How We Saved 54% on 7 Tubes of Toothpaste

by Kevin on June 17, 2008

All this for $10

(We got all of this for $10 — read on to find out how.)

I sure hope toothpaste doesn’t go bad over time.

Last weekend we bought 7 tubes of toothpaste at a significant discount — right at 54% off. Who needs 7 tubes of toothpaste? Everyone does, eventually. We will use it up one by one over the next several months.

Seriously, Who Doesn’t Like 54% Off?

Awareness is key to frugality.

Our favorite grocery store Publix mailed out a sale flyer. You could pick 10 items that were on the back of one of the flyers, and only pay $10. So if there were 10 items on the flyer, you could get one of each for a $1. Or you could get three of this for $3 and five of that for $5 and two of that other thing for $2. Any way you wished to mix and match would result in a total of $10 spent on 10 items.

Most of the items did not grant a significant discount. As you can see from the photo above, we also bought a half-gallon of Publix’s raspberry sweet tea ($0.39 saved), a can of Campbell’s Bean and Bacon soup ($0.50 saved), and a small pizza ($0.25 saved). These were items we would normally have purchased regardless of the sale.

But the real winner on the back of that flyer was Aquafresh toothpaste. There were two types you could buy, both of the 6 oz. variety. That’s a plus because 6 oz. is the larger of the two tube sizes and you normally get a bit of a discount simply by buying the bigger tube. For example, a 4.6 oz. package might run you $1.89 (43.2 cents/ounce) and a 6 oz. package might cost $2.39 (39.8 cents/ounce). That’s not a huge difference to start off with, but it is a difference.

Thanks to the 10 for $10 flyer, the 6 ounce variety was on sale for $1 a piece, up to 10! The normal Publix price is $2.39. You can buy it at Walgreens for $2.19, so that is what my discount rate is based off of. We saved $1.19 on each tube of toothpaste, so $1.19/$2.19 = 54% discount. If we discounted off of the Publix price the discount would be 58%.

How much did I really save?

Let’s run the math on the total amount we saved from those ten items:

  • 7 tubes of Aquafresh toothpaste, available at $2.19 each. $1.19 saved x 7 = $8.33.
  • Raspberry tea, normally $1.39. Savings of 39 cents.
  • Bean and bacon soup, normally $1.50. Savings 50 cents.
  • A small pizza, normally $1.25. Saving of 25 cents.

Total savings? $9.47. O think that is huge considering we only spent $10. I actually thought of going back later in the week and buying another 10 packs of toothpaste, but figured that might border on excessive. If we had purchased only 10 tubes of toothpaste (which carry the largest discount of all of the items), our savings would have been $11.90.

This isn’t going to make me a millionaire overnight.

However, the mentality that catches and uses these deals will. You may not get excited about saving money on toothpaste. But what if you saved 50% on all of your toilet paper, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, and toothbrushes? Or if you could get 15% off on your groceries? You may think I’m crazy. But I’ll be happy to spend 5 minutes here and there to start stacking up significant savings on even the most basic of items.

Where is your line in the sand where this type of discount starts to matter to you? And what do you think, am I crazy to be excited about saving money on toothpaste?

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{ 8 comments }

leslie June 17, 2008 at 8:00 am

I don’t think you’re crazy-not at all! I just bought 4 tubes of toothpaste at Target on Saturday afternoon for $0.00!

Colgate was on sale for $2.44. I used a Target printable coupon for $1.00 off each one. I also had manufacturer coupons for $1.50 off one. (At Target, you can combine store coupons with manufacturer coupons.)

Saving big on health/beauty items allows me to stretch our food budget much further. This is important for our family of 7 and helps keep our snowball rolling. I actually don’t like to pay for any of the health/beauty stuff if I can help it, since I know that typically, I can get so much for free or better at CVS or Walgreen’s. I also recently bought 20 4 packs of Cottonelle toilet paper for $0.00 using coupons at Kroger. Who doesn’t use TP?? ๐Ÿ™‚

So now you can think I’m crazy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

BCS June 17, 2008 at 8:07 am

It’s funny that you mention this. Just last week, I purchased the same brand of toothpaste at Meijer. It was 10 for $10 as well, but if you bought 10 (Meijer gives the $1 per tube no matter how many you buy), you got the 11th free. Not a bad deal at all!

PT June 17, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Good for you guys. My wife’s been doing the CVS bucks this summer and making these types of purchases. I say go for it if you have the time…every little bit counts toward getting one step ahead.

Julissa October 2, 2011 at 4:00 pm

I liaterlly jumped out of my chair and danced after reading this!

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Russell June 17, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Good job on the coupons, years ago I worked for a grocery company in Tampa Florida, and they had to modify the checkout registers to give negative total. The company had the policy of redeeming full value on coupons, and there were some customers who occasionally walked out of the store with more money than they brought in.

Have you tried http://www.thegrocerygame.com? It’s a grocery shopping planner that guides you to combine coupons, ads, and specials, calculating the quantity you should buy to maximize savings on the featured items. My sister uses it for her family and for catering church dinners, and she’s been known to save literally $100’s in a month.

Amphritrite June 19, 2008 at 5:24 pm

Toothpaste and toilet paper are two of the things I never pay money for anymore. Additionally, I don’t pay for shampoo, for conditioner, for makeup or for facewash.

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