$100 Giveaway: Shopping Trip Results 84% Savings!

Remember our $100 gift card giveaway?

Well our winner, Jamie sent us her fabulous results…

“What a fun month I had couponing, despite being 6 months pregnant, coughing up a storm for 2 weeks, hosting a college roommate reunion and traveling with my 3 kids for a week to go to a wedding! 🙂 I have loved documenting all my purchases, gotta love the savings! So, without further adieu, here are the results of my $100 Visa Gift Card Challenge. . . . .

Total OOP: $100.19
Total Retail: $608.27
Total Savings: $508.08!!!

I decided, for my benefit and maybe yours, to take this a step further and find out what kind of savings it would be with Winco prices. The total purchase price at Winco would be $404.77 still making it a savings of $304.58.
$182.92 of the savings was specifically from coupons, the rest comes from store promos, store coupons, and catalinas. Another testament that couponing is most successful when both elements are applied!

Items not included in pictures: 2 Chuck Roasts, and 1 package of round steak
My husband and I took the kiddos out last night to “share” / deliver some bags to 2 different families we knew who needed the help. My oh-so-tactful 3-year-old got a little disgruntled when she found out that “sharing” did not actually mean eating the pudding packs with other children! 🙂 We all had a great time. If you look closely in the photo you may notice that some of the items don’t match exactly to what we bought. I hope no one minds, but with collecting food storage I feel strongly about rotating it. So, some of the items are the same, and others have been rotated. I have also been able to pass along some shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, cough drops, contact lens solution, oats and crackers to a couple friends just this past month, and I made another friend a meal with some of the grocery items to help after she twisted her ankle. So many opportunities to help, how can we not when we’ve been so abundantly blessed!
Thanks to the ladies at Fabulessly Frugal for making it so easy for us to learn, shop, and save!!!” ~Jamie

Here is the food that Jamie donated to others:

Way to go Jamie! You did a fabulous job! Look for our next $100 giveaway coming soon on our facebook page!


  • Sophie

    Awesome job Jamie!! You are a trooper with your busy month! But this is a testament that even those of us with busy lives can still do it!!

  • myssssss

    It was good to see she donated food to the poor, but really who is pregnant & with 3 kids already shops like that, it is totally unrealistic at all…coupons are coupons, but getting all that food sounds like she is a hoarder not a real live human being..I have shopped for 37 years being married for nearly that amount of time, I used to use 6 and 7 cent coupons and we thru little out when first married, I am still pretty frugal but not like that she wipes out a lot of the inventory and prices for food are high now and gasoline almost $4.00 and more a gallon, why do you encourage people to wipe out food that others only want say one item??????????? Also many are living in 2 or 1 person homes, apt. they cannot buy or need that much oatmeal, peanut butter, etc..Try to encourage your readers to share with the less fortunate which means in this area one in 4 who are food deprived and those are children under 5. If a person gets that much food, donate and actually work at a food place, they won’t hoard that much food no matter how much they save!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Caylin

      I see NOTHING wrong with her purchases. Do you have children? I know for a fact that my kids (Very quickly) could go through that amount of cereal, puddings, and pretzels in a short amount of time. I believe Jamie said that she has 3 kids not including herself or spouse. A lot of these items have a longer shelf life, so she may be able to keep them around longer. Although if you are packing peanut butter sandwiches for school lunches weekly, and snacks you’d be suprised at how quickly it goes. Oatmeal eaten daily or used in baking goes quickly too. Please don’t be so quick to judge someone elses shopping trip, you have no idea what their family dynmaic with food is. I work in a Children’s hospital so i see the food insecurity of children and families, and I think it is great that she even thought to make a donation.

    • Julie

      Are you seriously calling her a hoarder? Did you not see the Extreme Couponing show? THAT is called hoarding! This reader has a big family AND was buying to share! AND it’s not like she did all of this in one day at one store! Seriously? Those are some low comments. Any mother who is pregnant CAN coupon shop like this! And the fabulessly frugal ladies ALWAYS preach not hoarding! Maybe you should buy their DVD. They cover that in it as well.

      • FrugalMT

        lol – yes a prego woman can shop like this, I also know of a a mom who has 3 kids who with her 3rd was still out riding horses right up to her due date., and guess what she is a healthy active normal 6 year old today.

