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.

Advertisements

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.

 

jcp Cash

Good news! Today in the mail I received a flier from JC Penney that included $10 of jcp cash good on any purchase $10 and above. Keep your eye out for this flier – it’s $10 free. I usually go buy a piece or two of kids’ clothing on clearance. If you are local, received this flier, and won’t use it, please donate it to me! 🙂

Good deal on custom books

I’m back! I have successfully defended my dissertation and after a few edits will be completely finished with my Ph.D. 🙂 What that means for this blog is more regular updates from Leslie.

Today I write with a deal on custom books from Picaboo via Groupon. I have used Picaboo a few times now to make books and have been very happy with the result. In this today-only deal, you pay $35 for $100 worth of Picaboo products. Groupon is Ebates’ “Daily Deal” today, so you can make this deal even better by going to the Groupon site via Ebates and get 6% cash back.

Kimberly-Clark Rebate

I read on another blog (can’t remember which one) about this rebate for certain Kimberly-Clark items. Spend $25 in one transaction, get $5; spend $40, get $10 back.  It says participating retailers, but they aren’t listed.  I’m assuming Rite Aid is a participating retailer.

If you bought more than 3 Huggies diapers at Rite Aid last week, you can mail it in!  I wish I had seen it before I went shopping… I bought 4 and only spent $35.96; I could have bought another pack of diapers for no extra cost with this rebate.  Bummer!

*This rebate is still available for things purchased through March 5 if you want to shop this week.  I’m not sure if this matches with any deals, though.

Recent deals & coupons

Here is a rundown of my favorite coupons and deals floating around on the couponing websites these days. Enjoy!

Deals:

  • Free Spicy Chicken Biscuit at Chik-fil-a
  • Stayfree coupons for next weeks’ deal at Rite Aid here and here
  • Free 5×7 14 page photo book from Kodak Gallery details here.
  • Free Coupon Booklet in the mail from Home Made Simple
  • Extra 40% off all clearance clothing you can fit in a bag at Toys/Babies ‘R Us with this coupon.
  • Free subscription to American Baby and Baby Talk magazines here (Bonus: they have the Amazon.com diaper coupons that are all the rave at the moment).
  • Free movie at Blockbuster Express Kiosks located at Sheetz gas stations using code SHTZFR1 through 1/10/11

Coupons: