Project: Food Budget, Week 18

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Let’s. do. this.

Tip of the Week

I think I might be #1 on the Wegmans (Couponers) Watch List.

And thus we have this week’s tip: know your stores’ coupon policies like the back of your hand!  Better yet, carry the damn thing with you.

Now I had looked up the coupon policy at Wegmans when I first embarked on my couponing adventures.  I knew that they didn’t allow overages and that they doubled coupons up to $0.99.  I believed that you could use a max of 4 of the same coupons per order and that for any given product you could use one manufacturer’s coupon and one store coupon.

I say ‘believed’ because I double checked after tonight’s adventure and realized I had misinterpreted things a bit.  In fact, you can use 4 manufacturer’s coupons on 4 of the same brand products per day and you can use 1 manufacturer’s coupon plus 1 store or one savings card deal per product. I did violate the first one on accident (6 Woodstock products and 8 Wessex Oats) but I discovered this after checking the coupon policy and not from the Wegmans staff.  And yes I got a bit carried away since it is the end of the month and I wanted to get my free stuff before the coupons expired!

Anyway, I have been shopping based on the misinformation since starting couponing and have had any issues yet.  It all started when the $2 Woodstock coupon wouldn’t scan and a manager had to be called over.  Now, these coupons haven’t been scanning all along but I’ve helped the cashiers just enter in the UPC code (side note: seriously, train your cashiers!) or they’ve called the manager who entered it manually and it was no problem.  Not this week.  This manager was super suspicious of the coupon (it did print horribly and is a higher value) but when she entered the UPC it went in no problem. I was then told that normally they wouldn’t accept such coupons because Wegmans isn’t likely to get reimbursed by the company for them (a) not my problem and b) that makes no sense since they were legit coupons). When I responded that their coupon policy states the coupons are acceptable and that I had used them in the past, she simply replied with “Doesn’t the policy also state something about manager’s discretion?” <–shouldn’t you, a manager, know the policy verbatim?! 

Then the Universe decided to be tricky and my Muir Glen coupons wouldn’t scan.  This, of course, has never happened over the last several months when I’ve used them.  So now I seem like coupon caper numero uno and she proceeds to check each coupon against each product.  Fine, I always double check and knew everything was legit.  She tell me that I’m not allowed to split my orders just to use more coupons because I’m only allowed to use 4 of the same coupons per day and that next time I need to bring someone with me (as she types in the coupons, mind you). Note that this information is also incorrect because the $2 coupon was good on multiple brands She also told me that you couldn’t use both a manufacturer’s coupon and a Wegmans’ coupon.

I’m going to head to customer service later this week (I have two week to do so according to the policy) to redeem the Wegmans coupons she refused because I wasn’t going to pick another fight when the woman was already doing me the favor of running through my over-the-limit coupons.  I do feel a bit bad because I did take advantage of the system accidentally but at the same time, if the employees don’t even know the policy then how are we as customer’s expected to comply?

Anyway, lesson(s of hubris) learned.  I will be printing out the coupon policy for Wegmans and WF and carrying them in my coupon holder from now on. I highly suggest you do too!

Meal Plan

*Rather than planning specific meals for specific days, I cook in bulk once or twice a week and eat leftovers for both lunch and dinner.  I also eat gleefully devour a green smoothie every morning for breakfast.

*Test recipes for the third Happy Herbivore cookbook are denoted with a * and can include neither a name nor a detailed description.

Thai Soup*

Lemon Basil Pasta (EHH)

Three Bean Salad with Capers over sauteed kale/garlic/lemon

Polenta*

  • Basic Oatmeal Squares  I finally found an oatmeal bar recipe that works and is tasty and filling!  Yay.

I also had one of “those” nights and reached into my freezer for a Dr. Preager’s veggie burger and Alexia spicy sweet potato fries.  That’s why I keep these things on hand.

Spending Savings

*My budget is $40/wk for groceries, household, and H&BC items, with the latter two categories ideally only costing $10 combined.

From L-R starting in back: Alexia Chipotle Sweet Potato fries, Alexia Olive Oil & Garlic fries, pink beans, chickpeas, 1lb green lentils, organic brown sugar, organic turbinado sugar, Oat Bran, Greek yogurt, Irish-Style, Instant (2), and Scottish-Style Oats (3), NSA Diced Tomatoes (3), tomato paste, Morning Thunder tea, sliced black olives (2), Tension Tamer tea, black beans, chick peas, Greek yogurt, basil, frozen mango (4 bags), Cleanwell hand soap (2), 1 buch kale, 1/2lb spinach, 2 bunches scallions, 2 organic apples, 2 bananas. Not shown: 2 lbs tofu, 1 pint cherry tomatoes, 1/2 lb spinach.

