Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cheap is Chic.


Have you ever heard of that show called Extreme Couponing from TLC? Well, I have and I'm totally in love with it. Enter the world of bargain shoppers who have mastered the art of savings. About 98% of what they purchased were FREE. Amazing right? I mean who doesn't like freebies?

I decided early this month that I was going to try my hand at couponing. Yes, just regular couponing. I wish I could get everything for free like the Americans do. They have stores in their community that will double (sometimes triple!) the value of coupons. Coupon policies here in Canada are very different. Is it possible to be an extreme couponer in Canada? Yes, you can be an extreme couponer in Canada. You just won’t be able to get the same types of deals as those in the US.

I have definitely learned a lot about couponing the past couple of weeks. First, find coupons. The Sunday paper is always a great source to find some. Then you wait until there is a great sale (There are websites that will post weekly coupon match ups with Store deals) and that’s when you pull out your coupons. I also learned that having a list is a great tool. Otherwise, you will find yourself walking up and down the aisles. To save yourself some money, always shop with a list and never buy anything that is not on there. I learned this before I decided to try couponing. I like to cook and grocery shop. I found that without a list, I tend to buy unnecessary products that likely go to waste. Another thing to do is always check the clearance section. This morning I was bored and decided to go to Wal-Mart. Yes, I go to there when I'm bored. I'm sure people do too, ha. This was the very first time I got things for FREE. So imagine my excitement. Things didn't exactly go smoothly though.

Everything I purchased today. Missing: the Bananas, lol.

Before I left to go to the store, I made sure I calculated the deals. When I got to the cashier I was so darn confident of my coupons. The cashier had no knowledge whatsoever of their store coupon policy. After ringing my entire order, she was baffled that my coupon value exceeded the price of my items therefore Wal-Mart had to OWE ME. Amazing right? The cashier didn't think so. She got rude and I fired back telling her she should know how to do her job! (You should see how many screw ups she made on my receipt.) So, she calls the manager to come help her. Four managers later, my order was processed the right way. Sad, I know.

Out of the 4 managers only 1 actually knew the policy! The first 3 didn't know squat and thought they can just say YES OR NO because they're managers. Well guess what? I came prepared. I happened to have the Wal-Mart Coupon Policy printed out! (I'm terrified of public embarrassment so I did my research, lol.) Of course, I felt so damn good handing the print out to the store managers. Policy says: When coupon value exceeds the price of the item: • the excess amount can be given as cash or can be applied toward the basket purchase, at the customer's choice. How freaking wonderful is that?  As I was leaving, I saw the same 3 managers talking about if I hadn't added more items, they would've owed me! LOL, let me tell you. It was great.

My total was over $21 and guess how much I paid? $2.50. Yes, you read right. I'm quite happy knowing I only paid under $3. My order consisted of:
8 x Olay Body Lotion (Travel size) @ $1.57/ea = $12.56 - 3/$2 coupon and 1/$5 WUB3 = $1.56 (saved $11)
3 x Gilette Shave Foam (Travel size) @ $1.27/ea = $3.81 - 1/$5 WUB3 coupon = $0.81 (saved $3)
10 x Fresh Bananas @ $1.37/lb = $2.75 - $2.75 - 1/free 2lbs of Bananas coupon from Kelloggs = FREE
Total Paid = $2.50, Total Savings = $18.75

See all the voids the cashier made? lol.

I also went to Shoppers Drug Mart and purchased Crest Vivid 3D White Toothpaste that is normally $3.96that was on sale for $2.99 - $0.75 coupon = $2.63 including tax. Also went to Rexall and purchased 4 x Adidas Men & Women Deodorant @ $1.47 (Regular $4.99) = $5.88 - 2/$2 coupon = $1.88 (saved $4.) I paid $7.49 for everything I purchased today and I saved $48.55. Yup. I'm proud of myself.

To my conclusion, I honestly think couponing is a great way to save money. I mean who in the right mind would disagree? Those coupons are money. I used to be scared and embarrassed to use them but after watching that show I was totally amazed. If they can do it, I can do it. Cheap is Chic. I pride myself for being considered a good shopper. I mean, don't you feel happy when you save money? I definitely do. Money doesn't grow on trees.


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