Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Grocery Experiment I: Coupons

So, for those of you who don't know, I am trying out a new grocery shopping regimen. My neighbor Erin spends about $200 less per month than what we do, so I am copying everything she does for a couple of months to see if her system works for us. They have a little boy about 3 months younger than the Bean, so we should be spending about the same amount. (Disclaimer: she is still nursing and therefore does not have the $40/month formula cost that we do.) So here's her routine: she does her "big" grocery trip at Publix and uses coupons from the Sunday paper. She takes advantage of their buy one get one free sales and plans her menus around that and their sale items. She also shops at Costco for several items. Lastly she uses Super Suppers, or at least she has for the past 2-3 months. I have been shopping at Costco for just a couple of items, and using Wal-mart for my "big" grocery trip with no coupons. I grocery shop every two weeks. I'll post on coupons, Costco, Super Suppers, and at the end, whether or not my new routine saves me money.

So, onto the topic at hand: are grocery coupons worth it? Well, I decided to get an 8 week subscription to the Sunday paper to find out. The subscription cost me $10, or $1.25 per week. The first trip to Publix I saved $7.55 in coupons, and another $22.57 in BOGO sales for a total savings of $31.12. The second trip to Publix I saved $13.23 in coupons and another $9.32 in BOGO sales for a total savings of $22.55. The biggest bargain so far has been using a 75 cent coupon on a BOGO Nature Valley granola bars, so I got two boxes of granola bars for only 67 cents. (Publix doubles your coupons every day up to $1. I.e. if you have a 50 cent coupon, they'll double it to $1, but if you have a 55 cent coupon you only get 55 cents off.) Obviously, the paper easily pays for itself. So no matter where I shop, I am now a believer in coupons. Even at Wal-mart it would've saved a few dollars.

So far, so good. Next I am going to try out Super Suppers. Erin and I are signed up for next week. I'll keep ya posted.


katie said...

i think you have the personality to make coupons work. they send me to such frustration (forgetting them, the off-brand is cheaper, etc.) that the money saved is not worth the attitude gained!! for the benefit of my family, i said, "NO MORE!"
(i also said this about shopping at walmart... i have issues!)
but sounds like you're the champ with things like this...

Allison said...

Also check out
They have all the coupons that come out in the paper, but you can view them by category and pick out only the ones you want (up to 10 coupons per item). And for me it's cheaper to do this than it is to get the paper. Can't wait to find out how the system works. Take good notes!