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Sometimes I Coupon

I like saving money. We’re on a tight budget. While being married to a musician is spectacular and fun, it doesn’t always help pay the bills. The Rock Star also teaches guitar lessons, so I guess that part helps pay the bills. Anyway, I started clipping coupons last winter. Overall I’ve saved a lot on things like shampoo and cereal. And I really like cereal, so this is a good thing. And on a good day I will save 30-35% at the grocery store. I don’t claim to be an insane coupon-er or to always get the best deals. I simply don’t have the time.

Here are the tips I’ve learned for decent coupon-ing over the past half a year:

  • You don’t have to get everything for free, saving 30% is a great thing!
  • Don’t clip coupons you won’t use. It just wastes time and energy.
  • You still pay tax on the amount before coupons. Keep that in mind.
  • Buy what you need. Don’t get caught up in buying 10 candy bars just because they’re cheap. Catch my buyer’s remorse note there…
  • Finding things on sale is great. Having coupons for things on sale is even better.
  • Stack store coupons with manufacturer coupons when possible. i.e. I happen to know that Skintimate Shave Cream will be on sale next week at CVS and there is a $1 CVS coupon available as well as a $1 manufacturers coupon for this product. So it will be free!
  • Make lists and be prepared to adapt. Know what you’re going in for, but be prepared to snag a good deal on the fly. Knowing your coupons helps this.
  • Organize your coupons the best way that fits you. I’ve chose to use my brother’s old baseball card binder.
  • Do consult coupon blogs for the best deals. Let them do the work for you! You’ll also find links to printable coupons. My favorite website is www.forthemommas.com and more local Kansas City deals can be found through www.kansascitymamas.com.
  • Donate coupons expired up to two months to military families overseas through The Overseas Coupon Program.

Now, on to the real meat. After being sick for three days straight, I was ready to get the heck out of the house. A quick run to CVS was just the ticket, as we were clearly out of Kleenex due to the sickness, as well as paper towels, among other things. I hadn’t done much coupon-ing in a while b/c of my focus on family, treasure hunting and projects (I know, how do I function, right?). But here’s the loot:

A detailed list follows, but basically CVS was having a “Spend $30 on certain items, get a $10 gas card,” which they do frequently, but this time it just happened to be on things I needed. And I threw in a few other things we needed that were on sale and I had coupons for. Breakdown: $72 worth of stuff for $50. About a 30% savings. Not too shabby. CVS also tracks how much you’ve saved and this year I’ve saved as much as I’ve spent this summer, which is nice to hear! And I’m not claiming these are the BEST deals anyone can find on these items. But they were GOOD deals and I can live with that. Otherwise I’d drive myself crazy.

Breakdown:
(2) Dawn Dish Soap
Regular: $1.77 each
Sale Price: $.99 each
Coupons: (2) $.50
Total: $.98 for 2

(2) Bounty Basic Paper Towels 8ct.
Regular: $10.49 each
Sale Price: $5.84 each
Coupons: (2) $.25
Total: $11.18 for 2

All Free & Clear Laundry Soap
Regular: $7.99
Sale Price: $3.99
Coupon: $1
Total: $2.99

(2) Swiffer Sweeper Refills
Regular: $6.49 each
Sale Price: $3.99 each
Coupons: (2) $.75
Total: $6.48 for 2

(2) Charmin Basic
Regular: $9.39 each
Sale Price: $5.44 each
Coupon: $.25
Total: $10.63 for 2

(2) Covergirl Concealer
Regular: $7.49 each
Sale Price: B1G1 50% = $5.62 each
Coupons: (2) $1
Total: $9.23 for 2

(2) Gillette Daisy Razors (5ct)
Regular: $10.49 each
Sale Price: B1G1 50% = $7.87 each
Coupons: (2) $2
Total: $11.73 for 2

Always Pantiliner 20ct
Regular: $1.49
Coupon: Free 20 ct CVS printed coupon
Total: Free

(3) Kleenex (200ct)
Regular: $2.27 each
Coupon: $.60 off 3
Total: $6 for 3

Additional coupons:

  • $5 ECB from previous purchase. Extra Care Bucks and Register Rewards (Walgreens) are a great thing, and you can make them even greater by using them to purchase items that give you even more ECB or RR. It just keeps cycling.
  • $10 gas card for purchasing $30 worth of certain products (Bounty, Charmin, Covergirl, Dawn)

Total before coupons: $72
Total after coupons: $54.43 + $6.21 tax – $10 gas card = $50.64

Gas Card Deal breakdown:
$35.78 in qualifying items
$32.02 what I actually spent on these items with coupons
Plus $10 gas card, making this $35.78 purchase = $22.02.

I hope this helps encourage you if you’ve been wanting to try saving a little more money each month. It’s hard times out there, and I know every little bit helps. And in case you found this post incredibly boring, be aware, my finished table project is coming soon, now that the sickness has done its worst.

Happy hunting and happy saving!

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About Erin Shipps

Life in your thirties can sometimes feel like you're stuck between what has happened and what's yet to come -- like being amidship. But I'm forging through with thrifty household decorating, DIY projects, health advice, and just life. When I'm not crafting my local Kansas City magazine VintageKC, I'm busy being a rock star's wife and mommy to the most beautiful 3-year-old. Welcome to our world amid the Shipps.

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