I've been posting every so often about extreme couponing - this means utilizing coupons to get at least 90% off. I've suggested before getting a good stock in your pantry/freezer by using coupons for a few months to stock up - basically what I mean by this is shop as you normally would, but add a bit more food than you would normally buy (using coupons so you get an average of 65% off). Once you have a stocked pantry you can stop shopping as you have always done, and start focusing on extreme couponing.
I did a major pantry stock-up last week and did extreme couponing for freezer this week. I got about $200 in groceries for about $35 out of pocket.
Last Sunday I got my 1 local paper for the sales flyers and 1 copy of the insert coupons. I cut out the coupons and filed them, so I could have an idea of what was being offered. Then I made a list of the in-store coupons offered in the store flyers - especially Kmart and Price Chopper. (you can double up these store coupons with manufacturer coupons - MFC's - for the same item!). Sunday afternoon the kids and I went for a walk through the isles of Price Chopper which seemed to have the most sales from the flyer (as apposed to the many other grocery stores in my area). But clearance items usually aren't in the flyer as the sale only lasts as long as the supply lasts, so we walked the store with my handy-dandy notebook and I wrote down every sale we found.
Once I had my comparative lists (store sales, store coupons, MFC's) I had an idea of what coupons I had to go searching for. On Monday morning I could go to my neighborhood convenience store where I have a deal with the owner - I get to pick up all their left over papers for the price of one. If I needed any further coupons then I would use on the online coupon clipping services to order more.
Kmart had a coupon for Bar-S Hotdogs that made the hot dogs $0.88 per package. I had MFC's for Bar-S hotdogs at $0.55 per package (this doubled to $1.10) So I was able to pick up 10 packages of the hot dogs FOR FREE. And our local kmart will apply the surplus savings (the additional $.10 from each package of hot dog) to shredded cheese which was on clearance sale of 3/$4 - so I got 6 packages for only $7.
Then I went over to CVS which had Albacore Tuna on sale for $.77 each and i had a coupon for $1/3 - so I got 9 cans for $3.93, I also got 2 bottles of Dawn which was on clearance for $1/bottle and I had 2 coupons for $1 each off so I got them for FREE.
Then I went to Price Chopper. I had 4 MFC's for Millstone coffee that were $2 off each, and Price Chopper had 4 boxes of k-cups that were on clearance for $4.20 = that means I got each box of k-cups, normally $8.99 for $2.20 each! They also had boxes of popcorn shrimp on sale for $4.50 and I had MFC's for $5 each, so they were FREE and had a surplus of $.50 each! (so I got 4). Domino Sugar, 5 lb bags were on sale for $3.29 and the store had instore coupons for $1 off, AND I had MFC's for $0.55 (which doubled to $1.10) this meant I got them for $1.19 each so I got 4. I had MFC's for Dr. Pepper 10 2 liter bottles (free) so I got 4 for my DH (poor kids, I don't let them have soda..lol). I had BOGO MFC's for Suave Professional Shampoo, which was on clearance for $1.20 so I got 4 bottles for $2.40, and the same was true for some of the Axe body wash. Tyson chicken strips were on sale for $4.99 and I had $.77 coupon which was doubled to $1.54 so I got a bag for $3.45. (I only had 1 coupon though that was about to expire, wish I had been able to find more!) I also got 4 bottles of TruMoo milk for $1 each. etc.
So you can see how I was able to do it. I found the sale, then found any store coupons, then found MFC's to match. You can see that not all my coupons were doubles - many of the ones I used this week were more than $.99 so they wouldn't be doubled. So it is possible to get extreme savings - it just takes a bit of work. Since my pantry was stocked I didn't HAVE to buy anything, so I could be as picky as I wanted - choosing only those that had the best savings!