In my last blog post I outlined my attempt to figure out extreme couponing. Armed with a binder full of coupons from about eight hours of searching and trading, I was ready to try shopping. I had the most different coupons for Pampers diapers and wipes, so I spent an hour one Friday morning looking through all the flyers for the lowest price on those specific products, with an eye out for other items I might have coupons for. I found the best price on Pampers from Wal-Mart, and prepared to drive 30 minutes to the nearest London Drugs.
Before leaving the house though, on Facebook I saw a feed update from a friend stating Toys R Us was having a huge sale of Pampers. The packages that were regularly $19.97 were on sale for $9.97, with a limit of 4 packages per family. So Saturday morning, armed with my coupons, I headed to the Toys R Us just ten minutes from my house. I purchased four packages of diapers and four containers of Pampers baby wipes (some coupons were a bigger dollar amount off if you bought diapers and wipes together). The original price for this shop was $93.04. The sale price without coupons was $53.04. After the coupons were applied (the cashier didn’t blink and eye when I handed over the stack) my final total was $30.04.
I was pretty pleased to have saved that $20 using coupons, but it definitely wasn’t worth the time I had put into the project. More flyer sleuthing and it became obvious that I’d have to spend a lot more hours trading and collecting coupons online. The majority of the time, even stacking two or three coupons on one product wasn’t enough to price it lower than its lesser priced, no-name brand cousin.
I can see how if you have some spare time and enjoy the process of trading and collecting coupons, it’s definitely a better hobby than one that costs you money. But for me, it’s just not worth it – I’d rather work an extra hour at my job than coupon for ten hours to save/make the same amount of money.