After watching a couple episodes of that show, I said to Trey, I feel like I'm missing something. So I got online and googled extreme couponing...oh my word...this has become a HUGE deal now. There are thousands of websites showing you deals, where you can print/buy coupons, it is crazy. I stumbled across The Krazy Coupon Ladies website (www.thekrazycouponlady.com). The website is run by two women...one of which was on the show Extreme Couponing. It was like I had been enlightened! That website makes it so easy. They do all the searching for you. Match the weekly deals at each store with all manufacture/store coupons available and tell you what to get when. They have a huge online coupon database sorted alphabetically so you can print any coupons for items you need/want/see a good deal for. I was immediately hooked. Their basic principles are this: buy items only when on sale and you have coupons to match with. Most of the big stores (Target, Walgreens, CVS) will let you use 1 manuf coupon and 1 store coupon per item. They also run periodic deals where you buy a certain item and get a gift card/store credit to use on your next purchase. When the stars align you get a sale, gift card deal, manuf coupon, store coupon all available for a product and you end up getting it free, almost free, or PAID to buy the items. It can get pretty complicated, and it is pretty time consuming, but for me it has become a hobby. An outlet for something to do while I'm staying home with Charlie (and any future children) so it is actually really fun for me. It is so exhilarating walking out of the stores with great deals! I could go on and on, on how the process works, but if you have any specific questions, just let me know. I've gone "all in" as they say and I now get 5 Sunday newspapers delivered to my house, I have a giant 3 ring binder of sorted coupons, and I am constantly on the iPad looking for deals/match ups. I do this because (a) I have the time and energy (b) I am wanting to stock up on household/toiletry items that I know we will use. But, you can always do it on a smaller scale.
Ok, so now the fun part. I want to brag a little about the deals I got this week. Part of the fun is telling anyone who will listen all the awesome deals I got! I'll try and explain the deals and what I used to get them. Just FYI, most of the deals expire today and you have to have newspapers from the last month or some for some of them. Also, if you are thinking about getting started...tomorrows paper won't have coupons b/c it's a holiday weekend, so don't waste your money on a paper. As far as where I got all these coupons...most of the MQ I got from the paper, but some I got online through various websites (coupons.com, redplum.com, smartsource.com) and some I got on Facebook for "liking" the manufacture company. The CVS or Walgreen SQ come in the weekly ads they print you can find them in the store or in the Sunday paper. The Target SQ I get on Target.com.
Here is my legend for the explanations. RR(register rewards, store credit for next purchase) MQ (manuf coupon) SQ(store coupon) EB(extra bucks, store credit for next purchase) GC(gift card)
Initially I was really reluctant to do the Walgreen/CVS deals. They are more "hardcore" couponing than the other stores. A lot of time you have to do multiple transactions and they give you "register rewards" (RR) on some items that you have to use on a separate purchase. It's definitely the more complicated of the couponing stores...but boy is it worth it. I also don't like that, since they are SUCH good deals, the stores are almost always out of stock. I have 3 Walgreens and 3 CVSs pretty close to my house, so I've learned I just have to shop around and wait for restocks. They will give rain checks...but that is just one more thing to keep up with so we will see how it goes. I got lucky and went back yesterday and they were stocked up on most of the items I wanted. Here is the break down...
Pure Silk shaving cream 2 @ $1.99 each - $3.98
RR back 2 @ $1.50 each
Net price $0.98 for both
Nexcare band aids 3 @ $3.49 each - $10.47
Peelie sticker on each box for mail in rebate up to $3.99 - sent off for $10.47 rebate
Net price FREE for all three
Scunci hair bands 4 @ $2.00 each - $8.00
RR back 4 @ $2.00 each
Net price FREE for all four
Complete Contact Solution 5 @ $7.99 each - $39.95
5 MQ $1.00 off each
5 RR $8.00 off each
Net price -$5.05 for all five. This is my favorite, I got paid to buy it!! This is where it paid off to have 5 papers! :)
Listerine Zero 1 liter 1 @ $6.49
1 MQ $1.00 off
1 SQ $3.00 off
Net price $2.49 (this is my "worst" deal but Trey loves that stuff so I had to get it)
Gilette Fusion Proglide Power Razor 1 @ $9.89
1 MQ $4.00 off
1 RR $5.00 off
Net price $0.89!
Total original price $78.78
minus coupons $13.00
Net out of pocket $65.78
RR to use on future deals $56.00
Rebate to be rec'd $10.47
Net price for all $-0.69!!!
So yes, I had to pay some money out of pocket, and I have to wait for the rebate, but in the end I will use the RR for future deals like these and it will all net out to this price. I actually broke some of these up into different stores/transactions and mixed and matched the RR so my actual out of pocket was lower than the $65.78, but you get the idea.
This store is the same idea as Walgreens. Same process with the store credit back, but they call theirs EB instead of RR. Also, this picture doesn't include everything I got b/c some of it is in Trey's car and some of it I have rain checks for, just FYI. Oh and the EB rewards are limit 1 per CVS card. The reason I got 2 is b/c Trey and I both have a CVS card.
