I love couponing. And to love couponing, sometimes, you have to love math. Even those complex word algebra problems that were your bane back in school.
And you didn’t think you would ever use it in real life.
Here is the problem: You must buy a combination of 12 of the following items in order to get them for .75 each. Progresso soup, Idahoan potatoes, Campbell’s soup, Lipton Recipe Secrets, Pasta Roni, or Kraft Macaroni and cheese. Now which coupons do you use in order to maximize your savings?
Sigh. I always was bad at math.
After glaring at both my binder and calculator for a while I eliminated Idahoan, Pasta Roni and the macaroni since I didn’t have any coupons for them anyway. After a lot of scribbling of bad equations, I was visited by a vision of my middle school pre-algebra teacher and figured out the following: 3 Campbell’s tomato soup. (Because I love tomato soup and a tuna sandwich as a nice comfort lunch. And you have to admit, Campbell’s tomato soup may be simple, but you know you love it. I had a coupon for the tomato soup for $1.20 off 3. I grabbed 2 Lipton Recipe Secrets seasonings with a $1.00 off 2. I had 3 coupons for .50 off 2 (which doubled) any Progresso product. I was even able to get some pot roast and chicken noodle flavors. Ok, that was the end of the coupons, but that was only 11 so I threw in a coupon-less Idahoan potato pouch to make it to the required dozen.
All that math ended up with me paying an average of .31 for each of the products. Not bad.
I also grabbed 4 Minute Ready to Serve Rice in 2 different flavors. (white and fried if you really want to know. On sale for 2/4, I had a $1 off coupon for each one. Another deal was the Breakstone sour cream. It was 3 for $5, but since the sign didn’t say you had to buy 3 so I didn’t. Take that, sale sign. I only had 1 coupons for .75 off 2 that of course doubled. I also had a load to card special for 1.50 off 2. All in all, I paid 33 cents for each.
Then came the tea. Ahh, the tea. Now, I grew up in the deep south, where a good sweet iced tea is practically the required beverage for life itself. Well, Celestial Seasonings, Lipton, and Tetley all were on sale and I had coupons for all. Southern house wine, how I love thee.
There was a sale on grapes that if you spent $25 you got red seedless for 99 cents each. There’s a lot of grapes in Ziplocs in my freezer right now.
There was some other small coupon savings (thankfully, with no major math) with things I needed anyway, including cat food and litter. She’s an expensive little furball.
There was a deal I had to pass up though. The store was offering a free box of store brand dryer sheets if you bought a box of Bounce dryer sheets. I had both a load to card discount and a coupon for Bounce. It would have been a great deal except that I couldn’t find an unscented version of the Bounce sheets. Now I’m so sensitive to smell, that when I was young my parents had me sniff the sodas in restaurants so I could tell which one was diet for my diabetic brother. ( I was never wrong) My super strength smell sense may seem great, but combined with my asthma, it means I can’t use scented laundry anything. (Or soap, shampoo or anything similar.) Now I am not one of the weird and crazy couponers you see on TV that will buy literally anything if it’s a great deal, even if you don’t need it and will never use it. I do have standards, and sanity. And limited storage space. So with a heavy heart (and a pinched nose) I passed it by.
I did have to get a few things at full price because, you know, Thanksgiving approaches.
All in all, this was a great trip. I got around 108 dollars for 41.21 (including tax) . I know normally I say the exact amount, but I seem to have misplaced the receipt before I typed this up.
“How did I type this up then?” you may ask. Well, obviously it was easy to find out how much I spent, I also remember the approximate pre-coupon total, since I was bragging on it to a friend from work. But for the last couple of hours, I have been going through the old flyer. (which was still stuck in my binder for some reason) I circled everything I remembered buying and if I didn’t remember exactly what the coupon I used was, I hit the coupon database on MoneySavingMom.com to see what was available, since that is what I would have had.
I have just remembered to check my rebate apps to see what I got when I uploaded my receipt. According to my Saving Star account, I saved another 40 cents off the Lipton tea, 60 cents off the Recipe Secrets and a dollar off 3 Progresso soups. . And Ibotta says I was credited $1 for the Lipton Recipe Secrets too. This means that actually for the 2 boxes of seasonings, I made, that’s right, made $1.29. So adding all the rebates, that brings my total from 108 to 38.21.
That’s a pretty good deal, I hope I find the receipt so I have proof.
All of the deals were at Giant stores in Fairfax County, Virginia. The sales I mention here have already ended, but if you know of a sale for the upcoming Thanksgiving week or know of another great sale in your area, please leave a comment. Happy Couponing!