Posted in coupons

Why on Earth?

This is where you separate the men from the boys in this game called couponing. This isn’t all I bought yesterday but some of the best of the deals. Try doing the math while you’re standing in the store aisle with your impatient children or a clueless husband.  Now why are you buying this?


Let’s take a look at the hair dye first.  Perfect 10 hair dye at KMart, where you and your husband headed first in your journey because of an Internet printed coupon good for $10 off a $20 purchase. An Internet coupon you were told at the checkout was fraudulent. It wasn’t, but KMart was not willing to deal with the crazy people who got a hold of it.  Intended for areas of Chicago and New York, perhaps, but a pdf. file coupon which states “good at all Kmarts” doesn’t take long to circulate on the Internet.  Like wildfire. We put back half our cartload when we were told the coupon was not going to be honored.  However, I did manage to snag several hoodies and pairs of women’s jeans for only $2.99 when it was announced over the intercom that ALL remaining winter clothing would be $2.99. The racks even had signs on them; $2.99. I asked a nearby worker if all I was putting in my cart would be $2.99 at the checkout and was assured it would be, despite the $10.99 price on some adorable pink sweatshirts with fur-lined hoodies. Nope. Got up to the checkout, where I was informed by the cashier that not everything would be $2.99. The fur-lined hoodies scanned at $10.99 and her manager came over and told her she couldn’t modify the prices. At this point, you’d think we would give up on KMart, but I knew Emily would love the black sweatshirts that were $2.99 (she did) so I bought those, along with these five boxes of hair dye.  Why?  They were on clearance for $6, I had $5 coupons (for those math-impaired, I paid $5 for the five boxes after coupons) AND I knew a $5 register reward would come out of the register for buying over $25 in Procter & Gamble products. (but that means I have to go to KMart in April to use it)

Off to Target, where I confused my husband with the Venus razor/Olay body wash deal. There were only 9 razors left or I would have bought 10 because for each two I bought, I got a $5 gift card.  9 razors on sale for $7, minus the 9 $2 coupons=$45, out of pocket, and I used gift cards from a previous offer to pay for them. (the only order I’ve had to pay cash for doing these is the very first one)  4 $5 gift cards back= $20 back   (Are you keeping up with me here? The total for the razors is now down to $25) For each razor I could get a free Olay body wash so I chose these big body washes on sale for $5.50 each. For each 3 bought, I got a $5 gift card.  So, 9 free body washes and 3 more $5 gift cards. Subtract that $15 from the $25 for razors and the total cost for everything (taking into account the $5 gift cards) is now $10.  So, 9 razors and 9 body washes for $10. The idea is to use the gift cards to get more good deals and roll them.  I’ll be pricing both the razors and the body wash between $2.50 and $3.00 each for my garage sale, and probably setting some aside for Christmas gifts. Other good deals at Target were the Soft Scrub using their $1 Target coupon and my $1.50 manufacturer coupon, the Dove bar soap using their $1 coupon and manufacturer $1.75 coupon. (You can use one Target coupon combined with manufacturer coupon)

On to Walgreens where Vicks products were on sale for $5. I bought 4, used 4 $1.50 coupons (total=$14), and then a $10 catalina coupon popped out. Net cost=$4 for 4 items. Benadryl was an even better deal, priced at $4.99 each. I had a coupon for $4 off 2 so paid $2.99 each, and with the purchase of two, got a $5 catalina coupon, making the Benadryl less than 50-cents a bottle. I used previous catalina coupons to pay for these. Our four children have gone through a lot of cold medicine this past week.  So, why do I do this? Why can’t I just go to Walmart and pay $5 for a bottle of cold medicine when I need it, instead of juggling coupons and catalinas to stock my medicine cupboard? Why do I spend an inordinate amount of time organizing my coupons and figuring out the best way to use them?  Would a normal person cart home 9 bottles of Olay body wash and 9 razors to add to their stash of probably 30 others of the same thing?

Even my own daughter, who grew up with this, has asked before, “Why do you even do all this?” When it would be far easier to not use coupons or compare prices.

But, oh, how much fun it is for me!

Fun, and profitable.

Why do I do this?

I’ll tell you in April, when I have my garage sale.

Author:

Author, public speaker, and workshop presenter for community colleges, libraries, women's groups and for grief support groups, Hospice and retreats. Reporter for the Manchester Press newspaper and popular public speaker and workshop presenter on the topics of writing 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.

One thought on “Why on Earth?

  1. Sorry about the $20 K Mart coupon, Mary. I had printed one of those out and almost went to KMart which I never go to because I don’t like the store- it’s a long story. Then, I just happened to read online about K Marts all over the country not honoring that coupon because it was “fraudulent”.
    I can really relate to your purchases; I buy things that I will either get free or not free to stock up on and also in anticipation of either gifts or money makers at a future garage sale. Sometimes, I get Walgreens Register Rewards which I will use to get milk, eggs, bread, and other items which often don’t have coupons. I save a ton of money this way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s