Showing posts with label couponing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label couponing. Show all posts

Twenty (20) Items You Should Never Have to Pay For

Since I've been couponing about six months now, there are some things that I'll never have to pay for again, simply because I can get them for free with coupons. Everyone has a CVS, Walgreens or Target near them and most of these items can be had for free by stacking store coupons with manufacturer coupons, or using the CVS Extra Care Bucks (ECB's) or Walgreens Register Rewards (RR) that are essentially money back and many times give you overage or extra money back so it's a moneymaker.
 
Its important when you coupon, to NOT be brand loyal – If you only will eat Hunts Ketchup, instead of Heinz or whatever brand ketchup is made by, you're costing yourself money. You need to be able to brush your teeth with any of a multitude of brands of toothpaste like Arm & Hammer, Crest or Colgate. If you can't bring yourself to do that, go ahead SPEND MORE OF YOUR MONEY.
 
Anyway, here is a list of items that you should never have to pay for, or if you do it should be a very small amount, like less than a quarter each.
 
  1. Toothpaste – on BOGO at Publix a few times a year, stack with coupons and get it free. At CVS or Walgreens you can get free toothpaste usually every other week with the ECB or RR and a coupon.
  2. Toothbrushes – CVS and Walgreens are the best places to get these regularly, but they limit quantities. Kmart has double coupon deals where you can stock up, and Target will stack their store coupon with manufacturer (MQ) coupon to get for free. Publix seems to rarely have toothpaste deals unless you can use the Target coupon stacked with a Proctor & Gamble (P&G) coupon and its on BOGO. Then you can stock up.
  3. Dental Floss – Easy to get all the time free with P&G coupon stacked with Publix or Target store coupon, or with Walgreens coupon.
  4. Bandaids – Johnson and Johnson always has high value coupons that stack with Publix advantage buys, at least quarterly. Also good item for double coupons at Kmart where they double up to $2 coupons.
  5. Deodorant – Most brands Dove, Sure, Degree, Suave, Gillette all can be had for free at all stores, usually involves stacking coupons. Remember those coupons in Walgreens ads are store coupons and can be stacked with a MQ. Plus this is a good thing for the homeless give away box, as are all the personal care items.
  6. Razors – Oh this is a fun freebie because they cost so much, but they are easy to get for free with the high value coupons out there. Most often found at Target or Walgreens, stacking a sale with a store and MQ coupon.
  7. Air Fresheners and Candles – P&G is big with high value coupons available on the internet and email, lots of free or BOGO coupons to be had, stack with a Publix advantage buy or Target sale.
  8. Shampoo & Conditioners – Suave, Dove, Pantene, and many others I can't remember are often on sale for a fair price that you can stack a store and MQ to get for free at Walgreens, Target or Publix.
  9. Makeup and Tools – Publix is notorious for offering Maybelline, Cover Girl, Revlon and Max Factor store coupons that can be stacked with MQ coupons, and then wait for the store Advantage buy to get lip gloss, tweezers, mascara and nail files for free.
  10. Yogurt – match a MQ coupon with BOGO at Publix for free yogurt, usually once a month.
  11. Salad Dressing – when the high value Kraft coupons come out in the summer this is the time to stock up, the coupons are scarce now, but the BOGO deals are still out there. We're still using our supply from May of this year and I'm hoping it lasts. I didn't realize how long in between those great $2 coupons. So, its off to trying other brands that stack with sales.
  12. BBQ sauce – this is an easy freebie to get all year round. Lots of brands, notably Kraft, Uncle Rays. Stack a coupon with BOGO to get free.
  13. Mustard – usually Frenches is the freebie to get fairly often. The coupons aren't that high value, but stacked with a BOGO deal or Walgreens deal, you can get for free.
  14. Cereal – Usually need to start with a good sale like $2.00 box or less or BOGO, and stack a Target coupon with MQ coupon at Publix. This week you can get GM and Kelloggs and Kashi cereals for free with combining printables off the internet. I think we got about 14 boxes of cereal yesterday for mostly free when we shopped at Publix.
  15. Tomato sauce or paste – there are always $1 Muir Glen internet printable (IP) coupons, and the sauce is 0.89 so it's a moneymaker any day without a sale. Paste is 1.09 so it costs nine cents.
  16. Pasta – combine a BOGO with MQ coupon to get this product for pennies.
  17. Pet Food and Treats – These go on BOGO often at Publix, and on sale at Target and the coupons available are high value and BOGO. It's easy to frequently stack a Target BOGO with a MQ BOGO and get all of them free at Target or Publix. Brands available all the time are Pedigree, Chef Michael, Purina, Friskies.
  18. Paper Products – free Chinet plates, Dixie, Hefty can be had by combining a great coupon with store sale, or even regular price. Also possible to get toilet paper, paper towels and napkins really cheap at Walgreens and CVS by matching the sales with ECB deals and coupons.
  19. Reusable shopping bags – look for peelies or store coupons, I have dozens of these and have never paid for any. Publix has a cute new holiday bag out, and GM has peelies on their products to make it free.
  20. Instant Potatoes – these are often BOGO and can be matched with a  coupon to get for free.

It's Not That Hard, Is It?

This weekend I passed along some coupons to a friend who had mentioned needing some razors. In fact, they use Schick Quattro and I  happened to have multiples of a $4 off MQ and a matching $4 off Target coupon, making the $7.94 razor free. I cautioned how they have to take these coupons and get the deal at Target since it is a Target coupon, and they would need to tell the cashier to do a "manual adjustment" since  there was a 0.06 overage that Target registers kick out. 
 
Well today I followed up with that person to find out if they got the free razors. He said they still seemed kind of expensive. I said how, they were free. Well, turns out they didn't go to Target, they went to some drugstore. Target was too far away, like a couple miles. Anyway, of course the drugstore wouldn't take the Target coupon! Duh. I'm sure the price was higher too. Oh but they took the $4 coupon.
 
I couldn't believe it. I try to help people understand couponing and show them matchups, do the deals first myself, so I can tell them what to expect, and they still either don't listen, think it doesn't matter where you go, or they just aren't that bright. It's not that hard is it? Are we all genius's who can figure out how to match up and stack coupons with store sales? I don't think it's that complicated, but it does take some practice and to start out with simple one item deals to make sure everything works out as planned.  But I wish I knew an easy way to share the coupon love, because I don't have the time to go shopping with everyone to train them in. I generally refuse to cut coupons for others too, since the ways I get them are accessible to all others.  They can print their own, and get extra inserts, and of course scan store aisles for blinkies and peelies and booklets.
 
So this friend wants me to teach a coupon class to a bunch of ladies in her neighborhood. I would love to do it and plan to do it. But since I need to figure out a way to simplify the process. I just hate to feel responsible for people who don't catch on, and they end up spending money they intended to save. There are many deals that I would never do if it weren't for the cheap cost with using coupons. Oh well, back to the drawing board on this one.