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Coupon Question...

February 5th, 2011 at 07:30 am

For all of you who are into serious couponing, I have a question.

How do you decide when to use a good coupon and when to keep it?

And what is the target price you pay for cereal, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.? What is the number I should aim for?

I ask because this was the first week I actually was able to get some things for free or super cheap.

For instance, I got 3 deodorants and 2 tubes of toothpaste for free stacking sales/coupon. But, I opted to use a couple of additional coupons because I thought they were good deals even though they weren't free.

For instance: bought 2 more deodorants (dif. brand), and two more tubes of toothpaste, and after coupon/sales paid 50 cents each. Should I have held out for a future sale hoping to get them for free? Or was it a good move to use that coupons and pay a nominal amount?

I also bought a body wash, reg. $4.99, on sale for $2.99 and I had a $1 coupon, so $1.99. This isn't super cheap, but it's cheaper than the brand I would have normally bought. Any thoughts?

I'm new at this and trying to figure out the strategy.

I also got a catalina for $1.50, and at the same time got coupon for $2 off four of that item for future purchase. I bought four more, used the $2 coupon plus the catalina, then got another $1.50 catalina at checkout. I use the stuff. It wasn't super cheap. Cost $8 for four- $3.50 = $4.50 - another $1.50 off= $3.00. Is that good? Is that the approach I should be taking?

7 Responses to “Coupon Question...”

  1. mjrube94 Says:

    Great job, Thrift-O! As you get more experience with couponing, you'll get a better sense of how frequenlty stuff goes on sale, how much you use it, etc. Then you'll be able to look at the stockpile you have and figure out if you need to buy more now or if you can hold out until the next good sale. Some people keep price books, which I start and then find too tedious.

    Personally, I can usually get toothpaste, deoderant, and shampoo for free or close to it, betweem double coupons, deals at CVS, Walgreens, and Rite-Aid, and manufacturer rebates. (Look for Renpure Organix shampoo now - they have a "Try Me Free" rebate hangtag. Check out the Saving Advice Forums, under "Free" there's a list that links a bunch of active rebates. Good luck!

  2. retire@50 Says:

    I haven't paid for deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, razors, toothpaste, toothbrushes or body wash in years. I stockup with 4 - 6 of each when they are free or a moneymaker, so I can wait till the next good sale.

    As far as knowing when to use the coupons, that can be tricky, after awhile when you know the general price of things and how often the sales come, you will get a better feel. My rule of thumb is if it's free or cheaper than I've ever seen it, buy it now. If it's still a little high, wait, especially if I already have several.

    Here's my rule of thumb on a few basics

    cereal - .50/box 10 - 14 oz
    peanut butter - .50/jar 16 - 18 oz
    soup - .25 - 50/can
    pasta - free - .25
    rice - free - .75
    canned tomatoes - < .25/can
    tuna - free - .25
    canned veggies - < .40/can
    paper towels - < .50/roll
    oatmeal - < .50 18 oz
    chicken broth - .25 - .40 can

  3. ThriftoRama Says:

    That is super helpful!
    Right now, I'm trying to build up my stock pile. I have gotten a few things for free, but am trying not to feel too bad if I'm not saving huge bucks on stuff I do really need now. I know in times, it will become easier.

  4. My English Castle Says:

    Wow--you SAers do much better than I do. But only one store in our area doubles coupons--and only twice a week, limited to five doubled. But I agree--toothpaste seems to always be free every couple of weeks at Wags or elsewhere, and depending on the brand, I can almost always get cereal under $1. I guess you just have to watch the expiration dates. I've tried very hard not to beat myself up if I miss a good deal. It takes the fun out of it for me. It does seem very cyclical, and I swear I can almost feel when my usual brands are coming up on sale.

  5. ThriftoRama Says:

    Why would they have such arbitrary rules about when and how many coupons to double? You must not have a lot of grocery store competition in your area! Ours only started doubling regularly when the walmart opened about 2 years ago.

  6. My English Castle Says:

    Yeah--it's annoying. Our biggest grocery chain, Roundy's runs stores in several states, and has dominated this market for a long time. They pretty much drove the Chicago chain, Jewel, out of here, and the other smaller chain is lagging badly. We've seen a discount store, Woodman's, come into the market, but they don't double and only take cash or debit cards.

    Walmart is probably not as big here as it is elsewhere, and I wish someone would give Roundy's some competition. I usually buy produce at the farmer's market or the "expensive" chain--which actually has better produce values.

  7. ThriftoRama Says:

    Hey Rube-- which store had the Renpure Organix shampoo "Try Me Free" deal? I want to check that out.

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