Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Couponing for Charity 6/20-26 & Update #14

Sorry for the delay in this post. Just the typical duties of caring for three children full-time and making family life a priority. I did make it to CVS and Walgreen's on Sunday, and here's what I found.

For the best freebies, head to Walgreen's, but if you need diapers, go to CVS. Click here for Southern Saver's Walgreen's match-ups. Click here for Coupon Katie's picks. And here are a few of my lessons learned that might save you some time and effort in the future.

Lesson #1: Since it was Father's Day and I didn't want to leave hubby with the kids to shop, I asked if I could just "run in." When you're trying to work the deals, there's no such thing as "just running in." I returned to a harumphed husband and antsy kids and decided not to do that again.

Lesson #2: Don't rely on hang tags to give you all the deals. My Walgreen's rarely has the tags on the weekly register rewards deals. That can be good because the deals are still there; it's bad because you're second guessing yourself, making sure you got the product that qualifies. Make sure you grab a weekly ad when you walk in to check the product.

Lesson #3: If the deal seems phenomenal, you probably won't get it. Sorry. I was excited to read about the Neutragena deal that could be a $7.78 money maker. Maybe other stores have them, but I searched several places with no luck.

Lesson #4: Have a system for handling your coupons and stick with it. I usually have my stack of coupons that I'll probably use in my hand. As I add an item to the cart, I put the coupon in my pocket. I did that with two of my coupons and then got rushed, sensing anxiety in the car outside. When I got to the register, I couldn't find two coupons. Not thinking clearly, I put the products aside and realized my mistake when I got home. Ugh!

Lesson #5: Only do multiple transactions if necessary. I had planned two transactions so that I could use a RR from one for the other but then couldn't find my coupons. So I ended up taking twice as long with two customers behind me tapping their feet all for nothing. Ugh!

Lesson #6: Check your stockpile beforehand to make sure you don't buy something you don't need. I bought crackers for $1 with one of my $1RR, only to realize I had four full boxes in the pantry.

After all that, did I accomplish anything or get anything right?! Well, yes. I managed to spend the register rewards that were expiring that day on small items like crackers and dental floss. I picked up my free photo collage for Father's Day, our Sunday paper and these two freebies:

1 Bausch and Lomb Renu multi-purpose solution (on sale for $7.50; get $7.50RR)--I've read enough bloggers saying how good it is to have this on hand that I'll be keeping this one.
1 Herbal Essences shampoo ($2.99; get $2RR)
Used $2 Renu printable (made it a $2 money maker)
Used $1/1 Herbal Essences (made it free)
Used $11RR from previous trips

Total spent: $3.77
Total saved: $20.99
RR for next time: $9.50

UPDATE 6/25: I did manage to sneak in another trip to Walgreen's this week to pick up the following:

Transaction #1:
1 Rephresh tampons ($5.99; get $5RR)
2 Gillette body wash ($4.49; get $4.50RR)
1 Herbal Essences shampoo ($2.99; get $2RR)
--Used $1/1 Rephresh coupon (making it free)
--Used a B1G1 Gillette coupon (making both free)
--Used $1/1 Herbal Essences coupon (making that free)
--Used $7.50RR from last trip
Total Spent: $5.63
RR for next time: $11.50

Transaction #2:
1 Rephresh tampons ($5.99; get $5RR)
1 Herbal Essences conditioner ($2.99; get $2RR)
1 caramel for filler ($.34)
--Used $1/1 Rephresh coupon (making it free)
--Used $1/1 Herbal Essences coupon (making that free)
--Used $4.50RR from first transaction
Total Spent: $3.68
RR for next time: $7

For Southern's Saver's CVS match-ups, click here. For Coupon's Katie's picks, click here. CVS was much faster (I did that one first) because I got 4 items:

1 large box of Huggies diapers ($20; get $10ECB) (tip: Coupon Katie advises you ask for a raincheck if they're out)
1 Colgate Total ($2.99; get $2ECB)
2 Powerbars ($1; get $1ECB each)
--Used $3 Huggies printable (tip: Southern Savers said there were further discounts printing on some CVS receipts, but I haven't seen that.)
--Used $1/1 Colgate (making it free)
--Used $12ECB from previous trips

Total spent: $11.24
Total saved: $20.90
Total ECBs for next time: $14

Since I don't donate every good deal I get, here's what is going to charity:

Total products to donate this week: 2 shampoo, 1 conditioner, 1 box of tampons, 2 body wash, 1 toothpaste, 1 box of crackers
Total value of these products: $28.90 ($9 for shampoo, $6 for tampons, $9 for body wash, $3.90 for toothpaste, $1 for crackers--not sure of non sale prices for most goods)
Total spent for these products: $1 (everything but the crackers were free with coupons; even though I used a $1RR for the crackers, that savings was calculated in a previous purchase)

Total products to donate to date: 6 tubes toothpaste, 5 deodorants, 2 bars of soap, 1 hand soap, 2 dish soap, 14 body wash, 5 shampoo, 2 conditioner, 1 razor, 1 heat wrap, 5 feminine care, 1 box of tampons, 1 lip balm, 2 toothbrushes, 1 barrette, 1 box of tissues, 1 box of vitamins, 2 boxes of cereal, 1 box of crackers
Total value of products to date: $195.93
Total spent to date: -$16.70

What deals did you find this week?

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