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Smart Shopping Adventure Stories!

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:36 pm    Post subject: Smart Shopping Adventure Stories! Reply with quote

Tell us about your Super Shopper deal & Read these great savings stories from many smart shoppers stories found around the net who were once just starting out as newbies themselves --- look at the savings now:

Our local Meijers store had 3 cans of Campbells soup on sale for $1. I bought 12 cans and at the checkout counter I used six 50 cent coupons each good on the purchase of 2 cans. I ended up paying $1 for each 12 cans I bought – and I did it more than once! --- Vera Kunst, Saint Joseph, Michigan

Bi-Lo had 32 ounce Hunt’s ketchup for $1.63, “Buy 1 – Get 1 Free.” When Bi-Lo doubled my 30 cent Hunt’s coupon, I got both bottles for $1.03! --- David Jennings of Hephzibah, Georgia

My savings story begins with opening a can of Furmano’s tomato sauce and finding it full of red kidney beans. I called the toll-free number on the can and a representative offered to send me a free can and some coupons. Along with the can of sauce I received several coupons, 2 cans for a dollar. The next day, Bill’s Sure Save had them on sale at 2 cans for a dollar! I hope you enjoy my story. --- Carol Fisher of Hopatcong, New Jersey

Vons had the 3.3 pound Whiskas cat food, regularly $4.99, on sale for $2.99. I had a $2 Whiskas coupon clipped from the Smart Source Sunday insert. With the coupon and Vons doubling it up to $1, I got the Whiskas free. I thought you would enjoy reading about my profitable adventure. --- Christe Frederic, Downey, California

On Senior Savings Day at Kroger, I purchased a 2 ounce jar of Dromedary pimientos priced at 75 cents. I had a 35 cent coupon, which the store doubled, and with my senior discount, I got the jar, free! It was my first grocery Home Run and I loved it! --- Charlotte Owens, Augusta, Georgia

I went to Ralphs for a package of hamburger buns. Lucky me; they were marked down from $1.49 to 99 cents. I handed the cashier my purchase, my senior card and one dollar. She rang up the buns and handed my dollar back. She then gave me a penny and explained that with the card I was owed 1 cent. When I got home and looked at the receipt, my Verified Total Savings showed $1.50! --- Doris Hannon, Downy, California

Just before the holidays, I shopped for cherries and mincemeat to make a fruit cake. They were both already on clearance. The cherries usually $4.99 a jar were $1. The mincemeat, regularly $5.99 were also priced at $1. Using 50 cent coupons I bought six jars of cherries for $3. Using 55 cent coupons off the mincemeat, I got 16 jars for just $7.20! The savings were delightful and my fruit cakes were DELICIOUS! --- JoAnn Bowman, St. Joseph, Michigan:

Shaw’s had Tony’s Pizza-For-One on sale for $1.00. I had four coupons for $1 off one and two 35 cent coupons which Shaw’s doubled. I got 6 pizzas for only 60 cents! How yummy is that? --- Barbara Ralko,Taunton, Massachusetts

I have been using coupons and taking advantage of sales for some time. Every week I try to save more than I actually spend. My personal record was a shopping trip to Price Chopper, where the total came out to be $89. After taking advantage of store triple coupons and doubles on even more coupons, I paid $ 15.86! I loved seeing the look of surprise on the cashier’s face when she saw my total! --- Andrea Lester,Remsen,New York

I want to share with your readers a story about a wonderful shopping night I had at a Kroger store in South Bend, Indiana. Kroger would occasionally have a "blow-out" triple coupon night. They would triple coupons up to 50 cents for a total savings up to $1.50. Well, as a new father and one who is on a limited budget, this was a windfall. As you probably know, when you have a new baby, most hospitals give you gift bags that include cost saving coupons. If you sign up online, Gerber will mail you a terrific coupon book. I always shop late at night so that I have time to maximize my savings. On this particular evening, with the coupons from the gift bags and from Gerber, I purchased $85 worth of baby food and formula for just over $27.00! It was a memorable shopping adventure. --- Edward M. Favorite

I want to share with you my recent deal on Advil Luqui-Gels. They are regularly priced at $3.66 per 20-count box, on sale for $2.50. Attached to each box was a Use Now coupon for $2 off, bringing the final price to 50 cents each. I purchased 8 boxes for $4 -- just slightly more then the regular price of one box. My total savings were $25.28! --- Emily Kline Fleetwood, Pa.

At Meijer's I purchased the 20 packages of Kool-Aid on sale for $2. Meijer's also had a special of a free 5-pound bag of sugar with the Kool-Aid purchase. At the Kool-Aid display I found coupons for 20 cents off 10 packages. I got 20 Kool-Aids and a 5-pound bag of sugar for only $1.60. On that shopping trip my bill was $52; I paid only $26! It was a great shopping day at Meijer's! --- Linda Hartwig St. Joseph, Mich.

I recently went grocery shopping with my list and coupons. I had a Sargento Bistro-style shredded cheese coupon for $1 off two packs. On earlier visits, I had hesitated to use it because the cheese is more expensive than others. That week, Harris-Teeter had the Sargento cheese on sale: buy one, get one free. With my coupon, I was able to purchase four packs for $4.18. When I got home, I discovered that there was a "Try Me Free!" sticker on the package. The $2.59 rebate check brings my costs to $1.59. Those four packs of "more expensive" cheese cost me only 40 cents each! --- Sarah S. Bruton Fayetteville, NC

Albertsons had tri-tip beef roast, untrimmed, on sale for $2.67 a pound. The store was out of the untrimmed, but had four beautifully trimmed roasts for $4.99 a pound. I am a good customer and the butcher let me have them for the sale price. The total weight was 8.2 pounds. The total was $21.90. But, my savings were not over. I had a $5 store coupon good for any meat purchase over $20. My final cost was just $16.90. I felt like I had hit the jackpot! --- Elsie Davis' Long Beach, California

I used to think that coupons were a waste of time. However, ever since I lost my job, I am on the lookout for every possible way to save. And, to my surprise, I save a lot! This week’s grocery bill came to $84.30. After deducting sales and coupons I paid the cashier $53.82, a savings of $30.48. The groceries will last the two of us for two weeks. Here is an example of how I save: CVS advertised Folgers coffee on sale for $1.99 a can, regularly $3.79. I purchased 6 cans and used two $1 Folgers coupons. I also used a $3 CVS coupon. I wound up with 6 cans for just $6.94, a savings of more than $15! The discounts are definitely there, you just have to watch for them. In the last few months I have saved more than $300! --- Patricia Noone Wareham, MA

Our BJ’s Wholesale Club had ALL Spring Burst laundry detergent 4 100oz. bottles for $9.99 with an instant savings of $5.00 bringing the cost down to $4.99 for 4 bottles. On top of those savings the store was also offering an additional $1.75 off, knocking the cost down to $3.24. I took 16 bottles to the register and after deducting four 50 cent ALL coupons, my final cost was just $10.96. I saved almost $40! --- Sue Miranda Rotterdam, New York.

