How I Made Money on My Last Shopping Trip

I thought it might be fun to share with those of you on the Zero Debt journey with me, how I made money on a trip to the grocery store today… yes, I said made money, not just saved money.

Totally tickled about this as I’m now exceeding my goal this week already to spend less than $10 at the grocery store.

So without further adieu, here’s the receipt:



Now, “wait!” you say, “I see that you spent $23.56… that’s more than your $10 a week goal.”

“Yes,” I reply, “but I chose to go to this store as a Mystery Shopper and was paid $25 for the assignment (more on that later...) So, in reality, I came out $1.44 ahead! And now, I have all the things like milk and pet food that we really needed, and then some.”

Let me take you on a line by line tour of all the items I purchased and how I managed to trim the bill so low.

MILK – Purchased ½ Gallon at $1.25. The full Gallon was $3.49 and much more than I needed, the ½ Gallons were on sale for 4 for $5… a much better price and amount. Even had I needed a Gallon, it’d still be cheaper. Always watch your prices carefully!

VISION CARE- My husband needed contact lense solution. I often dread this purchase as coupons can be hard to come by. However, I shopped the shelves and found Vision Care had an auto $3 off Coupon attached, bringing the cost down from $8.99 to $5.99.

Tip: Most contact lense solutions have the same ingredients- check the labels and don’t be afraid to try different products.

BAND-AIDS- With 3 children, it’s easy to run out of these. Had a $1 off coupon which cut the price nearly in half. Normally, I would wait for a sale or shop around on other store visits, but we were completely out of this much needed item, and just my luck, some one would instantly get a boo-boo when I got home if I didn’t pick them up.

KLEENEX- The store had a sale of 10 for $10 on the big boxes. Total deal! If I had more coupons, I would have picked up more, but I settled for two boxes with a 35 cent off coupon.

CEREAL- Had a free coupon for this item, passed my way by a friend – gotta love that!

TIDY CATS- With a store coupon combined with a manufacturer’s coupon clipped from the Sunday ads, plus a sale on this item, it was a must buy even though I have a box at home. The normal $6.69 box cost me $3.49.

GOODLIFE RECIPE DOG FOOD- Had a free coupon from a freebie I posted on momdotcom.net a few weeks ago… the promo is no longer active, but they do have a $1 off coupon available if you need one. http://www.goodliferecipe.com/coupon_reg.aspx

Tip: I mix freebies like this in with my dog’s regular food in small doses so that the dog does not have digestive problems (got this tip from our local vet.) If you don’t wish to stretch your dog food in this manner, when you run across freebies like this, please donate them to your local vet.

PURINA ONE DOG FOOD- Again a free coupon, this time from the Purina One 30 Day Challenge.

This offer is still active, so run and sign up! http://www.purinaone.com/radiochallenge/intro.htm Purina is our preferred brand, so this is a great freebie for our household. If that link doesn't work, cut and paste this link http://www.purinaoneresults.com/ to sign up for the 30 Day Challenge.

SHEBA CAT FOOD- Snagged a free coupon again from a freebie I previously posted on momdotcom.net (If you aren’t reading my daily blog over there… might I suggest it? Lots of freebies!)

This offer is also still active http://www.sheba.com/home.asp (only now it looks like they are sending the can directly to you, rather than a coupon... not a biggie, still a free can!)

ALPO DOG FOOD- Free with coupon cut from Sunday ads.

MEOW MIX CATFOOD CAN- Free with coupon cut from Sunday ads.

PURINA PUPPY CHOW – Found this on sale and I had a $2 off coupon I received from Purina as I’m on their mailing list.

Tip: It pays to be on manufacturer’s mailing lists as they often send out useful coupons and sometimes samples too.

So for $65.22 (before in-store sales) worth of needed groceries, I paid $23.56… a $41.66 savings!

Of course, it got better because I chose to shop this particular store due to the availability of a Mystery Shopping assignment, which I detailed the results of above... bottom line, earned $1.44 plus I now have $65.22 worth of free groceries.

While I cannot tell you, to keep with confidentiality agreements, which shopping company… I can direct you to the lengthy list I compiled earlier this year of Mystery Shopping companies: http://momdotcom.blogspot.com/2007/01/lengthy-list-of-mystery-shopping.html

In addition (because I always love additions and combining all the frugal-savvy-ness I possibly can) I used my banking card, which is a credit union card and offers a fab point program for free! Always shop around for banks too, it’s in your best interest to take the time to do so.

So there you have it – I am $1.44 to the positive on my $10 or less grocery shopping goal for week 1.

I hope this helps you make it closer to your goals too!

Hugs,
Barb

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