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Frugal Fridays – Cheap Stocking Stuffers

I’ve been writing a good deal about my new venture into the world of couponing.  Which really isn’t so new, since I’ve been clipping coupons since college.  And yes, paper was invented back then.

What has changed about my love affair with coupons, is that I no longer use them willy nilly.  Instead, I now Coupon With a Purpose.  I know about the deals ahead of time, and use store and manufacturers coupons to get the best price possible.

It’s working, because my grocery spending resembles Let’s Make a DealCOME ON DOWN!

But what I want to share today, is how to shop for cosmetics for a fraction of the cost.  I do buy toiletries and cosmetics at CVS taking advantage of their Extra Care Bucks.  But I’ve found that I can wander through either CVS or Walgreens, look for clearance merchandise, add a coupon, and get the item either free or pretty darn close to free.

Today I went to Walgreens and found these three items, added three coupons, and walked out spending 62 cents.

I have two girls who LOVE nail polish and lip gloss.  But I cannot ever bring myself to pay up to $6.00 for a bottle of good nail polish.  Walgreens particularly has terrific clearance sales on Sally Hansen and Rimmel nail color.  I’ve been seeking out higher value cosmetic coupons ($1.00 or more) from the paper or as a printable and stashing them in my coupon box under “Beauty”.  Then when I wander through the drug store, I look for clearance items and check to see if I have coupons for those items.

The 3 things I purchased today were all clearance.  The Sally Hansen nail polish was .50, and I had a coupon for .50 off.  FREE.  The other Rimmel polish was on clearance for $1.09, and I had a $1.00 coupon.  And the lip gloss was $2.29, and I had a coupon for $2.00.

I’ve squirreled these items away WAY UP HIGH in my closet for use as birthday gifts, stocking stuffers, or whathaveyou.

The whole stashing gifts for later use idea is a new concept for me this year.  I was also able to score $2.00 tank tops at Old Navy last week with a coupon, so that my daughter will be armed with her favorite tanks through the year.  And I’m saving them for her birthday.  Which is surprising, as I CANNOT KEEP A SECRET.

For more Frugal Fridays ideas, go check out Life as Mom!

And have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

13 Responses to Frugal Fridays – Cheap Stocking Stuffers

  • I’m guessing that since you’re sharing you gifting secrets here you’re pretty confident that there’s no way your daughters can access your blog?

    • Susan,

      (Lowers voice to a whisper) They do not have access to the internet. (Insert maniacal laughter). Some day they will, and I will likely have to start typing in code… 🙂

  • You are pretty amazing. I still think it seems like a lot of work. How much time per week do you think it takes you to do the whole couping thing?

    • Lisa,

      I work on it a small amount of time at a time. I have no idea how much time I spend total, but it’s really not all that much more time than it takes me to put together my ordinary shopping list. I have a few websites that send me updates (like new printable coupons) and I just print them out as I go if they are something I ordinarily use. And really, I’m getting faster the more I do it!

  • I have started couponing with a purpose as well, being more aware of matching sales and coupons. I usually shop year round for Christmas gifts but totally missed the connection for stocking stuffers and coupons! I have 2 great nieces who would love nail polish and lip gloss in their stockings!

  • DeeDee,
    I would love to know how you organize your coupons. For example, when you go in Walgreens, etc. to look around do you carry a large binder system, envelopes….? I am trying to get all of my coupons organized and it does seem a little overwhelming. :-0

    • Donna,

      I wrote a post a while back about the coupon system that I use, AND LOVE.

      http://www.fiddledeedee.net/2011/06/09/my-coupon-box-and-all-those-things-that-bring-me-joy/

      I take the small box with me whenever I shop. The trick is, START SMALL so that you don’t get overwhelmed. I started with just Publix shopping. Then moved my way up to CVS. I listed some great links at the bottom of the post I gave you above. They should help get you started!

      • Thank-you so much for your input. Somehow I overlooked that post and trust me, that is something I very rarely do. I check fiddledeedee DAILY!
        I have been checking out some of the sites that you listed and I think I am getting the hang of it now. 🙂

  • Of course there was paper when we were in college! What else did we type (with a typewriter) our research papers on?

    Congrats on the “finds” at the store. Very impressive!

  • DeeDee, I’m sure this is one of the thousands of reasons Fiddledaddy loves you!! Good job!

  • Hmmm, the stashing of gifts. . . .

    I recall once when I was at home (after marriage) going through items that had been stored at my Mom’s house to decide whether to keep or let go, and we started going through the top of my childhood closet.

    Lo and behold, my mother found all my Christmas presents that she had stashed there for, like, my 10th Christmas! She laughed and laughed at the memory of her forgetting where she had stashed the gifts, and her fury at having to go out and re-buy items.

    And all that time we were in the top of MY closet, tucked “safely” away.

  • Awesome! I keep my eyes out for stocking stuffers after holidays…love to look through the clearance and find stuff. After Valentine’s day I found soft fuzzy socks/slippers at Walgreens that are pink/white & red/white and am saving those for my girls stockings. I think I paid less than $1 for each pair.