I am seeking to simplify my life, de-stress and live on less. But what is simple and how do you accomplish it? Please join me as I explore ways to save money, be frugal and have fun. I will tell you what I discover that works...and what doesn't work. I love comments and tips and encouragement. Don't be bashful. Join me on my money-saving adventures around beautiful Topeka, Kansas.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
How to Find Grocery Coupons in Topeka, Kansas
$5.40 for all before tax
I really don't spend all my time grocery shopping, though it may look that way. I do try to make several small trips a week--the biggest reason is because it is easier to keep track of my purchases if I am spending $20, instead of $100 at once. Also, multiple trips allow we to check for clearance items or unannounced sales. I try to go with a plan and be in the store no longer than a few minutes. Today, I wanted to go back to Dillon's to purchase a few more of their sale 10 for $10 sale items (mix and match). Like a lot of sales, you don't have to actually buy ten items to get one of the sale items for $1. When in doubt, ask an employee, don't just assume you have to purchase ten items. I only purchased 7 items but all 7 rang up for $1. With the coupons I had, the above items cost $5.40 before tax and that is including the two steaks ($4.40) which are already marinating for tomorrow night.
Yesterday I mentioned the coupons for the BBQ sauce and soap. Plus, I discovered I had a coupon for $1 off the Lady Speed Stick which is on sale this week for $1. A couple of other great deals I noticed at Dillon's this week is half gallon of milk is on sale again for $1.25 (4 for $5). It's much cheaper to purchase two half gallons for $2.50 than the gallon for $3.38. Yet, how often do you just automatically reach for the gallon?
Also, Dillon's tortilla chips are on sale for $1 this week. I have never tried them. I really love the Calidad White Corn Tortilla Chips they sell at Dillon's for $1.99. But this week I decided to go ahead and try the Kroger brand since it is a $1 less (they normally sell for $1.25). Since I currently have garden tomatoes, I plan on making salsa.
$15.16 for all before tax
Since I was already on Wanamaker today, I also made a run into Hy-Vee. Hy-Vee has some great sale items this week, particularly on butter and eggs. Butter is $1.88 (most places are charging between $3-$3.50 for a pound of butter) and eggs are 79 cents for a dozen (limit 2).
I purchased 4 pounds of butter. You might ask, "But didn't you just purchase butter?" The answer is "yes" and I was down to the final package. So, while I would like to think this much butter will last a 3-4 months, more likely it will last 3-4 weeks. Butter stores beautifully. The expiration date on this butter is not until December 14--believe me, it will not be a problem.
Eggs also store well. According to www.eggsafety.org, eggs are good for 4-5 weeks after the Julian date (date packed, not the sell by date). The Julian date is usually found right on the carton near the "sell by" date. For example, the egg carton above has stamped on the side "Sell by August 16". Then directly below the sell by date is the code "200 P1909 10". Julian date just refers to a continuous count of days so 001 refers to January 1 and 365 refers to December 31st. This egg carton indicates the eggs were packed on the 200th day of the year or as we generally refer to it..July 19th. Since eggs are good for about 45 days after being laid, we know these eggs will be good until around September 2nd.
So, if I was you, I would be asking "Where do you find all these coupons?"
I subscribe to the local paper but the easiest way to obtain coupons is to ask people to save them for you. Request that your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers pass along any coupons they are not going to use. People in general like to be helpful and you will likely be amazed at how many coupons others will simply give to you. You really don't need more than 3-4 of most coupons.
Another good way to get coupons is to request them directly from the manufacturer. Often times, if you visit a product's website, there is an option to print coupons. In order to save on paper and ink, I only print those coupons I know I will use and I try to always leave my printer setting at "black ink" only. I hate printing a coupon and a full page "advertisement" prints along with the coupon, practically negating any savings. (This is why many opt for "Print-it-at-work"). If the website doesn't offer coupons, I will often email the company and ask if they have coupons and if yes, how to obtain them. Sometimes the manufacturer will send individuals coupons when requested.
Recently, I attempted to print a couple of dollar off coupons from the Wells Blue Bunny website. I could not get the coupons to print so I emailed the company and told them how disappointed I was since I love their ice cream. I received 6 Fifty-five cent off coupons in the mail in response to my email. The email took about 10 seconds and netted me $6 (when doubled up to a $1 by local stores) in savings. I used three of those coupons today since Hy-Vee has Blue Bunny Ice Cream on sale for $1.99. After coupon, I ended up paying 99 cents per package.
Coupon for free product
I was particularly proud of the free Gain detergent which normally costs $10.67. How? I purchased some Gain fabric softener off the clearance rack for $1.40 a couple of weeks ago. Something was wrong with it. It was thick like molasses. I emailed the company, explained I had purchased some softener (I left out the irrelevant detail that I paid $1.40) which appeared defective. I explained I had never had a problem with their product before and wondered if it was OK to use. They quickly and efficiently emailed me back stating they would mail me a coupon for a free bottle. They did, only it was for detergent, not softener. They included a few other coupons as well. I always complain nicely and never make demands.