A new way to be couponing

My husband has lost about 40 lbs. after cutting out most processed foods, artificial sweeteners, most gluten products, etc. out of his diet. We went through our stockpile and purged anything with artificial sweetener or high fructose corn syrup and gave it away to a local food bank.

You can probably guess that the number of coupons I use each week has shrunk dramatically.

In addition, we are taking (what some might call semi-drastic) measures to be more green at home, and to rid our house of chemicals and toxins associated with cleaning products. I’ve written about that on our family blog here and here. I’ve learned to sew recently and have made cloth paper towels, tissues, and reusable shopping bags.

So imagine how my couponing has changed now that paper products, cleaning products, and lots of processed foods are off my list. We also cloth diaper and use cloth wipes at home, so our baby-relates expenses are relatively minor.

However, I am still couponing; albeit much more strategically. I barter, borrow, and buy specific coupons when I see a sale and coupon match for a product we do use, even if occasionally. I also buy things that we won’t use but that we can donate when they are free or very cheap. Here is a good example of how I have been couponing from this week at CVS:

CVS had a deal where you could earn $10 ECB if you spent $30 on select products, including pamper’s wipes. We don’t use many disposable wipes, but we do use them in the diaper bag and occasionally at home. And we were almost out. So, I spent $1.50 for 10 pampers wipes coupons ($.50/1) on ebay. Here was my tentative plan:

Buy 10 packs of Pampers Sensitive 64 ct. wipe tubs @ $3 each = $30
Use 10 $.50/1 coupons = -$5
Get $10 ECB = -$10
My total would have been $15 for 640 wipes or 2.3 cents a wipe. Any wipe around 2 cents/piece is considered a Stockupportunity according to BabyCheapskate.com.

The deal got better when Kathy posted a living social deal to facebook where I could buy a $20 giftcard to CVS for $10, and when I realized I was due for an ECB for using my green bag tag. The wipes, with those two considerations, were well under my stock up price.

My CVS trip

One of my friends posted a picture of her CVS deals to facebook, which made me wonder if this week’s drugstore deals were worth the time and energy it took to get them. I decided, after reading a few blogs and doing a check of my coupons that it was in fact a good week to go.

I did this in separate transactions, but it came out to free. Here’s how:

Bought:

6 Ragu @3 for $5 = $10
3 Children’s Advil @$4.49 = $13.47
5 Skintimate @$3.79 = $18.95
2 Skintimate @$3.99 = $7.98
1 Reese’s egg @$0.87
2 Irish Spring 3bar packs @$3 = $6
7 Colgate @$2.74 = $19.18
3 Hallmark Cards @$0.99 = $2.97
Subtotal w/o tax: $79.42

Coupons Used:

(2) $1.25/3 Ragu Pasta from 1/29 inserts
(3) $1/1 Advil or Thermacare from 1/29 SS
(4) $.55/1 Skintimate (all I had)
(1) $1/2 Irish Spring bar soap multipack from 1/29 SS
(1) $1/2 Colgate toothpaste from 1/29 SS
(5) $1/1 Colgate from 1/15 SS and one issue of All You
Coupon total: $14.70

ECBs earned:

$3 for Ragu
$3 for Hallmark cards
$4 for Advil
$28 for Skintimate
$12 for Colgate/Irish Spring
$0.87 for Reese’s Egg
ECB total: $50.87

Submitted rebates:

$5 Colgate wyb $10 Colgate/Palmolive in 1 transaction (in 1/29 insert)
$10 Pfizer wyb 3 products (in 1/29 insert)
Rebate total: $15.00

So, $79.42 – $14.70 (coupons) – $50.87 ECB – $15 Rebates = $1.15 Moneymaker.

Note: there are conflicting reports about CVS signing the Skintimate with a limit of 1. Your mileage may vary on buying more than 1.

We need baby wipes, so I might go back later this week to take advantage of the pampers deal…and to use the ECBs I had left from my last transaction.

 

Diaper(ish) Deal

The CVS get $10 wyb $30 of certain products at CVS is on again this week, and Pampers boxes are included. I wanted a box of size 3’s and needed some other items. I did the deal in two transactions and made out well. Here was my scenario:

Transaction 1:

1 Pampers size 3 box (80 diapers) @ $18.99
2 CVS prenatal vitamins, 100 count BOGO free @ $10. 99
1 CVS pocket tissues, 8 pk @ $2.49

Subtotal – $32.47
– (1) $1.50/1 pampers coupon from back of cheerios cereal sometime last year
Total w/out tax – $30.97
Get 1 $10 CVS cash card

Transaction 2

3 Special K Red Berries (my favorite, this is the time of year to stock up) @ 3/$10.00
3 cans of Bumble Bee tuna @ $.59 each

Subtotal – $11.77
– (1) $1/3 Kellogg’s cereal in 1/1 inserts
– $10 CVS cash card from first transaction
Total for transaction 2: $.77
Get $4 ECB for Special K

So, the Special K was like 3/$5 after coupon and ECB, and the diapers after the CVS cash card and coupon cost $7.49 for 80 diapers (9 cents a diaper).

