I Just Bought 672 Boxes of Cereal

I still find it hard to believe that I did this. Lucky Supermarket was having a cereal promotion this week (still good until Tues) where if you buy 4 boxes of Kellogg’s Apple Jacks, Corn Pops, Fruit Loops and Corn Flakes, each box is $1.39 or $5.56 for all four. I had a lot of left over Blinkie coupons for $0.70 off 1 box of Kellogg’s Apple Jacks, Corn Pops or Fruit Loops. I also had a ton of $1.00 off 2 Kellogg’s Corn Flakes coupons (one reader asked how she could help and I said I could always use cereal coupons and she sent me loads).

I did the first transaction as 4 Fruit Loops using four $0.70 off of 1 coupons. This brought the price down from $5.56 to $2.76. I paid this out of pocket, but received a $3.00 catalina coupon (the ones that come out of the register) for my next purchase.

I then did a few transactions of 2 Apple Jacks and 2 Corn Flakes where the total again came to $5.56. Then 2 $0.70 off 1 Apples Jacks coupons and one $1.00 off 2 Corn Flakes coupon brought the price down $3.16. Then I used the $3.00 catalina coupon I had just received bringing the price to $0.16 out of pocket (or $0.04 per box)and I received another $3.00 catalina coupon.

I had enough coupons that I knew I could do this all day, so I asked to speak to the manager and said I would like to order 600 boxes of Corn Flakes and 20 boxes each of Apple Jacks, Corn Pops and Fruit Loops (unfortunately, I only had enough coupons for 60 boxes of these – the price for four boxes of Corn Flakes increased to $0.56 for 4 boxes, or $0.14 per box). Those 660 boxes came in today:

kellogg's corn flakes case

That was after I had already taken a carload home that contained another 11 cases (I forgot my camera the first time I went). Because this was a catalina deal and to make it work, I had to buy 4 boxes of cereal at a time, I spent over 2 hours at the cash register doing 9 transactions of two Fruit Loops / two Corn Flakes, 9 transactions of two Apple Jacks / two Corn Flakes, 9 transactions of two Corn Pops / two Corn Flakes and 137 transactions of four Corn Flakes (after I ran out of the other coupons). In the end I purchased $2376.28 worth of food for $81.68, or a 97% savings over regular retail price.

I didn’t have a chance to take photos of everything because I had to house sit tonight and was running late, but here are some of the boxes in the dining room and my room (there are more in other rooms):

Corn Flake cases

boxes in room

I will spend next week driving these to the local food banks in my area (It took 5 carloads to get it all home) and these boxes of cereal will be added to the Penny Experiment food purchased master list. All the couponers combined have now purchased $11,761.06 worth of food for $552.95. This is another small step toward the goal of $1 million worth of food for food banks, and means that there is only $988,238.94 left to go…

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25 Responses to I Just Bought 672 Boxes of Cereal

  1. WOW – you rocked that deal!! I am hoping for some more good catalina deals in my area – we are in a drought – LOL! Great job!!

  2. Cindy McMath says:

    Amazing! You are the Cereal King!

    Cindy :)

  3. Leslie says:

    Your posts bring a huge smile to my face… and your food donations will bring many smiles to hungry tummies. Bless you for your dedication and perserverance.

  4. Tros says:

    This is epic in such a way that I can’t stop smiling.

  5. Doug says:

    So you’re basically excessively screwing the company just to give food to the foodbank?

  6. Jack in NC says:

    So, can you then deduct the $2376.28 retail value of the cereal on your taxes and recoup far more than the $82 spent?

    This is amazing, btw.

  7. admin says:

    @Jack in NC — No, I can only deduct what I actually paid for it.

  8. admin says:

    @Doug — No, not at all. Actually I am helping them out. They do these types of deals when they have excess inventory so that they can clear it out. If I don’t buy it, then they will get nothing for it. They might donate it, but they might not and it could go completely to waste.