My supermarket had White Lily muffin mix on sale for 75 cents. I had three 35 cent coupons cut from 5lb bags of White Lily flour. The store doubled the coupons and I got three boxes of the muffin mix for just 5 cents each! --- Elaine Youngblood Louisville, Georgia

I always thought of myself as a pretty good coupon and sales shopper but your Smart Shoppers always blew my best finds away. I couldn't figure out how they managed some of those great deals...until I stumbled onto one myself! Suave shampoo and conditioner was on sale this week at our local grocery store for 79¢ a bottle. I had a coupon for $1 off two and ended up paying 29¢ each! --- Beth Sundman Stevensville, Michigan

Stop & Shop had Healthy Choice dinners on sale for $1.47. I bought 10 with coupons for each of them. The store doubled all except a $1 off on 2 coupon. I paid $8.10 and saved $23.30! --- Ann White Brockton, Massachusetts

I am a rural mail carrier and when I am confronted by a dog, I think it is better to use dog snacks than a defensive spray. I was recently pleased when Price Chopper offered to double pet coupons up to $1. I had a $1 Meaty Bone coupon which got doubled to $2, and the box cost me only 19 cents. That made me happy and in turn I am making several dogs on my mail route happy.---- Mary Ann Claes Cobleskill, NY

I bought several boxes of Kleenex tissues on sale at CVS for 99 cents and then used a coupon (of course) to get even more savings. Each box had a Viva paper towel coupon worth 50¢. At Mr. Z's I doubled the coupon and paid 7¢ for each roll of paper towels. Then I gave the Mr.Z's receipt to my church and it received one percent of the total. Pretty good, I think! --- Joanne Pitzer Pocono Lake, PA

I shop around for the best buys and pay special attention to BOGOs. My Food Lion recently offered a “Buy One – Get One Free!” on large bags of Seapack frozen shrimp, regularly $6.49 each. Using a $1 Seapack coupon, the four packages of shrimp cost me only $11.98. The shrimp were even more delicious knowing I saved more than half! --- Betty Britt Lumberton, North Carolina.

My husband wanted me to tell you of my savings shopping at our local Giant supermarket. Last week they were having a promotion to buy $30 of certain frozen foods in one visit and get a $10 coupon good on any purchase on your next visit. I purchased the $30 of frozen items which were sale priced and also used $9 of coupons on that purchase. That brought my cost down to $21, less than half the regular price. On my next shopping trip I used the $10 coupon to buy 4 - 12 packs of Pepsi products which were on sale for $10. I had a Pepsi coupon to get a free 2 liter bottle when you purchased 2 - 12 packs of Diet Pepsi. My husband was amazed when we came out of the store with the 4 - 12 packs and the 2 liter bottle, free! I love using coupons on items I normally buy and regularly save between $10 and $20 every week. Each week I go through the sale items in the store circular and match them up with my coupons. It is a very rewarding game. --- Charlotte Jacobs Auburn, PA

I recently made an excellent buy on Tony's Pizza-For-One. They were on sale at Shaw's for $1.00 each. I had four $1.00 off 1 coupons, and two 35-cent coupons (which were doubled). I got 6 pizzas regularly $12 for only 10 cents for each ... how yummy is that?--- Barbara Ralko Taunton, MA

I recently purchased three tubes of Colgate toothpaste for $1.50 each and one Colgate toothbrush for $1.50. The total was $6. I used four Colgate coupons which brought my cost down to $2.50. I found a $10 Colgate rebate for the purchase of toothpaste and other items. When I receive my 10.00 rebate check, Colgate will have paid me $7.50 (less the cost of a postage stamp) to use their fine products. I love to save money! --- Sheila Beard Weiner, Arkansas

I recently went to Target to buy hair conditioner and found a good buy in the clearance area. It was a bottle of Suave conditioner (a bonus bottle with 55% more) marked down to $1.06 from it the regular price of $1.49. I also found a bottle of Suave lotion (also a bonus with 25% more) marked with the same reduction. In my purse I had two $1.00 coupons, one of which I printed out after completing an online survey. When the cashier rang up my two items and scanned my coupons, I ended up paying a whopping 12 cents! I think it was the first time that I ever got out of that store for less then a dollar! --- Susana Ortega Norwalk, California

On a recent trip to my favorite supermarket, I was pleased to find they had 12 pack Pepsi products and Fritos brand chips both on sale 4 for $10.00. As an added bonus, with the use of my store savings card, I was to receive an additional $5.00 off the purchase of 4 of each product at the check out. I also had four coupons to save $1.00 off the purchase of one Pepsi and one Fritos product. And, to my surprise, there was a $10 mail in rebate form hanging on the shelf for the purchase of three of each of these products. With the sale price, coupons, card savings and rebate, I will actually make a profit --- Dana Whitworth Rector, Arkansas

Shaw’s offered a BOGO(Buy 1 Get 1 Free) on 20 ounce packages of Butterball fresh ground turkey, priced at $3.79 a package. It was out-of-stock and I got a rain check for four packages. Two weeks later Shaw’s advertised the 20 ounce packages on sale for $2.79. When I got to the meat case, I found “Manager’s Special” stickers attached to the packages giving an additional dollar off each package. With all the savings, I paid just $1.58 for four packages. That is less than 40-cents a package. I was thrilled with the savings! --- Alice Parsons East Taunton, Massachusetts.

I found Skippy peanut butter on sale at Stater Brothers for 99 cents. “Stater Brothers does not double coupons,” she says. “However, with two coupons good for $1-off 2, I was able to buy four jars for $1.96. Quite a deal!” --- Catherine Mason Long Beach, California

When a store offers triple coupons, grab your coupon file and run! Festival Foods in Penn Township offered to triple coupons up to 99 cents! “Altogether I saved $45.60. One of my deals was the large can of Red Pack tomatoes. The store tripled the Red Pack 75 cent coupon and credited 88 cents against my total. I got great buys on products I use most.” --- Jonette Cook Rillton, Pennsylvania

There are many products Smart Shoppers never buy at full price. One of them is cereal. L.H. Stone of Long Beach, California says Ralphs featured club savings on Special K and Frosted Mini Wheats at 2 for $6, and Corn Flakes and Fruit Loops at 2 for $4. “I had two coupons for each cereal and after they were doubled the Corn Flakes and Fruit Loops were free; and I paid $1 for each of the Special K and Mini Wheats. My savings were not over. I received a $5 Checkout Coupon good for any purchase at Ralphs, compliments of the Kellogg Company.”

Don’t thumb your nose at low value coupons; especially if you can get them doubled. Campbell’s coupons on red and white label condensed soups are always at the low end of coupon values. It doesn’t discourage Clairena Greenway of Swainsboro, Georgia. Her supermarket had Campbell’s tomato and chicken noodle soup on sale at 48 cents a can. Clairena had saved two Campbell’s coupons each good for 40 cents off on the purchase of four cans. Her supermarket doubled the face value of the two coupons, that reduced the price by $1.60 and she bought eight cans for 28 cents each.

Smart Shoppers use supermarket club cards. They are increasingly a “key” that opens up a door to important savings. Price Chopper recently sent Kay DePuy of Eaton, New York several coupons in the mail, including $2 off a Banquet Crockpot Classic Dinner and a coupon for a free Banquet Dessert Bakes with the purchase of the dinner. The two coupons saved her $5.79. On that shopping trip her Advantage Card savings came to $27.06. Her coupon savings chopped another $23.09 off her total.

Smart Shoppers know the location of the clearance shelf at all their favorite stores. Chris Edinger of Long Beach, California always makes it a point to check the items on the small clearance shelf at the Wal-mart pharmacy. She found 20 tablet boxes of Flexium joint care product, regularly $12.96 marked down to just 2 cents a box. “There were ten boxes and I bought all of them,” says Chris. “I paid 20 cents for $129.60 worth of tablets!” Chris says she has also found great buys on the clearance shelves of OSCO and the other chain drugs in her area.

