In the RB40 household, we use a $300 “Everything you would buy at walmart” budget that includes food, toiletries, baby supplies, and household goods. Part 1 of Feed Your Family talked about how we keep our grocery costs down, and Part 2 was all about homemade cleaners! Now, I want to address how we get all of our baby supplies, razors, shampoo and even tampons on the cheap!
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I have only vaguely mentioned before that I dabble in couponing. Typically, I don’t buy newspapers (the best coupons are found online), and I don’t spend hours every week making sure that I catch every deal, but I do spend 20-30 minutes per week putting coupons together and shopping for only the best deals. I mainly shop at CVS for razors (The Big Guy is a razor snob), diapers, shampoo, body wash, and makeup. Occasionally, I will coupon at Schnucks when they have a triple coupon event, but they haven’t done that in a while…so sad!
I think couponing sometimes gets a bad rap – especially if you’ve been in a hurry standing in the grocery store line behind a couponer whose coupons aren’t scanning! But, even with minimal couponing, there is tons of money to be saved! When I found out I was pregnant with BabyRB40, I was really scared about the whole “diapers are expensive” thing. I hate cloth diapers (long story), so we had to go the disposable route, but have you seen prices on them lately? Couponing saved us. As it stands right now, I saved 80% off the drugstore cost of diapers simply by couponing for them, and starting as soon as I found out I was expecting. I haven’t had to buy diapers in 3 months, and hope that she will be potty trained before my stockpile of diapers runs out! Let’s look at an example:
CVS offers “Extrabucks” to their members, which makes many products a great deal! You have to sign up and get your ExtraCare card, but signup is free and easy! Then, you can start reaping the rewards. Essentially, ExtraBucks are cash back after your purchase. They print on your receipt and can only be used at CVS, but can be spent like cash on anything except gift cards, alcohol, and prescriptions. I roll my ExtraBucks from week to week, which means that when I first started I invested $20-30 in the initial purchases, but am now just keeping my ExtraBucks rolling! Let’s look at an example of Pampers diapers with an ExtraBucks deal of “Spend $30, get $10 back in ExtraBucks:
The Diapers, normally priced at $11.99 are on sale for $8.99. In order to meet the $30 spending threshold, I will have to buy 4 packages. Let’s look at the Breakdown:
$35.96 (4) $8.99 packs of diapers
-$12.00 (4) $4.00 Manufacturer’s coupons
-$ 5.00 Coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase (I typically get these once per month)
-$10.00 ExtraBucks from last week’s purchases
= $ 8.96 Plus $10.00 in ExtraBucks to spend on next week’s purchases
That works out to $2.24 per package of 36 diapers, or $0.06 per diaper, which is a savings of 81% off the pharmacy price!
Typically, I buy razors (the good ones that are $12-$14 a piece) for $0.99, Shampoo and toothpaste are always free, really cheap tampons, makeup, and sometimes even candy!
Let’s take a look at some of the things couponing has helped me buy:
I realize that couponing isn’t for everyone, but for our family, a bit here and there definitely helps stretch our budget a little further every month!
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[email protected] says
Great job on your grocery bill. We have ours down to $500-$600 per month for the 4 of us. I’m pretty happy with that considering our vegetarian diet and love of organic food! It makes a huge difference when you are aware of what you’re spending and keep track!
Your 500-600 is totally normal, and actually we would be in that range if we weren’t trying to pay off this personal loan. Plus, you have an extra little person running around!
Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says
Couponing on day to day expenses is something I admittedly suck at. If it’s a single purchase like delivery or flowers or something I’ll do a quick promo code search, otherwise I just go to amazon.
Yeah, using coupon codes when shopping online has gotten waaay easier. A quick google search and you’re done. Couponing with paper coupons definitely takes a bit more work.
Kristin @ Payment Free Life says
I also do really well at Target. You can stack coupons from Target.com, manufacturers coupons, sales, the Cartwheel App and the discount from the Target debit card. Also look for $10 off $50 grocery coupons which are offered occasionally and deals which give you a gift card for purchasing.
[email protected] says
I need to start using coupons at the store. I am good about using them online :) Thanks for sharing at the Bloggers Brag Pinterest Party.
Nice! We’re at $300 too, for a family of 3. We usually spend a little less, and in the winter it’s around $250. I don’t go crazy with couponing, but I do take advantage of great deals. My mother is a big couponer, so she lets me in on the best ones :)
That’s awesome! You get all the good deals from your mother!
Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving says
I built up my stockpile of over 2000 diapers for under $50, in part due to CVS…and looking for deals before I was even pregnant. My baby is 4 months old now and I haven’t had to shop for diapers since he was born.
I love that – especially since it sounds like what I did! Isn’t is nice to not have to sent someone to the store for baby stuff?
Wow, well done! Thanks for linking up to the parenting pin it party!
Mei @ mysurvey123.com says
Hi Gretchen, I just found your blog through Pinterest and love it!
I love CVS they send me coupons through emails and I can load the coupons directly into my CVS card! The coupons are usually 20-30% off and I have used them many times and saved quite a bit of money!