Since I began working, my coupon deals and loss leader shopping had declined. There simply isn't time to match all the deals with all the coupons at every store I'd like to. I try to keep an eye out for fantastic deals on the things we use most, but sometimes even those get missed. Sometimes I don't even have time to get the Sunday paper, so I miss out on the coupons.
It is the constant struggle a frugal mom faces; time vs. money. With the garden, preserving, and working something had to give. I had a pretty decent stockpile of drugstore items, and grocery shopping is minimal for us this time of year. It only was logical that matching coupons and sales to shop would go by the way side a bit. So much so that I'd almost forgotten what a thrill it was to get the great deals.
This week I found myself in town without kids for part of an afternoon. Anticipating this event, I brought my coupons, sale ads, and deal matches along with me. The first stop was CVS. I walked out with a bag full of cosmetics, mouthwash and other items. I spent less than $3 out of pocket (and some ECBs from previous trips,) and received a bunch of ECBs to spend on my next trip.
The next stop was Kmart. Right now Kmart is doubling all coupons (limit ten per transaction) up to $2 when you spend $25 in grocery or drug store items. I wasn't very organized for this stop, and it took me quite some time to put it all together. In the end I had several bags of items for about $17, a savings of over 50%. When I got to the register the cashier said, "It has been a long time since I had coupon lady." I took that as a compliment.
For me playing the drug store games and matching coupons is like a giant game. I beat the game when I can get things cheap. Even though it did take some time, even though I was a little frustrated at Kmart (due to my own lack of preparation,) it was an absolute thrill to me to get things we need for such little money.
As a side note if you'd like to hit the Kmart double coupon event a little more prepared than I did check out Money Saving Mom's post Double Coupon Days. She also has lots of great scenario ideas for the drugstores and grocery stores.