Take special notice of big sale events in supermarket circulars and the Sunday coupon inserts. Big sales often come with unusual savings opportunities. Make it a habit to hunt for them. Delores Frantz of St. Joseph, Michigan saw many Unilever products like Wisk, Snuggle and Dove, on sale in the Meijer advertisement. The ad included a high value rebate offer, up to $20. On Sunday morning, when Delores checked the coupon inserts,she found coupons from Unilever for the same products. She purchased six of them, which at regular prices would have totaled $21.04. The sale prices brought the total down to $17.74. The coupons reduced it to $12.89. Finally, the six items qualified Delores to a $7 rebate and she wound up saving $15.15. “I love bargains in bunches!” she says.

There is no telling how many different discounts you can combine on a single purchase. Nancy Ring of Aiken, South Carolina, spotted a CVS “Buy 1 – Get 1 Free!” sale on Sundown calcium tablets plus Vitamin D, 600mg, price at $6.99 per bottle. Nancy had a Sundown coupon for $1 off any Sundown vitamin. She also had a CVS coupon for $1.50 off any vitamin purchase over $5. “In addition, I had another CVS coupon which entitled me to $2 off any purchase,” says Nancy. “With all the discounts, the two bottles cost me only $2.49 and I saved $11.50.”

Stop & Shop had the 16 oz. DeLallo salad dressing on sale for $1.99, regularly $3.99. I had three 95-cent coupons which were doubled. I went home with three bottles for 9-cents each. I think that was a great savings. --- Ange Chelan Greensburg, PA

I recently went to the supermarket to buy Emeril’s Gourmet Sausage with four coupons I had found. To my great surprise the $5.49 packages had been marked down to just 50 cents! I looked at the label and there was still a week left before the expiration date. I got eight packages, free! --- Joanne Williamson of Bay City, Texas

Knowing how expensive razor refills have become, my eyes lit up when I noticed a price of $9.38 on a package of 15 Gillette Sensor refills at my local Eckerd Pharmacy. Since I usually I have to pay around $18.00 for 15, I picked up the two packages left on the shelf. Imagine my surprise to learn at the checkout counter, the store was phasing out this size refill, the deal was Buy 1 – Get 1 Free. So, for $9.38, plus tax, I got 30 razor refills, for a savings of nearly 75%! I now look for and inquire about phase-outs that might bring even more savings than posted. --- Peggy Anderson Laurinburg, North Carolina

Ralphs had 3 boxes of Scotties tissues on sale for $1 with the club card. I had a “Save $1 on Three” Scotties coupon. So, my three boxes were free. I love deals like this! --- Rowena Briggs Cerritos, California.

I did so well at CVS, the store manager had to look at the receipt because she couldn't believe it. I bought two packs of CVS 40 count jumbo diapers, four bottles of 13 oz. Palmolive dishwashing detergent, one box of CVS 230 count facial tissues, one roll of 90 sq.ft. wrapping paper, two 6oz. tubes of Colgate Total, and a small mirror lake to go with my Christmas village. Are you ready for this? The cost was 67 cents! This is how I did it: “The two Christmas items were marked 75% off (90sq.ft paper for $1.49 less a $1 coupon), and the village piece was marked down to 49 cents (regularly.$1.99). The toothpaste was on sale, $2.99 plus 1 cent for the second tube (and I had two coupons for them, $1.00 and 75 cents). The dishwashing detergent was $1.59 for two of them and 1 cent for the other two (my coupons deducted 25 cents and 50 cents from each set of two bought). I used two free coupons for the diapers which I earned by previously purchasing ten packs of diapers when they had them on sale (a BOGO). The facial tissues were 92 cents. And I used a $5 Extracare coupon (a reward for buying GUM products in the past. I bought them on sale and used coupons from the toothbrushes we receive when we visit the dentist). --- Jennifer in Georgia

My Eckerd Drug Store (now CVS), had a "buy one, get one free" coupon for Cover Girl foundation. I had a coupon for $1 off one bottle of the same foundation. Plus, I had a coupon for "buy any Cover Girl foundation & get a blush free". My total went from a little over $16, down to just $4.99. I felt pretty proud of my savings. What do you think? --- Chris Geiger or Irwin, Pennsylvania

Many shoppers do not realize that the people stocking the shelves often work for the manufacturers. You become aware of it when you ask for the location of an item and they respond with “sorry, I don’t work here.” Smart Shoppers keep an eye out for these manufacturer representatives and ask for coupons. Ralphs had Fantastik cleaner on sale for $2.49. A sales person from SC Johnson was checking the shelves and gave me a $1 coupon, which Ralphs doubled. I felt good about receiving the cleaner for 49 cents and even better when the cashier handed me a Checkout Coupon for $1 on my next shopping trip, compliments of S.C. Johnson. I actually made a 51 cent Home Run profit. Isn’t that fantastic? --- Meg Velez Long Beach, CA

My supermarket had Swanson chicken broth on sale, 4 cans for $2, regularly 79 each. I had five Swanson $1 coupons each good on the purchase of 4. At the checkout counter I paid just a quarter a can for 20 cans! And I used some of it for my Christmas Tortellini. --- Dorothea Racicot Whitman, Massachusetts

My local supermarket had a 4-pack of Scrunge sponges on sale for .64 cents, regularly $2.99. I had a $1.00 off two coupon, so I got 8 sponges for .28 cents, or I thought I did. When I got home, I looked at the receipt, and the two items had scanned at $2.99 each! I went back to the store, and their policy for a scanning error is to give one free. So I got a refund of $5.34 ($2.99 for the free one, and $2.35 overcharge for the second). I came out 36 cents ahead, and I have enough kitchen sponges to last for almost a year! --- Donna Schulze Kunkletown, PA

Meijer’s had Chi-Chi’s salsa, regularly $2.69, on sale for 99 cents. Attached to the bottles were 55 cent instant coupons. I use salsa in cooking as well as with chips and at just 44 cents a bottle, I purchased a good supply. --- Carole Brown Watervliet, Michigan

When we ran out of my 2 year old son’s, favorite breakfast food, and nothing else would do, dad went to the store with the intention of buying only one box of Pillsbury Dunkable French Toast Sticks. As I looked at the price, $2.02, I noticed a shelf sign: If you bought 4 boxes they would give you $4.00 off your total order. Attached to each box was a 55 cent coupon which the store doubled to $1.00. Instead of buying only one box, I bought the four boxes and only paid $ 0.08 total. I don't recommend going shopping for only one item, but I live two blocks from the store and the exercise did me good along with getting a great bargain. However, the best part of the story was getting my wife to open her eyes to how much money we can save by smart shopping! --- Tom Sachleben Hazleton, PA

With five children, I have to be a bargain shopper. Last week my local supermarket advertised cereal on sale for 99 cents a box. I had been saving my $1 off coupons, hoping there would be a super sale and there it was. I had 10 coupons so I got 10 boxes of cereal free, AND they owed me a dime! I had a real sense of satisfaction since every penny counts in our house. --- Heather Farrell Corona, California

I love to coupon. I spend an hour each week clipping and organizing them. The experience I love most is when I use a coupon and the manufacturer pays me to use the product. An example was the offer I noticed in a Rite Aid monthly rebate book. If I purchased a Garnier Frutis shampoo or conditioner I could go to the Rite Aid internet site, enter my receipt number and get my money back (a check sent in the mail). I used a $1 Garnier coupon and when I receive my rebate check, I will have been paid $1 to use this fine product. --- Julia Zimmerman Vinemount, AL

As part of our local supermarket’s 34th anniversary celebration, it advertised Rice-a-Roni, on sale, two boxes for $1.34. I had a coupon for 50 cents off one box, and a coupon for 50 cents off two boxes. The three boxes came to $2.01. After the two coupons were doubled, they cost me just one penny plus 16 cents sales tax. I do 90% of the shopping for my wife and me and the coupons really help out a lot. --- Jack Wilson of Pocahontas, Arkansas

I found several $2 Fresh Express spinach coupons in magazines. Vons had the spinach on sale for 2 for $4.00, so I got 4 bags of spinach free. My family loves spinach in wraps as well as steamed, so we had lots of healthy free spinach. This month I found the same coupons, again. Wow! --- Wendy Bailey Long Beach, California.

