Thursday, March 14, 2013

a very educational trip to target...

so, ive started a new blog. the main purpose of which is to chronicle the trials and errors and occasional triumphs that come with trying to live comfortably, and hopefully enjoyably, on an extremely tight budget. in los angeles. ill get more into that later, but i thought id start with sharing a few things i learned at target this morning, since the trip was a pretty perfect example of the type of thing id like to share.

 i started using coupons a few months ago and had gotten fairly good at it, but only just recently found a source for multiple sunday paper inserts so this was my first shopping trip with A LOT of coupons, and it worked out really well. when i got home i checked my receipts and it turns out i used $67.99 in coupons, this was especially exciting since my nearly full cart (which was actually mostly regularly-priced, non-negitiable household items like paper towels, shampoo, and a new bathing suit for alice) came out to just under $74. and while it wasnt the most exciting haul ever, it was by far the most educational trip ive had since i started couponing. 

 first of all, and i fell like maybe this should go without saying, but the more coupons you have the more organized your trip has to be, especially when you have a toddler in tow. normally i feel like ive done a good enough job at it, but today i wish i had more carefully organized my list AISLE BY AISLE, since we ended up backtracking through the store a few times to find some of the items i had coupons for, and at one point we split up to find the soap we needed (which i did, and then had to carefully carry twelve individual bars of it, while looking for james). so for next time, i definitely need to have my list more organized, which is NOT my speciality. 

 second, target will only accept four identical coupons per transaction, and i had six coupons for the soap, so i had to split up my order. it took a few extra seconds, but next time i know to split everything up before i check out. 

 third, since target lets you use one store coupon AND one manufacturers coupon per item, if an item is free as part of a store promotion (today was buy two large garnier shampoo, get a free styling product), you can use a manufacturer coupon on the free item! since i had both a store and manufacturer coupon for each bottle of shampoo, i got all three products for $5. 

 fourth, buy one, get one free coupons are quite possibly the very best kind of coupon! the coupon i had for today was for gillette disposable razors, buy one pack, get one free (value up to 11.99). now, (at least at target) that means that if i buy two packs, theyll take 11.99 off my total. this was especially awesome, since the razors in question were on sale for about $5.50. meaning i got 11.99 off my order for 11.00 of razors, essentially making me a profit. so i got six packs. for free. well i technically had to pay sales tax on them, but still. 

 and this leads me to the last thing i learned, which was the biggest mistake of the day, but im glad i made it because i learned something VERY important about targets coupon policy: if the value of the coupon is greater than the price of the item, they will take the whole face value of the coupon off your total (resulting in getting a discount on your non-coupon items), BUT ONLY IF THERE ARE OTHER ITEMS TO USE THAT OVERAGE, they WILL NOT give you cash back. so my second transaction, which was just razors and soaps, which both had coupons that gave an overage, didnt redeem the entire the whole dollar amount of the coupons, they just brought the total down to $0. if i had known that in advance, i would have grouped my groceries differently and gotten a few extra dollars off, but i didnt, and frankly a large shopping trip with a husband and cranky toddler in itself had used up all my (and the person in line behind me) patience, so there was an extra $4 that i lost out on. (though i didnt even know it was there so i guess i didnt really lose it anyways). 

 but anyways, it was a remarkably successful trip, and, unless theres some kind of target emergency (which is unfortunately quite common with a toddler in the house), i shouldnt have to go back for at least two weeks! 

 so, thats what i did today. ill see you next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment