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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cori's Thoughts on Couponing

Couponing is not as complicated and time consuming as it may seem.  It's pretty easy once you get the hang of it.  Start off slow and work your way up.  Right now I usually buy 8 copies of the newspaper each week, plus I get one delivered, and my father gives me his.  This way I have at least 10 of every coupon so when I find a good sale I can stock up.  The trick is to buy things on sale with coupons instead of leaving yourself running out of something you need and having to pay full price.

How to save even more-
It's not just about finding items on sale.  Another trick is to "match" a sale with a coupon.  There are lots of sites that do this for you so you don't even have to do the work.  

For example, I use for all the Publix match-ups, for CVS, for Walgreens, and for Walmart.  Those sites pair up or "match" the available coupons with the store's sales to get even better savings.  

Another trick- Be on the lookout for coupon flyers in the front of your local grocery stores and pharmacies.  There are usually great coupons in there to match with sales.  Most stores let you use 1 manufacturer's and 1 store coupon per item you are buying (stacking a manufacturer's coupon with a store coupon).

Also, many stores now take competitors coupons. This can increase your savings.  For example, today I purchased Shedd's Spread Country Crock from Publix.  They were on sale Buy One, Get One Free- ($1.89 each regularly).  So today they were $1.89 for 2.  There was also a Target printable coupon for $.50 each one as well as a manufacturer's printable for $.40 off each one.  I was able to use 2 Target coupons ($1.00 off total) and 2 manufacturer's coupons ($.80 off total) so I paid $.09 for 2 tubs of margarine.   And had it all listed for me.  Easy peasy!

Still with me?  Here's another example- Today at Publix Kraft dressing was BOGO (normally $3.19 each).  I bought 4 bottles.  Before coupons it should have been $3.19 x 2 or $6.38.  I had 2 manufacturer's coupons for $1 off one.  I also had a manufacturer's coupon for $1 off 2.  So using those 3 coupons I was able to get a total of $3 off.  My new total was $3.38.  THEN I had a buy 2 get 1 free coupon from Target.  Since I was buying 2, I was able to get 1 more free one.  The cashier deducted the price of one ($3.19) from my total so when all is said and done I got 4 bottles for $.19 ($6.38-$3.19).

CVS and Walgreens often have items that you pay for and then get the same amount of money back in either CVS Extra Care Bucks (ECB) or Walgreens Register Rewards (RR).  These items basically become free because you will have the ECB or RR to spend on something else.  CVS ECB are tied to your CVS card and usually the deals are limited to 1 or 2 per CVS card.  Walgreens isn't tied to a card so you can usually buy more than one of the items that are free after RR but you have to buy them in separate transactions.  

Now you might be thinking, but I don't need the item that is FREE with ECB or RR, why should I buy it.  Well you can donate it.  And sometime if you have a coupon to go with the FREE item it can actually be a money maker.  Here is an example-

Last week Walgreens had ThermaCare heated patches on sale for $2.50 each and you got back $2.50 in RR.  Well I didn't really need the ThermaCare patches, BUT I had several $1.00 off coupons for the ThermaCare.  So I only had to pay $1.50 for each ThermaCare and I got back $2.50 in RR.  I was then able to use the $2.50 in RR to buy Arizona Iced Tea that was on sale for $2.50 each.  Normally these are $3 each a Publix.  Since I bought the ThermaCare for $1.50 each and got $2.50 in RR back I was able to use the $2.50 RR to buy an Arizona tea.  I was basically able to get the teas for $1.50 plus tax each (the price I paid for the ThermaCare).  MUCH better than the $3 at Publix AND I was able to give the ThermaCare patches to my husband's grandmother for her knee.  Win/win!  Hubby got the tea he likes for a lot less (I had just told him the day before he had to stop drinking those teas because they were too much money LOL) and his grandmother got some free patches for her knee pain.

My hubby was asking why I was buying something I didn't need until I explained how buying the patches helped me save on something I WAS buying and did need.

Are you still following?  Any questions?  I will let you all digest this and post more at a later date.  Please e-mail me if you have any questions.



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