Grocery Store Bargains… and a Mess-Up – Frugal Novice

Grocery Store Bargains… and a Mess-Up

I’m getting better and better at the whole coupon thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a LONG way to go. I looked up ideas for organizing coupons, and some people put me to shame! I had been using a little accordion file with about 5 pockets in it, but I found it was really hard to view the coupons this way, and I ended up wasting some. I found this site that outlines some of the many ways people choose to organize, and decided that the binder approach would work best for me. I’ve bought the binder (and some tabs to separate different categories) but am on the hunt for the little baseball card sheets. Once I have everything together I’ll post about it so you can see the process.

So, like I said before I got all distracted with my excitement about organizing(!!), I am getting better about using coupons – especially at combining coupons with sale items to get the maximum discount. This shopping trip I had two particularly great coupons from VocalPoint – one for a free box of Kashi cereal, and one for $1.50 off Clever Kids fruit snacks (which are on sale for $2.00 right now at HEB). That’s about $5 in savings right there! The store also had a combo deal where you get two free mega-rolls of paper towels with the purchase of Glad trash bags, which were already on my shopping list. I found a coupon ON the trash bag box, saving me another 55 cents and making the cost of the name brand bags almost the same as the generic.  I bought formula for C, and had $10 in coupons toward that, and found a $1.00 coupon in-store for the granola bars I buy. Overall I saved $22.64 between the coupons and sale items (17%). That doesn’t even include money saved by purchasing store brands rather than name brands. I need to start calculating that too!

I got home from the store and bragged to Brian a little about my savings. Then, as I balanced the checkbook, I analyzed my receipt a little more to pinpoint the best deals… when I noticed it. I had bought three onions, which should have cost around $1.20, but the cashier rang them up as “tomatoes on the vine”, so the onions cost $4.83 instead! A mess-up for sure. I’ve definitely learned the lesson that I should pay attention as things are being rung up. I didn’t try to dispute the charge, because I don’t know how I’d prove that I had actually bought onions instead of tomatoes. With the onions costing $3.63 more than they should have, that brings my savings down to $19.01 (14.5%). Still a decent savings, but it kills me that I basically gave money away by not paying attention.

This week is Spring Break for me and the boys – I’m trying to think of fun (and hopefully mostly FREE) things for us to do together. I’ll let you know what I end up planning. Have a great day, everyone!

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  • Charla March 14, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    I ALWAYS go back to the grocery store and tell them if they’ve overcharged me or made a mistake. They always take my word for it as long as I have a receipt, and of course I’m honest about it. Some stores (Krogers and Albertsons) used to give the product for free if they overcharged. Albertsons doesn’t do that anymore. I’m not sure about Krogers. Two or three years ago, I bought batteries at Krogers that were supposed to be on sale but they charged full price. I took my receipt to the service desk and the clerk refunded my money and told me there was no charge, so I got over $9 worth of batteries for free. I really didn’t expect that, but it was a nice savings!
    .-= Charla´s last blog ..Four Foods On Friday 108 =-.

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  • Rebecca Peters December 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    I like to save money off coupons as well, it makes me feel like I am contributing more to the household. Mess ups always happen. You couldve went back, but remember to always weigh the costs of gas it takes to get there and back too! Thats why I hardly ever return things anymore if its under 10 bucks.