Thursday, January 27, 2011

Crazy Couponing: Does Couponing Only Work for Junk Food?

My friend, Jana, just left the following comment that I'd love to address:

Megan, great posts on coupons! I am so very interested in doing this. However, when I look through the flyers in Sunday's paper (NE PA) and on these sites you've posted, I am not finding much that I even buy. Is is me? or the area I live? Maybe you or some of your readers would post a grocery list of what they are actually getting and saving?!? Just an idea and thanks again! 

Jana, GREAT question and one that I have dealt with in the past. There are TONS of coupons that I DON'T use! We try to eat healthy and make homemade meals. I don't buy pre-made cookie dough, lots of chips,  medicine or tons of other coupon items. However, by couponing, I find what is on sale (with and without coupons) and save money buying the items we DO use with coupons. I'll paste my grocery list from this week below. It's pretty random but remember that I buy everything at it's lowest price point so I have items that I will use WITH the items I purchase this week to make meals etc. When I walked out of the grocery store today, I had a savings of 43%. I spent about $25 and saved approx $18.00.

I didn't buy the "I can't Believe it's not butter" because the coupon comes out in Sunday's paper. Personally, I like real butter but this works in baking and recipes where you can't tell the difference...and FREE, can't beat that!
I did purchase the Navel oranges but not the organic ones. I found that I could get 6 for $2 (not organic) or 2 for $2 (organic) so I went with the better deal.
The Quaker Quakes I actually had a rain check for an old advertised price of $0.88. With the discount, it made them $0.33/bag. I bought 6 bags at that price.
I decided I didn't really need the canned veggies in the store. I usually only use canned corn as I don't really like canned veggies so I didn't buy the Del Monte veggies.
I also skipped out on buying the pears as I didn't see them in the store and really didn't need them with the other fruit I purchased.

Click on the below graphic to make it readable. Are these things that you might use?

The key is to use multiple coupons to purchase things you WILL use at the lowest price possible. Do you use:
Toilet paper, paper towels, evaporated milk, shampoo, razors, deoderant, ketchup, mustard, mayo, mandarin oranges, hot sauce, croutons, bread, lunchmeat, cheese, eggs, yogurt? The list goes on and on. Just because there may only be 2-4 items in one insert that you will use, if you START couponing, you'll find that you will save money on everyday items all the time!

Give it a try!! I'd be happy to share more of my grocery weeks if you'd like a better idea of how it looks over time. Just let me know. Thanks for the great question Jana!


  1. To back Megan up, I am an avid couponer, and the last couple of weeks, the selection in the papers has not been great. If you give it a try and keep with it, there will be some good ones eventually. I can't remember the last time I had to pay for things like toilet paper, chapstick, toothpaste, toothbrushes etc... All free by matching coupons with deals. Spring usually brings about better deals, and fall is the best time for them.

  2. Thank you, Megan. This is exactly what I was wondering, very helpful!!! Yes, I would buy all the things on that list. I guess I have to just keep going through the weekly coupon flyers and wait to find ones I can use. I will let you know how I make out :)

  3. Jana, that's one reason why I don't spend lots of time each week going through the fliers. I do occasionally when I have the time but usually, I just start with, make my tentative shopping list, clip coupons I need for the list and then go shopping. As you can see from my list yesterday, I only had 4 separate coupons to clip (and one doesn't come out until Sunday, so technically, 3 coupons). While I was clipping those three, I clipped a few more I MIGHT use to file in my coupon envelopes.

  4. It seems like maybe watching specials first and then looking for coupons to match up as a second step is the best way for me to start - at least that is what I am going to try! I found that several of my stores have their local flyers online and you can click on the product you are interested in and then print out a shopping list, which gives me a place to start. I am determined to start saving some money this way :))!

  5. P.S. You've been so helpful - THANK YOU!!

  6. Jana, have you tried She does all the work for you. They list the sales at each store (both the ones that have coupons and the ones that don't have coupons). If you haven't tried it, check that out first!!! You'll be amazed. has really already done what you're talking about in your comments. You just go down the list and check the ones you're interested in and you have your grocery list like the one I posted above.