  9. Robert Walker says:

    I am capitalist big time. But don’t see this as screwing the cereal company. If they print the coupons, they have it figured out and it’s their risk. Same when a charity mails me unwanted cheap gifts. It does not obligate me to donate. I admire you for the donation of your TIME & ENERGY to figure all this out and do it. That’s even more remarkable than the $$ story.

  10. Marc Rohde says:

    This really isn’t screwing any companies and helps in a way the company intends. Coupons are a marketing tool to get consumers to get the brand in front of them. This will not only get the brand to consumers but help the hungry (yes, even people using food banks are consumers).

    Very good use or resources to help people in need.

  11. Stacey says:

    @Doug – you make it seem as if he’s doing it for personal gain. geez!

    and for those who are not knowledgeable about how manufacturer coupons work, the store is refunded the money by the manufacturer. they are even often refunded the costs of applying for the refund.

  12. Hillary says:

    That poor poor cashier who had to ring everything out for over 2 hours..

  13. Wonderful job!! You have truly blessed many needy folks with your kindness. Thank you.

  14. bakedpotatoes says:

    Hillary: As opposed to not doing his/her job for 2 hours? :P

  15. Karen says:

    Your intentions are good, and the effort you’re putting into this is to be commended, but the problem I have with it is that cereal is absolute crap, and no one should be eating it. It’s poison. The medical care required to fix the health problems that stuff will cause will completely negate any savings.

  16. admin says:

    @Karen

    I have had many long conversations with the people running the food banks in my area. I tell them when I can get food at a good discount, but it isn’t the healthiest of food. Time and again they say their top priority is being able to give something to those in need and that any food is welcome. Would I like to give the healthiest food possible? Of course. But a box of corn flakes, while not the healthiest, is better than a child going hungry. I encourage you to talk to your local food bank coordinator to find ways to get healthier foods to them — I believe the first step is to make sure they have enough to feed those in need in their area so that they can be choosy about what they take. Those 600+ boxes only lasted about a week. We need more people willing to work with food banks in this way.

  17. Dean says:

    They could always crush the cornflakes, and make fried chicken, that would be healthy, or at least more fun.

  18. Lisa says:

    $1.39 for a box of cereal is expensive for me! You wouldn’t catch me paying over $1 a box ever anymore. My store doubles coupons and I usually get it 50 cents a box now.

  19. admin says:

    @Lisa

    $1.39 was the price before coupons – the boxes ended up being $0.04 and $0.14 each (depending on which coupons I used) and that was at a store that does not double. Thus, the large quantities I bought for the local food bank.

  20. Renee says:

    I commend you! I agree the primary purpose is to FEED those that need food. I dont care if they are eating filet mignon or an IV drip of straight butter, getting calories and food should be a priority at this point.
    I would encourage those that feel the need to make negative light on the food donated find healthier solutions for the food banks near you at the same volume, then please enlighten us because I would surely follow lead. Until then, corn flakes it is!

  21. Phil says:

    As someone who has needed a food bank in the past and may need one again all I have to say is…

    YOU ROCK!!!

  22. Heather says:

    I have to say I do not believe i’ve EVER seen anyone get a deal quite like that! The fact that you took your time, energy, money and rolled it all into an act of kindness that helped many is amazing! This is an article that I’ve saved to show my children. One more example of the human heart, and the gift of giving! You rock dude!

  23. David Summer says:

    WOW!!! Awesome job! inspiring and encouraging to see such an effort on behalf of others.

  24. Amanda says:

    I am a cashier at a local grocery store and I have seen this first hand. We have a certain day that people come in and they can get $10 off their purchases when they spend $50 (without taxes). I had a lady come through my line that after this discount and her own coupons only ended up spending $5 for her groceries!

  25. Araceli Stubbe says:

    ROTFL!, This is absolutely amazing and funny! Great for the pragmatic manager too! Congratulations!

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