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This week’s topic is a freebie!
Some of you may know already that I coupon. I’ve been dying to talk about it but haven’t gotten around to making a post about it! I’m going to tell you some of my experiences and then give you a quick rundown of how to do it!
One of the girls at work and a good friend of mine, Jen, has been couponing for a while. She had this giant binder full of clipped coupons, and I remember making fun of her for it. I always thought coupons were pointless, because who wants to take the effort of clipping them and remembering to bring them and use them for 25 cents?! But then she started telling me stories of trips she’d take where she’d get over $100 of stuff and end up spending under $30. My interested was piqued!
She taught me the ropes and I’ve been doing it since March. I added up my receipts from the last 5 months and I’ve spent about $800…but I’ve saved over $1300!! That’s an average of 62% saved on every trip! When you take your first trip where they actually pay you to take something, you’ll be hooked. There’s a thrill to the hunt of finding sales and deals, and there’s definitely a rush when you get things for free or almost free. I never pay more than 50 cents for personal care items any more. (i.e. shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, razors, toothpaste, etc.)
I’m going to share with you a few of my best couponing trips!
My personal favorite was last month:
-Glade dual scent starter (no oil, just the burner) were on clearance for 2.98, used three $2/1 Glade starter kit Q’s (coupons), making them .98 each
OOP (out of pocket) = $3.57
-Yankee tea lights on sale for 4.99 (reg. 9.99) – only certain scents
-Just the Basics paper towels .79, used the CVS Q from redbox (this is where you print CVS store coupons) for .79/1, making it FREE
-Sally Hansen nail polish – one was 3.39, other 2 were 3.49. Used three $1/1 Q’s, 20% off CVS printable, and $3/$10 cosmetics Q from redbox making them better than free!
Paid $3.45, received $5 ECB (extra care bucks) – $1.55 moneymaker!
-Pedigree – two 20lb adult @ 12.99 ea, one 16lb small breed adult & one 16 lb puppy, 13.79 each, 3 packs of Jumbone @ 3.39 ea, 1 pack Dentastix @ 3.69
The deal: Buy 1 bag dog food & 1 package of treats, get $5 gift card
Used $15/$50 dog food Target Q, 4 $3/1 Pedigree manufacturer Q’s, 4 $1/1 Pedigree Target Q’s, 2 $1/2 Pedigree treats
-Snickers ice cream bars 3.29 ea, used 3 $1/1 and 1 $1.50/1 manf Q’s and 4 $1/1 Target Q’s, making 3 of them 1.29 and one of them .79
-M&Ms bags were 2.66, used 1 $1/2 Target Q and 2 $1/1 manf Q’s, making them 1.16 each
-L’oreal Advanced shampoo 3.99, used $2/1 Target Q and $2/1 manf Q, making it FREE
Total was $29.70, used $5 gift card from previous couponing trip
Paid $24.70, received $20 back in gift cards
TOTAL RETAIL: $105.63
Spent $37.06, received $25 back in gift cards and Extra Care Bucks
TOTAL OUT OF POCKET = $12.06!!!
I saved $93.57 (89%)
Some other trips:
I bought six 6 pack of Pepsi/Dew bottles on sale for $2.50, used four $1/1 Q’s for the Pepsi, a $5 off grocery Target Q, and a $5 gift card from a previous trip so I paid $1.36 out of pocket for 36 bottles of pop!
I bought a tube of Colgate toothpaste @ $3 on sale (reg. 4.59) and a Venus razor for $11.99; then used $1/1 Colgate manf Q & $2/1 toothpaste CVS Q (making the Colgate free!), a $3/1 Venus manf Q & $4/1 Venus CVS Q, and a $3/$10 razor purchase CVS Q (making the Venus razor only $1.99!) and then used a $1 Extra Care Buck I already had…making the entire transaction ($15.58 retail) $0.99 + tax!
