What do you think I paid for these products? The total before coupons was $37.20 (including sales tax). Total after? Only $14.84! Plus, I received an $8 coupon for my next purchase which brings the net down to $6.84. The eye drops alone cost more than that! And, the Reynolds Wrap is a 75 sq. ft. roll! Here’s a breakdown of each product and the original cost.
- Russel Stover’s Chocolate Heart 2/$1
- Blink Tears $7.99
- M&M’s Plain (12.6 oz bag) $2.50
- M&M’s Peanut (12.6 oz bag) $2.50
- Reynolds Wrap (75 sq.ft.) $3.79
- AXE Body Spray $5.79
- AXE Body Spray $5.79
- Nature Made Vitamin D $4.99
After watching extreme couponing shows and visiting various websites, I decided to give it a try. I’ve always used coupons, but never could figure out how these extreme couponers were able to buy so much for so little. The secret? Combining store coupons with manufacturer’s coupons. I purchased all of these items at Walgreen's. I combined Walgreen's store coupons with manufacturers coupons. The easiest example of this is the AXE Body Spray.
Walgreen's had AXE products on sale. You could buy one and get one at 50% off. I had a manufacturer’s coupon that was buy one, get one free up to $5.99. The two products I chose were $5.79 each. But, with the Walgreen’s sale, one was 50% off, so it only cost $2.90. Then, I received an additional $5.79 off with my manufacturer’s coupon. The net cost for both products was $2.90. I’m not sure what this product retails for at some of the super discount stores, but I’m willing to bet it’s more than $2.90.
Maybe I was naive, but I had no idea that you could combine these coupons. The first time I tried it, I was sure the clerk would laugh at me. Combining coupons, I picked up Stayfree sanitary napkins (28 count) for .49 cents! In that same shopping trip, I received a $5 Walgreen's coupon for my next purchase and two coupons for additional ‘free’ products to try that were worth $7.99 each. It was like they gave me $21!
Since then, it’s become a game to see how much I can save while stocking up on products that I use on a regular basis. I want you to be able to do this too. Once you try, you’ll see it really doesn’t take that much extra time. And, just think of the fun you can have figuring out how to spend your savings. So, here are a few tips.
- Watch their weekly ad for coupons and sales. You can also check out their website for these ads if you don’t subscribe to the newspaper. When you first go into the store, they have stacks of their weekly ads next to the shopping cart.
- Read the Walgreen's coupons carefully. Most of the time you can use the same coupon for more than one product. Let’s say you have a Walgreen’s coupon for Dawn dish washing liquid for .99 cents a bottle with a limit of 3. That means you can buy 3 for .99 cents each using the Walgreen's coupon. Then, you combine it with your 3 manufacturer’s coupons which are .50 cents each. So, each bottle actually costs you .49 cents.
- Read the ads carefully and look for products that will give you cash back for the next Walgreen's purchase. This can range from $1 to $10 depending on the product. You probably already have a manufacturer’s coupon for these products. It’s like being paid to shop!
- Your total coupons cannot exceed the total products. Let’s say you only buying those 3 bottles of dish washing liquid. Well, you have 3 products, but 4 coupons (1 Walgreen's and 3 manufacturer’s). So, you need to buy one more product – like a candy bar. I did that recently. I had a candy bar coupon that was buy one get one free. That brought the total coupon count to 5 and product count to 5 so all was good. Did I mention I like chocolate? I really don’t need a reason to buy it, but a coupon always helps!
- Watch the ads for sales on grocery items like soup and tuna. Walgreen's usually has good sales and prices on these.
- Watch the expiration dates on your manufacturer’s coupons. Wait to combine them with the sales at Walgreen's. I haven’t been doing this long, but have read that grocery and discount stores usually do their sales in cycles. So, after about 3 months we should have a good idea of when certain products go on sale to take advantage of the most savings.
- Remember, just because a product is cheap, on sale, or has a coupon doesn’t mean it’s a good deal. I only buy something that I will use or a product that I want to try.
I’ve tried the same strategy at Kroger with groceries. But, that’s a blog post for another day. I hope you find this helpful and start saving soon! Let me know how you do.