Couponing on the Fly – What Happens When Your Plans Go South?

aquaphor-eosI wanted to share this small story with you about how to pivot on the fly when your couponing mission doesn’t work out as planned.

Of course, you won’t necessarily be able to replicate my exact scenario, but I want to demonstrate you that you can “tweak” your plans and still end up with a great deal.

As I posted earlier this week, there are some great deals this week at Target, including on Aquaphor. We use Aqaphor a lot in the winter for my kiddos’ dry skin, so I was happy to be able to score a great deal on it.

Unfortunately, the plan that I had – to get four of the smaller tubes for just $.49 each after all the coupons and gift cards were applied, wasn’t going to work because Target was out of stock. 🙁 Here was the original scenario I planned to do:

Aquaphor Healing Ointment — Spend $15, Get $5 Target Gift Card (Text GLOW to 827438 for your coupon)
Buy (4) Aquaphor Healing Ointment, 1.75 oz — $4.99 each
Scan the $5 Target Gift Card When You Spend $15 coupon off your phone
Scan 5% Off Aquaphor Target Cartwheel (exp 2/11)
Then use (4) $3/1 Aquaphor Healing Ointment printable coupons
Pay $6.96 Out of Pocket
Earn a FREE $5 Target Gift Card
= Final Cost like paying $1.96 after Gift Card – just 49¢ per tube!

I could have just left without any Aquaphor – which I often do when a planned coupon deal goes south; but with such a high value coupon ($3 off on each one!), I didn’t want to pass it up.

So instead, I got two of the larger tubs (3.5-oz each), which were $6.99 each. That put me at $13.98 — and I knew that I needed to spend another $1.02 to qualify for the free $5 Target gift card (when you spend $15).

I saw that they had this EOS hand lotion for just $1.99 – and I had been wanting to try it out anyway (I LOVE their lip balm!). So I added it to my cart.

In the end, after the gift card and my coupons, I paid just $4.27 for all three items! Even though my out of pocket was a bit higher than if I’d done the deal I had originally planned on, the containers I bought are much bigger.

The price I paid wasn’t quite as good as I’d hoped, but with those high value coupons, I couldn’t not take advantage of them – especially on a product that I use nearly every day!

Here’s what my transaction looked like:

Bought (2) Aquaphor Healing Ointment, 3.5 oz tub – $6.99 each
Bought (1) EOS Hand Lotion, 1.5 oz – $1.99 each
Spend $15, Get $5 Target Gift Card (Text GLOW to 827438 for your coupon)
Scan the $5 Target Gift Card When You Spend $15 coupon off your phone
Scan 5% Off Aquaphor Target Cartwheel (exp 2/11) – Deduct $.70
Then use (2) $3/1 Aquaphor Healing Ointment printable coupons
Pay $9.27 Out of Pocket
Earn a FREE $5 Target Gift Card
= Final Cost like paying $4.27 after gift card for all three items 

I don’t always “pivot” when my original deal plan isn’t available, but again, in this case it was really worth it for me with those high value coupons.

How do you handle your coupon deals when a store is out of stock? Have you ever pivoted to another plan — and ended up with an even better deal?

Comments

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Comments

  1. Is there a way to check Target stock before going, or to see which location may have? Especially on a deal like this where many people are most likely looking for the same deal.

  2. I once wanted to take advantage of an amazing diaper deal at target. One of those golden “quadfecta” of target couponing: gift card deal, cartwheel, store coupon and manufacturer coupon… Of course I went to my local target and they were out of my kid’s size. So I had them look up stock at another target. Once I got the store phone number, I had them set aside the 3 boxes I needed to complete the deal. I get thre and they didn’t have them! Here I thought I was being smart but apparently the customer service member went on break and never told them to set it aside. And now they only had 2 boxes. They ended up giving me a bigger box for the same deal since they had promised it would be there. SCORE!
    But usually I either try to substitute (get the next size if I think my kid will need it) or I price compare for alternatives. But sometimes I do walk away.

  3. HI, how are you able to print 4 of these coupons? I am only able to print 2.

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