For all of you kiddies that live close to a Jewel, I suggest you scamper over there before October 14. You see, they’re having a “Buy $25 worth of select Con-Agra products, get a $10 coupon at the register sale” and it goes through October 14. In the crazy world of couponers, this is code for “get a ton of free/cheap food, and where are we on filling out that application to be on an episode of Hoarders?” Let’s break this down.
At Jewel, the “buy $25” is based on the SALE price of the item (NOT shelf price, not PREFERRED CARD price – SALE price…check at the self-scanner what the sale price may be). For instance, the sale price of a can of Healthy Choice soup is currently $2.89. So…you’d need 9 to hit the magic $25 mark. Now, here comes the exciting part…although the $25 is based on the SALE price, when you scan your Jewel-Osco Preferred Card, all of a sudden the prices you actually pay become much, much lower. This is the Preferred Card price. For instance, remember that Healthy Choice soup that was $2.89/can sale price? Well, after you’ve scanned your Preferred card, it’s suddenly only 88 cents. $2.89 x 9 = $26.01, scanning your Preferred card will then give you $2.01 off every can (88 cents/each), so suddenly you’re down to $7.92 WITH a $10 coupon off your next order printing out after you pay (coupon is called a Catalina). In essence, ConAgra just paid you to eat their soup. Note, the $25 must be hit BEFORE taxes. So if you’re at $25.50 and taxes are .60 of that, you’re .10 short an NO coupon would print.
Now, if you’re smart (and trust me, couponers are v. smart), you’ll look at that $10 coupon that printed and say, “hey, if I repeat that transaction, and use this $10 coupon to pay, I’ll get another $10 coupon!” And you’d be absolutely right. If you’re doing just soup ($7.92), you’d need to add a couple more items to be able to use that $10 coupon to pay, so why not throw in at least $2.08 worth of regular groceries and get those for free? That’s how I bought that plastic silverware, bread and hot dog buns for free above.
The play-by-play goes something like this:
- Go to the self-checkout lane. DO NOT SCAN YOUR PREFERRED CARD YET!
- Scan $25 worth of ConAgra products (must hit $25 before taxes). Stop as soon as you’ve got over $25 (or just over).
- NOW scan your Preferred card. Watch total price go down!
- Pay. Collect $10 coupon.
- Repeat steps 1-4. Remember, you CAN use manufacturer coupons to further your profits. Just be sure to have at least $10 in your order so that you can use the $10 coupon that prints at the register.
- Enjoy your very cheap or free groceries.
For examples, in total, I paid $10.47 out of pocket (this total amount was broken up into 6 different transactions) for the groceries above. Of course, a $10 coupon still printed on my last transaction, so I really only paid 47 cents for all the groceries above. I bought 31 cans of soup, 2 eight-roll packs of paper towels, 10 frozen meals, Crunch n’ Munch, napkins, bread, buns, cake mix & frosting, plastic silverware and ketchup for 47 cents! Now you see why couponing can be addicting – it’s like a game where you can absolutely “get paid” to shop.
If you’re new to couponing, I highly suggest you visit Mashup Mom for a more thorough breakdown of Catalina couponing at Jewel. Additionally, find out what products are included in the Buy $25, get $10 sale and some scenarios of how to maximize your efforts at Mashup Mom’s site.