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*Expired* $30 buys $160 Groceries at Kroger

by Freebies4Mom on August 21, 2009 12:06 pm

I spent $30 on 60 participating grocery products in the Kroger Mega Savings Event (that’s about 50 cents per item). I would have spent over $160 if I would have purchased those same items at regular price when they weren’t having a special sales promotion. That’s a savings of about 80%. And on top of that I collected $4.70 worth of Box Tops for Education to give to our Elementary School.

Don’t forget to enter my Kroger $30 Gift Card Giveaway (now expired). Thanks goes to General Mills, PepsiCo, and MyBlogSpark for providing me with the $30 gift card to spend. It certainly was a fun challenge to see just how far I could make my coupons go. I had some special high-value coupons I was saving (like B1G1 Free SoBe), coupons from friends, and coupons from a Kroger mailer that I used.

Here are general grocery store savings tips that can be applied to almost any store:

1. Read the weekly ad. It seems pretty basic, but most people do not read their weekly ad. Read it so you know what’s on sale and about any special promotions.

2. Buy items on sale. Look for the good sales on items your family normally eats. Even better use your coupons when those items are on sale to increase your savings.

3. Take advantage of store promotions. Look for store promotions where you get extra savings for buying a specific number of participating items.

4. Watch for Catalina deals. But as I found out, don’t bet on them. They can be unreliable meaning they just don’t always print for you and there’s not much you can do about it. I got a $1.50 Catalina coupon in my above transaction, but I was expecting to get more. For some reason the printing only triggered once, proving to me once again that Catalina deals are unreliable.

5. Use coupons. Gather all the coupons you can, then use the ones that will save you the most on what you need or what you can stock-up on while it’s on sale. If your store offers eCoupons, use them. I used a coupon on every single item I bought, and I even got a peelie coupon for free Old El Paso taco seasoning for buying the taco shells. I also took advantage of my Kroger doubling and tripling coupons so that my lower value coupons ($0.35) were actually worth more than my higher value coupons.

6. Do rebates. I’ve listed some “free after rebate” offers that you may want to take advantage of. Just be sure to read all the details and make sure you complete your rebate request correctly

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessie September 30, 2009 at 1:34 pm

So I saw the NY Times article, and I have a new mission in life to be able to save like you did. However, since I'm a grad student, I have certain limitations that are just harder to overcome, like time and transportation. I was wondering if you had any advice for me. I'm making myself follow through by tracking my progress on my own blog: http://collegecheapo.blogspot.com/ If you have any great ideas, please let me know! Thanks so much!!

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Candice A September 24, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Can anyone tell me how to stretch $42 for the month? My husband is the only one working at the moment. We are reciving Lonestar (foodstamp) and that is all we are able to get. I am praying that i am going to be the next coupon queen!! My family really needs me to be and with all the extra time i think i can do it just need some advice!! Thanks

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Laura C August 29, 2009 at 5:35 am

It looks like you should have gotten a Catalina for the General Mills Better Crocker fruit snacks. That deal runs through 9/6 and is $1.50 for 3 boxes, $2.50 for 4 boxes, and $3.50 for 5 boxes (I have the little Catalina advertisement that printed out at some point in time). I don't know what happens if you buy more than 5 in one transaction – could that be the problem? I've been buying these things (my kids LOVE them for a treat) by the ton this week and last, but always 5 in a transaction (along with 5 other items to get the 10 mega event price), with 40cents coupons that double, and rolling the catalina. It's printed every time for me. Nature Valley has pretty much the same deal $1.50 for 3 up to $3.50 for 5, don't know the dates for that one. Great deals!

