Author Topic: Coupon Tips  (Read 12185 times)

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Coupon Tips
« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2011, 09:33:24 AM »
I really do not like the effect that 'Exteme Couponing' show has had on couponing in general. While I think it is a good thing that people understand that using couponing and shopping smarter can save a lot of money, the show is simply not realistic. Wiping out an entire shelf, exceeding the store policy on coupon use for the show (thus making people think that they can go forth and do the same)... all these things make retailers hate couponers and begin to institute policies that will make it harder.

The thing is... it isn't even necessary to buy those huge quantities... I've been couponing somewhat regularly since about May and I have accumulated enough of a stockpile that I really don't buy things above what we will use in 6 weeks or so at this point. So... if I buy something on a coupon deal, I only buy 2 usually. When I am checking out, I try to be considerate of those in line with me. If I have a pretty large basket, plus a few coupon deals that may take the cashier a little longer, I offer to let people behind me go first...

If the store tells me that a particular deal I thought would work is not OK... I don't argue, I just wait until another more attractive deal will work in the future (since I have a stockpile, nothing is really crucial, after all). If the store has run out of something and they don't expect to get more before the deal is over, again... I don't get upset and make a big fuss... there will be more deals the next week. If you run into a cashier who is unsure about how to do everything, I try to be helpful and especially patient. We want them to find us easy to deal with and helpful -- not the "dreaded couponers".

I agree with Arie about couponing and prepping. While it is available, it makes our money go farther and helps us to increase our stockpile on non-perishables. In the meantime, we can learn how to make our own products, grow gardens, raise chickens, make our own laundry detergent, etc. It all works together.

Offline ladygaura

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Re: Coupon Tips
« Reply #31 on: September 29, 2011, 09:53:08 AM »
I guess my beef with couponing is simply this-- I have a lot of allergies so I can't have a lot of processed food (as an example, TVP is deadly poison for me because of the soy-- look in your processed foods and see how much of them contain soy-- or else MSG which my husband cannot tolerate). It's a whole lot harder to find coupons for whole wheat berries than it is to find coupons for, say, Brand X Bread. It's frustrating that the stuff with the most allergenic ingredients is the stuff with coupons attached. For me, cooking from scratch is not optional. You would not believe how much kitchen stuff I own.

My solution to save money is to garden and to farmer-source food when possible. I've found a source for beef where if I go to the abattoir (I'm okay with that), I can get $200 off a side of beef and it works out to about $4 a pound grassfed (which for grassfed is very reasonable). I've carefully developed a relationship with a farmer near Pueblo for veggies, working on another near Widefield, and hoping to form a connection with one in Canon City (they might know my husband, so that might help) I buy bulk when possible, and I'm thinking about trying stuff like making my own pasta and such.

It's still frustrating. There's a desperate part of me that wishes I could buy some cases of X, Y and Z in cans as preps.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Coupon Tips
« Reply #32 on: September 29, 2011, 10:55:10 AM »
haha... good one, LadyGaura -- coupons for wheat berries!

You are right... a lot of the coupons are for "junk foods". You have to be selective and realize that good deals are seasonal, too. For example, we are coming into baking season before long. That will be the time to buy a year's supply of canned pumpkin, chocolate chips, brown sugar, powdered sugar, cocoa, flour, spices, vanilla, coconut, evaporated milk, etc... (you probably won't find picnic supplies on sale at Thanksgiving!). Also, if you watch carefully, the turkeys will go on sale soon. If you are a person who makes their own chicken/turkey stock, you should check out Morning Sunshine's hints on how she makes a year's supply of canned cooking stock after Thanksgiving each year from the carcasses.
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=22120.msg240767#msg240767

"couponing" is more than just saving coupons. It involves watching for store sales, which are often much more helpful than the coupons.


Offline ladygaura

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Re: Coupon Tips
« Reply #33 on: September 29, 2011, 11:20:17 AM »
Oh I definitely do the T-day turkey thing-- store 'em in the deep freeze, and use the meat for my family and my dog, cook up and freeze the stock.

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: Coupon Tips
« Reply #34 on: September 29, 2011, 12:12:06 PM »
For the most part I only get three or four items at a time while couponing. The exception to that is canned vegetables, soups and meats. My self implied rules for doing this though are that I won't clear out more than something like 30% of the items and I won't get what I plan to purchase in one trip. It takes a few more hours than getting it all in one trip, but it saves the store headaches and allows other customers to get a shot at the good deals.


Offline Arie

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Re: Coupon Tips
« Reply #35 on: September 29, 2011, 01:42:41 PM »
I am almost embrassaed to say it, but I am a hard core couponer.

I honestly can not remember the last time I paid full price for anything besides gasoline and meat.

LadyGaura - you had mentioned not being able to find coupons for organic or produce.  If your paper doesn't offer them, there are "clipping services" which  have an abundance of these types of coupons.  They aren't selling the coupons, per-say, they're selling you the envelope that they come in and adding the coupons as free gifts, or something to that extent  ??? because buying/selling/trading coupons is illegal in the states.

