Saturday, June 2, 2012

Just Another Couponing Trip...

I went on what was supposed to be a brief shopping trip to my neighborhood ShopRite.
Well, nearly two hours and a thunderstorm later, I was just checking out.

I did learn a few things today that I will pass along to you:

1. Shop late in the week to cash in on the inevitable empty shelves of items on sale and load up on rain checks.  With rain checks, you make a sale happen when you want it.

2. Shop early in the week or early Saturday morning to take advantage of the full and/or restocked shelves.
3. For me and my coupon addiction, ShopRite is a very coupon friendly store...depending on the cashier.

4. Choose your check out cashier very carefully. Choosing a grouchy old cashier can ruin your shopping and couponing experience. I usually choose the youngest cashier I can find (preferably male) with a pleasant disposition.  The pleasant disposition is indicative of someone who is happy to be there, not nasty,does not treat you like you are stealing from them with each coupon. This is usually the case but I have definitely encountered youthful cashiers that were the exception.  My favorite cashier is an elderly lady at Harris Teeter.  She is delightful!  I guess you just have to use your best internal detector of a coupon friendly cashier.

5. ShopRite allows you to break up your order into separate transactions to get around their 4 like coupon and item limit. I have also done this at CVS.  This saves me lots of time and energy.  Note:  If you have more than two transactions, go to the back of the line and start again.  Nothing is worse than an "ugly couponer with a nasty disposition" or one that holds up the line while checking out with a ton of coupons.

6. Take the extra time to carefully separate your items into transactions and matching coupons BEFORE getting in the check out line.

7.  If you have multiple customer loyalty cards: register your cards online with each store.  Use a Sharpie to label each card on the front with a name and/or number and cover it with clear tape to prevent it from wiping off. 

8. Use your cell phone to take snapshots of the price tags for the items that you want rain checks for.  Always carry the circular with you to the service desk when requesting a rain check.  If you have the items circled, this will make the process go faster.

9. Each week check the online website for each store or pharmacy where you do your shopping to see the circular for the following week.  CVS posts their upcoming sales the Wednesday before the Sunday it changes; ShopRite posts its new circular on Thursday or Friday; Harris Teeter posts theirs the day before the sale begins.  Each store almost always posts their weekly sales a day or two before the sale begins.

Advance notice of a sale will give you a chance to see whether you should hold onto those coupons another week rather than use them this week. 

If you shop at ShopRite, register your customer loyalty card on their ShopRite Family website.  When you buy any of the featured brands, you accrue 1 point for each dollar you spend.  With the accumulation of 250 points you will get $4 off your next order.  The points keep on accumulating until redeemed and at the 1250 pt level you get $25 off your next order.  Check this link for more information on the ShopRite Participating Products.

Today, my grocery items totaled $187.67.  My out of pocket (oop) was $38.57 after swiping my ShopRite loyalty card, sale items, manufacturer and store coupons.  Percent saved today 80%!!!

I will return to ShopRite for my rain checks tomorrow.  I hope to find lots and lots of empty shelves.  But I doubt it because the shelves are being restocked for the new sales cycle at ShopRite that begins Sunday.

My wonderful Washington Post Sunday only subscription (59 cents per week) ends this week.  So, I called about renewing my subscription.  Well, much to my dismay, the renewal for "Sunday only" was $1.87!!!  After I let out a loud gasp, I said, "I might as well buy it from 7-11 for $2." She said, "But you will save on gas."

Anyway, I told her that I was not going to renew at that price. (Note: if you want a better price, rate, etc., just give any service department a call and tell them you are going to cancel because of the price.)  Out of nowhere she said,  "Would you renew for 8 weeks for $1 per Sunday?"  My reply, "Can I get 4 Sunday papers for $4?"  She replied, "Yes".  So, instead of paying $9 per week for my Sunday coupon addiction, I will now pay $4.  I am not getting the special promotion for 59 cents because those rates are for new subscribers only.  Just ask and you may be presently surprised what savings you will get where you least expect them.

Don't forget to check this Sunday's paper for the three coupon inserts: P&G, Red Plum, and Smart Source.

Happy Couponing!
ShaRon, The Bizzy Coupon Bee