Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cheap Batteries Just in Time for Christmas!

With Christmas approaching I've been on the lookout for some good battery deals.  I used to buy my batteries at Costco, but recently I've found that I can get them cheaper with coupons at other stores.

For example, CVS sells 4 AA/AAA batteries for $4.99 - at full price it's a rip off for sure! Last week CVS had these batteries on sale for $2.99.  I had coupons for $1.50 off any Duracell batteries which brought the cost down to $1.50 each.  They also were running a promotion where you'd get $5 in ExtraCare Bucks if you purchase $15 in Duracell batteries. 

So I bought 5 packs (total cost $14.95 - CVS will accept a few cents shy of the amount).  I also used 5 $1.50 coupons for a total $7.50 off, which brought the total down to $7.45.  I then received $5 of ExtraCare Bucks, bringing my net cost down to $2.45 for 20 batteries.  Not bad, and definitely cheaper than Costco. 

Now we'll be all set for batteries for Christmas presents!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Try, Try Again...

I bought some items for Christmas from Target.  Two days after purchasing them, I got the following two coupons:
  • "get a $15 gift card when you spend $150" and
  • "get a $10 gift card when you spend $50"
Both coupons clearly state that they cannot be used on previous purchases.  Bummer!

Well I went to Target to see if I could return the items, and then do a new purchase with the coupons in order to abide by the rules of the coupon.  Well this would have worked perfectly except for the fact that they were sold out of one of the items.  They would not let me return mine and then immediately repurchase it.  They explained the item would have to be held for 24 hours and then reshelved.  Ugh.  I left.

I decided to go again later that night and try my luck with a different customer service agent.  I was honest with her and told her I had been there earlier and what I had been told.  This one told me she thought the 24 hour rule was stupid and did the return/re-purchase right on the spot.  So my out-of-pocket cost stayed the same and I left with a $25 gift card.  Of course I then turned around and spent it on more items for Christmas, but that's OK.  My all-cash Christmas is a reality this year!  :)

The lesson here is that you can different results with different cashiers.  If at first you don't succeed.... you know the rest.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Too Overwhelmed To Try Couponing?

A few months ago a good friend of mine expressed some interest in couponing.  When I checked in with him about it recently he reported that he was too overwhelmed by the whole process and decided not to try. 

Feeling overwhelmed is a common emotion I hear from new couponers.  It can seem overwhelming at first, especially if you've watched Extreme Couponing because that level of couponing is a full-time job. 

To borrow an analogy from Dave Ramsey - you don't start out skiing on Aspen Mountain.  You start on the bunny slope.  You're not going to be an expert right away and that's ok - just don't give up.

You can't start extreme couponing on your first day.  Start by collecting 4 sets of coupons every week and organizing them.  After a few weeks of collecting coupons, pick ONE store to start with.  Learn their coupon policies and find a good sales/coupon matchup site for that store online.  Stick with that one store while you build your coupons and your confidence.

Couponing is not hard, folks!  You can do it!  Just start out small and give it a try.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Some Great Buy 1 Get 1 Free Deals

One Sunday last month a bunch of Buy 1 Get 1 Free (B1G1) coupons appeared in the inserts.  Gotta love B1G1 coupons.  At the minimum, it's an automatic 50% off.  Pair it with a sale for an even better deal.  Several of the B1G1 coupons I had were for razors and shaving cream.  As you know, I have a stockpile so I didn't desperately need either of those items, but I cut the coupons anyway.  As tempting as it was to use them on the first sale that came around, I didn't.  Again, because I had enough in my stockpile that I had the luxury of waiting for a better deal. 

Well, lo and behold, last week I was shopping at the grocery store and stumbled upon a B1G1 sale on razors and shaving cream.  Somehow I had completely missed that this sale was happening, but dug into my coupons and found what I was looking for.  The B1G1 sale paired with a B1G1 coupon results in 2 free products at most stores (but not all).

I had 10 of these coupons and walked away with 20 free products.  I could have gotten them at 60-70% off if I had used them during the original sale, which would be awesome, but free is ALWAYS better!