I was a few months pregnant with my second daughter when I started getting serious about couponing. Since I was with child, we were looking for new ways to save. Having a baby is so expensive and I just knew that I could save on some baby essentials if I put more effort into it. So….I started cutting coupons….lots of them. Within a few weeks, I found out that my friend could get me 20 coupon inserts a week from her work. This was the motherload of saving money and the beginning of some massive stockpiling in the Club Thrifty household.
I started small, hoarding diapers and baby wipes. I would often go to Walgreens more than once in a day, using store coupons stacked with manufacturer coupons in order to score free or almost free baby stuff. I began to amass a huge amount of baby paraphernalia and quickly became obsessed. Then, things took a turn to crazy town.
Hoarding Baby Formula
Similac released a new coupon for $5.00 off any infant formula, any size. Since the ready to feed quarts were priced anywhere from $4.99 to $5.99, I knew that I could get them free or almost free. I began to scrape together as many $5 off coupons as I could get from family and friends. I also joined hotcouponworld.com and started trading. Within about a month, I had around 300 of the $5.00 coupons for Similar formula.
I was super stoked. The only problem with this is that many stores only keep a handful of quarts on the shelf at any given time. So, we started
buying hoarding 3 here, 4 there, 10 here, until I really began to have quite a collection. We would hit up Walmart, Target, and Meijer at least once a week, buying as many as we could without wiping out the shelves for everyone else. I even pre-ordered 100 quarts from CVS for $4.99 each – which made them free. Similac formula had become my crack cocaine. I literally planned my days around acquiring it and would spend hours on end arranging all of the quarts in my cabinets. I even had so much at one point that I had to start storing the excess in my mom’s basement. It was weird.
Looking back, it seems pretty crazy that I went through all the trouble to get so much free formula. I didn’t even know whether my baby would be able to drink Similac! Luckily, she didn’t have any sensitivities and was able to drink it. Better yet, since I breastfed a little longer than expected, I was also able to give away about 50 quarts to our local food pantry.
Am I proud of this? No, I actually think it’s insane and I would make fun of someone else who did the same thing. But, in my defense, pregnancy made me crazy in so many ways. I was a crying, emotional mess almost every day, and hoarding baby formula and baby diapers seemed completely reasonable at the time. However, it was something I used to treat myself. Couponing gave me something to do. It was a fun break from the other things I was obsessed with while pregnant – like eating Penn Station fries and blaming Greg for my uncomfortable misery. Now, I can just look back and laugh at all of my craziness.
So, what is your championship coupon story? Have you ever made a huge score with coupons?
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