Anyhow - for me personally, I try to make it my goal to save 25%-50% of my grocery bill by using coupons.  Yes, some weeks I end up not saving much, and on the rare occasion I do save more.  In the beginning my SO would laugh at me when I came in the door with 12 tubes of tooth paste and 48 rolls of TP.  Now?  He realizes that they money we didn't spend on those things go towards other things.  The coupon savings becomes our WTSHTF money.  (If we save $30 using coupons, we put $30 into the safe in the floor.)

It was strange starting out, having odd stock piles of stuff (tooth paste, evaporated milk, cooking oil - for example) but now I've learned how to match coupons to store circulars and use competitor price match to get items at rock bottom prices or free.

If I wasn't such a scaredy cat, I'd put up my latest receipt with pictures of what I got - but I don't want you all to think I'm nuts. LOL


Offline LvsChant

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Re: Coupon Tips
« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2011, 02:00:13 PM »
I'm with you Arie... My coupon buys this week were strange, but, over time it works out that I'm stocked up on almost everything and (as you mentioned) at 50% or more savings. This week, for example, I got Zarbee's Nighttime Cough and Sleep Drink for -$.01, 2 tubes of Colgate Optic White toothpaste for -$1.02, 6 bags of Haribo gummy candies (My kids and husband love them) at $.69/bag, 1 bottle of Excedrin Extra Strength (8 ct) for free,  2 bottles of Softsoap handsoap for $.25 each... and a couple more items at least 50% off.

This was just my short stops at CVS and Walgreens... out of pocket expense was nearly nothing... There were tons more buys available that I didn't buy because we already have them stocked...

Offline ladygaura

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Re: Coupon Tips
« Reply #37 on: September 29, 2011, 03:20:23 PM »
Actually, I would say "processed" more than "not organic". Plenty of organic junk food out there, and if anything it can be even more filled to the gills with soy products than regular stuff. I still read the label very carefully-- twice. However, I do tend to buy organic-- pesticides are another thing I try to stay away from.

Offline Prepper7

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Re: Coupon Tips
« Reply #38 on: September 30, 2011, 08:14:39 PM »
<snip> If I wasn't such a scaredy cat, I'd put up my latest receipt with pictures of what I got - but I don't want you all to think I'm nuts. LOL

You should post it -- it sounds as if you're doing it . . . right!

Your strategy is right in line with two of my shopping "rules":
   
Don't shop for things you need now
You shop for immediate use items in your larder / pantry / storeroom and go shopping for items to stock your larder.

and

Shop sales and loss-leaders
Most times, if you looked in my shopping trolley, you'd think I had an eating disorder because there might be 10 boxes of mac & cheese, a dozen tins of diced tomatoes, 8 boxes of microwave popcorn (a weakness), and 5 boxes of plastic bags. Or 2 18-count cartons of eggs, 5 bottles of salad dressing, and 6 toothbrushes. And each week looks just as odd.

Keep up the good work!
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Offline Longsnowsm

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Re: Coupon Tips
« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2012, 08:41:04 PM »
I also found by playing along with some of the clipping sites I was able to save a bunch of money and build my larder for cleaning items, canned goods, and occasionally food items.  I also am very particular about the food items in my home and larder so I stay away from the processed foods as much as possible.  However if you are willing to be somewhat flexible about brands you can do well with the coupon clipping sites.  The one I use is called thegrocerygame.com and what they do is match up weekly coupon inserts with local sales for the grocery stores on your list.  That way your matching sales prices with available coupons.  You only clip the ones your gonna use each week.  You get an notification email with your list of sales items and the dates of the inserts with the coupons you need.  All you have to do is get the Sunday paper, and file away the weekly coupon insert.  So it saves a lot of time.  I just did a blog post that explains the ways I save on my blog if that is any help to others....

I have no affiliation with The Grocery Game other than I use them, and the info on the blog is just to help family and friends.  Hope you find it helpful.  http://bepreparedchannel.blogspot.com/2012/01/being-frugal-your-key-to-preparedness.html

Frugal your way to a larder? You bet!

Longsnowsm
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Visit my blog at: www.bepreparedchannel.com

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Coupon Tips
« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2012, 02:51:10 PM »
Great blog article, longsnowsm... thanks for sharing that!

Offline MamaBear71

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Re: Coupon Tips
« Reply #41 on: February 21, 2012, 11:05:15 AM »


My favorite is the cheapest service, and it just happens to be local to the DFW area, so I don't know if it would be helpful in other areas of the country.  This service is $10 a month and has lists for Tom Thumb, Albertson's, Kroger, Walgreen's, and CVS. www.sistersofsavings.com


THANKS FOR THE TIP ON THE DFW WEBSITE!!!  I LIVE IN THE FRISCO AREA, SO IT WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE ONE PLACE TO GO TO FOR LOCAL DEALS/COUPONS!!

Offline PorcupineKate

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Re: Coupon Tips
« Reply #42 on: August 19, 2012, 02:39:23 PM »
I like weusecoupons.com for finding deals and coupon match ups. 
This site doesn't require you to join either.
They have listings for stores all over the country and online deals too.  It is a huge forum.

