One of my not-really-a-resolution-New-Year-ish-Resolutions was to start couponing again. So I've been steadily clipping and watching online couponing sites and yesterday I took my lists and a pen and little bags of coupons that were sorted by store and I went out and searched for deals. I put away yesterdays couponing finds before taking pictures, but I pulled out the things I got today before putting them away and snapped a couple of pictures. It wasn't anything spectacular like the couponers you see on TV, but I feel like it was worth it... So here was the (re)start of my couponing adventures.
I'll start with toothpaste. My rule is that I never pay more than 99 cents for toothpaste. When toothpaste companies release new products (which they do really, really frequently) they send out high value coupons to get people to buy them. Combine that with a sale and you have a $5 toothpaste for less than a dollar.
Sure you might have instances where you think you might have accidentally squeezed Icy Hot onto your toothbrush (new flavors and all) but overall I definitely prefer trying a new toothpaste every few months to paying way too much for it!
Here's an example of how it works:
CVS Extrabucks: $3 back
Coupon: 75 cents
Final cost: 24 cents
CVS Extrabucks: $3 back
Final cost: 99 cents
The products below were deals that worked in the same way. Sadie was super, super excited about the leave in conditioner in the pink bottle (which works out just fine because her long hair definitely could use leave in conditioner!). And the Eucerin was actually a little under 81 cents a bottle because I forgot to factor in a small trial size bottle I bought to put the amount over the number required to get $10 back for the lotion purchase.
Now for a few random coupon tips that I've picked up over the years:
Every week I buy four papers. I panic when I forget them, because I know it will throw my couponing off for a month to come. I "clip" deals online too, but over the years I've found that most of the coupons I've used are the ones from the papers and the savings makes the $8 a week expense more than worth it.
I clip almost every coupon in the papers and sort them into various categories. The only coupons I don't clip are pet food (since we don't have pets and I've never seen a money maker pet food) and laundry detergent (since we use homemade stuff and the price never goes low enough to tempt me to buy it). But I do clip coupons for things that I would never, ever think of buying...
And the reason? Because I've seen too many "monkey makers" (items where the coupon price is more than the product price due to a sale, meaning you can roll that amount over into other items) that I threw coupons away for because it was something I would "never buy." However, while I'd never buy contact lens solution because we don't have anyone with contacts, I'll absolutely buy it if I'm getting paid to (and then donate it, because I'm sure someone else will use it!). So I clip everything.
Now to go look up next week sales... because couponing does take quite a bit of prep work!