A few months ago, I shared with a couple of girlfriends over sushi that I clipped coupons. Dead silence. I don’t remember the exact reason why I volunteered the information. I thought I was just making an inconsequential comment but the prolonged silence signaled something else. My girlfriends and I are young professionals in our late twenties and early thirties. Clipping coupons is so primitive and well, common. “OMG, ” one of them exclaimed, “are you broke?” I said no, I’m not broke and I’m not about to be broke either because I save an average $100 a week on discounted products (that I actually use and need) because I use coupons. That got them interested. I promised them I would show them how to do what I do but never got around to it until now.
There are websites that have dedicated resources to finding their readers daily deals. I am not going to do that here. I am going to show you what I do using my real shopping experience. It takes me about 2 to 3 hours each Sunday to clip coupons, sort coupons, and then go shop with those coupons. I save hundreds of dollars a month on shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, razor, cream, food products, paper goods, and more.
Here are the basics:
The stores I shop at:
- CVS – is a great store. If you don’t yet have an ExtraCare card, sign up for one. It takes less than 10 minutes to fill out. Every Sunday, CVS ad runs a different set of promotions. For the past two months, they have been giving away $10 Shell or Exxon gas card for every $30 worth of purchase on selected items. Customers also get 2% back each quarter. If you are good at collecting coupons, you can combine them with CVS deals and go home with very good deals. For example, in today’s (August 7, 2011)paper insert, there’s a $7 off for a bottle of 80 count OsteoFlex. At CVS this week, you can buy 1 and get 1 free. So, instead of paying $60 for 2 bottles, I could have paid only $23. But, I also got another $7 off from another insert. My cost now is reduced to $16. A few weeks ago, I received a $3 off for a bottle of OsteoFlex from CVS because CVS tracked my spending habits (yes, that’s the downsize of having a store customer card). With that $3, my cost is now $14. Then, because I’m a loyal customer, every now and then, CVS sent home these thank you coupons. The one I used today was “$10 off for every $50”. My total cost was $4 for two bottles of OsteoFlex that I had planned on buying for my parents.
- Walgreens – is another great store and direct competitor of CVS. I like CVS more because their ad is easier to read and their reward system is simpler. But, don’t let that discourage you from getting great buys from Walgreens. A lot of what you can do at CVS you can apply at Walgreens.
- Kroger and Randals – Watch for their ads on Wednesdays. They have deals like buy 10 to save $5. They will also double and triple your coupons of under $39 cents.
- Costo and Sam’s – I buy a lot of bulk items of these stores to save money. Paper goods are cheaper at these stores. Wine bottles are also cheaper here and you can buy them individually.
Those are a few stores to get you started. I hope you too can start saving and be on your way to financial health.