Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Coupon Queen

My kids have a really cute card game called Sleeping Queens. In it, there are about a dozen cards with various funky queens on them, like the Cake Queen, the Dog Queen, the Peacock Queen, etc, and they remain upside down until you draw a king from the deck, such as the Tie-Dye king, and use it to wake one of the queens up and claim it as your own. Well, if I were one of those queens, I would be the Coupon Queen.

Whereas the Pancake Queen has hotcakes thoughtfully glued to her hips and a butter hat, I would have a fanny pack with a giant binder to hold all my various paper treasures. There would be a pair of scissors tucked behind my ear, and perhaps a backpack for the new Sunday papers. I would definitely be wearing a cat-ladyesque outfit, and a hat that still has the price tag dangling from it, like that lady in the 80's commercial.

I admit it, I'm a coupon freak. I buy both the local paper AND the major metropolitan paper, because inexplicably they have different coupons in them. For instance, if the local paper has a BOGO deal on cheese sticks, the big paper will have $.55 off one bag. I don't know why this is, since it's the same cheese. Maybe they do demographic studies that show people in different areas like different deals, or some such thing. Seems like a waste of research dollars to me, but I'm happy to clip both and take advantage of the company that's gouging me six ways to Tuesday on the freakin' things.

I typically only do one large grocery run every two weeks, with small runs mid-week for fruit, etc. Also, I get my milk weekly from a local Amish market, because it's from free-range, happy cows and comes in quaint glass bottles that I can bring back the next week to trade in for more. I usually go through about three quarts of milk in a week, with a little left over in a cup in the fridge, and if I get that size, Josie can get her own milk.

Today, I was about orgasmic because not only did I need to do a BIG grocery trip, I had also earned a 10% off my entire grocery purchase coupon a few weeks ago, plus I had a giant pile of coupons from the extra P&G brand flier that came out in last week's paper. I always save the 10% coupons for the biggest trips imaginable, and buy half the store. One time I actually saved so much they had to call a manager because the computer kicked it back as an error! So, today, with my overflowing cart, I saved (drumroll, please):


Thank you, thank you, you're too kind, really. :)

It breaks down like this: about $40 in coupons, $6 in doubled coupons, and the rest in store card savings. I kind of don't count the store card savings, because I feel like they just inflate the prices so they can then give discounts later, but at least it looks good on my receipt.

The only downside to the coupon thing is that it takes me longer to shop with all the paper shuffling. I typically spend about an hour and a half at the store, and I definitely don't bring the kids, EVER.

Even better, this particular grocery chain gives $.10 off a gallon of gasoline at their pumps every time you spend $100 during a specific time period. For instance, between now and May 5th, I will accrue a point for every dollar I spend, and each hundred points gives me a dime off every gallon of gas on one fill up. If I use the points midway during the earning period, I can start all over again until the accrual period is over, and use whatever I have by the end of the timeframe.
Today, I happened to talk to the chatty bagger girl, who told me that there was a price war on with a new station, and gas was only $2.99 a gallon. That's a good quarter cheaper than everywhere else in town! Luckily, I was needing to fill up, so I headed over, and since I did my ginormous grocery trip today, it boosted my point bank to over 600, so I got $.60 off on top of the price war, meaning I filled up my minivan for $2.40 a gallon!!!!! It only cost me $35!!! That, my friends, is better than sex, no matter how you slice it (especially after ten years of marriage).


AndreAnna said...

If I pay you 1/2 of what you can save in coupons, can you shop for me?

Creative Kerfuffle said...

first--holy crap you saved $125??? that is awesome and i bow down to your thriftiness.
second--dude, i don't know how i feel about that card game--the queen is nothing until the king wakes her and claims her for his own? LOL : )

desperate housewife said...

Wow, you put me to SHAME- I can barely remember to use my diaper coupons.

Mrs. M said...

oh how i love coupons! i get so excited when I get to look at the bottom of my receipt and run home to tell my husband that I saved $39!!! That's not too shabby considering there are only 2 of us!