Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why I Have 3 Newspaper Subscriptions

I received the following question on a post:
I just remember you saying that you order multiple copies of the newspaper. Why? Can you use 2 coupons to purchase 1 item??
For instance, you have TWO $1 off coupon for a box of cereal that costs $3, can you use both coupons so you only pay $1?
To answer, no you cannot use two manufacturer's (mfr) coupons on the same item.  Here is why I have multiple newspaper subscriptions, illustrated by a deal I got at CVS this week:

There was a Maalox deal: Spend $20 on Maalox, get $10 ExtraBucks (EB) back.  At my CVS, the Maalox was $6.19/bottle, so I needed to buy 4 of them for the deal.  The Sunday paper had a $5 coupon off Maalox. 

With 1 coupon insert, here's how the deal would've looked:
4 x $6.19 = $24.76
- $5 = $19.76
Get back $10 EB
Net cost = $9.76

But because I had 4 coupons (3 from subscriptions, 1 from a paper purchased at Walgreens using overages from MMs), here's how the deal looked:
4 x $6.19 = $24.76
- 4 x 5 = 4.76
Get back $10 EB
Net PROFIT = $5.24

While you can only use one mfr coupon per item purchased, many deals involve buying multiple items. So you save more if you have multiple coupons.  Even if a deal does not involve buying multiple items, you often want to stock up on something when it is at a very low price. The more coupons you have, the more you can buy at a low price, the fewer you have to buy at a high price, the more you save!

When you can stock up at a low price, the goal is to get enough to last until that item will have a great price again.  There's no EXACT science to it, but you do learn which items go on sale frequently once you start paying attention.  For example, Reach toothbrushes & floss go on sale regularly for a price that, when combined with a coupon, make the item free.

Mind you, not everyone who coupons has multiple newspaper subscriptions. Some get coupon inserts by other means.  But since the subscription price was $1 or $0.50/paper (compared to shelf price of $2/paper), it made sense to subscribe.  However, I still often purchase the Sunday early edition paper on Saturday morning. Why?  Sometimes you can take advantage of deals that end on Saturday using coupons from Sunday's paper.

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