Friday, February 11, 2011

Couponing Rule: Buy as Little as Possible

I can hear you saying "Buy as little as possible?  I thought couponing is about stocking up!"  Let me rephrase it:
  • buy the smallest packages that fit the requirements of the coupon and the sale.  If several different size boxes of tea are on sale and you have $__off any size coupons  - do not buy the biggest boxes.  Buy the smallest boxes and you'll save more money.  Lipton Tea 16 count on sale for $1.06 each.  I had two $0.60/1 coupons.  My cost = $0.46 each; less than the sale cost of one.
  • .46 each
  • feel free to go to a store to buy only one or two items.  Resisting the lure of the items you don't have coupons for will save you money.  The dish detergent was on sale $1 each, and they had a buy 5 get a $1 Register Reward going. I bought 5 ($5). I had three $0.25/1 coupons ($4.25). 
    I also had a $5.00 Register Reward to use up from last week, BUT it's only good on purchases of $5 or more. I had to buy more. Progresso soup was on sale for $3.00 a can.  I bought 4 ($12).  I had a 4/$5 in-ad store coupon ($5) and $1/4 manufacturer's coupon ($4).  My total for the soup and the soap after coupons = $8.25 less $5 Register Rewards = $3.25 AND they gave me $1 Register Reward for next week. So the total for the soup and soap is $2.25  THIS WAS ALL I BOUGHT AT WALGREENS.
  • look for opportunities to combine a sale, a loyalty reward, a manufacturer's coupon and a store coupon.  I bought two FrizzEase products. Normally $8.00 each, on sale for $6.00 each ($12), had two $1/1 coupons ($10), a $4 ExtraBucks loyalty coupon ($6). For buying $10 or more of this brand, I received a $3 ExtraBucks for my next shopping trip, bringing this purchase down to $3.00 or $1.50 each. Not bad for Frizz-Ease!  THIS WAS ALL I BOUGHT AT CVS.
  • $1.50 each
  • plan your shopping based on what you use regularly, your current inventory, the sales and the coupons you have.  It makes no sense to buy cheap ______ if you hate that brand and won't use it. I bought several bottles of Dove Shower Wash when it was super cheap last summer, only to discover that I don't like it.  Gave it away = lost money.
  • be flexible and try new products or brands if the price is right.  New Crunchy Nut cereals were on sale 2/$5.  I had a store coupon Buy One Get One Free ($2.50) and two $1/1 manufacturer's coupons ($0.50).  My cost = $0.25 each. The price was right.
  • $0.25 each
    • Catalina coupons are manufacturer's coupons and can be used at any store.  The Luna bar coupon was a Catalina that I got at Jewel.  It was good for a free bar up to $1.00.  Luna bars are $1.25 at Jewel.  I redeemed it at Target, where Luna bars are on sale for .99.  Free.  There was a moment's confusion when the cashier saw it was issued at Jewel.  I (nicely, alway nicely) pointed out that it said Manufacturer's Coupon and he keyed it through.  Free lunch. Literally. I had this free Luna bar for lunch. Take that coupon to the store and get that free item. Free is FREE!

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