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Extreme Couponing; Old Goals and New Goals

So, I’ve started a new hobby.  One that I’m finding rather fun even though it has nothing to do with gaming or computers (except in that I read blogs to help me find more deals).  There’s using coupons and there’s this.

I’m not an expert at it yet, but between matching coupons and sales, I saved over $40 last week.  Maybe more, I’d have to go through my receipts and I don’t feel like doing it at this time of morning.   I paid more than some of the girls whose blogs I’ve been reading.  BUT I’m paying less, in many cases much less than I have been.

I got 2 boxes of Tornadoes for free, 2 more for .99 cents.  I got 2 Healthy Choice meals for $1 each and 2 more for $1.50 each.  Lean Cuisine meals for $1.67 each (I didn’t get them at the store that doubled coupons for this weekend only), cups of yogurt for .32 cents each and jars of peanut butter for $1.20 each and a box of raisin bran for .50 cents.  I did get healthy food as well including a bunch of produce.  Overall, I paid about the same as I normally do but got almost 1/3 more food.  My fridge, freezer and cupboards are over-full, though I do need to pick up another bag of apples and more yogurt since we go through them so fast.  Even the 18 month old loves them.

On the other hand, I’ve gotten razors at Walgreens and received register rewards (like coupons good on the next purchase) back for more than I paid for the razors.  I did the same for womens body wash.  I’ve paid only tax for deodorant. Last Sunday I went to Walgreens and bought mens body wash and deodorant, I paid $4.97 and got $4.50 in register rewards.  This Sunday, I’ll be able to get 2 packages of diapers for $6 each before register rewards.  It’ll be about $4.50 each if you subtract the extra $3 in register rewards I’ll get for buying 2 packages at once.  I may get 4 packages of diapers simply because that’s the best price I’ve been able to get with any consistency so far.   I’ll probably get another set of body wash and deodorant because it’s not like my husband won’t use it and it never goes bad.  The same week I get the diapers, I’ll be able to combine coupons with the sale on toothpaste to get tubes of toothpaste for .24 cents each before tax, and I think that’s the week that I’ll be able to get hair ties for $3 and get $3 in register rewards, I’ll have to look at the circular after I finish my writing for the week.  The week of Father’s day, I’ll be able to pay $3 for mens body wash (Nivea) and get back $6 in register rewards.

I haven’t broken down all of the deals I’m going to be doing because I’ve been going week to week.  I know I have enough shaving cream to send some to my sister when I send her the afghan I knit for the baby.  I may send body wash since she can use it as bubble bath and she’s going to need it once she goes back to work in the next couple of weeks.

I can get more deodorant for just the sales tax at Dollar General this week, so I’m probably going to get some and donate it to the local women’s shelter.  It’s hard to justify not spending .50 cents for 4 sticks of deodorant when I know they desperately need personal care items.  I think the deodorant that my son always wanted me to get will also be free at Dollar General, I need to look at the ad… I don’t know if he’d want it now or if he’s found something better in the Marines.

I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do with the extra mens care items, but most of these I’ve been getting back more in register rewards than I’ve been paying out… Making money on transactions is very addicting.  LOL

My goal is to get my grocery bill down by 50%.  That means catching the sales and trying to stock up on the things we go through the most… like peanut butter (with apologies to the dear friend who hates the stuff lol).  I was supposed to get some cereal this weekend, but the only stuff they really had on sale was sugar cereal and since my hubby and I have been trying to watch what we eat (and since the kids don’t need the sugar) I held off.  I need to find some coupons for the stuff that’s healthy, or see how much it’d be to buy the healthy stuff at Wal-Mart with the coupons I do have… for Total and Fiber One… at least they’ll eat it with fruit on it.  I’ve been doing better at stores other than Wal-Mart because they don’t really have sales 😛  Oh yea, and because they don’t really have a whole lot of competition here and their prices are higher than in other areas.  I do read the deal pages on Wal-Mart and go there with the intention of doing those deals.  Instead I’m finding my prices are .50 cents to $1 higher than quoted on those pages with prices from central IL and other areas.   ‘Always Low Prices’ my butt.  Granted, they are lower on some things, but others their prices are much higher than I want to pay.  And with coupons, I’m able to pay less than I’d pay at Aldis for some stuff.

For those who say that it’s too expensive to drive to 3 or more stores… sorry, I can do those in one wide circle around town.  Go to one store, the next is on the way to the bread store… and if I decide to do Wal-Mart for something that’s past the bread store in the same direction and I can just loop around to go home.  All within 5 miles of my house.  When you shop the loss leaders with coupons it pays for the gas… Oh yea and drive a Honda Civic which is more fuel efficient than my old Buick (R.I.P.  I do miss that car even though it started needing more work than I could afford to put into it after I had to buy 4 new/used tires for it last summer because we kept getting flats, luckily I had the money on hand for various reasons)  Of course it also had more than 250k miles on it at only 11 years old LOL.  Too many trips back east in it… of course the last one of those was 2006 and I’d love to see my family again, but that’s another post for another day.  It’s well after 4 and I need to get back to sleep so I can get up for work in 3 hours and I’m starting to ramble because I’m tired.

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