Whole Foods: $14.06
Wegmans: $14.99
Trader’s: $10.11

Total: $39.16
Within budget? 😀

*party dance*  After last week’s overage I wanted to make sure this week was at least on budget if not under.  It meant putting a lot of things back on the shelf but that is ok.  I also popped my Costco cherry this week and understand why people go crazy there!  I kept picking stuff up and talking myself out of it.  I was there for almonds…so almonds I purchased.  And bananas.  But I go through ~5/week so getting 8 for $1.29 was completely worth it.  And then beau’s mom paid for my little purchase which was super sweet of her and super lucky for me.

*A second goal is to save as much as if not more than I spend.  This excludes purchases at Trader Joe’s since coupons are of limited use there.

Eligible Spending: $29.05
Amount Saved: $66.09 (228%)!
            Whole Foods: $25.6
Wegmans: $40.44
Savings goal met? :)

This includes all of my purchases, including the incorrectly used coupons.  Less those it would have been $58.09 and 209%.  So I’ll let you choose.

Steals and Deals

I hope you like the new layout inspired by Healthy Life Deals!

Whole Foods

Whole Trade Bell Peppers: $3.99/lb (reg $4.99)

Celestial Seasonings Tea: $2.50 (reg. $3.49)
$1.00 Whole Deal Jan/Feb Booklet
and $1.00 Smart Source 1/15/12 or $1.00 Celestial Tea Coupon
Total price: $0.50

Alexia Spicy Sweet Potato Fries: $3.50 (sale price)
$0.55 Whole Deal Nov/Dec Booklet
and $1.00 cpn here
Total price: $1.95

Alexia Garlic & Olive Oil Fries: $2.69
$0.55 Whole Deal Nov/Dec Booklet
and $1.00 cpn here
Total price: $1.14

CleanWell Foaming Hand Wash (9.5 oz): $3.19
$1.50 Clean Well RecycleBank cpn (30pt)
Total price= $1.69

Nasoy Tofu $2.69
$1.25 Whole Deal Jan/Feb Booklet
and $1.00 Nasoya cpn (take pledge)
Total price= $0.44

365 Green Lentils (16oz): $2.39
$1.00 Whole Deal Jan/Feb Booklet
Total price: $1.39

Wegmans

Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes: $1.59
$0.85 cpn (no longer available)
Total price = FREE!

2x Woodstock Organic Mangos: $5.98
Use 2 $2.00 Woodstock Farms Fbook Cpn (no longer available)
and $1.00/frozen food purchase of $5.00+ (Wegmans 7 Weeks of Great Savings booklet)
Total price: $0.98 = $0.49 each wyb2

Wessex Oats: $2.00 (reg. $2.49-$2.69)
$2.00 Woodstock Farms Fbook Cpn (no longer available)
Total price: FREE!

Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Broth: $2.99
$1.00 cpn
Total price: $1.99

4x Goya Low Sodium Beans: $3.96
$1.00 Goya cpn
Total price: $2.96 = $0.74 each wyb2

Woodstock Turbinado and Brown Sugar: $2.69
$2.00 Woodstock Farms Fbook Cpn (no longer available)
Total Price: $0.69

I also received 2 free cups of Wegmans Greek Yogurt with the 7 Weeks of Savings cpn.

That’s it for this week!  I hope you like the formatting changes and find them useful.  I’ll continue refining as time goes on, I’m sure!

Yoga/beauty/savings/life,

Kait xo

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7 thoughts on “Project: Food Budget, Week 18

  1. Looks like another good week. And honestly, you are probably more informed that the entire staff at Wegmans about their coupon policy. I didn’t even know stores had coupon policies.

    • Thanks! Until I started couponing I didn’t either! The funny part was, when I went to get the price adjusted the same manager was there…note that I’ve never seen her before since October. I was a bit embarrassed but oh well. 🙂

  2. Holy moly! Where to start!?? What a great week you had. I can’t even imagine all that food for such a small amount!

    And thank you for the links to the savings site, going to look it more closely. I already printed two more coupons for Muir Glen. I have a few that I’m saving too.

    Your meals this week look amazing too. yummmmmm.

    Thanks for your post! I learn a lot from you every week!

  3. Pingback: A Food Discovery: Coconut Banana Oat Bran | yogabeautylife

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