January 7, 2011

Tip of the day—Stop paying for it

I have been thinking about what kinds of products we no longer pay for since I started couponing more.  I was talking to my sister-in-law recently about how couponing sort of ruins your idea of what things should cost.  Yes, toothpaste is normally priced somewhere around $4, but I haven’t paid out of pocket for toothpaste in years.  With catalinas, drugstore deals, sales, and coupons, there are certain things that you can get a few times a year for free.  When you see the word “free” on a matchup, make a point to stock up on however many products you can with the coupons to which you have access.  Then store them for later use.  If you end up buying more products than you need, donate them to a food pantry or shelter or give them to friends or family who can use them.

These are a few of the products we get for free now after coupons:

  • Toothpaste, though I do buy a special toothpaste for our daughter (Tom’s of Maine Silly Strawberry).  I did get a great deal on it at Target a while back and stocked up then.
  • Toothbrushes
  • Razors
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Bar soap
  • OTC cold medications
  • Rubberbands (for hair)
  • Ink pens, highlighters, and other small office supplies (usually free after coupon or rebate at an office store)
  • Air freshener (we only use an eco-friendly citrus spray at home so all of these are donated)
  • Dish soap (we use Seventh Generation at home so most of the dish soap is donated)
  • Lotions
  • Small first aid kits—when a coupon for Johnson &Johnson comes out, score on these in the travel section of Target
  • Buddies Soaps and shampoo for children/babies
  • Coffee creamer
  • Nail polish
  • Canned soups
  • Lip balm
  • Cornbread mix
  • Instant potatoes (always donated because I think they are weird)
  • Protein bars, such as Luna
  • Eye drops and contact cleaners
  • Ecotrin and most other OTC pain relievers except for Ibuprofen

These are a few products we rarely pay for, and if we do, we probably pay less than a dollar:

  • Seventh Generation—with deals at Target, we usually don’t pay that much
  • Purex Natural laundry detergent—usually free or under a dollar
  • Tissues
  • Dishwasher detergent—you probably stocked up just like I did this week at Wags
  • Paper for the printer at home—these are almost always free by the case after rebate at Office Max or another office store
  • Tape—watch for Scotch coupons and sales at drugstores
  • Mascara—with all of the coupons in All You and deals at Target, I rarely pay out of pocket for this
  • Bandages
  • Cleaners—toilet cleaners, sprays and scrubs for the bath, glass cleaner
  • Pasta

These are some products that I almost always get for under a dollar:

  • Frozen vegetables—even organics can be bought for less than a buck!  Green Giant and Birds Eye veggies are almost always free when I “buy” them after a sale or Mega Event at Kroger
  • Cereal—I rarely pay more than a buck for cereal, and we use mostly natural or organic cereal

What about you?  What are those products that you no longer pay for because of coupons?  You can see by the list how you can use the savings off of items like these to go towards other things your family needs.  Just in savings on toothpaste alone, our family has about $48 more dollars each year in our budget because of coupons.

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