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Week 3 and a half

I was finally able to get to the store for stuff other than dire needs. It was a good learning experience in end-of-sale shopping, and I got a little coupon haggling in too :)

For starters, I did remarkably well - only a couple of the things I had set out to buy were sold out, and those things were really just padding the pantry and not total necessities. I did miss a really good sale on pasta, and they were out of the whole roaster chickens I had hoped to pick up. Loss leaders like those WILL sell out, so they are worth going early for. I had to hit 3 stores, but the final tallies looked like this:

Amount spent: $29.77
Amount saved: $36.51

I got about 12 pounds of meat, 18 eggs, fruit, pasta sauce, batteries, butter spread, canned tuna, and toothpaste. Plenty to keep us going for a few weeks! My biggest victory was on the butter spread - it was also a lesson in making sure you FULLY understand what your coupon covers and what the sales are. The smaller tubs of Shedds Spread were 4/$5 - not a bad deal, but not spectacular. EXCEPT the store flyer had a coupon - buy 2 tubs, get $2 off eggs, AND Couponmom reminded me of a $1 off 2 tubs coupon from a couple of weeks ago. So the 2 tubs were $2.50 total, and the 18 eggs would have been $2.79. Less the $2 eggs coupon and the $1 spread coupon, and I paid $2.29 for ALL THREE! WOO!

Lesson learned - KNOW what your coupons say and how the sale should work. When I handed the clerk my coupons, she rang in the $2 eggs coupon and then told me I couldn't use the coupon for the spread. I reminded her that the store coupon was for the eggs, not the spread. THEN she tried to point out that the coupon was only for the Country Crock Omega spread. I pointed out to her that it clearly stated "Good for Country Crock spreads OR Omega". She insisted it couldn't be used, so I asked her to call a manager over. Long story short, they accepted the coupon - but if I hadn't read carefully, I probably would have trusted her and taken the coupon back. Unless SPECIFICALLY STATED (i.e. "cannot be combined with any other offer") you can ALWAYS use manufacturer coupons together with store sales. And don't be afraid to stand up for your savings!

Funny thing, I just found this article on the Couponmom website: Overcoming Coupon Rejection
by Stephanie Nelson
. A smart shopper is an informed shopper!

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