While I love the idea of coupons, I rarely get around to actually using them. I file them in a coupon organizer, where they often sit until expired. Sometimes I remember to pop them into my purse before heading to the grocery store, only to discover that they are still there when I get home.
A couple of weeks ago I received a packet of coupons from Fry’s Food Stores that was tailored to my shopping history. I assume they collect this information each time I swipe my customer loyalty card at check out. These coupons were for foods I actually want to buy, instead of the ones in the Sunday paper for cleaning products I don’t use, gooey granola bars I wouldn’t eat, and sugary dyed cereals I can’t imagine ever feeding Scarlet. I also found some free product coupons, which motivated me to actually add these items to my grocery list.
I saved $51 with coupons and $49 with my customer loyalty card savings, with my total bill amounting to $72. I felt proud, but disbelieving. The experience conjured images of the ladies from Extreme Couponing.
My shopping trip was just three days before vacation, so I intentionally refrained from buying a surplus of perishables. I like to have some food in the fridge when I return, so I buy small amounts of yogurt and hearty fruits and vegetables that will survive my time away.
Take a look:
Here is a quick look at my shopping list:
Organic milk (I put it in the garage fridge as soon as I got home, so forgot to tape it)
Chobani Greek yogurt
FAGE Greek yogurt
Yakult (a probiotic drink)
Nature’s Path waffles (I can’t buy extra frozen goods during the Freezer Challenge)
Best Foods light mayonaisse
Dole fruit cups with 100% fruit juice
Starbuck’s instant coffee packets
LaCroix sparkling water
I discovered that including coupon items on my grocery list is the only way I will actually remember to use them. Do you use coupons, and if so, what’s your strategy for maximizing their use?
Disclosure: Since I appear frequently on television as a nutrition expert, LaCroix sent me free product coupons, which I used to purchase the sparkling water.
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