Problems with coupons at Meijer

I’ve had some trouble recently at Meijer, and as I talk to my fellow couponers, I’m finding out I’m not alone.  In a nutshell, what’s happening is that they do not have a consistent coupon policy.  For all appearances, it looks like they do.  Its clearly printed on the front of their weekly circulars.  However, getting them to follow it is something else entirely.

Their circulars state that they will double up to two like coupons, and any further like coupons will be redeemed at face value.  There is no mention of limits or limiting to reasonable family quantities as other stores do.  Simply “all other like coupons will be redeemed at face value.”  Like coupons mean the same coupon used more than once.

Now, what will happen if you go in and buy 10 of one item and plan on using 10 coupons?  Who knows?!?  Its a different reaction every time.  Some people have cashiers who happily allow it.  Others report being tsk-tsked at about using a coupon for every item.  Still many more report inconsistent practices–denying over 2, over 6, over 8.  Depends on the manager’s mood.

This happened to me this week–twice.  The first time I was told 2 coupons.  When I pressed someone else said 6.  When I refused to take that answer (since their written policy had no limit) the store manager told me its whatever he feels like.  Sometimes 10, sometimes 12, or even 20.  But its up to his mood.

This week Meijer has added coupons to their website.  Many are reporting that they aren’t scanning properly at the stores.  While most cashiers are pushing them through, shoppers are getting an earful about misuse of coupons.  I had a cashier follow me through the self-checkout spouting off about the evils of the internet and coupons.

Meijer has some great deals.  But their inconsistencies are driving us coupon shoppers nuts!  There is a HUGE difference between being able to use 2 coupons and being able to use 10.  They do not care if we purchase 10 boxes of pasta–but don’t try to use 10 coupons on them.  (These were manufacturer coupons that the store would be fully reimbursed on–and a buy 10 deal–they encourage you to buy in quantity!)  I don’t mind working within limits–no honest couponer does.  However, limits need to be clear and enforced so that we can know what we’re working with.  This presents customer frustration and gives the cashier some support to fall back on.

Meijer, you need to develop some sort of corporate policy on this.  In this tight economy, you need every shopper you can get!


Stockpiling Week 2: I have $10, what do I buy?

Relatively speaking, this has been a quiet week for super stockpiling deals. The General Mills deal has moved to Kmart–however, they do not double coupons, so its not as good as last week’s deal of 4 boxes for $1. The best you can do is 4 boxes for $4. Its a good investment, but not a heavy stockpiling deal.

However, there are some good deals floating out there. Here are my picks this week:

20 boxes of Eggo Waffles–Kroger–$5

6 boxes of Pasta–Meijer–free

1 Free Automatic Shower Cleaner

4 whole chickens–Hebron Kroger–$4.50

That’s $9.50. I spent the extra .50 on Meijer Frozen French Fries!

Eggos–These are buy one get one free at Kroger until next Sunday. Go online and find 20 coupons for .55 off one Eggo product. The coupon doubles to $1. I was able to get 10 boxes and use 10 coupons at my Kroger. 20 boxes=$5.10

Meijer Pasta. Go to Mealbox.Meijer.com and click on the Specials tab. Now click on the coupons tab. There are several good coupons available–Meijer frozen potatoes makes a bag only .69. Meijer frozen vegetables makes bags only .50. But the best is the Meijer pasta coupon–.50 off a box, which is priced this week only at .50 a box! That makes the Pasta free!

Kroger Whole Chickens–The new Hebron Kroger has whole chickens on sale for only .29 a pound! Roasted chicken is one of my standby’s–I make it all the time. In three years of following chicken prices, I have never seen it below .59 a pound. I went today and stocked up on 6 chickens. With your $4.5o left, you can get 4 whole chickens! In our family, those are two meals each–so that’s 8 dinners for under $5!

Free Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner–thanks to moneysavingmom.com for the info! This week at Dollar General they have the Automatic Shower Cleaner on sale for $15 with a $5 instant rebate. Add in the $10 coupon in the paper a few weeks back, and its free!

