Thursday, June 16, 2011

Shopping trip 6/15

I have a joke for you...
When you say "Safeway", take the 'F' out of 'way'. 
Haha...there's no 'F' in 'way', as in "There is no F'in way I'll shop there again!" (The joke is courtesy of my husband...I'm not that clever).

So the ads came out yesterday and I was so excited by all the deals! For the first time ever, Safeway caught my eye with their "buy two packs of coke, get two free, PLUS two free bags of chips". I calculated the costs and figured I would spend $6.99 on two 12 packs and get two free. Additionally, I had a $2 off 2 coupon, so that would make it $4.99 for four 12 packs of soda! I get, no. Try $6.99 PER 12 PACK OF SODA! There was no way I was paying $13.98 for all that soda when another local store was running a promo for 24 packs of Pepsi for $4.88. Nonetheless, I wandered around the store and scored:
Crystal Light boxes of the individual packets: $2.99, on sale for 2/$5 (not very good)- paid $3, or $1.50 for each box of singles

Clearance hot chocolate - 2 boxes of 10 for $1.38 TOTAL (orig. $3.39/box)

Full retail: $12.76
Total OOP: $4.38

Total saved: $8.38 or 65%  (go me!!!) 

However, I decided to hit up Walmart and do some last-minute shopping and ad matches because I knew I wasn't going to have time before camping this weekend. I purchased:

Cake mix (2): $1.16 each - $2.32
Chex Mix Traditional flavor (2): $2.16 - $4.32
Mt. Dew (24 pack): $6.89
Pepsi (24 pack): $6.89
12 taco shells (2 packs): $1.00 each- $2.00
Taco seasoning: $.78
Jose-ole Carne Asada: $2.88

Full retail: $26.08

Cake Mix: Ad match $.88 - $1.76
Chex Mix: Ad match $.98 - $1.96
Mt. Dew: Ad match $4.88 w/ $1 off coupon: $3.88
Pepsi: Ad match- $4.88
Taco seasoning- FREE with purchase of 2 Jose-ole products
Carne Asada: $1.10 coupon- $1.78 (I'm aware this was cheaper a few weeks ago)
Taco shells: $1/1 coupon- $1

Total OOP: $15.26 or 41%

Unfortunately, my excitement over some of my deals was short-lived. I found out the cheese that I bought (not listed here because it wasn't a deal) that was SUPPOSED to be marked down I was charged full-price for- a $2 difference. Also, I discovered that the taco shells that I bought actually expired March 6, 2011. Um, thanks Walmart...product on your shelves 3 months past the expiration date? What is THAT?! So, it looks like my attempt to avoid Thursday shopping won't happen; I'll be headed back to Walmart to ask for a price adjustment on the cheese (which I'm HOPING they'll do) and to return the expired taco shells. Boo :( On the plus side, I can look for some more coupons and use them tonight, including the $1/1 cheese product AND the $.75/1 gallon of milk, any brand!

Now, I want to take a minute to tell you how much I resisted the coupon thing, mainly because of one thing: shelf-clearers. I didn't want to be labeled as an "annoying coupon lady" who took 45 minutes to check out and bought every darn box of sale cereal/medicine/soda on the shelves. I had my very first run-in with one of these "shelf clearers" last night, and the experience wasn't great. She seemed to be there for every deal I was there for. She cleared out the shelves of Hawaiian sandwich rolls, coffee, hot dogs, bacon, and some other things I wasn't there for, like the entire stock of Advil. No joke, roughly 100 boxes of Advil. I ran in to her occasionally throughout the store, but it wasn't until she was in front of me in checkout and I saw her massive pile of Advil that I remembered my poor hubby needed allergy medicine. I turn around and head for the allergy section, took about five minutes to figure out what I wanted, and came back to the same checkout line, where the woman was still maybe 1/2 way done with her order. This woman took *forever*, handing over a massive envelope full of coupons. Walmart, given that it was after 10 PM, only had two cashiers open. Lines were backing up, people were getting antsy, and knowing that I might take awhile with my ad-matches I let people go in front of me. Finally, the coupon master was done with her order. Carts full of stuff and her grand total was $22 and some change. 

I really dislike "shelf-clearers" because I think it's just good manners to leave some of the stuff for other people. But I have to admire her wicked couponing skills. I'm still only saving roughly 40% on a consistent basis, but this woman had to have saved over 90% on her bill. I do also have to give her credit for going when the store is less busy, and it is unfortunate that Walmart only had two cashiers working. I was torn between walking up to her and yelling at her for being so inconsiderate or walking up to her, dropping on my knees begging "teach me everything you know!" 

When I approached the register, the cashier was probably mind-stabbing me as soon as I told her I had ad-matches and coupons, given her 1/2 hour experience with the last coupon lady. I was very well organized and despite the large amount of coupons and ad-matches I seemed to have, I got through the line in a little less than 4 minutes from start to finish (I had a lot of groceries...)

Yesterday was just not my day. I still did okay, but if I would have been paying attention to the register instead of putting my groceries in my cart I would have caught the cheese mistake, and if I had paid attention to the taco shells, I would've noticed the expiration date. Then again, as a customer in a store I expect things to NOT be expired and to be priced accordingly. Mistakes happen, and it's a lesson learned.