Monday, January 10, 2011

Timing Sales Cycles with Coupons=Savings!

 **This post is part of the Money Saving Challenge over on FRUGAL MAKES CENTS.**

It seems like all I do lately is shop and post about Rite-Aid trips!
I find this highly amusing as I signed on to go on a January Spending
Yep, low spending and only the necessaries in January.
I don't know....maybe it's the contrarian in me.
I'm fairly frugal and keep to a food/hba budget each month.
But tell me NOT to spend and all hell breaks loose! ;-)

But I DO consider stocking up when things are cheap a necessary shop.
It may not be a life/death decision to buy that 10lbs. of pork loin today or this month but come the next 3-4 months when we want pork chops, I am not at the whim of the $3.99 or more per lb. at the grocery store butcher. 
Yep, saving big bucks on food/hba is necessary even in a no spending month deal.

And that is my not-so-subtle segue into one of the great ideas on saving money that anyone forearmed with some sales cycle knowledge and some spare food/hba budget cash can jump on.

Here is what I did over the last week or so to save money.

We have a dishwasher.
Dishwasher detergents are pricey, right?
So I pick it up when I find it cheap.
Once a year, Finish brand releases a high value coupon(some years they release it two times during a year).  It's generally $2 or more and it's usually available at the beginning of the year.
I knew this baby was coming and I was ready to start saving!
But phooey on the coupon gods.....this year my region did NOT get the yummy $2.25 off 1 item coupon!

So I bit the eBay bullet and paid someone to clip a pile of this coupon for me.
And wouldn't ya know it! the sales started for Finish dishwasher detergent immediately after the coupon came out the Sunday before last.

Walgreen's had a deal last week....Finish was on sale for $3.49 a box.  After coupon & tax here, it was $1.45 a box.  And for each box you bought you received a $1.50 RR(1 per transaction), making it free after Q and Register Reward.

My envelope of coupons arrived on Thursday.  I was chomping at the bit to use these babies so I went up to Wags.
Usually by Thursday here at Wags, with the good or free deals(which this was!), the shelves are long past cleared.
This particular coupon not being released here worked in my favor.....Wags was lousy with Finish!! ;-)
I did 2 transactions and bought 2 a clearance jar of Italian Herbs as we were out.

Total spent....$3.49($2.90 for the dish detergent).
I have $3 in RRs to roll.
Why did I stop at 2 boxes?
Well, first off I am NOT anxious to get back into the Wags scene and rolling RRs and second, I knew Rite-Aid and CVS would have deals on this item in short order.

And the very next week(yesterday), those 2 drug chains started sales on Finish. 
The Rite-Aid deal is BOGO which is pretty sweet usually.  Not so sweet if the regular price on 1 box is $6.49 however!lol
So 2 boxes on BOGO sale using 2 x $2.25 Qs still means I am out of pocket(or out of free gift card in my case)$1.99 for 2 boxes or $1 a box + tax.
CVS came through with a better deal.  This week the Finish is on sale for $3 a box, which after $2.25 Q makes each box .75¢+ tax.  And if you buy $20 of Airwick and/or Finish this week you get a $10 ECB reward back.
So the deal is buy 7 boxes, spend $5.25 out of pocket and get $10 in ECBs back.
Even without the ECB, you spend less OOP than at Rite-Aid with the Q.

The problem is finding 7 boxes here in the CVS stores past 9am on Sunday morning!
They get hit and hit early and hard on the good deals....
But again, no $2.25 in our inserts worked to my advantage.  I slept late on Sunday and still found plenty of Finish in the late afternoon to buy....
And I bought 14.
I did the deal on my card....

And then I did it again on Hubs card at a different CVS.
I still had 4 Qs left.  So I used them at Rite-Aid, but we'll talk about Sunday's Rite-Aid rampage another time. ;-)

I spent $11.14 with tax at CVS for 14 boxes.
$2.90 at Wags + $11.14 at CVS=$14.04 for 16 boxes of dishwasher detergent and I have $3 to spend at Wags and $20 to spend at CVS.
After I spent zero out of pocket to buy 4 more at Rite-Aid(thanks to my free gift cards and +Up Rewards) I now have a yearly supply of dishwasher detergent in place.

Yes, I may buy a bottle or box here or there if it's an amazing price or free during the rest of the year, but this is one item I can check off my needing to purchase for the whole year list!



  1. I did the Finish deal at CVS here twice too - I also had a $4/$20 to pair with it so I totally scored!!! hahaha

    I also had to buy the Q's off of eBay since we didn't get them in our paper either. I should be set on dish tabs for at least 3/4 of the year :)

  2. yay on cheap dishwasher detergent packs! Excellent use of store deals and ebay clipping services :)

  3. Tanya--Hey there gal!
    So nice to see you stopping by to comment.
    Wish I had a $x off $x Q too....but CVS doesn't love
    How are those babies doing??

    Pretty--Thanks lady! You are one of my most ardent cheerleaders....too bad it isn't a paid position. ;-)

  4. My CVS pushes the ones through that are posted up on - can't complain about that :)

    Babies are doing great - I cannot believe they are 4 mos. old already! I will do an update soon. I've been such a slacker, I'm still CVSing like crazy I just don't have the motivation to post/write up the deals right now :)

    I'll try to remember in the next day or so to post the Christmas pictures I took of them! They are such cuties if I do say so myself ;)

  5. dang. No Finish coupons in my area either. I wonder who did get them??


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