Originally Posted by sparklett
Okay, I just have to share.
His newest "score": HOME PREGNANCY TESTS.
Yes. He did. I am not pregnant, nor do I think I'm pregnant, nor do I plan to become pregnant. But with x coupon and y rewards and blah blah blah, they were pretty much free.
Maybe he's trying to tell me something???
I don't know, I think he did pretty well actually. I can't tell you how many times in the last five years a spare pregnancy test would have saved a little sanity around here! I actually don't mind acquiring stuff like that as long as it's truly free or nearly free (and not in large quantities). If we end up not needing it, we can always give it away. Recently, I passed up a deal for Ben-Gay that would actually have been a moneymaker for me, but I didn't feel like running around for something we truly didn't need. A week later, after all the sales were over, DH's ankle (he's a newbie runner) started bothering him, and what did he come home with? A $10 tube of Ben-Gay!!!
Originally Posted by huha
Mellisal - could you provide more details about the Quaker Oats September deal? We use a lot of it and I would love to spend less money on it.
I personally don't like coupons at all. I wish the stores and manufacturers would just give their best prices possible. I hate looking for and carrying out the coupons - I think it is ridiculous busy work. Unfortunately, the high prices of the new area where I moved (D.C.) makes it a necessity. Are they inflating prices because everyone is expected to coupon clip?
Huha, I don't think we did it last year (I had to go gluten-free, and regular oatmeal was a problem for me, AND we still had a bunch from the previous year!), but here's what I remember. This really only works well if your stores double coupons, but depending on what deals you get, you may be able to make something work.
In the next week or so, look for Quaker coupons in the Sunday inserts. Typically, you want something under $1.00, because most stores don't double coupons that are $1 or more. Then, during the first or second week of September, watch for sales. I remember that it was during the week of 9/10 several years ago, because my DD5 was born and I missed the sale that year (I was so steamed, LOL!). Around here, the stores try to outdo one another on the sales, and there's often a Quaker rebate to go along with it. With the sales and the doubled coupons, most of the time the tubs of rolled oats end up being free, and the instant packets are close to free.
My feeling for the last few years was that the deals were getting slightly less exciting, but were still good deals. When I first started catching this sale, I got tons and tons of both rolled oats and packaged instant oatmeal completely free, and was able to send in for a rebate too. In the past few years, I think the rebate was for purchasing a higher number of items (like, 8 or 10)--which made it less lucrative because we can only use four of the same coupon around here.
I don't clip coupons. I can't bring myself to buy enough newspapers to make that worthwhile, and I don't use enough coupons to even recoup that money usually, so I get them on eBay or trade for the specific ones I need. You do pay a bit upfront to get your coupons (unless you can manage to get printables), so your items aren't completely and totally free, but you'd be paying for the newspaper anyway unless you know enough people who would be willing to give you their inserts.
I've been noticing inflated prices on some things, but I suspect that's more the economy than anything else. Maybe they do inflate their prices in the anticipation of offering discounts, but I think that's simply the nature of selling products or services. I was looking at a deal on Mamapedia the other day for a meal planning service--10 weeks of service offered at $25 (50% off the regular cost of $50). However, when I went to check out the service, they actually offer it monthly for $13, or weekly for $5. So yeah, 10 weeks for $25 is 50% off the weekly rate, but only a much smaller percentage off the monthly rate. It's all in the marketing, and I think that's the case for any business.
ETA: Huha, if you want to PM me, I might be able to help you find some resources for your specific area. I found at least one coupon blogger that cover the DC area, but if you're just outside DC, there will be more options for you. If you have a Shoprite near you, they tend to have the best deals, at least around here. It looks like Safeway is the other big chain around there, so you'll probably want to look for a blog that details the weekly Safeway coupon/sale circular match-ups for your area.
Also, look here for your local grocery store-specific forums:
And here's another blogger that does the DC-area Safeway matches.
Edited by melissel - 8/23/11 at 10:45am