Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Coupon Triumph

I am returning from this morning's shopping trip triumphant! Not only did we get in our 2 1/2 mile morning walk, but we saved big time: we got $97 worth of groceries that we needed for $5.

I have to admit, the first time that I tried this whole coupon shopping thing I was a little nervous. I went to and made a list of deals of things at CVS that we needed and things that we didn't need yet, but that we would need that were free or practically free. I also added to the list things that we would make money buying (usually through a combination of store sale, coupons and rebates). And then we went through the store and ticked each thing off the list.

Next came the scary part. Ringing up the total of the order, pre-coupons. It came to $120 last time. I was nearly in a panic when I handed the coupons over. Paul's discount knocked it down to $100 and then the coupons knocked it down to $70-something. Still a little panicked I took a deep breath and paid.

This next part only works if you shop at a store like CVS regularly (we do... not only does Paul work there, but it's the only store in town that sells what it sells). The receipt printed out and it was one of those incredibly long receipts that I always hear people complaining about in CVS. It was a print out of Extra Bucks, which is basically CVS cash that you can use on anything at the store. It came to $32. If you add that to the rebates I am just about to send in it came to $40 back. Meaning we got a basket full of groceries that we needed for around $30.

Fast forward to a week later (today). Two things are starting to happen. One is that as I buy the almost free/ free stuff I am creating a stock pile, so that we don't have to buy other products at full price (like I did last week) just because we need it. The other thing is that I had my neatly cut out stock pile of Extra Bucks.

Here's how round 2 went. We got to the checkout lane and again I almost had a panic attack. After Paul's discount it rang up to $97. I took deep breaths. We NEEDED diapers, and the sales were pretty good. Then I handed over the coupons. It was knocked down to $76. Still more deep breaths. Then I forked over last weeks extra bucks (Paul had an extra eleven he'd given me). The price was now $34. So I paid the $34 and waited for the print out of coupons to use next week. The extra bucks we'll use during next weeks trip came to $27. Which means that we paid $7 for $97 worth of groceries (and the $97 also gets added to the points total for 2% cash back at the end of the season, which means it's more like $5.

Here's the loot:

Considering the price of diapers (two of the packages are for Maggie later on because the sales were so good and two are for Sadie now), I'm pretty thrilled with getting all this for $5!


  1. Hi Lerin-

    I really just went over to the website (I saw someone had posted about it at CAF and was a little skeptical until I tried it!) and picked the CVS page (because that's where we usually go) and then went through each product and wrote down the ones we wanted to get. It takes a few weeks to get started because they use coupons from the passed weeks Sunday papers, so you have to be patient the first couple weeks and just cut out every single coupon (or keep the ads in one piece and just wait until you need the coupons, I'm still trying to figure out which works better for me). I got one of those little coupon carriers and have a slot for food and a slot for cleaning products and diapers and all sorts of other things.

    Then you just go through the ads on hip2save and see which coupons you have (we have noticed we don't get a lot of them here, which can be a little frustrating). There are some things that I didn't need that I've bought (like a new razor) because between the cash back from the store and the rebate we ended up making $10 plus the razor was free.

    With CVS the first purchase will be the most, and then you can just cycle the extra bucks from week to week.

    I tried Target yesterday, but didn't do too well, because our Target didn't have most of the products on sale, so I think it really varies from area to area, which stores have the best selection.

    But I'm finding that it's definitely worth the two or three hours a week that it takes me to track everything down and cut out the coupons! I think it's worked out to something like $20-$30 an hour pay for clipping away!

    Good luck!

  2. I so appreciate you sharing this. I've read about CVS so many times but I've always been too chicken to try it! =)

    The great thing about Target sales is that you can print coupons from their website and then COMBINE the "Target" coupons with "manufacturer" coupons you get from the paper or other coupon-printing sites. That makes many items almost-free. There's a Target right by my house, so I follow to learn about the Target coupon-matchup sales. They're not as frequent as the CVS deals, but I think every little bit helps!


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