Today's What Works for Me here at Mrs. Nespy's Frugal World is something that I have just started doing. It is something I am suggesting with some reservation because although it can easily work, it would be easy to get carried away with and lose sight of saving money. So with a bit of hesitancy, I'm going to make a recommendation that you can use at your own discretion.
Just recently I have been looking into purchasing coupons via eBay. It is something that I do cautiously because it is very easy for me to get carried away with shopping on eBay. However, I have a plan that I am beginning to implement and I want to offer the thoughts to you. I recently purchased some Bed, Bath, & Beyond coupons (20% one item) on eBay. Why, you ask. Well, BB&B coupons do not expire. I mean, they have expiration dates, but all stores take their own expired coupons, so for all practical purposes, they have no expiration date. You can use one per item in your purchase (with some limited exclusions listed on the coupons). We are in the midst of buying a lot of stuff for the house
Now you can argue with me that these coupons come in the mail free of charge. You're right. And the first 10 that I used were mailed to me and sat collecting on our counter for a few months. However, I've used all of those now, and I'm out. So, I started perusing eBay. I had a set amount in my head that I was willing to pay (which included shipping)--for me it was $3.50 for 10. That would translate into $7.00 for 20. Does that sound like a lot to pay for a free coupon? Maybe--but they do not expire, so as I use them, I will save much more than the money I'm investing in them. Since I have no other means to get my hands on 10 of these, it seemed reasonable. In fact, with the first 10 I had, we saved over $100! Sounds like a winner to me!
Remember that I noted that my top bid including shipping. So for the 10 I received, I paid $2.65 for the coupons and $0.85 shipping.
Now, let me take this one step further and tell you what I just did as an experiment as an expansion of this idea.
There are various places on the web where you can see the upcoming deals for CVS (I use iheartcvs and slickdeals). I looked into the future on these sites and found one upcoming CVS deal that would be great for me. It's the purchase of $20.00 worth of a specified variety of OTC medications with the return of 10 ECBs. Now, since there are -$2.00 coupons out there for one of those which we actually use a good deal of, I bought them. For around $1.50 I bought 20 coupons that will work for this deal. Although I don't need quite this many, I could not find coupons for less than that of what I needed. And I think I'm going to do a giveaway for the remainder of them. Anyway, by my estimates, those products are about $4.00 each. If I purchase 5 of them to reach the $20 requirement, use (5) -$2.00 coupons and save $10.00 and then get a return of 5 ECBs, I have essentially gotten free headache medication for my family (I frequently get headaches...it runs in my gene pool). My only cost was the $1.50 I spent on coupons; not bad for 5 bottles of make-me-feel-better medicine.
I will give you an update of how this works next week when I try it. I didn't want to get too carried away on my first attempt.
So, take to heart that I am not advocating spending lots of money on coupons so that you can buy stuff you normally would not buy or spending more on coupons that you are going to save. Neither of those are frugal! Please use this tip at your own risk. However, when you are wise about coupon purchasing, I think you can really find something that works for you.
Please visit Rocks In My Dryer to see what works for everyone else!
*Please note, that selling coupons themselves is against most manufacturer coupons policies. However, if you look on eBay, they are actually selling their time to clip, collect, and ship the coupons. Know that I am using the term "selling coupons" loosely.
*There are also places online to swap them or you can start a local coupon swap. However, since neither of these is currently working for me, I am using what I can to save money.