Monday, January 25, 2010

This morning as I sit and try and blog I am mentally going through my to do list for  the day. I have so much to do! Packages to ship,toilets to scrub, children to teach their abc's, a workout to do, dinner to defrost,etc etc etc. I am also going to go crazy looking for an aerobic step to use with my Firm videos. Thriftstores LOOKOUT! Woman on a mission will be coming today! Can you believe they no longer sell them?!?! I mean- geeze! And to buy one on ebay with shipping is around $50.00. Wally world has a basic step, still not what I need  for $40.00... I think I shall just save for the WAVE system- whch by the way looks AWESOME!

Okay anyways....

I promised to share more about how you can save more Moolah at the store. Not many poeple commented on my last post, so I have no clue how many people actually want to save money, or coupon, but ya know even if it is only 1 person out there I would love to share what is making a difference for my family!
If some of you are missing my craftiness, sorry. I am going through a dry time right now. It is probably due to the hours spent trying to learn couponing, the multiple bible studies I am keeping up with, and the cold weather which does not permit spraypainting. Not to mention stayng out of the stores I like because I am SO trying to not nickle and dime myself to death! WHEW! Did you get all that?

Back to coupons!
Since I began my adventure I have saved over $200.00. I began my adventure 2 weeks ago. I am going to share some fabulous links for you ladies today that will help you get started. BUT first! Heres some

couponing 101.

How to USE your coupons. Even those ones that have you buy 3 items to save $0.40!

1.You can only use one manufacturer’s coupon per item. You will know a manufacturer’s coupons because “Manufacturer’s Coupon” will be printed on it.

2.Most stores will allow you to use a manufacturer’s coupon and a store coupon on the same item. This is called stacking coupons. (Meijer, Target, CVS, Walgreens,Marsh  and Kroger all allow stacking!)

3.If the coupon value is greater than the item value, you may be able to make money on that item in some cases. (It depends on the store.) If the store will not allow an overage, you can ask them to reduce the value of the coupon to simply make the item free.

4.If there is a Buy One Get One Free sale, you can still use one coupon per item. Meaning FREE items!

5.If you have a Buy One Get One Free coupon, you can combine that coupon with a Buy One Get One Free sale and get both items for free!

6. If there is a B1G1 1/2 off you can use a coupon for each item. Example. Loreal Feria haircolor B1G1 1/2 off- 1st item at 8.99 2nd item at $4.49 2 coupons at $2.00 off of 1 Loreal hair color. Total cost. $9.48

There is also an entire LANGUAGE in coupon world!

Coupon Language 101:
  • MQ – manufacturer’s coupon
•ECB – Extra Care Bucks – CVS “money” printed on receipts to be used like cash in store on your next purchase.

•RR – Register Reward – Walgreen’s “money” printed on receipts to be used like cash in store on your next purchase.

•ESR – Walgreen’s Easy Saver Rebate Program

•ESC – Walgreen’s Easy Saver Coupon

•OOP – Out of Pocket – actual cash paid

•BOGO or B1G1 – Buy One Get One FREE!

•SS – Smart Source insert in Sunday’s paper

•RP- Red Plum insert in Sunday’s paper

•P&G or PG – Procter and Gamble insert in Sunday’s paper

•Peelie – Peelable coupon located on packages

•2/$5 – This means 2 items for $5, can be any combination.

•$1/2 – This means $1 off of 2 items, can be any combination.

•WYB – when you buy

•MIR – Mail In Rebate

•PSA - Prices start at

•crt – cash register tape, a coupon printed at the end of a receipt sometimes called a Catalina.

