Here’s a breakdown of how I did overall:
Shop N Save is the grocery store closest to my house and the one I frequent the most often. I saved a total of $452.90 from coupons there this year, including their $10 off $50 that they run on Thursdays from time to time in which sometimes I went three times in one day.
I saved a total of $46.01 at other grocery stores including Schnucks, Dierbergs, and Save a Lot.
I saved $23.58 at Target and only $6.50 at Wal~Mart. There is a Wal~Mart across the street from my Shop N Save, but it’s not a Super Center and is an old trashy store that I usually skip because they’ve minimalized their selection of name brands this year.
Petco came in at just $6.00. I buy most of my pet food and supplies at Shop N Save anyway, so I definitely saved more for the pets but at other places. There is a Petco within walking distance of my house, but again, it’s a bit run down and the parking lot is hard to get in and out of. I’ve also done price comparisons there many times and found the grocery store or even Wal~Mart to be much much cheaper.
I saved $28.15 at Dollar General…a place I definitely like to shop because they carry lots of brand names, but again, it requires a special trip to go there and other places are closer to my home.
I saved $3.00 in gas thanks to Shop N Save’s new gas station that opened this year. Everytime you spend over $100 in groceries you get a 9 cents off per gallon coupon. However, they recently changed their policy and require you to pay first and then go back in to get a refund for the coupon. That’s two trips in if you are paying cash. So last night, I had to go in and pay, go back out and pump, then go back in for a .31 cent refund on $10 worth of gas. It’s not really worth it.
I saved $20.00 at Kohls…probably on clothes or other items.
I saved $34.56 from fast food coupons…mostly McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Off the Grill.
$103.14 was saved from “other” categories and places including hair cuts, oil changes, Hallmark, Bath & Body Works, and a local plant nursery that I had coupons for this year.
And the winner for the year was $487.81 saved at Walgreens thanks to coupons and register rewards, the most out of any place I shopped, and the main reason I probably haven’t had to buy any toothpaste or shower gel in about three months. In January alone this year, I saved a total of $130.02 at Walgreens from coupons and register rewards.
My total saved for the year from coupons alone is $1211.65. That’s $211.65 over my goal of 1K for the year! I’m very pleased with that and I’ve actually learned a few things by keeping track of my coupon savings and where I saved:
I’m still brand loyal to items like Folgers, Cottonelle, Downy, Crest, Clorox, Kraft, Lipton, Iams, and more but have given up loyalty to some other items because a coupon for them isn’t always the cheaper route to go. For instance, I often clipped coupons for Domino Sugar, but could never find it under $2.00 even after the coupon at places like the grocery store and Walgreens. I currently buy a bag of sugar at Save a Lot for just $1.39. Sugar is sugar, right?
I’ve also branched out and started buying generics of coffee creamer, bread, and canned goods because they are cheaper. I used to be brand loyal to Tide, but it’s so freaking expensive even with a coupon. Switching to Arm and Hammer after a recent Buy One Get One Free offer at Walgreens swayed me away from Tide all together. So, while I refused to give up brand loyalty before, I find myself doing it more and more – coupon in hand or not.
Shop around. It sucks having to go to more than one place to save a buck – and probably waste gas doing it. Plus, I already spend a lot of time each week just clipping the coupons. BUT, checking all the weekly ads definitely helped. I never used Walgreens for anything more than bath products before, but found myself buying coffee and canned goods there a lot this year because of great sales in combination with coupons or the chance to earn register rewards. For example, on a recent trip to Walgreens, I bought 12 bags of candy that were on sale and saved another $7.00 in coupons. I earned a total of $12.00 in register rewards back, which made my candy average about $1 per bag in the end. I went right back into the store to use the register rewards plus more coupons and saved even more on other items.
And lastly, don’t be afraid to buy ahead…meaning…stock up on something when it’s at a rock bottom price like Buy One Get One Free and coupons on top of that. That’s how I stocked up on bath gel and tootpaste and haven’t had to buy either in about four months.
Based on the amount of money I average per year on groceries (which is a lot), I’m probably just going to shoot for $1500 as my goal for next year. That’s only $300 more than I saved this year so I think that’s doable.