This Mommy Runs on Caffeine

This Mommy Runs on Caffeine

December 10, 2009

I Stole From Target and Safeway

That one caught your attention! I didn’t really steal- just feel like I did after scoring some really awesome deals using coupons and ‘secret’ in-store sales. Just a warning: if you see me in the checkout line ahead of you at a grocery store or one of the box stores, you may want to change lines because I am one of "those" people- I use coupons!! Do you know that only 1% of America uses coupons? I don’t know if there is a stigma attached to being a ‘coupon-clipper’ but at this point, I really don’t care- I saved $36 at Target last night and nearly $25 at Safeway the night before that. Hmm…. What should we do with that $61???

My new role of “Mom” has also relegated me to be a frugalista. Not that I haven’t always loved a good deal- I try to never pay full price for anything- it just seems that my newest hobby is coupon clipping and I love the challenge of finding a good deal.
Shopping with me drives my husband crazy, that is, until he sees the price drop from $130 to $80 at the check-out register! I think that the extra time that I spend clipping and searching for deals is worth it.  Although the time is cut down immensely when I use websites- mostly fellow bloggers- that have lists upon lists of the good deals, so most of my time is spent riffling through the coupons that I have while I’m actually in the store. I am planning on organizing these more into a binder within the next few weeks, so hopefully this time will be cut down immensely.

Now are coupons used on stuff that I will actually use? Of course- I don’t typically purchase something just to see how it will look in my house. Are coupons always the best deal? No, not always; sometimes the store brands or lesser known name brands are still cheaper without the coupons, but sometimes, the quality isn’t always the same, so if you end up tossing that item, ultimately spending a few cents more for the name brand even with coupons is still the better deal. Mind you that I am new to shopping religiously with coupons and that we don’t have any stores in our area that do double or triple coupons anymore (Maybe that’s why they aren’t here anymore!) so I’m still learning the nuances, but I’m slowly getting the hang of it! And remembering to actually bring my trusty coupon envelope with me and into the stores is the hardest part!

Now just to educate you before I go into my 'steals.'  There are a few types of coupons:
•  Manufacturer’s- these are the ones found in newspaper inserts, but also in magazines, from “blinkies” on the store shelves, and now, on the internet, printed either from a manufacturer’s website or a merchant’s website.
•  Store coupons- these are found in store circulars or on the stores’ websites. The good news about these is that they can be used in conjuction (“stacked”) with a manufacturer’s coupon to increase your savings.
•  BOGO- these are “Buy One, Get One” coupons where you either get something free or at a drastically reduced price. (You can also use up to FIVE coupons on a BOGO purchase- one for the BOGO and then two manufacturer’s coupons for each item. If there is a matching store coupon- even better!)
•  WYB- these are “When You Buy…., You Get….” Coupons. A popular one that most everyone sees is like a save $10 off your $30 purchase at Bath & Bodyworks.
•  $$ Off- simply stated, they are a $ off a certain amount of purchase, mostly connected to a certain store. We religiously use the $5/ off $15 purchase at CVS! They usually print from Catalinas at checkout, or in the case of CVS, they have a special printer when you walk in the store when you scan your frequent buyers card.
•  Store Member- when you sign up for a free rewards program, your prices are usually the lower price in advertised sales. (We have CVS and Safeway… and at free obviously worth the weight in gold!)
Rebates/ Checks- Rebates are usually something that you receive after the fact, but are worth looking into as they are higher dollar amounts.

