Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I get asked all the time how I save money on fresh meats and produce.
These items are hard to coupon for, the coupons do exist....they just don't come around very often.

For me these are items you are going to purchase regardless of a coupon,
they are necessity items that I plan to pay full price for them 
and make it up with the savings I get on other items.

But, if the opportunity comes around to help me save on these necessities 
I am all over it!

This was a question that was posted on my facebook page today:

Starr Wrote:

What would be the best sceanrio to use the 10.00 catalina from Albertsons after you spend 30? I am trying to get a game plan together for Sunday :) I was thinking use it on food.

Catalinas are my favorite coupon!  Think of them as a gift card to that store!
You can use them to buy almost anything available in the store it was issued.
Usually the only things you are not allowed to purchase with them are Tobacco products, lottery tickets and alcohol.

I love to use Catalinas to buy the things I would buy regardless of a coupon 
like meats, dairy and produce!  

But, you also have to have a game plan to maximize your savings.

Here is an example of what I plan to do on Sunday at Albertsons;
I will be rolling a catalina offer to maximize my savings and stretch my dollar!

I plan to start with the OYNO Promo,  I want to do this promo twice so I will roll the $10 catalina savings into the 2nd transaction to make sure I keep my OOP as low as possible.  I want to make sure I don't want to do this promo anymore before I will spend the $10 catalina on anything else.  

*I get 5 papers, so I will be armed with 5 sets of doublers.....This is how I plan to use them!

Spend $30 on participating products, get $10 catalina to use OYNO Promo

Transaction #1:
Buy 2 Finish Gel Pacs or Tabs $3.79
Buy 3 All Laundry Detergent $3.50 
6 Heft Bags $2.00
= $30.08 - Total after store sale, but before coupons
- $4.30 - (2) $2.15/1 Finish Quantum Powerball or Gelpacks SS 1/30
- $6.00 - Double (3) $1/1 All Laundry Detergent RP 1/1
- $3.00 - (3) $1/2 Hefty One Zip Bags RP 1/1
= $16.78 Pay OOP, Get $10 Catalina

Transaction #2:
Buy 2 Finish Gel Pacs or Tabs $3.79
Buy 3 All Laundry Detergent $3.50 
6 Heft Bags $2.00
= $30.08 - Total after store sale, but before coupons
- $4.30 - (2) $2.15/1 Finish Quantum Powerball or Gelpacks SS 1/30
- $6.00 - Double (3) $1/1 All Laundry Detergent RP 1/1
- $3.00 - (3) $1/2 Hefty One Zip Bags RP 1/1
-$10.00 - $10 Catalina from transaction #1
= $6.78 Pay OOP, Get $10 Catalina

Transaction #3 
Buy 2 Land O Lakes Butter Spread $1.50
Buy 1 Ken's Dressing $1.67= $4.67 - total after store sale, but before coupons
- $1.67 - Double (1) $1/1 Ken's Salad Dressing
- $3.00 - Double (2) $.75/1 Land O Lakes Butter Product (use zip 60051)
Final Price: FREE - possible $.33 overage from dressing

Transaction #4 
Buy 6 Pillsbury Brownie Mix $1.50 each - BUY 2, GET 1 FREE 
= $6.00 - Total after store sale, but before coupons
- $6.00 - Double (3) $1/2 Pillsbury Brownie Mix RP 11/6 
Final Price: FREE

for my final transaction I plan to put that $10 catalina I still have from transaction #2 to work.  I want to take advantage of Albertsons meat/veggie promo.

The current promo says buy 3 lbs of participating roasts @ #3.99 lb - Get 5lb bag of potatoes, 1lb bag of carrots and 1 celery bunch for FREE

*What is great about these promos is you don't have to get 1 3lb roast, you can get (3) 1lb roast or (2) 1.5lb roast!  Whatever you would like to do, just make sure you use your butcher...they are there for a reason....they will customize your roasts free of charge!  

*another thing, I always ask my butcher to wrap my meat in their freezer butcher paper.  This paper will protect your meat from getting freezer burnt much longer than the clear wrap you usually see on them.

*oh yeah, one more thing....I am purchasing the Ken's Dressing with this final purchase because I will have overage for buying the dressing and I want that overage to be applied to my meat purchase.  

