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Posts Tagged ‘coupons’

  1. Match Game

    March 20, 2015 by admin

    IMG_2925_2We’ve discussed price matching previously as an excellent means of shopping frugally.  If you get the Sunday paper, you can check circulars for product pricing on many items you may want.

    But we wanted to take a post to remind you of the ease and money saving opportunity of price matching to!

    Tip: Make sure you are familiar with each store policy on price matching.

    On a recent trip to Target, we were shopping for a single new filter for our sink water filter.  We were shocked to see that Target was charging $19.99 for one replacement filter!  Knowing that there had to be a better price, we searched online and located the filter on for $8.99.

    Our young cashier didn’t know if Target allowed us to price match to Amazon, but she called over a manager to assist.  We were directed to the courtesy desk where, after a super quick verification of the online price, we were checked out and on our way home.

    Tip2:  This is another great use of your smart phone.  Don’t hesitate to take a minute to check a price online.

    We celebrated a 50% savings by simply searching for a product on our phone prior to checking out of the store!  And now that we are more aware of Target’s policy, we will complete our price check research prior to some of our shopping trips to make the experience even smoother.

    Enjoy your savings!

  2. Digital Coupons

    January 9, 2015 by admin

    IMG_9688We are a couponing family. Growing up with couponing parents, we can’t resist following suit and teaching our kiddos the skills to knock down the prices of their favorite finds.  We haven’t quite mastered the art, so we’re not what you’d call ‘extreme couponers.’  But we’re always researching and growing our resources for maximum cost savings.

    We figure every penny saved adds to our opportunity to go out and have more adventures or allows us to buy more supplies for the next big art project.

    A lot of folks seem to think that couponing takes a ton of time. They can’t be bothered with the gathering, sorting, and scissoring. And forget about remembering to bring those little bits of paper along on a shopping trip.

    Welcome to the digital age! We have some favorite mobile coupon apps that are a snap to use and will save you money 90% of the time.

    Cartwheel for Target:  When this app was first released, TRMom hated it. But now, thanks to Target’s fixes to its shortcomings, it is in constant use. We especially like the feature that allows you to scan products. Once the barcode is read, the app will tell you whether or not a cartwheel savings exists!IMG_9687

    Tip1: Target will price match to Cartwheel (and other store circulars) for any purchases made within 7 days as long as you have your receipt. This was a huge bonus at Christmas when prices were constantly moving.

    Flipp:  You no longer need to go through store circulars. This app gathers all that information for you. Curious about who might have the best price on Beneful dog food? Search in Flipp and find out. Stores like Walmart will price match to competitors circulars.

    Tip2: Check the price matching policy of each and every store prior to shopping. Walmart has an incredibly lenient price match policy but Target is rather strict.

    There is really no excuse to pay full price for a ton of items. Download some mobile apps today and start saving!

  3. Dollar Tree

    February 8, 2013 by admin

    Your local Dollar Tree is a fantastic place to pick up party gifts and household accents.  But as with all bargain shopping, you have to be smart about your purchases.  Just because you’re in a Dollar Tree doesn’t mean that you’re surrounded by deeply discounted items that you should snatch up without any thought.  A 4-pack of toothbrushes for $1 isn’t worth it if all 4 toothbrushes are horrendous and end up in the trash after your first attempt to use one of them.

    Tip #1:  Keep in mind that the Dollar Tree likes to sell single items for $1.  The chocolate bar, light bulb, or sponge aren’t actually a great deal if you are just getting 1 for $1.  Try to recall what you spend at the grocery store and other chains- and the quantity you get for that price- in comparison to what you’re considering purchasing at the Dollar Tree.

    IMG_1523If you need a birthday gift for a child’s party, we highly recommend you head to a Dollar Tree!  Recently, our Plum put together a lovely basket of gifts for her friend with Dollar Tree items (including the basket!).  If we attempted to pick up a similar assortment at Target, our $7 total expense would have been over $15.

    This store is also a great place to find holiday themed items to enhance a main gift.  And if you want things for your home like votive candles or arts & crafts, the Dollar Tree is an excellent money- saving starting point.

