- She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar
It was about this time last year that I said online that I was going to "resurrect" my "Mission Possible" posts about frugal shopping, bargains, and couponing. And I did, briefly. I think I had one post in July, one in August, and then a couple around the winter holidays, but that's about it.
Well, I find myself in a similar place again:
- running out of my stockpile of toiletries
- finding myself paying full price for things as we need them instead of watching for sales and/or coupons
- prices still climbing
- money still tight
And I remind myself:
- Every little bit saved is a little bit saved
- Every item I get free or even just cents-off is one I don't have to pay full price for
- Couponing is fun if you don't get obsessive about having to make every great deal or use every great coupon that comes along.
And so, here I am, again.
I cleaned out my coupon binder, again. (To see where I get my coupons, how I organize them, etc, see my "Couponing 101" page. If you'd like to help support this blog (that means me) or even if you don't, you can print lots of coupons right from the Coupon Savings Center page, as well.)
I clipped a few coupons, and filed and organized and perused the ad circulars.
And then, I went shopping.
My first (and second) couponing trips were to our lone Walgreens. I had coupons in my binder, sale paper in hand, and I was a woman on a mission. I've misplaced my receipt for this one, but here is the breakdown as best as I can remember it:
1 Colgate Total toothpaste, on sale $2.99, less $1 MQ (manufacturers coupon), this generated a $1.50 RR (Register Reward) good on a future purchase, net of $.49 for this tube
2 Colgate Max Fresh toothpaste, $3.49, on sale $2.99, these two were part of a Colgate Palmolive promotion, buy any four participating items, get 5000 balance reward points, which takes money off your receipt automatically once we reach 5000. I had 2 $1.00 off MQ, less the coupons and then the discount they generated, net of around $1.49 each
2 Lady Speed Stick antiperspirants, $3.19 each, on sale $2.99, less 2 $.50 MQ, they were part of the "Buy 4" deal I mentioned above, with the coupons and the discount, it made them around $1.50 each
2 Gillette Proglide razors, on sale $9.99 each, I had a $8 MQ and a $3 MQ, these were part of a "spend $20 on Gillette shave products, get 2000 reward points" deal. After coupons and points, these were net of $2.50 each if you average the coupons together.
2 Gillete Proglide shave prep, $4.49, I had a B1G1 free (buy one, get one free) MQ, took off $4.49, making these $2.25 each
3 Dawn dishwashing liquid, on sale $.99, I had 3 $.25 coupons, making these $.74 each
3 Purell hand saniziters, on sale $2.99, there was a store coupon for $1, which I paired with 3 $1 MQ, making these net of $.99 each. In addition to this, the bottles I chose from the shelf all had 50% more free, so I got 12 oz for the price of 8oz, plus they all had free samples of Airborne homeopathic immune boosters on them.
I spent about $27-28 dollars OOP (out-of-pocket), but I used $25 in MQs, $3 in store Qs, and enough points to take off $6.70. I ended up with $1.50 in RR, and another store coupon for $2 off any $10 purchase made in the next two days.
Honestly, I spent more than I would have if these things weren't on sale or if I hadn't had coupons, but my stockpile is in woeful need of replenishing, and these are all things that we will use.
The next day, after clipping the rest of this week's coupons, I went back so I could use the $2/$10 coupon. and this is what I got:
2 Old Spice Body Wash, on sale 2/$7, less a $2/2 MQ, this generated a $2 RR, making this net of $1.50 each
2 Herbal Essence products, shampoo and conditioner, on sale $2.99, I had a B1G1 free MQ, which took off $2.99, making these net of $1.50 each
1 Gillette Venus razor, on sale $9.99, I had a $5 MQ, as part of the whole "buy Gillette" deal, I think this also generated some points which took off an additional $1, making this net of $3.99
1 pkg U by Kotex, on sale $3.99, there was a $2 store coupon, which I stacked with a $1 MQ, making this $.99
1 Dawn dishwashing liquid, on sale $.99, less $.50 MQ, making this $.49
2 Reach toothbrushes, I think they were on sale $2.99, get a $2 RR, I had one $1 MQ, which should have made one of these free, but I forgot the deal and bought two, so I average these together that I got them for $1.50 each after coupon and RR
3 mini highlighters, $.19 each with store coupon.
I gave them the $2/$10 coupon first, then their store coupons and my manufacturers coupons, but the Herbal Essence on wouldn't work, I think because I ended up with more coupons than items, which is a no-no at Walgreen, their computers can't handle it. The highliters were meant to be fillers for that, but somehow they weren't enough. Either the monthly booklet coupons or the newspaper ones don't count toward your coupon total, but it's been so long I can't remember which. So, we took the Herbal Essences off, closed out that transaction, I paid $13.57 before tax, and saved $21.53, and I received 2 $2 RR. We redid the Herbal Essences as a seperate transaction, and I used the B1G1 free coupon plus one of the $2 RR, and paid $.99 before tax, saving $6.99 (sff the pre-sale price).
I have one $2 RR to use next time.
I'm terribly out of practice, or I could have broken both of these down into many multiple transactions and probably spent a little less out-of-pocket, but I consider this a make-up week for all of the weeks I didn't go couponing, so I'm satisfied with what I spent, and even more, what I saved.
So remember our "Mission Possible" motto:
Our mission, should we choose to accept it, (and you know we will) is to take the resources we have available to us--coupons, rebates, Extra Care Bucks (ECB), Register Rewards (RR) and weekly ad circulars--to get the things our families need and can use, all while keeping our total out-of-pocket (OOP) as low as possible. We fulfill our tasks at drugstores, grocery stores, dollar stores, and wherever we can find those bargains and frugal finds that benefit our families
Have you done any "Mission Possible" shopping this week?
Until next time...
This post is linked to:
Walgreens deals at Money Saving Mom