End of the month, end of the year, sales and coupons

So, yesterday (the 29th) I had a plan for free toilet paper and free laundry detergent. I thought it might be a good idea to check for additional opportunities, so I canvassed my coupon supply and weeded out the ones that expire December 31st. I picked out several high-value ones … $6, $5, or at least ones that represented at least 50% of a regular price product. Then, I scanned the sales flyers for BOGOs, points rewards, or other combination deals that matched the coupons.

The general philosophy is that you do not buy what you need when you need it – you buy what you need when it is at it’s lowest price, that way you will have it when you need it.

I found great deals on antacids, vitamins, joint medicine, cold medicine, ibuprofen, light bulbs, and leftover Christmas candy at Rite-Aid. All of it (except the candy) was stuff that stores well and that we use often so we could always stock.

Here’s how it worked out:

  • Regular price of items on list – $144.25
  • After loyalty card and combination deals and store specials, total that actually showed up on the register – $75.02
  • Total amount of coupons – $38.00
  • Updated total on register – $37.02
  • I had enough loyalty points from the day before, and from previous purchases, to cover this. Total out of my pocket – zero.

At the end of the transaction, I earned an additional $23 in new rewards points. I also checked over my receipt (always, always do this!!) and found two items that had rung up incorrectly. So, they refunded me an additional $2. If I was keeping track of the net for the entire transaction, that’s no money out of my pocket for over $144 worth of items that we need, will use, and that store well (except the candy, but I’m sure those will find a way to be used!).

I also had high-value coupons for pet food and some household items, so I stopped at PetSmart and a few other places.

My updated total for the day was $253.70 worth of products including milk, crackers, pizza, onions, canned fruit, gloves, plus the pet food, light bulbs, medicine, toilet paper, and laundry detergent … and the total actual cash I paid out of my pocket today was $42.55.

I don’t know if I’ll have time tomorrow to get the last items on my list, but if I do, I’ll have another load of items for the house, pantry, and pets.

There’s always a new month, always new sales, always new holidays and specials and bonuses. If the coupons I have expire tomorrow without me using them, I’ll just throw them out and start over next month.

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