Winn-Dixie had Campbell’s tomato or chicken noodle soup on sale “Buy 1 – Get 2 Free.” I bought two cans for 85-cents each and got 4 free. I also used two 50-cent coupons which were doubled. I ended up paying 70 cents for the 6 cans! --- Clara Bryant North Augusta, South Carolina.

My local Price Chopper had Pillsbury Toaster Strudel on sale for $2.49. I had a $1.00 coupon which Price Chopper doubled. So, for only 49 cents I received the Strudel. Better yet, there was a "Try Me Free" refund form on the box which I filled out and mailed. I am sure my refund check for $2.49 will arrive shortly. ---- Roger Atkinson Amsterdam, New York.

Our commissary has a discount rack and I found 7 packages of Old El Paso Gordita meals marked down to $1.12 each. I had a $1 coupon for each box. I already had the other fixings, so our 12-cent dinners were great! --- Sabrina Dowd Ft. Bragg, North Carolina

Shaw’s supermarket had Carb Solutions ice cream on sale for $1.88, regularly $3.98. I used a $1 coupon to bring my cost down to just 88 cents! --- Janice Flaherty of Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Vons had Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce on sale 2 for $3. The regular price is $2.89 a bottle. I had two $1 coupons which Vons doubled, so I got two bottles free. I used the sauce on the whole chickens I purchased, on sale at 69 cents a pound. It was a delicious deal! --- Royce H. Bell Long Beach, California

Price Chopper had Aunt Jemima syrup and pancake mix on sale, “Buy 1 – Get 1 FREE!” On each of the bottles of syrup was an instant 55 cent coupon. Hanging on the shelf was a pad of mail-in refund forms, offering $5 back on the purchase of five AJ products. After the BOGO, the instant coupons and the refund, my final cost for four bottles of syrup and two boxes of pancake mix was $2.37. The original price of the six items was $19.14. --- Barbara King, Balston Lake, New York

Gerland’s Grand Market advertised frozen John Morrell links and sausage patties for 98 cents. When I opened the freezer door I was amazed to find a 75 cent Use Now coupon on each package! For a mere 23 cents each, I bought as many packages as my freezer could hold. --- Terri Leong Sugar Land, Texas

My favorite Kellogg’s Honey Crunch was on sale “5 for $10.00.” I used a $1 coupon on two boxes which Ralph’s doubled. My cost for five boxes was $8.00 a savings of $13.95. What a deal! --- Kim Parker Lakewood, California

Our local Rite-Aid had the Lysol Ready Brush system on sale for $9.99. I found a Lysol “Save $2.50” coupon in the Sunday insert. But my savings were not over. Rite-Aid had a Lysol $6 mail-in rebate. So I got this new product for $1.49 and a postage stamp. I think I got a pretty good deal, don’t you? --- Lana Erhardt Fort Plain, New York

Barbara Stoltenberg of Greensburg, PA nominates her daughter-in-law, Melody Stoltenberg as a SMART $HOPPER: At the Giant Eagle in Latrobe, PA, she purchased two bottles of Ken's dressing and two bottles of Ken's marinade. The regular price was $3.49 per bottle. They were on sale for $1.50 each and she had a $.75 coupon for each. The coupons were doubled and she got all four bottles for free. With the store savings and her coupons she bought $24.25 worth of groceries for $2.37 that day.

Stop & Shop had one pound packages of Perdue ground chicken burgers, normally $3.49 on sale, “Buy One – Get One Free.” I found several packages with “Save Now $2-Off” meat department coupons. Not only were two packages free, but 51 cents was applied to another meat purchase, a package of Italian sausage patties, which had a Save Now $1.50 coupon. My total cost for the ground meats that made a meatloaf that served six, was $1.21! --- Richard Caldwell of Brockton, Massachusetts

Our local Giant supermarket had a promotion that if you purchased four boxes of General Mills cereal in one visit you would receive $6 off your shopping order. I had four $1 General Mills cereal coupons and I bought four boxes of cereal for $2.95. I was so excited about my deal! --- Michelle Woratyla Hazleton, PA

Just before Father’s Day Meijer’s had a BOGO offer on men’s shirts. The price was $12.99 for the two. At the checkout, I received a coupon for $10 off a future purchase. I went back into the store and bought two more shirts and this time I paid only $2.99! --- Kathy Knapp St. Joseph, Michigan

I recently saw in my weekly flyer that berries were on sale at Stop & Shop. I went to the store and bought 3 pints of blueberries, 2 lbs. of strawberries, and 2 containers of raspberries for a total of $12.50. My savings was $13.43. My savings was greater then what I spent! --- Cheryl Maguire of E. Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Since the strike ended, Vons, a Safeway Company, is trying to win back their customers. Vons recently send their “most loyal” customers, myself included, a $20 gift certificate to be used toward a purchase of their new Rancher’s Reserve Beef. I bought two packages for a total of $40.79. Vons had the packages marked down more than 50% with the Vons Club card, I saved $20.57. After using my $20 gift certificate, I only had to pay 22-cents for almost 7 pounds of excellent beef. I don’t think it can get any better than this! --- Linda Wooley, Long Beach, CA

As I walked through the personal products aisle at Ralphs, I noticed Colgate Simply White on sale for $4.99, regularly $9.99. And, I remembered I had a $3 coupon in my wallet. What a great deal! --- Mary Brownlee Carson, California

Wal-Mart had the 3-roll pack of Scotch Magic Tape on clearance for $1, regularly $2.93. I used a $1 Scotch coupon and got it free. How about that for savings! --- Tammy Moffit Paragould, Arkansas.

I clipped a FujiFilm coupon from the Sunday paper for $5 off on a disposable flash camera. The following week CVS advertised the camera for $5.99, regularly $9.49. I had also been saving a CVS coupon good for $2-off any purchase of $10 or more. I purchased two cameras for $11.98. The cashier deducted $7 for the two coupons and my final cost was just $4.98 for both cameras. I saved $14! --- Barbara Whitman Abingdon, Massachusetts

I planned to have Edwards’ Key Lime pie for a dinner party and I went to a discount store which usually has the lowest price, $5.88. They were out-of-stock. I went to Harris Teeter, prepared to pay $7.99. When I selected the pie I was delighted to see the sign, “But One, Get One Free.” With a $1 coupon, I ended up paying $6.99 for two of those delicious pies! --- Jeanette Kauffman of Southern Pines, North Carolina

I had a 50-cent coupon for Rice-a-Roni. When I found it on the store shelf, there was a sign, “Buy One – Get One Free.” Kroger doubled the value of the coupon. So,for just 9-cents I got two boxes of Rice-a-Roni. I was a happy shopper! --- Geraldine Wood of The Woodlands, Texas

In Ralph’s advertisement I found a coupon good for 60-cents off two Snicker Marathon energy bars. I had a $1-off 2 Marathon bar coupon which Ralph’s doubled. After the coupon deductions, the bars, regularly $1.39, cost me just 9-cents each! --- Ida Brunasso Lakewood, California

