Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Harris Teeter--Can coupons save money?

We as a family have cut out coupons by the dozen with the intentions of using them. However, it seems like we have only managed to use a coupon here and there. It just seems like so much work between gathering the coupons, cutting them out, and the extra time spent at the grocery store. Lately I have seen the news story on a family on living on $1500 a year. They had a blog but for whatever reason it was taken down before I got a chance to get any ideas from her site.
I started to look around the Internet trying to find ideas on ways to save money. I thought that we were doing pretty well by only spending about $5200 a year-$100 a week. However, I ran across numerous coupon sites and blogs where people were living on less than me--one lady says $800 a year --Jane4girls---and I decided that I should at least try to save more money.

My problem with the food coupons themselves are that there seems to be plenty for the fluff items like chips, snacks, and just stuff we don't buy. I try to shop frugally all the time(but without coupons) and I try to stay somewhat healthy. All packaged foods seem to be bad for you, so it is hard to stay away from all "bad" things. The coupons don't cover things like chicken and meat. But I decided that I was going to go shopping and make the effort to see if I could save money by using coupons.

I found online what North Carolina stores double coupons. The only two in North Carolina close by me are Harris Teeter and Lowes grocery stores. Next I gathered all the coupons from the last three months of Sunday newspapers. I proceeded to cut them out spread over a two day period. That was a lot of work in itself and I was already wondering if it was worth it. I just kept reminding myself that if I continued using coupons in the future that I would have much less to cut out. That is if I didnt let them pile up like before! We separated them into piles. I found later that it would be much easier if I had a coupon organizer.

Today after I left the gym, I planned a trip to Harris Teeter to shop. Before we moved here, I used to shop for groceries at this store all the time. When we moved here, where it is much more rural, I found that shopping at Walmart was much more convenient. Harris Teeter has a Vic store card program that I had used before, and I still had my card. Plus they double up to 20 coupons that are 99 cents or less. Let me say that this being my first time trying to really coupon shop, this trip was time consuming! Again, you really need an organizer.

I saved $40.94 between the Vic store card and the ten coupons I ended up using--they doubled 8 of them. I paid $51.08 for about 31 items! That sounds great! I wanted to use more, but I found that the prices seemed really high. I do most of our shopping, so I had a general idea of what I pay for things at Walmart. All in all, $40 sounds great and some items I bought really were a bargain. But I know on some of the things I bought the prices were a little higher that what I might normally pay. This store was slightly out of my way, so I may not make all this effort at this store again. I might try Lowes grocery because they double and see what their prices look like. We will see if Walmart keeps my business and if I stick with coupons!


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  2. RyansDad, you can actually find coupons for produce, meat and dairy all the time. You just have to know where to look. Also contacting the manufacturer of companies often results in FREE item coupons.

  3. Good luck on your coupon adventure. In case no one has pointed it out please check out Hotcouponworld.com

    You should also learn the ropes of CVS and Walgreens as that is the secret to free HBA, household and cleaning supplies.

    Sounds like you are doing great so far.

    You can find me at elle-tn.blogspot.com

  4. Hey, Thanks for your comments. I was already planning on trying places like CVS, Walgreens, and Target, and Walmart. Thanks Jane and I have you on my bloglist. Thanks Elle, I have you bookmarked and will be checking your site out!

    RyansDad www.moneylifedebt.blogspot.com