93% Savings At Albertson’s-Step by Step Instructions!

August 14, 2011 94 Comments | Disclosure

So, I know we all look forward to Mavis’ Double coupon post, but it’s been a while since we’ve had step by step instructions on how to shop at Albies. (EDIT: this is a how to post to show people new to couponing how to roll transactions/catalina’s for the most profit.) A quick note: I get 9 papers, so I had 27 doubles to play with. If you get 5, I suggest leaving off 1 of the Totino’s Pizzas transactions and 3 of the Soup/Pizza Rolls Transactions.

Also, I FORGOT :( :( all my printed coupons at home, and was SHOCKED to find 3 doubles instead of 2, so I had to re-do my list on the fly.  This is what I came up with:

What I bought, and the Original Prices:

20 Boxes Totino’s Party Pizzas 2/$3
12 Totino’s Pizza Rolls $2.39 each
3 Hot Pocket Snacker, $2.79 each
20 Boxes Hamburger Helper, $2.39 each
38 Progresso Vegetable Classics Soup $2.79 each
4 Dreyers 1/2 Gallons of Ice Cream $6.99 each
3 Snickers Bars, $.89
Total: $251.50

How I did it:

Transaction #1:
10 Boxes Hamburger Helper
Preferred Savings: $13.90
Used 3 $.75 off 3 HH Coupons 7/16 SS ($2.25)
Doubled all three ($2.25)
Total: $5.50
Received $2 Cat and $5 Cat, and 35 box tops

Transaction #2
10 Boxes Hamburger Helper
1 Snickers
Preferred Savings: $12.61
Used 3 $.75 off 3 HH Coupons 7/16 SS ($2.25)
Doubled all three ($2.25)
Used $7 in Cats from T1
Total: $.08
Received $2 Cat and $5 Cat and 35 box tops

Transaction #3
10 Totino’s Party Pizzas
Total: $15
Preferred Savings: $2.50
Used: 2 $1/5 Totino’s Coupons from 8/7 GM ($2)
Doubled 2 ($2)
Used $7 cat from T2
Total: $1.50
Received $5 cat and 35 box tops

Transaction #4
10 Totino’s Party Pizzas
Total: $15
Preferred Savings: $2.50
Used: 2 $1/5 Totino’s Coupons from 8/7 GM ($2)
Doubled 2 ($2)
Used $5 cat from T3
Total: $3.50
Received $5 cat and 35 box tops

Transaction #5
I was in a hurry for this one, threw it up last minute, and messed it up!!  GRR, so frustrating, but, it does happen to everyone!!   So after checking out, this I went away (to my favorite pet food isle), and re-organized everything.
6 Progresso Soups
4 Totino’s Pizza Rolls
Preferred Savings: $16.30
Used: $1/4 Progresso Soup coupon from 8/7 GM and 2 $.40/2 Totino’s Pizza Rolls 8/7 GM ($1.80)
Doubled: 3 ($1.80)
Used $5 cat from T4
Total: $1.40
Received $5 cat and 35 box tops

Transaction #6, 7, 8, 9 (This is what I wanted to do with T5… it took me 20 minutes to figure out why I had 2 extra cans of soup, and was missing 2 Totino’s Rolls!)
8 Progresso Soups
2 Totino’s Pizza Rolls
Preferred Savings: $17.10
Used 2 $1/4 and 1 $.40/1 (8/7 GM) ($2.40)
Doubled 2 $1/4 coupons ($2)
Used: $5 Cat from previous transaction
Total: $.60
Received $5 cat and 35 box tops

Transaction #10:
4 Dreyers Ice Cream
Preferred Savings: $15.96
Used 2 $1/2 Dreyers from 6/12 SS ($2)
Doubled 2 ($2)
Used: $5 Cat from T9
Total: $3
Received: $4 cat

Transaction #11:
2 Snickers Bars
3 Hot Pocket Snackers
Preferred Savings: $.20
Used $1/1 Snackers coupon from 6/26 SS ($3)
Doubled 3 ($3)
$4 cat from T10
Total $.05 MM!!! (I love my Albies Cashier!!!)

Final Breakdown:

Total Pre-Savings/Coupons: $251.50
Total Amount Paid: $17.43 or 6.9%
Saving: 93.1% or $234.07

I LOVE rolling Catalina’s!