Our new and beautiful Roche Bros. supermarket had Snow’s chowder, two for $1. I had three Snow’s coupons each for $1-off three cans. I bought nine cans for $1.50. Wow! What a Deal! --- “Fudgy” Batte Stoughton, Massachusetts

Campbell’s Chunky and Select soups were on sale at 3 for $3 at my local Shop-Rite. I had twelve 50-cent Campbell’s coupons. When they were doubled at the checkout counter I received 12 soups free. And, there was a big bonus. I received four $1 Checkout Coupons good for any purchases on my next shopping trip, compliments of Campbell’s. It was wonderful buy! --- Francis Biano of Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania

My Stop & Shop had Del Monte select fruits on sale, Buy 1 – Get 1 Free. The usual price is $3.99. After the cashier gave me credit for my two $1 Del Monte coupons, my cost was just a dollar a jar. I think that was a pretty good deal! --- Helen Lake Stoughton, Massachusetts

Our Garvey’s store triples coupons up to 50-cents. Kraft barbeque sauce was on sale for 79-cents and I had three 25-cent coupons. When the cashier rang them up, my cost was just 4-cents a bottle! --- Cecilia McMillan Perkins, Georgia

Our Harris Teeter advertised Ken’s salad dressing, at 2 for $3, normally $2.69 a bottle. The store also had a special triple coupon, up to 99-cents promotion. I had a Ken’s 75-cent coupon good on two bottles. I wound up with two bottles for just 75-cents! --- William Dearing Fayetteville, North Carolina

Randalls had Pasta Roni on sale for a dollar a box. I found a Pasta Roni coupon in the Sunday newspaper saving me 50-cents off two boxes. Randalls doubled the coupon which reduced my cost to just 50-cents for each box. I will add some peas and some chicken for an inexpensive meal. And the best part is, my 3-year old son loves it! --- Linda Henderson of Spring, Texas

Ralph’s had an in-store price reduction on Shredded Wheat, 2 boxes for $3, regularly $3.69 a box. I had two 50-coupons which Ralph’s doubled. The two boxes cost me 50-cents each. I think I did very well. --- Grace VanWagner Long Beach, California

Price Chopper had Reynolds aluminum wrap on sale for $1.88, regularly $2.89. I had a 75-cent coupon which was doubled, so my final cost for the foil was 38-cents! I was delighted. --- Ann Diefenbach of Middleburgh, New York

Stop & Shop had a discount promotion for the Finding Nemo video. I purchased Kellogg’s cereals and Dole fruit bowls, items I use all the time, and I was credited with $10 off the $16.99 sale price of the video. At Shaw’s I noticed a Finding Nemo $5 rebate offer from Orville Redenbachers popcorn. I like getting a $24.99 video for just $2! And the popcorn was a BOGO! --- Marie Newton Avon, Massachusetts

Kroger had a buy one get one free offer on Hormel Always Tender entrees which are regularly priced at $5.99. I used four 50-cent off coupons which were doubled. I paid $2 each for four,a savings of $15.96! --- S. Hollis of Pearland, Texas

Stop & Shop was having a sale on Campbell's Chunky soups for 99 cents each, and also advertised Prego sauce for 2 jars for $3.00. There was also a promotion, if you purchased 10 Campbell’s products (Prego is also a Campbell's product), $5.00 would be automatically deducted from your order. In addition, I had 3 Chunky $1-off 3 coupons, and 2 Prego $1-off 2 coupons. With the sales and my coupons, I was able to purchase 9 cans of Chunky soup, 4 jars of Prego spaghetti sauce, for just $4.91! --- Cheryl Lynne McRae of Taunton, Massachusetts.

My best deal was the Buy one Get one free Duncan Hines Cake mixes (selling for $1.49 each) for a store sale, plus my coupon for 75 cents off the purchase of one box of Duncan Hines cake mix! I got two boxes of cake mix for 74 cents, that's 37 cents a box! I am so proud of myself and it is thanks to you and your column and the readers sending all of their great tips and shopping adventures!--- Pamela Shane Fayetteville, NC

I saw the local Mr. Z's was having BOGO sale on a few items and they also had triple coupons up to fifty cents. I had a fifty cents coupon on Hanover frozen vegetables that were being sold for $1.89 buy one, get one free. With my 50-cent Hanover coupon tripled, I only paid thirty-nine cents for two bags of vegetables! I did this with a few other items and that day I saved over $22 on an order that would have normally cost me $50! I think that is smart shopping! --- Mrs. M.J. Valenzano of Scotrun, PA

The C.V.S. drug store had a “Buy 1 – Get 1 Free” on the 12-roll package of Scott bath tissue. I had a $3-off Scott coupon which brought my cost for 24 rolls down to $5.99, just 25-cents a roll. --- Audrey Thompson of Schenectady, New York

My local Shaw's supermarket had Keebler Town House crackers on sale, “Buy 1 Get 1 Free.” I had four $1.50 Keebler coupons, each good on the purchase of two. With the BOGO, two boxes cost $3.19 and subtracting the coupon, the final cost was just was $1.69 for each set of two. I saved $18.76 on the purchase of 8 boxes! --- Mari Gates Middleboro, Massachusetts

There is a special excitement to a Shopping Adventure when the savings finally reach an important goal. Maria Clayton and her husband Walter, are snowbirds. Throughout the summer and fall Maria Clayton plans her shopping expeditions from her summer home in Marshall Creek, Pennsylvania. She remembers one shopping trip this fall to Mr.Z’s when she saved $37.77. It brought her savings total for the season to $299.99 which was more than enough to pay for the airline ticket that will take her to the couple’s winter home in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “You could say that grocery coupons let me fly free!” says Maria.

Grocery shopping adventures sometimes have a surprise ending, thanks to the Catalina Checkout Coupon (the printer at the register that prints out savings good on your next shopping trip). Leilani Medlin of Pinehurst, North Carolina was having a good day at the Bi-Lo. One of her bargains was Gain detergent on sale for $3.99. Using three 50-cent coupons which the store tripled, three boxes of Gain came to only $7.47. Then,she looked at the Checkout Coupon the cashier handed her. It was a Gain $5 mail-in rebate form. “It was a thrill” says Leilani.

Luck seems to follow Smart Shoppers. Marylynn Rock of Berrien Springs, Michigan, put her name in a drawing for $25 in groceries at Schraders. She was a winner. However, instead of spending it right away, she decided to save the certificate for holiday grocery shopping. After Thanksgiving, the store made an unusual offer. Shoppers who spent at least $25 received a free bag of sugar, and a free bag of onions, and a head of cabbage, and English muffins, and whipped topping and a package of hot dogs! (I included the “ands” so you would not think it was a choice of just one). When Marylynn finished her shopping, in addition to all the freebies, her shopping cart had a whole ham, a T-Bone steak, two bags of Ocean Spray cranberries (she had 55-cent coupons) a frozen dessert and a gallon of milk. She paid $1.24. When I spoke to Marylynn recently, she told me to make sure I mentioned the $2 refund she received from Ocean Spray. WHAT A DEAL!

Rain checks can create game winning opportunities. When Lynne Mazzoleni of Austintown, Ohio, arrived at Giant Eagle to get the Buy 1 – Get 1 Free! On 20 oz. Cheerios, the shelf was bare. Picking up the rain check took some extra time, but half price Cheerios is a deal should didn’t want to miss. The following week, Lynne could not believer her good luck: Giant Eagle was offering as the Bonus of the Week $5-off three boxes of General Mills cereals. In addition there was a store coupon for $1.50-off the purchase of three. Giant Eagle also doubled her four Cheerios coupons, deducting $4.40. Lynne turned that rain check into four free boxes and a credit of $1.32 against her other purchases. Smart Shoppers who play The Game, call this a “Home Run” savings.

