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How to Spend Less on Cereal With or Without Coupons


How to Spend Less on Cereal With or Without Coupons


Cereal used to be an affordable solution to serving a quick breakfast, but the prices have soared over the past five years. When you include milk to the equation the cost of a simple bowl of cereal can become pretty pricey.

One way to help beat spending too much on cereal is by watching prices and using coupons. A popular trend with cereal companies is to set up big promotions in grocery and drugstores where they will select several different cereals and promote them on two-for deals, like "2 for $5.00" which helps a bit to deflate the prices. But you need to watch this type of promotion and check the sizes of the boxes being promoted. Sometimes the boxes are the same height as the boxes you normally buy, but thinner with considerably less ounces per box.

The bottom-line in getting the best deals on cereal is to compare how much you are paying per ounce. Below are some examples to consider when comparing prices.

Comparing the prices of Kellogg's Special K Cereal

Grocery Store

18 ounce box
$6.39 per box
$0.36 per ounce


12 ounce box
$4.79 per box
$0.39 per ounce

By comparing the price per ounce you can see in this example that Kellogg's Special K is a better deal at the grocery store.

Taking advantage of store promotions will often save you a considerable amount of money. Let's say your grocery store was running the cereal on promotion for two boxes of cereal for $5.00.

2 x 18 ounce boxes = 36 ounces
$5.00 for two.
$0.14 per ounce.

You would save $0.22 per ounce by buying the cereal on sale.

Using Coupons With Promotions

When using coupons with the promotion above most will allow you to use two coupons towards your purchase since you are buying two items. This is how couponers "stack" coupons.

Here is how it would work if you had two coupons for $0.50 off Kellogg's Special and you applied them to the two for $5.00 promotion:

2 x 18 ounce boxes = 36 ounces
$5.00 for two.
- .50 X 2 in coupons = -$1
You pay $4 for two or $0.11 per ounce!

By saving your cereal coupons until you see a good sale, then combining the promotion with the coupon, you can maximize your savings.

Understanding the coupon policies at the stores where you shop can really make a difference on how much you will spend. Wal-Mart, for example, will match the advertised prices of its competitors. CVS drugstore will allow you to use their coupons with manufacturer's coupons.

Once you understand your options you can maximize your savings.

Buy One Get One Free Deals

A fairly common promotion that you see on cereals is "Buy One Get One Free" (BOGO). Frugal shoppers love BOGO sales and for good reason. At most stores you can apply at least one coupon and in some stores you can apply two coupons to the sale.

Also, stores like Target, for example, will allow you to apply a Target coupon with the manufacturer's coupon, which can really add to the overall savings. This is also an example of when "stockpiling" makes sense if you have enough coupons saved.

Rebate Offers

Generally speaking there is usually some kind of rebate offer that relates to cereal. A recent one offered by Kellogg's was for a $10 gas card. All you had to do was send in the UPC code of 10 participating cereals and you would receive a card good for $10 worth of gas. They allowed five entrees per household, which would add up to $50 worth of gas. When you add that into the bottom-line it is quite a substantial savings.

Finding Cereal Coupons

- The Sunday paper is still one of the best resources for finding coupons.

- Sign-up at the cereal company websites.

- Use free printable coupon websites.

- Get a Facebook account and "Friend" your favorite food companies for Facebook coupons.

- Get magazines that are known for having coupons, like AllYou and Good Housekeeping

Other Ways to Save on Cereal

Blending Cereals

There are other ways to save on cereal along with using coupons. A popular frugal trend is to blend expensive cereals with less expensive cereals. This helps cut the cost when children are "hooked" on a certain cereal. For example, if your child refuses to eat anything but Fruitloops (8.70 oz - $0.55/oz) you can mix it by using generic or store brand of Fruitloop-like cereal (32 oz - $0.15/oz.).

Bagged Cereals vs. Boxed Cereals

Comparing the cost per ounce of bagged cereals to boxed cereals can be a real eye-opener. The grocery stores like to keep the bagged cereals out key area of the cereal aisle so be prepared to bend to find them. Many times you can save as much as $0.40 per ounce or more by buying bagged cereals. Again, they probably will contain less sugar, but you can always add fresh fruit which makes for a healthier meal.

Make Your Own Granola

One of the great things about granola is how easy it is to mix your own. Not only does it cost less than store bought granola, but you can try different varieties or tailor it to have the ingredients that you most enjoy.

Granola Recipes:

By saving coupons, keeping on top of cereal promotions, utilizing rebates, and stretching your cereal with less expensive blends, you will quickly see the cost of your cereals go down.

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