Well, I didn't come out with $100 worth of groceries for $14, but I didn't expect that also. Plus, I am relatively new to the concept of couponing and matching sales.
I went to Rite Aid, Martin's and Weis - all in the Hagerstown area.
Rite Aid - - the deal here was definitely on razors. The Sunday papers had coupons for men and women's razors, and they were on sale - $9.97 for the men's (down from 10.99 to 12.99) and $8.99 for the women's disposable (down from $11.99). The men's razor had a $4.00 coupon in the Sunday paper and the women's was for $2.00 off. Both razors were tied to a $4.00 and $3.00 plus reward (which means that they gave you coupons for $3 and $4 off your next shopping order). So the bottom line for the women's razor was $3.99 and for the men's $1.97. The men's razor is not a disposable and came with only one extra blade, so now we can wait for refills to go on sale. =) I also picked up some Colgate toothpaste ($1.75/tube w/sale and coupon) and some Pantene shampoo and conditioner - and walked out with $18 in coupons towards my next visit. Not too bad. (Yes, I could probably save money if I used different brands or store brand, but I like Pantene.)
Martin's - - There are a few things I like about Martin's. There are three in the area, but my favorite by far is the one out at Northpointe. First, the store is laid out nicely, with wide aisles. Secondly, they have these handheld scanners that allow you to scan and bag your groceries, so all you have to do is pay upon leaving. Great job for tagalong children! Third, they offer gas points that accumulate along with your purchases, so you get credit for every $ spent - - whether it is just a few on a quick trip or hundreds for a larger trip. And, last, they offer quite a few bargains. The best deal was on Suddenly Salad - yes one of those bad boxed items - but these can be dressed up with fresh veggies added in, so don't discount them altogether. They were 10 for $10 and with a 50 cent coupon (doubled) on the purchase of two -- that brought them down to 50 cents per box. Everything I bought was on sale, and for some I even had a coupon. I spent about $125, but I saved about $66, too. I also accumulated 40 cents off of gas purchase. Which in the long run equates to about $12.00. I will take it!
Weis -- This isn't one of my favorite stores. The set up can be quite odd and each store is a little bit different which is confusing if you shop at more than one. However, they do have some good sales from time to time. One deal was $1.99 for boneless skinless chicken breasts. Martin's had split chicken breasts, buy one get one, for $2.97 a pound, which is the better deal, but then if you don't like the bones and skin, you would have some work ahead of you. It's worth it to me to spend the extra and it isn't much anyways. Weis also had some freebies - - like free milk if you purchase Activia (which was on sale and I had a coupon for it). I also got some free ice cream since I bought Mrs. T's pierogies (again they were on sale and I had a coupon). Kellogg's cereal was also on sale for 5 for $10, bringing it down to $2 per box (I tell my kids I will not spend more than $2 per box). I also had a couple of coupons and if you bought 10 you got 20 extra points for gas, as long as you purchased the minimum requirement. I also had coupon for $25 off a $150 order which brought my order total down to $125 and I had an additional $8 off on coupons. I netted 50 gas points which equates to 50 cents off per gallon or about $10.00 in savings. Weis runs their gas points differently. The max fill up is 20 gallons and you only get points for every $50 spent in one visit. Per my receipt, I saved a total of $93 on this particular visit.
I didn't come close to the $100 for $14 - - however, I purchased about $50 or so worth of produce - - lettuce, tomatoes, berries, grapes, bananas, potatoes, etc. This makes up a large part of my grocery bill. I am also hoping that between what I bought and what I have here already, that I do not need to make such a big trip until next month. Sure, we will need to get milk and bread, but that is not a big deal.
I am working on the second part of being frugal and that is menu planning. My idea is to come up with about 20 - 25 meals that we eat regularly and to rotate them throughout the month. Eventually, it would be great to develop a shopping list around those 20 - 25 meals, but that is for another post, another day. You can find my starting list under the Menu page.