Monday, January 31, 2011

Drug Store Finds

Retail $150.50 - Spent $24.95

Okay, so you're probably saying.. No way. Isn't possible. 

It is possible, you just have to know what to do. I'm still learning, but is getting easier. The biggest finds at the drug store come from combining 3 different ways to save. First, needs to be on sale or clearance is even better. Second, you need to have a coupon that is usable and valuable to your purchase. Third, you need to combine the first two with a drug store deal. These deals are usually spend X amount of $ and get $ back to spend at the drug store.

If you can figure out the deals then you can save $$$!

I will write other posts telling you how to deals like the ones I did today. Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What's Better Than Free?

Getting paid, that's what.  Wednesday I was able to get $41.92 worth of Almay makeup and CVS paid me. Here's how it worked:

4 Almay $2/1 coupons
Almay 75% clearance
Each item rung up $2.62 with clearance price. I used $2 coupon for each, bringing each item down to .62 cents. Then, CVS was giving 4 ECB for each $10.00 purchase. I was OOP $2.48 and then received 4 ECB to use on my next purchase. So, CVS paid me $1.52 to take the makeup. Pretty cool, huh?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Highlights of My first Walmart trip!

I can't stand Walmart. Let me just start with that, but a deal is a deal. So, sick and with 2 kids, I fearlessly go.

Here are the standouts:

2 Garden Delight Rotini - .07/ea
4 Spanish Rice - .25/ea

Overall trip - spent $17.30 OOP (out of pocket) for $37.55 merchandise.

My First CVS Trip

If you shop at CVS then you have to understand ECB's. That is Extra Care Bucks. They are CVS money you earn when you shop that can be used to purchase more items (regular price, sale, or clearance.) Using sale/clearance items, coupons, and ECB's is what makes CVS a fun adventure.

My first trip was forced as it was to fill a prescription. I knew I wanted the coke deal so picked up my Q's and headed out. For filling my prescription I got 1.50 in ECB. I then took that and paid $13.50 ($15-1.50) and got 5 - 12 packs of diet coke ($2.70 per pack.) That is a good price, but I also got $5 back in ECB. With that I got 2 bags of cough drops, 2 kitchen sponges, and a carmex for FREE!  Good price on coke and $5 free stuff (all needed and usable) is a good day at CVS!

Lessons Learned

Since I'm a coupon newbie, I expect to have a learning curve and lessons to learn. Here are a few from my first week that might help you avoid the same:

Lesson Learned #1 - Don't get blinded by $1 stacking coupons...might not always be the best deal! Example - Perdue Chicken Nuggets on sale for 6.49, Publix Q $1, Man Q $1, Final Price = 4.49. Tyson Chicken Nuggets BOGO, Final Price = 3.49. 

Lesson Learned #2 - Always check sizes. There is enough to remember and keep track of with Q'ing to have to go to Customer Service for your OWN mistake.

Lesson Learned #3 - Keep coupons with you at all times. You never know when you are going to see a sale or clearance.

Lesson Learned #4 - Keep your stores coupon policy written down and with you, this will save you time and brain power.

Lesson Learned #5 - Kroger's eCoupons trump your paper ones and do not double. Use with caution.

The Road Less Traveled

This is not the first time I have tried to coupon. The last time I found it time consuming and not really saving me money over just buying store brand. I also had a 2 month old baby, so probably not the best time to start such an endeavor. Now that she is 2, I started looking at it again with some depth. Also, this time I did a lot of research before I got started.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a homebody and a miser, okay maybe I'm not unhappy and miserable but definitely a penny pincher. When you don't go places you don't have to spend money. I'm in the process of adjusting my mindset that the more I shop, the more I can save. The key is to not buy anything you would not have previously, of course unless it is FREE! :)

My first weeks results - January 16-22:
Publix - spent $45 for $85 worth of groceries
Kroger - spent $75 for $130 worth of groceries.

Deals of the week:
20 FREE colgate toothpaste (retail price $39.80)
120 Huggies diapers for $16.16 (retail price $34.28)

Current Goal - Stay on current shopping budget, while stockpiling items we use on a regular basis so we can spend less on grocery budget.