Savvy Shopping Ozarks Maven Style

These days everything is expensive. My family consumes a mass quantity of various products. I make it my personal quest to buy all of my household food and supplies at the lowest possible cost. I do this by employing several money saving methods. I’m sharing a few of them with you today.

I always buy a Sunday paper. I recoup the $3.00 cost of the paper easily with coupon savings. I also visit sites such as coupons.com to print coupons for items that I use often. Note: make sure your printer is in good working order when printing coupons because retailers will not accept them if they don’t scan. I use digital coupons at Dollar General through their app. I then combine my coupons with online rebates. There are several electronic rebate apps that you can download to your phone.

I use Ibotta, Checkout 51, and SavingStar. They are simple to use. You scroll through the apps to see if they are offering anything that interests you. Then you activate the items and go shopping. When you get home, you select which of the offered items you purchased, scan them, and upload your receipt. Easy.

I also use the Walmart Savings Catcher app, which will search competitors’ ads to see if another store is offering anything I purchased at a lower price. If they find a product that I purchased on sale somewhere else for less money, they add the difference into my account.

When you reach a certain dollar amount in your accounts with these apps, you simply request a payout. Once your account reaches $20.00 at Ibotta, you can request a check, transfer to PayPal or Venmo, or purchase a gift card. They offer gift cards to places like Best Buy, Amazon, and Starbucks.

Once your account reaches $20.00 at Checkout 51, you can request a check be mailed to you. SavingStar lets you cash out once your account reaches $5.00. They pay by direct deposit into your bank account or through PayPal.

Walmart Savings Catcher pays via e-gift card. You request a payout, and the e-gift card is emailed to you within a day or two. You can use this e-gift card at Walmart or Sam’s Club.

You may think this is all a waste of time or that I’m doing a lot of work to save mere pennies. Allow me to share some seeds of wisdom. I visited two stores on my last shopping trip, Walmart and Dollar General. They are a few blocks from each other in my city, so I don’t go out of my way by shopping at both places. Remember that gas costs money, too.

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I purchased a 40 count box of Snuggle Dryer Sheets at Walmart for $1.84. I had a 50 cent paper coupon making it $1.34. Then I came home, scanned it with my phone, and uploaded my receipt to SavingStar for a 50 cent rebate. That brings the price of my dryer sheets to 84 cents.

I also purchased Sunbelt granola bars at Walmart for $2.38. I uploaded my receipt to Checkout 51 for a 75 cent rebate, and then uploaded the same receipt to Ibotta for another 75 cent rebate. That brings the cost of my granola bars to 88 cents.

I bought a package of Sargento sliced baby Swiss cheese for $2.84. I uploaded my receipt to Ibotta and grabbed a 50 cent rebate making my cheese $2.34.

I purchased 18 count All Powercore laundry pacs at Walmart for $3.97. I used a $1.00 paper coupon that I clipped from last Sunday’s paper making the soap $2.97. I then uploaded my receipt to Ibotta for an additional 50 cent rebate bringing the cost of my All to $2.47. I received a 25 cent rebate from Ibotta on any item because I uploaded a receipt, as well. It’s a nice little bonus they offer now and then.

I purchased a 24 pack of Diet Dr. Pepper for $6.48. I used a $1.00 coupon attached to the side of the case bringing my cost to $5.48 for 24 cans of Diet Dr. Pepper. There was only one case with the coupon attached, and I had to move 5 cases to get to it, but it was worth it.

I love the Dollar General digital coupons! I use them more than any other money saving tool.  I purchased 2 bottles of 31 load All Free & Clear liquid laundry soap which is on sale 2 for $7.00 right now. I used a $2.00 digital coupon on one bottle and a $1.00 paper coupon on the other bringing the cost down to $2.00 each. I was very excited about this deal in particular because my granddaughter and I both require fragrance-free laundry soap.

I purchased a 12.6 ounce bottle of L’Oreal Total Repair Shampoo for $4.00 and used a $2.00 digital coupon making the cost $2.00. Then I purchased a 6 ounce tube of Colgate toothpaste on sale for $1.75. I used a 50 cent digital coupon bringing the cost of my toothpaste down to $1.25. In addition, there is a code on my receipt for $3.00 off $15.00 purchase coupon that I can obtain by taking an online survey. There is also a $5.00 off $25.00 purchase coupon printed at the bottom of my receipt. The $5.00 coupon is good for only one day, which is a specific Saturday.

So, let’s review. By using coupons and online rebates at Walmart, I saved $5.75 on my normal purchases. I also scanned my Walmart receipt with the Walmart Savings Catcher app, so if anyone has any of the items I bought for a lower advertised price, I get the difference. By using paper coupons, digital coupons, and online rebates at Dollar General, I saved $5.50 with an additional $8.00 in coupons for future purchases.

If you still don’t believe that this adds up, let me put it another way. I’ve received a total of $57.20 from Checkout 51, $25.23 from SavingStar, $140.80 from Ibotta, and $129.15 from Walmart Savings Catcher. That comes to $409.58 in electronic rebates since I opened those accounts. I don’t track my coupon savings, so I can’t give you an exact dollar amount there, but I save a great deal of money by using them. I typically save $10.00 to $15.00 a week with my coupons. I work hard for my money. I would like to keep as much of it as possible.

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