I do a LOT of couponing. Walmart is a good place to coupon-shop because they carry a wide variety of products. Today at Walmart I got free lotion (3 cents back), free shampoo (actually made $1.30 on that one), free hand cream (1 cent back), Free dishwashing rinsing agent, progresso soup for 40 cents a can, bandaids for 88 cents, kotex pads free.. and also used coupons on various other things.
I also shop at Walgreens for many things. I haven’t paid for OTC meds, HBA or household cleaners in months. In fact, I have been able to donate toothpaste, toothbrushes, cold meds, pain relievers, shampoo, lotion, feminine hygiene things, cleaning supplies and other items to the local shelter because I got them for free – all perfectly legal and factored into the advertising plans of the Walgreens corporate marketing departments. CVS is equally good, but we don’t have one here.
This is a good month to shop at Walgreens. Lots of sales and rebates – you get their rebates by entering your cash register receipt online. If you have the rebates put on a Walgreens gift card instead of by check, you get an additional 10% bonus. I usually get about $30 each month. Last month was less. This month will be more. I get great razors there – those really cool 5-blade ones with battery operated trimmers on the other end. DH and sons (and both DILs) like those. If there are good coupons, as there are this week, I actually make a profit on them.
It’s not exactly a matter of buying something you don’t need. It’s learning to use what is available. We need shampoo. A few months ago, between the sales, rebates and coupons, Pert was free. We have enough Pert to last for three months. I donated more. That’s what shampoo the guys are using. DILs and I got the good stuff (also free, of course, but why share with guys whose hair is only 1″ long????) We have top quality toothpaste of all different kinds. If we eat cereal, we eat the kind that is cheap-to-free. If we eat canned soup, it is usually Progresso lately because that is what has been on sale and they have been doing a lot of coupons. The guys use a soap that is really intended for kids. They don’t care – we got it for free. (And really, they like it a lot!)
I also get a lot of freebies by mail. A LOT. The HBA samples are especially nice for traveling. I get free diaper samples sometimes… and I can’t tell you how often that has come in handy when we have little ones visiting!! The little packages of OTC drugs are handy to have in the purse. The food items are usually fun snacky things that I can put into packed lunches. Almost every day, I get something fun in the mail. I haven’t noticed any corresponding increase in junk mail, either. I do use a hotmail email address instead of our main one when I sign up for things, so my inbox doesn’t fill up with spam.
This is the website that helped me most – http://www.moneysavingmom.com
I still go there every day to see what is on sale and how to find the coupons to coordinate. It’s worth an hour or so of my time each week. Here is the direct link to her post on Walgreens this week: http://www.moneysavingmom.com/money_saving_mom/2009/02/walgreens-deals-for-the-week-of-february-814-2009.html . Here is her article on how to “Shop Walgreens”: http://www.moneysavingmom.com/money_saving_mom/2008/03/ive-been-shoppi.html
There are other websites, too, many of which I have found through hers. If you are a forum junkie like me, you might find this one helpful: http://forum.couponmom.com/ or this one: http://www.hotcouponworld.com/forums/
Tomorrow, I will show you my slightly over-the-top WAY COOL COUPON BINDER.