The *Almost* Free Shopping Trip

I came pretty darn close to having a 100 percent free shopping trip yesterday. I guess if you count when I use a Publix gift card then I’ve had several in the past, but I don’t like to count those as being “free” since some form of payment is changing hands. I just don’t include those payments in my weekly allotment for grocery money.

I will preface this by saying, I rarely do a “full” shopping trip anymore. You know, the kind where you buy EVERYTHING — meats, starches, drinks, snack, etc. — at one time. We eat mainly vegetarian at home, and I’m stocked up on vegetarian meats since the last Morningstar sale. I have a TON of pasta, pasta sauce, soup and cereal. I haven’t really found a good way yet to stock up on rice, but that’s my next goal as I eat rice like it’s going out of style.

So, on my weekly trips, I tend to focus on buying items that are on sale and that I have coupons for, with a few extras usually thrown in as well. Yesterday, I needed to get some sodas, so we headed to Publix. I had four coupons for free 12-packs from My Coke Rewards, and I wanted to see if they had any of the tuna fish pouches and popcorn that are free with coupons this week as well.

I totally lucked out. They had enough of the tuna fish pouches and popcorn to get the 10 of each I’m allowed on each trip (our store puts limits on sale items as a way to stop people from clearing shelves). And, the Coke 12-packs were B2G1 so, with my four free product coupons, I got six 12-packs for free! I added three boxes of Bagel Bites to my cart, and we were ready. I was going to get a couple of cartons of Edy’s ice cream since they were BOGO and I had a $1/2 coupon, but I need to make sure we have enough room in one of our freezers first.

(10) Starkist tuna fish pouches — $1/each x10 = $0 (10 $0.50/1 that doubled)
(10) Jolly Time popcorn — $1/each x10 = $0 (10 $0.50/1 that doubled)
(6) Coke 12-packs — B2G1 $4.99/each = $0 (4 free product)
(3) Bagel Bites — $2.59 = $4.18 (1 free product WYB 2, 1 $1/1 Target coupon)

So, after tax, I paid around $5 for an $80 haul. The cashier who rang me up said, “Are you going to pay anything? So far, everything’s been free!” Sure, it would have been nice to have a completely free transaction, but I’m not complaining too much. Hopefully, I’ll be able to use my other tuna fish and popcorn coupons. If not, I’ll just get rainchecks. Then, we should be stocked up on those items for a while!

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Hi! I’m a wife to a wonderful husband, mom to a beautiful and active (to put it lightly) kiddo, and fur-mom to 3 crazy cats. I’m a former journalist. I quit my full time job two years ago. Now, I am a freelance writer and a virtual assistant for several bloggers!


  1. Amber says:

    Way to go!! Love shopping with my coupons. I always see great Publix deals – wish we had one here.

  2. cady says:

    I would be lost without Publix. Some people get great deals at Kroger (like one of the “Extreme Couponers” from my county), but I just can’t do as well there. They don’t do BOGOs, and you can’t combine store and manufacturers coupons.

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