Saturday, May 2, 2009

Frugal Living

It has been several months since I've blogged. My time has been spent couponing. I am so addicted to finding bargains and great deals. Deals as in FREE. It all started after a trip to Walmart and $80 later for my purchase of a few tolieteries. I thought this is crazy to spend so much money a month on every day items. That is when I joined the world of couponing. Here is the low down. My favorite place to shop is CVS. If you don't have have a CVS card, get one and register it online for free. Weekly, CVS will email you a coupon to use. Here is a great explaination on shopping and using your extra care bucks (ECB) at CVS. The object is to purchase products that generate ECB and then use those ECB to generate more ECB. Have I lost you yet? It sounds confusing at first, but it actually very simple once you do it. Thanks to the internet it is simple to find these great deals. Deal Seeking Mom, Bargain Briana, Centsible Sawyer, and I heart CVS are great places to find the CVS deals of the week and other frugal tips.

Where do I find coupons? The Sunday paper of course, and a magazine called ALL YOU. It's only sold at Walmart. It's $2.24 and has lots of great coupons. There are subscriptions like here. Read this article to better understand coupons. The key to great savings and getting free items is using the coupons when the item is on clearance or to make a ECB deals even cheaper. For example, I purchased Adidas Action 3 deodorant on clearance for $1.24, I used $1.00 coupon making the price .24c, then after the purchase I received $2.00 ECB making this deal better than free.

There are so many ways to organize coupons. I use the binder method. I have a three ring binder (1 1/2in). I use dividers to separate each category and baseball card pocket pages to store the coupons. I did not start off with this method, I started with the envelope method until my coupon collection became so large that I could not find what I needed.

These are the categories I use:
baby items
candles/air fresheners
cleaning supplies
detergent (laundry, dishwasher)
eye care
facial care/razors
hair care
misc (batteries, toys, etc.)
oral care
paper/plastic (toliet paper, paper towels, trash bags, zip locks..)
soaps/lotions (hand soap, body wash)

Then groceries:
canned food
frozen food

How to use the coupons at CVS:

Read here to better understand the CVS game to saving lots of green.

It is important to hand the cashier the coupons in this order:

Make sure the cashier scans your ExtraCare Card. Then it’s important that you present your coupons in exactly this order to maximize your savings – CVS dollar off transaction coupons (if you have one; example: $5 off purchase of $15), CVS store coupons/manufacturer coupons, and finally your ECBs. If you present your dollar off coupons after your manufacturer and store coupons, your total transaction amount may not be high enough to allow the system to accept the coupon.

Here is the items I got from CVS today:

Spend $15 and Get $5 ECB when you buy John Frieda, Jergens, Curel, or Biore.

John Frieda Shampoo, Conditioner or Stylers, $5
I purchased one shampoo and one conditioner
Used two $2/1 John Frieda coupon (SS 4/5)

Curel Ultra Healing Lotion $7
Used $1/1 Curel Lotion

Colgate MaxWhite or MaxFresh $2.99 Get $2 ECB (limit 2)
-$1/1 (4/19 or 4/26 SS)
-$1/1 (All You May '09)

I recieved $5 ECB for John Frieda/Curel and $4 ECB for Colgate
Used $11 ECB, paid OOP $6.05, and received $9 ECB

This is not the greatest example, but these are items we needed.

1 comment:

mandal said...

You explained that so good! I am so excited to start this. I bought t.p. for $5.88/ECB $1 and Adidas deo for $3.99/ECB $3. So I spent $10 and received $4 ECB. I am still a little overwhelmed/confused, but it is so much fun! We need to get together and plan out a shopping trip!