Friday, January 21, 2011

Grocery matchups 1/20-1/27 and slight rant

“It’s impossible to eat healthy with coupons.”

This is probably the #1 complaint you hear about couponing. And it’s valid…. in a way. Just like the defense of couponing, “Sure you can, there’s tons of coupons for healthy food!” is also valid… in a way.

There are some good groceries you can get with coupons. Yogurt, bagged salad, frozen vegetables, bread, hummus, cereal. There are even coupons on organic food. But to be honest, if all you ate every week was stuff that you could buy with coupons, you’d be eating a lot of soup, mac & cheese, and Hamburger Helper. (Not that I have anything against any of those. But I have high blood pressure. That little Helper hand might as well be putting a gun in my mouth.)

It’s no secret that it is cheaper to eat junk food than it is to eat what Michael Pollan would call real food. Junk food also has a higher profit margin, for producers and the stores. So I don’t know why everyone acts all shocked, shocked! that most coupons are for processed, prepackaged food. Duh.

But there is a middle ground. If I can save $30 off a $100 grocery bill, buying food that we would have eaten anyway, then I’m happy. I use coupons on some items so that I can afford to buy the more expensive, healthier stuff, like produce and meat. Can I bring a $500 grocery tab down to $9, like some extreme couponers promise? Nope. Because what they’re buying is totally unrealistic and would not help you at all come dinner time.

Last week at Big Y I bought $60 worth of stuff, took $15 off in store sales and $15 in coupons. So I saved about $30, or 50%. Not bad, right? Now here’s the thing: some of the things I bought were not on sale and did not have coupons. I could have just not bought them, and then maybe I would have saved $30 and only spent $5 or $10. Then I could brag that I saved 75% on my grocery bill, but I wouldn’t have gotten the things that I needed. My suspicion is that a lot of those Crazy couponers you see going on about how much they save at the grocery store are buying crap they don’t need and forgoing stuff they do need just to massage their numbers.

All this to lead up to my grocery matchups for the week. :-) Sorry, I just had to get all that off my chest! Bear in mind that this isn’t an exhaustive list. I’m only making the sale/coupon matchups, but there are plenty of good sales, even without coupons, that you should definitely read the circular for.

Big Y store coupons can be printed at They are off Big Y brands, so they can’t be combined with manufacturer coupons. They also don’t double.
Big Y states that they will double manufacturer coupons up to $0.99. They are very strict with not doubling coupons that state “Do Not Double.”

Chobani Greek yogurt, $1.00
Use $0.30/1 printable
You pay $0.40 after coupon doubles

Healthy Choice frozen entrees 5 for $10
Use $1/2 printable
You pay $3.00 for 2

Aunt Jemima frozen waffles, BOGO
Use $1/2 printable
You pay – Not sure, but not bad

Stonyfield yogurt 20 for $10
Use $0.50/3 printable
You pay $0.50 for 3 after coupon doubles

Fiber One bread BOGO
Use up to 2 $0.55/1 coupons
You pay – Not sure, but don’t forget these coupons will double

Quaker Instant Oatmeal 2 for $5
Use $1/1 coupon from the 1/2/11 Red Plum insert
You pay $1.50 each

The following are monthly deals that you can view here or in booklets in stores.

McCormick Slow Cooker seasoning packets 10 for $10
Use $0.75/1 coupon from the 1/2/11 Red Plum insert
You pay $0.25 (moneymaker if the coupon doubles!)

Folgers or Millstone K-cups 12-pk $5.99
Use $2/1 coupon from the 12/12 Red Plum insert (this one is worth ordering from a clipping service if you can find it – doesn’t expire until 2/28!)
You pay $3.99

Perdue Short Cuts chicken or turkey strips 9 oz $3.88
Use $0.75/1 printable
You pay $2.38 after coupon doubles

Tribe Hummus $2.98
Use $2/1 printable if the Origins is included – the ad says it does include Organic
You pay $0.98

To get store coupons at Stop & Shop, you’ll have to use those new price scanners. When you get them you can scroll through the Savings to see your offers, and more will pop up as you shop, based on what you buy. These can be combined with manufacturer coupons.
Stop & Shop will double coupons up to $0.99, even those marked “Do Not Double.”

The big promotion this week is an offer to save $5 off your order when you buy $7 of the featured products. If you needed them, this is a good deal, but I don’t think any of the sale prices make it worth buying stuff just to get this promotion.

There’s not a lot else going on at Stop & Shop this week. They’ve been advertising this as “The biggest sale of the season!” but I’m not impressed. Maybe there will be more after new coupons come out on Sunday. Meh.


  1. Here's a comment on the Stop & Shop price scanners - that nifty little law that states if a product rings up higher than listed, it is free? I've never really used it, because honestly, by the time I get my groceries to the registers, I have forgotten what the tag on the shelves say.

    The one time I used the price scanner, I happened to need to buy Splenda. The big box had a price of $8.79. When I scanned it with the gun, it came up at $8.99. I NEVER would have noticed that $.20 difference at the register. But right there with it staring me in the face? You bet I marched right up to the registers to ring out and brought it to their attention. FREE Splenda!

  2. Ooh, good point! I love those scanners.