Over the past couple of weeks I have talked to a lot of people who are starting to use coupons. It seems like every time I go into a store I am stopped by at least one or two people who ask if I use coupons...I guess the big coupon binder kind of gives it away. :) I LOVE that people are interested in using coupons and saving money...we could all stand to save, right?
It seems like the majority of people that have stopped me have mentioned seeing the Extreme Couponing show on TLC. The show caught their attention and they want to learn how to shop like that. My response to them...you really aren't going to be able to save like that in San Angelo. Yes, you can get GREAT deals here, but it isn't like what you see on TV. Our stores place limits on coupons, doubling/tripling, and we just don't see the same number of deals that you can find in other cities/store chains. This isn't meant to be discouraging, but more of a reality...if you know what to expect then you won't get discouraged when you can't buy $2000.00 of groceries for under $10.00. Once you start using coupons, you should easily be able to save 50% to 75% off your bill on a regular basis.
I am sure that TLC encourages the people on their show to come up with the biggest, most extravagant trips they can...I mean, it is called Extreme, right. I can almost guarantee that the majority of those shoppers do not make weekly trips to the stores that are like that. If you'll notice on the show, many of them say that this is their biggest trip ever.
Many of the people talk about never having to pay for toilet paper, paper towels, juice, etc. Well, realistically we can't do the same things here in San Angelo, but we can still save a lot. Below is a list of some of the prices that I regularly spend on grocery staples...something a little more realistic that we can all shoot for. This is not a list that you should try to match...just wanted to show you what works for our family and to give you an idea of some of the prices you can expect to find in San Angelo when you combine sales with coupons. If I have run out of a certain item and cannot find it for the prices I am willing to pay, I usually hold off on buying it until I can find another sale. If it is something that we really want/need then I will try to buy the cheapest brand/product until the next sale
Dental Floss FREE
Deodorant FREE to $0.50
Shampoo FREE to $0.50
Toilet Paper $1.00 for a 4 pack (double rolls)
Cleaning Supplies FREE to $1.00 (depending on type/size/etc.)
Laundry Detergent $1.00 to $1.50 (32 load, HE detergent...you can get even better deals if you don't buy HE)
Dryer Sheets FREE to $0.50
Liquid Hand Soap FREE to $0.30
Yogurt $0.10-$0.15 per cup (The highest I'll spend is $0.25 per cup, but I try to stick with $0.10 to $0.15)
Eggs $0.79-$0.99 per dozen
Fruit $0.99/lb. (I try to stick with buying fruit in season and spending under $1.00/lb. This doesn't always happen, but it is my goal every shopping trip)
Bagged Salad $0.99 (I love the convenience of bagged salad, but it is expensive. I try to buy the items that are on quick sale and reduced to $0.99)
Baby Carrots $1.00/lb.
Frozen Veggies $0.50 or less per bag (If I am running low, I might purchase them for $0.65-$0.75 per bag, but I try to stick with $0.50)
Ice Cream (BLUE BELL) $2.00 or less per 1/2 gallon. (If you are not particular about your brand you should be able to get some other GREAT deals)
Frozen Pizza $2.50 or less
Canned Vegetables $0.25-$0.35
Canned Soup $0.25-$0.50
Pasta FREE to $0.50
Rice FREE to $0.50
Hamburger Helper FREE to $0.50
Tuna FREE to $0.25
Tomato Sauce FREE to $0.15 (8 ounce cans)
Spaghetti Sauce $0.50 to $1.00 (depending on brand/size)
Ketchup FREE to $0.25
Mustard FREE to $0.10
Peanut Butter FREE to under $1.00
Cake Mix FREE to $0.50
Brownie Mix FREE to $0.50
Crackers (Wheat Thins, Triscuits, Ritz, etc.) $1.00 or less per box
Cereal $1.00 or less per box
Oatmeal FREE (instant/quick oats) to $1.00 or less (box of prepackaged microwave packets)
Chips $1.50 or less per bag
Soy Sauce $0.50 or less
BBQ Sauce FREE to $0.30
Worcestershire Sauce FREE
Tabasco Sauce FREE
Juice $0.99 or less
Bread $1.50 or less (I like to keep it under $1.00 a loaf, but my husband prefers the more expensive bread, so I'll buy the more expensive bread every now and then)
Hamburger Buns/Hotdog buns $0.79
Flour Tortillas FREE to $0.50
Ground Turkey $1.00/lb.
Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast $1.29/lb. to $1.88/lb.
Roast $1.99/lb. or less
Ground Beef $2.00/lb. or less (I try to stock up on ground beef when HEB has a meal deal...buy ground beef get 3 or 4 other things FREE. Ground beef can be expensive, but if you get extras thrown in for free then I think it is a better deal.)
Feel free to add any of your own stock up prices for items in the comments below.