Saturday, June 5, 2010

Good Deals: It Pays to Pay Attention

I haven't done a lot of shopping in the past few weeks. It was good to take a break from stores. However, my hiatus from the land of retail couldn't last forever because, well, the shelves would get bare pretty quickly around here and I do like the thrill of the hunt. Providing for my family while staying within our budget is only accomplished by doing some planning, couponing and bargain shopping.

CVS, a drugstore akin to Walgreens, was my one couponing stop for this week. They had diapers for $3.99 per pack (limit 1), which is a great deal on diapers! I wouldn't make a special trip to CVS just for one pack of diapers, no matter how good the deal. However, I knew that I would be out and about and driving by a CVS so I planned the stop. Before I left, I grabbed my coupon box even though the diaper special didn't require any coupons because said diapers were the CVS brand.
I walked to the diaper aisle at the store, grabbed my pack of size sixes and then noticed all sorts of yellow clearance tags sticking off the shelves all through the baby supplies. Apparently, CVS is doing some major reorganizing of their baby aisle, because a large portion of the items were sporting those yellow clearance tags.

Upon further investigation, I noticed two jumbo packs of Huggies diapers in size 6 clearance priced at $4.37! That's $4.37 for a pack of 34 diapers, only 13 cents per diaper - way below my target price for diapers. To make matters even sweeter, I remembered I had some coupons for Huggies diapers in my coupon box in the car. I also saw big packs of CVS wipes for only $1.32 - I got two. Yes, I ran out to the car to get my coupons! I had 2 coupons for $3.00 off a pack of diapers which meant I got 2 jumbo packs for only $1.37 each, only 4 cents per diaper. Running out to the car is worth 6 bucks. Plus, it counts as exercise, right?

As you can see, in the photo, I also picked up some soaps my gals like (clearance price of .69), 10 cans of tuna and 3 shampoos because once I got in the store I saw a few other good deals (and remembered I had a raincheck for the tuna).

All told I spent $15.87 at CVS and got back $6.00 in Extra Care Bucks to spend later.

Is the point of this post to brag about my good deals? Nope. It's to encourage you to pay attention when you are shopping. When you are in stores, there is money to be saved in scanning shelves as you shop, comparing prices and sizes of different brands, and keeping your coupons handy. If I hadn't given the shelves a quick glance at CVS this week, I would have really missed out on a huge savings for our family.

Here's another example of paying attention: At another grocery store last week, I noticed they had rice wine vinegar on sale for $1.49 a bottle, regular price was $2.25. There were $1.00 off coupons around the bottle tops making them 49 cents each. I don't use rice wine vinegar everyday, but I do use it, especially in the summer. So, I bought 2 bottles which will last over a year and saved 80% while doing it.

As always, buying something you don't need and won't use, even it if is a great deal, will never save you money. But paying attention to sales, prices and coupons and buying a product at rock bottom prices will save you a bundle!

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