RVA Deals

From the dessert and baking sales of the holidays, we move straight into the “healthy” food sales for the new year. Check out some great deals around town that will help you keep your healthy eating resolutions. Also we need to know: who watched Extreme Couponing on TLC last week?

From the dessert and baking sales of the holidays, we move straight into the “healthy” food sales for the new year.

But forget New Year’s resolutions (you know you will eventually). Who watched Extreme Couponing on TLC last week? The show followed four coupon shoppers from around the country who saved thousands of dollars on grocery shopping trips by taking advantage of coupons and sales. Free candy. Free pasta. Free cereal. Free toothbrushes.

The viewer responses I’ve heard so far have been a mixture of admiration and disgust. From my perspective as a moderate couponer, sure it can be done…but is it worth it?

For one thing, it takes an astronomical amount of time to plan huge trips like that. The more you do it, the faster you get, but there is still a lot of time spent doing research, clipping and/or ordering the relevant coupons, planning your attack, and then executing it in the store(s). For these folks, couponing is their hobby and in some cases, almost their entire life. (Of course, the shopping trips TLC filmed were made as big and cheap as possible for TV benefit; the profilees probably don’t buy on such a grand scale every week.)

Also, “stockpiling” (buying lots of an item when there is a great deal available and saving it) at that level takes up a LOT of space. You have to have access to rooms or large closets to keep your stash organized, as well as an extra freezer for the cold items.

But living this lifestyle allows them to pay off debt, stay at home with their kids, donate to charity, etc. There were also a few nuggets of shopping wisdom mixed into the program, like grocery sales generally running in three month cycles, and calling companies to tell them you like their product and ask for coupons.

What do you think? Are you inspired to clip more coupons, or do you think it’s immoral for any one person to own that much toilet paper?

Meat Top Pick

Shadybrook Farms 93% lean ground turkey 20.8-oz package “Buy one, get one free” at MARTIN’S (2 for $4.99)

Veggie Top Pick

Dole special blend or complete kit bagged salads $2 and classic bagged salads $1.50 at MARTIN’S

Fruit Top Pick

Cherries $2.99/lb at Kroger

Refrigerated Top Pick

Selected varieties of Stonyfield organic fat-free yogurt cups $.50 at Whole Foods. Register at Stonyfield.com to print a coupon for $.50 off 3

Staples Top Pick

Peter Pan peanut butter $1.50 at MARTIN’S. Use $1 off 2 coupon from Sunday’s paper to get two jars for $1 each

Snacks & Sweets Top Pick

Save $4 at Kroger when you purchase any 4 selected Kellogg’s cereal, snack bars, and other products this week. Items include (prices shown are after extra $1 savings per item when you buy four):

  • Rice Krispie Treats 8-ct $.99
  • Special K cereal bars or fruit crisps $1.99 (Use $1 off 2 coupon from last Sunday’s RedPlum insert)
  • Special K, Kashi Go-Lean, and other Kellogg’s cereals $1.99
  • Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain waffles $1.95

Beverage Top Pick

Vitamin Water, Sobe, Propel Fitness Water, Gatorade or G2 drinks $1 at Kroger. Get 5 free Sobes, Propels or Gatorades when you purchase 10, making them $.67/bottle.

Household Top Pick

Proctor & Gamble promo at Kroger – save $4 at checkout when buying 4 participating items, including Charmin, Bounty, Dawn, Old Spice, Crest, Swiffer and Cascade. Make the deals even better by loading e-coupons from the Kroger website onto your plus card, or using coupons from the 12/26 P & G coupon insert. Some of my favorite deals:

  • Dawn Dishwashing Liquid $1.49 each – Use $0.50/1 Dawn Hand Renewal from 12/26 P&G insert
  • Herbal Essences or Aussie Shampoo, Conditioner or Styler $1.84 each – Use coupon for “free styling product when you purchase any Herbal Essence or Aussie product” from 12/16 P&G insert. The free styling item will be deducted at $2.84, so your final cost is $.84 for both a styling product and shampoo
  • Charmin Bathroom Tissue selected 12 double roll varieties $5.99. Load $3.00 e-coupon for 24 roll or larger Charmin, which includes the 12 Double Roll varieties

Find more deals by accessing the stores’ weekly ads online:

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Alison Brown

Check out more of Alison’s stellar cost-cutting tricks and tips over at Richmond Bargains or follow her on Twitter. Your wallet is sure to thank you.

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