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Showing You My Target Couponing Savings
So I thought it would be a good idea to show you a concrete example of a real shopping trip using real coupons. So today I did just that, and I came home with $58.14 worth of product for $22.99 before tax. That’s a savings of 60%. While this trip isn’t necessarily the very best deals I could have found, I decided to go and shop for items I actually need and use to help show you a very realistic side of couponing while still saving a significant 60%.
Planning My Trip
So first off I decided to make my trip to Target. So I got onto KCL’s Target page and scanned through for potential deals. I decided to pursue the deals for Herbal Essences shampoo, Band Aid, Hefty trash bags, and Dove Men + Care shampoo that I show below.
After calculating it out, I expected to pay about $24.87 out of pocket before tax and before the 5% discount from my REDcard. Plus, I could potentially receive $4 back through the rebate apps Checkout51 and Ibotta. Now I know I said earlier that I don’t really prefer to use these apps, but I decided to give them another try as I’m noticing that as I’m shopping more at Target a lot of deals involve either of these apps. I still maintain, however, that I much prefer to rely on total out of pocket costs for my savings rather than potential final costs after register rewards and rebates.
So I gathered up my coupons that I needed for this trip. Per the above instructions I cut out 1 x $3/2 Herbal Essences products from the RP 6/5 circular, 1 x $1/1 Neosporin from SS 6/5, 1 x $.75/2 Band Aid bandages from SS 6/5, 2 x $3/2 Dove men products from RP 5/15, and printed out 2 x $1/1 Hefty products from coupons.com. Plus, I decided to roll my Target gift cards from trip to trip, so I gather two $5 gift cards to use on the transaction and expect to receive two $5 gift cards at the end of my purchase to use on a future trip.
In addition I make sure that I have my cartwheel promotions loaded to my app. So I load the 20% off Neosporin, 20% off Band Aid bandages, and 10% off Dove men promotions.
Now that I’ve spent about 30-45 minutes researching and gathering coupons, I put all my coupons and gift cards in an envelope to keep them organized, grab my phone, grab my notebook with my deals written out, and I head on over to the store.
Shopping In The Store
I arrive at the store at about 1:30pm on Friday afternoon. Now, I’m not sure how successful my trip will be since it is near the end of the week and the promotion cycle. I could run the risk of items being out of stock. I’m actually pretty lucky in that all of the items I’m shopping for are still on the shelves. This is pretty unusual in my opinion, but as we’ve recently moved to Colorado, perhaps not as many people coupon here. Or it could be that this particular Target does pretty well to keep their items in stock. I have noticed it is a larger and well maintained store.
First I head over to the Herbal Essences. I plan on buying 2 of the 2 in 1 shampoos (because I’m lazy and like to get it all done in one go). Unfortunately I notice that the 2 in 1 is only available in the larger bottle and not in the size that is priced at $2.97. Luckily I had seen that there was also a potentially better deal involving the stylers that included buy 1 get 1 25% off, so instead I switch out my original deal with the one below and choose two mousses that might come in handy in our new dry environment. After using the $3/2 coupon from the inserts plus the advertised deal, I plan to pay $1.15 each or $2.29 for both out of pocket. My final total after submitting the $3 Checkout51 rebate will potentially be a $.71 moneymaker.
Second I find the Dove Men + Care shampoo since it should be nearby. No sense running back and forth all over the store. Finding this was a little tricky because this particular store had all the men’s items in a separate aisle. Nevertheless, I was very happy to find plenty of shampoo in stock. I choose 2 each of 2 separate scents for my husband to try. He will be happy to have some “manly” shampoo instead of the girly stuff. On this deal I will use 2 X $3/2 coupons from the inserts, plus the 10% cartwheel promotion, plus a $5 giftcard, which will make my out of pocket cost just $.84 a piece, or $3.36 for all 4 – which is less than normal price of just 1.
I continue on to find the Band Aids. I choose a first aid kit, the neosporin and band aids at the prices indicated in my shopping list. I plan on using these along with other items I have already gathered to make a kit to take on our new hiking/camping adventures. Since I receive the first aid kid free with purchase of 3 first aid items, I automatically saved $5.99. Plus I will use a $1/1 and $.75/2 coupons from the inserts, along with two 20% off cartwheel promotions making the out of pocket total $5.59 for all four items or $1.40 a piece.
Lastly, I make my way to the trash bags. I haven’t really couponed much for kitchen trash bags, so I decide this is a good opportunity for me to moderately stock up. I choose two different kinds so we can see which ones we like better for next time, but I also decide to choose ones that have 60 bags per box instead of 50 so that I can get more for my money. Also, it turns out the trash bags are on sale for $9.99 down from $10.49 regular price. I will be combing this with 2 x $1/1 coupons from online and a $5 gift card. This makes my out of pocket cost $12.98 for both boxes, or $6.59 per box, or $.11 per trash bag. After submitting a $1 Ibotta rebate, my final cost will be $11.98, or $5.99 per box, or $.10 per trash bag. This is undoubtedly the most expensive deal on my list, but unfortunately it is pretty rare to find exceptionally good deals on trash bags. The fact that the deal involved a gift card really helped to bring the cost down.
I head to the check out lane with my haul feeling pretty good. I stop for just a second to double check that I have all my coupons and gift cards and pull up my cartwheel barcode and choose a check out lane. My transaction goes very smoothly. The lady at the register checks out all of my items – the first aid kit is automatically reduced off the receipt at the register as expected. I hand her my cartwheel barcode to scan first ( I have found that sometimes it is helpful to scan the cartwheel app at the beginning of the transaction to get the full value of the promotion). Then I hand her each coupon individually to make sure she scans each one and none of them get missed. I don’t have any problems with any barcodes scanning correctly. I then hand her my two $5 gift cards and proceed to pay with my REDcard. My out of pocket total after tax and the 5% REDcard discount is $25.72. I feel satisfied with my receipt as my total is close to what I predicted even after I had to make a last minute deal change on the Herbal Essences stylers. I walk out of the store with my haul plus two more $5 gift cards from my transaction to use for next time.
When I get home, I just double check my receipt to make sure nothing got missed which it didn’t. I didn’t expect to find anything as my total was so close to what I had anticipated it to be. My subtotal before REDcard and tax was $24.20. I saved $1.21 from my REDcard and paid $2.73 in tax. My out of pocket cost before tax was $22.99 for $58.14 worth of product. This makes my out of pocket savings 60.46%.
Before I put everything away however, I have to remember to submit my receipts to Checkout51 for a $3 rebate and Ibotta for a $1 rebate. Obviously I don’t get this money back immediately, but if I continue to use the apps I can potentially build up enough rebates to cash out. It never hurts to get money back if you can and if the hassle is worth it. After submitting my rebates my final total of my transaction is $18.99 which comes to a 67.34% final savings on my transaction. All in all I spent about 1 hour 15 minutes planning, shopping, checking out, and wrapping everything up for $35.15 in immediate savings with $4 in potential future savings. This means that I saved $31.32 per hour that I spent to make it happen. That’s not too shabby, and I would say this trip was definitely worth it for my Target couponing savings.