After the 'Great Extreme Couponer Crash', I didn't think it was progressing me to continue trying to coupon shop.
First of all, the only "coupon" store we have here in my town is a small, old Rite Aid, with very little stock. I rarely had any luck trying to do my deals there.
Any of the next nearest towns with shopping is at least 25 miles away.
It used to work out, I could drive to the next town over, buy the "Metro Region" Sunday papers for $1.00 each, and be able to do my shopping while I was out. (The town I live in is one county outside the Metro area, and doesn't get as many or as good of coupons.)
Then, they quit selling the papers on the corner.
Then, the stores "cracked down" on coupons, changing the rules, placing limits.
It was just not worth the gas or my time to drive 50+ miles round trip, pay $2.00 for my papers, to be able to buy (1) item/deal.
I still drive to the next town over, but it's to shop at Aldi, where I can buy $1.99 milk, 99¢ large dozen eggs, 85¢ loafa bread, 69¢ 2ltr Cola, and cheap fruits and veggies.
Sugar, corn chips, tortilla chips, cereal, poptarts, refried beans and a few other things are also cheaper there.
Maybe not cheaper than using coupons, but by the time I pay $2.00 or $2.50 per paper and use the gas driving around to different stores, then it probably works out about the same.
I generally spend around $50 a week and get everything we need, including boneless/skinless chicken breast, except for beef or pork meats. I try to get up early and hit Food Lion's Mark-down meats about once a month.
This week a local, hometown grocery had a 3-day sale, with Milk $1.99, and ground beef $1.79lb. I got my usual (4) gallons of milk, and stocked up on a lot of ground beef.
But the majority of their other prices liked to have caused me heart failure!
Then we went up the road to Walmart, and their prices are really only cents cheaper. It's just that everything has gotten so much more expensive since I last shopped like a regular person, pre-couponing.
I told my kid, I am going to have to get back to coupon shopping. This is crazy.
Other people still coupon shop and seem to do well. I figured if I just planned better, hit all the stores at once while I was out, only go one time a week, go early in the week before stock runs out...I won't be able to do like I used to, when I pretty much got paid to shop, but even if I save 50% or more, that's something.
So I sat down yesterday and visited all my old haunts and looking for deals. Granted, I didn't have any current newspaper coupons, but I figured I could make a pretty good start with Printables.
Other than the Food Lion toilet paper deal - and I didn't even really need TP at the moment, but I know I will later, and this is one of those really rare deals - every single thing I found was absolutely nothing I needed. In fact I'll end up donating/giving a good bit of it away.
Absolutely nothing I needed cost me $57.81 even after Rebates, and 1/4 tank of gas, which works out to be around $14.40 worth of gas.
I shoulda just stayed home.