April 07, 2009

Couponing 101

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Needless to say, before I was introduced to the "right" way to do couponing, I had tried many times to pick up the paper with intentions to save money. I was always disappointed b/c I ended up wasting valuable time and spending more money. Thank goodness I was introduced to a couple of sites that just "made sense". I'm so grateful that I now can pass to you some tips about coupons, the easy way to organize, spend and save time.

Couponing is somewhat of a game. You start slow and as you move on you become knowledgeable of all of the In's and Outs and before you know it YOU win. I will start with the basics of couponing and as we move ahead and you will learn more with the homework I have done already for you on my site. I guarantee that you will be saving at least $100 a month on your grocery bill. Oh, I forgot you aren't paying for this. :)

The first key is getting your local paper at least every Sunday, checking out the coupon printable web sites, and knowing what magazines are best for coupons.

I prefer to subscribe to the paper because if your not subscribing you forget to pick it up or go out to get it and spend money you wouldn't have. Having it delivered is inexpensive and convenient.

You can actually preview what coupons will be in the paper by going here then you can buy more papers when you are out.

If you are ready for printable coupons my favorite site are Coupons.com, Redplum, and SmartSource.com.

All You is the best magazine for coupons, you can get two years for $18.00 here. P&G brandsaver also has coupons here and Right @ Home does the same here.

Be on the watch for: peelies on the product, hangtags under the product, and blinkies machines that blink throughout the store.

Now, do not think that because there is a coupon for $1 off of 2 frozen meals that it is a good deal. Most of the time those meals are $7-$9 and buying two well then you have really wasted some money on something you don't even know if you will like.

Be organized with your coupons. It is hard enough if you are a mom shopping with your kids in the first place. If your not a mom then keeping your coupons organized and keeping a list of what you want to purchase will work. (Keep a list and keep to your list, unless you forgot to add bread).

My method is keeping a file folder for the weekly inserts by date, also known as the Coupon Mom system. . When the advertisements are posted I then pull out the date of the specific insert and clip the matching coupons. I use the Couponizer to keep my coupons seperated and organized.

I use SS for Smart Source, GM for General Mills, PG for Proctor and Gamble, K for Kelloggs, and detail any printable match ups in the advertisements. I will list the matching coupons to the sales advertisements by writing, (1/25, RP) this means the coupon is in the Red Plum insert on January 25th.

Now that you have a stockpile of coupons it's time to match them up to the sales ad's. Each week it seems as if the same coupons come around so you should have at least 3 coupons for dish washing liquid when it finally goes on sale for .99. Being aware of the sales is really key to making all of this work. If you just go to the store with your coupons and no sale is going on then the Palmolive you just bought for 2.85 with the .25 coupon didn't really help matters. You have to watch for the sales. They seem to come around every 2-3 months on the same types of items.

Last but not least is creating a stockpile of items so you don't have to purchase out of necessity. This means your non-perishables, toiletries, etc. Pick them up when they are on sale and don't just purchase one purchase as many as you have coupons for. If you just get one then the previous purchase that cost $1 may cost you $4 next time even with your coupon.

Target Coupons:

Recently I have had several people mention having a difficult time with Target coupons as well as stacking Target coupons with Manufacturers coupons. I decided to contact Target regarding their Coupon Policy since it is not available online.

Here is the response:

If you have any questions about a specific coupon or experience using a coupon at Target, we want to help! Please give our Guest Relations team a call at (800) 440-0680. We'll do the best we can to help you as quickly as possible. In the meantime, I'd like to share with you some information about our coupon policy.

When accepting coupons, we use the following guidelines:-

We accept two kinds of coupons:

Target-issued and manufacturer-issued.

-We'll accept one Target coupon and one manufacturer coupon for the same item,unless either coupon prohibits it.

- We can't give cash back if the face value of a coupon is greater than the purchase value of the item; in this case, we're able to adjust the value of themcoupon to equal the price of the item.

- We can't accept coupons from other retailers, or coupons for products notcarried in our stores.

- All valid coupons should be presented to the cashier while you're checking out.

Thanks for writing. Give us a call if there's anything else we can do to help.

I suggest that you print this and take it to the store with you when you shop. That way there won't be any questions at check out when it comes to stacking or using coupons at Target.

CVS Coupons

There are many ways to save and even earn money while shopping at CVS.

For all you newbies, here are all the tips you will need to start saving today! We will start with the Weekly Ads. You can get the Weekly Ad online, in front of the store or in your local Sunday paper. The Ad lists all sale items and items that will produce Extra Care Bucks and the quantity needed to earn them.

What are Extra Care Bucks (ECB)?

These are dollars that you earn when making a certain purchase and can be used on any future CVS purchase. You do not have to get all the items at the same time but will not earn the ECB until you fulfill the entire purchase. Your ECB will print out on your receipt so make sure to always check before throwing away your receipt.

There are weekly and monthly ECB. *You will also earn 2% back in ECB quarterly on your purchases which will print automatically at the end of the sales period.

In order to start earning ECB, you need to have an Extra Care Card. You can get a card simply by asking a cashier for a form or by signing up online. If you fill out the form in-store, you will get your card to start saving imediately. However if you sign up online, it will take about a week to get your card in the mail. Remember to register your account online to receive special offers by email or in your mail box.

What is CRT?

Cash Register Tape) coupons that print automatically on our receipt. These are not listed in the Weekly Ad and just print randomly.

These are pretty general , for instance, $2.00 off of Huggies Pull-ups. You can also get X off of XX CRTs. It will look like this~ $4.00 off of $20.00. Both are considered stores coupons and can be combined with manufacter's coupons (MFC). You can stack a basic CRT, a X off of XX CRT and a MFC all together for maximum savings. Just make sure to hand the cashier the X off of XX first while the total is the highest. Here's what it looks like:Buy (2) Huggies Pull-ups @ $10 each = $20.00Use $4 off $20 firstUse (2) $2.00 CRT's =$4 offUse (2) $3.00 MFC= $6 offTotal $6.00 for both packs of Pull-upsEven better if you would earn $5.00 wyb $20 worth of HuggiesTotal would be = $1.00!!
Making money at CVS can be very simple! Almost every week there is a promotion where you will earn the same amount of ECB that you spend. For instance:Colgate Toothpaste $2.99Earn $2.99 ECB wyb 1Use $1.00 off MFCTotal = $1.00 overage after coupon and ECBCVS also has other great ways to save:Clip-Free coupons that will automatically be taken off at the register. You can find these in a flyer by the front door.Email or "snail mail" coupons - remember to sign up online to get these.BOGOF sales - you can use two MFC coupons on a buy-one-get-one-free sale. For example:Max Factor Mascara $7.99 BOGOFUse (2) $3.00 off MFCTotal = $1.99 for bothAs with anything, "practice makes perfect" so don't be discouraged if you make a few mistakes. You'll be shopping like a pro soon enough.

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1 comment:

Gogiii said...

Thank you for your information. My daughter is trying to figure out "Couponing". She has five children. Heavy grocery bills along with paper products, soap, tooth paste, etc. Any further information would be greatly appreciated:)


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