For maximum savings on any given day, a good plan is key. I had a great plan today. Or so I thought. The bulk of the good deals were at Publix, but I needed bread and meat, and Winn-Dixie had BOGO deals on both. I also needed milk and frozen vegetables, neither of which were on special anywhere.
My brilliant plan was to make three stops: I would first go to CVS and buy a bottle of Blink Gel Eye Drops ($7.99) and a bottle of Listerine Zero ($3.99), which would come to $11.98. I would then use a $1.50 coupon for the the eye drops and a $2 coupon for the Listerine, as well as a $5 CVS Extra Care Buck that I had leftover from last week. (For more info read my cvs primer here.) I would pay $3.48 out of pocket, and use the $9.99 ECBs I got back to buy some basic groceries like milk & frozen veggies. After CVS, I would make a quick stop at Winn-Dixie for some BOGO meat, bread, & strawberries. Finally, I would do the rest of my shopping at Publix. (I always bring a cooler & ice packs along if I have to make multiple stops.)
Alas, almost as soon as I began it was beginning to look as though my day o' mega savings was not meant to be. The eye drops were sold out at CVS. I left with nothing but a raincheck, hoping for better luck at Winn-Dixie. Unfortunately things just got worse. I couldn't find either the Nature's Own bread or the right meat that was supposed to be on BOGO sale, which meant I drove 5 miles out of my way for nothing but a marginally good deal on strawberries. I would've skipped those too, but Maggie saw them in the cart and pleaded with me to get them.
So I headed to Publix where my fate finally improved. The only item that wasn't available was the Starbucks coffee-free ice cream (which was, let's face it, a want not a need!) As always, the cashier and other employees were super friendly and helpful, and the two poor customers stuck behind me (I swear I warned them) were so intrigued by how much money I was saving they didn't even mind waiting for all the coupons to scan. (I had at least 50!) By the time I finished checking out at Publix (and yes, it took a looong time), my girls had hit their three store limit. It was time to go home.
So we did. And here is what we brought home with us:
I was especially excited about all of the Morningstar Farms items. They were on BOGO sale and I had a lot of coupons (both manufacturer and Target store coupons), which meant I got 12 items for $0.25 each! (Normally $3.99!) I am a vegetarian (but my the rest of my family are not), and I have been running very low on vegetarian food for myself lately. This was a major haul! Some of the other highlights included free Cascadian Farms granola and granola bars and 8 FREE Right Guard antiperspirant sticks.
At Winn-Dixie I bought two cartons of strawberries. I spent $3.99 on $7.98 worth, for a 50% savings. Not my best effort, but it does make me feel better that they are absolutely gorgeous and quite possibly the best strawberries I've ever had. And I don't even like strawberries.
At Publix, I spent $40.97 for $200.95 worth of groceries and saved a very respectable 80% off my bill, which made me feel much better about the rest of my plan going awry.
But later in the afternoon, after Annie's nap and Maggie's "Quiet Time," I still needed milk and bread, so I decided to give CVS another go. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment, but my husband will tell you that once I get a plan in my head, there's no letting it go.
This CVS didn't have any Listerine Zero either (frankly I'm starting to think it doesn't exist), but they did have plenty of (money making) eye drops in stock. In two transactions, I paid $1.85 out of pocket for $21.08 worth of groceries, a savings of 91%.
Overall, I spent $46.81 on $230.01 worth of groceries, an average savings of 80% today. Combined with my totals from Monday and Wednesday, I spent a total of $76.15 this week for $391.36 worth of groceries and merchandise, a total average savings of 81%. Can I hear a woot woot?