Category Archives: Couponing + Shopping

Staying on budget by: Avoiding temptation

shopping temptation

Every person has things that they like to spend money on. Each person finds value in different things and is drawn to get the newest of a certain class of items. For some people it’s electronics and for others it is eating out. For me, it’s clothes.

I love to buy new clothes and have new outfits. I’m not an ultra-trendy person, but I love to be “with it” and love to look my best. Since my clothing budget is rather small, and I’m also trying to save money for Christmas, I have to be careful about clothing purchases.

Every day I get emails from my favorite stores telling me about the great sales and deals going on. I want to stay on these lists for when I am looking to make a purchase, but I have to be careful for when I’m not looking to spend money. It’s easy for me to be dragged in by a good deal or large discount.

Buying Bulk + Unit Pricing

Workbook1

One easy way to save money is to buy in large quantities, or in other words, in bulk.

The quantity that you want to buy depends on the item and on your household’s usage patterns. I am living on my own, so it doesn’t make sense for me to buy in bulk for many items, especially those that have a short shelf life. I just wouldn’t be able to consume the item before it goes bad. But for other items, it definitely makes sense for me to buy in bulk.

I recently needed to purchase new vitamins. For the brand and type I purchase, it’s $10 for 50 vitamins at my local Target. Woah. That is expensive. On Amazon, they’re $18.50 for 150 tablets and qualify for free shipping. That’s a little easier to swallow (pun intended!).

Since I needed to purchase another item for free shipping, I went searching on a deals website to see what else I could add to my cart. I discovered that my brand of shampoo was on sale, so I ended up buying two big bottles of Dove shampoo.

Spending $35 on $81 worth of items

CVS Haul Oct 2012

Warning: couponing gives such a thrill that after you start, you won’t want to stop.

I am ecstatic that I was able to save so much money at CVS. Over the past week I:

  • Got $81.24 worth of full-retail price items
  • Those items were on sale for $68.16 with a CVS store card
  • I used $38.75 worth of manufacturer and store coupons
  • Spending $34.19 of actual cash
  • With $5 in CVS Extra Bucks still left for my next purchase

Click here for a detailed account of the items I purchased, their prices, and coupons used.

The key way for me to save during this week was to purchase items that both had relevant manufacturer coupons and gave significant Extra Bucks rewards. In the example of the women’s Venus Razor, it was sold for $6.99. I had a $3 off coupon, and received $5 back in extra bucks. Even considering tax, it’s like I was getting paid to take it away!

CVS Couponing Success

I live in a small city where I walk to work and seldom use my car. Between my home and work is a CVS, so I often stop in to pick up whatever I might need. It’s much more convenient than driving to Target in a neighboring town.

Almost every time I shop, my receipt ends with various coupons because I scan in my ExtraCare card (the store rewards card). Often they are for things I don’t want or won’t purchase. Recently, however, I received the following coupon for $3 off any CVS brand hand or body lotion.

I had the sneaking suspicion that I might be able to use this coupon to my absolute advantage. I went to the lotion section of CVS and scanned through the various brands, which CVS mimics with their generic version.