First Time “Couponer”

Babies are amazing… and the stuff they need is expensive (at least that’s what it seems like to me). Being a single mom, I’ve got to make every dollar count. I spent a Sunday watching a marathon of Extreme Couponing a couple of months back and thought – I need a stockpile!  I can do that!! Wrong. Its not that you can’t get some great deals, but that show is crazy – there are no double coupons in California (or most states these days) and there are limits on the number of coupons you can use per item (generally 4). So even if you had 99 $1 off coupons for toothbrushes and they were on sale for $1.50 (so you could get it for free), you couldn’t use them all in the same trip.  You could get 4 at a time.

I’ve been starting to “coupon” and have been learning from another mommy that rocks it. I’ve had a very successful week.. so I’m going to share with you what I did and how I did it. These deals are still available until Saturday – so get your coupons ready, make a list and GO!

Quick reference Guide:

MC: Manufacturer Coupon

SC: Store Coupon

GC: Gift Card Offer

OK, here we go!

 

Kmart: Its double coupon week. Get Extreme! (on 5 items)

That’s right… double coupons. Ends 10/5/14. Here’s the deal though: you can only double the first 5 coupons you give to the cashier (under $2). I didn’t even know where the nearest Kmart was (turns out there’s one about 3 miles from me) so I went.  Here’s what I bought with my 5 double coupons today:

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I had Four buy 2, get a $1 off Gerber Products (MC) and one Buy 2 get $1 Off Gerber Graduates Crunchies (MC). There are great Gerber coupons available at http://www.coupons.com

The Gerber food was on sale for $1 each (10 for $10 sale) … I bought 2,packs at $1 each, got my $1 coupons doubled to $2 and it was FREE (I did this 4 times for a total of 8 double packets of food) = Free!

Then I picked up the 2 cans of Gerber Graduate Crunchies: $2.29 ea x 2 = $4.58. I had a Buy 2, get $1 off (doubled = $2) – Total Cost: $2.58 (+tax)

(Plus there’s an aisle of toys for an additional 40% off clearance price… if you’re on a budget, don’t go near there).

 

Target: Because you already spend 1/2 your paycheck there anyhow!

Baby Sale going on Right now: Spend $125, get $20 (see weekly ad or the signs in the store to text for coupon) This INCLUDES diapers, formula, gear, food, the works! The only thing it excludes is clothes and toys. See the Weekly Ad for your local store at http://www.target.com.

So here’s the deal with Target (or any place): You can COMBINE MC and SC for any item. So you’re getting double discounts!

Not getting Target Coupons? There are 3 ways: Mailings (sign up for a registry or ask customer service), Sign up for Text coupons: text BABY to 827438 and check out the coupons at http://coupons.target.com/ Additional Savings: Download the Cartwheel App on your Smartphone & Get a RedCard for 5% savings off your total all the time (they have a debit option too, so it just links to your checking account).

OK, there are the Target basics… now look for Gift Card Offers for the things you buy. This week they have a gift card offer on diapers and formula (select kinds).  Buy any 2 boxes of Papmers or Huggies ($25 ea) and get a $5 GC for future purchase.  Gerber baby food is also on sale, so are select sizes of Enfamil (the kind I use to supplement with Luke).

Here’s the loot I bought.. and I saved 60%! Here’s a sample of some of the ways I saved:

Pampers: had two MC $2 off coupon from previous boxes (don’t throw those away!) & I had a SC for $2 off when you buy 2 boxes: Total Savings: $6  and got a $5 GC for future purchase.

Pampers Wipes: Had two MC coupons for buy a box of diapers, get wipes free (up to $3.99 value)  = Wipes were free (also got these in a previous box)

Enfamil: Sign up for Enfamil Family Beginnings Program at http://www.enfamil.com and you get $5 off coupons via snail mail (you can use as a check at the end of your transaction) and they send coupons via email. Bonus: You can use them together!  Cans: $15.99 ea – $5 coupon & $5 check = $5.99 (I also had a TC for buy 2 and get $3 off. The premixed ones in the bottles were on sale for $9.99 – $5 coupon- $5 check = free!

Similiac and Gerber also have similar programs, so sign up for the one you use!

Gerber Pouches: On sale for 4 for $5. I bought 8. I had four coupons for Buy 2, get $1 off and I used 4 of those $10 – $4 = $6 cost

Gerber Graduate Snacks: On sale for 10% off this week. I had Buy 3, get $1.50 off (from http://www.coupons.com).

Oh, don’t forget, since my pre-coupon total was $129, I got $20 off! Be sure to show your weekly ad or phone!

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Anyhow… that’s how I did it!  Start saving your coupons and print them out at home … you never know when there will be a good sale to use them on!

One more thing… hand them the coupons one at a time to make sure they work… if there’s an issue, call the store manager. Don’t let the cashier skip it because they don’t know how to process it. Its like throwing away $$! If you’re using Enfamil checks (snail mail coupon/vouchers) be sure to use them after your coupons… they process like a check!

Looking to save on items you love that aren’t listed here? Just Google it! That’s how I found Buy one, get one free Plum Organic Pouch coupons! These are also still available.. limit 2 prints per computer www.plumorganics.com/coupon (so print them out on as many computers as you know!

Also – if you’re on Instagram, look for couponing pros to follow who post real time deals!

It’s a whole new world and I wasn’t sure I could do it.. but with a little planning and some cleverness (aka, basic math)and encouragement from another budget minded mommy, I’m excited about my steals and deals!! I’m hooked!  I’ll report back when I find other Couponing Adventures!

Good luck!

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