For anyone that is starting out on the savings bandwagon, couponing can be extremely overwhelming. Even as an intermediate, there are times that you feel like you are pulled in different directions mentally.
To help you watch your spending and decide what's a decent deal, I posted a few photos of what to look for, especially at CVS.
I always look for products that are on sale with a special price AND offers Extra Care Bucks. I want a deal to lower my OOP - "Out Of Pocket" during the transaction AND I want "money back" after the transaction - those Extra Care Bucks. I think of those ECBs as CVS gifts....the store doesn't have to offer these incentives. It's like special coupons you can use with other coupons on your next purchase. They come handy when you need an important item and you don't have other coupons for it...it will help lower your purchase price.
TIP: Creating high expectations will help you make quick and easy decisions on what to look for as you shop and you won't go out of bounds with your spending budget.
So those deals where you pay full price with the sale of Buy One, Get One 50% off? Nope. I don't even look at those. That's only a 25% savings! Even with coupons, if it's under 50% savings, I don't even bother. If it comes with ECBs after purchase, I may consider it.
TIP: Focus on getting a 50% savings or higher when it comes to drugstores sales. CVS and Walgreens all mark their prices up so I aim to save way above 50%. My goal is 65% savings each time. CVS will tell you how much you saved on the bottom of the receipts.
Nutrisse: $7.99 each, on sale for $7 each, get $4 back in Extra care Bucks when you buy two. If you have the 8/20 Redplum inserts, there's a $2 off one box coupon you can use....use two of those coupons.
$14-$4 coupons=$10-$4 ECB=$6 for two or $3 each. From the original price of $7.99, this is a savings of 62%. If I have any ECBs to use, I would definitely get this deal. My price expectations on hair color is $2 or less. Sticking to my goal of 65% savings!
Same rule applies to the Dove deal. But is this a good deal???
Dove body wash: $8.49 each, on sale for $7.50 each. When you buy two, you get $2 back in ECBs. In the 8/20 Redplum inserts, there's a $.75 off manufacturer coupo you can use...get two coupons to do this deal.
$15-$1.50 coupons=$13.50-$2 ECBs=$11.50 for two or $5.75 each. A 32% savings!
TIP: When you do find an item that has a sale price and offers ECBs, do the math. It's not always the best deal! So as I glide by the aisles and look for sale prices with ECBs, I come across this and I decide not to get it. It's lower that 50% savings so I keep moving along.
Persil Detergent is a NICE DEAL!
Original price: $8.29, on sale for $4.34 each. When you spend $20 on this or with select household items, you get $5 back in Extra Care Bucks. There are also $2 off manufacturer coupons in the 8/20 Redplum inserts you can use as well. Grab 5 packs of Persil=$21.70. Use five $2 off coupons ($10). $21.70-$10-$11.70. Then get $5 back in ECBs! $11.70-$5=$6.70 for five packs or $1.34 each! That's a 83% savings! DEFINITELY get this deal!!!
There are some deals I will look at without an ExtraCare Bucks incentive. Like this Tide Simply detergent! original price is $7.19, on sale for $1.99. That's a 72% savings! In the 8/13 Redplum, there's a $.50 off manufacturer coupon that you can use, making it $1.49 per bottle! That's a 79% savings! Yep, I will get those!
Teach yourself to have high expectations when it comes to couponing. Start your goal with considering items that offer 50% or more savings. This would be considered your personal goal on what you want to spend.
When it comes to groceries, beginners should focus on getting a 20% savings or higher. Mine is 40% savings or more when it comes to meats, produce and other grocery items. Buy an extra of the same item if it's a good deal so when you get low, you have time to buy more in the future, rather than wait the last minute and end up paying full price because you ran out.