Today was the official “kickoff” of my couponing experiment. Here’s a look at the receipt from today’s trip (coupons & utilizing the store’s weekly sale ad) compared to last week (pre-couponing):
Our total bill was $11 higher this week for roughly the same amount of items. However, according to the store, we saved $30 through our efforts, while last week we only saved a paltry $4 (makes sense because we weren’t trying!)
If we supposedly saved so much money this week, then how come our total cost was greater? A couple reasons this might have happened: (1) we had company over for dinner this evening and served salmon with jumbo shrimp– those ingredients alone were almost $40; (2) we got two trays of sushi for $14 (not something we usually do but today was unbelievably busy and we didn’t have time to prepare our own lunch). Otherwise, our cart was generally the same as always.
- We were only able to use a few coupons because many of the items we buy are fresh produce and meat — these things don’t have manufacturers’ coupons.
- The weekly store ad was the best way for us to save on produce and meat by steering towards things that were marked down. (Example: chicken thighs on sale vs. chicken breasts at regular price)
- Coupons will come in handy for toiletries, kitchen goods, and cleaning supplies (trash bags, toothpaste, etc.) that are only bought on occasion. I have quite a few stored in my “later” envelope for when it’s time to restock.
I feel good about our first week of active couponing and sale shopping. Because of a couple big-ticket items, our bill appears slightly higher at first glance. However, we actually saved $26 compared to last week. I anticipate that our efforts will be reflected in the total cost next time since we don’t have any family meals or special purchases planned.
Check back next week for another update!