So you want to start couponing, but you need to know how in the world to “read a breakdown” or “figure out a deal?” This is the place for you! I’m going to review a few different breakdowns to explain how couponing can get you the most bang for your buck. (A breakdown is just a deal that lists out the product, price, and which coupons/cash-back rebates/sales/etc. to pair with that product to get the rock-bottom price.)
Remember, you do not have to keep track of all these coupons and deals. You will simply find these breakdowns listed on the websites I’ve referenced on the resources page. Don’t let the above scenario intimidate you. You’re just reading this to learn what kinds of deals are out there!
Note: These deals are only for learning purposes. I’ve chosen deals that are common at each store, but these deals are not necessarily currently available.
CVS – Example Couponing Deal
Get jumbo packs of diapers for $3.49/each (regular price $11.29/each)
Jumbo diaper packs are regularly $11.29/each at CVS. This week, they’re on sale for $9.99/each and you get $10 ECB (Extra Care Bucks – like cash to spend at the store next time – very similar to a gift card) when you buy 3 packs. You also have a store coupon (the coupons at the bottom of your crazy-long CVS receipts or printed from the red machine in CVS) for $5 off $20 of baby products. You also have 3 coupons printed online for $1.50 off 1 pack of Huggies diapers.
So your scenario breaks down like this:
Buy 3 jumbo packs of diapers for $9.99/each
$9.99 x 3 = $29.97
– $5 off $20 store coupon = $24.97
– $1.50 x 3 printed manufacturer coupons = $20.47
Pay $20.47 at the register, get back $10 ECB (think of ECB as gift cards for CVS – you’re going to use this $10 just like cash next time you shop)
Total out-of-pocket cost for you = $10.47 or $3.49/each
Target – Example Couponing Deal
Get laundry soap for $2.29/each (regular price $10.99/each)
Tide soap is regularly $10.99/each at Target. This week, the Target app has a Cartwheel for 20% off Tide laundry soap. You also have 2 coupons printed online for $2 off 1 bottle of Tide. Target is also running a promotion that gives you a $5 gift card for every 2 bottles that you buy. Finally, Ibotta (cash-back app) is giving back $2 per bottle of Tide.
So your scenario looks like this:
Buy 2 bottles of Tide detergent for $10.99/each
$10.99 x 2 = $21.98
– 20% off Cartwheel = $17.58
– $2 x 2 printed manufacturer coupons = $13.58
Pay $13.58 at the register, get back $5 gift card = $8.58
Upload receipt to Ibotta, get back $4 ($2 per bottle) = $4.58
Total out-of-pocket cost for you = $4.58 or $2.29/each
Publix – Example Couponing Deal
Get pasta for $.34/each (regular price $1.67/each)
Barilla pasta is regularly $1.67/each at Publix. But Publix has a promotion for buy one, get one free on Barilla pasta this week. You also have 4 coupons printed online for $1 off 2 boxes of Barilla pasta. At Publix, during a BOGO sale, you can use a coupon on the free item (i.e. you can get 2 products and use 2 coupons, even though 1 item is going to be free with the BOGO sale).
So your scenario looks like this:
Buy 8 boxes of pasta for $1.67/each
$1.67 x 8 = $13.36
– $1.67 x 4 (BOGO sale) = $6.68
– $1 x 4 printed manufacturer coupons = $2.68
Pay $2.68 at the register
Total out-of-pocket cost for you = $2.68 or $.34/each