Posted in coupons

Another savings trip

“Why do you even do all this?” someone asked me recently.

Why, indeed.

This, of course, means clip coupons, combine coupon savings with sale prices, and stockpiling certain good deals…

It seems a lot of trouble for some extra “stuff”. I do go out of my way to use coupons, so much so that someone who does not use coupons might wonder just what it is that I get from my hobby. But most of my good deal hunting is done as part and parcel of my usual shopping trips, where I will check clearance shelves and reduced carts for items I have coupons for.  In other words, I usually do not go out of my way, but instead, combine good deal shopping with my daily activities.  All my children know, however, that I will not attend an event anywhere without combining that trip with some good deal hunting, whether it be a thrift store or a Walgreens in the same town as the book sale or a family fun day we have planned.  I have learned my lesson the hard way that even if we are headed to a state park for a picnic, there is that chance that we might stop for pop at a store that has a cart full of reduced merchandise that I have coupons for that would make the product free. So now, where I go, the coupon box goes.

I almost didn’t go to Walgreens yesterday.  A trip has to be worth it (financially) for me to travel the distance from Manchester to Dubuque or Manchester to Cedar Rapids.  But the kids needed to go somewhere (cabin fever), and I did have $19 in Walgreens catalina coupons that were to expire today.  That $19 alone made it worth the trip to Dubuque, so we headed there yesterday afternoon.

The picture shows three transactions: two at my favorite Walgreens with my birthday twin Jamie (cashier who was born the same day, same year, same hospital) and one at the other Walgreens.

Total retail cost of these items is $200.10.

My cost after coupons and the $19 in catalina or register reward coupons= $30.09

Register rewards for my next trip= $6

The Pert Plus and Sure deodorants and a couple of the razor packages end up being totally free after coupons. The other razors cost 50-cents a package. The Stayfree pads are for Emily and were less than $1 each. Big Roll toilet paper was on sale for 50-cents a roll, and is very similar to our favorite toilet paper, Scott tissue. The little boxes in the upper right-hand corner are gift card boxes on clearance for 50-cents.  If all goes well with my catalina offers this year, I will likely end up with quite a few gift cards to give as gifts at Christmas, and these are really nice for that.  The Post-It notes will make great stocking stuffers and little gifts that can be included inside a card.  I still have a lot of Post-It note $1 coupons and need to find a sale on them before February 10th when they expire.  The candy bars are for David’s lunch and are dark chocolate. 

Half these items are going into my garage sale stash, some will be used in gift baskets at Christmas and the other things we will personally use.  My oldest son insists that his very favorite gift at Christmas is the basket (or this year the big suitcase-tote) full of health and beauty items I always give him.  I do the same for my other adult children, though my married daughter does get a smaller tote full since she does some of her own good deal shopping. 

So, why do I do this?  Partly because it is fun.  I get a rush of adrenaline as I add things to my cart that will either be free or nearly free. I get another rush as the total comes down at the register.  I do it because my annual garage sales net a decent profit that helps us out financially.  But mostly, I do it because our own cupboards are never bare and it is like a game to see how far I can stretch our money.  And in this savings game…

I always win.  😮


Author, public speaker, and workshop presenter for community colleges, libraries, women's groups and for grief support groups, Hospice and retreats. Certified grief counselor and Senior Service librarian for the James Kennedy Public library. Popular public speaker and workshop presenter on the topics of writing, couponing, utilizing your creativity in everyday life, and finding hope in grief. "Coupon Crazy: The Science, the Savings, and the Stories Behind America's Extreme Obsession" was published by Familius Publishing in 2014. "Chemo-Therapist: How Cancer Cured a Marriage" and "Refined By Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace" were released by Familius in 2014. "Mary & Me: A Lasting Link Through Ink," co-written with Mary Jedlicka Humston of Iowa City, was published in September 2015. Grief journal to be released in 2018.

One thought on “Another savings trip

  1. What an awesome job!! Bargain shopping must be in the air. I went today to do the weekly grocery shopping and found some things marked down. I actually found some Aveeno and Clean and Clear items and had coupons for them. I just wish that when they rang up on my receipt it would have shown the item name so that I could have used it for the refund. The good thing is that all I paid was 50¢ for all of them. I love to read about others shopping trips. Keep posting and letting us know how you do.

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