Yesterday I had my best coupon deal yet. Granted, this isn't saying much since I've only been really into coupons for a couple of weeks now, but still, bear with me. I'm excited.
At my local Walgreens, the St. Ives Elements line of facial cleansers is on sale, marked down to $4.99 from $7.49. I printed a coupon for $2 off on these products (it should let you print two coupons from any given computer), and headed to Walgreens to make some money. See, right now their Register Rewards program prints a "$5 off on your next purchase of anything" catalina for you when you buy a St. Ives Elements product. So I got a $7.49 product (which I might give as a gift or something) for $5, minus the $2 coupon, meaning I paid $3, but then I got $5 back. A $2 profit!
I'm going to go do the deal three more times today, because I have three more $2 coupons, and today is the last day the catalina will print on these products. Then I'll have $8 in Walgreens coupon money (plus four products I don't need - hehe), which I'm going to put towards a larger purchase: I have a "$5 off a purchase of $20 or more" coupon that expires today. I have quite a few coupons saved up that, combined with catalinas I know will print, will make my purchases end up being free or close to free. (For example, today if you buy Alka Seltzer Plus at the sale price of $4.99, a catalina for $4.99 will print!) So I'll buy $20 worth of items, pay $15 because of the $5 off, use my $8 in Register Rewards from the St. Ives deal to pay for most of it, pay $7 out of pocket, and get more Register Rewards back from my purchases to cover my cost.
This is so much fun. My previous attempt at couponing, about a year ago, ended up failing because I didn't know how to figure out the best deals and I was really overwhelmed by the whole process. Lately I've discovered some wonderful resources for understanding coupon lingo, anticipating the best deals, organizing your coupons, etc. I've put up some links on my sidebar under "frugal," if anyone is interested. I find the forums at Hot Coupon World to be helpful, and I love the blogs of Super Coupon Girl (she spends less than $20 a month on groceries! I don't think my costs will ever be that low because I buy a lot of produce, but still, there are great lessons to be learned from her blog) and I Heart Wags (where I find out about Walgreens deals).
Confession: I dreamed about coupons last night. That is how thrilled I am about this process. Lest you think that FavoriteBoy and I are in dire financial straits because I'm getting this excited about $8 in Register Rewards, let me explain: It's more the possibilities lying open before me that excite me than this particular $8. I'm envisioning a world in which, if you are savvy and take the time to clip coupons, no one has to pay money for things like shampoo, soap, face wash, or contact solution! Canned goods, frozen vegetables, boxed cereals, etc. - all free or almost free if you know when to buy them. And it's all perfectly fair and legal and a healthy part of capitalism! Incredible!