    We also head to the Dollar Tree when we want to treat our kids to a gift but don’t have the funds for a splurge; you never know what you’ll find there.  We have been delighted to discover brand name items at the Dollar Tree, like Zoobles, for $1.  A single Zooble on an occasional deep discount at Target will still cost you around $3.

    Tip #2:  Did you know that the Dollar Tree accepts coupons?  Bring in a manufacturer’s coupon for Colgate toothpaste and your purchase might end up costing pennies!

    The next time you pass a Dollar Tree on your way to another store, consider stopping instead and checking it out.  If you’re interested in cutting costs- it could an unexpected treasure trove!

  4. Our KIS Guide to Sorting Coupons

    August 10, 2012 by admin

    Holy Garbanzo Beans!  If you clip and print coupons regularly, you end up with a ton of tiny little pieces of paper.  How do you keep track of all it?

    Keep It Simple (KIS).

    As with so many things, we find that simple is better.  Rather than an elaborate system of sorting coupons by type, or by what row of the grocery store the product is located, we have a simple and effective system that takes just moments to keep up-to-date.

    We use a five compartment flex-file.  One slot holds the grocery coupons.  One slot has Target Coupons.  One slot has restaurant coupons.  One slot has department store coupons.  And that leaves one slot for any surprises!

    After that, it’s easy!  We print out our grocery list.  We then grab the coupons out of the Grocery slot and sort through them super-quick.  First sort—toss anything that has expired.  Second sort, look for coupons related to what is on this week’s menu.

    Drop in a pen and your mobile shopping office is ready to go!

    Department store coupons and restaurant coupons can wait for a sort when you are going to the mall or headed out on a trip.  Easy, cheesy!

  5. Coupons Pay For The Printer (And Ink!)

    July 18, 2012 by admin

    “I never print out coupons at home.  I’d spend more on paper and ink than I’d save on the coupons.”  One of our friends said this to us, and we know others would nod their heads knowingly, if they overheard it.

    But it’s not true.  Not if you pay attention to what coupons you are printing out, and make sure you actually carry them to the store with you and use them.

    We’ll help you crunch some numbers.  First, let’s look at paper.

    We get our paper from Target for about $3 a ream.  A ream is 500 sheets.  So even if you print just one coupon per page (when many print 3 to a page) and use just one side of the paper (many of our coupons get printed on pages that have driving directions, maps, or school assignments on the other side), you are paying less than a penny per sheet. The paper is a minor fraction of the cost of printing your own coupons.

    Ah, but Printer ink—that’s where you lose out!  Nope.

    Our HP printer uses cartridges that average about $10 a tank.  Our cartridges tend last about 6 months or so, since we print mostly coupons, directions, and homework with them.  They are rated at a 300-page yield.  It’s maybe 3 cents a page at the most.

    Tip:  Each page of coupons costs less than 4 cents a page to print, while producing between 50 cents and $3 (or more) of savings.

    Even when you factor the $80 for the printer, over its 2 or 3 year expected life span, the savings pretty quickly out-pace the cost of home printing.

    So get a printer, find some good couponing sites, and start saving money!

    We look at it this way: the money we save by using the coupons we print more than pays for the printer, ink, and paper that we use for other purposes- like sending family photos to computer-phobic relatives!

  6. Be Our Guest

    July 7, 2012 by admin

    One rule we follow with couponing is: Don’t bother with coupons for products you don’t normally use.  Why get excited about saving 45 cents off Doritos if that’s not something you eat in your home?  And why sign up for a freebie that you’ll never need?

    Our only exception to this rule  is when we are shopping with future guests in mind.

    We make this “guest” distinction because we have a nice basket full of hair/skin product freebies, and stash of coupons, for items that we don’t necessarily use often in our household.  When we have guests, they can look through this stash for their use.  We also send Plum to the basket when she feels the need to try a new shampoo.

    Who doesn’t like to feel pampered now and then?

    By using coupons and freebies to collect a small supply of products we don’t normally need, we manage to give our visitors a little something special.  Our guests can find a product they like, or try something new, with no guilt that they are taking the last of our family’s supply.  It’s fun for everybody!


