March 11, 2011

I Got Paid to Shop at the Grocery Store Today!

Last week my grocery deal was getting 6 boxes of ziplocks for $1.52 and at the check out I received a total of $5.50 in catalinas towards my next shopping trip at that grocery store. 

Today I purchased everything in this picture for nothing.  Yep nothing. In fact,I got paid to take this food off their hands.

I did not know that I was going to get these items for free when I entered the store.  I knew I had some good coupons to use though.  Here is how this all came to be.  I shopped at Hy-Vee today.  Fareway grocery store in town had an in store coupon for $4.00 off your purchase of 8 General Mills products.  Hy-Vee had Cheerios (8.9 oz box) on sale for 3 for $5.00  The peanut butter was on sale for 99 cents each, the tuna was on sale for 39 cents each and the colgate toothpaste was on sale for 88 cents each. 

I had four $1.00 off two boxes of Cheerios.  When I went to checkout I handed the checker the Fareway instore coupon for $4.00 off of those 8 boxes of Cheerios.  However, it turned out that Hy-Vee also matched this on the receipt.  So I got $4.00 off using the Fareway coupon, another $4.00 was matched by Hy-Vee and then another $4.00 off from the manufacturer's coupons.  This made these 8 boxes of Cheerios at that point only $1.34 or 17 cents per box. 

The two jars of peanut butter came to $1.98.  The two cans of tuna were 39 cents per can . Colgate toothpaste was on sale for 88 cents and I had two coupons for 75 cents off each pkg.  I paid 26 cents for the toothpaste.  The bill was $4.96.  I used my $5.50 catalinas to pay for the purchase.  They gave me 54 cents in change.

But as I was leaving the store, I reviewed my receipt and saw that I was charged 69 cents per can for the tuna.  I took my receipt to the customer service counter and they refunded me the full amount they had charged me $1.38.

I got paid to go shopping today.  I doubt this will happen again for a very, very long time - if ever.  These deals are extremely rare in our area.


Anonymous said...

Wow!! That's an awesome shopping trip! My daughters love cheerios so i'd feel like I struck gold with this shopping trip! lol!!

Anonymous said...

This is awesome Martha!!! oh my goodness!!! you inspire me!! but I have to ask...what is a Catalina?? I read it here before, but can't say I have any idea what it is.....

Martha said...

@Simply Altered:

A catalina is a coupon that prints out at the checkout. At Hy-vee they have a separate machine that prints these catalinas (or check out coupons) when you buy certain products. The catalinas I received from purchasing the ziplocks said "$2.00 off your next shopping trip at Hy-Vee." I got a total of $5.50 that day courtesy of ziploc.

Sometimes they are advertised in the weekly ad sheet such as "buy 5 boxes of cereal and at the checkout you will receive a coupon for free milk." Then when you check out, this little machine prints out the catalina for free milk.

I had no idea I was going to receive the catalinas that day for the ziploc bags as it wasn't advertised.

As for the coupons, go to, couponmom or couponsuzy to find some great basic coupons.

Anonymous said...

ok, now I know what you mean. Weird name for them huh??? I will go to the sites you mentioned and see if I can become HALF as motivated as you are!! haha!! What a savings!!!!!!

Donna said...

Wow Matha that is great shopping.
We do not have a Hy-Vee here wish we did the nearest one is in the college town my Ds went to and that is 100 miles away,he always shopped there. The 3 major stores here in St Louis will not honor other store sales or coupons,only one doubles coupons to.50cents and limits 12 coupons for doubling and they would never give change back like you experienced. Great going!!

Martha said...

@ simply altered:

When you go to coupon mom, be sure to check the coupon deals by state. You can look at the hy-vee sales each week and she teams up coupons with the sales. I try to only get the ones where I will get at least a 50% savings.

Also she has a section that lists all the coupons available at that time.

@ Donna:

We do not have any stores in our area that double coupons. It is just unheard of, but I do think that you can get some really good deals if you watch for them.

I get tired of watching women on t.v. shows that show you how much they save on their grocery bill by going to stores that double coupons. For once I would like to see someone like me that does strategic shopping and gets decent deals without double couponing. I believe there are more people out there that don't have stores that double coupon than people that have the double coupon stores.

Donna said...

Hi Martha
I very seldom shop the store that doubles coupons as using the doubled coupon brings thier price of that item down to the price that the store(similar to Hy-Vee)
where I shop.
Thanks for all the info, I read your blog every morning like some read a newspaper:-)

Martha said...

@Donna -

Wow, thanks for the nice compliment. I'm glad you like my blog.