Ditto

Leslie’s previous post (read here), has encouraged me to finally squeeze some time to post as well.  The other day I checked to see if Leslie had posted something and realized it was since July 7 that either of us had posted.  I may have had a slight excuse for a few weeks as our baby was born on July 5.

But really, the reasons Leslie hasn’t posted are the same for me.  I don’t have too much time (can you imagine why?  — 4 kids aged 4 and under!), I can’t say that the deals I’ve found lately are spectacular, and many are often dependent on my combination of coupons.

So… with that said, hopefully the previous posts have given you ideas about how to make your own deals.   Right now, I plan to cut back on deal hunting to spend time doing some other things.

My dilemma(s) about blogging my good deals…

Hi everyone. Remember me? I used to post good deals.

I still get good deals. I just have a hard time finding the time to post about them. Plus, I’ve found out that the deals I get at the grocery stores in Hagerstown, MD are really different than those elsewhere because the Maryland coupon policies are different (read: often much more friendly) than the stores in PA. I drive 20 minutes to get groceries now…almost all the time.

Here’s an example of today’s grocery trip and how “personalized” it is…or, how me posting it doesn’t help the average Josephine Shmoe.

Today’s trip to Martin’s

  • 1 YoBaby Stonyfield Farms Yogurt – $2.39 shelf price
  • 2 Giant Shredded Cheeses, on sale $2 each
  • Turkey Hill Light Ice Cream, on sale $2.50 each
  • 5 jars of Smuckers grape jelly, on sale for $1.99 each, buy 5 and get $5 off instantly
  • 1 lb. bag of Giant brand baby carrots
  • 2 Chobani Yogurt
  • 5 boxes of Smucker’s Snack ‘n Waffles, on sale for $2.50 each, buy 5 and get $5 off instantly
  • 1 half gallon of skim milk, $1.70 shelf price
  • 1 Better ‘n Eggs egg substitute, on sale for $3.99
  • 1 Pompeian Extra Light Olive Oil, on sale for $3.49
  • 3 Beech Nut 100% juices, on sale for $2.19 each
  • 1 KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce, on sale for $2.50

I paid $16.14 for this trip and got 200 gas points. And now I have some jelly to donate, because holy cow, that’s a lot of jelly.

So now you ask…why don’t I bother posting? I’ve been wondering the same thing. On my trip home from the store, I came up with some of the reasons (other than finding the time) that I hesitate to post deals like this:

  • DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STATES: The Giant/Martin’s stores in MD double four like coupons. The stores in PA only double the first coupon and only take up to 4 like coupons in one transaction. So, I used four $.75/1 Smuckers coupons from coupons.com (zip 90210), which all doubled. So the jelly (after the $5 instant savings) cost me $4.95 and I had $6 off in coupons. So I made $1.05 buying the jelly. If I did this in the PA store 5 minutes from my house, the jelly would have cost me $1.20. In this instance, driving to MD saved me $2.25 just on this item, I could purchase all my items in one transaction, and the store is larger and has better stock for sales.
  • STORE-ISSUED COUPONS ARE NOT CONSISTENT ACROSS GEOGRAPHIC REGIONS. My mom lives in a town that just built a new Giant and she is getting great coupons in the mail. The most recent coupon book came with 3 coupons for each of the next four weeks. This week’s coupons were: 1 Free Turkey Hill Ice Cream wyb $15 worth of product, 1 Free bag of carrots wyb $15 worth of product, and a $5 off $30 coupon. We did not get these coupons, but since my mom doesn’t shop at Giant she gives me those coupons. Win!
  • STORE ISSUED COUPONS ARE NOT CONSISTENT PERIOD. I take advantage of the Giant/Martin’s eCoupons that you can “get” on their website. You create an account and enter your Bonuscard #, and then you can “add” eCoupons to your card. Right now there is a $.75/2 chobani yogurt coupon in my account…but not in everyone’s account. I paired that $.75/2 store coupon with the Chobani $10/10 sale and used two $.30/1 coupons from the Chobani website (which doubled). So I paid $.05 for two Greek yogurts. If you didn’t get that coupon in your account, the deal isn’t nearly as good.
  • DID YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE DEALS I DID? I happened to have picked up 5 of the Giant Summer Savings coupon books at the store in early June (I think), which is where I was able to get 5 of the $1/1 coupons for the Snack ‘n Waffles. So the 5 boxes of waffles after instant savings and coupons cost me $2.50. However, I doubt you happened to also pick up 5 of these, so your deal without the coupons would have been $7.50…not great. And, for what it’s worth, I had one of these waffles for breakfast and they are not that good tasting or good for you. Deal fail.

So…that’s life here. Spending about $20 a week on groceries unless it’s a stock-up week on fruits, veggies, or meat…in which case it’s usually more like $40. Although the garden sure has kept our veggie purchases to a minimum this year. We made stuffed peppers, lettuce wraps, bread, and kielbasa for 8 people on Friday night and it cost us less than $10. Go me.