Thursday, September 3, 2009

Saving Money on Groceries: How to Get Free Eggs

A Little Lesson About Overage

One of the great things about shopping with sales and coupons is that sometimes you can "buy" your grocery necessities for free! I'm talking about things like milk, eggs, fruits & veggies. These are the types of staples for which you rarely can find coupons, and almost never get for free.

The key to this success is looking for "overage." Overage, in frugal shopping lingo, occurs when you have more money taken off your bill from your coupon savings than the item actually costs. Accumulate enough overage, and you apply the credit toward your non-coupon staples. Overage can be a great tool to bring down the net cost of your groceries, even on bigger trips. I usually have enough grocery purchases to absorb my overage credit, although I did actually walk out of a store with a gift card credit one time because of overage!

My example today is that I needed eggs. These are on sale at Publix this week for 99 cents. I also have a big stash of Yakisoba 50c/1 coupons. The cost of the Yakisoba noodle bowl is 89 cents. My 50 c coupon doubles to $1. So, the overage given to me on the purchase of every one of my noodle bowls is $1.00 - 89 c or 11 cents. A little grade school math tells me that 9 x 11c = 99c, so I picked up 9 noodle bowls along with my 99 c eggs. My total cost to the cashier was 14c, which was the tax due (which is calculated before coupon discounts in Georgia.) In retrospect, I might could have bought one more noodle bowl to cover some of the tax!

Here are some ways to find overage.

* The cost of the item is less than the value of the coupon
* The cost of the item is less than the value of a coupon doubled.
* The cost of the item is less than the combined value of a manufacturer coupon stacked with a store coupon.
* You qualify for a rebate that is greater than the cost of the items. You might reduce the cost of your rebate items by using coupons.

Overage can be tricky to find sometimes. Some stores will not allow it, but I can usually get overage at Publix these days.

Blessings, and happy shopping


  1. Hi Margery,
    I have had trouble at my Publix lately.
    They don't take Target or FL coupons anymore. They say it is coming down from corporate. It doesn't look like you have had any trouble at your Publix. Have you? Where is your Publix? I hope the one in Duluth just off Peachtree Industrial. Thanks! Melissa

  2. Hello Melissa,
    Each Publix store management decides which competitor coupons they will accept. My store has been very generous to date. As of this week, they were still taking Target and FL coupons. (There is a Super Target 1 mile up the road!) I shop mostly at an Alpharetta Publix at the intersection of Windward Parkway and McGinnis Ferry Road. You also could try checking with other Publix stores in your area to find out which competitor coupons they accept. I've heard the Peachtree Industrial Publix is coupon-friendly, but I haven't shopped there. Good luck.

  3. I love your blog! I am adding it to my reader. :)


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