Edited to add photo.
When I was a child, I used to clip and use coupons. My mother would pay for the groceries, and I got to keep all the coupon earnings. This means I have been using coupons and refunds regularly for a long time. I even subscribed to coupon magazines and coupon swaps in the past. A cashier called me the Coupon Lady. He was always impressed at my savings. I did take some time off recently, and decided to get back into it a few months ago.
Today, this receipt shows that I bought $123 worth of groceries. [I'll get the photo tomorrow, I don't have the camera right now.] Well the receipt doesn't have the total, it shows I spent $50.88, and had $73.53 in savings. I also bought four other things on separate receipts. They are all free after rebate, and I needed separate receipts to mail in. That totals another $18. So technically I bought $141 worth of groceries for $50.88. I paid less than 40% for my groceries. I could have done better if I was doing it for show, by not buying the coffee and the dishwashing detergent, milk, cheese, bread, etc. Things that were on sale and sometimes also had coupons, but didn't have the stellar savings I got on the other items. It does, however, also include stuff I can't use myself - like two small packages of free dog food, which I will give to my brother. Other not counted benefits are the points on my credit card, the fuel savings and marketplace holiday bonus points.
I wish I could do this well every time I shopped!
When I read the message boards of people who make fun of couponers, because they think it takes a lot of time and work, I just chuckle and go back to clipping more coupons while watching my favorite tv show.
By the way, I have joined Kate's Birthday ATC swap. What a great way to honor fellow quilters on their birthday!