Now I know a lot of you are new to stockpiling and are wondering exactly what I’m going to be doing with 20 boxes of Eggos. Well, this is a big part of stockpiling. They are normally $2.59 each. I paid $2.55 for 10 boxes! Between last month’s poptart and cereal deals, and this week’s Eggo deals, I won’t be buying breakfast foods for the kids for about a year! Other than things like eggs, sausage and occasionally a muffin mix, there’s not much else for me to buy. That’s one whole meal taken out of my monthly grocery budget, for a year. I spent less than $30 on 25 boxes of Kroger poptarts, 42 boxes of General Mills cereals (cheerios, mainly) and 20 boxes of Eggo’s. That’s a 90% savings. If I’d paid regular price, the entire lot would total well over $300. That’s the kind of savings that stockpiling during big deals can bring!

One last deal to consider:  If you live near the Hebron Kroger, transfer a prescription there!  Right now they are offering a deal for $20 for the first transferred prescription, $30 for the second and $60 for the third!  That’s right, $120 for three transferred prescriptions!  The money goes onto your Kroger Plus card to be used at your discretion in the future.  It works just like a gift card.  You have to ask for the deal at the pharmacy–but they give it out willingly!  Nothing like a little kickback for the high cost of medicine these days!

Have a Great Weekend!!


Get $25 now, free!

Yes, there really is such a thing as free money!

When I was in my early 20’s I worked at the Better Business Bureau. Day after day I received phone calls about scams that promised something for nothing. So I tend to be VERY wary about these things. But someone I trust told me about Revolution Money Exchange and their new program!

First, RME is a new company set up to rival Paypal. Since most people who have used Paypal have horror stories, I was very curious to check out the new competition. Then someone told me Steve Case, the former head of AOL, founded it. Hmm, that makes me feel safer….then they say, get $25 for signing up. I wasn’t ready to jump on, but it was worth a look.

Turned out to be true! I signed up and got my $25 within 5 minutes. Referred my dh, who signed up, and I got another $10 for that referral! In under 30 minutes, I had $35!

The deal runs until May 15th–so run over and sign up! You can use your new cash to buy something, or you can simply transfer it to your bank account. When you sign up via the links/ads on my page, $10 will be deposited into my missions account. Every dime raised via this blog goes into an account to help me pay for missions to Guatemala!


Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange


I only have $10….

What do I get? I hear this all the time! This week, I want to share two things. First, what to get if you only have $10 a week to spend on stockpiling. Second, a few photos of my own stockpile!

This week, if I only had $10 to spend, I would spend it on the cereal deal at Kroger. If you use the coupons in my previous blog, you can get 20 boxes of cereal for $10. You just can’t beat 20 boxes of General Mills cereals (Cheerios and more!) for $10!

Now…for photos of my own stockpile. This is about 1/3 of it. I also have a standing freezer in the garage, along with a stockpile of juice, ragu sauces, sodas, diapers and more wipes.  Remember that its taken me 8 months to gather this much (all while I continue to use it, so some piles are already gone!), and I did it only a little at a time.  I started at $20 a month–now I’m to about $30-$40 a month.  That’s all you really need!

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Stockpiling, Week 1–aka, Cheerios 4/$1

littlemissknowitalld1.jpgEvery day I tell someone new about stockpiling. Stockpiling is the only way to save large amounts of dollars with coupons. If you aren’t buying the deals in amounts that will serve you for months to come, then you are only casting pebbles into the ocean. When you start stockpiling, you are throwing boulders! There is no sense in clipping only one or two coupons–the amount of time it takes is too large for that minimal of savings. To save large amounts of money each month with coupons, you must start redeeming coupons in larger amounts. I’m not talking about clearing shelves–but I am talking about working up to a 6-12 month supply of your most commonly purchased goods.

Yes, it takes time. Yes, it takes storage. Clean out linen closets and under beds. We have lined our laundry room with wire shelving to make more room. We have even converted an old, unused shower in the basement into a storage area. But its worth it! I have enough food and goods to last for months to come! If we were suddenly hit with a financial crisis, we would be able to survive for at least 6 months.

So, the number one question I hear is “How exactly do I get started?” Well, step in here. I’m going to spend the next 6 weeks posting the stockpiling deals I find. I will let you know where to get the coupons–online printables, ebay, coupon services, or out of your paper. I will tell you what stores to go to, how many to buy, and what to expect your end price to be!

 Update:  Please Note that this is a post from April 2008.  The deals below are no longer valid.  They are, however, helpful in seeing the kinds of things you can stockpile.

