I scored big-time this week by holding my coupons and waiting for sales. I took the advice from Andrea Woroch, consumer savings expert for Kinoli Inc., who told me, "Track manufacturer coupon release dates and store sale dates, which usually repeat on a dependable cycle of weeks or months." This way, you never overspend your grocery budget by running out of expensive items your family regularly uses because you can buy enough at the special prices to last until the next sale and coupon.
For those who think couponing is not worth the time or effort, consider that the average coupon face value has grown to $1.57, according to NCH Marketing's 2011 Mid-Year Coupon Facts report, and that amount comes right off the top of the item's price.
In the chart below, you can see exactly how I saved $74.64 by taking advantage of sales and using high-value coupons to buy multiples of each item at quite a reduced price.
|Item||Store sale/coupon||Manufacturer coupon||Regular price||Savings|
|Allergy relief||$5 off||$4 off||$19.99 each||$9|
|Candy||BOGO*||$1.50 off two bags||$4.99 each||$6.49|
|Drink mix||BOGO 50 percent off||2, $1 off||$3.97 each||$3.98|
|Tampons||BO 36-count,GO 20-count free||$7.49 each||$3.49|
|Gum||10 for $10||5, $1 off 2 packs||$1.59 each||$10.90|
|Sports drink||Buy 10, get 5 free||10 for $10||$5|
|Greek yogurt||10 for $10||3, $1 off 3 yogurts||$1.29 each||$5.90|
|Coffee||$3.29 each||$1 off two cans||$3.99 each||$2.40|
|Deodorant||Clearance, $2.50 each||2, $1 off||$3.95 each||$4.90|
|Potato chips||BOGO||2, $1 off||$3.29 each||$5.29|
|Ointment/bandages deal||BO ointment, GO bandages||$1.50 off ointment, $1 off bandaids||$8.49 & $2.79||$5.29|
|Cereal||3, $2 off 23 oz. coupons||$1 off 3 boxes||$4.29 each||$7|
|Competitor coupon||$5 off a $30 or more purchase||$5|
Also, Woroch says to always keep your eyes peeled to find more coupons, which is very good advice. I just happened to glance into the cereal box before I threw it away and saw the coffee coupon. Also, I was just about to throw away the circular for the competing store when I noticed the $5 off a $30 purchase coupon on the top right corner.
So let's say I spent a good hour this week clipping coupons and organizing my list. Should I skip the couponing and pay $74.64 more next time? What' your best coupon score?