Friday, July 4, 2014

$11.03 - That Is All I Paid for All Of This!


I think I found my 3rd job.  A few days ago I posted about how to get started in couponing and presented my 5 top tips for how to begin the process and get organized.   Whether you want to build up a stock pile with as little money as possible or if you want to just save money here and there, couponing is the way to do it.  Who wants to pay full price - for anything?  Not me.

Before I show you my bargains for the day I want to restate what I said before:

If you don't use a product, don't get it just because it's on sale.  Only buy things you know you will use or have used before AND that will give you the biggest savings.  Unless you get them free, of course!  You can always donate the free items you get and that is a great thing to do!

Since my last post I have been doing some research and talking to friends who coupon to try and find out their best tips and tools to saving money.

I have come across some great information in my search for ways to save and one of the tools that has been at my disposal all along is an app called Ibotta .  I actually downloaded it last year and used it for about a week and then forgot about it.  Apparently I had about $5.00 in my Ibotta account and I didn't know it but it sat there for over a year.  Since it sat dormant for a while, they took a few fees out but honestly, I was happy to know that the time I had spent in Ibotta had actually netted me some money - even though I didn't know about it!  I now understand better how it works and I think they have made a lot of enhancements to the system since then so that is great too!

I opened up the Ibotta app on my phone and re-educated myself on how it works. Basically they post products on their site and you have the opportunity to click on them, perform tasks.  They are very simple and not time consuming at all like reading a paragraph, watching a short video, answering a question or getting a recipe, etc.  This allows you to unlock rebates toward the purchase of the product.  You then go to the store, buy the product, verify the product with your phone, take a picture of the receipt and then submit it!

All you have to do at this point is sit back and wait for Ibotta to tell you whether your receipt has been accepted or not and they will then let you know that rebate has been moved to your account and then you can move it either to PayPal, Venmo OR transfer it into a gift card!  This happens pretty quickly for me.  It only takes about 30 minutes or so for me to get the notification that the money has been deposited into my account.  It sounds like a lot of work but it really isn't.

Another site that would be great for you to check out is one called SavingStar. This site is even easier to use. You just link your store reward cards to SavingStar, click on the products in the app, or on the computer if you don' thave a smartphone and when you get to the store and purchase those items, SavingStar verifies your purchases through your store reward cards and then puts your savings into your SavingStar account!

With SavingStar you have to purchase the items at the store at the price they are in the store, whether they are regular price or sale prices, and then within about 22 - 30 days you will see the cash put into your SavingStar account.  No coupons or anything to mess with but you do need to make sure that you use your rewards card because that is how SavingStar knows you have made the purchase.

Let me quickly show you what I was able to purchase today and save.  Most of the items that I purchased today were not on either Ibotta  or SavingStar but were products that I found through free coupon matching services that I follow. You won't believe this!  As I get more experienced at this, I will share my information with you!

From Weis grocery store I purchased:

four 14 oz. boxes of Cheerios for $3.69 a piece.  Weis was offering $6.00 off if you purchased 4 boxes and then I had a manufacturers coupon for $1.00 off each of those boxes.  That made my final price $1.19 a box.  WAAHHHOOO!!!

I purchased theses two lovelies of 16 oz. of Kraft Salad Dressings for $1.47 (these are the larger bottles) and they were on special.  I had a coupon for $1.00 off 2 so I paid only .97 for each of these.  I think I could have done better but I am getting the hang of it all again so I will save more next time.  .97 is not bad for this size of bottle salad dressing is a staple at our house so it won't go to waste!

Max and Elizabeth both love hot sauce so I picked up this 2 fl. oz.bottle of Tobasco Sauce for $1.59.  I had a $1.00 off coupon so it was only .59.  That will go a long way at our house.

I picked up four 12 oz. boxes of this San Giorgio Pasta that were $3.58 for two.The store had a special that marked them down to $2.04 for both and then I had a coupon for $1.00 off two boxes.  That made my whopping total for each box .27.   I almost cried!

I then went on over to my local Walmart and found these great deals:

I only purchased one of these bottles of salad dressing because I was trying to check out my Ibotta app.  It wasn't on sale at the store (I usually try to only by things on sale) but it was listed with a .75 rebate on Ibotta and Walmart's price was the lowest in my area. I had to purchase the 16 fl. oz. size or larger and I found it at Walmart for just $2.12. With the .75 off it made this large bottle only $1.37. I know I can do better and I will next time but this is such a novel idea - get paid to buy the things you already buy!  $1.37 is still a very good price to pay for this large bottle of salad dressing.

I love this Dawn concentrated dish washing liquid.  This little tiny bottle lasts a long time at our house because you really only have to just use a few drops.  The coupon I had said the only restriction was that I couldn't buy the travel size.  This small bottle was $1.07 and I had a .25 coupon so in the end that made it only .82.  Pretty good but again, I think I can do better.  Next time I will wait until it is on sale and I can get it for a much lower price.

My last and best find for the day was this bottle of shampoo.  It was a 12 fl. oz bottle of Vidal Sassoon shampoo regularly priced at $2.47.  I had a coupon for $2.00 so that made my total cost for this bottle .47. This was a great bargain and since we buy this kind of shampoo, it was an even more exciting thing for me. This is the kind of savings I like to get.  It doesn't happen very often but this is going to be my goal for all my purchases at some point.

Weis grocery store and many others double coupons so check in your area for the stores that will give you the biggest savings before you go.  It does take some work but once you understand all the coupon policies and feel comfortable with it, you will save a lot of money.  To start, pick out one or two items through coupon matching services, collect the coupons and check the Ibotta and SavingStar apps to make sure you are getting the most for your money and then go shopping. Once you have done the whole process once or twice, you will be a pro.  Really, it's pretty easy.

So when you add up the price that I paid for everything in the first picture minus the coupons, store specials and Ibotta rebates I only spent $11.03!  I am so excited to get back into couponing and save some money. Being an extreme couponer is not my intention - although I think people who can do that are pretty awesome - but to be able to refill my cabinets without feeling like I have drained my wallet makes me very happy.  I know it is possible because I have done it before.  This time though, it is much easier with the internet and all the great information out there.

I wonder how many meals Max, Elizabeth and I can make out of my finds today!  Just kidding.

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

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