Sunday, October 2, 2011

Couponing for Charity: where, oh where did you go?

Hi there, faithful followers. For those who have been checking weekly for my Couponing for Charity posts, I apologize if you've been disappointed. I've backed off a bit from couponing lately for a number of reasons.

A. The deals just aren't as plentiful as they were a year or two ago. The stores have realized that a lot more customers are into couponing and have perhaps scaled back on the goodies they offer.

B. The deals are often scooped up by other eager couponers before I typically make my rounds Tuesday morning. There's nothing more frustrating than scanning the blogs, gathering the coupons, trekking to the store and not being able to buy anything. Even if I get a raincheck, the goods are often not restocked before my coupons expire.

C. The demands of my family pull me in other directions. Coupons always take a backseat to my family time.

D. TLC's show Extreme Couponing has given the rest of us a bad name and have made hoarding an acceptable practice. Not ok!

E. When my local Walgreen's was robbed at 2:00pm on a weekday, I started questioning whether getting a good deal was worth a threat to my safety. I hope this was a random incident, but you never know.

So I decided to only post when the compelling deals worked for me personally. Hopefully this will serve as a good test of when couponing might work into your busy schedule as well.

My favorite store for deals is by far CVS.
For all the match-ups for 10/2-8, check out Southern Savers.
For a pared down list, check out Coupon Katie or Real Housewives Clip Coupons.

Make sure you sign up for a free $2ECB by pledging not to be a money trasher. It will be emailed to you. The videos are clever. I liked the mousetrap one best.

And before you begin any trip at CVS, scan your ExtraCare card at the kiosk for extra coupons. Today I received an unexpected $1.50ECB and $.50 off M&Ms I was already planning to buy. Woo hoo!

So here's what I bought:

Transaction #1:
5 packages of M&Ms harvest mix (make sure you're getting the right kind; not all M&Ms qualify). Each package was $2.50; spend $12, get $5ECB.
  • Used $1/2 MC, $1.50/2 printable, and $.50 CVS coupon noted above. The pretzyl M&Ms do not qualify; so I couldn't use the $1 coupon.
  • Also used $1.50 and $2.00ECBS noted above and $4.79 in ECBs from previous trips.
Total spent: $2.04
ECB earned: $5
Total savings: $18.74

Transaction #2
2 Oral-B satin floss ($3 each, earn $2ECB when you buy 2, used 2 $2 MC=both free); limit 2
2 Reach toothbrush two packs ($3.99 each, $4ECB when you buy 2, used 2 $2 printables=4 toothbrushes for free); limit 2
  • Also used $5ECB from previous transaction
Total spent: $2.27
ECBs earned: $6
Total savings: $19.58

WALGREEN'S has some deals this week but they continue to frustrate me with not having goods in stock or the register rewards not printing properly. Unless I really need their deals, I pass.

KROGER has good deals on meat this week but not much for the couponer. With one exception:
  • Clif and Luna bars are on sale for $1. I have a $.50 coupon for Luna bars and several catalinas for Clif bars, including $1.50/4 and one free bar. I'll be stocking up.
One final note on couponing and helping others. Despite my frustrations, I continue to seek out sales and stock my charity pile whenever I can. There are several members of my church who regularly give me coupons and I'm hoping to have a lot to contribute to our Stuff a Stocking drive near Christmas. Thanks to them, it's a team effort.

Also, I continue to take the coupons I won't use to the Karns Library. I hear that many people look forward to gathering coupons from that and it's a fun way to share the savings. I encourage you to do the same at your library or throughout the stores you frequent. Happy Couponing!

1 comment:

  1. Yes! I'm in a similar boat, and also I do not currently live close to a major grocery store. I can't zip over to Kroger 5 minutes away to get only the items on sale. Additionally, I don't have storage space where I am, so I can't stockpile much. I only keep a few things around right now, and I still pull from previous piles--e.g. I have 4-5 deodorants remaining. Lately, I'm focusing more on buying less, being careful about not consuming too much gas, etc...