Sometimes I am amazed by just how much I am able to attain for free or nearly free through the use of coupons and weekly grocery store sales. I recently cashed in a wad of Post Points for three $10 gift cards to Shoppers Food Warehouse. (I highly recommend the Post Points program if you are a subscriber to the Washington Post. You can earn points by reading the Washington Post online, playing daily quizzes, shopping at CVS and Giant, and a whole host of other activities.)
I initially planned to use the gift cards during the holidays, but I forgot to use them on a trip to the grocery store in early December. I don’t typically shop at Shoppers, but I did leaf through the circular each week to see if any sales caught my eye. This week I finally spotted a good sale. Shoppers is currently offering a $15 coupon off a future purchase if you spend $30 on a select list of items. I don’t typically participate in these types of sales, because I don’t want to end up with 10 cans of gravy or 15 boxes of fruit snacks, but this week the sale included big ticket items like paper towels, laundry detergent and toilet paper.
I bought one package of Bounty paper towels at $10.99 and two 100 oz bottles of Tide for $11.99 each. I had $1 off coupons for all three items. So I spent $31.97 for all three items. I paid with all three items using my free gift cards and spent exactly $1.97 plus tax out of pocket.
As luck would have it the $15 coupon didn’t print after the cashier rang up my order, so I walked over to customer service to speak with the store manager. He checked the receipt and items in my cart and then offered me $15 in cash in lieu of the $15 coupon. Of course, I would much rather have cash in my pocket today than a coupon for use at some future point in time.
I walked out of the store with two large bottles of laundry detergent, a large package of paper towels and $15 in cash. When all was said and done it was if someone paid me $13 to go shopping. I think this might be one of the best bargains I’ve managed to attain yet.