 

 

In need of diapers? Check out CVS this week (11/27/11)…

If you need Pampers, the gift card and the CVS buy 6, get a 7th free is a good combo for this week.
-Buy 6 diapers @ 2/$19 = $57
-Use (3) $2/2 coupons from 10/30 P&G (EXPIRE 11/30!!)
OR use(3) $1/2 from the 11/27 P&G (or mix & match!) 🙂
-OOP = $51 (with $2 c’s or $54 with $1 c’s)

-Come back approx. 2 days later for FREE diaper coupon to print at machine — remember this total does not calculate instantly and needs to “run through the system”

-Gift card total = $66.50 so you’ll get (2) $10 gift cards
I personally like the gift cards better than ECB — they never expire, they can be spent in increments and if you get the American Express cards, can be used at any number of places!

-Net total $31 for 7 packs of diapers

For comparison’s sake, size 4′s are 31 count, so $0.14/diaper. My buy price for 3’s/4’s is anything under $0.15/diaper, so I consider this deal worth it!

Puffs MM – Weis

** Update (11/1):  Looks like this deal is NOW DEAD!  Reported from other shoppers — Weis corporate has cancelled this deal b/c it was a mistake.  Apparently, they were going to let it stand, but some people cleaned out the shelves and demand was too high.  Remember to be a careful shopper & considerate of others trying to get the deals, too!  If a few extremists overdo it, we’re likely to see deals decrease, hurting us ALL in the long run.  Am back to being glad I got my Kleenex at CVS (and that I took the time to go to different stores so I wouldn’t be clearing the shelves)!  🙂

**Update (10/31):  The 10/16 and 10/30 P&G had coupons for $1/6 boxes.  So… It’s not a MM, but you can get 6 boxes for the price of $5 (with coupon) and then get $5 OYNO.  Six free boxes sounds good to me!  🙂

Well, I wish I hadn’t stocked up on tissues last week.  At 0.42 / box, I thought that was pretty cheap!

However, this week (10/30) at Weis, you can pick them up for free (possibly even a MM!). 

Puffs, at $1 each, are part of the promo: WYB 5, get $5 OYNO.  If you have a coupon (try the 10/16 P&G), it will be a moneymaker for you!  Maybe I’ll get some more anyway to donate.

(P.S.  Just have to vent… found out that my toilet paper deal would have been sweeter if I’d purchased the purple Cottonelle packages — I would have also received a $4 OYNO Catalina — grr!)

Kleenex Tissues @ CVS

Stocking up for the winter -- TP (@Weis) & Tissues (@CVS)! Forgot to picture the wipes & Cheez-its I bought to complete these deals.

This week, 110 count Kleenex are part of the CVS gift card deal.  Here’s my scenario:

Buy (30) boxes of Kleenex @ $1 each
Pay $30
Get $10 gift card (again, think AMEX or CVS and this deal is sweet!)
Net total: $20 for 30 of Kleenex (not the huge boxes, but more than the small square boxes)

To sweeten this deal, I used (7) $1 off 4 boxes of Kleenex.  (Plus I only bought 28 boxes and then bought two boxes of Cheezits @ $1.99 each and used a $1/2 coupon).  Again, I went to two stores so I wouldn’t clean out the shelves!

See the Cottonelle TP deal here.

Toilet Paper for .40 a roll – NO COUPONS! – @ Weis

Stocking up for the winter -- TP (@Weis) & Tissues (@CVS)! Forgot to picture the wipes & Cheezits I used to complete both of these deals.

My favorite TP is Cottonelle.  My stock-up price is $0.30 a roll, but I used to think anything under $0.50 was a good deal — so this one might be worth checking out — even if you don’t have coupons!   With a Weis Deal this week & coupons, I stocked up for the next few months.  Pick the deal below that suits your needs:

You know your store counts shelf prices on items for Buy $X, get $X on your next order (OYNO) coupon:

Buy (3) 12-pk Cottonelle TP on sale for $6.49 ea (shelf price varies, but should be more than $7ea).
Pay $19.47 (shelf price higher than $21).

Get $7 OYNO coupon for spending $21.
Net total: 12.47 or$0.346/roll

Your store counts the sale price toward OYNO catalinas (or you’re not willing to risk a hassle — which is where I was!):

Buy (3) 12-pk Cottonelle TP on sale for $6.49 ea
Buy (1) Huggies 72 ct wipe – $1.99
Total: 21.46
Get $7 OYNO coupon for spending $21.
Net total: 14.46 or $0.401/roll + “FREE” WIPES

Use various coupons to sweeten the deal.  I had $1.00 Cottonelle coupons & a $0.75/1 wipes coupon too!  I actually did the deal 3 times (at two stores, so I didn’t clean anyone out!) and rolled the catalina.  Since I don’t usually shop at Weis, I used the $7 at the end to buy a few staples — 18 count eggs for $1.99??  Perfect for all the eggs we eat!  🙂

See the Kleenex tissue deal here.