It was a chilly March, if I recall correctly. I hadn’t been a big couponer back then, but I had been getting started. I had a 3-ring binder with several weekly coupon inserts that had barely been touched. Who knew I would stumble in something big…very, very big!
I had just picked up the latest Meijer weekly ad, and noticed a very nice General Mills/Betty Crocker promotion going on–specifically, “Buy any 10, get $10 back” on specifically marked items. Everything listed was at least $1.50 or more, so it wasn’t going to be as easy as pie. However, I knew in the back of my mind that I had coupons for many of the items listed. Within minutes, I had my coupon binder, a calculator, and the weekly ad on the coffee table, trying to figure out the best deals.
My calculations showed that if I purchase 4 cereal boxes, 4 popcorn boxes, and 2 Yoplait Smoothies, my total would be about $7.18 after coupons, and with the fact that I would get $10 back, it was even better than free. The next day, I ripped out every General Mills and Betty Crocker coupon that I had in my binder, and then printed every one I could find at Coupons.com and SmartSource.com. I even asked all my coworkers to print some for me, and by then the coupons were stacking up.
I made a trip to Meijer and bought my first 10 items. ”That will be $7.18, sir” the cashier said. And after paying for the order, the $10 coupon printed out–good for one $10 gift card (redeemable the next week). After putting the groceries in the car, I would go right back in and do it again. I mixed-and-matched different items as well–cake mix & frosting, chex mix, Bisquick, cookie mix, granola bars, and Warm Delights. Most of the time, the total was still under $10.00.
Just 18 trips later, I had amassed a large amount of breakfast cereal and snacks. I had spent a whopping $175.51 for all of this food, and Meijer gave me back $180 in gift cards the following week, of which we purchased milk, produce, and gasoline for the rest of the month. If there were no sales, gift cards, or coupons that week, and I were to purchase all of those things outright, I would have spent $475 for all of this.
Pictures? Did you want to see pictures of this? Of course–and here they are.