living coupon to coupon

I just got about $115 worth of stuff at CVS for $70.  I'm trying to decide if I should be glad about this.

About 6 weeks ago I stumbled across the MoneySavingMom blog.  I'm not a mom, but I'm sure into money-saving, so I stuck around.  A lot of her posts revolve around coupon strategies.  Apparently she's one of those super-moms who can run a kid-filled household and a home-based business all on about $20 a week.  

That may be a bit of an exaggeration.  But still, I was intrigued.  I figured that since I work at a nonprofit and my husband is in grad school, I'd need to figure out something.  The pinch is about to get even pinchy-er.

So I got a subscription to the Sunday paper (figured I could definitely recoup the $7 a month) and I JUST clipped coupons for about a month.  This weekend I decided it was time to get started.

I sorted my clips and worked out a sorting system of envelopes, and then I paged through the monthly and weekly CVS inserts (I picked CVS because it's within biking distance of my house).  I made my shopping list.  And it was a big list.  And like I said, I picked up about $115 worth of items for about $70, PLUS I got another $16.49 in 'extra care bucks' - to be put toward my next purchase.  I picked up, among a few other things, 2 different kinds of razors (evening out to about $2 a piece) 3 deodorants, and 2 things of this new shower gel I've been wanting to try.

I'm now feeling a little overwhelmed, and I'm not sure I'm doing it right.  I could be falling in a trap.  And I can't afford traps right now.

It's time to re-think.  MSM has a much bigger family that probably consumes a lot.  And yeah, when I lived in a house with 5 and 6 people in it, it made sense to store things up.  6 deodorants and 4 things of shampoo and several tubs of lotion would disappear pretty fast.  The 'buy in bulk' mindset has been long-instilled in me, but I'm not convinced that bulking up is right for us.  It's possible that it's not a bad idea, because I have a feeling things are going to get really tough this winter (visions of me working a weekend job are ALREADY dancing in my head).

My next step in the rethinking process is figuring out how to use the CVS thing in moderation.  Take stock of what I do have and look for any gaps.  For example, we're almost out of hand soap, but it'll be quite some time before we need shower gel.  

It IS nice to be able to get some nicer (read: not walmart brand) skincare frills that I've been looking for, at a greatly reduced price.  But I will need to adopt the mindset of "it's not a bargain if you still don't need it and still can't afford it."  So we'll see what happens.  And because I'm a woman, this is very hard to do....


  1. All in all, looking back over my bulk buying days, I think it was not the smartest move for me. I still have drawers of things like shampoo and lotion and all of that that I wish I didn't have to store. Maintaining inventory is also costly. As a matter of fact, you are more than welcome to come take as much of it away as you possibly can! :) I think living slim and buying, on sale, only when you need something is, in the long run, more financially advantageous. This is especially true when there are just two of you. But, no harm done this time. Sounds like you did some smart shopping! And of course, if you find something that you really go through rapidly- say you will use in no more than a month or two, then that might make sense. But if it looks like you might be storing it longer than that in order to get to it, wait on it. That would be my two cents after years of doing this wrong. Haha.


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