I wandered around the store last night waiting to be inspired on what I wanted to make for dinner this week. I had two $20 Catalinas. The fine print stated that they could not be used in the same transaction, so I did 2 transactions.
The first transaction came up to 79cents...and included 1 celery, a can of olives, 2 boxes of Barilla pasta, 11 packages of Clorox wipes, a pack of Orbit chewing gum, 2 bottles of Parmesan Cheese, and 3 American Greetings cards.
I handed over my coupons and then the Catalina--only to come up to a negative total. The store never gives you money back...so I threw a pack of gum onto the register and finally ended up owing 79cents. I handed over the $1 bill, only to receive my change and a $5 my next shopping trip! Yeah!! But I didn't use it, because my next transaction of 1 bag Santitas Corn chips, 2 two-liter bottles of Coca-Cola, 2 packages frozen cheese tortellini, a #1 bag of carrots, 1 bunch of celery, 8 1/2 pounds of cantaloupe, and 2 frozen bags of peas only came up to 31 cents! So I'll be using that $5 sometime in the next couple of weeks instead.
I love it! On one of the Extreme Couponing blips, the husband of one of the featured shoppers said that his wife shopped for her "high" and "fix"....and I know exactly what he is talking about. It's knowing that I didn't do just a "good job" at saving the greenbacks, better spent on other things--but as I fondly put it--a stellar job. It's bragging rights to share with my kids!
Now for full disclosure about why and how I got these extreme deals: Albertsons' is running a deal through this coming Tuesday (6/21) of when you can buy $100 in your choice of gift cards for over 100 different restaurants, stores, and airlines--you get a $20 Catalina back to spend on anything in the store. I did a couple of these type of purchases to get the $20 back. I bought a couple of gift cards to our favorite restaurants that I would be using for Father's Day and an gift card that I bought as a true gift for our favorite high school graduate. I don't know if I would have bought the gift cards to pay for the dinner, normally--but knowing that there was $20 coming back for groceries--I did it this way instead. I've also purchased airfare for Southwest Airlines at Albertsons' in the past for get the rewards at the store, rather than just booking the tickets online. There are no charges to purchase the airfare this way, and I get the points and kick-backs from the grocery store. So I was very happy with my haul this weekend, because I benefited from every single purchase :)