Friday, May 20, 2011

My First SMART Couponing Trip

As promised, here are the results of my first trip, which included two stores; CVS and Publix.

Using Smart Couponing: Spent $32 out of pocket (OOP), $34+ saved  
Using my old style Lazy Couponing (just using BOGOs, store weekly sales, no coupons): Spent $49 OOP, $21.79 saved

Daily total saved: just over $55 with $7 CVS Extra Bucks earned for future savings. :)
When I sent these results to Kelly, she replied, "WHAT???? HOW DID YOU DO THIS?” I suppose you might be saying that too!

So, here I will break one of these purchases down for you and maybe this will help make sense out of the proces. 

1. Go to, click on Grocery Deals by State. If you haven't already subscribed to the site, you will be prompted to do so here. Otherwise, login with your email/pw. (you can also do this on your phone and I actually find it a little easier)

2. Here you should see a list of stores on the right, which you can use, or use the dropdown menu and pick your state and grocery store. (note: if you didn't read yesterdays post which encouraged you to watch couponmom's instructional videos, you'll probably want to do so to learn how to decipher the lists I will be mentioning next - otherwise, it will be Greek to you - unless you are Greek, then perhaps it will be Aramaic)

3. Click on the store you want and a new window will pop up with that store's list. I will pick one item from Publix that I used today from here on.

4. When you get to your grocery store's list, you will see all of the items on sale at your store and what coupons from which circulars will give you the best deals that week. We're going to work with the Suave Bath Soap.

5. I had 2 coupons from the circulars noted in the left hand column that made them Buy One Get One Free (BOGO),  2 additonal coupons for Suave products for $1, and Publix had a $.55 off coupon in its weekly circular (I took two). So I purchased four bottles.

v      4x Suave body wash - Free!!: I actually made $.10 towards my bill when each BOGO coupon rang up for $.75 more than I paid and so saved $9.10
If that doesn’t catch your interest, here my other SCORES:

v      2x Calcium and Vit D, 90 softgels - Spent $2 OOP (saved $7)
v 2x Right Guard deodorant- Spent $.99 OOP (saved $6.60)
v 4x L'Oreal Hair color products - $24 OOP, but earned $5 in Extra Bucks towards my next CVS purchase (overall saved $12)

Lesson learned. I planned to earn $3 Extra Bucks on the gum purchase, but I messed it up when each pack rang up for less than it was marked, so I didn't meet the minimum purchase to earn my additional $3 back. Drat! So, now I've dowloaded the CVS app on my phone and, in the future, I will access this while in store, as well as watch the prices as they ring up so I can catch that and grab another pack to make the minimum.

BLDB (Bottom Line Down Bottom): 4 Body Washes for Free and 4 Hair Color Products for what I'll call a $400 savings as, instead of paying my hairdresser four times (approx $300-$400 total), I have spent $24 for four total hair treatments. :) Sweet! (I even tried one out Friday I am a successful hair color expert! haha!)

As always, feel free to ask some questions or post your own successes!

Keys that I've taken away so far:
1. Only purchase when the strike price is HOT. When it is, purchase multiples. (this is where finding multiple copies of circulars and saving them comes in)

2. Not every sale every week is going to be a worthy deal and some of your coupons will expire. Don't fret. the deal will come. You can also donate those to Military members overseas who ca still use expired coupons!

3. You have to be willing to try new brands of items that you already use

4. Download your store apps on your phone for access while shopping.

5. Go out and get your local paper today - you have to continually build your coupon stockpile with the weekly circulars to make this work. Multiples make it even better. So, ask friends for their circulars or buy multiple papers. :) 

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