Today was my first-ever real attempt at triple-couponing success. Occasionally over the years I've shown up to triple-coupon events with a handful of coupons and no plan, but it always ended in frustration -- certain products were out, or (without a calculator) I wasn't really sure if I was getting a good deal, or the lines were insane, etc.
This time, I was much better prepared. I've been getting coupons for about a month, and they're organized. I went to several cheat-sheet sites that spelled out the best deals: those that would be on VIC special plus had a tripleable (?) coupon (under $1).
Harris Teeter's triple-coupon policy is that you can use only 20 coupons per day, so for the first day I decided to buy only things that were totally free or that I have in the past paid full price for, or both. I didn't want to get cheap frozen pizza, which I normally wouldn't buy, but miss out on free ketchup, for example.
I didn't do nearly as great as Amanda routinely does, and probably wouldn't even be blogging about this if it weren't for NaBloPoMo, but I was really happy with the savings anyway, especially since every single thing I got is something we typically buy anyway. I also had to buy an onion and bacon for baked beans for small group dinner tonight (the bacon had a tripled coupon, but still wasn't a steal), plus turkey for sandwiches at lunch this week (on VIC, but again, not an extraordinary bargain). Without those purchases my savings would have been more impressive. Here's today's breakdown:
Carnation evaporated milk, six cans FREE
Fleischmann's yeast, nine pouches FREE
Mueller's 16-ounce macaroni noodles, two for $.18 each
* 4-ounce Pepto-Bismol, $.54
** Viva Big Roll paper towels, $1.29
Mentos gum, three packs FREE
Campbell's cream of chicken/mushroom soups, six for $.44 each
22-ounce Scrubbing Bubbles, $.24
Newman's Own pasta sauce, $1
16-ounce Smithfield bacon, $1.35
Counting the onion, the sandwich meat and tax, I spent $16.32 and saved $37.89***. Maybe I'll do even better tomorrow!
* We never ever buy brand names of medicines, with one exception: Matt prefers the real thing for Pepto-Bismol. I haven't checked whether this was cheaper than the generic, but it's a whole lot cheaper than the regular price.
** I think I screwed up on these. There was an 85-cent coupon out there that made the paper towels free, but all I had was a 40-cent one, so I used that. I'm not sure whether it was still a good deal or not. It is so hard to comparison-shop for paper towels! Plus, I always go back and forth about whether it's worth it to pay more for better ones. With the cheaper ones I think we go through them twice as fast.
*** It's really not fair to say I saved that much. I would have bought generic evaporated milk, for example, and generic cream-of soups are $.60 every day at Family Dollar (and $.50 this week at Food Lion). I would have skipped the gum. But it sounds better to go with the big number!
On top of the savings, the experience was wonderful. The store wasn't crowded, Claire chilled in the Bjorn without complaint, there was no checkout line, and I ran into people from church who held Claire while I loaded the car.
By the way, I didn't get there early enough to get the Heinz ketchup for free (though Mom and Amanda did). Maybe it will be restocked tomorrow.