Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Getting Paid to Shop?

Whew!  It has been a crazy busy day around here.  We are having a smokin' sale going on and I just had to share.  Sometimes when you buy certain products at stores during a certain time frame, a coupon (aka catalina) will print out after you pay.  The coupon is is money off your next purchase.  There is a General Mills promotion going on at Fry's (our local Kroger) that I have been taking advantage of.  I combined the catalinas with my coupons that I print and get from the newspaper for some pretty great deals.  I did two trips today, here is what I got:
3 boxes Honey Nut Cheerios
1 box Cocoa Puffs
1 box Golden Grahams
3 boxes Taco Shells
3 boxes Muffin Mixes
6 boxes Potatoes
3 Cans Enchilada Sauce
9 boxes Hamburger Helper
1 Cookie Mix

I paid $26.93 in cash and received $30 in coupons.  That's right, folks...I made money.  They paid me to take all of this food off their hands.
After Mack got home tonight I decided to take my $30 in catalinas and have another go.  This is what I got:
1 box Golden Grahams
3 boxes Cocoa Puffs
1 box Honey Nut Cheerios
3 boxes Hamburger Helper
4 boxes fruit snacks
6 boxes Potatoes
2 boxes Milk & Cereal bars
6 boxes Fiber One Bars
2 boxes Fiber One Brownies
3 cans icing
8 Totino's pizzas (not shown)

I used my $30 in catalinas from before and paid $15.58 in cash this trip.  I then received $45 in catalinas.  So when you take the $30 +$15.58 that equals $45.58.  Since I got $45 back, it essentially means that everything I bought today only decreased my spending power by a whopping 58 cents.  Even though I spent
Now I realize none of the items above are particularly healthy.  But some of these things we use every day (fruits snacks...we have 3 toddlers and fiber one bars...yum!), the sugar cereals are great for Sunday mornings when our kids get "special" cereal, and the other stuff is great for food storage.  We will not starve if we lose a job or hit some other financial hardship (we will be eating hamburger helper (with no hamburger and instant potatoes ;)).
All in all I am quite pleased. I have a few more items to get that generate catalinas and I can roll the catalinas into produce and items that I need for meals this week and still make my weekly food budget of $40 (ok, so I went over by a few dollars).

Out of Pocket: $42.51
Money Earned Towards Future Shopping: $45

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