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The power of coupons: 99.9% saved


Here's a glimpse at my morning haul at Harris Teeter during the first day of its Super Doubles coupon event.

The cart was full and so was my wallet. I got change back from my dollar bill.

Here's the breakdown:

I purchased $91.98 worth of groceries and paid 90 cents. All of it was tax.

That figures out to be a 99.9 percent savings.

Even though I've been couponing for years, I'm still in awe of how much those little slips of paper can save a family.

That kind of savings never gets old.

My order included 20 "super doubled" coupons, plus an additional one for free ground beef when you purchase Wholly Guacamole and King's Hawaiian rolls. Luckily, the ground beef was on sale and I had coupons for both the guacamole and the rolls.

How exactly did I get my total that low?

I used high-value paper coupons, along with Harris Teeter's digital coupons, and focused primarily on BOGO sales. I also used two Catalina coupons for $2 off my order that I earned on previous purchases.

I got a mixture of staples, healthy foods, health and beauty items, and junk foods. I'll go back later in the week to do a full shop for my week's worth of groceries but I knew that if I didn't get my freebies and super cheap items on the first day they might be gone.

I've got my fingers crossed that Harris Teeter will keep the shelves stocked.

How did you do at Super Doubles? Don't forget to leave a comment on my giveaway post over HERE and you'll be entered to win a $25 Harris Teeter gift card.

Don't forget to sign up for coupon class

Please note: Today, May 29, is the last day to sign up at the $15 price for N&O subscribers. Starting Wednesday, the class will be $20 and open to everyone.

If you've been wanting to sharpen your coupon skills, here's your chance to take a crash course.

Registration is now open for my next coupon workshop, a half-day class on Saturday, June 16.

You'll leave with all the information you need to start saving at least 50 percent on your weekly grocery bill, if not more. We'll also feed you breakfast and give you a nice goodie bag to take home with you.

Recyclebank helps you be green, save some green

With Earth Day less than a week away, it's a great time to join Recyclebank, a website that rewards you with a little green for being green.

Through a points system, Recyclebank members earn coupons, gift cards and merchandise from companies like Kashi, Harris Teeter, Macy's and Home Depot -- all in the name of being more environmentally aware.

Recyclebank, which has more than three million members, is free to join, by the way.

How do you save money on fast food? Your tip could win you dinner for 4 at McDonald's

I know. I know. The best way to save money on fast food is to NOT eat it.

And yet, the drive-up window beckons even the most frugal among us on occasion.

So we want to hear how you dine on fast food without busting the budget.

Put that pricey smartphone to work saving you money

Smartphones may not be the most frugal choice. But let's face it, more and more of us have succumbed to their lure in our mobile society.

So why not put that pricey gadget to work for you saving time and money.

With the simple download of an app, you can save big money on any number of every day purchases, including gas, Internet fees, groceries, DVDs, books, toys, clothes and dinner out.

The potential for savings is even greater when you're traveling and unfamiliar with the retail terrain. Best of all, most money-saving apps can be downloaded free.

Here are a few of my favorite frugal-minded apps. All of them are free and are available for both the iPhone and Android phones:

What NOT to buy at the grocery store

I'm a huge advocate of using coupons to save money. It's my job, of course, but I also go home and practice what I teach. I clip paper coupons, load digital coupons  onto my store loyalty cards and match coupons to sales to make our money stretch even farther.

But coupons are only one way to save money. If you really want to live the frugal life -- or circumstances are requiring a more frugal lifestyle -- take a good hard look at what you're putting in your grocery cart.

Would your purchases pass "the grandma test?"

In other words, would your grandmother or great-grandmother have spent her precious household money on some of the items in your cart -- or even recognize them?

Cracking the code of coupon lingo will help you save more

When avid couponers get together, the conversation might seem like a foreign language to the uninitated.

And a message on an online couponing forum can seem like complete gibberish -- nothing but alphabet soup to a coupon novice.

A typical back and forth might go something like this:

Question: IVDSO BOGO IP Qs on Cheerios. It's DH's favorite. PLMK.

Answer: No BOGO Qs, but have five Catalinas for 50 C/O. (DND). Will trade for BTFE or FARs.SASE.

Say what?

Here's the translation:

Update: Saturday's coupon class is full

Update: Saturday's class is full. Watch the blog for an announcement on the date of my next class.

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