Yes, coupon is a verb. I'm addicted. I'm a coupon geek.
Here is what I got this morning at Walgreens:
This is the run-down (including sale prices):
2 boxes Wheat Thins (2/$5)
2 bags Ritz Toasted Chips (2/$3.79)
2 boxes South Beach Cereal Bars (2/$5)
1 Crystal Light lemonade ($1.99)
2 Crystal Light On The Go ($3.98)
1 Peter Pan peanut butter ($1.67)
1 Neosporin (with free Band-Aid carrying case) ($5.99)
1 box Band-Aids ($3.99)
1 Oscar Mayer hot dogs ($2)
2 Ocean Spray CranGrape juice (2/$5)
1 Puffs facial tissue ($0.89)
1 Chemistry hair masque ($7.99)
1 L'Oreal Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Serum ($12.36)
2 packages filler paper ($1.98)
1 L'Oreal hair color (clearance for $2.50)
1 Revlon nail color ($4.79)
1 Nivea men's body wash ($4.99)
1 Northern bath tissue ($4)
3 Glade scented oil candles (clearance for $1.49 each = $4.47)
1 CapriSun juice ($3.79)
Total before coupons: $86.17
- $38.04 in coupons (both manufacturer and Walgreens Qs)
= $48.13 + $2.77 tax = $50.90 total out of pocket
Walgreens has a monthly rebate program. I will be getting back the following rebates:
Buy $15 of select Nabisco products, get $5 = $5
Chemistry hair masque Free After Rebate (FAR) = $7.99
L'Oreal Anti-Wrinkle serum FAR = $12.36
Revlon nail color FAR = $4.79
Glade Scented Oil Candle = $2 off 1 (August rebate ends 8/30) = $2
Total rebate = $32.14
If I choose to receive my rebate as a Walgreens gift card instead of a check, I'll get an additional 10% so obviously I choose this option.
Total rebate + 10% bonus = $35.35
In the end I will have spent $15.55 for almost $90 worth of products!
And actually I made a couple of mistakes like buying the CapriSun because I mistakenly thought I needed the additional $3.79 to reach the $15 limit for the $5 rebate. So if I hadn't made a couple of mistakes I would have paid $44.31 oop instead of $50.90. Oh, well! The kids were glad I got the CapriSun anyway.
The best way to get started couponing is to first start collecting coupons and then organizing them. I bought a handy, dandy binder (free, of course! I got a free $10 Walmart gift card for signing up to receive the daily newspaper and bought the binder on clearance for $9.99.) and use plastic card holders to hold my coupons.
I separate them into four categories: personal items (cosmetics, shampoos, etc.), pharmacy items, household items, and food. Personal and pharmacy coupons are organized alphabetically so it is easy to find them for sales and clearance items. Household items are grouped by product like paper products, cleaning products, etc. Food coupons are organized by how I find them at the grocery store, produce first, then breads, then meats, etc. It just makes it easier to find things. My binder also has side pockets for coupons I haven't cut yet. And pockets so I can have all of my coupons together according to which stores I will be shopping at that day.
A great place to get started is Hot Coupon World. You can see advance copies of sales fliers so you can plan your shopping trips better. It's a great website!