“If you include my adventure in you column, could you try to use the headline, “Stoughton Woman Gets Skinny!” wrote Marcia Gonzalez of Stoughton, Massachusetts? “I decided to write to you when I had a truly remarkable shopping adventure.” One of her favorite snacks is Skinny Original Corn Chips. Marcia says they are delicious and low in fat. So, when she found a 75-cent Skinny coupon in the Sunday newspaper, she made a special effort to round up the Skinny coupons which her friends and neighbors did not intend to us. Nineteen Skinny coupons went into her fat coupon file. In the weeks that followed Marcia checked every supermarket advertisement and flyer. Then she found it. Skinny chips, regularly $2.49, on sale for $1.50. And this supermarket doubled coupons! “Martin, I got 19 bags FREE!” says Marcia. The headline also has a special meaning for Marcia who achieved her goal of losing 50 pounds this year. Congratulations, Marcia!

Nancy Kocher of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania was pleased to learn that her Giant supermarket was offering a $10 shopping certificate to customers who purchased $25 worth of Kraft products. In that same Giant advertisement she found Kraft’s Philadelphia cream cheese, Buy 1 – Get 1 Free! Nancy checked her coupon file and found eight $1 cream cheese coupons. The discounts were all coming together for a super shopping adventure. Here is Nancy’s score: She purchased 12 packages cream cheese, and after the BOGO and her coupons, she paid $9.88 and then received the $10 free groceries certificate.

My recent visit to Price Chopper was very profitable. Along with the many specials and double coupons up to $1, and a rain check for a Scott napkins 500 count BOGO (19-cents after the double coupon), I paid $22.03 for $56.42 worth of groceries, and 86-cents of what I paid was sales tax! And every item was something I needed! --- Carm Wood of Mechanicsville, NY

While looking through the reduced, damaged goodies shelf at a Bi-Lo, I found two Cocoa Puff boxes for $1 each that were only slightly smashed at the top. I had a $1 off 2 coupon, so two boxes cost me only a dollar. But my savings were not over. Inside each box I found free children tickets to the upcoming Looney Tunes movie my twin sons want to see. It was a wonderful deal! --- Sylvia Jenkins Augusta, Georgia

My Victory Market had Progresso soups, regularly $2.19, on sale for 99-cents. I had two Progresso coupons, each good for $1-off the purchase of two cans. Four cans cost me just 49-cents a can. I consider that quite a savings. --- Lucy Rhodes of Carver, Massachusetts

Kroger had Nestle ice cream cones on sale at two packages for $4 using the Kroger Plus card. I had two Nestle $1 coupons which brought my cost down to just a dollar a box. This is my kind of shopping! --- Joyce Palm of Houston, Texas

My method of madness includes examining the newspapers for "hot" grocery sale items, and listing comparison prices for items that I will need on my next trip. My recent shopping should have cost $305.00, but by combining sales items with coupons and in-store specials, I paid 164.00. An example: The local Giant had an in-store special, BOGO on Town House Crackers at $1.67 for two boxes. I had two coupons for 1.50-off two boxes, so my final cost was four boxes for 34-cents! Every little bit helps, with our family of seven, and every little adds up to huge savings. --- Denise Fox Stroudsburg, PA

Ralph’s had Friskies on sale at four cans for $1. I had two $1 Friskies coupons, each good on the purchase of eight cans. Ralph’s doubled --- Cathy Mason Long Beach, California

I have three cats and I normally buy four-packs of Nine Lives. Meijers in South Bend, recently offered a coupon for 75-cents off gasoline with a four-pack priced at 89-cents. I purchased twelve four-packs and received a whopping $9 gas coupon. So, the Nine Lives cost me less than 4-cents a can. That’s the cat’s meow! --- Jill Shoop Berrien Springs, Michigan

I clipped a $7 coupon out of the newspaper for the Swifter One Step. At Eckerd they had them on sale for $8.98 and there was an additional $5-off store coupon. I got the Swifter free and $3.02 in change! --- Liz Collins Scotia, New York.

Shaw’s had a “Buy 1 – Get 2 Free” on Pillsbury cake mixes. I used two $1 Pillsbury coupons and paid just $1.98 for six boxes. I saved $9.96! Adele Killroy Brocton, Massachusetts

Early in the summer, Kroger had the 3-liter Sprite on sale for $1.79. I had several $1 Sprite coupons which brought my cost down to just 79-cents. On the bottles of Sprite I found a “buy 1 ticket – get 1 free” at Cinemark movie theaters. The free ticket was a savings of more than $7. There were so many good movies this summer and seeing them for half price added to our enjoyment! --- Terri Leong Sugar Land, Texas

The best buys are often items which are not advertised: items, usually perishables, that the supermarkets must sell quickly or they wind up in the dumpster. Here are two examples of how I am a Smart Shopper: Giant Eagle at Village Square in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, had a sign at the entrance, promoting Jennie-O/The Turkey Store fresh lean ground turkey, a 20-ounce package for 99 cents. This is regularly $2.99. I bought thirteen packages, the most I could fit in my freezer, and I will enjoy this great buy for weeks to come. The Shop 'n Save in Castle Shannon, Pennsylvania, often runs closeouts on Limited Edition Edy's Ice Cream, special flavors that are promoted for a relatively brief period of time. Today, I found Edy's Nemo ice cream for 99-cents a half-gallon. The regular price is more than five dollars! --- Oren Spiegler Upper Saint Clair PA

Giant Eagle had a Buy One Get Two Free promotion on San Giorgio Pasta. I had 2 coupons for $.75 off on 3 boxes and 2 coupons for $.50 off on 2 boxes. The regular price is $1.38 per package. I was able to get 12 boxes for $.52 cents after Giant Eagle doubled my coupons...a savings of $16.04! --- Sue Zollinger of Latrobe, PA

Linda Prichard of Warren, Ohio, says her family eats lots of Mott’s apple sauce. She recently stocked up when Giant Eagle offered it on sale for 99-cents, regularly $1.79. Using one coupon good for 55-cents off 2 and four coupons for $1 off 3, she bought 14 jars for $9.31. Linda’s purchase was an investment of 67-cents a jar and her savings (profit) on each jar was $1.12.

Cheryll Paul of Long Beach, California, spotted Aquafresh toothpaste, a 7.7 oz bonus size, on sale at Albertson’s for 99-cents. Using seven 75-cent coupons, she paid $1.68 for all seven tubes. That’s 24-cents for a tube that regularly sells for $2.99. Each time she uses a tube she has saved $2.75. That is a nice profit on an investment of 24-cents.

On a trip to the supermarket, Giant Eagle gave me a 50-cent coupon for Musselman’s 24 oz. apple sauce along with my register tape. The following week it was on sale for 69 cents. When I checked this great buy out I received another Musselman’s 50-cent coupon. On that shopping trip I bought 12 jars for only 19-cents each! --- Deborah Ozer Youngstown, Ohio

I found individual Celeste pizzas on sale at Roach Bros., for 49-cents. I had four Celeste $1 coupons, each good on two. The eight pizzas were free! --- Pearl Martins Brockton, Massachusetts

Ralphs had Gerber Graduates on sale at 4 for $2. I used a Gerber coupon good for $1-off on four. Ralphs doubled the coupon and I got the four jars, free! --- Cherry Adam Long Beach, CA

I'm new to using coupons and rebates. But, it can really be fun when you get a great deal. I bought two Clearasil total control products. Each was $5.97. Since I work at Wal-Mart I automatically get 10% off each. I had two coupons one for $1 and one for $2. Plus a rebate; buy two products and get $7 back! The two items cost me less than a dollar. I'm starting to like this! --- Dana McCall of Elizabeth, Pennsylvania

Judy Lemon of Martinez, Georgia knows how to shop smart: I purchased $236.54 worth of groceries at my local Bi-Lo and with my bonus card and double coupons, saved one third, $78.81. Here are a few of my super buys: After my 50-cent Daisy sour cream coupon was doubled, it was on sale for 89-cents, I netted 11-cents back to me. I netted 34-cents on a bottle of Vlasic sweet relish. I made a penny on a box of Martha White muffin mix. Davinci pasta cost me a penny. A 16 oz. Ken’s salad dressing cost me just 30-cents.