  • Catalina: Sometimes abbreviated as “CAT”, Catalina coupon machines located at register, dispense long receipt-like coupons that may be used on a future purpchase. Catalinas, refer to the coupons themselves which may be manufacturer or store coupons. Some Catalina coupons are advertised and some are generated based on consumer behavior.
  • IVC: Instant Value Coupon. IVCs are store coupons found in the weekly Walgreens ad. IVCs may be stacked with a manufacturer coupon.
  • Store Coupon: A coupon created by the store to entice you to buy a certain product at their store. Stores receive no reimbursement from store coupons. Store coupons may be found in the weekly ad, printed online or downloaded as e-coupons. Kmart and Walgreens both offer booklets set out each month. I pick up 2-3 of these.
  • YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary. A phrase used to describe that an experience one shopper has may differ from your experience. One store may allow you to stack additional promos and another location may not do the same. Many websites will tell you of a deal and add the above lingo to let you know that YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY!
  • Store Loyalty Card: A free card which you present at checkout to receive additional savings. Fill out a short application to receive a loyalty card at your local grocer. Kroger, CVS and Marsh offer these.
  • One Coupon per Transaction: Limits you to only using one of this coupon per transaction. You may request to do separate transactions. Example: If you have 5 coupons that read “one coupon per transaction” you may request to separate into 5 transactions and pay 5 times.
  • E-Coupons: Electronic coupons may be downloaded onto your store loyalty card or cell phone. Download from your PC or go mobile and download to your loyalty card through your cell phone. Grocery coupons must be downloaded to your loyalty card and will be deducted automatically when you swipe your card at checkout. E-coupons may be downloaded to your cell-phone for other retail items such as movie rentals. Download a coupon using the mobile ap and show your discount code to your cashier great websites for ecoupons are Cellfire, Shortcuts and Upromise.
Okay- now you have a lot of the lingo. What you need to do is work on your stockpile!

Stockpile: a food storage or stash of food and non-food items. Buy items when they’re on sale and you have a coupon. Buy products before you need them and build up a stockpile of food and toiletries. When you run out of an item shop from your stockpile. We shop the house for decor,why not food, etc?

It can take a couple of months to build your stockpile ladies. Many women I read about are only spending $40-50 a week on groceries! HOW? They have a stockpile. If its not on sale, or an absolute neccessity, not cheap or free they DO NOT BUY IT! I currently have not cut down on my weekly amount but have received twice the amount of items for what I was spending, and my stockpile is growing quickly.

 Example. My hubby uses Mitchum deodorant. I had a Walgreens coupon for $1.99 limit 3. I also had 3 MQ for .75 off of one. I purchased 3 deodorants for a total of $3.75. NORMALLY they are $3.69-$4.00. EACH.

Crest was on sale for $1.68. I had 3 $.75 MQ's. I received 3 toothpastes for $2.79 or a total of .93 EACH! This stuff is normally $3+ a tube!

I have stockpiled  dish soap, laundry detergent, toiletries, paper products and so on. I cannot wait until I am down to that $40-50 per week!

Of course, as hubby reminds me it is only SAVINGS if we do not blow it elsewhere. AMEN? AMEN!

Now- here are some tips for while you are at the store.

 You can ROLL your transactions to maximize your catalinas.
I did that this week when shopping for the 'Hateys'
You will seperate your transactions to use 1 catalina for your next purchase and so on.
Example. Huggies items were on sale, and I had $2/1 coupons. If I bought 3 Huggies items I received $4.00 off my next order. ($10.00 in savings!)
I paid for my Huggies, and then used my $4.00 off and more coupons for the cereal bars in my next purchase.
For the 5 boxes of cereal bars I recieved a catalina for free O.J.  I then STACKED a coupon for $2/2 on O.J. Receiving 2 Tropicanas for $1.00.

ALWAYS take your coupons- you never know when a deal may turn up. Like an item on clearance that you also have a coupon for.

BE ORGANIZED! Stack your items on the belt in an organized fashion so you and the cashier are not annoyed. KNOW what your coupons are for and what you are buying., price matching, etc.

I will say this takes planning and practice. You may get the blurry eyes from all the reading the first week, but it is SO worth the money saved. Just think of your growing retirement, college, vacation or decor funds! AHH!
So- i will leave you with some fabulous links, thanks to my friend Natalie(who does not have a blog) and I encourage you to check them out. My next posts will be on some of these fab sites and what tools they offer as well as how to organize your hot mss of coupons!

