Sunday, May 1, 2011

I Went Shopping: Couponing Gone Wrong

I thought that today would be an awesome CVS shopping day for me. There were a few good transactions listed on all the couponing sites and I was going to get a few things we are running low on. Alas, it wasn't mean to be. I made a few mistakes on my shopping game plan and the store didn't have a few items I wanted. I love coupon shopping but I am not the best at thinking on my feet when the store doesn't have exactly what I want. Here is how my transactions were suppose to go:

Transaction #1
2 Colgate MaxClean Smartfoam, MaxWhite, or Maxfresh toothpastes 6 oz $2.77 = $5.54
1 Mr. Clean Magic Erasers twin-pack = $3
2 Cascade Powder, Gel, or ActionPacs $4 each = $8
Subtotal $16.54
- 2 x $1/1 Colgate coupons
- $1.50 Magic Eraser coupon
- 2 x $.50/1 Cascade coupons   
Total: $12.04 -$10 Extra Care Bucks (from last week)
Out of Pocket: $2.04 + tax
GET: $5.54 Colgate, $3 Mr. Clean = $8.54 ECB

Transaction #2
2 Skinny Cow = $8
30 Friskies = $12
Subtotal: $20
- 2 x $1/1 Skinny Cow coupons
Total: $18 - $8.54 ECB (from transaction #1) 
OOP: $9.46 + tax
GET: $5 Nestle ECB

Transaction #3
Secret Clinical Strength deodorant = $8.19
2 Degree deodorants = $7
Subtotal: $15.19
- $3 Secret coupon
- $1 Degree coupon
Total: $11.19 - $5 ECB (from transaction #2)
OOP: $6.19 + tax
GET: $2 Degree ECB

And here is how it actually worked out:

Today's Loot

Transaction #1
2 Baby Ruth candy bars = $1
1 Cascade = $4
1 Magic Eraser = $3
2 Colgate = $5.54
-$1 Colgate
-$1.50 Magic Eraser
-$1 Cascade
-$10 ECB
= $.04 + $.03 tax = $.07 (Saved $19.20)

I accidentally picked up a Cascade Complete and had the cashier remove it when my final total seemed high. I grabbed a second Cascade (regular) but the cashier forgot to scan it, therefore I didn’t get $3 ECB at the bottom of my receipt and needed to add 2 candy bars to use up all of my $10 ECB coupon. I should have known something was wrong. Oh well, live and learn!

Transaction #2
3 Lean Cuisines = $9
9 Friskies @ $.40 a can = $3.60
1 Friskies @ $.57 = $.57
1 Cascade = $4
2 Skinny Cow = $8
-$1 Skinny Cow
-$1 Skinny Cow
-$1 Lean Cuisine
-$5.54 ECB
= $16.63 + $.39 tax = $17.02 (Saved $20.21)

I don't know what I was thinking, expecting my little CVS store to have 30 cans of Friskies cat food... and the Special Diet Pate at that (which is the only kind my cat will eat and can eat, you see, he's on Weight Watchers. I'll explain later.) So, they didn’t have enough Friskies and I had to add the Lean Cuisines on to complete the Extra Care Bucks deal. No biggie, it never hurts to have a few grab & go lunches in the freezer. I had to pay for the Cascade I didn't pay for in the last transactions and therefore didn't have the $3 ECB to apply to this transaction. The cashier was going to give me $3 cash but I opted to just keep the $3 ECB that printed on the bottom of that receipt for next week.

Transaction #3
 The problem with Transaction #3 was that there was no Transaction #3. The Hubs and I are both running low on deodorant so I was going to try to add to the stockpile but the prices weren't that great. As it turned out the Degree deodorant my husband prefers wasn't what was on sale so I decided to abandon the transaction. You win some, you lose some. 

In summary, I made a few rookie mistakes. I carefully planned out 3 transactions and wasn't prepared to adjust. When I had to think on the fly I made a few more mistakes. I paid more than I planned but at the end of the day I didn't pay full price for anything and bought a few items we needed. 

The new show on TLC, Extreme Couponing, has been getting a lot of attention on the blogs lately. I love shopping with coupons but I am by no means an extreme couponer- today was case in point. I made mistakes and that's alright. I have a feeling the shoppers who have appeared on Extreme Couponing would have flipped a lid over my shopping performance today. With that said, I love Extreme Couponing and find it very entertaining. Perhaps if I had more time and energy I could do what they do. Perhaps.

To see all the deals for CVS this week, check out Hip 2 Save.


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