As I've mentioned before, my new hobby is couponing.
It takes time and organization but I'm slowly getting the hang of it. Just like running, it is completely addicting. Saving 50% or more off your grocery bill? Awesome!
Of course, all this saving means I have been spending more. I can't keep doing that. The spending part, I mean. The saving, bring it on.
Actually, in retrospect most of the spending is because I broke two of the cardinal rules of grocery shopping: (1) Don't shop hungry, and (2) stick to the list. There were a lot of things that weren't on my list, weren't on sale and for which I didn't have a coupon that I tossed into my cart because I was both hungry and thirsty. Those impulse buys equated to nearly a third of my total purchases.
Some of the deals I scored:
If you "like" Walgreens on Facebook you can get a $5.00 off coupon good for Nature's Made calcium (100-130 ct). I was able to print two, although you can only use one per customer -- I'm going to go back and see if it works again because this was a great deal. The calcium/magnesium/zinc 120 ct was $5.49, meaning I got this for $0.49. I've heard some other shoppers finding it on sale for $4.99 making it free. Can't beat that!
Pedigree canned dog food -- the stuff my dogs threaten to slit my throat for if I don't feed it to them twice a day -- was on sale 10 for $7, making it $0.70 a can. It's on sale at PetSmart right now for $1.00 a can and regularly $1.10 a can but I have seen this as high as $1.69 per can. With a combination of coupons I was able to buy 22 cans for $8.80 or $0.40 per can. Plus this was one of Albertson's summer promo items; each marked item gets you one playing card containing four playing pieces plus a coupon. The playing pieces go on a board, kind of like McDonald's monopoly game, and if you get all the pieces per prize you get that prize. Grand prize is $250,000. I got 22 playing cards just from the dog food.
I also got a different brand of canned dog food at Target. Between sale prices and coupons, I got 22 cans for $15.25. Not as good of a deal as at Alberton's but I figure I'm set for canned dog food for close to a year.
I found hair color on clearance at Albertson's. Three were normally $9.99 and one was normally $8.99. They were marked down to $6.50 and $5.75, respectively. I had 3 $2 off coupons plus one $1 off coupon. Total retail price usually $38.96 and I got them for $18.25 for a savings of 53%. I'll either give them all to my mom or use one myself.
At Target, between the sale price and a coupon I got 40 lbs of Pedigree dry dog food for $16.99. I just checked PetSmart's website and right now you can get a 20 lb bag for $12.99.
The challenge is a blast. There are plenty of couponing blogs that do much of the work for you to match up coupons to sales. I got Nivea lotion for $1.54 down from $4.54. Sure deodorant for $0.50. Colgate pro whitening toothpaste plus a toothbrush for $1.24. Sally Hansen nail polish for $1.14 each. Four of those big bottles of shampoo -- a good brand too - for $1.84 each after you factor in the $5.00 Target gift card I got for buying them. In my first two weeks of couponing I've saved $196 and had a lot of fun. Try it, you might like it!