Heres Natalies list

Online Coupon & Free Sample Sites

- Download program to be able to print manufacturer coupons (I have never had a problem after downloading)
- I love the mom forum. You get insider info about deals at CVS, Walgreens, your local supermarkets and rebate forms for products you normally buy.
- Able to order free samples of everyday products
- Samples usually come with coupons
- Rebate section (I complete rebates and deposit the checks into Gaines’ college savings account. I usually use a coupon for the product and then receive a check for more than I paid. FREE COLLEGE MONEY!!)

Is this woman smart or what?!?! WHY didnt I think of that? Oh wait- I had no clue rebates existed on food and household items!

- Able to get CVS flyers prior to Sunday paper to know upcoming sales
- Able to get Walgreens flyers prior to Sunday paper to know upcoming sales
- Coupons for Conagra food products (Healthy Choice, eggbeaters, Hunts, etc)
- Recipes
- Coupons, sweet finds, online discount codes and deals
- Type in your zip code and you will get discounts to local eateries
- Daily deals & rebates in the Forum section
- Sign up for free items on your birthday, your kids’ birthdays and your pets’ birthdays
- print manufacturer coupons
- Download Proctor and Gamble (Pampers, Tide, Iams, Gillette, Oil of Olay, Bounce etc) product coupons to your Kroger plus card or other local grocery store. When you purchase the product and scan grocery card, it automatically deducts the coupon on your receipt. Note, you can also use manufacturer coupon (Double Dip!!)
- Download grocery coupons to your Kroger plus card or other local grocery store. When product is purchased and grocery card is scanned, it automatically deducts the coupon on your receipt. Note, you can also use manufacturer coupon (Double Dip!!)
-Download grocery coupons to your Kroger plus card or other local grocery store. When product is purchased and grocery card is scanned, it automatically deducts the coupon on your receipt. Note, you can also use manufacturer coupon (Double Dip!!)

**Note…often Shortcuts & Cellfire have same coupon downloads (e.g., Huggies & Fiber One products)+ use a manufacturer coupon = Triple Dip!!!

- Sign up and input area shopping card numbers (Meijer, CVS, Kroger, Marsh) when you buy certain grocery items and scan your shopping card, then you receive money into your upromise account. You can use the money to pay on a student loan, deposit the money into a 529 college savings plan or request the money to be paid to you via check. You can also download “e-coupons.” When you purchase “e-coupon” product and scan your shopping card, you will get the amount of the coupon deposited in your upromise account. Register a debit or credit card and eat at various restaurants (Q-Doba!), 8% of bill paid by registered card will be deposited into upromise account. Go to upromise site, click on shopping, click on store you want to shop online, pay with registered card and a percentage of your purchase will be deposited to your account. Easy!! (Be sure to register beneficiary information)
- Go to site and scan down to bottom of home page. Click on text “Grocery Coupons.” Click on coupons you want printed and they will print. Target policy is that you can use both a target coupon and a manufacturer coupon for the same product (Double Dip!!). If your cashier questions, just let them know that it is Target policy. I have never had any trouble, but have had to nicely state this information one time.
- Go to CVS site and register your CVS card. Usually at the end of the work week, CVS will email a coupon only good for the upcoming weekend (eg., $5 off a $20 purchase). These work great when they have diapers on sale for the week. You can use this coupon along with your Huggies manufacturer coupon and usually pay a pretty good price (even better if you have CVS extra bucks ) Don’t forget to download your upromise “e-coupons” before going. Usually upromise has Huggies “e-coupons” that will deposit $1 to $1.50 to your upromise account. Just be sure you scan your CVS card!!

Okay BlessedMama back here- I also really like these blogs- they really spell out the deals for you!
Go ahead and think of your questions and leave them in my comment box because Savvy Steward is coming back next week to answer them!

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