Monday, June 27, 2011

Money Matters Mondays: Rite Aid and I need a spare husband and kids

I did my part to save money this past week:  I couponed, I bought lunch on my office credit card, and I worked over 50 hours. 

I am so tired.

So, a quick little example of how you too can save big moolah by using coupons.  Here's my Sunday Rite Aid trip:

2 Excedrin PM at $1.99/each
-used 2 $1.00/1 coupons

2 Stayfree MaxiPads at $2.50/each
- used 1 BOGO coupon (if you have a Y chromosome, that means buy one get one free)
- used 1 $1.00/1 coupon

2 Xtra laundry detergents at $1.99/each
- used 1 $1.00/2 coupon

The retail total was $11.46, $6.46 after coupons.  I used $6.00 in +Up rewards from last week; +Up rewards are money off your next purchase that you get for buying certain products.  That brought the total out of pocket to $0.46 plus $4.00 in new +Up rewards -- and I still had $2.00 in +Up rewards leftover from last week.  The trick is to combine coupons with the products where you'll get +Up rewards.  I'm running low on night time moisturizer so I may use my +Up rewards soon to knock down the price on that (something you'll never get for under $1.00).

I should have 17+ hours of overtime on Friday's paycheck.  Hopefully I'll have enough extra to get me comfortably through the month on cash only.

With all of the printing of the coupons, I was out of ink at home.  I saw that Staples had a promo where you could get a free eco bag -- you know, the reusable shopping bag.  Usually you have to buy the bag.  Everything that you put in the bag -- and I think this is always, not just for this promo -- you got 15% off.  Plus there was a second promo where you got $4.00 per ink cartridge and 20% rewards back when you bought $50.00 or more in HP ink.  And guess what kind of printer I have?  Let's just say I went digging through my wastebasket to pull out the used cartridges.  I recycled six cartridges and I bought around $70.00 in HP ink (I paid around $60 out of pocket after the 15% bag discount).   That should give me $24.00 back on the cartridges and around $14.00 for the rewards.  That means Staples is going to be sending me a check in about a month for $38.00!!  And the program is free!  Why aren't more people doing this?

I have had people kind of be negative about couponing in general -- that you're taking money from the stores.  But that is absolutely not true.  Look at a coupon:  the store gets reimbursed for the coupon amount plus a handling fee, usually around $0.08.  So one, the store is making money.  Two, roughly 3% of all coupons issued are ever actually redeemed.  It might be a little higher now with the recent coupon publicity but still.  Three, people are in shopping.  That's helping the economy.  And lastly, and most important, YOU are saving your hard-earned money.

You should really look into this if you have a family.  There are a gazillion coupons out there for cereal and for diapers.  I don't eat grains (usually, ahem) and don't have kids, in diapers or otherwise.  Yogurt is another big one I see, but I don't eat yogurt any more either.  You can get toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, body wash, toothpaste -- all for pennies or even for free.  I've had to rein in buying certain things, because as I've mentioned previously a couple of bottles of shampoo will last me a couple of years.  But if you have other people in your household?  Cut a few coupons, read up on a few coupon-matching sites (they do 95% of the work for you), and then GO SAVE.

the CilleyGirl


  1. You cracked me up with your BOGO/Y-Chromosome comment!

    I need to start taking tips from you. I mean with driving up to Portland every other weekend, I need to use coupons on everything else so I can afford the gas!

  2. Thanks for your follow Cilley.

    This is B from Fashionista Diaries and I'm a fellow runner, can't wait to read more of your blog, so far a couple of posts in.

    Sounds like you're in the US? We're located in Canada but am originally from the US. Couponing is not as good here, I guess we don't have the population to support it -- or a Target in Western Canada for that matter ;-)