  1. Were you able to do this at one store? Is the three transaction maximum per store per visit still the rule? I would need to go to four stores to accomplish your version of Albies shopping. Great job. I enjoy seeing how others shop the deals. It’s inspiring.

  2. Translation, please. :) Is the “preferred savings” their club card? And what is a cat?

    And, ditto on the limit of transactions per store. I have a great store that doubles all manufacturers coupons every day, so that is awesome.

    However, I life in an apartment, so I’m curious to know from you and other readers if this can be done successfully on a smaller scale, as I don’t have room to stock up too much.

    Great job!

  3. Hello ladies I live in idaho falls. I got my double coupons in the paper but it says you can only double 2 per transaction, is this true? Thanks for your help.

  4. We had a great day at Albertson’s today too!! We did the same first transactions as you did but when we used the catalina’s on the next 2 General Mills transactions, the catalina’s and box tops didn’t print. Luckily Customer Service just gave us $5 back per transaction for the catalina. We had a few more transactions planned but I wanted to come home first and find out why the catalina’s weren’t printing. I wanted to make sure that the catalinas would print if I used a General Mills catalina on another General Mills transaction. By the looks of your post, they did! I didn’t want to keep having Customer Service give me $5 back each transaction if it wasn’t supposed to work that way. So glad to see this post!

  5. Does Twin Falls not get the GM insert? I didn’t receive one, sniff, sniff. I’m trying to plan some double transactions for camping this week….if you have any ideas let me know.

  6. Wow, super impressive. A heads up for Nampa, ID shoppers, though — don’t even bother with planning on the Progresso deal at the “new” Albie’s on 12th & Greenhurst. The shelves were wiped clean by 6:30AM. I was there at 9AM and there was TONS of the other stuff, though.

    Also, wanted to point out one of my fave deals @ Albie’s this week that no one’s mentioned: Kettle Chips are $3/bag, and when you buy 2, you get a free Culinary Circle dip (there was Spinach and Parmesan/Jalapeno/Artichoke at my store). Double the $1/1 bag of chips from a week or two ago, and get 2 bags of chips PLUS dip for $2! Perfect for our upcoming BSU season opener party! :)

  7. Helen in Meridian says:

    Cathy, I didn’t recognize you with your brunette hair to match Your New Husband, Mr. Brawny. He’s a cutie.

  8. This was one of my best couponing days yet! Ended up with 30 HH, 24 Progresso soups, 3 pouches of tuna (free), 4 Dreyers and a few freebies from coupons I got in the mail. I am glad I was at Albie’s at 6:30 or else I would have missed the soup, it went fast! My only letdown was that the Tillamook coupons weren’t scanning, so no cheap cheese. $180 of groceries for $7 though. Not too shabby :-)

    • They let me use my Tillamook, but I guess they suspect they’re counterfeit. They’re missing one of the barcodes. But the coupon is advertised on their website…hmmmmm.

      • I contacted Tillamook and they sent me new coupons and the coupons they sent are still not scannable as they are missing the UPC. I’ve let them know that UPC is still missing and I’m waiting to hear back.

        • Jessica B says:

          I contaced them as well, mine had the UPC missing. the rep. from tillamook told me it’s the new Gs-1 databar, and its supposed to be like that. I know winco was talking about coupons changing to this newer format, but it seems like stores can’t scan them… if you look at the caress soap coupon from last weeks insert, it has a single barcode as well. I am wondering if it will scan?

          • Hi, I also could not get my Tillamook to scan at Albertsons. I contacted Tillamook and they asked what store it was. But that was all I heard from them.

            About couponing in small apts and small spaces. I have been a couponer 40 years. Lived in all types of small spaces with no storage. Found ways to compress and disguise my stash. Now I live full time in an RV. Now that has been a challenge. But I still coupon. And even more than ever! A retiree budget you know.

  9. While I was excited to see the deals….I had to step back and think…..will I really eat hamburger helper? We don’t usually in my house.

    I think this is one of those deals where I shouldn’t get caught up in the savings vs. what I should eat.

    Anyone doing a healthier deal than soup n Hamburger helper? What items did you score?

    • Lovecoupons says:

      I’m in the same boat MamaLala. I am not sure what to use my doublers on this week. I don’t usually do hamburger helper, the type of soup on sale this week, or the tostinos pizzas.

    • I have been thinking the same thing, only AFTER I bought 20 of the Hamburger Helpers . LOL We don’t usually eat that in our house either, but I was just so excited to get all those boxes for virtually nothing. I think most of them will be donated to the Food Bank, since right now in our area their shelves are virtually empty.