So, for this week’s stockpile:

1. All 3x concentrated detergent. Free with coupon at Walmart and Target stores.

-In this weekend’s paper there was a coupon for $1 off ANY All 3x detergent. Target and Walmart carry this in their trial section for .97 a bottle. Go to eBay or a coupon clipping service (thecouponclippers.com) and buy 20-60 of these coupons. (They should be about $3 for 20 of them.) All runs this q every 6 weeks or so–so don’t panic if you can’t get 60 bottles. It will come around again. Each little bottle is 2 loads. So if you do a load of laundry a day, and you buy 30 bottles, that’s two months worth of detergent for the price of the coupons!

2. Scotch Brite toilet cleaners. I’ve had this one on here before, but its worth sharing again! This is a free coupon on Scotch Brite’s website. Its a printable without limits, so print many and stock up!

3. Ronzoni Pasta is on sale at Meijer this week for $1 a box. This is whole wheat pasta, so its actually good for you! And, this week its great on the pocketbook as well. Go to ebay or another coupon clipping site, and buy 10-20 coupons for this product. They are $1 off 1 box, making each box free! Even better, its buy 10 get the 11th box free! Meaning, use 10 coupons, get 11 boxes free! Now, who couldn’t use 11 free boxes of pasta? Even if the coupons cost $2, can you really beat that deal? Personally, I have purchased 60 of these coupons. Yes, 60. Over the next week I will go to Meijer and get 10-15 boxes at a time. (I never clean out shelves unless its the last night of a sale.) The pasta does not spoil quickly, and I will use a box or two a month for the next several years!

4. General Mills Cereals at Kroger are on sale this week. They are 4 for $10 with $4 off at the register. This means that you buy 4 cereals for $6! (The Betty Crocker fruit treats are too.) Now, make the rounds at the printable sites:

http://www.boxtops4education.com/coupons/

http://www.eatbetteramerica.com/Coupons/

The eatbetteramerica coupons are for .50/1 Cheerios, which doubles, and you can print many, many of these. Using four of these with four boxes means you get 4 boxes of Cheerios (Honey Nut and Fruit Cheerios too) for only $2. Want to save more? Head over to Shortcuts.com and register your Kroger card. Add Honey Nut Cheerios to your card, and it will come off on top of any coupons you use. That means I paid $1 for all 4 boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios!


Menu Planning and Budgeting

littlemissknowitalld1.jpgPlanning out a monthly menu is the very first step to saving lots of $$ every month! Without this step, coupons are useless. You will not save big $$ until you learn to make up a monthly (or weekly) shopping list! Think of all the times you walk into your pantry, looking for something to make for dinner. How many nights a week do you want to make something, but don’t have enough ingredients? How many times do you run to the grocery for only one or two things? And how often do you actually succeed in coming out of the grocery with only those items? The stores count on that! Its a huge hit to our budgets–the constant running to the store. Even worse, how often do you just get tired and give up, instead grabbing fast food? Oh, and one side benefit to a monthly menu–most people lose a pound or two since they eat at home more and tend to eat healthier!

So how do you do it? Its very simple!

Step 1: Sit down and write a list of every single meal you know how to make. Break it down into breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Step 2: Now go back and highlight the family favorites.

Step 3: Pick 5-7 breakfast and lunch items to regularly stock up on. Write down the ingredients for these on a separate shopping list.

Step 4: Now, take a blank month calendar and write in the dinners your family loves. Break them up. Think about days of the week that are always hectic, and a night a week when you’d like some time off from cooking. For example, around the KnowitAll household, Saturdays are Pizza nights. We have take and bake pizzas in the freezer. Sunday nights are COYF–Clean Out Your Fridge night. Meaning–Mommy isn’t cooking. Get some leftovers! I know that Wednesdays are church group, and we have little time for dinner. So its something quick and filling, but won’t give us heartburn if we eat and run. Mondays are family time–so we have a larger dinner. I mix each week so that we have some pasta, some beef, some chicken, some fish. There’s a good sampling each week.

Step 5: Now add in one or two dinners you’ve always wanted to learn how to make! Then, fill in the blank days with other meals that are cheap and easy, but aren’t necessarily family favorites. Don’t forget to add in the Chef’s favorites too!