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NeedANap2 August 24, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Heather in VA,I have had that problem before. I insist that they ask a manager. One cashier pulled a clipboard off the wall and showed me a letter from 2006! Uh, probably doesn't apply anymore? This was like 11 pm when there was only one cashier on duty. Usually, I politely ask for my coupon back if they won't take it when I say that Kroger does take printable coupons. Their policy changes on a whim (I've seen a notice by the timeclock b/c it's right by the bathroom before).I can just tell you to try again with a different cashier if the manager isn't available. Sometimes the manager will inspect the coupon to death and then take it. They don't want fraudulent coupons for $10 off a $1.50 product.Heather, I've seen other blogs that have called the Catalina # but I don't know what to do when I only know about the Catalina from someone else's blog and therefore don't know if I really should have gotten it or not. I wish the Catalina website posted each one and dates and stores available! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Heather August 23, 2009 at 9:03 pm

I went to kroger today and alot of the coupons I use are from online and the cashier informed me that they do not take online coupons. I was wondering if anyone else has come across this problem? I live in the Hampton Roads area of VA.

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Anonymous August 23, 2009 at 10:44 am

I have had many problem with Catalina coupons not printing like you, especially at Walgreens. They can be very unreliable. If I do Catalina deals, usually the deal is great by itself and if the Catalina prints then that is just a bonus! But I don't rely on them printing as they can be too unpredictable.-R

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Anonymous August 22, 2009 at 10:56 pm

ErinYou were doing exactly what you should have been doing!"A purchase" is defined by the manufacturer as "buying the quanity specified on the coupon". You bought 2 bottles which is the quantity indicated on the coupon in order for you to qualify to use one coupon.So for every 2 bottles you buy, you have "a purchase" and can use one coupon.This is the reason they use "per purchase" and not "one coupon per item", because many times you have to purchase multiples of and item in order to use 1 coupon.Hope that makes senseIf the manufacturer only wanted you to use one coupon period they would have put on the coupon "limit one coupon per customer/transaction. Although it is not common, these couopon do exist, many times for free products.I know it can be very frustrating, and misinformed cashieers can be stubborn. Its best to then have them remove every single item they will not accept the coupons for and purchase it another day, and/or from another cashier. "Freebies for Moms" tips for handling coupon coupon rejection is also helpful, as well as the readers comments there!

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Carrie August 21, 2009 at 11:27 pm

I would love to see what you all bought and what coupons you used. My friends and I got together to do our grocery pow-wow and put our Fry's lists together. Can't wait to go!

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Ann August 21, 2009 at 6:52 pm

You are awesome! God bless your talent! ๐Ÿ˜›

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Dawn S August 21, 2009 at 6:01 pm

Great job! I would love to see a breakdown of sorts on which items you had coupons for, etc!

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Danielle August 21, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Hi! Great deals. I just wanted to let you know that can call Catalina. They are great about it and will send out the coupons in the mail. Their number is 1-888-8coupons

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Denise August 21, 2009 at 4:40 pm

WOW, that's amazing!! You go girl!

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Corrie at "Cents"able Momma August 21, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Great trip! Hopefully I'll do as well tomorrow when I go :-).

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Brooke August 21, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Erin~ MANY MANY MANY ppl say Walmart gives a hell of a time on coupons so you will avoid using them. I do not shop there that often and gen just use Kroger, I used 2 cpns there one day and the lady inspected them as if they may be fraudulent they were for a total of 80 cents……its ridiculous I think they train their cashiers to do this.

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Erin August 21, 2009 at 2:54 pm

I went to Walmart last week equipped with my coupons. I purchased everything that the coupons said and had several of the same coupons. Although I went according to the coupon, the Walmart clerk told me that I was not allowed to do what I was doing that although I was buying 10 bottles of Suave body wash and had 5 coupons to save $1.00 on two she said I was only allowed to use one per purchase/visit. I told her that I was using one per purchase, but that I was purchasing 10 bottles therefore I could use 5 coupons, She told me that is not what they mean. Anyone else have this problem?

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Jessica-MomForHim August 21, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Great job! It's so fun saving money! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Melissa August 21, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Very nice! I saved 79% on my trip and am already planning another trip before the event is over. This is a great time to stock up!

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Becky August 21, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Awesome! I love these kinds of sales at Kroger.

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Amy August 21, 2009 at 12:11 pm

You rock! That is what I'm hoping for when I get to go Monday!

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