Tuesday, August 3, 2010
working the system
I wasn't much of a coupon clipper until last Spring. I started getting the Sunday paper and figured out that since the coupons were there i might as well use them. I really enjoy saving money (you might not know this, but there isn't a lot of money to be made in non-profit education :->) and am intrigued by the quest to find the best price possible. Though i use the little club cards at the stores i frequent the most often I never really paid attention to added bonuses that they offered. For instance, at CVS (as well as many others, but that's the one i use) after so much money spent, they give you money vouchers at the bottom of your receipt. I didn't notice them until too late, so usually they would expire before i even realized i had them. Then i realized that every week there would be certain items that when you bought them, you'd receive money vouchers; since you can only spend that "money" at the CVS it seemed like just a gimmick to get you to spend more money. Until i figured out how to work the system. Now when i am busily clipping coupons, i see if there is anything on sale at CVS that i need that week and i pre-plan how i will spend any money vouchers. For instance, here is the best i've done so far: *12-packs of Diet Coke are normally $3.49 (i would never pay that price), but there was a special where 4 12-packs were $13 ($3.25 per - i would never pay that price either), but you got $3 money voucher, bringing the price down to $2.50 per pack, as long as you used the $3 for something you would already be buying *the same week, 2L Diet Coke -normally $1.69 (WHO would pay that?!?)- was on special 3 for $4 ($1.34 is better, but still not good enough) with $1 money voucher ($1 is closer to what i pay). I had a $1 off coupon, bringing the price to 3 for $3 and i used the $3 money voucher from the 12-packs, thereby costing myself no more money *i had the $1 money voucher in my purse one night when i was doing a late-hour aisle exploration (everything looks cooler in the drug store when you are the only one in there) when i came across some awesome striped socks in the clearance box. The box said 50%, but there was no tag on this Hanes 3-pack so i scanned it at the price checker and found that normally they are $4.99, but for some inexplicable reason they were 49 cents. Yes, people, 90% off! I dug around and found another 3-pack of stripey socks in different colors (that happen to exactly match my uniform at work, i'll have you know) and used the $1 money voucher for both. To recap: -48 cans of soda, 3 2L bottles of soda and 6 pairs of stripey Hanes socks -regular price with tax, $29.63 -money spent, $13.o6 -savings, $16.57 All of that just from paying attention and doing a little bit of planning. It's like a super-fun game where the reward is free stuff!