Monday, November 22, 2010

Last Week's Shopping Trips

I made it to Giant Eagle last Wednesday night (somehow I always manage to make it to the store on the very last day of the sale). Anyway, it was a decent week. You can see what I bought below. I did 4 transactions. Because I had a lot of CATs left from last week, I used them to cover my OOP costs. I paid less than $1 OOP for each transaction. I still have CATs left over from last week and I earned some new ones this week.  Let's see how long I can keep this going. . . . knowing GE, it won't be too long.

I didn't have any coupons for the cranberry sauce or the bread. The cranberry sauce was on sale ($1/1) and I wanted it. The bread was not on sale; we needed it.

Then Saturday night, I finally made it to Rite Aid. My Rite Aid did price match the diapers (I called ahead - just to make sure).  They were happy to do it.

The cat food I added just because we can always use cat food and I had a $1/1 coupon AND I noticed it was on sale for $4.99 AND there was a $1/1 +UP Reward on it. (I went back and checked my ad and could not find it advertised anywhere -  either in last week or this week's ad. The +UP printed just fine . . . in case anyone was wondering.)

The SOBE water is there because I got a FREE SOBE coupon in the mail this week - from when I was playing the SOBE game every day trying to stock up on coupons to use at CVS.

AND as you can see, I had a whole bunch of Herbal Essences/Aussie coupons. Right before I walked out the door to RA, it dawned on me that they would be FREE after coupon if you paired 10 of them with a $5/$25 coupon - and that was if you had $0.50/1 coupons.

I also took in 2 things to return/rebuy (one was the wrong item; the other I needed on a separate receipt for a MIR - neither are pictured) and a pile of receipts to get "fixed."

This is where I'd like to stop and stress how important it is to get to know your RA employees (or any employees at a store you frequent). Treat them like they are real people. Take the time to talk to them. Over time, get to know their likes and dislikes, ask about their families, their jobs, etc. Build a relationship. Why "waste" all that time? There are two very good reasons that this is NOT a waste of time.
          1. You never know when God will use you to minister to the people around you. You will have more opportunity for the gospel if you've been actively working on building relationships. In addition, you'll know better how to pray for your friends and how to encourage them.
          2. You will get better service. This may seem very self serving, but it is true. I would have never been able to get all my receipts "fixed" if the employees didn't know me. On one of the receipts I bought 2 toothbrushes with a raincheck. Only, I was charged for 3 toothbrushes - 2 were on a raincheck and 1 was rung up at full price. Because I knew the cashier and I have shown consistency in shopping habits, he quickly refunded the price of the 3rd toothbrush . . . which I didn't actually buy. On another receipt, I'd bought 3 Huggies diapers, but coupons had only been scanned on 2. I know that I gave the cashier 3 Huggies coupons, but she only scanned 2 (accidentally). I also know that I didn't get any Huggies coupons back, which means they all went into RA's drawer (ie, RA got reimbursed for them). Once again, the cashier Saturday night knew me and my shopping habits. He knew that I would not have bought the diapers without a coupon. Because he couldn't figure out how to do a post coupon sale without the coupon . . . he signed my receipt and told me to use it as a coupon the next time I came in (ie. show it to the cashier to get $3 off any transaction.). What the cashier/manager did for me Saturday night is not in RA policy. He was not required to do that. But he did, because he knows me and trusts that I am telling him the truth.

PLEASE NOTE: I have been shopping that RA almost every single week for over a year now. It takes time to build a relationship. Give it time. Do not demand that cashiers/managers give you special treatment - earn it. They will give it when you've earned it. Be genuine. Flattery is not genuine. And most importantly, take every opportunity to minister that God gives you.


  1. Thank you Erin for the encouragement. Keep it up!

  2. I'm new to site and this whole coupon matching thing! :) I have a few questions... I'm guessing you use multiples of the same coupon to get the amount of same items you have. How many papers do you typically get every Sunday? Or do you get the coupons(besides the printed ones) from some where else?
    Another question is do you know why sometimes at Rite Aid when I have a low total (after coupons) when I use the +Up Rewards to pay it will say "$0.03 purchase required to use this." Or something similar. It happened today so I had to pay the $1 something total. Not a huge deal but free is of course always better! :)
    Last one for now is about grocery stores. I do not have a Giant Eagle in my area. Do you think it's still possible to get great deals at other places?

    Thanks for this website and all the time you put into it. I have really enjoyed the savings!

  3. Breana,

    Welcome to the world of couponing. . . and this blog! : )

    I do use multiple like coupons. The rule I use is: Buy 1 Sunday paper per person in your family. I have a family of 5 - so I get a minimum of 5 papers every week. When there are a lot of inserts in the paper, I'll get a few more. There are times when I need/want even more of a certain coupon. That's when I buy them from a coupon clipping service (I've got links to several that I use and trust on my sidebar). All the coupons that I used last week were either prinables or from the newspapers that I purchased. (If you are wondering how I ended up with so many Herbal Essences/Aussie coupons, it's really quite simple. First, many of my coupons were for $1/2. There were coupons in inserts on two separate weeks. And on one of those weeks I bought extra papers.)

    I am not familiar with your Rite Aid experience - "$0.03 purchase required to use this." The only thing that I can think of, is that the +UP Rewards do not cover tax, so in order to use a $1 +UP Reward, you must owe at least $1 before tax. (Technically, there is a way that the cashier can manually adjust the +UP Reward down to the amount that you actually owe - you'd loose the unused amount - but the vast majority of cashiers/managers do not know how to do this and I find that it is just not worth the trouble to get this done.) There have been several times where my total has been $0.97 cents and I want to use a $1 +UP Reward. I'll just add a travel sized Tide to the purchase. They are $1.03 after 20% Wellness+ discount (I know that you probably don't have the 20% discount yet, but if you follow this blog and the RA scenarios for long - like about 3 months - you'll have earned it.) and there are always coupons for $1/1 any size Tide in the P&G inserts that come out every month in the paper.

    In answer to your question about the grocery stores: yes, I'm sure that you can do equally as well at a number of different grocery stores and maybe even better at a few of them. What grocery stores do you have in your area?


  4. Thanks for those answers! Lots of good information! :) I've been purchasing only 2 or 3 newspapers a week, but we have a family of 6 so I need to add a few more!
    The grocery stores in my area are Farm Fresh(where I go most), Harris Teeter, Food Lion, Bloom & we have a Kroger some where, but I've never been there.

  5. Breana,

    You are very welcome.

    There are definitely deals to be had at the grocery stores you mentioned. If you are interested in my blog picks for those stores, you are welcome to email me at strivingtobe1faithfulsteward(at)gmail(dot)com.