2. Mended a shirt for me and patched a pair of pair of pants for Hubs. Both items were free, but needed some repairs before use. The shirt had gaps between each button in the front. I just sewed all of the gaps up. The jeans had several worn spots (whether by use or by the manufacturer, I'm not sure) that needed reinforcing with an iron-on patch. I was happy to finally get the jeans out of my sewing pile. Jeans for Hubs cost at least $20.00 per pair because I have a hard time finding them used. That's a $20.00 savings for less than an hour of my time!
4. Downloaded the Mobisave and Krazy Coupon Lady apps on my phone.
My Couponing Adventures
On Wednesday morning, I spent three hours comparing and matching up coupons, sales, and rebates to see how much money I could save. I did it as kind of an experiment, to see if it was worth my time on a weekly basis.
I used five phone apps in my three-hour foray. Ibotta (the best.. you get $10.00 just for joining!), Mobisave, Checkout 51, Krazy Coupon Lady, and Kroger. First I went through and marked all of the items I thought I might be willing to buy, if the price were low enough.
Then, I wrote all the deals from each app (except KCL) on a piece of paper. Beside each item I wrote the size, quantity, and any other details or exceptions to the offer. This took a lot of time. Then I went through and highlighted the offers that matched, and wrote them on a new list. For example, there were two $1.50 rebates for a certain type of deodorant. My listing looked like this:
Dove Advanced Care Deodorant- $3.00 off
White Rain shampoo or conditioner (buy 2)- $0.75 off
Pantene Shampoo/conditioner- $2.00 off
The last step was to ask myself, "Is it worth buying this product?" If the end price was cheaper than I would have normally paid (and I usually buy bent 'n' dent or the really cheap brand), it went on my shopping list.
The deodorant in question cost between $5.00 and $6.00. That means even a $3.00 savings would have left the price higher than I paid the other week for deodorant that I actually like ($2.50). So that got crossed off the list. It was the same story for Pantene products- even with the coupon, they would be more expensive than what I normally buy.
Finally, I hit paydirt with the White Rain products. These were things I could buy at the Dollar Tree (everything's a dollar). I purchased a bottle each of shampoo and conditioner. With a $0.75 rebate, each bottle ended up being $0.63 each; a savings of $0.25-$0.30 per bottle.
In the end, I bought 14 items primarily because they were on sale or had enough coupons to justify the purchase. I tried to buy only non-perishable (or freezable) goods this way. Here's what I ended up with:
1 banana for -$0.06 (that's a moneymaker, folks!)
1 loaf of bread for $0.54
Potatoes for $0.22 per pound.
1 15 oz. can of pumpkin for $0.60
2 8 oz. tubs of Cool Whip for $0.73 each
Sugar and flour ($0.50 off a 4 and 5 lb. bag for the cheapest brands)
8 lbs. butter for $2.00 per pound
3 lbs. bacon for $2.26 per pound
2 turkeys @ $0.68 per pound
I bought the bacon, butter and turkeys for the freezer. The banana and whipped topping will probably go in the freezer as well, and other items are for the pantry.
Dollar Tree Run
In addition to grocery shopping, I also made a run to the Dollar Tree, comparing prices and buying what I thought was a good deal, with or without rebates.
Shampoo and conditioner for $0.63 per bottle.
Pasta for $0.69 per pound.
Toothpaste for $0.25 per ounce.
Total Savings and Hourly Wage
Here is what I saved (listed by app) during three hours of couponing. This does not count the time I spent shopping.
Ibotta: $6.25 ($5.00 of this was the Joanns rebate)
Total money saved this week by three hours of couponing was $8.50. My hourly wage, then, was $2.83 per hour. If not for the Joanns rebate (because normally I don't buy $15.00 worth of stuff at Joann's), it would have been much, much lower.
After I got done couponing, I figured out a better, faster way to take advantage of deals without spending so much time.
1. Don't start couponing or rebate searching until the day of shopping. This eliminates rebates that dissappear or coupons that expire.
2. Start with the Krazy Coupon Lady. Search for suitable, practical freebies and moneymakers at Kroger, Walmart, and Dollar Tree. Print any applicable coupons or jump through hoops.
3. Activate rebates/coupons on Kroger, Ibotta, Mobisave, and Checkout 51 apps, in that order. Only choose rebates that you will actually buy- not things that you "might" buy.
4. Make a list of items for each store.
The above process should take no more than 30 minutes. Some weeks I will not be buying a lot of items, so the savings may only be $0.25- $0.50. I have to remind myself that not buying something at all is better than "saving" by using coupons or rebates to buy something I don't really need.
Black Friday Deals
Ebates (like Ibotta, you get a $10.00 bonus for redeeming your first rebate!) had a list of 500 stores last week that they were offering double rebate money on. I used the site to buy a wedding gift at Bed, Bath and Beyond, and also a pair of running shoes for myself on Amazon. The running shoes were a Black Friday special at $36.00. I picked out the brand, size and width of my last beloved pair, purchased in 2013 for about $80.00.
Tennis shoes are something I wear almost every day. To me, it is 100% worth the money to buy a nice, comfortable pair. Last year Hubs was in the market for new shoes, and he was trying to decide if he should spend $20.00 on the cheap pair (like he's always done in the past), or $40.00-$50.00 on the comfortable pair. I practically begged him to buy the comfortable pair instead. He has thanked me many times since then for convincing him to spend the extra money.
I think all penny pinchers have "sacred cows" that they are willing to spend money on, if it means higher quality. I think for most ladies this sacred cow is health food, but I can see more of a difference from the shoes I wear than whether I eat fresh produce or grass-fed meats every day. $40.00 will buy health food for a week or two, but it will save you from sore feet for years.
I think that's all, folks! We had a wonderful time with family and friends over the weekend.
What were some of your frugal accomplishments for last week?