        Like others have said many of the items she purchased have longer shelf lives. I currently have 38 Boxes of cereal (several different kinds), that will be gone in less than 3 months with a family of 4. I didn’t clean out the stores, only buying what I had coupons and space to store and shoping more than one store. This will help my budget too as I won’t have to purchase ceral at $4 a box. and can put that money towards other food or bills as needed. We have one income that is paying living expenses in 2 states while we try to sell our home in another state so we can settle in a home of our own in our new state, till then we will have to pay rent were we live and a mortgage where we don’t. Yet my kids won’t go hungry and we will share with our food bank as we can. Our scouts will be doing a food drive in April and thanks to couponing we will be able to make a contribution our selves this year unlike last year when we weren’t couponing.

    • Sierra- Home Sweet Frugal Home

      Myssssss, maybe you missed the part about her donating a whole bunch to others! The great thing about couponing is that we save money to take care of our families and bless others! And even if she didn’t share with others, the whole idea of stockpiling is to buy more when you can spend less images of paying full price. I have a huge pantry in my garage full of groceries. I recently had a friend that was struggling financially. I invited them over to my house for them to “shop in my store” for free just to help them out. I was able to do that because i got many items in there for free or close to free. Each family’s needs are different and people go through certain items quicker than others. Please don’t be so quick to judge people. Make the best decisions for your family and let other people make the best decisions for theirs.

    • Monica


      I do not think it is very nice to criticize her for coupon shopping when she is pregnant.

      I also do not thinks she is an example of a hoarder. A hoarder is someone who buys tons of things and never uses them. Jamie gave many of the items to friends in need and if you read her comments you would see that she rotates through the groceries so she is using them.

      We do not encourage people to wipe out the stores: https://fabulesslyfrugal.com/2010/08/fabuless-coupon-tip-tuesday-give.html

      Jamie did her shopping in lots of different shopping trips. I do not think she cleared shelves.

      I do agree with you on this point though. Clearing a shelf is rude, even if you are donating the items to the less fortunate. What about the less fortunate that are trying to save money with coupons and can’t because the shelves are empty?

      I was not there (and neither were you) I do not think that Jamie cleared the shelves and it makes me really sad that you would so unkindly accuse her or that. I have never met her personally but am sure she is a kind loving person who does not deserve the ridicule.

    • Rhoda

      I don’t agree with myssssss’s comment at all! I am by no means a hoarder and I also stocked up with just about everything Jamie stocked up on except the personal care items which I got a few just not as many.

      That being said, I am a family 0f 8… I am the only female, 3 men (hubby, brother while going to college and my disabled dad) as well as a 15 yr old and 11 yr old boy and 2 med. sized dogs. I have been couponing for quite a while and getting better at it every week! If I miss 1 week of my coupon trip my pantry, fridge and freezer go bare!!!! In this economy and my limited budget with the combined adult incomes would not afford me some of the meal options that I have today due to my ability to stock up on sale items for my family.

      And as far as shelf clearing goes I have yet to find many trips where I have found an empty shelf on anything that I have needed even to stock up! Even on the big Quaker deal I was able to use each and every coupon and leave items on the shelf.

      It is often too easy to sit behind a computer and pass judgment and criticism on others, it’s a sad day when a woman is criticized for caring for their family in a frugal way.

      • Jen T

        I’ve read everyone’s comments, and I completely agree that Jamie hasn’t gone anything wrong. We don’t know the entire scenerio of where she shopped, etc etc. We’re looking at pictures and her explanation. By some of the negative comments, it looks like either they’re just looking at the pictures or not understanding the explanation.

        Jamie has 3 kids, one on the way, herself and her husband to shop for. I can look at all that food and almost tell you how long it would last in this house only with myself, my spouse, and two kids – not long at all (the Hunt’s tomatoes by themselves MIGHT last for 6 dishes). On top of that, Jamie SHARED her good fortune with other people. Who in this world makes food for someone with a broken ankle anymore?? I’ve had a messed up back for a year and sometimes I couldn’t even walk, and I didn’t see anyone over at my house cooking for me or taking care of my kids. =) Jamie is SO nice to donate her time and items to other people, and I would love to have such a sweet friend like Jamie!

        Please don’t judge other people so harshly.

    • Jamie

      lol don’t worry, I’m not offended! 🙂 This was mine and my husbands reaction too when I first started couponing! I’ve been couponing for a couple years and have gotten a good handle on what my family uses. Actually, by the time the month was over and I was ready to donate I couldn’t believe how much of the food we had already consumed! 🙂 Some may call it hoarding, I call it food storage and planning ahead, especially since I will be out for a while once the baby comes. We will consume it all, and on the occasion I find some products will expire before I get to them. . . . hey, just another great time to donate!

