Monday, June 6, 2011

My first "Extreme Couponing" trip!

I am fed up. I am fed up with paying $600 - $700 a month in groceries for my small family of 3. It's ridiculous what everything costs. So I decided to change things. I am going to learn the system and I am going to work it to the best of my ability.

Thanks to shows like Extreme Couponing on TLC and blogs like The Krazy Coupon Lady and Coupon Mom, couponing is becoming huge. I have never really gotten couponing to work for me before when I tried but I am determined to make it work this time. I did a TON of research and I feel much better informed now. So here is what I did today. I will start with Walgreens where I got my biggest savings.

I spent pretty much all day Sunday going over the sale items and researching the deals so I would be well prepared. The awesome thing about most drug stores is that they have these coupons that print out at the end of your transaction that have a dollar amount that you can use towards your next purchase. Walgreens calls theirs "register rewards". Between manufacturers coupons, store coupons, sales and register rewards there are some great deals to be had. I split my items into two transactions. Here is the first transaction:
Would you believe that I MADE $2 on this stuff? Here's how it breaks down:
SOBE Lifewater $0.99, $0.99 RR (register reward) = FREE
Healthy Woman Soy Supplements $8, $8 RR = FREE
Renew Life Omega Smart Fish Oils $10 - $2 MFC (manufacturers coupon) = $8, $10 RR = $2 money maker!
So I paid $18.79 (with tax) out of pocket and received $18.99 in RR

Then I applied that $18.99 to my second transaction. Here is what I bought in my second transaction:
Blue Diamond Almonds, BOGO (buy one at $3.59, get one free). Plus I had a $1 off one coupon so I paid $2.59 for both or about $1.30 each.
Bic Disposable Razors $5.99 - $3 off one coupon = $2.99 spent, $2 in RR = $0.99
Comet $0.50/ea with ad coupon
Nivea for Men Shave Gel $3.50/ea on sale - two MFC @ $2 off each = $1.50 each, $2 in RR = $0.50/ea when you buy 2 (though I just realized that one of the coupons didn't scan so I got gyped $2, lame.)
They also had a deal where if you spent $10 on participating products you got $3 in RR. So I got 3 Tide Stain Release products on sale for $3.99/ea - $1/1 for each product (3 coupons) so they each cost me $2.99 + I got $3 in RR = $1.99/ea

After using the $18.99 in RR from the previous transaction I paid only $4.03 out of pocket and I got another $7 in RR to use next time! My receipts inform me that I saved $56.62 :D Not bad considering all I spent on all this was $22.82 (you are always going to spend the most on your first trip since you have to put money into the system)

Okay, so now Target. The goal here is to work sales and coupons to your advantage. Target does give $5 Target cards for buying certain items which is a great deal if you have the coupons to make it worth it but I didn't this time. This is what I got:
Nexcare bandages $1.68/ea - (two) $1 off Target store coupons and (two) $0.55 MFC = $0.13/ea
(Most stores allow you to use one store coupon + one manufacturers coupon per ITEM, not per transaction)
A-1 Steak Sauce $3.19 - $1 off Target coupon and $1 MFC = $1.19
Coffee-mate creamer $1.94/ea - $1 off of 2 Target coupon (or $0.50 off of each) and (two) $0.55 off of one MFC = $0.89/ea
Covergirl NatureLuxe Lip Balm $5.99 - $5/2 ($5 off of 2) MFC - $1/1 MFC = $2.99/ea
After coupons, with tax I paid a total of $10.44!

I feel rather proud of myself. Sure I didn't bring in a HUGE haul but I got really good deals and I am quite pleased. I am not done by a long shot either! There was 2 more deals I wanted to get at Walgreens but they were sold out so I am going back tomorrow. The first one is $10 in RR when you spend $30 on participating Gillette products. I have a bunch of coupons that I got in the papers (I got 4 newspapers!) for Gillette products so I should be able to get $30 in products for at least half and I have the $7 in RR to use. I also have 2 coupons that are going to make a stick of Ban deodorant $0.74.

After I hit Walgreens I am going to do Rite Aid tomorrow which also has some killer deals! So I will keep you posted on that!

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