Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Making Money With Coupons

Sometimes you will see deals listed as money makers (MM).  We also refer to this as "overage"  You might be wondering how this is possible since stores con not give you cash back for a coupon.  I wanted to take a minute to explain in a little more detail how this works.  Money maker deals usually come along at drug stores like CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens.  Sometimes you have to purchase items you may not need in order to make money couponing.  If you can't use it, donate it to someone who can.  Click on "Read more" to find out how to make money using coupons and store rewards.

Occasionally one of the drug stores will offer and item that is FREE after store rewards (ECB, UPR, or RR).  For example CVS might offer Crest mouth rinse for $4.00 and offer $4.00 ECB when you purchase the item.  This makes the Crest mouth rinse free after ECB.  Money makers happen when you also have a coupon to go along with the free after ECB product.  You could turn the above scenario into a money making deal when you use a coupon.

Your transaction would look like this :
Buy 1 Crest mouth rinse $4.00
-Use $1 coupon
-Pay $3.00 (either with cash or ECB from previous transaction) Get back $4.00 ECB
Final Cost FREE + $1 MM (after coupon and ECB)

Basically, you get back more in store credit than you pay.  So, what do you do with the extra $1?  There are a few options.  One option is to keep the extra $1 in ECB to use (or roll) at your next visit.  Another option is to purchase $1 more worth of merchandise and essentially get it for free.  You can also think of it as applying your $1 Crest coupon to another item in your order.

If you did this your transaction might look like this:
Buy 1 Crest mouth rinse $4.00
-Use $1 coupon
Buy 1 Stride Gum $1
Pay $4.00 Get back $4.00 ECB
Final Cost FREE after ECB

Another way to turn sweeten the deal is to use dollar off store coupons such as the $4/$20 you can get by registering your email address and CVS Extra Care Card.  If you have this coupon you want to get your total to $20 and then use coupon to bring the total down.  For this example I am going to pretend that the Crest deal mentioned above does not have any limits on the number you can purchase.  Usually the deals have limits at CVS (but not Rite Aid), but I think this is the best way to explain it.

Your transaction would look like this:
Buy (5) Crest mouth rinse $20
-Use $4/$20 Store coupon
-Use (5) $1 Crest coupons
Pay $11 Get $20 ECB
Final Cost FREE + $9 Money maker!

In this situation I would probably buy diapers to absorb the extra $9.  If you buy additional products to absorb the overage you aren't technically making money, but you are getting more items for FREE!  I love using overage to buy diapers.  Because of money making deals and overage I haven't paid more than $4 for a pack of name brand diapers in a long time!

I hope this all makes sense.  Sometimes it is hard to write out exactly how all of this works in a way that makes sense to someone who has never done it before.  If you have any questions or need something explained please leave a comment an I will do my best to explain it better.

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