Couponing in SLOW MOTION Buying to Earn Money

As a couponer, I am often asked if I end up buying stuff that I do not need.

The answer is often, Yes.  Because you can make money buying stuff.

And then if you don’t want the stuff, you can give it away.

But you still made money for the food you do need.

I will explain.  I will try to go in slow motion since sometimes, when excited, couponers talk too fast and lose the listener.

Last night, we needed desperately, WIPES. And pretty soon there will be a need for Tampons. ( I know–TMI–I’m just keepin’ it real.)  Those two items were really all that was on our list for imminent need.  I could have popped out to the store and purchased both items and with coupons gotten them for maybe $6-8 dollars.  But I decided to wait till this AM.  Here’s why.

This morning, our grocery store, Harris Teeter, that I love and want to marry someday, is running SUPER DOUBLES. This means all coupons up to $1.98 will double.  And my store is awesome so it even doubles the ones that say DO NOT DOUBLE.

They are also running some great INSTANT SAVINGS and CATALINA PROMOTIONS.

Instant Savings means that if you buy a certain number of certain items, a certain amount of money will come off your total.

Catalina Promotions mean that if you buy a certain number of certain items, that manufacturer will reward you with a coupon that prints out at the end of your transaction and says something like “THANK YOU FOR BUYING HAMBURGER HELPER. ENJOY $3 off your next shopping trip at HARRIS TEETER.”

So . . . .  I’ll try to make this simple. (It did take me an hour to plan this . . . .)

I had to buy 20 items to get $6 off my order. I picked items that I had good doubling coupons and that rewarded me with a catalina.  Here’s what I bought.

$3.23

These items cost me $3.23 after my doubled coupons and instant savings.  As my cashier was ringing me up, she said, “See, I never eat any of this stuff.”  I didn’t respond because actually in this case, we DO eat all of this stuff, but I waited.  Because at the end of my order, after I paid $3.23, three coupons spit out of the printer.

I got a $3 off my next order for buying 8 boxes of veggies–though I got 9 since my coupons were multiples of 3.

Then I got $3 off my next order for buying 6 qualifying Pillsbury products.  Now you may not use these, but you can give them away at this price.  I think the pizza crusts are very convenient.

And then I got yet another $3 off my next order for buying 5 Hamburger Helpers–though again, I got 6 because of multiples and to satisfy the 20 items.  Now many foodies will turn up their noses at HH, so I give you leave to donate them to a food pantry, BUT my kids love them AND they made me money.

So with my $9 in coupons for my next order and my other coupons that I knew would double, I bought THIS for . . . $8.01. . . .

That’s right, 2 boxes tampons, 320 wipes–already ripped into b/c they were NEEDED, a half pork loin, Kool-Aid Fizz, 2 Wholly Guacs, 2 boxes Ziplocs, 2 tubs margarine (I gave one to my mom before photo), a Lunchable, wing sauce, and a dozen eggs.

FOR $8.

So, for the cost of $11.23, I got ALL OF THIS.

By this point, I had to throw in a snide reference to the clerk who I think realized at this point that I wasn’t just some loser mom who bought a bunch of junk for her kids (tho I was), but rather I was a professional buyer, workin’ my trade. :)

So, even if you want to argue that I didn’t NEED some of the stuff, I would challenge you that without the REWARD for buying it, I couldn’t have saved as much on the second transaction.

Since HT only doubles 20 coupons a day, you better believe I’ll be going back every day to do this deal until my coupons run out.

IF YOU’RE STILL SKEPTICAL, THINK OF IT THIS WAY . . .

Even if you just went in with NO coupons and you bought 20 boxes of these veggies at .99 cents each, you would get $6 in INSTANT SAVINGS and get a $3 CATALINA off your next order.  So that is 20 boxes of veggies for $11. The coupons for these are easily printable online, so $11 for 20 boxes of veggies is the MOST you would pay–without even trying . . . .

Does anyone use frozen veggies in the winter?  Anyone? Anyone?

E-mail me if you have questions . . .

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I SAVED $90 off the value of these items . . .

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11 Responses to Couponing in SLOW MOTION Buying to Earn Money

  1. Megan September 15, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    I wish we had Harris Teeter near us! Our grocery store will every once in a while do a week where they will double $1 coupons, but a limit of 5 for the whole week. Normally they will only double up to 50 cent coupons, for a total of $1. Oh well, I still manage to find some decent deals sometimes.

  2. Stephanie September 15, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    Great job! I never do quite this well, but I do okay when I coupon…

  3. Angie September 15, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    Oh, I’m missing this! I keep trying to encourage my mom to go. My grocery store will double 5 coupons on Wednesday, but only if you spend $25 dollars first. How generous. Looks like you had a good time!

    • thelowryder September 15, 2010 at 7:17 pm #

      For those of you who don’t have coupon deals like super doubles, almost ALL stores do the other kinds of promotions. So while you might not get it quite as cheaply, you can still make money off your expenditures for other items that you need to buy!

  4. Eleanor September 15, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    Katrina – you are an inspiration!!! I’ve been doing pretty well with couponing but I want to get even better. I can’t wait until I have a shopping trip like this one! :-)

  5. thefunnysister September 15, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    Thanks, thanks, a lot Katrina. I was all excited and prepared with my coupons and my list and now you’ve completely forced me to compete and beat your savings.

  6. Teri September 15, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    Awesome! I soooo wish we had HT… I see it on SouthernSavers that HT is doing super doubles and I go completely green with envy. Publix is pretty good in that they often put out store coupon booklets that we can then stack, but I can’t remember the last time I actually GOT one of them (somehow, our store never has them, grrr.) and they only double up to 50 cents. Just once, I want to be in Waxhaw when superdoubles rolls around!

  7. Kay Bruner September 15, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    I think I need therapy because there is something pathological about my inability to think about numbers. AT ALL. No matter how slow you go, I just start getting anxious and by the time I’m at the end, I need a valium. However, I remember that you said Aldi is OK, and I am trusting you on that. Until I stopped at the book table at Costco (which I know is not the cheapest, but they have those teeny little cucumbers I can’t get anywhere else). And, there on the book table, is a book by Barbara Kingsolver about only eating things that are grown near you. Which, since I love Wendell Berry and hope I get to live next to him in heaven, I have already feeling guilty about not doing ever since I read Jayber Crow about 10 years ago. All my favorite authors are ganging up on me. (Breathing into paper bag)

    • thelowryder September 16, 2010 at 7:12 am #

      Well, I agree about eating things grown near you, but as the season is fast approaching where neither tampons, wipes, nor veggies are grown near me, I feel no compunctions. :) Since math is not my strong suit either just think this way, if you could go into the bank and give them three dollars and them hand you nine, would you? That is basically what I did except I gave three dollars and a stack of coupons. And they give me a bunch of food and nine dollars worth of coupons. I think you would . . . .

  8. Lisa P September 15, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    Good job on the sales! Look at all those veggies :)

  9. Shelly @ Coupon Teacher September 15, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    You did great! I wish my store would double the printable DND coupons!