Step 6: Now, sit at your computer, and begin a Word or Excel document. Make a shopping list of all the ingredients of these meals, including the breakfasts and lunches.

Step 7: Add in a list of the basic items you buy each month–toilet paper, shampoo, dog food, cat food, etc.

Now, before you shop, survey your pantry. Check off the items you need, print, and go shopping! You’ve got a ready-made shopping list, and you know you won’t forget the bread crumbs or cream of mushroom soup! Every night, instead of coming home, opening the fridge and standing there staring at it blankly, wondering what the heck you’re going to have for dinner, you can look at your menu, and pull out all the ingredients! Dinner is at hand!


How to Save Big $$ on Groceries and More!

littlemissknowitalld1.jpgI think I get the most hits and questions on saving money at the grocery. People are always astounded at how little we spend here in the KnowitAll household on our basic supplies. Which puzzles me, because its really not that hard!

So, I decided I would put together a tutorial–How to Save Big $$ on Your Everyday Expenses!

So, why are people so astounded? Well, the average american household with 2 parents and 2 kids spends approximately $700-$800 a month on groceries and toiletries. I spend about $150-$200 a month–that’s two adults, two kids, one cat. That’s pretty much three meals a day, seven days a week. And 90% of the items in our home is not generic–it is all name brand!

So here are the basic steps, which I will expound on in individual posts:

1. Make a monthly menu and shopping list. This will cut about $100 of wasteful spending out of your budget.

2. Begin cooking in bulk. This will cut another $50-$100 out of your budget, just in eating out costs alone!

3. Stockpile–when you find something on sale at a more-than-average savings, buy a healthy supply of it. This is the biggest money saver of them all–saving us around $200 a month!

I am not some sort of super woman. I am not more organized than the rest of the population! (Just ask Mr KnowitAll about this and you’re likely to get an essay!) This is not brain surgery! YOU, yes YOU, You can do it!!


More Deals!

I keep finding new deals to post!

Bath and Body Works–get a free product up to $11 when you buy any item in the store. Many are reporting across the country that you can buy something for $1 and get an $11 bottle of lotion! Free!

3M toilet scrubbers–free with coupon! This is an unlimited print, as most 3M coupons are!

As for yesterday’s post on the General Mills at Meijer–I’m hearing from some that a coupon prints at checkout for $2 off another box! So stock up on cereals!

Last, for all of you who can’t get enough printable coupons. Several have discovered that if you have Vista, simply close the site you were printing on, open again and voila! It prints more coupons!  Now to find a coupon for more printer ink….


Savings Adventures

Wow, is it a great week to go Krogering! I’m working out specific deals, but check out this ad: http://cincinnati.inserts2online.com/customer_Frame.jsp?divID=014&drpStoreID=00434

Kroger has a HUGE, absolutely HUGE selection of foods on sale this week. Using Kraft, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Kellogg’s and more, buy 10 items get $5 off your total purchase. That’s BEFORE coupons. So all you coupon queens, get to work!

Now, I’d also like to recommend another deal site–www.moneysavingmom.com. She’s a great resource for CVS, Walgreens and Kroger deals, along with advice on printable coupons, freebies and more. In fact, she posts how she feeds her family of five on $35 a week. Yes, that’s right, she feeds a family of five on $35 a week! Her tips are great and she really breaks it down for you. I recommend all you deal hunters check her out!

Last, here’s my freebie tip of the week–free Hefty ziploc bags at Walmart, Target and more! Check the trial/travel size section of your local store–if you find a travel package of Hefty ziplocs (7 per bag, quart sized, zipper lock and TSA approved), pick up a few. At my stores they are .97. Let the cashier ring them up, then turn them over and rip off the coupon on the back of the box! Yes, you will look like a total loon, but there is a method to the madness! On the back of the box is a coupon for $1 off ANY Hefty product. So when you hand over those coupons, your Hefty ziplocs will be FREE! But please, don’t clear the shelves–leave some for your neighbors and fellow deal shoppers to find!

Oh, I almost forgot! Stop by Walgreens tomorrow with your empty ink cartridges. For tomorrow only, they will be refilling one ink cartridge per customer for FREE! Color or black ink, doesn’t matter! Go get those refills!