Transaction #5
Buy 3 Ken's Dressing $1.67
Buy 3 lbs of beef roast $3.99 lb
1 5lb bag of potatoes $1.69
1 1lb bag of Carrots $.79
1 Celery bunch $1.29
= $20.75 - total after store sale, but before coupons
- $3.77 - Albertsons FREE produce promo
- $6.00 - Double (3) $1/1 Ken's Dressing SS 1/8
- $10.00 - $10 Catalina from Transaction #2
Final Price: $.98

I will pay out of pocket: $24.54

Pretty much I am only paying for the home items.  Not a bad price for 4 boxes of dish detergent, 6 bottles of laundry soap and 12 boxes of zip baggies!

*Of course you do not have to do exactly as I am, but I hope this gives you an idea of how to roll the catalina savings to your best advantage!

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  1. You totally rock! :) Thank you so much!!!!!!

  2. Thank you for the break Downs, it makes it so much easier, it takes me forever to figure them out

  3. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking the Ken's coupon is $1/2 this time. You might double check. Otherwise, awesome!

  4. Hope the Deal works for you. I love these Promo's. One thing I just Noticed in the Ad, it states.

    "Offer Valid 01/11/12-01/17/12. Coupon Issued at Checkout. Limit 1 Coupon per transaction. Minimum purchase requirement calculated after Manufacturer coupons are redeemed"..

  5. Jessica,

    Thanks so much for this breakdown- it really helps to look over YOUR lists to see how you make the deals work best. The whole "limit 2" on the Finish coupon really threw a wrench in my original plan, so seeing your combo (and getting to the perfect $30.08!) is inspiring.

    As to Anonymous #2 re: Minimum purchase: I know it states that, and I've discussed this with my cashiers before because it's the pre-requisite on many of their $5 off $50 purchase, $8 off $80 purchase, etc. catalinas: my goal is always to maybe GET $80 in groceries but never PAY $80 after coupons.... so what I do is hang onto my coupons till the end, they will run my savings card (you NEED to use that to qualify for the deal, whatever it may be) and AFTER the club card savings, if my total is above $X minimum, the catalinas will work/be generated. My cashiers are rock stars and know their coupon rules, so when in doubt, ask first... but I see it the way Jessica sees it, if you meet the minimum WITH sale prices (i.e. club card) then you will receive the catalina:)

    Good Luck all, happy shopping:)

  6. Thank you all! Your very welcome, I hope this helps get your creative wheels turning. for the Ken's dressing coupon make sure you check it out. I didn't realize it was a regional value because usually I always get the smaller coupon but to my surprise I got the $1/1 Kens and other got a $1/2. If you are really wanting free Dressing you can always buy some of the $1/1 coupons from Ebay. Also, Sarah is right. That verbage has always been under the promos yet it has never worked that way. The only thing I can think of is when it says coupons it means store coupons. Because it always prints the catalina after I have used coupons and my total is way lower then when I started.

  7. Was the detergent coupon Regional as well? i didnt see it in my inserts? also is the $10 catalina stated somewhere i dont see it in the ad online
    thank you

  8. This breakdown really helped me with this promo. THANK YOU I have lots of different ideas now, and a few meals I didn't have for next week! I just wanted to bring to your attention in tran #3 you have the Land O Lakes butter. This coupon can not be used on the spread butter it has to be used for the picture on the coupon and that is the packaged sticks of butter. I was really looking forward to free butter but it doesn't look like the case this time. This is right off of Land O Lakes Facebook page. Hope it helps.
    *Any online coupons that we offer are good on the specific products that are shown. So if there is a picture of butter sticks it would be off that particular product. If it's a coupon for the spreadable butter, it will show the tub products.

  9. Jessica, I LOVE this scenario. Thank you so much for posting! And I also loved your Extreme Couponing episode. You did an awesome job in a store that does not double coupons. I would like to see the other gal to do 100% savings at the store you shopped ;-)

  10. I'm thinking the laundry soap coupon is regional. I got it but I also got the SmartSource insert with the $1/1 Ken's Dressing instead of the $1/2 like others did.

  11. I saw that on Land O Lakes Fanpage. It's funny that they are saying that because a coupon is always honored by the verbiage not the picture. I guess this will be one of those very rare occasions

  12. Jessica- you said to use the 2.15/1 coupon for the Finish gelpac or tabs, but the coupon that I have says for 25 count or higher and in the ad it says that only the 20 count are included. I called my local store and they confirmed that the 25 count is not included in this sale.