A couple of nights ago I posted this picture on my Facebook page:
Did you catch that?
What I actually paid: $26.99
What I saved: $60.35!!!!
After posting this photo I had several friends request my “secrets,” and while I’m no expert, I told them I’d be glad to tell them what I know. I consider myself an intermediate couponer. I’ve been doing this for a while, but I’m by no means an expert. As I stated in the photo, this wasn’t my best haul, but I got a lot of things I had been needing and I only got things I use on a regular basis.
I always start my couponing adventures by checking out The Krazy Coupon Lady’s website (KCL). I also follow several deal-making ladies on Facebook. (I think this is an important piece of the puzzle, because it keeps the deals fresh in my mind and when they show up in my newsfeed I think about it more often.) Some of my faves are: Deal Seeking Mom, Frugal Girls!, and The Krazy Coupon Lady. These websites and facebook pages have done a lot of the legwork for us. They make finding the deals easy and fun. God bless their souls.
Everyone has their own strategy to collecting coupons, but for me, I usually get four Sunday newspapers each week. I don’t always use all four of each coupon, so I would say to start with two and see what you want to do. It usually takes about a month or so to accumulate enough coupons to really strike gold. I prefer the binder system, with sheet protectors for the coupons (you know, like your little brother used to keep his baseball cards in). I have dividers in my binder separating all the categories into the way I shop: refrigerated foods, canned goods, produce, cleaning products, pet supplies, etc… do what works for you. KCL has a lot of suggestions about this as well.
Okay, so you have your binder, you clipped and organized your coupons, and you’ve been on the KCL website to find the best deals of the week. What’s next? You’ve gotta get out there and SHOP!! I prefer to leave my boys at home. I like to grab a couple of deals from several stores, and Bubbie isn’t so patient with all that nonsense. So I get some mommy time all to myself AND I save my family a bunch of money. It’s a win-win! Anyway, back to saving…
I posted a photo of my deals from this week, with the disclaimer that these aren’t necessarily the greatest deals ever, but I wanted to spell out each deal for you so you can see how I did it. Here’s the breakdown:
6 Tone’s spices. Originally $1.19, on sale for 5 for $4 ($0.80 each). I had three coupons for $1.00 off 2.
MATH: ($0.80 x 6) – $3.00 = $1.80 (would have been $7.14, saved 75%)
4 Speed Stick Deodorants. $1.00 each. I had four coupons for $1.00 off 1.
2 Softsoap refills. $1.00 each. I had 2 coupons for $0.35 off 1.
MATH: [($1.00 x 4) – $4.00 ] + [($1.00 x 2) – $0.70] = $1.30 (would have been $6.00, saved 78%)
2 Herbal Essences large conditioners with full size hairspray. Shelf price read $6.50. Rang up on clearance at $3.50. I had two coupons for $1.00 off 1.
MATH: ($3.50 x 2) – $2.00 = $5.00 (would have been $13, saved 62%)
** I mostly did this deal because I needed conditioner :)
4 Dawn Hand Renewal. Originally $1.89, on sale for $0.99. I had four coupons for $0.50 off 1.
2 Lysol Sanitizing Wipes. Originally $3.59 each, on sale $4.00 for 2. I had a manufacturer’s coupon for $0.50 off 2, and I had a store coupon for $2.00 off 2. (This is called stacking. Most stores will accept one manufacturer’s coupon and one store coupon per item. Walgreens and CVS are meccas for stacking, because they put out so many store coupons. Both stores also offer cash back rewards on certain items, which is how a lot of people actually MAKE MONEY on deals. Pretty fun!)
MATH: [($0.99 x 4) – $2.00] + [$4.00 – $0.50 – $2.00] = $3.46 (would have been $14.74, saved 77%)
Dillons is super fun to shop at. They double coupons EVERY DAY. At least mine to. Coupon doubling policies are different at every store, but my Dillons double every coupon up to $1.00. So a $0.50 coupon is really $1.00. A $0.75 coupon is also $1.00. A $0.35 coupon is $0.70. You get the picture. My Hy-Vee doubles on Tuesday and Thursday, so I go there on those days. :)
This was my most complicated-to-explain deal. My store was having a “Buy 10, save $5” sale, where you essentially get $0.50 off each item when you buy 10 of the items that are part of the sale. The Kleenex, the Starkist Tuna, Snuggle, and the Good ‘n Natural bars were all a part of this deal.
6 boxes of Kleenex. Originally $1.99 each, on sale for $1.49, but $5 off 10 sale made them $0.99 each. I had two coupons for $0.50 off 3, which doubled to $1.00 off 3.
6 pouches of Starkist Tuna. Originally $1.79 each, on sale for $1.49, but $5 off 10 sale made them $0.99 each. I had 3 coupons for $0.55 off 2, which doubled to $1.00 off 2.
1 bottle Snuggle Fabric Softener. Originally $4.69, on sale for $3.49, but $5 off 10 sale made it $1.79. I had a coupon for $0.50 off 1, which doubled to $1.00 off 1.
7 Good ‘n Natural bars. Originally $1.29 each, on sale for $0.89 each, but $5 off 10 sale made them $0.39 each. These were fillers (and yummy g-free treats!)
2 Blistex lip balm. On sale for $1.00 each. I had a coupon for $0.35 off 1, which doubled to $0.70 off 1.
MATH: [($0.99 x 6) – $2.00] + [($0.99 x 6) – $3.00] + [$1.79 – $1.00] + [$0.39 x 7] + [($1.00 x 2) – $1.40)] = $11.00 (would have been $38.40, saved 71%)
The next day I went to Target and stumbled on a clearance rack with more conditioner. Here’s what happened:
1 bottle Aussie conditioner. Originally $2.84, on clearance for $1.42. I had a coupon for $1.00 off 1.
2 bottles Pantene conditioner. Originally $3.79, on clearance for $1.88 each. I had a coupon for $3.00 off 2.
MATH: [$1.42 – 1] + [($1.88 x 2) – $3.00] = $1.18 (would have been $10.42, saved 89%)
There you have it. That’s what I accomplished on Tuesday. Like I said before, I’m not a pro, but I had some friends who were curious, so I thought maybe the blogging world could benefit just a bit from what I had to say on the subject. PLEASE ask questions. I’d love your feedback. It seems silly for any of us to pay full price for things like this! It takes a little while to catch on to all the ins-and-outs of it, and I still have questions after more than a year of couponing off and on, but it is such a thrill and totally worth the time it takes. I love it! And I hope you do too!! <3