  7. You can read it in the Sunday Paper

    June 24, 2012 by admin

    The Sunday State Journal

    When seeking out coupons and such, don’t forget the Sunday paper!  This tried and true method still packs a wallop of inserts each week.  A subscription to your area’s Sunday newspaper shouldn’t be costly and it will certainly pay for itself with the paper coupons you’ll be able to snip!  Our paper, the Wisconsin State Journal costs $70 for six months of service 7 days a week and $12 a month if you only want delivery on Sundays.  We easily save more than the subscription cost with the coupons we find in the paper.  One BOGO coupon for your brand of shampoo and you just paid for about 2 weeks of your newspaper!

    • Plus it has news.  It’s important to stay informed of current events and to teach your children how to think critically about the world.
    • And crosswords and sudokus!  Build that brain power!
    • And comics for the kiddoes (and kiddoes at heart)!  {Admit it!  You are curious about what Prince Valiant is up to these days.}

    So check out your Sunday paper.  It has a lot to offer.

    I wonder what Garfield has gotten into today?….

  8. Junk in the Trunk

    June 20, 2012 by admin

    We highly recommend that you open a junk email account as well as a junk Facebook (FB) account.  A large majority of coupons require you to enter an email address.  Unless you are ok with your main email account being flooded with offers and newsletters (and potentially SPAM!), there is no getting around creating a junk email account.  You can use the same account for freebie offers and sweepstakes that may also lead to a ton of junk mail.  And the same goes for FB.  A ton of coupons and freebies now require that you grant permission to access your FB info or post directly to your FB wall prior to getting the offer.  We don’t allow the associated spam to clog up our private FB account.

    Tip:  Make your new account sign on name easy to remember and it’ll be easy to use.

    Places to get free email include Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail.There are others, too!  Just make sure it’s an account that you won’t worry about getting overloaded with spam.

    Once you get your free email account, you can use it to set up a dummy Facebook account.  This keeps your private FB feed free of countless offers and updates from every store and company under the sun.

  9. What to Look for in a Coupon Website

    June 13, 2012 by admin

    There is a lot of white noise on the internet.  Narrowing down your search for freebies and/or coupons to the handful of sites that actually produce on their promises can be tough.  It is inevitable that you’ll spend a lot of time following links to expired offers.  Or links promising freebies only to find that you have to answer surveys and purchase magazines to get the offer.  It can be an incredibly frustrating process.

    So let us share the results of our quest for the best resources.

    What makes a coupon site ‘good’?

    *Ease of searching

    *Links that go directly to a valid printable coupon

    *Daily updates to offerings

    Here is a list of what we genuinely feel are some of the best sites for coupons and freebies.  We personally use these sites on a weekly, if not daily, basis.


    Printable Coupons and Deals:

    Penny Pinchin’ Mom:

    Frugal Coupon Living:

    After a few minutes of visiting these pages, printing your results, and clipping them out for ease of use, you are on your way to simple savings.

    Have you found success using a different site?  Let us know!  We’re always in the hunt for a new deal!


  10. Karma Karma Coupon

    June 3, 2012 by admin

    It happens sometimes.  We go shopping with a killer coupon, like $10 off a grocery purchase of $75 or more, and we’re unable to use it.  Typically, we find the grocery bill for our family of 4 ringing up right around $75.  We head to the store fully intending to hit the limit for the coupon.  But then it doesn’t quite work out—something was out of stock, for example.  On one such occasion, standing in line behind us was a woman with an overflowing cart of groceries.  A quick scan of her items easily tallied well over $75.  We offered this woman our coupon and she couldn’t have been more thrilled!

    And then there are times that we end up with two killer coupons and an opportunity to use only one.  If the coupon is about to expire,  we hand it off to someone nearby.  Or we tuck it onto the shelf by the item on special-  a pleasant surprise for the next person who also wanted the product!

    During the holiday season, many department stores run great coupons- $10 off a purchase of $30 or more- but good for one day only.  If we’re heading out to shop, we always bring as many copies of the holiday coupon that we have on hand.  Whatever we don’t use simply becomes another chance to spread holiday cheer!

    There is nothing better in life than paying it forward!