55lbs of Groceries on Public Transportation

I’m officially insane. I have taken couponing to such an extreme that I took assorted subway trains over to Jersey City to clear their shelves on a Saturday night. I didn’t really think I’d be able to pull off all the deals I wanted to for lack of stock or hassle from cashiers, but I got all but one thing on my list. In summary, I spent $17.50 for $95 worth of groceries – and that’s based on sale prices, not full shelf price – and I’ve got $8 in register rebates to spend on anything in my next order. Now here’s the fun part: the items meant for me are the ground beef ($11 for 6.5 lbs), 6 yogurt ($.60 – yes, total), 2 boxes of Cheerios ($2.88) and 6 blocks of cheese ($5.94) … that’s a little over $20. So I actually saved money by getting all the other stuff that I’m giving away – about $11 if you include the $8 I get to spend this weekend. Here’s what my haul looked like (aren’t massage tables terribly handy?):

OctShopping 003

Can’t see it all? Here’s the boring list: 11 boxes of General Mills cereals (Cheerios, Total, Cascadian Farms), 14 Yoplait yogurts, 3 sets of Betty Crocker cake mix and icing, then that huge stack of 18 Pillsbury Crescent and Cinnamon rolls, 6 x 8oz blocks of MacAdam cheese, 2 flavored CoffeeMates, 8 Gum toothbrushes, 2 Lysol cleaners, 6.5 lbs of ground beef.

I had brought my small wheelie suitcase to pack the heavy stuff into (tubes of rolls, meat, Lysol, cake stuff), and my free reusable eco-tote from Earthbound Organics that held about 7 of the 11 boxes of cereal. I strapped another bag of cereal to the telescopic handle of the suitcase and headed home… 7 minute walk to the Path train for my 15-minute ride back to the city, then transfer to the subway, and then the hideous climb of 5 stories’ worth of stairs to street level right outside my building. That part was really unpleasant. Plus, I sat next to a worried looking young woman, whom I assured with big fancy vocabulary words that despite appearances, I was not a bag lady.

I’ve gotten so much free cereal lately that the pile in my closet was about 2 wide and 20 high, and the bottom boxes were starting to crush. And those Pillsbury tubes? My fridge was a disaster with the damn things rolling around of their own free will, shifting and clunking at strange moments. I called Unofficial Shelter Lady who takes care of 20 almost-adults, and she drove in to relieve me of this craziness. I just provided 2 weeks’ worth of breakfast! I’m also trying to give Mom-of-2-teens a care package because they really appreciate cereal and yogurt, but her computer is virus-ridden and so communication isn’t easy – she replied to my text on Sunday, so I’m hoping we’ll be able to meet up this week.

I’d like to give a very special shout-out to the lady behind WebHunting – she has access to multiple computers, is the queen of coupon trading, and is the whole reason I was able to do this. And she’s an awfully nice person who also shares her shopping-for-free booty with the less-fortunate. Without her diligent printing and mailing, I would only have 1/3 of the above and would not be sitting on $8 worth of credit to spend. And to all of my Robin Hood coupon fairies, this is what you make possible!


4 Responses

  1. Dude, I’m still too much of a moron to figure out how you do this shopping for free business despite your numerous explanations (I am not ashamed!), but I am ever so impressed. Just hauling my fat ass alone on LA’s trains nearly kills me. I can’t imagine lugging that load. You need a superhero cape.

    • I didn’t want to bore people with a list of prices and coupons and deals, but here’s how it worked–

      There were a couple of very special deals on, and then there was a deal within a deal. The big one was Buy $25 worth of the General Mills/Pillsbury/Yoplait/etc listed in the ad, get $10 register rebate to spend on your next order. Within that deal there was a Buy 6 Pillsbury Crescent or Cinnamon rolls, get a $4 register rebate. That $25 is the total needed *before* coupons. The supermarket doubles coupons under $1, and the cornerstone of it all were 75-cent cereal coupons and the stack of $1 Pillsbury ones that JPT below sent me so I could do this $25 deal 3 times. So it was $25 before coupons, $11-$13 after coupons, which I paid with the $10 printed rebate from the previous order and a little cash.

  2. MMK… you rock. what more can i say? i’m laughing and crying at the same time. i’m especially cracking up over the description of the renegade pillsbury. and five flights of stairs? yes, we need to find you a cape!

  3. Wowza!! I still don’t understand how you can only spend $17.50 for all those deals! That is incredible!! YOU are inspiring!

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