    • I’m not a processed foods fan either, so none of this was appealing to me either. AND I still have some progresso soups from the last great deal left over, so none of that was needed. I am a big fan of greek yogurt, though, which is usually at least a $1 for a single serving size. This morning I loaded up on the Activia Greek yogurt cups that are 10/$10 and used $1/3 Activia Selects 8/7/2011 SS Insert with doubles. That makes them 3/$1.00, which, in my book is a great deal! :) I also got a couple of the V-8 fusion tea jugs for free using the coupons listed in the match-ups. And the cheap Dreyer’s ice cream…there are a ton of reduced-fat, fat-free ice creams, frozen yogurts and sorbets to choose from in the deal. YUM!

    • I skipped the hamburger helper even though it’s technically a moneymaker because the thought of hamburger helper makes me ill and I don’t have “extra” doubles as the Dreyer and Cereal deals are something we actually use in my house. I think if I had some extra doubles I’d do it and donate it. I sure wish I had 27 doubles to work with!!! Way to go!!!

    • I got 40 boxes of Hamburger helper today and they all went straight to Food Bank…..

      • Thank you for those of you that don’t use HH for not buying it, because it kept it on the shelves for those of us that do. I bought 10 on Thursday, gave 2 sets of coupons to friends who also did the deal and I will go back tomorrow and buy 10 more. We use/like it and at 10cents a box is great for those of us struggling to survive. I say if you are not going to use it please don’t buy tons just to donate because it is cheap.

    • KrazyRussian says:

      I don’t buy “box food” either. I’m with you,girls 😉 There is coupon by meat counter on pork ribs ($1 off) in yellow booklet. I love ribs,so I double it.

  10. I didn’t receive my double coupon inserts in my sunday paper. ): Am I able to still get one from the store or what? I’m in Corvallis Oregon. This stinks, why didn’t I get one?! D:

  11. krista porter says:

    What does “gm” stand for. For example totions pizza rolls coupon form 8/7 gm

  12. The General Mills insert. It’s technically a Smart Source one, but not THE Smart Source one from that weekend as it’s got all General Mills on the cover and throughout.

  13. Did you leave any for me?? Thats quite a haul. I just wanted to do 2 transactions with doubles.

  14. You can add some green beans/corn and sour cream to the tuna/chicken helpers to make them more “healthy” my kids love them that way.

  15. Aren’t the pizza rolls 10 for $10? Wouldn’t your instant savings be $5 not $2.50? I’m just making sure I have my calculations right lol. 😀

  16. Christine says:

    Ok I am a salty snack person but my Husband has been eating ice cream. Since he is the only one how long can I keep it in the freezer unopened? Thanks

  17. gloria jartos says:

    what are box tops and how do you get them and what to do with them? thanks

    • They are catalina looking slips, that have a code on them. You go to the website listed, log in/create your account (which has your choice of school) and punch in the codes. Every point is worth 10 cents, so a 25 point slip is worth $2.50 to the school!

  18. Good Job! With that said, I don’t mean to be negative but when you get these items at mass quantities (progresso) do you stop an think about the other shoppers? I know some pre-order stuff but I also know that a lot of us don’t. I went to Alb’s today at 0800 and the progresso’s were all gone. With the way you guys are posting I wouldn’t be surprised if it was one person that cleared the whole shelf….not cool.

    • Becky did pre-order, she did not clear a shelf. We make a point to tell people if they want more than a few of any particular item then they need to pre-order. :) Placing an order is so easy, I wish more people would place orders with their store managers. Unfortunately we cannot control people who go in and clear a shelf…

      • What stores do this? I’ve heard most don’t.

  19. Becky, I hope you also included some healthier foods in your shopping this week.

    Sorry, but I’m disappointed in this post. You said “it’s been a while since we’ve had step by step instructions on how to shop at Albies” and then went on to detail 11 transactions worth of processed junk food! Really, is that what you’re recommending to your readers? I mean, I don’t care if people buy hamburger helper. It’s been around for ages so obviously a lot of people consume it. But I have coupons for dairy, meat, and vegatables in my stash, so I’m sure you do too. Why not use some of your doublers on healthier foods and fewer on hamburger helper and frozen cardboard pizza?

