Michelle's Matchups: Paid $20.49 for $93.67 worth of groceries

WILMINGTON, NC (WSFX) – There are some pretty good deals to be had as we approach the Super Bowl.

We bought several items for cheap or even for free this week.  Last week if you remember, we went to several stores, including Lowes Foods, CVS, Walmart and Harris Teeter.  This week we just stuck with Harris Teeter for the best deals.  We seemed to find more of them there, but if you're a smart shopper, please send us your best deals at any store and we'd love to share them with our readers and viewers.

One of the funniest things about journalists is that most tend to say they're no good at math – hence, that's why they write for a living.  Well, this week a couple of shopping trips didn't add up for me when I looked at my receipt, but I think I was the one who gained from it.  Anyway, so it goes… and here's my breakdown.

I paid $20.49 for $93.67 worth of groceries this week.  And if you don't count what I paid in taxes, then technically I saved more.  That is almost an 80-percent savings!

Something to remember:  If you see a sale that's buy one get one free, you don't have to buy two.  You can get one for half price!  Unfortunately this week I don't have any coupons that you can print off.  I used coupons that came from either the Wilmington Star News or the Raleigh News and Observer.  If you're new to couponing, that is the best way to start.  But, if you have access to a printer, you can also check out www.coupons.com.

Here's what I bought and how it broke down:

--Mueller's Pasta:  (I bought two, used one coupon)

Reg. Price = $1.89

Paid = .45 cents

Breakdown= The original sale was B1G1, which means each pasta was $.95 cents.  I had a coupon from the paper that was $1.00 off for two.  [1.89-1.00=.89/2= $.45 cents]

--Ortega Seasoning: (I bought 4, used two coupons)

Reg. Price = $.99 cents

Paid = $.30

Breakdown = It was already on sale for $.80 cents.  I had a 50-cent coupon from last Sunday's paper that doubled to $1.00 off for TWO.  So, I bought two at $1.60 and then subtract $1.00.  I paid $.60 cents for two packets, which means they each cost $.30. [1.60-1.00=$.60 cents]

--Franks Hot Sauce:  (I bought 8 bottles, used 4 coupons)

Reg. Price = $3.29

Paid = $.15

Breakdown = There is a huge sale right now.  There's actually a deal right now where two bottles come packaged together.  Plus, Harris Teeter has them on sale for B1G1.  So, you're already getting two for the price of one because of the packaging… but then HT has them on super sale.  So that means I can get the 2-for-1 package for half of $3.29 ($1.65).  Then, I had a coupon from last Sunday's paper for $.75 off.  It doubles.  [1.65-.75-.75=$.15-cents]

--Planter's Peanut Butter:  (I bought 4 jars, used two coupons)

Reg. Price = $3.69

Paid = $1.10

Breakdown = The jars are on sale for B1G1.  It doesn't get cheaper than this.  I also had a printable coupon (no longer available) that gave me $1.50 off of two jars.  [3.69/2 = 1.85 for one jar.  $1.85-.75 = 1.10]

--Deluxe Mixed Nuts: (I bought 1 jar, used 1 coupon)

Reg. Price= $7.49

Paid = $2.25

Breakdown = Remember, you don't have to buy two just because it's a BOGO sale.  I had a coupon from the Sunday paper that gave me a .75 cent discount.  It doubled.  [7.49/2= 3.75-.75-.75 = $2.25]

--Hunts tomatoes (I bought 3 cans, used 1 coupon)

Reg. Price = $1.39

Paid = .63 cents

Breakdown = The sale was Buy two get one free.  So, I paid $2.78 for 3 cans.  Then I had a .45-cent coupon from the Sunday paper that doubled.  [2.78-.45-.45=1.88/3= $63-cents]

--Orville Redenbacher popcorn (I bought 5 boxes, used 2 coupons)

Reg. Price = $3.59

Paid = $.84 –cents

Breakdown = The sale was Buy 2, Get 3 free.  I also had two coupons for .75 off that also doubled.  This is one that I was unsure of because some stores will let you use two coupons for this kind of transaction, while other stores won't.  I don't ever want to be unethical.  If it doesn't work, it doesn't work.  But, today it worked.  So… [7.18 (for two) - .75-.75-.75-.75 = 4.18 /5 boxes = $.84-cents]

--Mariana Banana Chips (I bought two bags, used 2 coupons)

Reg. Price = $1.99

Paid = $.54-cents

Breakdown = The banana chips were already on sale for $1.29.  I had a coupon for $.75-cents off.  It DID not double.  [1.29-.75= $.54-cents]

--Wolf Gang Puck pasta sauce (I bought one jar, used a coupon and an e-vic special)

Reg. Price = $2.99

Paid = FREE

Breakdown = The Wolfgang Puck sauce was already on sale for $2.49.  But Harris Teeter also has e-vic sales.  If you have a VIC card, you need to register it online by going to www.harristeeter.com.  Then you can select additional electronic coupons.  There was an e-vic coupon for $1.00 off.  A lot of stores have these extra discounts.  On top of it, I had a .75-cents off coupon from the Sunday paper.  This particular coupon was in last week's Raleigh's News and Observer.  The coupon also doubles.  [2.49-1.00 evic - .75-.75 = $-.01] You don't get paid for the overage by the way… it just zeroes out.

-- Zatarain's Shrimp Scampi (I bought 3 boxes, used 1 coupon)

Reg. Price = $3.49

Paid = $1.36

Breakdown = The Shrimp Scampi was one of those things I stumbled upon in the freezer section.  It was on clearance for $1.69 and I also had a coupon that gave me 50-cents off of 3 boxes.  So, that doubled, too.  [1.69-.33=$1.36]

--Heluva Onion Dip (I bought two tubs, used 2 coupons)

Reg. Price = $2.19

Paid = $.57

Breakdown = The dip was already on sale for $1.67.  I had a coupon for .55-cents off.  It doubled.

[1.67-.55-.55 = $.57-cents]

There are many more deals out there, but that is what I found this week.  We are planning on donating a majority of what we collect during our shopping trips.  Do you have a charity you'd like to recommend?  Tell us!  And tell us why we should consider you.

Also, another important note.  We are sharing these deals with good intentions.  If you notice a mistake, please let us know.  And, while you're at it, please upload your own great shopping trips!  Remember to coupon ethically.  Do not go dumpster diving, do not copy or tamper with your coupons and please learn the coupon policies at the stores where you shop.  That way we can keep getting deals and stores can keep staying open.

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