using coupons lightly!

Manufacturers and Stores who issue coupons sometimes place restrictions on the coupons they issue.  For example, you may find coupons that say, “One coupon per transaction”, which means you can only use one coupon during that shopping transaction.  Like it or not that is the rule.  Fudging on the rules, ruins couponing for everyone eventually.

Stores often place restrictions on the amount of items you can buy at one time.  For example, the Publix store that I shop at often, has a a restriction that you can only buy 6 items that are on BOGO sales.  They have restrictions to control inventory.

Couponers need to read the rules and be honest in their transactions.  We also need to be kind and friendly to store management and cashiers.  While there are no hard fast set rules in many couponing scenarios, you need to operate ethically and truthfully.

Here are some debates concerning coupon ethics among couponers:

Some couponers think that it is unethical to take more than one blinkie coupon from a blinkie machine.  Some couponers think that it is unethical to use a coupon clipping service.  Some couponers think that it is unethical to print  coupons using more than one computer.  Some couponers think it is unethical to buy large amounts of items using coupons, thereby decreasing the store’s stock.  Their arguement is that we need to be “nice and considerate” of other store shoppers who may want to buy the same products.

If the store places no restrictions on the amount of items you can buy and the manufacturer hasn’t placed any kind of limit restrictions on using the coupons and a couponer walks in and buys 20 boxes of pasta, is she being unethical and inconsiderate?

Some would argue that if there are plenty of pasta boxes on the shelf then it is fine, but if there are only 25 boxes left on the shelf and she buys 20 of them, then she’s selfish, unethical and inconsiderate.

However, I’m of the mindset that just because she buys all but 5 of the boxes of pasta, it isn’t her responsibility to make sure the store shelf stays stocked!  It is the stores responsibility to stock the shelves and anticipate high volume sales on sale items.  Something that they often do very well but sometimes miss on!

Here are some facts:

  • It is the store’s responsibility to keep the shelves stocked, not yours.
  • Many stores already put store limits on the amount of product you can buy, especially on sale items, so if the shelf is empty, it wasn’t one person that cleared the shelf.
  • Buying a lot of food at the store is not unethical.  Have you seen the amount of food the Dugger’s buy!
  • Many times if the store shelves are empty, you can ask the stock person to go in the back and check and see if there is more product back there.  You might just be surprised when he walks out with what you need.
  • If the store shelves are empty, you can ask for a rain check.
  • You can special order products.  If you know you are going to be using 20 coupons on a product that goes on sale next week, you can ask about special ordering a case or two.
  • Don’t whine and complain.  If the store shelves are empty and you do indeed miss the sale, there will be more sales and more deals to come.  You win some, you lose some.  That’s the couponing game!  Sometimes as couponers, we sound like 3 year olds pouting, “she took my stuff!”
  • If you show up on the last day of the sale, you shouldn’t be surprised if some items are already sold out.  The early bird gets the worm!
  • The woman who bought 20 boxes of pasta is not your enemy.  She didn’t buy the 20 boxes to spite you or to make you miss the deal.  Give her a break!  She’s just trying to feed her family!
  • Don’t impose your emotional ethics on others.  If you personally feel convicted that it is unethical to take more than one blinkie coupon, then stick to your convictions.  Another couponer may think that 2 or 4 coupons is ethically o.k.   I think we all should agree that disassembling the blinkie box and ripping the entire roll of coupons out is just plain wrong!

In summery, follow the rules!  There are plenty of legitimate, legal, ethical deals that you can take advantage of in a good way to save money, stock your pantry and feed your family for less

I am sure as different as we all are, many of us will vary on couponing practices and beliefs.  Your thoughts on the subject????

The Stock Up And Save Coupon Booklet at Publix

Publix has an awesome “Stock Up and Save!” coupon booklet available 2-17-10 through 3-3-10.  It’s a great coupon booklet to help you get a head start on stocking your pantry with some pretty, great basic items for less.  The coupon booklet is advertising the Italian Days $10,000 worth of Groceries Sweepstakes (www.clickcallmail.com and sweepstakes restrictions do apply so read the fine print), but here are the coupons it has in it:

-$1 off 4 Progresso Products

-$1 off  any 3 Pillsbury Rolls, Squares, Breadsticks, Pizza Crust, Crescent, Loaf, Assorted Varieties

-$1 off 2 Muir Glen Products

-$1 off 2 green giant mushrooms, asparagus or specialty corn

-$5 off purchase of any 20 participating General Mills Products
(Progresso Soup, 100% natural broth, beans & artichokes, bread crumbs, vinegar and seafood sauce, Pillsbury crescent rolls and breads, Totino’s party pizza, Muir Glen soup, tomatoes, pasta sauce, Green Giant mushrooms, asparagus, frozen vegetables, canned vegetables. )

I had it all planned out to buy 20 products using sales, the -$1 off Publix coupons, printable manufacturer coupons and the -$5 off coupon.  In the end, my store placed a pretty severe restriction on the Publix coupons (they wouldn’t let me use the $1 coupons if I was using the $5 coupon), so I ended up purchasing 20 participating items for $8.21 or about .41 cents each.  I was expecting to do better, but that is a great savings that I can’t complain about for purchasing some really great pantry items.  ( I purchased canned vegetables, canned black beans and frozen vegetables). 

Here are some ideas to save even more: 

1.)  Print off the Green Giant frozen vegetable -$0.50/2 coupon and use on the Green Giant frozen vegetables on sale for $1 a box.  They end up being $.50 cents a box after the coupons!

2.)  The Progresso beans are on sale 3 for $2 (or roughly .67 cents a piece).  Use the $1 off 4 Publix Progresso products coupons and get them for around .41 cents a can! 

3.)  Here’s a sweet deal on the Progresso 100% Natural Broth, Chicken: Regular or Reduced Sodium or Beef Flavored, 32 oz ctn, BOGO $2.59
-$1/4 Italian Days Booklet or print at Click Call Mail
-$.50/1 Progresso Broth printable coupon.  (need 2 computer to print 4 coupons.  Limit 2 coupons per computer)

$.18 cents for 4 cartons of Progresso Natural chicken/beef broth!!!!! 

4.) Check out I Heart Publix for some other deal scenarios.  I like the fact that she has listed the other manufacturer coupons and printable coupons you can use with the Publix coupons in this booklet. 

5.)  Also, if you can’t find the booklet, you can print them here:    Click Call Mail

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