Suave body wash $2.00 each & deodorant $1.00 each(some not pictured)
The deal was spend $10 on Suave get $3 EB
8 body wash & 4 deodorant - $20.00
4 MQ B1G1 free body wash - this actually rang up giving me $3.00 credit (max on coupon) per body wash so that was a pleasant surprise - minus $12.00
4 MQ $0.50 off deodorant - minus $2.00
EB - $3.00 for each transaction - total $6.00
Net price FREE for all 12 items!!!
This is where it pays off to have 5 papers or I wouldn't have the 4 MQ each to do this much.
Purex detergent - $1.98
1 MQ $1.00 off
Net price $0.98
2 packs Trident Vitality Gum - $0.99 each(not pictured)
2 EB $0.99 each
Net price FREE for both!
So my faith has been restored in Walgreens/CVS. A couple things to note. They both have a rule where you cannot use more coupons in a transaction than items purchase...regardless of price of item or coupon...so if you are using 2 coupons on 1 item you have to purchase a "filler" item...I usually try to find an item I get free or cheap with register rewards b/c they don't require an additional coupon. Also, you cannot use the RR or EB from one purchase to purchase the EXACT same deal as you received it for, but you can switch off transactions to roll them.
Total original price $23.96
minus coupons $15.00
Net out of pocket $8.96
RR to use on future deals $7.98
Net price for all $0.98!!!
Walmart is a little different. They don't have store coupons or any RR/EB/gift card deals. But, they do have pretty much the lowest prices, and they will price match any exact item from a weekly add. Here are the few items I got this week...
Wilkinson 4 pack disposable razors $0.97
1 MQ $1.00 off
Net price -$0.03!!
Tylenol Precise heat pads $5.97
1 MQ $5.00 off
Net price $0.97!
Finesse Conditioner $2.87
1 MQ $0.55 off
1 M Rebate included in paper $2.87 off
Net price -$0.55!
Ivory soap 4 pack $0.97
1 MQ $1.00
Net price -0.03!!
Total original price $10.78
minus coupons $7.55
Net out of pocket $3.23
Rebate to receive later $2.87
Net price for all $0.36!!
Now Target is my favorite store in general...long before I was couponing. I prefer it immensely over Walmart for grocery shopping/household shopping. I do most of my couponing here except for the outstanding deals at the other stores. They run regularly what are called "gift card promotions" where if you buy a specified item/items/amount you get back a $5 GC so it's just store credit back. They have a LOT of SQ on their website that you can pair with MQs and GC deals to get really great deals.
KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce $1.67
MQ for $1.00 off
Net price $0.67
French's spicy brown mustard $1.19
MQ for $0.50 off
Net price $0.69
Kraft dressing 2 @ $3.38 for both
1MQ for $1.00 off 2
2SQ for $0.55 off 1
Net price $1.28 for both or $0.64 each
2 boxes Playtex tampons $6.89 each - $13.78
When you buy 2 get $5.00 GC
1 MQ for $3.00 when you buy 2
Net price $5.78 for both or $2.89 a box (that's about half the price of generic!)
Up & Up (Target store brand) pantyliner $0.89 each - $3.56
4 SQ for $0.75 off each
Net price $0.56 for all 4 or $0.14 each
2 Suave lotion $2.69 each - $5.38
1 MQ for B1G1 free - deducted $3.00 (max coupon allowed)
1 SQ for $0.75 off 1
Net price $1.63 for both or $0.82 per bottle!
Sure deodorant $1.50
MQ for $1.00 off
Net price $0.50
Aquafresh training toothpaste (for the Charlie boy of course) $2.89
MQ for $1.00 off
SQ for $0.75 off
Net price $1.14
2 boxes of Loreal hair dye $8.99 & $7.94 - $16.93
1 MQ for $5.00 when you buy 2
2 SQ for $3.00 each
Net price $5.93 for both or $2.97 each! I dye my hair a lot b/c of the grays so I was excited!
1 Olay lotion $5.06, 1 Olay soap $0.97, 1 Secret product $0.97 - $7.00
1 MQ for $4.00 off when you buy an Olay lotion, Olay soap, AND Secret product. This coupon did not say excludes trial sizes, so I got the cheapest Secret & Olay soap from the travel section.
Net price $3.00 for all three items!
Total original price $57.28
minus coupons $31.10
Net out of pocket $26.18
Minus $5.00 GC to use later
Net price for all $21.18!
So that's it...for this week. It was pretty time consuming and I'm still getting the hang of it all. I am by no means a professional at this. I'm pretty excited, I mean how often does a hobby SAVE you money, right??
Oh and one more tip, anytime you can, get the SMALLEST sized product the coupon allows...this always gives you a better deal per oz/item, etc. when using coupons...trust me I've done the math!! Oh and even if you get items free you have to pay sales tax on the pre-coupon total. When I'm doing all these calculations above, they don't count sales tax b/c I didn't want to take the time to figure that out :)
Hope everyone enjoys my little hoard...I mean stockpiles of items...something tells me I'm just getting started!