I’ve heard of people (mostly back east where there are double/ triple opportunities) where they have spent less than $10 for a massive cart full of groceries…. That’s not me yet, but I have scored some pretty ‘braggable’ deals:

Last night we went to Target to get a few full-price items: trash bags, tea and Teething Tablets for Kiera and a $15 gift for Jason’s work gift exchange – sometimes necessity leads you to pay full price, but it’s worth it! There were a few impulse purchases that I made from the $1 bins as well as some gloves and a knit cap to survive this freaky below freezing weather snap! I happened upon a few really great deals that retailed for $30.29, but we only paid $7.23 out of pocket! Additionally, I had a Target Save $5/ $75 purchase….. here's the score:

Target Deal For Glade brand candles: Get $5 Giftcard WYB five.
(4) Holiday Scented Candles, 4 oz $2.50 each = $10.00
(2) Scented Oil Candle Refills, 4 ct $2.50 $2.50 each= $5.00
(1) Oil Candle Holder= $2.99
Price before Coupons: $17.99, here’s the coupons:
Buy 1 Scented Oil Candle Tin, Get 1 FREE Refill Pack (save $2.50)
Save $2.00/2 Scented Oil Candle Refills ($2.00)
Save $1.50/ (2) 4 oz candles- 2 coupons ($3.00)
Free Scented Oil Holder WYB (2) Refills ($2.99)
FREE $5 Target Gift Card ($5.00)/ Total paid for 7 items= $2.50 (or 35 cents each!)

BOGO Pedigree Wet Dog food @ 55 cents each/ 4 coupons= $2.20 for 8 packets of dog food

BOGO Busy Bone Dog Treats, plus (2) MANU coupon= $1.86 for 2

$1.00/ Coffeemate (love the Peppermint Mocha one right now!) priced @ $1.49, had two coupons, so I spent .98 cents on 2 Coffeemates’.

Pretty cool deals, eh? And I'll actually use the items, so even better!  But here's the best steal.... do you have any idea how expensive formula (and diapers!) are?  You'd think there was gold dust in the powder! Over the past few weeks, they have been clearancing out Good Start and Enfamil formula at Safeway due to a package change. (Most stores usually have a ‘scratch & dent’ sale rack/ cart near the back of the store and yes, coupons ARE good on these items!) I have a small stockpile of formula coupons in case I run into a really good deal (although when the deals run out, we are switching to a store brand… the formula formulary {ha!} is heavily regulated by the FDA, so they are the same product in a different container for one third of the cost!).  And run into this one I did- the cans were regular price $22.49, marked down 50% to $11.24, and I had in my possession a bunch of $8 off any Good Start formula “checks” – these are the ones that are sent to me from the company to hook me on their brand. Fortunately Kiera has a pretty good tummy and will eat either brand (so far!). I also had one $5 off Enfamil coupon, and the Entertainment Book’s save $5/ $50 purchase. So the math for 5 cans of formula:
Retail for $112.45
50% off= $56.23

(5) $8 checks= $24.23
(1) $5 off MANU coupon= $19.23
(1) $5 off store coupon= $14.23
PLUS, the Catalina (the other paper that they give you with your receipt) printed out (2) $3 off future purchases coupons just for buying Enfamil @ Safeway. So, that it like paying $8.23 for FIVE cans of FORMULA! Wahoo! I felt like I practically stole the merchandise!

And then my friend gave me another coupon for $11 off, so we happened to find one more can, which we ended up paying $1.99 out of pocket for. And it printed out yet another $3 off future purchase coupon @ Safeway- Another big Wahoo- I heart me a good deal! It’s so exciting to share good deals like this- how can you not love to get something for nearly free when you have to use it so much? Kiera is now up to 5 or 6oz per feeding, so we are going through the formula more quickly now!

I'm hoping to be able to highlight some more good deals (wait until you see the cute cards and a few gifts that I got on Vistaprint for nearly FREE- see the link on the right to check it out!) in the near future here on this beloved bloggy!  Have a great day!


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  2. Visiting from MBC! I subscribed via Google reader! I'd love for you to come visit me!


  3. Wow Carol! That was such a helpful blog! I am just starting to use coupons & figure that whole thing out. I have been dreading figuring it all out so thanks! You are well on your way to being a coupon queen! Hee hee! Thanks again for an awesome post! Jennifer

  4. i have to agree..
    that is a steal.

    following via MBC followers club...hope you will follow back..


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