September 5, 2009

Savings Roundup: Using Coupons to Get What I Need for Less

I love coupons (as if you didn't know this about me by now) and not just because I've been able to slash my grocery budget and stock my pantry and freezer by clipping and matching and watching the deals.

I love coupons (and their kissing-cousins, in store deals like Extra Care Bucks at CVS, Register Rewards at Walgreens, and the way the always hip Target is jumping on the bandwagon with their Gift Card deals) because there are times we flat out just need something here at Casa de Frugal Mom.

With the careful and systematic use of coupons and deals, I can get what we need plus lots of other goodies for less than I would have paid had I just bought the needed item (even on sale) itself.

This week was the perfect example of this; my older son (he's 6 and just the nicest kid ever) has asthma triggered by a mold allergy. He's had only one asthma attack in his life (last November) but it was a doozy, one that sends shivers up my spine even now as I remember it; he spent three days in the hospital (yeah, that bad) but has been fine since due mostly to his awesome asthma/allergy doctor.

Part of his regimen is taking Zyrtec (or a generic version of) daily and we were out of it here at Casa de Frugal Mom. I was *thrilled* to see that Walgreens had their generic version on sale this week for Buy1Get1FREE; I knew I could get (2) bottles for $9.99, or $4.98 each. A deal, for sure, but looking through the ad and seeing all the other deals at Walgreens, I knew I could do better.

And I did - take a look:

Transaction #1:

(2) Velveeta Microwave Cups, $1.29 ea
-->Used Buy1Get1FREE, SS 08/09
-->Used in ad coupon, $0.89 ea
Earned $1.00 RR

(1) Carefree Ultra Protection Liners, $1.99
-->Used $1.00/1 printable here
Earned $2.00 RR

(1) Theraflu Packets, $4.99
-->Used $2.00/1 printable here
Earned $3.00 RRs

(1) Colgate 360 Actiflex Toothbrush, $2.99
-->Used $0.40/1, SS 08/30
Earned $3.00 RRs

(1) Preschool Workbook, $0.75 (clearance priced)

I had $7.00 in RRs from last week that I used as well as the above coupons

Spent: $1.51
Saved: $19.13
Earned: $9.00 in new RRs

Transaction #2

(2) Wal-Zyr, $9.99 ea
-->On sale, Buy1Get1FREE

(1) Reach Total Care Floss, $2.99
-->$1.00/1, SS 06/14
Earned $2.00 RRs

(2) Preschool Workbooks, $0.50 and $0.75 (clearance priced)

(1) Oreo Brownie, $0.99
(Total indulgence; the cashier was in a store contest to see who could sell the most. She's always awesome with my coupons so I wanted to help her win.)

Used $9.00 in RRs from Transaction #1

Spent: $6.14
Saved: $24.72
Earned: $2.00 RRs on the Reach Floss

If I had bought just the (2) Wal-Zyr bottles (without using last week's $7.00 RRs), I would have spent $9.99 + tax. I spent less than that - $7.66 - in total for both transactions and was able to stock up on useful items for my family and still earn $2.00 RRs to rollover next week. Woot!

My next needed item wasn't so critical; I mean, who's ever been hospitalized by a bad hair day, right? ;-)

My hair dryer, one I bought before my eight year old daughter was born, finally died on me last week. It still worked, in a fashion, if I didn't mind risking setting the house on fire every time I tried to tame my wavy mane. I decided that ponying up $10 on a new one would be both the safe and frugal choice and started looking for a deal.

And I found some sweet ones at Target! Take a look:

Transaction #1

(5) Edy's Ice Cream products, $2.50 ea
-->$2.00/2 Dibs, Nestle Back to School Basics Calendar (request yours here; I actually found mine at the Customer Service Desk of my local Walmart)
-->$1.00/1 Edy's Ice Cream, printable Target coupon (I used 3; some stores will only allow 1)
Earned $5.00 gift card for buying (5) participating products

(4) Kellogg's Special K Bliss Bars, $2.39 ea
-->$1.00/2, RP 07/12 (used 2)
-->$0.50/1 Kellogg's Fruit/Grain Snacks, printable Target coupon (I used 4; some stores will only allow 1)
Earned $5.00 gift card for buying (4) participating products

(3) J&J Buddies Soaps, $1.12 ea
-->$1.00/1 J&J Baby Toiletry, printable Target coupon (I used 3; some stores will allow only 1)

(6) Market Pantry Cheese Sticks, $0.40 ea
-->$1.00/2 MP Cheese product, printable Target coupon (I used 2 and they were adjusted down to $0.80 value; some stores will allow only 1)

I had a $5.00 gift card from last week in addition to the above coupons.

Spent: $9.24
Saved: $27.40
Earned: (2) $5.00 gift cards

Transaction #2

(1) Salon Series Hair Dryer, $9.99

Used (2) $5.00 gift cards from Transaction #1

Spent: $0.64
Saved: $10.00

Had I just bought the hair dryer without working the deals, I would have spent $10.64; instead, I rolled over the gift card deals and stocked up on goodies for my family and still spent less overall - $9.88 - than I would have if I'd just bought the hair dryer.

Whew! Did you make it to the end of that post?! You get a gold star! ;-)

In all seriousness, I took the time to write this post to show you that couponing isn't just about the thrill of the deal or grabbing oodles and oodles of goodies to stockpile for the future (although both of those motivations are just fine); couponing offers you a means of strategic shopping to get what your family needs for less...and get some great goodies for FREE as well.

And y'all know...FREE is my favorite flavor!

Did you rock the deals this week? Share what you know in a comment below!

This post is linked up at's Super Savings Saturday post; go share your deals, too!

Thanks for reading and subscribing to The New Frugal Mom!


  1. WOW WOW WOW! You're my idol! LOL!

  2. I really love the Target deals happening right now. My Target is great and has allowed me to use multiple Target printables at one time. I bought 10 Edy's for $5 and received 2- $5 gift cards. I did spread these into two transactions. And you are spot on with the get additional items you need for little to no out of pocket when you were going to spend the money on one particular item anyway. Coupons are definitely our friends!


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