January 6, 2011

We're at War!

Fall in troops! Okay, GB Savers, I know I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but I need to remind you all of something. Let's run through a few drills to freshen your money saving skills. There is a war going on all around you. You're on the front lines! The stores want your money and you want to keep it. Right? I sure hope so!

Yesterday, Festival announced that they had to remove their Money Board coupon machines because the company that runs them is going out of business. It's really NOT a big deal. Sure, they were nice to use when a deal matched up but they weren't saving me major money on a regular basis so I won't really miss them too much. [Plus there was other happy coupon news to celebrate: Copps extended Double Daze and ShopKo now takes internet printables!]

But because I would love to see more double coupons in the Green Bay area, I left a comment on Festival's Facebook post and suggested they offer double coupons. :) A girl can dream, can't she? I've suggested it before and their answer is always the same... "it wouldn't save you any money because we'd have to raise our prices" (I totally disagree with their reasoning--How much does the Tot Spot cost, anyway?--but that's not the subject of this post).

I am not at all shocked by Festival's not wanting to offer double coupons. What really shocked me is the number of people more loyal to a grocery store than to saving their own, hard earned money! I realize some of the commenters were just there to stir up trouble and at least one was a Festival employee so we can ignore most of those comments. I can't believe that there is even one person out there who genuinely thinks that Festival's main goal is great customer service or who feels strongly enough to defend any store! I agree they are one of the friendliest, cleanest stores around, but their goal is to make money and mine is to keep it, so that makes us "enemies".

To save the most on your grocery bill you have to "play the game". It requires you to:
  • shop at more than one store. No ONE STORE will save you the most!
  • drive around town a little bit. Yes, it is worth the cost of gas! We're talking saving hundreds or thousands of dollars per year NOT fifty cents.
  • research store policies and weekly ads. That's where GB Savers comes in!
  • use coupons strategically to help you save. GB Savers can help you with this too!
  • know how much you are spending and how much things really cost.
  • not be loyal to any one brand or store.
  • teach others! Spread the word. Educate your friends!
Does this take time? Yes, it does. Perhaps you have more money than time and you only want to shop at one store. That is absolutely fine, just be aware that you ARE paying more for that convenience.

So assemble your arsenal (of coupons and deal match-ups) and get out there and save your money! And while you are out there... see if you can win a few new recruits over to our side of the battle!



TheBargainSleuth said...

Amen to that!

Anne Tess said...

I need help!!! I've spent the time clipping coupons and deal matching, and then running around town to 5-6 different stores, and I did NOT see a huge difference in our budget. In fact, it seemed I was spending more. No matter what I tried, I could not get any receipt down to $20-30 for $100-150 worth of stuff like some people. So, I got tired of the game, and now, once again, just mostly shop at Woodman's and WalMart (still w/ coupons). I was literally spending about 10hrs of my time clipping coupons, deal matching and running around (plus gas, which I realize is not a lot), for each shopping cycle. Now, I spend about 3hrs clipping coupons & going to Woodmans & Walmart, and I'm saving apx. $40-50 total w/coupons, plus whatever I'm saving by not paying the high prices at Copps/Festival/CVS etc, and by not using the extra gas running to different stores. I would LOVE to cut our grocery budget, but I just can't seem to get the "hang" of the game. :-(

ericah78 said...

Anne, sounds like you tried to do too much at once. The key to saving the most, is stocking up at the best price. Knowing what price to pay is key. Even w/o coupons, just buying your everyday freezer & pantry items at their lowest sale prices and stocking up at that price will save you tons. Once you get a good stock built up, you can maintain it by only buying the absolute best deals each week, which might only be at 1 or 2 stores. When I first got started, I went a little coupon crazy and was still spending about $90 a week, but I was also building stock which I never had before. Now, I'm averaging about $50 a week and always have TONS of food in the house. If I have a week where I can't or don't want to go shopping, I don't have to. Sometimes, all I need to buy is milk and produce. You won't get $150 worth of stuff for $30, especially in WI. Our stores don't do the crazy coupon deals that are found in other parts of the country. But, you can regularly see savings of 40-60% on your weekly receipts. I don't even clip many coupons any more. I actually have all my inserts since end of October still waiting to be clipped! When I plan my Copps double daze shopping, I've been just finding the coupon I need and clipping it then, as well as printing online coupons. It definitely takes a while to really get this all figured out. Check out the Saving 101 tab for more tips from Shelly. Hope this helps at least a little!