      I’m lucky enough to live fairly close to the grocery store, so I often go and make a purchase once a day after I drop my daughter off at school. That way I’m spreading out my purchases. Also, one trick I’ve learned is to go shopping on a Tuesday night and get the leftovers. (This is after the usual trip on Wednesday or Monday to get what I really want.) Usually there’s not much, but sometimes you can still find some of the deals. At that point, I don’t have to feel bad about clearing the shelf! 🙂

      And, yes, I am 30 weeks pregnant now, and I shop with 2-3 kids every time. That’s what all those pretzels are for. They each get a small bag of pretzels or other snack when we go to the store. . . . those extra few minutes of peace are all I need!!! lol

      • Jamie

        Oh, yeah. . . and I guess I should mention that I had one month to show you all what I could do with $100. By the end of week one I had only spent about $15, and I was a little nervous that I would be able to make the bill! 🙂 It’s not easy spending that kind of money! 🙂 haha

      • Becky FabFruGal

        I’m glad you were able to toss it off! I know how hard it was the first time I posted and I got negative comments! Way to shop!!

  • Ann

    Agree with mysssssss. I hate when people gloat about pics like this because it only tells me that you are a hoarder, and exactly the kind of shopper that gives the rest of us couponers a bad name because of shelf-clearing. Saving money is great, but I would hate for the rest of your readers to have examples like this to emulate because then couponing becomes a competition and cut-throat (I live in a couponer-heavy area and have seen people almost come to blows in a store once). Please coupon responsibly and leave enough on the shelves for people who are not obsessive about this pursuit. If everyone goes clearingn shelves and depleting stock it is bad for everyone in the long run since stores and suppliers may cease to offer deals like this.

    • Julie

      Um, keep in mind she did this over a months time!!! This isn’t hoarding!

    • Martha

      Who said anything about shelf clearing? A lot of stores will let you special order when you want large numbers of an item, and doing so makes it so you take NOTHING off the shelf. Also, on the last day of the sale, I see no problem with buying as much as you want. I often will go in on the last day in the evening and if the store has lots of an item, they have no problem with me buying a large amount. Customers at that point had a whole week to shop so it’s not like I went in on the first day and bought everything they had. I know I try to have a year supply of food, and before I started couponing, it wasn’t possible for me financially. Thanks to the FabFrugals and others, I’m able to do that now, and it it’s not at the expense of others either. I special order, use rainchecks, shop multiple stores, and shop on the last day of a sale. Good job Jamie for providing for your family and others.

  • Cristy Buczko

    It looks like she’s preparing for Y2K LOL. Great job and a great example of giving too.

    • FrugalMT

      I was fortunate to have a large supply of items like she does when my hubby lost his job and we were without income for 6 months. Thanks to the idea of a years supply and the fact my son was under 5 we were able to be feed. Which we did apply for all kinds of asstaince but were denied (even for food stamps), and did not qualify for unemployment benifits do to his recent job changes 10 months before.

      So go Jamie and others who shop responsibly and can show that they are able to get great deals that sustain thier family’s and other during hard times.

  • justine

    Awesome Job! Way to take care of your family!! I really appreciate the Winco price comparison. I typically only grocery shop at Winco. I think I need to broaden my playing field 🙂
    I too buy as much as I can when It’s a great deal! I feel that the store appreciates the $$ and does’t mind restocking the shelves. I worked retail and a sold out shelf was a good thing…. first off I would just restock … second the store made money and I got to keep my job another day.

    • Neva

      I still buy a lot of my food at WinCo too. While many other stores have great promos/sales, I still believe that WinCo is the best default store there is.

  • Becky R.

    Way to go Jamie!!! I’m so proud of all you got!!! I know how insane it can be to try to coupon, especially with busy lives, but YOU DID GOOD Girl!!!!
    There are a couple of people who routinely post negative comments about good deals. one thing I would like to remind them… this is not a 1 day shopping trip, or even a 1 week shopping trip! She had ONE MONTH!!! She was able to plan and prep, roll rewards, and special order!! I’m sorry if couponing is hard in your area… remember when someone said you never get anything for free?! It’s TRUE!! Jamie spent her time, gas, ink etc to go get all this!! And you can BET if I got a $100 gift card, with the ONLY limitations being MAKE IT STRETCH as far as you can, I would have done the same thing! She shopped the deals, AND she did a GREAT job doing it!!! Did you know that with a month to buy things, you can get a rain checks and have things ordered in specially for you?! LOOKS to me like that’s what she did. How about we DON’T put her down just because she’s more successful at it than you.
    I bet if you were given $100, and told to make it go as far as you could, you would have done these same deals too!!

