It was several years ago that Kmarts all over the country were testing the waters of the double coupon opportunities and my husband and I carted home carts full of merchandise that we paid less than $25 for.
At that time, Kmart allowed doubling up to and including $2 coupons, with the limit of four alike coupons and 75 coupon total. Hubby and I could do some major damage with guidelines like that.
Kmart still offers the occasional double coupon promotion, but now it is for coupons under 99-cents, with a limit of four alike. I wasn’t about to drive any distance for that miniscule savings but I was in Dubuque a few days ago, and since I will be holding a coupon workshop in Dubuque on November 21, I thought I should at least attempt a savings trip at Kmart again. I was pleasantly surprised. First of all, the Scottissue toilet paper (our preferred brand) was on sale for $6.07 a 12-pack, a super savings right there. We are in dire need of coffee and I’d been waiting for a sale so that I could use my $1 coupon that was expiring soon. Lo and behold, there was a Kmart coupon in the ad for $1 off each small can and they had a sale on those cans of $3.99 each. Since I can combine sale prices, store coupons and my $1.00 manufacturer coupons, I would be getting the coffee for $1.99 a can! So, without any doubling of coupons, I was already saving money on some items I needed anyway.
Of course, with the restriction of 99-cents or less on double coupons, I didn’t pay too much attention to anything I had $1 coupons for, but I did check clearance aisles for anything that would be cheap or free with my coupons. Nada. In fact, the clearance aisle held several cans of Edge shaving cream marked down to $3 a can, and yet, right there on the shelves of regularly priced Edge shaving cream was a sign telling me that Edge was on sale this week for $2 a can. Of course, I had two 75-cents Edge coupons which would double to $1.50, so four cans went in my cart. (I also had two 55-cents coupons). Extra gum was on sale for $1, and I had 50-cents coupons, making the gum free. Ban deodorant was on sale for $2.50, and I had 75-cents coupons, which would double, making the Ban deodorant just $1. In hindsight, I would have passed on this less-than extraordinary deal, but signage at the shelf told me that a $5 coupon would pop out of the register when I bought $20 in Ban products, and it probably would have if I’d actually bought $20, but somewhere in the muddled math mind of Mary I figured if I bought 6 I would be buying $20 worth. (which just goes to show you, even after 32 years of doing this, I still make mistakes) Any elementary math student can tell you that you would need to buy 4 groups of $5 each to reach that $20, but $1 each is still a good deal. We all know I wanted more than a good deal, I wanted a great deal, but I digress. Bottles of Softsoap pump hand cleaner were on sale for $1, and with my 35-cents coupons doubled, I paid 30-cents each, a great deal.
Now, it was off to the Covergirl makeup aisle where this week’s sale was Buy one, Get one 50% off. I knew that if I bought $30 worth of Covergirl make-up in one transaction I would get a coupon good for $10 off a future health and beauty purchase. I bought lipgloss, one of the least expensive Covergirl items, priced at $4.69. For each set of two I bought ($4.69 regular price, plus $2.35 sale price) I paid $7.04. But wait, it gets better! (you knew it would, didn’t you?) I was able to use a soon-to-be expiring manufacturer coupon on each set: the amazing $8 off two Covergirl product coupon, making the make-up essentially free. But don’t forget that $10 coupon that did, indeed, pop out of the register that is valid one week only. Hmmm, for $10 in free makeup or health care products, I think I can manage to visit a Kmart during that week.
On the way to a checkout, I noticed a large rack of clearance clothing items marked down to $1 each, including several Selena Gomez tank tops and shorts that had originally been priced at $14 each. I picked up ten of those for my teen and pre-teen daughters, for a grand total of $10.
At the checkout, I made sure to have my Shop Your Way Rewards card scanned first, or my coupons wouldn’t have doubled. Halfway through the transaction, my total reached an amount that gave me back a $5 gift card for my purchase, which I can also use on a future visit.
My grand total before coupons was approximately $120. After coupons, I paid $40, with almost $7 of that being tax. Not as impressive as some of my previous Kmart trips, but considering I have five cans of coffee, a 12-pack of toilet paper, 14 lip glosses and two packages of make-up sponges, four cans of Edge gel, four packages of gum, 6 deodorants, 4 Softsoaps, an impulse buy of a bottle of pop (not shown) and the ten clearance-priced clothing items that normally retailed for almost $140 (also not shown), then I didn’t do too badly. Remember, I also have the $10 health and beauty coupon and the $5 gift card to use next week!