I headed to Safeway on Wednesday to take advantage of the one day General Mills overlapping promotions. This is what I purchased:
2 boxes Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
2 packages Nature Valley Nut Clusters
1 box Nature Valley granola bars
1 dozen eggs
1 cup Fage yogurt
2 green bell peppers
1 stalk celery
1 garlic clove
I ended up paying $2.95 out of pocket and received a $1.50 Catalina back (all my saved Catalina coupons were also lost when I lost my coupon envelope) meaning the total cost was $1.45 (and I must spend $1.50 of my money at Safeway)
Here is the step by step process of how I went about doing this (while the Apple Cinnamon Cheerios Catalina coupon is no longer available, you can still get some great deals)
1. I looked at the products participating.
2. I decided what I was going to buy: 2 boxes of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios and 2 boxes of regular Cheerios with 1 free box of Nature Valley granola bars.
3. I went and loaded the eCoupons here for 0.75 off 1 Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, $0.55 off 1 Original Cheerios, $0.50 off 1 Nature Valley granola bars.
4. While there I noticed an eCoupon for $1 off 1 Nature Valley Nut Clusters and an older one that I already had on it (so two in total). While not listed as participating in the grocery store advertising circular, I knew that these often participated in General Mills promotions, so I noted it as well (I actually load all the eCoupons available whenever given the opportunity).
5. I went and loaded the eCoupons here for $0.50 Nature Valley Granola Bars and noticed that I also had two $1.00 off 1 Nature Valley Nut Clusters eCoupons there as well.
6. I found a blinkie coupon I had for $1 off 2 Cheerios that I would use for the 2 boxes of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios:
7. I found two $1 off 1 Cheerios coupons to use on the Cheerios boxes (I actually had two types – online printable coupons from here – it takes a few days for the coupons to arrive in your email after signing up – and peelie coupons. I took the printable coupons because they had a sooner expiration date than the peelie coupons)
8. I printed an online printable coupon for $0.50 off 1 Nature Valley granola bars here.
9. I printed two $1.00 off 1 Nature Valley Nut Clusters online printable coupons here.
10. Since I thought I might have an overage if the Nature Valley Nut Clusters were included, I look for more deals. The weekly advertisement circular had a store coupon for eggs for $0.99 a dozen with a purchase of $10 or more:
11. I had also been looking for cheap plain yogurt because several people had mentioned that could make my own if I got some and I noticed that Fage Greek yogurt was on sale for $1.25 and there was a $1 off 1 online printable coupon when you like on facebook making it only $0.25.
12. I also noted some other things I might like to get — green bell peppers were 2 for $1.00 as were celery bundles.
13. I headed to the store with all of the coupons and my basic plan.
14. When I walked in, I went straight to the service counter and asked how the promotion worked with the free box of Nature Valley granola bars. Was it a Catalina coupon or was it automatic? I was told that it was automatic. This meant that I couldn't use the $0.50 off 1 Nature Valley granola bars printable coupon since the new Safeway coupon rules say that you can't use coupons on free items.
15. I walked over to the cereal section to see if the Nature Valley Nut Clusters were participating. They were, so I decided to buy them instead of the 2 Cheerio boxes that I had originally planned to buy.
16. I made the following calculations of what I though would happen:
Buy 2 Apple Cinnamon Cheerios at $2.99 each = $5.98
+ Buy 2 Nature Valley Nut Clusters at $2.99 each = $11.96
– $4.00 off instant savings for buying 4 participating products = $7.96
– $0.75 off Apple Cinnamon Cheerios eCoupon = $7.21
– $4.00 off Nature Valley Nut Clusters 4 eCoupons = $3.21
– $1.00 off Nature Valley granola bars 2 eCoupons = $2.21
– $1.00 off Cheerios blinkie coupon = $1.21
– $2.00 off Nature Valley Nut Clusters 2 printable coupons = -$0.79
– $1.50 Catalina coupon for Apple Cinnamon Cheerios = -$2.29
(notes: Because I had two $1.00 off 1 Nature Valley Nut Cluster eCoupons on both cellfire and shortcuts and I was buying 2 bags, I assumed that all four coupons would come off for a savings of $4.00. Even though I couldn't use a physical coupon for the Nature Valley granola bars, the eCoupons automatically come off. Since there was one on both cellfire and shortcuts, I assumed that would be $1.00 savings)
17. Since I had an overage, I needed to buy other things to make sure the total wasn't negative. These are the other calculations I made.
+ $0.99 for 1 dozen eggs = -$1.30
+ $1.00 for 2 green bell peppers = -$0.30
+ $0.50 for 1 celery bundle = $0.20
+ $0.25 for Fage Greek yogurt = $0.45
18. Even though I was positive, I know from experience that eCoupons don't always work like I assume, so I added a clove of garlic as well:
+ $0.50 for a clove of garlic = $0.95
19. So I expected to pay $2.45 and get $1.50 Catalina coupon back for a total of $0.95 spent.
20. In reality, only 3 of the Nature Valley Nut Clusters eCoupons came off for $3.00 savings ($1.00 less than I expected), but 3 Nature Valley granola bar eCoupons came off ($0.50 more than I expected). Why this happened, I have no idea so please don't ask me to try and explain. In the end, I ended up paying $2.95 and getting a $1.50 catalina coupon back for a total cost of $1.45 for everything ($0.50 more than I expected).
Goal: 100 days eating on $1 a day
Current Money Spent: $49.15
Money Left to Spend: $50.85 ($5.83 must be spent at CVS, $1.50 must be spent at Safeway)
Retail Value of Everything Purchased: $1370.97