Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Sun Rises on a Brand-New Week for a Ninja...

I'll keep this post short.  At CVS, with a $3 coupon in the P&G insert in today's paper, I got a battery-powered Oral B toothbrush for free!  I also got another Schick Hydro for 99 cents (with a stick-on coupon for free shaving cream).

At Walgreens, there was a $6 RR on Zarbee's Childrens' Cough Syrup, priced at $5.99.  I had 2 $3 coupons, so I bought 2 for $4.98 and got $12 RR back!  They've got Campbells Chicken Noodle and Tomato soup on sale for 50 cents a can, so I used my old RRs on that.

Total for donating this week:

1 battery powered toothbrush
1 Schick Hydro razor
1 Schick shaving cream
2 Zarbee's cough syrup
8 cans of soup (to the food pantry)

I paid less than $2.50 out-of-pocket, so I feel pretty good about this round.  Tomorrow night is the most exciting night of the year for me.  I discovered that there is a group in Muncie called the "Coupon Exchange", and my first meeting will be tomorrow.  I am not sure what it says about my life that this is the most exciting thing in it, but I'm totally ready!  Perhaps I shall meet some fellow ninjas....

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I promised you a ninja-ing, and a ninja-ing you shall have!

Walgreens had a great ad this week for accumulating donation items.  They had Contac Cold and Flu for $6 with a $6 RR, and they had Colgate Sensitive toothpaste (seriously, why not Colgate Stoic?) for $3.49 with $3.50 RR.  Here's what I did.

Transaction 1:

Contac Cold and Flu medicine   $6.00
Royal Gelatin                             $0.20
Hydrogen Peroxide                    $0.33

Total:                                        $6.53

- $2 Contac coupon                 (2.00)
- $3.50 Colgate RR                 (3.50)
- $1.00 Crest RR                    (1.00)

= $0.03 + tax (0.45) = $0.48 out of pocket cost (OOP), receive $6 Contac RR

Transaction 2:

Colgate Sensitive                   $3.49
Crest Vivid Tootpaste           $2.99
Royal Gelatin                        $0.20
Hydrogen Peroxide               $0.33

Total:                                   $7.01

- $1.00 Colgate coupon      (1.00)
- $6.00 Contac RR             (6.00)

= $0.01 + tax (0.49) = $0.50 OOP, receive $3.50 Colgate RR and $1.00 Crest RR

Then, I just rolled back and forth between #1 and #2, and ended up with this!

We have taken over your kitchen....
and this!

...AND your dining room! (these are two separate donations)

So, for around $15, I was able to donate about $137 worth of stuff.  Almost all the cost was tax--if I can get to work with a specific charity that lets me buy things tax-free, this trip would have cost less than a dollar. 

For the mathematically inclined, that's a leverage factor of 9.13 (137/15), meaning that each dollar bought a little more than $9 worth of stuff.  That's pretty efficient, and really gets at the idea behind "leveraged philanthropy".

You may click to another site once your awe has diminished; in the meantime, be careful while driving or while operating heavy machinery.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Next donation round....

Here is a picture of the things I will donate next week. 

Only the non-flower items on the table shall be donated.

Here is a picture of a lemur.

You should see MY coupon donations, punk.
Find me another coupon blog that posts pictures of lemurs.  Pwned.  All y'all.

Free sample of Arm and Hammer toothpaste!

Go to and fill in your info, and you too could be the proud owner of a new but tiny tube of sample toothpaste!  This one may make it through airport security!  I have no idea how long this will be available, so act now! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010 there anything he won't buy if it's free?

So, the best deal at CVS this week is the Schick Hydro razor.  You gotta try this, I'm telling you.  It was almost enough to make me abandon my trusty electric razor.  It's that good, and with a $4 coupon and $5 ECB, it's free!  This deal was so popular, they've been sold out both times I went this week!  The cashier promised me she'd stick one behind the desk if they came in again, to prevent them all from going to folks less "worthy".  Those were her words, not mine.  To be "worthy" in the eyes of the CVS cashiers....sublime.  Simply sublime.  I bask.

Another good deal was $7 ECB with the purchase of 2 Revlon eye shadow.  Those are $4.99 each, so if you have the $1 Revlon coupon, it ends up being $7.98 with $7 ECB back.  Nothing wrong with 98 cents for two eye shadows, right ladies?  I don't have much use for it myself, but I figured it'd make a nice donation item.  That is, if I can hide it from the wife.  Then again, maybe I shouldn't hide it from the wife.  What's she going to think if she finds me hiding eye shadow? 

There is little I won't buy if it's cheap/free.  I may have to draw the line at one of the items that's all the rage on the internet message boards.  It's a special anti-itch cream, intended for one of the major genders, the one of which I am not a member.  That is all I will say about this product, since this is a family blog (it has a spouse blog and two little baby blogs at home).

I've eased off the Walgreens trips lately, but all I have to say is "Look out!"  Major ninja-ing coming next week.  Most of the time, a ninja relies on surprise, but you, dear readers (would "reader" be more accurate?), get the inside scoop here.

Until then, live long and NINJA!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday Afternoon Ninja Exploits

It's hard to be a ninja when you're wearing a tie, but it was time to collect some sweet deals yesterday.  I got:

3 Old Spice bodywashes (from Walgreens)
1 Crest Sensitive toothpaste (from Walgreens)--I'm still waiting for them to come out with "emotionally rigid" toothpaste.
1 Halls Cough Drops (from Walgreens)
1 compliment on my couponing skills (from the cashier at Walgreens), said with deep admiration (priceless)
2 Colgate Total toothpaste (from CVS)
1 bag of candy corn (from CVS)

Total:  $3.27, put on a gift card I got from using credit card points.  Oh, and I got $5.50 in RR to use at Walgreens and $5.98 to use at CVS.  As you can imagine from months of couponing, we have plenty of toothpaste and bodywash, so that'll get donated.  We will probably keep the candy corn.  It's surprising that other candy vegetables never caught on, like candy asparagus, or candy rutabaga...

