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Coupon Shopping for Tornado Victims- $125 for $23

No matter where you live in the U.S. you probably know someone who has been touched by the recent tornadoes that have devastated the Southern part of the country.  Many of these people have lost everything and are beginning their lives all over again.

So when Shannon at WVEC [1] asked if I wanted to go grocery shopping at Harris Teeter to show their viewers the difference they can make with a few dollars and some coupons I jumped at the opportunity (for those of you in the viewing area this will be on the news Saturday morning).  The combined time it took to prep for the trip and to do the actual shopping was only an hour and a half.   Also each of the coupons was from the 5/1 Sunday paper except for one.

We had to do two transactions so that we did not violate the store’s coupon policy.

Shannon went first.  My goal was to make her transaction completely free except for tax.  She purchased 3 tubes of Crest toothpaste, 3 containers of yellow rice, two bags of Tostitos chips and one jar of Tostitos salsa.  Her total before coupons was $ 27.96.  After scanning the store card (on a smart phone!) and presenting her coupons the total was $.34!  Not too bad!

Next was my transaction.  My goal was to be around $22 with tax.  I bought 3- 32 oz bags of Mahatma rice, two jars of Tostitos salsa, one bag of Tostitos chips, 3- 64 oz bottles of Welch’s fruit juice, 3 tubes of Crest toothpaste, 4- 24 packs of 8 oz Nestle water, 3 tubes of Welch’s jelly and 9 bags of Quaker Quakes (rice cake snacks).  The total before coupons was $96.64.  A few weeks ago I had received a coupon in the mail for $10 off of $25 at Bloom (a local grocery store chain).  Harris Teeter accepts these coupons so I included that in with my store card and additional coupons.  My final total was $22.48.

So the total was $124.60 before discounts and after discounts $22.82!  Not bad!  And it’s for a great cause!

If you are interested in doing your own trip here are a few tips:

1- Check with your local foodbank but they most likely do not have facilities to keep things frozen or refrigerated.  Concentrate on items that can be kept on shelves without going bad.

2- Try to find foods that are pretty basic.  Pasta, rice, peanut butter and jelly are staples that most people like.

3- If you can get water, grab it.  Clean drinking water is a very basic need.

4- If you have the opportunity to grab health and beauty items free go ahead.  While the toothpaste I got today will not go to the food bank there are plenty of places to donate it.

With just a few coupons and a little bit of planning you can make a big difference in someone’s life!