Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The (Savings) Power of One Single Shopping Trip

Yesterday I combined a bunch of errands and saved a fair amount of cash in doing so (and 'earned' a bit, too). How? Actually, it was much easier than you'd think! Here's what I did:

1. Went through all of the Sunday circulars and all of my coupons. (Lots of potential savings; more below)
2. Mapped out the most direct route hit all of the places I need to visit. (Saves gas ... and who doesn't need to save gas?!)
3. Bought the items I had on my list, but kept an eye out for any other bargains that might be around. (Saves money - both ways, as long as you don't buy on impulse.)

The long and short of it:

I wanted to go to CVS, Walgreens, Ralph's and the Goodwill drop off station. Lucky for me, they're all less than a mile from our home and all in the same general area.

First stop: CVS - I did a total of five transactions. I earned $7.00 in Extra Care Bucks and used them to lower the cost of the items I bought. I wound up with 1 large tube of Gold Bond body wash, a package of 150 tooth flossers, four boxes of Puffs + Lotion, and five Oral B toothbrushes (one even had a small size toothpaste with it). I spent a total of $13.00 and saved $15.71 in coupons.

Next stop: Walgreens - I was able to do it all in just one transaction. They didn't have one of the products on my list, but they generously offered to substitute a very similar product. I bought four large bottles of Old Spice body wash, 2 Old Spice deodorants, a four pack of Duracell batteries, a package of Windex wipes and a bottle of Fantastic. I spent a total of $22.65 and saved $21.80 in coupons. PLUS, they offered me a free gift from the Easter basket they had on the counter (I chose a toothbrush - my dentist would be proud), and I got two different coupon booklets that are good through the month of April.

Next stop: Goodwill Donation Station - Luckily, it's right across the parking lot from Walgreens. I had just one bag - the result of paring down my summer T-shirts and shorts. Plus, an ollllllld pair of shoes I haven't worn in at least two years.

Final stop: Ralph's - This grocery trip was a combo fill in what we need for the week/and stock up on a couple of good deals. They are also running a special where you receive double Rewards points when you buy certain products (juice, yogurt, cold cereal, detergent .... hmmmm...which of these things is not like the other?) I didn't buy them because of the points, but I did buy yogurt and juice so was able to accumulate more Rewards points. Plus, I brought my reusable grocery bags, so I earned Rewards points for that (WOW! I just checked my receipt; they usually only give you credit for 10 bags at 5 points each, but for some reason, I got credit for 16 bags. The checker just kept adding bags until it wouldn't allow him to go any further = 80 points!). I used just $4.75 in coupons, but added to my Rewards card, I saved a total of $34.74.

Total savings for the day: $72.25!! Not bad for just the small bit of planning I did. I wish everything was this easy!

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