There was also another trip that I didn’t document where I bought 6 bottles of nail polish, 6 bottles of shampoo, and a few other things that I can’t remember and I paid $3.something + tax for over $60 of retail!
I’ve got a pretty decent amount of personal care & household items, as well as dog food and cat litter to last me months! Here are some pictures of my stockpile:
I don’t have a washer and dryer yet, but when you find Tide and Downy (usually about $7) for under $2 you have to jump on it!
Free makeup and nail polish – I refuse to every pay for those because I don’t use it very much!
I’ve got a decent amount of stuff, but Jen has WAY more than me. She has a whole room dedicated to her stockpile!
1. Buy coupons. The easiest way is to get them from the Sunday paper. I don’t suggest getting a subscription, because sometimes you get shorted coupon inserts. When I was buying the whole paper, I was going to gas stations and searching through each paper to be sure all inserts were there. (You can find out how many inserts you’re supposed to have each week by searching “coupon insert preview for ___”) When you get to the point I’m at, though, it’s cheaper to buy inserts only in bulk from a seller. You can also print select coupons from coupons.com and coupons.target.com (target coupons only) for free.
2. Join Facebook pages and websites. It’s important that you get involved with the local couponing community to help you find those awesome deals! There’s also blogs and websites for it; my favorite are Kroger Krazy and The Krazy Coupon Lady. There’s also some couponing apps to help – the best is Favado!
3. Search for deals. To get the most savings, you have to search weekly ads and the pages to find out what’s on sale each week. If you match your coupons to sales, you can get things for dirt cheap (sometimes even free!). You can also check the clearance aisles for things you have coupons for.
You can also “stack” coupons at certain places – primarily Target and CVS. You can print off Target and CVS store coupons and stack them with manufacturer coupons and save even more!
It takes a lot of time and a lot of effort, but it’s SO worth it! If any of you guys are interested to learn more, I’d be glad to help :)
It looks like you have this pretty figured out! That would probably work well in my house, because there’s so many people, so stockpiling stuff definitely wouldn’t be a bad idea, haha.
I’ve never been a big coupon person. I get some in the mail from Kroger and I use them as much as I can. I don’t have much room for stock piles of extra stuff, so that makes it difficult there. I will check out some of the coupon communities that you mention, because even a few more coupons can mean a few more books on my shelves. :-)
I didn’t used to be! In fact, I used to scoff at people who did it. I remember a few years ago at a family gathering my sister-in-law’s sister had this giant binder full of coupons and I was totally judging her. And now I’m that person haha! It’s crazy. Unless you actually see it firsthand, it seems stupid and pointless. But it really does work! And yes, more books is a good motivator ;)
What a great post! I would love to do just that, but unfortunately couponing is not an option here in UK. We get offers, of course, but not coupons like you guys have in US. It would definitely be a money saver, that’s for sure!
Great job with all the couponing and fab pics! :)
I tried to use coupons but I think I am doing something wrong even if just for the paper products and bathroom stuff. I don’t buy a lot of coupon things (food, snacks) but the other stuff I need to look into a lot more.
You can’t do it wrong! Even if you aren’t getting things for dirt cheap or free (which takes time, a LOT of time), you’re still saving money every time you use a coupon! Even if it’s only 50 cents, it adds up :)
I got really into couponing a while back but found that I just didn’t have the space to be really successful at it. You have to be able to stockpile – as you’ve done – and not only do I not have much storage space, but I move so often that would be stuff I’d have to move (no fun!). But once I get settled into a house (HOPEFULLY NEXT YEAR!!) I’ll be at it again. I still follow Kroger Krazy though, since that’s where I shop and I can still get decent deals from time to time.
That’s awesome!! Yes, it’s true you do need space. I’m thankful that I have a very large closet to put mine in. I just need to invest in some better shelves!
I don’t extreme coupon myself, but I’d love to start! Thank you for your tips, I’ve always wanted to be a couponer ever since watching Extreme Couponing on TLC.
-Scott Reads It!
Would you be able to email me and help me with how to get started? :)