Monday, April 8, 2013

Wedding Welcome Bags -- My Lot So Far (Retail: $150.97; My Cost: $0)

If you don't know, I write the frugal lifestyle blog Drugstore Divas. The site has really helped me to understand how dramatically couponing can change your budget. It's also brought me together with some of the greatest couponing friends I could have -- ones who are rooting me on during my budget wedding and have so graciously sent me coupons for John Frieda and BIC razors so that I could amass the beauty that is the photo below.

Behold, my lot for our travel bags for our out of town guests.

wedding welcome bags

Retail value: $150.77.
My cost: $0.

My goal is to spend $2 per bag per family, and I'm trying to account for 100 bags. By my estimate, that's $200. That in itself is quite a bit and people generally spend quite a bit on these bags (like $5 to $10 each). Personally, I can't justify or afford that, but couponing is going to help me put together wonderful bags for our guests, at a fraction of the cost.

I'm going to break it down for you, item by item, and let you know what I've already picked up -- and how.


I have nine bags of BIC Silky Touch razors for women. There are six bags of 10 and three bags that have a bonus four free, for a total of 14 razors in those packs. The grand total is 102 razors. Each bag is $2.96 at Walmart. I had a $3 off BIC disposable razors coupon, which made each bag free.

Retail value: $26.64
My coupons: $27.00 (yes, my coupons were worth more than the total value so the extra was applied towards tax)
Total: $0 out of pocket (and I had $.36 overage)

wedding welcome bags

The TRESemme travel bottles and Nivea creams are going in my bridesmaids gifts, mostly because I can't imagine that I will amass 100 of these since they weren't bought with coupons from the newspaper. They were all bought at CVS. The TRESemme was bought with CVS store coupons for $2 off any two TRESemme items. These travel size bottles were $.99 each, so they were free after the coupon. I was able to pick up seven sets (and Pete even stopped by CVS on his way home from work to help me get these).

Retail price: $13.86
My coupons: $14.00
Total: $0 (and I had $.14 overage)

The Nivea was part of a CVS deal where if you bought two, you would get $6 back in ExtraCare Bucks (CVS money). I bought 10 tins, which are $.99 each. I got back $30 in CVS money for buying these items. Now, don't worry. I didn't clear the shelf. I bought these during three different CVS sales.

Retail value: $9.90
My total: I got back $30 in CVS money, which means I actually made $20.10 in CVS money for buying these.

hair spray

These John Frieda hair sprays may be the end of me. I was given so many coupons by my couponing friends that I was able to pick up 44 of these bottles. I'm really far short of my goal here, but I have faith that another coupon will come around.

The coupon was for $3 off any two John Frieda items, excluding 1.5oz. bottles. These hair sprays are 2oz., so it counts. They are only $1.47 in Walmart, so I picked up the majority there.. I made multiple trips to many Walmarts during that time and never cleared out the shelf. I made sure there was more for other customers before purchasing.

Retail value: $64.68
My coupons: $66.00
Total: $0 (and I had $1.32 overage, which went towards tax)


Pete told me he had men's disposable razors that we could use. But, I wanted to buy the majority of them since they would all be a uniform yellow and his were a blue. I will borrow a couple from him since I'm a couple short here, so I wasn't worried about being shy. I bought eight bags, and they each contain 12 razors, for a total of 96 razors.

These razors are $2.68 in Walmart, and I used the same $3 coupon for the BIC razors here as I did for the women's razors. I have two amazing couponing friends who sent me a huge lot of these coupons to cover what I didn't have. These ladies were so incredible that they actually offered to send me any matching razors that they had bought if I couldn't find enough in my stores. Now those are some great friends.

Retail price: $21.44
My coupons: $24.00
Total: $0 (and I had $2.56 overage, which went towards tax)

wedding photos

And finally, I printed photos that I will attach to the outside of the bags instead of buying postcards. As I mentioned the other day in this post, buying 100 postcards at $.35 each is $35. Instead, I printed photos, which I personalized, when Walgreens was offering 25 free 4x6s to anyone with a Walgreens Photo account. I ordered 25, Pete ordered 25, and one of my friends ordered 25, for a total of 75.

Retail value: $14.25.
My total: $0 (and since I selected in store pickup, I didn't even have to pay for shipping).

So, as a grand total:
9 BIC razors, for women: $26.64
14 TRESemme: $13.86
10 Nivea creams: $9.90
44 John Frieda's: $64.68
8 BIC razors, for men: $21.44
75 pictures: $14.45
Total: $150.97

My total: $0.

And this is exactly why my wedding will stay on budget -- and exactly why your wedding budget can get blown on such small stuff if you're not paying attention.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Are you using coupons to help you stay on track with your budget?

Want to see our finished wedding welcome bags?

Check out our final wedding welcome bags post.


  1. Who would think those things would add up to so much!!

    And let me know if you need the photos printed. I can do it for you and so can Mary ;)

  2. If you sign up at walmart photo center with new email, you can get 25 free prints.

  3. You should teach a coupon clasd. I'll be your 1st student!