How Many Coupons and Discounts Did I Take Advantage of This Month Without Even Trying?

Will I really save that much more by timing my shopping around store deals?

Photo credit: Pixel Drip, CC BY 2.0.

Last Friday I asked myself whether I would really be saving any money by trying to plan my grocery shopping around loyalty card discounts:

How Much Money Could I Be Saving If I Bought Household Goods With Coupons?

However, I’m not sure if this [planning] will lower the overall cost of my household goods/toiletries spending. Safeway has deals all the time; half the price tags have special discounts for people who use their Safeway card.

I spent an hour making this chart that listed the optimum time to purchase a bunch of household products, based on the deals listed on my Safeway and Walgreens apps, and then I wondered whether it was worth the trouble, and whether I wouldn’t take advantage of nearly as many deals by shopping “normally.”

Then I remembered that I had saved all of my paper grocery receipts from the past month.

As you might remember from that big chart I made, I could save $33.67 on next month’s household goods/toiletries by timing my shopping to hit store deals. (When I went shopping this weekend to take advantage of many of these deals, I saved $27.24.)

You might also remember that I went through all of June’s receipts and determined that I had spent $75.05 on household goods/toiletries this month.

Those same receipts claim I saved $14.16 on household goods/toiletry purchases, which means I was able to save roughly half of what my spreadsheet claims I’ll be able to save without even trying.

So doing all the extra work to track deals and coupons might not save me $33.67 per month; it might save me more like $15, since I would save the first $15 just by walking in the store.

And, in that case, is it really saving? Or is it just “paying whatever the price tag says and feeling like you’re saving?”

(Also: yes, I’m going to look at Amazon Prime Pantry and Subscribe & Save later this week. Gotta explore all the options.)

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