UPDATE: I am now aware of use tax that is required when you make online purchases out-of-state. Read more about it here.
Sure, I’m inexperienced and I’m not exactly an outdoorsy person. And I’m a wimp when it comes to mosquitoes and critters and sleeping on the ground. But I can give it a shot and be a good sport about it. My son is sure to love it, and I’m pretty sure my husband will, too. I’ll probably like some aspects (S’mores!). And let’s face it — camping is a really cheap way to get out.
I’m accumulating camping gear (while you can borrow or rent stuff, I am buying most of our gear. It seems that everything except the tent will serve dual purposes, so I’m fine with the start-up costs).
Ashley suggested I check out Target and Walmart for good prices on gear. They do have good prices — but so does Meijer! Oh man. Meijer.
There isn’t a Meijer near me so I almost forgot about the store entirely. Since there isn’t a physical store in Pennsylvania, I didn’t have to pay sales tax on my purchases. That adds up!
From Meijer.com, I made three separate purchases. I first started out through Ebates*, where clicking through that site first earns me 1.5% cash back.
I ended up splitting my purchases into three transactions because I could only use one coupon code per order, and it was the best way I could save some money.
Two sleeping bags. I chose these because we’re tall and would prefer long-length bags. I wanted cotton inners and outers because I don’t like slipping around in a polyester bag, plus they are noisy. The weight doesn’t really matter since we won’t be carrying it far. $37.45 each on sale. A similar bag was $57 each (plus tax) at Target — it would have been $122 just for the bags!
The total for those two bags was $74.90. There was a code that I found on RetailMeNot for free shipping on orders over $75. Ten cents shy. Drat.
The shipping would have been $13.95. That’s just too much!
So I hunted around for some other equipment we would need so that I could save money on shipping.
I chose these camp chairs with a little table for $23.99.
My total for the two bags and camp chairs set was $102.84. I did have to pay about $4 in shipping, because the code I had was good for up to $15 worth of free shipping. $4 is better than $14!
I did a bit of research and asking around and chose this tent. I hope it serves us well. I wanted one that I could stand upright in and that would have some extra room for our stuff and for Johnny to move around. I wanted a three-season tent because it just isn’t hot in Pennsylvania. We have like two days above 90 degrees a year, it seems — and it’s not really that bad. Nights are cool, even in summers. And I just get cold easily and I would imagine my baby would, too. He’s not as chubby as he once was.
This tent was listed at $179.99 with free shipping already. The same one is listed at $220 on Target with free shipping and a 15% off ($33) discount, so $187 plus tax — $200 total, roughly.
At Meijer, I had a coupon code good for $25 off a $175 purchase, so it brought it down to $154.99 and again, no tax.
Because I am a wimp (and for pete’s sake, I’m also pregnant) I insisted on an air mattress. I chose this queen-sized double-high air mattress for $45.38. I bought a separate, battery-operated pump for $12.13. (I bought three foam pads to put underneath the airbed, but from Walmart locally).
My total was $57.51. Shipping would have been $13.95. No thanks — so I kept on searching for something else to add to the order.
I went with this LED lantern for $21.71.
Since it was more than $75 at that point, I went ahead and used the free shipping code that I used in my first transaction.
Total for this one was $79.22.
All told, I spent $337.05 on these purchases from Meijer. I will get 1.5% cash back from Ebates so that’s an extra $5.05 or so back.
Splitting the transaction into 3 allowed me to save $29 on shipping costs. And since I got it from Meijer and didn’t have to pay sales tax, that’s another $23.59 I didn’t have to spend.
Any tips you wanna share with me? What types of items aren’t so obvious to bring, but extremely helpful? Once I get it all, I’ll write another post detailing all that we’ve purchased and the costs.