One of the key factors I want you to know is just because a blog or couponer states that an item is free I want you to consider the out of pocket (OOP) cost.
Ask yourself, how much cash am I using to get this item without factoring any rewards?
Example: One of the first items I purchased years ago was Nivea Lip Gloss
(This is not the actual scenario but very similar)
Buy 4 Nivea Lip Balm =OOP $10
Get back $10 ECB = FREE *****(WRONG!!!!)
Once you get home you will soon realize that you spent $10 + tax on just four lip balm.
But what about the $10 ECB? This scenario would be ok if you planned to spend the initial $10 investment to get the $10 reward before you went to the store. Include the out of pocket expense even if a reward is attached to the deal scenario.
As a beginner recognize which deals are actually free.
Example of an genuine free deal:
Buy (1) Toothpaste at $1
Use (1) $1/1 MQ (Manufacturer Coupon) = FREE pay tax only
DEFINITELY A FREE SCENARIO!
My actual oop was just tax because the state requires that I pay tax. Don’t be fooled by the FREE signs flashing everywhere. Focus on the actual out of pocket expense and plan accordingly.