Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Couponing 101

Happy Tuesday! I'm going to post all about our GREAT Memorial Holiday and weekend sometime tonight but I wanted to start a little blog series about coupons while it's fresh!

Back in 2008... long before TLC's extreme couponing show... when I was a newly married woman I can across a few blogs that changed my shopping life. They were all about shopping smart and saving money. I drooled over these women's bargains and stockpiles. So I decided to give it a try. I would clip my coupons, hunt deals on the Internet and began "stockpiling" my goods in our second bathroom's bathtub.
Then I stopped. I threw my coupon binder away and never looked back. :(

These days everyone is couponing and since I'm buying diapers ALL the time and Kendall can now sit in the shopping cart I figured I'd dust off the ole coupon binder and give it another go.

Before I begin my little coupon series I would like you all to know that I am no expert and I will probably never buy 100 mustards at Kroger on a shopping trip for a penny. There are plenty of other websites that will explain couponing better than I can and I will try and link you to those sites. But what I can do is show you how I plan on saving money with couponing.
Let's begin...

If you learn nothing else about couponing from me please remember this one general rule. YOU HAVE TO SHOP EVERY WEEK TO SAVE MONEY COUPONING.  The KEY to couponing is shopping the weekly sales. Each store usually has a sale trend/rotation for items and that is how people stockpile. If you have a $.50 coupon on salad dressing and you use it when the salad dressing is at regular price... let's say $1.99... that's great you saved $.50. BUT.... if you wait until the salad dressing goes on sale for $1.00 - you will pay $.50 for a $1.99 salad dressing. Or $0 if your store doubles coupons up to $1.00. Make any sense????

In my experience I have found the best deals to be on NON-food items at drug stores. Drug stores??? Aren't they usually more expensive when it comes to toothpaste/soap/diapers etc? Yes. But they have awesome deals and store perks!

CVS & Walgreen's are the drug stores where I coupon. Here are all the ways you can save money/earn store money at these stores.

CVS shoppers card (like a Kroger card)
Weekly ad
In store coupons printed at kiosk
ExtraBucks earned on certain products

Weekly ad
Weekly coupons in ad & use a manufacturer's coupon (Use both for double savings)
Instant savings coupon monthly booklet
Register Rewards earned on certain products

ExtraBucks (CVS)  & Register Rewards (Walgreens)
This is where you are going to save LOTS of money. The only way I can explain this is by using a scenario.
This week CVS has Crest toothpaste on sale for $1.99. When you purchase this product using your CVS card at the end of your receipt you will get an additional receipt coupon with a bar code (Extrabucks) for $1.00. You are able to use this $1.00 Extrabuck on your next purchase. Be careful to watch for the expiration date because you'd hate to lose this free money.
Crest Toothpaste $1.99
Earned $1.00 Extrabuck
Technically you paid $.99 for the toothpaste?

Well imagine if you'd had a coupon for this toothpaste...
Crest Toothpaste $1.99
Manufacturer's coupon $1/1 toothpaste
Total at Register $.99
Earned $1.00 Extra buck printed on receipt
You EARNED $.01 on this transaction???

Then you're going to safely tuck that Extra buck receipt into your wallet until next week when something else goes on sale and you can earn more extrabucks.

For example...
This week they have Mars Candy bars 2/$1 and you earn $1 Extra bucks on the transaction. You can repeat this whole process over again except when it's time to pay for your candy bars at $1.00... you hand over your $1.00 Extrabucks to pay for the transaction.

2 Mars Candy bars $1.00
Pay with $1.00 Extrabuck receipt
Total now $0 or just the tax
Earn $1.00 Extra buck
If you'd had a coupon for the Mars Candy bars the store would owe you money!

Make any sense????
Have I totally lost you???
I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about this... I will post my most recent CVS & Walgreens transactions sometime tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad you are doing this! I try to use coupons & every now & then I get free stuff or really cheap stuff but I just haven't been very good at sticking with it! Thanks for the tips!