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.

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