Giant Eagle had Post cereals on sale three boxes for $6. I had a $1 Post coupon. Amazingly, if you bought three boxes, you received five packages of Kraft macaroni and cheese, free! With the purchase of the mac and cheese, I received a free can of StarKist tuna! It was a fabulous buy! --- April Roesner North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

(Supermarkets and grocery manufacturers occasionally offer shoppers some unusual bargains to dispose of short dated products. Here is an example): Jewel had Taco Bell taco shells on sale for 99-cents a box (the best if used by date was this August). When I got to the shelf I saw that each box had a $1 “Use Now” coupon. With eight children who love tacos, I took a bunch. Gotta love a great deal! --- Jennifer Tackett Kenosha, Wisconsin

Please remind your readers that your advice about Smart Shopping extends beyond supermarkets. I found an Atlantis Workstation on sale for $98 at Office Depot. It is regularly $199. I asked whether there was a rebate offer and was pleased to find a $100 rebate offer! --- Marnie Stites Spring, Texas

Giant Eagle had the 20 ounce box of pitted prunes, regularly $4.48 on sale, “Buy One – Get One Free.” When I got to the shelf, I found manufacturer $1 “Use Now” coupons attached to the boxes. At just $1.24 a box, I bought several. It is a great way to shop! --- Elaine Zenn of Poland, Ohio

Harris Teeter had Betty Crocker brownie mix on sale for 99-cents. Attached to each box was a 35-cent “Use Now” coupon which the store doubled. What a deal! --- Roberta Harris of Stedman, North Carolina

My Stop & Shop had Progresso products on sale, “Buy 5 – Get $5 Off (except for the soups). I started off with five cans of kidney beans at 75-cents each and made $1.25 profit. I went back and bought another 10 cans. I bought 15 cans of tomatoes for $20.85 and got $15 back. I wound up paying $2.10 for 30 cans. It was a very enjoyable trip to the supermarket. --- Freeman Shaw of Wareham, Massachusetts

My Kroger had Stouffer’s dinners at 40%-off with an additional savings of $5 on the purchase of ten. I bought 10 dinners ranging at sale prices ranging from $1.47 to $2.00. I had five $1 Stouffer’s coupons each good on the purchase of 2 dinners. Kroger doubled the coupons. After the sale prices were rung up and my coupons were scanned and doubled, my total for the 10 dinners was $4.89.--- Vanessa Droll Augusta, Georgia

My Kroger had Pillsbury Frosting on sale for 99-cents. I had a 30-cent coupon which Kroger tripled. The frosting cost me 9-cents! --- Laura Carrizales of Houston, Texas

I shopped at Ralph’s twice to prepare for Easter. I spent a total of $120.77 and after sales and coupons, I saved $123.30; more than 50%. I also received a free ham for purchasing more than $50! --- Jerry Higgenbotham Bellflower, California

Kroger ran Aquafresh toothpaste on sale for 98-cents. With two 75-cent Aquafresh coupons I was able to buy two tubes for just 46-cents. In addition, I took advantage of an Aquafresh offer of a free 12-month subscription to my choice of Family Circle, Parents or Golf magazines. I thought this was a wonderful deal! --- Patricia Redding in Rosenberg, Texas

My local Stop & Shop recently offered a “Buy 1 – Get 1 FREE!” special on Klondike ice cream bars. The regular price for a box of six bars is $3.49. I had four 75-cent Klondike coupons which the store doubled. I wound up with four boxes for just 98-cents! I love savings like this. I think of it as my best part-time job and I don’t have to pay income taxes! --- Phyllis Delaney of Brocton, Massachusetts

I don’t buy frozen meals but Tops supermarket had an offer that was too good to pass up. Freezer Queen frozen meals, usually $1.50, were on sale at 5 for $5. I had three Freezer Queen coupons good for 50-cents off the purchase of two. Tops was offering Triple Coupons that week. I bought the six dinners for just 25-cents each. That’s what I call a DEAL! --- Julianne Gonzales Lansing, New York

In the Sunday coupon insert, Quaker had a $1.50-off two coupon on boxes of Chewy Granola Bars. Bi-Lo had them on sale for $1.25 a box. I paid just $1 for the two boxes. Then, to make it sweeter, I used a Quaker mail-in offer which returned to me a dollar for each of the Quaker UPC symbols. So, the granola bars were better than free. --- Melissa Polansky Fayetteville, NC

In today’s mail I received a letter from my 83 year old dad my dad, Harry Szalkowski of Toledo, Ohio. Four days after Valentine’s day, my Dad went to a chain drug store and purchased one bag of York Peppermint Patties and a 14 oz. bag of M&Ms. They were a good buy at 49-cents each. Along with the register tape he received a $1 M&Ms coupon. He walked back to the candy display and used the coupon to purchase another two bags. This time, the register coupon was for $1.50. He said he couldn’t pass up a great deal, so he used the coupon to purchase three more 14 oz. bags. Now, the M&Ms coupon he received at the register was for $2. You can imagine what he did! And my dad got another $2 coupon. At this point my dad says he decided he didn’t need any more, at least not for now and he put the final coupon in his wallet. His final total was 98-cents for the Peppermint Patties and 10 bags of M&Ms. I am very proud of my dad. --- mary Ellen Zielinski Martinez, Georgia

Stop & Shop had Cheerios on sale for 99-cents. If you purchased two, three or four boxes, you received coupons for $2, $3 or $4 good on your next shopping trip. I purchased three boxes for $2.97, used a $1 Cheerios coupon to bring the cost down to $1.97. At the checkout counter I received the $3 coupon as well as a surprise free product coupon for a new variety of Cheerios. --- Michelle McKenzie, Weymouth, MA

My Walgreens recently had Colgate’s Simply White on sale for $12.99. They also offered a bonus of a free package of Colgate’s Total Whitening toothpaste, a $2.59 value. I had a $5 Simply White coupon. At the checkout counter I paid $7.99 and received both Colgate items. But my savings were not over. Soon afterwards I sent for a $5 Simply White Rebate! I love to play The Great Grocery Game. --- Lee Smith Baytown, Texas

I had fun with a Giant Eagle coupon which offered $15-off on the purchase of 10 boxes of specified General Mills cereals. I also had a coupon good for $2.50-off three boxes. I waited until Giant Eagle put Cheerios on sale for $1.89 a box, combined the coupons and purchased the 10 boxes for $1.40. Our church has an on-going collection of groceries which it distributes to local food banks, so my husband, son and I drove to church to contribute the ten boxes. Smart Shopping is fun and we enjoy sharing the benefits. --- Cathy Anderson of Youngstown, Ohio

