Rule #1: Don't begin couponing in a store you're not familiar with. It should not take you 7 minutes to find the cereal aisle.

Rule #2: Create a coupon folder. Envelope couponing is ridiculous. Just don't do it.

Rule #3: Don't get in a checkout line with an old lady cashier. You'll hear about how stupid she thinks couponing is, and how her hours have been recently cut.

Rule #4: Understand that coupon shopping is way different than regular shopping. It WILL take you twice as long as the time you have allotted.

Rule #5: The easiest way to find a item you have a coupon for is not to scan the wide variety of labels on the shelves. Simply look for the empty slot on the shelf, and read the tag.

My first time couponing was exhausting! I probably shouldn't have waited until 9pm to go, huh? The bad news is that everyone else in Fayetteville had gotten there before I did. The good news is that I was late enough that they were beginning to restock the shelves with the items that were previously cleared out. So after I made my first round....I had to go back through to the items I initially wanted that they were out of. I only made one mistake: ended up paying $3.50 for two servings of yogurt because I grabbed the wrong brand. Bah-hum-bug!

But you really just want the numbers, dontcha?! That's all I care about! Here's a picture of my entire purchase (I had to do it....everyone else does!!):

I'm not going to list all the items in the picture...unless you just really want me to. Here's the skinny:

Retail Value: $66.18
Savings with VIC: $3.99
Savings with coupons: $34.96
Out-of-pocket expense: $27.23
Savings of: 59%

Day 2! Less stressful, planned more efficiently, and I knew where to go this time to find an item. However, some of the sale prices displayed were NOT as cheap as the prices that I read they were supposed to be. Don't think I'm not on to you, Harris Teeter!!!

JUST realized, though, that I forgot to give them my 2 coupons for the salad dressing. So I'm going to pretend (only in my head, not in the figures below) that I saved 2 more dollars than I actually did.

Retail Value: $61.84
Savings with VIC: $14.82
Savings with coupons:
Out-of-pocket expense:
Savings of:

I had my hopes set high for a higher percentage (thanks a lot, TLC!), but I certainly wasn't saving 59% on my groceries last week!! I have a few more small stops to make (CVS, Walgreens, Food Lion) for some freebie hotdogs, toothpaste, and so on. This triple coupon deal at Harris Teeter runs through next Tuesday, so I may give it another go on Monday to see if they've replenished any of their empty shelves (and if the coupon crazies have fulfilled their quota!).

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