How I Saved $148.21 Shopping Today

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Today was a pretty good day. In fact, any day when I save more than I spend, and spend almost nothing on top of it, is a good day. I make a lot of notes and save a lot of info every day that I can use to help save money on shopping and then I strike! Think of it like it is war and you will have a better understanding of how it makes me feel to win the money battle that we all have to fight. So when I tell you that today, I saved $148.21, I hope you get the same feeling that I have when we are winning the war!

To save money on shopping, I strategically plan my use of sales, rewards, loyalty programs, and coupons. You can do it too!

Shopping, Like Any Battle, Starts With a Good Plan

As I said, I am always looking for deals, coupons, and specials that can help me save my money on the things I use. In retirement, it’s ultra-important and I have to admit I have the free time to check out all the possibilities. I haven’t exactly calculated how much impact all of my dedication has saved me for the entire year, but I can tell you that I have saved double-digits regularly on my monthly expenses because of it. If you can do even a little planning and fact finding, you will save like that too!

One of My $100+ Savings Days

On my shopping spree today, I literally saved almost $150. I’m not talking about buying a car and saving that $150 after spending $18,000 either. I know that’s one that anyone can do. My savings is based on a full day and seven stops along the way that saved me $148.21 or 81% of my potential expense which in real dollars was just $35.37.

Besides having the deals lined up, another key factor is saving the time and effort that planning my shopping trip rewards me. I literally make an actual map of my route to cover all my stops most efficiently which saves me time and gas money too. After all, I don’t want to miss Judge Judy by wasting my time sitting in traffic, do I?

How I Save Money on Shopping

Here are the results of my fruitful day and with a little effort you can do almost as well! If you start the planning process now, by next month you can write you own article on how much you saved and how you did it!

1. Bed, Bath & Beyond

Online I ordered a Blue Stripe 3-Piece King Comforter Set with a cool casual look. Regularly $69.99, on closeout it cost $29.99 less 20% off coupon, net $23.99. A $25.00 gift card from a previous purchase brought my total to $0.00 (plus free standard shipping -$5.99 too!). Total savings = $75.98 with $0.00 spent.

2. Staples

At Staples, I used my $10.00 free purchase card (from my Staples Rewards) to buy five boxes of Kleenex (regularly $1.29 each) and a 24-pack of 16.9 oz. Poland Spring bottled water (regularly $4.29). Total saved $10.00 with $0.74 spent.

3. Great Clips

I got a new haircut, regularly $12.99, with coupon $7.99. With the tip, I saved $6.00, spent $9.99.

4. Stop & Shop and Shell

I used my Stop & Shop fuel savings rewards (from previous grocery purchases) at Shell to get $0.30 off per gallon and saved $3.00 off on my $28.00 purchase (saved 10.7% per gallon).

5. CVS

At CVS, I used my free $6.00 in Extra Bucks from previous purchases to get four packages of Bumble Bee tuna (regularly $1.69 each, on sale for $0.88 each) and three bottles of Dr. Pepper soda (regularly $2.19 each, on sale for $0.99 each). Total savings of $11.25, spent $0.49. Use this CVS link to get 30% off your own purchase plus free shipping!

6. Ruby Tuesday

I ordered a free bacon cheeseburger with fries for my birthday coupon (member of the loyalty program) and saved $11.99. With tax/tip, I spent $3.11.

7. Honda

At my local Honda dealer, I got free lifetime oil changes ($29.99 value) with my 2013 Honda purchase (my now paid off Civic!). Savings of $29.99 and I do this about three times a year!

Grand Total

All in all, I saved $148.21 and spent $35.37.

Final Thoughts

I hope I don’t dislocate my shoulder patting myself on the back here. That would mean I’d have to offset my savings with the cost of a doctor visit and that would definitely be counterproductive. Instead I will cautiously sit over by the TV now and watch my Judge Judy show. I learn something new from her almost everyday. Yes, it’s good to have lots of free time these days!

How have you plotted and planned to save bucks on your budget? Are you successful at it? If you saved over $100 today, how would you feel? $50? $10? At what number is it not worth your time and energy?

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About Gary Weiner @ Super Saving Tips

Over the last 45 years I've worked in retail (department stores and supermarkets) and financial planning. In addition, I am a shopper, born and bred, who enjoys the challenges of finding the best items for the best prices. When I'm not busy saving money or writing here at Super Saving Tips, I enjoy baseball, music, and classic movies. I am retired and live in New Jersey with my wife.
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10 Comments

  1. This is impressive!

    We’re getting much better about couponing and waiting for good deals. We use Swagbucks to get gift cards for restaurants we like; we also find that the Swagbucks coupons are pretty great. My husband recently earned enough points at our car dealership for a free oil change, and we just got a cash back deal at SuperCuts.

    Basically, if we can avoid paying full price these days, we do.

    • Words to live by, 76k. It’s a challenge to try to save, but it can be done when you put your mind to it. And you gave some good examples on what you’ve done. I’ve said for years, if these businesses didn’t want you to take advantage of their deals, they wouldn’t have them in the first place. So here’s a chance for everyone to win.

  2. I love reading posts like this, especially as you shop at places similar to those I would choose.
    One strategic move I made was to take a stand on only one drug store rewards program and stick with it. I picked Walgreens over CVS (because I don’t like our local CVS, for the kinds of subtle reasons marketing managers spend all their careers trying to determine, even though I can’t necessarily describe them). I would prefer lower prices overall, rather than the fuss of points, yet I don’t think that’s going to happen. I stick pretty closely to the loss leaders and don’t spend time comparing the two stores for few pennies of differences.

    • I used to use Walgreens frequently as my go-to bargain store. But ever since they switched to their point system, I have concentrated on CVS. I try really hard to buy only what is priced really well and I can use my Extra Bucks as well as my percentage off and manufacturer coupons too. I can definitely understand picking one store over another for your own reasons. I just so happen to have chosen CVS. I appreciate your comments, Louise, and I’m glad I’m able to share my tips with you.

  3. Hey Gary,
    Thanks for sharing your saving steps.
    When I read your title “i-save-money-on-shopping”, I’m curious to know about the tricks and finally found that.
    Your use of purchase card saves you a lot.

    Wonderful financial post…

  4. I spend enough time in Walgreens and CVS that I really need to figure out, and use, their loyal systems.

    • A lot of people have a specific favorite, RAnn, but ever since Walgreens changed to their point system (which I really don’t like), I’ve been spending most of my time (and money) at CVS. Occasionally, I will “cherry pick” a great deal at Walgreens, but honestly, those are becoming fewer and fewer for me. Picking one of them over the other is probably the best way to go.

  5. Being mindful about your shopping is what really resonated with me. People are so impulsive and want instant gratification. I have saved so much on larger purchases because I’m willing to wait and look for a good deal before buying. Thanks for sharing your tips!

    • I wholeheartedly agree, Tawnya, when it comes to purchases, it always pays to make a thoughtful decision before you plunge ahead. One might ask, does it really matter if it’s just on a few grocery items or a dining out experience? But those small things add up pretty quickly and make up what we call our budgets and they can easily become out of control. Thanks for your comments.

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