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Finding a good deal can mean splitting your efforts between stores. Especially when you know they will back their coupon days with one another.

We have four main grocery stores in town. Giant, Bloom, Ukrops, and Shoppers Food Warehouse. We also have both a Super Target and a Super Walmart. The prices vary from store to store. Knowing the sales and the deals can make all the difference.

Ukrops does not seem to have any particular coupon deals. You can use a coupon, but i don’t even know that they offer doubling. Giant will double coupons up to .99 each day. Shoppers and Bloom don’t normally do a lot with coupons or it is doubling up to .50 coupons. However these two have their coupon days that always sends my heart aflutter!

However, they don’t do their coupon days the same. Bloom holds theirs over three days. Friday through Sunday you can triple any coupon up to .99. Nice! Got a coupon that is for .75 off? That’s really a $2.25 discount! NICE! Shoppers triples only up to .50. They will double up to a whole dollar! Yes, the many $1 off coupons you see become $2, and that generally lasts a whole week! Thursday through Wednesday of savings!

Shoppers limits you to four coupons of one type. If you have more, be prepared to return to the store for a second transaction. Bloom limits you to 20 coupons of any type in one transaction. What do I do? I send someone through another line or we take things to the car and immediately come back in.

With so many people interested in my couponing, dubbed “Competitive Couponing” by a local friend, I tried to keep track at both SFW and Bloom of my spending. Not just the end tally which is always incredibly fun, but a tally of various costs.

Did you enjoy seeing the breakdown of Shoppers? Would you like to see Bloom’s? I will list it below.

First… this payday I was very limited in grocery money. I am very grateful we had plenty of food in our home from our storage. I was able to focus on a few items we really needed as well as using my coupons and cash to stock up on things we need to continue our stockpile.

Why do I “stockpile”? I find it prudent to be prepared. If you buy multiples of things on sale, you can wait again for it to go on sale before buying once more. You can make your food budget go farther this way. I also like to be prepared. In this life I’ve been snowed in, hurricaned out, and had floods separating me from town. We’ve experienced long serious illness making shopping difficult as well as unemployment. More than once I have seen the need of relying on the food inside my house.

You never know when an emergency will come. I like to be prepared. When everyone panics you suddenly have no bread or milk or water in the stores, so if you are the crazy one out there you might not get it. Eeek!

My stockpiles were low after last year. Between moving and my health problems in the over 90 degree house… we ate almost everything. The last few months I have worked in overdrive to rebuild… to resupply. Thankfully my couponing has allowed us to do it for a fraction of the cost. Which means we’ve built really fast.

I posted a picture of my pantry in November. In the next couple of months I hope to post a new photo. I’m well on my way to having 3-6 months of things I need. I hope to post a chock full pantry photo soon!

Now, no more waiting! My Bloom shopping trip:

That’s a lot of stuff! And some things were not pictured. (No fears, I’m gonna list it all for you!)

My totals:
Total value before coupons: $156.23.
Total value after coupons: $32.27
Used my free Visa Gift from Visa Points: $2.09
Out of my pocket: $30.18

Between today and SFW on Monday that means I got a total of $301.96 in groceries for only $66.72!

I think that’s awesome! As you can see, I did slightly better at Bloom with slightly less money. I overspent at Shoppers (I really needed a couple of things there like that electrosol) so Bloom took the hit. Also, I had to get some things for a campout tonight that bit into my Bloom budget as well. If I’d gone just on coupons, I could have probably saved more.

Here’s a list of what I got (and the really good deals have prices), including things not shown (for campout or otherwise listed):

3 Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce – FREE
1 Four Pound Bag of Oranges (for campout) – 2.99
1 Green Pepper (for campout)
3 packs of pepperoni (not shown – forgot to get them out of the freezer): .14 each
Shitaki Mushroom Soup Bowl : .42
Ortega deal: 1 taco seasoning & 1 taco sauce: .21
Ortega Deal: 1 taco seasoning & 1 green chilis can: .20
Ortega Deal: 1 fajitta seasoning & 1 green chilis can: .20
4 bottles of Worcestershire sauce: FREE
6 bottles of Frank’s Extra Hot Sauce: FREE
2 jars of Polanar Jelly: Not quite .50 each
2 cans of Glory Mixed Veggies (Tomatoes, Okra, and Corn)(one was for campout): 1.05 for two
2 cans of Rotel Diced Tomatoes: .93 for two
1 can Del Monte Tomatoes: .14
Lots more Soups: 12 in all.
3 Cheerios Snack Mix: FREE
1 pound of ground beef (for campout)
2 packs of rice cups (for husband to take to work): .59 each
2 Pastasides: FREE
1 Prego Spaghetti Sauce: .90
1 jar of Skippy Peanut Butter: 1.05
2 packages of Betty Crocker Cookie Mix: .92 for two
3 strips of yeast – 4 yeast packets to a strip: .15 each
Mazoli Pure Spray: 1.00
2 Warm Delights: .16 each
1 Frosting for a cake I have to make soon: .39
4 boxes of cereal: 1.13 a box
1 tub of oatmeal: .19
1 pack of gummy treats: 1.00
1 package of Hefty freezer bags: 1.34
1 tub of country crock: .19
1 package of Green Giant frozen rice, cheddar, and broccoli: FREE
3 boxes of Uncrustables four packs: .25 each!
4 individual packs of flavoured Horizon Milk for boys to drink at start and finish of trip as a special treat: .50 each.

Technically I did five transactions, but only because I stumbled on the milk at the start of the shopping day. I felt bad for my kids having had to put up with a lot today (like being with all the little babies at the YMCA nursery) so I grabbed two milks and went straight to a register. The boys happily sipped milk at the front of the store while reading books and I turned around and started shopping again. Not counting that, it was really four transactions.

I’d give you the time breakdown but really it was awful. I took a friend with me to show her the ropes. Then I ran into several people I knew who needed help. I also ran into a guy who started talking to me about how great it was I could save so much money and told me about a charity he runs. It feels like the shopping portion of the trip didn’t take too long, but we were out for hours!

It didn’t help that halfway through I had to leave. The boys needed to come home to leave on a campout.

Tons of good deals for sure today! See how many things I got for so cheap? What a great shopping day!

I hope that these blogs have explained some of what I do on a couponing day as well as how couponing works in my area. I’m teaching a class next week about couponing, and I really needed a way to get my thoughts together!

–Lady O
The “Competitive Couponer” (hehehe mega shout out to tayfan2!)