    • I watched the movie Food Inc. and now I can’t buy very much of this processed food anymore. (Darn you PBS). I don’t think that Becky is trying to recommend this type of food to her readers she is just stocking up on things that she uses. But I guess what I am saying is that this is the food that many Americans eat so I am sure there are lots of people who really appreciate her going through the steps to show them how to get it. I was at the store the other day and there were so many people loading up their carts with tons of “junk” style food and I thought to myself that most of them are spending way too much for it. So if people are going to eat junk they might as well get it for way cheap right?

      • Good points Amanda. Yes, these foods have been around for ages, so it’s obvious that people eat it. If no one was buying it, manufacturers wouldn’t keep making it.

        One of the downsides of couponing — for me anyway — is that we started eating a lot less healthfully when I started couponing. I was spending mere pennies on groceries, but we were not eating well, and I was not feeling good. After a few months (this was a year and a half ago), I came back around to eating more healthy foods and less packaged food, and I feel a lot better. I do save a lot on groceries by shopping sales, using coupons, and stocking up during a good ale, but I won’t stock up on junk food. Yes, I buy it and we eat it occasionally, but not on a regular basis. But that’s just me.

      • As a mother of 4 I do buy a lot of these types of food…Because my 19 year old eats like it is a sport….I fix 3 very health meals each day but kids demand a filler and these products are perfect for that. I think its funny to watch the comments people make passing judgement on others in a blog like this and we wonder why there is bullying at schools…think about it people…whats ood for one might not be good for you…no need to bad mouth one another.

        • I hope you didn’t think that I was bad mouthing people who eat that kind of food. It was my attempt to be sarcastic. Sometimes tone can be hard to convey over the internet.

  20. Sweet score…I did really well there today too…..I got 26 hamburger helpers, 4 totino’s pizza rolls, 2 jamba juice smoothies w/ 2 apple juices, 2 V8 fusion juices, 8 boxes of lancer crackers, and 2 boxes of cocoa puffs all for $11.53. I still have 2 more sheets of doubles that I need to use plus $7 in cats to burn….

  21. I think saving money is geat, too. But I do not let my family eat all that processed food. That can’t be good for you. I like waiting until there is the free milk deals, or granola bars.
    I am saving money for Zaycon, too. I also buy the meats when they are affordable, prepare them for dinners and put them in the freezer. That way I have dinners ready to go every day. I had a great time with the 88 Cent chicken thighs and legs last week. And the pork chops are all stored away, too.
    Thanks for the great tips!

  22. Nice! I’m really shocked you didn’t grab the free V8 Fusion w/Green Tea! I used as many coupons as I had and got 4 FREE…. whoohoo!

  23. Also, I agree with Mary, I usually avoid buying processed food even if its free (unless it’s a digiorno pizza)

  24. Thank you so much for lining this out for me – I am a beginner and boy did I mess up yesterday! I am going to go try again using your method. Thanks again for the help!

    • Brenda- it is ok that you “messed up” because you probably still saved money. I have been doing this for about a year. My regular store is Winco. I only go to Albertsons or Ralphs for got to have deals. I dont get doubles unless someone gives them to me. I am still saving money-I mess up and pass deals all the time. Just keep at it and one day we will be like these fabuless ladies!

  25. I can’t find these snackers anywhere…what Albertsons do you shop @??? I know were close but unsure if we shop the same one….

  26. My favorite thing about fabulessly frugal is that it teaches us “newbies” how to coupon one step at a time. It’s always inspiring to see a success story, but I really appreciate Becky (and the rest of the team) taking the time to show us how to it. I especially love the coaching before the deal is over and there is still time to try it out. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  27. Are the $5 and $2 catalinas still printing today for the Hamburger Helpers? Montana got skipped yet again for double this week so I’m trying to figure out ways to save money! Really beginning to dislike Albertsons!

    • Yes they are, I went back before work and bought 10 more. I also bought the Torilla stuffers that are on sale for 2/$5.00 used a dollar coupon for each one (today it was 7) and my catalinas from the HH. I did the same deal on Thursday. I didnt want to do it all in ine trip, 20 HH and 15 Tortilla Stuffers because I felt I wouldn’t be leaving any for other people.

  28. Camille N says:

    Thank you SO much for posting this!! I would have NEVER figured this out on my own!! I had so much fun today at Albertsons using some of these same transactions!!

  29. Well I sure hope there is still some of the list left. I have 4 children that love HH..But with some buying 20-40 boxes for the food bank,I am kinda aggravated..Hope there is still some on the shelves

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