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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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).

 

 

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.

Cheap Diapers at CVS

If you’re in need of diapers, especially if you like Pampers, the basic deal is buy 7 packs of Pampers ($8.99 each, the 7th will be free if you have 2-3 days between transactions) and get 2-$10 gift cards for spending $30 (x2) on select items.  You’ll have to do two visits b/c the free coupon takes a few days to print.  Even without coupons, this is a pretty good deal!
The gift card choices might vary by region/store, but my ad shows a CVS gift card (better than ECB b/c it can be broken down into smaller amount and doesn’t expire!!), an American Express (yeah– use it anywhere like to buy groceries) or a few stores/restaurants (great for Christmas presents!).

Here’s the breakdown:

Transaction 1:
Buy 6 packs of diapers @8.99 each: $53.94
buy before Thursday (I’m not exactly sure how long it takes for the free diapers to print — be on the safe side and buy them today or Wednesday!)
Use (3) $1.50/2 coupons from the 10/2 P&G
Pay $49.44
Get $10 gift card

Wait a few days and do transaction 2:
1 pack of diapers
FREE! (this coupon prints at the coupon machine — print it before you get to the register)
Get $10 gift card

Total OOP: $49.44, get (2) $10 gift cards = Net: $29.44 for 7 jumbo packs of Pampers ($4.20 a pack or, if I remember packaging sizes, I think this boils down to $0.08 for a size 1 to $0.13/size 4)

A few other notes:

  • I have not tried this yet, but I’m assuming (based on past purchases) that the 7th pack, even though free, will still trigger the second gift card b/c you purchased the item and the free coupon is a CVS coupon that will come off later.  Proceed at your own risk!  (I plan to go to the store today…)
  • Check out the ad for other things you might want to combine with this deal — you can earn up to 5 gift cards a week!  I already have 1 free coupon, so I’m actually going to do a modified version this deal, buying WISK detergents as well.
  • If you wanted less OOP, buy 4 first to trigger the first gift card ($35.96 – $3.00 in coupons = $32.96, get $10 gift card)  Buy 2 more and use the first gift card ($17.98 – $1.50 in coupon – $10 gift card = $6.48).  Wait a few days, “buy” free one, get $10 gift card.  The net is the same, but you’ll have only put out $39.44 and have only (1) $10 gift card left.

Today’s finds

Hi all,

I wrote these deals I found today in an email to a more famous *ahem* blogger and thought I’d post them with pics here.

1) I found a mail-in-rebate for P&G (including Pampers) in the aisle at Weis (see attached picture). No mention that it needs to be purchased at Weis. It seems like this would make the Giant Pampers deal this week even better.

2) I found Huggies wipes with shea butter (64 ct) on clearance for $.87 each at CVS after a tip that they were on clearance but unmarked from a Hip2Save reader. I used the .50/1 coupons from the 8/14 SS and got 4 packs for $1.48 after using 4 coupons.

3) The Pampers Splashers are in the 90% CVS summer clearance. I got 2 boxes which each rang up at $1.24 then used the $1.50/2 from the latest PG insert and got two boxes for $.98 ($.49 for one pack of 24 diapers).


4) I found Waverly plates at Weis on the paper plates shelf but with no tag. I had the cashier scan them and they rang up at $1.49 – really cheap with the recent $.75/1 coupons.com coupon and free depending on how your store doubles.

5) Edy’s ice cream at Weis is CHEAP even without coupons. Ours our shelf priced at $6.99 (but Weis prices and ads vary greatly depending on your location). If your shelf price is $6.99, you only need to buy two at the $3.33 price to get you over the $12 and to get the $4 OYNO coupon. I used a $1/2 coupon I had from the 6/12 SS. So $6.66 for two, -1 MFR = 5.66 for two, get $4 OYNO = 1.66 for two with coupon or 2.66 for 2 without coupon if your self price is like mine.

I attached a pic of my receipt for the ice cream deal with the $4 OYNO that printed. Important: works once in transactions. I did the deal twice with two separate transactions.

Did you ever leave the store smiling so hard your face hurt?

CVS Deals – 6/19-6/25

Here are some CVS deals this week:

Power Energy Bites – $2.49 (limit 1)
Get $2.49 ECB
Net total: Free

Hershey’s Bliss – $5.99 (limit 1)
Use $1 newspaper coupon
Get $5.99 ECB
Net total:  $1 MM

Colgate Toothpaste – $2.59 (limit 2)
Use $1 newspaper coupon
Get $2.00 ECB
Net total:  $0.41 MM
This deal is also on toothbrushes and there is a $1/2 coupon that you could use to get 2 toothbrushes for free.

In addition, there are different regional costs for this.  Hip2Save’s post says the amount is $2.79.

Gain detergent – $0.97
Use $1 coupon from P&G savings booklet
Net total: free

Scotch tape – BOGOF  (my store price was $2.19)
Use $1 3M printable coupons (pdf file, no limit on prints)
Net total:  2 for $0.19 — Your price may vary depending upon region and the type of tape you buy — either way, it’s cheap!

Check out the whole list of deals on Hip2Save’s post here.

Oh, and make sure your birthday is registered with your ExtraCare card; I got a $3 ECB coupon today in my email for my birthday — Yee-haw!