So I have a confession. This whole extreme couponing adventure really makes me happy.
This week, I’ve been putting this whole couponing thing to a test. Can I really get a whole bunch of stuff for practically nothing?
Apparently, I can.
Armed with the current Rite Aid flyer, coupons from the Sunday’s newspaper, and my Wellness card, I put my local drugstore to the first test.
I got $31 worth of merchandise for $2 on day 1, $41 worth of merchandise for $7 on day 2.
I’m not joking there.
This is how I did it…
1. Sunday Newspaper Coupons. I checked what coupons would work with the best deals from the Rite Aid circular. They had the Tylenol Precise products marked down to $5. Funny…I have a $5 coupon for Tylenol Precise (good for this week only). Actually, I have 5 coupons. BUT I can only purchase one at a time with the Sunday paper coupon, so that means I have to stop at different Rite Aids to get 5 of the Tylenol Precise products for FREE.
Finesse hair products were BOGO (buy one get one free). At my local store, the original price was $3.99. I used my $1 off coupon for each of the 2 products (including the free one). That brought the cost down to $1.99. But wait…I’m not done. There’s a mail-in rebate for $2. That means total cost is -$0.01. They owe me a penny.
Carefree pantiliners…FREE with coupon. They’re marked down to $1 with the Wellness card. Use the coupon and it’s FREE.
Stayfree pads and OB tampons…99 cents each with coupon.
I picked up the advertised Mitchum deodorant, used the coupon, and the Wellness Card…and oops…another mail-in rebate.
After all was said and done…$2 for everything on the first trip.
2. Mail in Rebates. For Rite Aid, you have to enter in your receipt online to get the mail-in rebates from the store. I had 2 mail-in rebates. One that I entered online at Rite Aid, another that I mailed in for Finesse. I have a $3 check on its way to me. Keep in mind this is after the first day’s worth of shopping.
3. Rewards Card. You can’t get the sale without the rewards card. Just by using the Wellness card, my $31 bill drastically dropped to $7 before she started scanning in all of the coupons.
4. Survey. At the bottom of my receipt, I saw that if I took a short survey online at Rite Aid, I could get $3 off my next $15 purchase. I took the survey (took less than a minute), printed out my coupon and headed to Rite Aid where my $41 worth of purchases turned into only $7 after all was said and done.
5. The trick with a lot of stores…you need to not only shop at the store, but look online. You may be able to score additional deals on top of the deals you’ve already scored at the store and through coupons. By entering in my receipt online, I got $4 extra off of my purchase. Takes a few minutes to sign up for the rebates program connected with your rewards card, but it’s worth it. In one shopping trip, I maximized my savings to bring the cost down by following all of these steps.
Now, here’s something the extreme couponing girls don’t talk about…visiting your favorite company’s websites for additional rewards programs and coupons for the products you love.
For instance, I will only buy organic milk products. More specifically, I usually buy Stonyfield, which so happens to be the most expensive milk products on the shelves. They are rarely on sale…and I usually don’t have a coupon for them.
By going to their site, I signed up to get their newsletter, only to find out that I can always get coupons for all of the products that I frequently buy (thank goodness because I was starting to faint over $2.79 for individual sizes of Oikos organic greek yogurt). I also found out that they have a reward program for buying their products. The reward codes are listed on each product. You can enter in the code to build up points to apply towards future purchases. Woo Hoo, right?!?
A lot of the coupons are for 50 cents off, but if I take it to Shoprite or Stop and Shop when they double or triple coupons…guess what? It just brought the cost of my expensive yogurt and milk down to the cheaper brand’s price.
Stonyfield isn’t the only one. Procter & Gamble has pgestore.com where you can get many of their products at a cheaper price (plus print coupons).
So if you have a favorite brand that you thought you couldn’t get a coupon for…check the manufacturer’s site. You may be able to find some coupons there.
So what’s the tally for the first 2 days of extreme couponing?
Out of the $72 worth of products I’ve purchased over the last 2 days, I’ve only spent $9. That means I saved 87.5% off the retail price.
Woo hoo! Each dollar saved is one more dollar for my 3 weeks worth of shopping sprees in Paris, Eastern Europe and Morocco in October!