    Way to Go Jamie!!! You did great!!!

  • mandy

    Keep in mind that stores order in pallets of items that are on sale and they do special orders if you have several coupons. I get 24 papers (I do 2 other families shopping besides my own family of 4) and I special order all the time so that I am not clearing shelves. Also I usually shop late at night on the last day of the sale or late at night at Wal-Mart which they re-stock their shelves every night since they are a super center. The point of using coupons is saving money and stocking up when an item you use is on sale. There are lots of people who don’t use coupons that stock up when items are on sale or buy in bulk because they have large families, this is a normal thing that people do every day to save money. Right now especially when times are hard is when everyone is trying to save money what is wrong with wanting to save money? I only have a limited budget of $150 per month for everything I buy including my diapers & formula if I didn’t use coupons and stock up on sale items I wouldn’t be able to get all of the things that I need with my budget. My husband was recently out of work for over 6 months and without my food supply from couponing it would’ve been a very hard 6 months. It is not nice to judge someone when you don’t even know their situation. Hoarders are people who buy several (50-100) of items that they probably don’t even need then don’t ever use them, maybe you should look up the definition before you make accusations. No-one can control other shoppers or that fact that there are lots of people who don’t play by the rules so don’t put the blame on others. Couponing is great and has helped a lot of people, especially in hard times. I know several moms who have been able to quit their part time job and stay home with their kids because they started using coupons and saved so much money they could afford to stay home. Way to go Jamie don’t listen to the negative people.

  • You are ONE super saver Jamie!! Love that you also did the price comparison at winco as many people don’t realize by smart shopping and coupons you can save more at other stores than Winco. You did awesome! And I LOVE your giving heart too – thanks for opening yourself up and sharing your deals. Some people DO love seeing these kinds of things..its inspiring!

  • Cheryl

    Jamie, you did a FABULOUS job!! Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us. I know that those you shared with love and appreciate you.

  • Anne

    Jamie, you did great. It is hard work and time consuming to track down all these deals. I only coupon for my husband, mom, and sister, and some weeks I just can’t do it. Let those negative comments roll off your back and know you have a lot of support in the coupon world. Love this site, love the tips, and I love saving money even more!

  • K

    Seems like some people need kicked out of the coupon club – and I don’t mean Jamie! Good job, girl!

  • Lena

    Fantastic job Jamie! The less you have to go to the store when the baby comes the better! Way to GO!
    BTW My family of 6 would wipe out all that food in a matter of months! Sounds like a case of sour grapes for some people!

  • Dawn

    I need help from this girl!! Wow!! – This is my third week using coupons and I would love to do this well!!!

    I have a family of 6 PLUS I have 9 daycare children so you can imagine the food I go through.

  • Amy

    Awesome job Jamie! That is an inspiration! I have a family of 5 and I know that what you pictured, wouldn’t be considered a “hoard” at my house! My kids would plow through that cereal, oatmeal and pudding in a very short time! In fact- all the food items pictured wouldn’t last for more than a few months- most of them would be gone MUCH sooner- especially if you pack lunches for your kids!

    To be able to share with other families is a BLESSING! Anyone who can appreciate using coupons should only aspire to be as awesome as you!

  • I heart our readers!!!

  • Kim

    Mysssss. . . . and Ann~
    You obviously are quite self centered and do not plan ahead, prepare, or build a storage yourselves. Maybe you ought to let down some of that pride, and learn from Jamie instead of criticize. If anything were to happen, unemployment, God forbid anything with her or her unborn baby, any tragedy or merely someione in need (which she did) she has had the forethought, the initiatvie, and dedication BEFORE the need has arisen to take care of her little children, her husband, and neighbors or other’s in need. She has stepped it up, worked harder than you will ever know, and PREPARED her home and her family for future events. Even if nothing ever happens, she can feed those sweet little ones a wicked awesome meal for pennies because of her amazing planning and saving, ans that my friends is commendable! I strongly and firmly believe that as wives and mothers this is our duty ans our responsibility to build a food storage and a one year supply is NOT hoarding in any way shape or form. The way in which we piddle away or stretch (okay really stretch) our family’s hard earned income teaches our children, brings content or contention, and honors or degrades every sweaty minute earning that money. Jamie nice n preggo, little ones and pretzel baggies in tow has shown us all how to make the best of our economic times in an optimistic way. Because she is better than an execellent savvy shopper that took the time, did her homework and reaped the rewards, GET OFF HER BACK. Jamie, you did awesome and you are a great example of what we are all working for. Thank you! (PS I love coupons like crazy! :D)

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