Monday, October 11, 2010

You can do this too!

This week at CVS, Colgate Total toothpaste is $2.99 with $2.99 printing in Extra Care Bucks!    ECBs are essentially gift certificates toward a future purchase at CVS.  The power of this type of promotion can really be seen in Transaction 2 below.  You need a CVS card to do this deal, but it would look like this:

Transaction 1:  Colgate Total toothpaste $2.99
                       Sales Tax (7% for me)    $0.21
                       Total                              $3.20     Receive $2.99 in Extra Care Bucks

Transaction 2:  Colgate Total toothpaste $2.99
                       Sales Tax                          0.21
Pay with $2.99 ECB from Trans. 1         (2.99)
                                                              $0.21  Receive $2.99 in Extra Care Bucks

Check that out!  You pay a total of $3.41 out of pocket for a $2.99 gift certificate, and receive 2 toothpastes!  This is a deal that you don't even need coupons for!  Now, go forth and NINJA!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Coupon Prof "Ninjas" CVS!!

I love CVS.  You can scan your card at the magic red machine when you walk in, and it'll spit out promo offers just for you!  It's like Christmas every time I walk in.  I had a pretty good scenario planned, but the magic machine spun me in a different direction with $5 off any Halloween costume, accessory, or decor.

I should also mention that I brought the wife along for this trip.  Big mistake.  The wife is a point-of-purchase marketer's fantasy.  She also subscribes to the theory that "you can never have too much kitschy decor".  So, needless to say, the preplanned scenario was probably never going to happen.  I should know better.

We got:  A fabulous light-up plastic pumpkin, 2 totally unneccessary packages of headbands, a Revlon nail polish, 2 cans of clearance Pringles (25 cents each!  Clearance Pringles taste better anyway), a Godiva chocolate bar which did not last 5 minutes after getting home, and a twin pack of Renu contact solution.

Total cost after coupons?  $1.37


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday Morning Coupon Ninja Strikes!

I have been known to refer to myself as the "Coupon Ninja".  I thought it was so clever.  When I wanted to establish a blog, I checked blogspot, and to my surprise, not only is "Coupon Ninja" taken, but so is "The Coupon Ninja".  From this day forward, I shall concentrate on using "coupon ninja" as a verb rather than a noun, as in "I really coupon-ninja'd that store today".  Today was such a day.

At Walgreens, I did four transactions.

Trans. #1
Hylands Kids Cough n' Cold medicine  $4.99
Tax                                                        0.35
- internet coupon                                 ($1.50)
Total                                                     $3.84, received $5 Register Reward (RR)

Trans. #2
Vaseline Sheer Lotion                        $5.99
Cheetos                                              0.39
Tax                                                     0.45
-internet coupon                                 (1.00)
- $5 RR from Trans. #1                      (5.00)
Total                                                   $0.89, received $5 RR

Trans. #3
Hylands Kids Cough n' Cold medicine  $4.99
Full Bar (diet product)                            1.99
Tax                                                        0.49
- internet coupon (Hylands)                   (1.50)
- RR from Trans. #2                              (5.00)
 Total                                                   $0.97, received $5 RR (Hylands) and $2 RR (Full Bar)

Trans. #4

(repeat of Trans. #2)

Trip total:  Paid $6.67 out-of-pocket (OOP), got $24.73 worth of stuff, ended with $7 RR for next time.

So, in essence, I bought a $7 gift certificate for $6.67, and they gave me $24.73 worth of stuff for free. 

Remember, if you can see the coupon ninja, he can see you.  If you cannot see the coupon ninja, you may be seconds away from having a great deal inflicted upon you.

The Hottest Blog on the Internet!

We note that this blog has gained a follower.  This represents a statistical increase of infinity percent, making us the hottest blog on the internet!  (The blog, when not referring to itself in the third person, shall use the royal 'we' plural form when referring to itself.)


I've been a strategic couponer for several months, primarily for charities (Editor's note:  Except when his wife calls dibs.  No lie--last night she broke into a case of mac n' cheese that was about to be donated.  She has been duly reprimanded and the cost will be deducted from her allowance.)   Hey, I'm a professor.  It's my JOB to lecture.

People who spend a lot of time in this world know that if you watch the sales and have matching coupons, many items can be had for cheap or even free.  On rare occasion, it's possible to come out ahead after buying a certain item.  Couponers call this a "money-maker" or MM for short, and their occurrence inspires the same feeling you get after watching Tom Cruise shoot down 5 MIGs in Top Gun.

As an example, this week Walgreens had Hylands Kids Cough and Cold medicine for $4.99, with a $4.99 Register Reward.  Register Rewards print after you buy certain advertised items, and are good on your next purchase.  In effect, this made this item free (not including sales tax).  Wonder of wonders, however, there were $1.50 internet coupons available, so by paying only $3.49 for the medicine, I got a $4.99 coupon off my next purchase.  (Editor's note:  If a tingle just went down your leg, you may be ripe for conversion to the coupon world.  Or you may have neurological damage.  One or the other.)  I exit the store, Val Kilmer says I can be his wingman anytime, I reply, "No, you can be mine" with a grin showing perfect teeth, just like Tom Cruise, only taller.

Anyway, I intend this blog to be a diary of couponing exploits.  I suspect it may be a lonely place for a while.  I feel like Creed on The Office, when Ryan sets him up with a blog that's really just a Word document.  If a professor talks, but the class is absent, has he done his job?