In case you're wondering why I'm posting my CVS deals, it has sort of become the thing to do. It's one of the reasons I wanted to start blogging! I used to dread going shopping for necessities, grocery shopping, etc., but not now. It has become fun! Crystal over at Biblical Womanhood (http://www.biblicalwomanhood.com/) and Money Saving Mom (http://www.moneysavingmom.com/) has been instructing her readers (including me) on how to save money, use coupons, and shop at CVS and other stores for the best deals possible. I also purchased her online program Supermarket Savings 101 for further instruction on how to save money through couponing, etc. I've learned so much in the last couple of months, and I am really enjoying this! Each week, readers get to post a picture of their purchases for the week and post a link to it over at Crystal's blog. The above picture shows what I got this week. The total before coupons was $54. After using multiple CVS coupons, manufacturers coupons, and Extra Bucks, I paid $7.46 out of pocket - and I got $8 back in Extra Bucks! If you're wondering how this works, I recommend you visit Crystal's web site at Money Saving Mom. She gives a very thorough explanation of how to do this.
I learned an important fact about coupons this week. I used to think that if an item was "free", you couldn't use a coupon. For example, CVS had Revlon products this week Buy 1 Get 1 Free. I had two $2 off coupons. I purchased mascara for $6.99 and eyeshadow for $5.99. After B1G1 and my two $2 off coupons, I paid $2.99 for mascara and eye shadow! Here's another example from this week. CVS had Bic Soleil razors on sale for $4.99. I had a $2 off coupon. I also had a coupon for a free 4-pack of blades with purchase of a razor. Before, I would have only used the free coupon for the 4-pack of blades. This week, I used both coupons and purchased the razor and blades for $2.99! Even the nice lady at CVS was having fun deducting all my coupons. She was laughing and said, "let's see how low you can go!"
This is a great way to save money at the grocery store also, so I'm excited about this new discovery. I like to shop at Ingles since they have double coupons up to $.50. They have lots of things this week that I'll be able to make similar deals like those above with the B1G1 and using two coupons.
A couple of other things I've learned is that you really need to acquire a good stash of coupons before you start seeing significant savings. I saved a little money over the first couple of weeks of beginning to use coupons, but now I'm really seeing a difference as I have about two months' worth of coupons. I've noticed that some of the deals I'm going to make at Ingles this week are with coupons that are just about to expire. Another money saving tip at the grocery store that I've discovered is shopping early in the day. I like to go on Saturday morning about 15 to 30 minutes after the store opens. When I get there, they've marked down the items that are about to expire that are left from the previous day. This past week, I got a gallon of milk for $1.99. I often am able to get organic milk for $1.49 half-gallon. The 2% or less milk seems to go sour a little less quickly than the whole milk, so I haven't had a problem purchasing milk that is close to expiration. One time they had organic butter for $.99 a box. Another day I got organic turkey bacon for $.99 a pack. It's usually $4 or more! They were marking the chicken down this past Saturday, and I got boneless thighs for $1.29 a pack and chicken wings for $.99 a pack. They often have produce marked down also. There may be other times throughout the day when they mark items down, but early in the morning is the time that I have noticed around here. I do wonder if they begin this process in the evening though?
I still have a lot to learn, but like I said, I'm having fun in the process. The best piece of advice that I think Crystal has given is praying before you go in to shop. Pray for wisdom to buy what your family needs and to make the best deals possible. I'm amazed at how God has answered that prayer over the past few weeks. For our family of five, I was spending around $130 to $140 a week in groceries. This past week, I spent $105! The funny thing is I'm spending less but getting more!