Couponing is a full-time sport

For a long time, I have prided myself in being a bargain hunter of sorts. I don’t like to pay full price for anything, and I am always on the watch for sales. This little hobby of mine only became that much more essential when we grew to a five-person family while simultaneously shrinking to a one-income family. Our budget is tight, so the more places I can find to cut back and save, the better. It is certainly something that requires planning, like shopping off-season for discounts and sales. For example, a few weeks ago I bought Connor a new bathing suit for next summer. It was on clearance at Old Navy for $3.97, a price I know I won’t find anywhere come April or May. I’m only bummed that I couldn’t find two for that price, in that size, that I liked. Because whenever I can, I buy things for Connor in double to have it ready for Ben and Alex down the road.

While I excel at finding bargains, I can’t say the same for couponing. It is hard, time consuming, frustrating. Half the time I will end up throwing out most of my coupons, simply because I forgot I had them and they expired. But every once in a while, I get the couponing thing figured out, and I score big. And you have to bear with me while I take a moment to brag about one of these most recent scores. It was on diapers, which as you can imagine, eat up a great deal of our monthly budget. I typically buy Target brand diapers because they are the cheapest I have found that still work well. But every once in a while, enough coupons and deals come along to make the name brand ones an even better deal.

The example I am going to share with you is for Huggies diapers. During a recent shopping trip to Target (seriously my favorite store for all things baby), I bought two big boxes of Huggies diapers, one in size 3, one in size 4 (stocking up since we will be there soon). The thing about diapers is that the bigger the size, the more they cost. Each box costs the same amount, but you get fewer diapers the bigger the size is. Here is what I got.

Box of 112 Size 3 diapers at the cost of $22.49. That’s $0.20 per diaper.
Box of 98 Size 4 diapers at the cost of $22.49. That’s $0.23 per diaper.

Now here’s where the fun part (for me at least) comes in. For this particular shopping trip, I had manufacturer’s coupons, store coupons, and several Ibotta offers that could all be combined:
$1.50 manufacturer’s coupon
5% off with Target’s cartwheel program ($1.12)
5% off with my Target RedCard ($1.07)
$10 free Target giftcard for buying two qualifying diaper items
$1.50 offer from Ibotta
$4 in bonus offers from Ibotta. (Please note, these bonuses included other household products that I purchased as well, so I broke everything down per item to calculate this figure.)
Total is savings and discounts for both boxes: $19.19

My new totals:
Box of 112 Size 3 diapers at the cost of $12.90. $0.12 per diaper.
Box of 98 Size 4 diapers at the cost of $12.90. $0.13 per diaper.
I would typically buy these sizes of diapers through the Target brand at $0.14 per diaper and $0.16 per diaper, respectively. So not too bad for name brand! And yes, when you change as many diapers as I do each day, those pennies do add up!

I have one more great savings trick I must pass along, after our trip to Staples today. If you are not a Staples Rewards member, you should be. It doesn’t cost anything, and from time to time, they offer deals where you can combine a coupon and rebate to get an item free. Typically that item is something small, but today I scored a case of 10 reams of printer paper, for free!!!! The case cost $49.99. I had a coupon to take $21.99 off the price at the register. I will then submit an online rebate to get $28 back. The only thing I end up paying is sales tax… so $2.07 for 10 reams of paper, pretty sweet deal!

Honestly, this kind of shopping is not just good on our bank account, it is also fun for me. It’s a bit of a game, to get all the right puzzle pieces in place. If you have any good couponing/ bargain hunting/ money saving tips, please feel free to share them. Also, if you would like to better understand how Ibotta works and how to combine it with coupons, let me know.

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