$119.05 shopping trip for $24.23 (including tax) !!

I would say a big YES!!

Today was the day …the sales arrived…the coupons aligned…and it culminated in to my best shopping trip to date! Now, I know that there are some super-couponers out there that could top this, but I am still really excited!!

Shopping Trip 2.24.13

Ok, so what was involved, you ask?

1 hour clipping, planning, etc. {I didn’t actually clock it, but I’m pretty sure it was somewhere around there. Note: This step saved me almost $95 – this is a really important step!!}

3 stores {CVS, Target, Staples}

1 hour, 15 min actually Shopping/Driving {the stores are pretty close to each other}

Ok, so now on to what I bought:


Schick Hydro Razor {FREE, except for tax, due to a recent coupon mailer that came to my husband – yay! + $4 ECBs!!}

Poise Cooling Wipes {I don’t need these, but I actually made $2.01 + $1 ECB for “buying” them with coupons – so I couldn’t resist!}

4 Tubes Carmex Lip Balm {only 3 are pictured –one had to be used right away! }

Physicians Formula Blush { I have really been looking for a new blush, and this one fit in to the deal SOOO well – I actually got $7 ECBs for “buying” it}

Thermacare Heatwrap{My husband likes me to get these when they are free, just in case J and I don’t mind getting the at all, especially when they are $3.49 and I get $3.49 back in ECBs !}

Systane Eyedrops {OK, in all honesty, this was actually what I was after the whole trip, but… I just COULDN’T resist the urge to play the game and see if I could win! Considering that the “sale price” of this product was $8.99, I would definitely put this in the win category!!}

I used a $5 ECB coupon from a few weeks ago, so…

Total Spent: $5.62 (inc. tax){I like to add the tax in because I think it’s cheating NOT to count it – I actually parted with this money, so it counts against my monthly budget!}


1 tub Huggies Baby Wipes (64 count)

2 Reach Floss

1 Picture Frame

1 box Up & Up Sandwich Bags (100 ct)

1 bottle Up & Up Antacids (90 ct)

1 ½ inch Up & Up 3-ring binder (for which I have GREAT plans! Stay tuned…:))

1 pkg Up & Up Printer Paper (400 sheet)

33 oz Hunts Tomato Sauce Tetra Pack

1-14.75 oz Can Hunts Diced Tomatoes

2 – 8 oz Bags Market Pantry Shredded Cheese

2 Jars Market Pantry Pasta Sauce

I used 2 bag credits ($0.05 each) and a $5 gift card I got from the Cheerios deal last week {I only count those GC’s as savings on the trip I am able to use it, since it’s cash I don’t have to part with}…

Total Spent: $12.44 (inc. tax)


1 double pack HP ink (black & color)

1 Reusable bag

I used the Staples 20% off coupon for everything you could fit inside the reusable bag (which was free with purchase, but I forgot to put in the picture) and also used my Staples rewards dollars from past purchases and ink cartridge recycling credits…

Total Spent: $6.17 (inc. tax)

So now you may be thinking – “Wow, good for you. But I can’t duplicate your same savings, because you used coupons/deals/rewards dollars/etc. that I can’t get in order to do the same ones. You didn’t help me, you just teased me!”

A year ago, I would have said the EXACT SAME THING! But the point of my story of spectacular savings is not to make you upset or taunt you, but to inspire you with the idea that major savings ARE possible. I myself often wonder if all the time spent combing through blogs and coupon sites and organizing binders and boxes and strategizing my drug store deals with the laser focus of a military sniper are really all worth it.

And then I have a day like today {*big smile*} and realize that it is totally worth it!  But, it wasn’t like this the first few times I went on CVS runs and Target outings. I made lots of mistakes and realized (sometimes too late 😦 ) that some deals would have been better left off the list (even though I had a coupon! ;)). I wanted stuff for cheap and free as much as the next person, but to be honest, I had no idea how to do it! And when I saw posts similar to this one, it would frustrate me and make me think I wasn’t trying hard enough, or place the blame on my location (“we just don’t get double coupons here!” “CVS doesn’t do ECBs on milk here!”). You know the drill. But it’s really only now, with my still (very) limited experience with coupons that I can say this: It just takes time.

Seriously, couponing can be a huge investment and can take over your life if you let it, but ultimately can yield you a handsome return for patience and good planning. Just like most things in life :).

There. Now aren’t you glad you stuck it out until the end of the post 😉