Couponing

The simple yet awesome way to coupon

piggybank-couponsOnce I hit my “nesting” phase in my pregnancy, I decided that we needed to have at least a six-month supply of EVERYTHING. In my mind at that time, I figured we would be like what you read about… you have a kid and life gets so busy and hectic that you don’t even have time to shower, much less shop. Luckily for us, that wasn’t the case. Couponing became an addiction, (I believe everyone has to have at least one… or seven) it became my fun hobby and was a way to make me feel like I was still contributing since I no longer had any money coming in. All of a sudden I was finding all these ways to save money and to do things that provided for our family without making a dent in our checking account.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to teach you almost everything I know about couponing (I do need to keep a few of my secrets for now... unless you ask me really nicely.) It really is not hard once you get the hang of it. After I got really good at it, I felt so much smarter. Not just in the fact that I could get so much stuff for free or for just pennies on the dollar, but also in being able to calculate percentages and accurate totals quickly in my head. My hubby is an accountant and I can compete with him without having his fancy degrees and a ten key.

Now that I got you excited because you will eventually be doing your super saving happy dance through aisle 7...

Lesson 1 - Completely change your way of shopping

I will teach you how to save up to 100% (yes... it actually does happen, and more often than you would think) off your shopping bills. But you have to pay attention. Do you remember back in the day when your mom would get the newspaper and grocery flyers, circle the stuff on sale, make her list, clip her coupons, then lug all the kids to the store? It was very time-consuming and stressful. It does not have to be, especially in today's world. My method is similar, yet way simpler and modern. I don't even bother with newspapers. Sometimes you see the extreme couponers that buy 20 Sunday newspapers then they go to the store with their HUGE binders, all organized perfectly, that they treat better than their husband. That is a ridiculous, time wasting, pain in the ass. I know because I was once one of them. Not anymore. You need to switch your brain from impulse buying and thinking that Walmart and Warehouse Clubs are actually saving you anything because they are not. Okay, maybe a teensy tiny little bit, but not really. Learning WHERE to shop is one of the most important steps in couponing. Where should you go to buy food? A grocery store obviously. Where should you go to buy everything else? You may be surprised to know that the answer is a drugstore. I know... it sounds strange, but that's the truth. Between store sales, store coupons, manufacturer coupons, store rebates or points, mobile apps, rebate apps, mail in rebates etc., there are a TON of ways to make that hard earned dollar that you no longer make, but your husband does... stretch.

Are you ready for your homework? I want you to get familiar with all the different ways that you can save. Types of Coupons and Where to Look for Them:

Manufacturer Coupon: Manufacturer coupons are issued by manufacturers as an advertisement to lure you to buy their products. The most common place to find a manufacturer coupon is in the Sunday coupon inserts. SmartSource, RedPlum and P&G will each have inserts in the Sunday paper throughout the month. I will show you a much easier way to get your hands on these in a little bit.

Catalinas: Catalina coupons are not extremely common like they were back in the day, but they print out from the little box at the register. These coupons can be either store coupons or manufacturer coupons (it depends on the store promotions).

Store Coupons: These coupons are issued by the store you are shopping at and meant to be used at that specific store, like Publix and Walgreens. These store coupons are issued in an attempt to “woo” you to come back to their store. Depending on which store it is, you can stack a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon, which will make you extra happy.

One great thing to remember is some stores will actually accept “Competitor Coupons” in an effort to “steal” your business away from their competitors. Every store policy is different and this really depends on what stores are local. If you really like Publix, but you have a coupon from Target that happens to be located down the street, chances are Publix would happily accept it if they carry the same item.

Blinkies: These coupons pop out of the cute little boxes on the shelf in front of the product they are for. They usually have the blinking red light, hence “Blinkies”. Always keep an eye out for these, better yet, have your kids keep their eye out for them. You will be surprised at how entertained they are that this awesome little paper (that means absolutely nothing to them, but gold to you) pops out every few seconds. These are usually manufacturer coupons.

Peelies: These coupons are stuck right on products like a peel away sticker. If you notice a peelie on a product you are buying, make sure you peel off the coupon because they can be used immediately on your purchase.

Hangtags: These coupons are usually found on drinks, oils, syrups, laundry soaps and anything else that has a “neck” to hang the coupon tag on. Thus the name Hangtags because they “hang” off the product.

Tearpads: These are exactly what they sound like and can be found in most stores. They are the pads that are found by the products, sometimes on displays, in the front of stores, by the pharmacy, really just about anywhere in the store and you simply “tear” off a coupon that can be used immediately on your purchase of that product.

eCoupons: These are digital coupons that you will find online. You will pick the coupons that you want to use and then download them onto your shopper loyalty cards. There are many stores that offer eCoupons such as Publix and FoodCity.

Internet Printables: Some of my favorites. These coupons are found on the Internet from coupon sites like Coupons.com, SmartSource and RedPlum. Some will be manufacturer coupons and some will be store coupons. You are usually allowed to print 2 of each coupon during the month, per computer and companies will reset the coupons at the beginning of each month.

So you see, I've barely gotten started and you can see there are many fun ways to save. Now you just need to learn how to make coupons and sales work together to make you a happy little housewife. One that doesn't need to stress about making the hard choice to stay home with the kids instead of busting you ass at a job while missing them the whole time.

Lesson 1 DONE!

All this for $.21!

Toysrus101916-2Run to your Toys R Us and Babies R U. If you search, you can find items for $.03 each! I wish I went a few days ago because my local stores were pretty much cleared out. Here's how it works... Stores need to make room for their new seasonal merchandise, so they mark items down. Then down some more. Then down even more. Until finally they mark them $.03 and take them off the floor. The fun part is it is nearly impossible for them to clear them all out, so go on a scavenger hunt and see what you can find. From what I have seen the most common $.03 items are summer toys and select apparel. There are price scanners throughout the store and if you create a wish list they will give you a handheld scanner to use. Start with the items with red clearance stickers and tags. Most that I scanned today were quite a bit less than what it says it should be. If you are lucky, every once in awhile you will see the magical $.03 pop up on the screen. It is a very exciting moment and a lot of fun. Happy scanning!toysrus101916

 

90% off Dollar General Summer 2016 Toys!

20161015_154759Dollar General 2016 Summer Toys have clearanced to 90% off! Do you have a bunch of kid birthday parties to go to? Do you just want to spoil your kid rotten? This is your chance to stock up! I only went to two stores, but I cleaned them out! I bought 40 items worth $197.00 and only spent $19.70 plus tax!

Bow and arrow sets, cowboy and cowgirl toy gun sets, kiddie pools and inflatables, goggles, snorkeling sets and Nerf guns! Check out your local stores before they are all gone.