Monday, April 6, 2009

Coupons Schmoopons

I just got home from an exhausting morning of grocery shopping. (And the morning lasted well into the afternoon-it's 3:00.)

I have become somewhat of a coupon-er. I read a couple of awesome money saving blogs and I have two crazy couponing good friends who get me on track. But I'm no where near the caliber of saving hundreds of dollars while paying $10. That's not me. I usually save anywhere from 40%-50% per shopping trip. Not bad. I know. I'm happy with it.

In order to organize myself, I spend about two hours of going through the sites and organizing the coupons that I'm going to use. It is pretty time consuming. Apparently I am slow. But I get it done. However, I haven't really paid any attention to the whole expiration date thing. I haven't had to. The Fry's Marketplace by my house has never raised a stink about taking expired coupons so I've never bothered to clean mine out. That is, until today.

Here's the story. I make my way through the 1,000,000 square foot Fry's Marketplace and get what's on my list and match the coupons. It takes me about 45 minutes to do all this. (Matilyn is with me.) I get to the check out. The lady checking out is kind of slow, and I notice that as she's checking out the lady in front of me she's examining the expiration of the coupons. Now I go into a slight (read: pretty big) panic. "Oh no!" I think, "Half the items in my cart probably have expired coupons. And I need those half. Maybe she's checking for something else." I say as I attempt to calm myself down.

She's takes my groceries and I hand her my coupons. (Holding my breath...) And, yes, she checks the expiration and eliminates about half of my coupons. I am SHOCKED! I have never had this happen at my Fry's. (It's the one on Waddel and Litchfield,FYI. I'm linking to them so they know I'm talking about them...) She says, "Don't you have any other coupons?" Are you kidding me, yes I have millions of coupons. But she has a line about a mile long behind me and she's suggesting that I go through my coupons. Ugh. I say, "I'll just be returning the items that I didn't get coupons taken for." So, now I've been in the store for an hour. And I do what any reasonable coupon-aholic would do. I pull over to the side, sort through the rest of my coupons looking for non-expired ones, and put aside the items that do not have coupons. Duh. So, my poor Mati has been patiently (for a three year old) waiting for me. And now I march us over to the Customer Service desk, where we wait in another line for about 10 more minutes. Then I have to do two more transactions; one for the returns, and one for the coupons that I did find to go with already purchased items. It was 11:45 by the time we walked out the door. I had been there since 10.

Overall I saved about $51 and spent $44. Do you think it was worth my time?

Anyways, I had two more stores to hit after that and so we just got home. Wow. What a day. But happily I shopped for two weeks of groceries (except chicken (which I'll get tomorrow at Sam's), milk and eggs) and spent about $86. I think it was worth it. What about you?


Erik said...

Saving Money...Heck Yeah it was worth it! Good Job Babe!

Charissa said...

Yes, you did the right thing! I am proud of you, I would have just gotten mad and paid for all of it and left the store. Maybe next time that happens to me, I'll do what you did :) By the way, I am always in the store for at least an hour or more. It's very hard matching the coupons & having a child w/ you. Keep it up. But, I do advise cleaning out your coupons once a month. I only use expired coupons that are w/in 1-2 weeks old.

Katie @ 3 Blondes and a Redhead said...

The expiration thing is annoying. Especially some of the P&G coupons...I just cut out some from yesterday that expire on 4/30. I honestly don't think I'll even use one by then, but just in case.

I also go through my coupons and clean them out every month or two, then I send them to The Happy Housewife
who sends them to soldiers who can use expired coupons up to 6 months past their expiration date. So my wasted cutting time is going to SOMEONE'S good use.

And yes. You did awesome today. Totally worth it, my friend. Doesn't your Fry's have a Kids Club? I can't coupon with kids in tow...just too distracting for me. Bravo!

Erin said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. Not that it makes you feel any better but my shopping was nightmare this week as well. My fry's overcharged me $15 and the manager was my cashier- yikes. What's wrong with that? I thought computers were supposed to save the world, but they messed up my milk price- stupid computer.... Hang in there, you're doing a great job and so is Mati!

chandy said...

Well, two hours of coupon clipping, plus 2 hours of shopping to save $50 works out to an earned net income of $12.50/hour... (not factoring in things like cost of newspaper to get coupons, extra drive time and gas for shopping in multiple stores, etc.) That's well over minimum wage, and as long as your lost opportunity costs weren't greater, I'd say it was definitely worth it!

I coupon as well, but often find that I'm better off just buying store brand items without a coupon. It also seems that most coupons are for things I never buy... On a good trip, I can usually only find about 6 coupons that are useful for me...

Jessie said...

Actually, $12.50 an hour is WAY more than I pull in any day! :)

So, the thing that works about couponing is when you can find stuff for free because they are on sale and also have a coupon. That's when you can stock up. Otherwise, yes, it's cheaper to buy store brands. That's what I do. Buy store brands if the other brands are not on sale with a coupon.

Except ketchup. I love Heinz. I can't handle anything else. And now that I'm talking about it, I kind of want some french fries too...

Allie Z said...

I can't help but snicker. I can TOTALLY relate. I do the same thing. I get heated when the cashiers are LAME OH! :)

I shop along Bell Rd near 51st Ave & I-17. I actually had 10 transactions at Safeway with both hubby and kiddos in tow. NEVER AGAIN. They wanted to come. I must have been crazy to think it'd work out easily. HAHAHA

I found your site from Katie @ 3 Blondes & a Redhead. Cute blog!