Experimenting with the Sunday Newspaper

by Kevin on February 1, 2009

Every once in a while I run across a fellow personal finance blogger that is talking about how they got a cart load of merchandise for practically free. Of course they aren’t utilizing the five finger discount; shopping deals and using a consistent stream of coupons seems to be the trick.

I’ve yet to successfully use coupons on a regular basis. I signed up for Walgreen’s Easy Saver program and we’ve bought several items for free after rebate. I’ve printed off some coupons from coupons.com. But some of these posts are inspiring — $100 for $12 at CVS, $60 for $0 after rebates… the kind of thing that makes me sit up and pay attention.

So I’m going to give it the old college try. Tomorrow for the first time in my life I will purchase our local paper off the rack. I’m hoping to land pages upon pages of useful coupons. My goal is to keep track of how successful we are and report back to my readers. I won’t put my stamp on this being a great idea unless it really is a great idea. Since I haven’t done it yet, it’s a bit too early to tell.

Tactics I will be attempting:

  • The CVS “ECB” — earning spending money at CVS and ending up getting items for free (or for profit when you consider the extra cash to spend at CVS)
  • Clipping regular coupons for grocery stores
  • Checking out the other drug stores around, especially Walgreens since I’ve already started using the card there.

That’s a vague list. I’m definitely a rookie at this so we will just have to see how it goes. I’m reading a lot of Hot Coupon World where all of these crazy people are talking about getting all sorts of items for essentially free. We’ll see how it goes. Should be interesting. I anticipate getting into an argument with at least one cashier about the difference between a purchase (one item) versus a transaction (made up of multiple purchases). In theory you should be able to use multiple coupons for multiples of the same item, but sometimes they don’t see it that way. I guess we will find out!


shari elmore February 1, 2009 at 10:56 am

Hey! We are not crazy-just smart people making crazy deals ;). Also, check out pinchingyourpennies.com, a full cup.com, and couponmom.com. There are also tons of bloggers who live frugally and you can google them as well. I follow quite a few myself-that is actually how I found your blog-through one of them !
Best of luck-if you have any q’s-don’t be afraid to post them in the forums-Q’s are usually answered asap. Also, if you would like a copy of my notes on how to coupon-just send me an e-mail addy and I will send it to you.

Ken February 2, 2009 at 4:34 am

My wife just got on board with this last week. She bought $75 in groceries for $30. She’s been working the scissors over but also getting results. Good Luck!

Denise February 2, 2009 at 7:14 am

Try a website called Deal Seeking Mom She explains how to use many rebate programs as well as many useful links to freebies.

cullen February 2, 2009 at 1:36 pm

if you want to make the most of your coupons, i suggest signing up for the grocery game….www.thegrocerygame.com

Start-Up February 3, 2009 at 6:02 pm

I’ve been playing the Walgreens and CVS games for a couple of months now and blogging about it. I get all kinds of stuff for free or very little out-of-pocket money. I don’t get $100 for $10 or anything, but some free shampoo and toothpaste every now and then never hurts anybody.

At CVS I use the ECBs to get free stuff. At Walgreens I use the EasySaver Rebates and Register Rewards (Walgreens version of ECBs). Just make sure you get your EasySaver Rebates in the form of a Walgreens gift card cause they tack on an extra 10%.

Good luck

Kevin February 5, 2009 at 9:59 pm

@shari: Some are a little over the top, but I’m with you. I mean crazy in the best way possible, honest! 🙂

@Ken: That’s awesome… cut that budget in half.

@Denise: Will look into it.

@cullen: Does TGG cost something?

@startup: We’ll keep posting our progress…

cullen February 6, 2009 at 2:51 pm

The grocery game is $1 for a 4 week trial; then $10 for one store ($5 for the second)one your trial is over. I believe they bill every 8 weeks. I am in the middle of my trial but last week – using a combo of coupons and store sales – my total was ~185 and I paid 133. Not bad!! I think it takes more than 4 weeks to build up a foundation of coupons to use in combination with the store sales, but so far I think the $10 for 1 store will be well worth it.

Kevin February 6, 2009 at 7:25 pm

@Cullen: I would be interested in discovering what sort of added value they provide. I can check the hotcouponworld forums and pretty much have everything lined up. Interesting.

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