Last updated: August 23. 2013 7:52AM - 330 Views

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It’s the beginning of the month, and that means there is a nice set of coupons out today. You’ll find a P&G, Smartsource and Redplum inserts this week.

This week’s lesson is why you should participate in store promotions and when not to coupon.

Most stores out there nowadays have some type of rewards programs. In previous lessons I have mentioned different types, ranging from Extrabucks from CVS to Catalinas from Meijer. All work a little differently and have different guidelines, but they all have the same purpose, and that is to save you money while in return increasing the store's sales. Stores offer these promotions knowing that most people will also buy items that are not on sale while they are at the store. The biggest area for this is display items in front of the store or at the checkout. These are all low-priced items that seem like a great deal, but when you look at what you get for your money, it’s not a good deal most of the time.

I often hear people say that they can take a store ad over to Walmart to price match, which is perfectly fine as long as you're following its price-matching policy. However, if an item cost $2.99 and comes with a $1 reward, you will not get that savings at Walmart. If a promotion is at a store that doubles coupons, you’re better off going to that store to get that extra savings. All stores have their advantages when it comes to saving money. Couponing at Walmart can help you save money when there is no price matching involved or doubled coupons.

Saving money doesn’t always mean using a coupon. It goes beyond clipping a coupon. The purpose of couponing is saving your family money, not to build stockpiles of items that you’ll never use. Even if you get it free, you will probably pay sales tax. So, coupon for items you need, and at the end of the week go for the items you don’t need if you plan to donate them. Otherwise, you're stockpiling items that another family may have needed.

Everyone wants to save money, and everyone deserves that chance. It’s okay to let coupons expire or not get used.

Deals this week

CVS has a great deal on Huggies products this week. If you spend $30 in select products, you’ll earn a $10 Extrabuck. This includes diapers, Pull-ups, Little Swimmers, wipes and Johnson’s baby products. The reward is a limit of one per household. However, you can still repeat this deal, but another $10 reward will not print.

Deal scenario: Purchase three packs of Huggies diapers for $10 each, for $30. Use two $3-off Huggies diapers and one $2-off Huggies diapers coupon. You’ll pay $22 out of pocket and get back a $10 reward. That makes them just $4 a pack. Not the greatest price, but not bad if you need diapers. If you want, you can take that $10 reward and use it towards the P&G deal going on this week. You will get a $5 Extrabuck when you spend $20 on select P&G products.

There are also various Extrabuck deals going on that could stretch that $10 reward. For example: you purchase any Physicians Formula product $7.49 or higher and an Oral B Cross Action power toothbrush for $5.99. Use the $3-off Oral B coupon in this week’s P&G insert and the $10 reward from your Huggies purchase. Pay just 48 cents, and get back a $7 Extrabuck from the Physicians Formula purchase and a $2 Extrabuck from Oral B.

This set of scenarios will give you three packs of Huggies, Physicians Formula makeup and a power toothbrush for around $23 out of pocket, and you’ll walk away with $9 in Extrabucks for your next purchase. Retail value for all of this would cost about $45. After rewards you will pay $14. That’s huge savings. This is an example of how store rewards really do save you money.

Do you have a frugal way of doing things for your family? If so, you can share it with us by emailing StephaniesSavings@hotmail.com and put “Frugal Living” in the subject line.

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