Shelly said...


Erica hit the nail on the head. You can save a bunch with coupons HOWEVER you can save a TON by shopping carefully and stockpiling... even if you NEVER clip a coupon.

When you shop at Walmart or Woodman's you are never taking advantage of the great loss leaders at other stores that would always beat Walmart and Woodman's prices. You are also missing out on the ability to "stack" a coupon with a great sale (unless you're price matching at Walmart).

What you want to do is watch the sales and stop by Festival or Copps when you see something you use a lot of that costs less than you would get at Woodman's and then buy SEVERAL not just one!

Unfortunately, in the GB area the best savings aren't necessarily from using coupons (they do help though)... there are LOTS of other strategies that can help.

Here's a silly example (mostly guessing on prices):

You want to buy Pringles...


Okay, obviously, you'll go to Woodmans. But what if you used a $1/4 coupon... still the best deal at Woodmans.

UNLESS someone else has Pringles on sale:

Festival has them on sale for $.88 and THEN you use the coupon. You'll only pay $.63 per package which is $.31 lower than Woodman's with the coupon.

The trick is to do that on MOST of the things you buy and shop at Woodmans or Walmart for things that rarely go on sale or have coupons. Then you'll be in great shape!

Anne Tess said...

Thanks for your tips ladies! I've found, however, that most of the things we like to buy (food, that is; for toiletries & household items I do wait for sales or opportunities to stack, like at Target) are not usually put on sale as loss leaders, nor are there coupons for them. Believe me, I've shopped around enough to know prices pretty well at each grocery store in town, and I've pretty much come to the conclusion that Woodman's & WalMart offer the best deals, overall, on food, and have the most selection. I'm really trying to buy healthier food for our family and have found that the stuff that is put on sale, or for which there are coupons, is mostly all the junk. Also, I mostly buy store brand, whenever possible, which always is cheaper than name brand (even if you have a coupon for the name brand). I still check the Copps & Festival ads each week, and if there are truly good deals, I will go there to get the deals (and I always seem to find really good meat deals at Festival when I'm there, which is a bonus! :-) I'll just keep pluggin' away at it and hopefully one day I'll become a guru at frugal shopping like you ladies. :-)))

Shelly said...


Can you give me some examples of what you buy? Perhaps there are other strategies you could use to save...

I disagree about most coupons being for junk... of course, some ARE but more and more healthy/organic brands are offering coupons these days. Money Saving Mom eats a VERY healthy diet on a VERY low budget.

TheBargainSleuth said...

Anne, if I could jump in here, there are TONS of "healthy" and organic coupons out there, you just need to know where to look! I always cringe when people say that coupons are mostly for junk food--not so anymore!

One place is Mambo Sprouts. They have a great website and a place to print coupons:


If you shop Festival then you know they have those Healthy Clippings coupons books? Well, those coupons are accepted at ANY of the local grocery stores!

Organic Deals and Coupons keep you up-to-date with the latest information:

Visit your favorite brands websites, too. I've gotten some pretty nice coupons for Arrowhead Mills, Marantha Nut Butter, Alexia Foods just to name a few.

The Thrifty Mama had a great post a while back about where to find more organic printable coupons:

And of course, never overlook Amazon.com! They usually have GREAT deals on organics but you do have to buy more than one item at a time. I just bought Bob's Red Mill pancake mix for $2.46 a bag and I know Woodman's is about $4 last I checked. And GArden of Eatin Tortilla Chips--$1 a bag.

I know I wrote about this a long time ago on my blog, looks like it's time for an update!

TheBargainSleuth said...

Oops--here's the correct Organic Deals and Coupons link:


TheBargainSleuth said...

Oh, and Big Lots has a lot of organics at good prices, too!