Saturday, February 15, 2014

Stock Up On Savings!

My friend Leslie had been posting pictures on facebook recently, bragging about how much she spent on her buys. After seeing the second picture, I had to comment on it. It was amazing how little she spent for what she took home! She told me that she just recently joined a private group on Facebook that shared great buys at Walgreens, and loved saving money on items she had to buy for her family anyway. She invited me to join the group, and while I thought I knew quite a few tricks to save money while shopping, I was learning new stuff from this group right away!

This group shares tips and tricks like what coupons to stock up on so you can get the biggest bang for your buck while items are on sale, when to buy certain things to ensure you're getting the lowest sale prices, and lots of other tips that I haven't even gotten to. The biggest secret that I learned was that most Walgreens (if not all) actually have their sale items in the computer system on Saturdays- when their advertisement in the newspaper states that the sale runs Sunday through Saturday. This little secret allows super savers like my friend Leslie to take advantage of combining a coupon expiring on Saturday in conjunction with the sale set to start the next day. <Mind blown> 

I had to see for myself what I could get out of my coupons set to expire today and the two sales at Walgreens today- the ad ending today and the ad starting tomorrow that was really in the computers today. My first step was to check for myself if what I heard was true. So I called my local Walgreens store and asked if tomorrow's ad prices are in the computer today for me to take advantage of, or if what I heard was just a rumor. The manager informed me that Sunday's ad prices are in fact in the computer system on Saturday. He said in the past the computer was updated early on Saturdays, but it was recently changed and the computers are updated with the new sale prices at 4 PM on Saturday. Score! So I gathered my laptop, my coupon binder (yes, I'm one of those women!), and my notepad and got to work figuring out what sales I wanted to take advantage of. 

Here's the list of what I wanted to get:

Rightguard deodorant (regular price $4.19 each) on sale BOGO, and I had a coupon for $2 off 2= final price of $2.19 for 2.
Rightguard bodywash (regular price $4.99 each) on sale BOGO, and I had a coupon for B2G1= final price of $4.99 for 3... they were out of Rightguard and the cashier let me get Nivea and honored the coupon since Nivea was the same price of $4.99.
Tone bodywash (regular price of $4.59) on sale BOGO, and I had a coupon for B2G1= final price of $4.59 for 3... they were also out of Tone and she let me get Caress instead, again because it was the same price of $4.59 each.
Axe products (regular price $4.99) on sale B1G1 50% (buy one at regular price, get the second half off), and I had 2 coupons- one for $1 off shower gel, one for $2 off deodorant= final price of $4.48 for bodywash and deodorant.
Nutella (regular price $4.39) on sale for $3.49 and I had a coupon for BOGO= final price of $3.49 for 2.
Rockstar energy drinks (regular price $2.49) on sale for $1 each, and $1 register reward good on the next purchase. While there was a limit of one register reward, my husband loves these drinks and it's a nice 'special treat' for him to have occasionally, so I bought 6= $6 plus $1 RR.

My husband put the Rockstars away before any nosy kids
could get home and see them. 

The total before savings comes to $70.82. I paid $25.74 and saved $45.08, or 64%! Granted, there was tax added on, but I also bought a couple other items at regular price that I was going to buy anyway. If it wasn't for the other items, and the fact that the cashier rang things up differently to accommodate the substitutions I would have taken a picture of the receipt to show you the proof, so you wouldn't have to take my word for it!

While I only documented my trip to Walgreens for you, I also stopped by HyVee and Price Chopper for a couple of sale items. To make my money stretch as far as possible, I make sure I stock up on things when I can get them at a bargain price. My best example from today was canned vegetables: even store brand canned veggies are usually $.89 regular price- HyVee had their store brand canned corn and green beans on sale for $.39, so I stocked up! I bought a dozen cans of green beans and a 18 cans of corn. 

I know, I know, canned veggies aren't that great for you... I have been trying to get my family accustomed to fresh or at least frozen vegetables and a wider variety, but I still buy canned vegetables for two reasons. First, I have a mid-size deep freezer, only 9 cubic feet, so the freezer space is precious and used for meat as well as a variety of other things. Second, I like to have shelf stable foods as well as perishables. You can call me a prepper if you want- I want to be prepared with food that won't go bad if a winter storm takes out power lines! Now, if the zombie apocalypse started tomorrow it would be a much different story...

So now that you know one of the many ways I stretch each dollar, quarter and penny, it's time for you to share some of your tips! Do you have a favorite store you stick to or do you shop where the best deals are? Are you a 'crazy coupon lady' or do you shop the sales? Do you stock up when you go shopping or do you buy just enough to get you by for a few days? Do you plan meals and stick to your grocery list or do you stop by the store each evening after work panicking about what to feed your family? Does anyone else shop at Walgreens and combine coupons with their sales? I'd love to hear about your experiences!

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