I am also learning all of the "terms" the coupon queens use.
I followed the advisement of the coupon queens I follow (links on the right) and only attempted to shop
ONE store for awhile till I got my bearings. I chose CVS. Walgreens has a similar "bucks" back program- but you do not have to sign up for anything... it is simply automatic when you buy special "deals" in store. They also have a booklet of coupons up front with a month worth of savings that you must pick up and hold on to. There was a coupon in the circular from the paper- but she just scanned it off of her "copy" she held on to near her register.
Walgreens had a BUY 1 GET 2 deal on rolls of scotch tape ($1.99) - not a bad deal in itself.
However- my advisors to the right over there sent out an update and I found that there was also a SCOTCH manufacturer coupon that could be added to that as well- so VIOLA! I got 3 rolls of tape for .99¢ - well- tax made it $1.06.
ON TO CVS- I got FREE EASTER GRASS and a FREE Egg Decorating kit - WOO HOO- I LOVE FREE! I also got 2 free bag tags- They encourage you to bring a green bag - ANY recycled bag to shop with- so they don't waste plastic bags on you. Each bag tag that is scanned for your trip makes .25¢ credit- and every 4 trips you get that $1 back in ECB bucks- just for using a "bring it yourself" bag.. NOT BAD. They had a buy one get one deal- I got an ECB credit for each one that I bough (2) so they were FREE!
I did learn about multiple transactions- if I had split my trip into 3 "shops" I could have used the ECBs I got that day- on my very next "ring up" purchases. As it was I made one larger purchase and they all spit out at the end- oh well- I can use them all next time ($14 worth.) I bought some new make ups that I needed to get since we are headed into SUMMER color- I tan quickly and easily- so I always have a summer and a winter shade. I bought with the in store deal- buy $10 get $3 ECBs. I combined coupons from the manufacturer for many of them and made them about 1/2 price. I also bought 2 lightbulbs for .99¢ each- regularly $5 each. I don't need them NOW- but when I do need them I will have them and for the lowest price - not the uh oh I have no lightbulbs go to HEB and buy them full price...
I also bought a "stock pile" if you will shampoo and conditioner for .77¢ each! Bryndall loves the flowery smells on new shampoo flavors! I WOULD have bought my first tubes of FREE toothpaste- I was ready to buy 4 (free) - since I had the stacking coupons- but the size that would have been free (4ozs) was all sold out (early bird gets the worm.) I decided not to buy tubes for $1 each for food pantry- I have like 6 tubes of toothpaste already in my bathroom. So - I USED THE TAPE I JUST BOUGHT FOR .99¢ at WALGREENS (stop laughing) and I taped the extra coupons I had on the boxes to bless someone else! SOMEONE will appreciate it! ;-) I know it is silly to go shopping really early in the morning- but I wake up at about 5am anyway- HEY People do it on black friday every year right!?? Next time I plan a FREE shop on toothpaste I will aim to go 6AM SUN MORN - when the circular deal is first in effect!
It was a good trip- I saved $26 - plus made $14 in ECB to use over the next month at CVS.
If I had used the ECBs on that trip I would have literally saved about 50% on that trip!