Kroger had Harmony cereal on sale for $1.65 a box, regularly $3.99. Kroger had a $1.50 Harmony store coupon reducing the price to just 15-cents. I had a $1-off 2 manufacturer coupon and when it was credited to my total, I came out 70-cents ahead. What a deal! --- Jennifer Stephens Jonesboro, Arkansas

At Ralph’s I recently purchased four packages of Parkay soft margarine on sale for 99-cents. I had two Parkay coupons each good for $1-off of two. That meant the margarine was free when Ralph’s doubled the coupons. But my savings were not over. Inside the Parkay packages was a mail-in form, “Buy Any 3 Parkay Products – Get 1 Free.” What a great deal! This past year I kept track of my savings. Coupons saved me $648.27. The Ralph’s Club Card saved me $1,658.35! --- Jeanette in Bellflower, California

This past year I saved $726.88 with coupons and store sale items. Since I am 66 and by myself, I thought this was quite a feat. Since my monthly check from Social Security is $725, it was like getting another month’s pay. Last week CVS had the 8-pack of Bounty paper towels on sale for $4.99. The previous week I had received a rain check for “Buy 1 – Get 1 Free.” I also had a $5 coupon from CVS that I received in the mail. I ended up with 16 free rolls of Bounty! --- Carol Fontaine Carver, MA

My Bi-Lo supermarket offered the 3-pack of Scott paper towels, “Buy 1 – Get 1 Free!” The regular price of the 3-pack is $3.19. I had two Scott 50-cent coupons which Bi-Lo doubled. My cost at the checkout counter was just $1.19 for six rolls, only 20-cents each. I think it was a very good buy.--- Kandy Swygart Hephzibah, Georgia

My local IGA had Rolled Gold Pretzels on sale for 98-cents. During the summer I saved the 55-cent pretzel coupons I found in Pepsi Cubes. I had 8 coupons which were doubled and after ringing up my pretzels, the IGA paid me 96-cents to take home the pretzels for my holiday party. ---- Geraldine McCracken Youngstown, OH

I receive a weekly e-mail from my Lowes Foods supermarket. One of the sale items was fresh Perdue chicken breasts for 76-cents a pound. I live 30 minutes away from the store and don’t see their advertisements so the e-mail is a great way to find out if it is worth the drive. I wound up buying three packages of the chicken breasts and saved a lot of money. --- Lisa Bryant Fort Bragg, NC

My husband insisted that I write to you about my most recent bargain. Stop & Shop had Johnson and Johnson dental floss on sale “Buy 1 – Get 1 Free.” So, for $1.59 I could get two packages instead of one. I had a $1 J&J coupon good on the purchase of two. So, I paid only 59-cents. Imagine my surprise when I got home and found a Checkout Coupon inside one of my shopping bags saving me 75-cents on my next shopping trip, courtesy of J&J. What a deal! --- Pat Baylor of Brockton, Massachusetts

My Shopping Adventure started with a disappointment. Supermarket offered Cheerios, Buy 1 Get 1 Free, but when I arrived at the store, it was out-of-stock. asked for and received a rain check. A few weeks later, I found Cheerios on sale at $2.59 a box. I now also had two Cheerios coupons each good for $1 on the purchase of two boxes. The store doubled my Cheerios coupons and I wound up paying just $1.18 for the four boxes of cereal. In addition, there was a store coupon which entitled me to two free pounds of bananas! - Heather Johnson of Pleasanton, California.

On a recent grocery shopping trip I made two smart buys. At the Meijer Super Saturdaze sale, I purchased two bottles of Marie’s salad dressing for $1 each. They deducted my two Marie’s 75-cent coupons and my final cost was just 25-cents a jar. But my savings weren’t over. I also received a coupon good for $1-off Meijer gasoline. Then I went to D&W supermarket which was offering 20%-off all meat. I purchased two packages of Ball Park meat franks which were on sale for $1.29. When the 20% was deducted my cost was $2.06. The cashier took my two Ball Park 50-cent coupons, doubled them, and asked me for six cents! --- Sue Gunderman Saint Joseph, MI

Matching up coupons with the Randalls’ sale items, I was able to purchase nine Healthy Choice dinners, four 12-packs of Dr. Pepper, four 16-oz. jars of Pace Pecante Sauce and a pound of Parkay squeeze margarine for $18.29. I saved $33.52. I love being a Smart Shopper! --- Vicki Myers of Pasadena, Texas

This week I gave my three sons a savings lesson: My boys love Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal (CTC). However at $4.19 a box, they don’t get it. Mr.Z’s supermarket had General Mills cereals including CTC on sale for $2.96 a box. I bought four boxes using 50-cent coupons which were doubled. Each box had a coupon for a free box of Reeses Puffs cereal. When I checked out I received two coupons for$1.50 off my next purchase of three boxes of CTC. I also received a bonus certificate for 20 bonus Box Tops for Education. I wound up paying $7.84 for eight boxes of cereal my kids love, two $1.50 coupons for future purchases, and the Parent Teachers Organization of our school receives box tops worth $4.80 which will be donated by General Mills.” --- Ingrid Marshall Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

My local supermarket had I Can’t Believe Its Not Butter on sale for 99-cents. I had ten 50-cent coupons which the store doubled. The ten packages were free! I could hardly believe it! In fact, it was such a good buy it even tastes better than butter! --- Deb Moore Vandergrift, Pennsylvania

I shop at my local Dollar General store and I am very pleased. Last Saturday I purchased cereals, sweetener, Jell-O, pancake syrup, nuts and greeting cards. My total was $8.58. I estimate their cost at the supermarket would have been about $22. That is a savings of more than $13!!! --- Virginia Potnick Bridgeport, OH

K-Mart had a four hour special on Oreo’s at 79 cents, normally $2 or more, with a limit of four. During this special time period I took the advertisement to Wal-Mart. They matched the sale price and credited me for four 55-cent Oreo coupons. I ended up paying 24-cents a package. --- Evelyn Wakefield Evans, GA

Price Chopper was selling Sun-Maid raisins, three 6-packs for $5. That same week in the local newspaper Price Chopper had special coupons allowing customers to triple up to five of them per shopping trip. I had several 55-cent coupons for Sun-Maid raisins. After three were tripled I got $4.95 off my $5 purchase. Additionally, Sun-Maid had an on-package offer of "Buy 2 - Get 1 Free." After the cost of my postage stamp, when the free product coupon arrives, I will have paid 42-cents for four 6-packs. Ironically, the free one will turn out to be the most expensive because of the postage. --- Paul LeGere Rotterdam, NY

At a recent Meijer Super Saturday Sale, Marie’s salad dressing was half price at $1.24. I had two $1 Marie’s coupons each good on two. So, I bought four for $4.96 and less my $2 in coupons, I paid just $2.96. Because of this purchase, I received two $1 coupons to save on Meijer gasoline. But my adventure did not end there. Also at the checkout counter I received two 75-cent Checkout Coupons for my next purchase of Marie’s. So, I went back and got two more Jars of Marie’s and finally, another $1 gas coupon. It was a wonderful experience. --- Sumita Karamchandani Saint Joseph, Michigan

I'm now the proud owner of a Kroger register tape that measures three and a half feet long. He purchased 71 items and almost every one of them was on sale. He used 27 manufacturer coupons, most of which were doubled and a few were tripled. William also used a coupon which appeared in the Kroger’s advertisement in the Houston Chronicle, offering a savings of $8.70 on the purchase of $75 or more. The sale savings and coupon savings added up to $75.81. Without the savings the 71 items would have cost William $156.94. He paid only $81.13, and saved 48% which Kroger shows at the bottom of the register tape. --- William Moore Lake Jackson, Texas
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