While I am using coupons less and less for food I still find plenty of deals.
I have filled my first aid kit with OTC meds, bandages and other first aid supplies with coupons.  Most companies put out these coupons around January and June.

This time of year I am stocking up for back to school supplies.  Pens, paper, tape, sharpies and other useful stuff.  Staples has great deals starting right after July 4th.


Offline Crazy Fox

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Re: Coupon Tips
« Reply #43 on: September 13, 2012, 10:09:40 AM »
"couponing" is more than just saving coupons. It involves watching for store sales, which are often much more helpful than the coupons.

I couldn't agree more, store specials are great! I typically just wait for these rather than hunt for coupons which are often for things I don't ever buy (e.g. sugary kids cereal, bathroom-sized garbage bags, air fresheners). The other coupons are often for things that I typically only use sparingly. For example, we go through about 18 oz of ketchup/mustard per YEAR, so coupons for huge quantities isn't helpful, given my limited apartment size.

I would like to add that you can gain significant savings by buying SMALLER units. It seems counter intuitive given our "bigger-is-better" culture, but I have found occasions where certain products are LESS expensive per unit in smaller packages. For example, the $/oz for flour in a smaller bag may be cheaper than in the larger bag.

Offline Scrapfreak

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Re: Coupon Tips
« Reply #44 on: October 25, 2012, 05:02:12 PM »
I use www.stockpilingmoms.com to get the coupon match ups in the NKY/Cincinnati area.  The site is free and they tell you everything that is in the sale ads for Kroger, Remke, Meijer, CVS, & Walgreens; and whether there is printable or paper coupon that corresponds.   I do most of my shopping at Krogers and I often save 50% on my grocery bill.  Last week I bought 94 items (cereal, soup, spagehetti sauce, pasta, $20 in meat, vegetables, dairy, etc.) and after coupons my total was $101.

Supposedly Kroger has fresh chicken breast on sale this week for $1/lb.  I'm going to check that out.  If so, I'm going to try my hand at canning chicken.

Offline Prepper7

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Re: Coupon Tips
« Reply #45 on: October 29, 2012, 01:48:11 AM »
Along the lines of "a dollar saved on one category is a dollar available to be spent on another", I used coupon match-up sites to find a deal to pair a sale with a rewards promotion to purchase 20 pairs of No Nonsense socks at Rite-Aid for -$4.04. So not only didn't I spend money replacing my holey socks  :), I got $4.04 in store script to spend on something else.
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Offline Acornewell

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Re: Coupon Tips
« Reply #46 on: November 15, 2012, 04:42:18 PM »
Thanks for all the tips...I am a coupon-er too.  Im lucky because our local Krogers actually triple .50 cent coupons.  I get quite a bit of food preps for free!

Offline Prepper7

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Re: Coupon Tips
« Reply #47 on: November 15, 2012, 10:30:10 PM »
<snip> Im lucky because our local Krogers actually triple .50 cent coupons. <snip>

I am sooo envious; the Kroger and Safeway family stores in our area have stopped doubling coupons.  :'(
Don’t be nervous, don’t be flustered, don’t be scared—be prepared! —Tom Lehrer

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Offline osubuckeye4

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Re: Coupon Tips
« Reply #48 on: December 11, 2012, 10:25:50 AM »
The wife and I use to coupon, but we've had our hands full with our first child being born into the world a few weeks ago. We definitely plan on getting back into the groove of couponing sooner rather than later.


Regarding the "extreme couponing" craze... I think there are parts of it that are awful, and parts of it that are great.

Someone abusing the coupon system to gain a bunch of "free" stuff that they will never use/throw away is awful.

Before everyone attacks me, let me clarfiy.

It's awful because people need to understand that nothing is free. Let's say you are able to get 100 pounds in cat food and the store gives you $2 for it. Let's then say you don't even own a cat and once you get home you just throw the cat food away.

You didn't just make $2... you also cost the store $2, plus the fee it cost to stock the shelf, plus all the costs of the workers to unload that product and stock it. You did a lot more harm than good to everyone else who goes to the grocery store.

Why?

Because, the store won't just write that loss off... they will pass along that loss onto the consumers, so the next time your brother or sister go to the store to buy cat food for their cat, it's going to cost them $2.25 rather than $2.



THAT part of extreme couponing (getting stuff that one will never use just because one can), I find awful. It does so much more harm to a community than good and I think that people who do it should be ashamed of themselves.


Now, if someone is able to get 100 pounds of cat food, get paid to do it, and then they go ahead and distribute it to family members who will use all of it? I'm 100% behind that and I think that's great. If you are going to use the product, or distrubute it to people who will use it... by all means, extreme coupon away.

Sure, the store incurs a loss, but the product is used so it's a net gain for society. The store will probably wisen up and learn from their mistake, and they might pass along the costs to the consumer... but the product was used and therefore a benefit/gain occured.


So, anyone who can get stuff for REALLY cheap that then goes ahead and uses that stuff. Thumbs up for you.

Anyone who can get stuff for REALLY cheap/free that then goes ahead and throws away 90% of the product? Thumbs down for you.