For example, I "bought" these two bottles of shampoo from Bath & Body Works this weekend. They normally cost $7.50 each and were on sale 2/$10. The coupon that B&BW sent me was good for $10 off a minimum $10 purchase. Since I was careful to only select items that added up to $10 I didn't have to pay a dime, not even sales tax!
The trick (and this is important!) is to decide BEFORE you go into the store that you will not select anything that is over the required minimum purchase. Of course this is not what the B&BW company wants you to do, they want to lure you in with the coupon and have you spend money that you originally were not planning on spending in their store.
Unfortunately for them I refuse to do this and just make the minimum purchase to get my freebies. I also tend to buy basic toiletries like soap or shampoo, items that I would normally be purchasing anyways. It's tempting to go with a splurge like a special hand cream or lip product, but do I really need those? Nope and of course I risk finding something that I decide I can't live without and then go back and actually buy the items with my (ACK!!!) own money??
Between these type coupons from B&BW and getting free shampoo and hair products from the Walgreens monthly Rebate Club (see link below for my earlier post on that) I don't think I have actually paid for shampoo or hair products in YEARS and I'm A-OK with that. http://wingingitinthewindycity.blogspot.com/2008/04/free-stuff.html