Posted by caringwithcoupons at 12:55 PM on July 31, 2009
Lessons will be updated and posted as they are written.
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Are you confused about shopping with coupons? Do you see ladies at the grocery store or even on TV spending half of what you do? Then let me teach you the strategies of coupon shopping so that you too can save 50% or more on your purchases. My hope and dream is that as you become efficient at shopping, you will donate some of your free or discounted items to your local food pantry, shelter, Crisis Control, or church. Please e-mail if needed. I will be happy to answer any questions that you might have. Dawn
WHERE DO YOU FIND COUPONS?
Well, first things first. You need to purchase at least two copies of the Sunday paper. If you cannot afford them, then ask your neighbors or friends for theirs. Most folks do not use coupons and throw the circulars away after reading their Sunday paper. You can also check your local coffee shop or any business where Sunday papers are offered to customers. Many times, they will give them away at the end of the day.
So, why do you need Sunday papers? Well, Sunday papers contain circulars full of coupons. These circulars are printed by Red Plum, Smart Source, Proctor & Gamble, and Unilever. Now, most people, look at the coupons. They clip only the ones that they see sales for that week and then throw the rest away. But most folks do not realize that the coupons are not in their prime until about 4-6 weeks later. Some are not valuable until the week they expire. So, what do you do? After getting your Sunday papers, remove the circulars and date the front. If the day is July 15th, then write on the front July 15. Put the date on all the circulars that you have. Should you forget one week and then can't remember which week you received that circular, check the folded edge of the circular. There you will find the date printed.
If you are purchasing your Sunday papers at a local store, be sure to check the inside to make sure all circulars are present. If you purchase from an outside machine, chances are, some of the circulars will be missing.
Now, each week, there are a different number of circulars. You will not receive circulars on Holiday weekends such as Easter. However, the Sunday paper prior or after will have extra circulars. On some weeks, you will receive 2 smart source inserts. When that occurs, mark your circulars SS1 and SS2. SS is short for Smart Source.
WHERE TO FIND COUPONS---part 2
There are other sources for coupons besides the newspaper. Many stores are now accepting printable coupons (also referred to as IP....internet printable). A good source of coupons can be found at www.coupons.com Their coupons are updated and loaded on the first day of the month. You will be able to click on August 1st for all the new coupons. You are allowed 2 prints of each coupon. Every now and then, you will be allowed a few more. Click and print every single coupon. Even though you may not use some of them, you can always trade with someone for the coupons you do want. Now, some folks wait to print the coupon they need when they see a sale. But that is risky. There are allotted numbers of coupons. Once those are gone, you are out of luck. So, in my opinion, it is better to print them all the first day of the month. I print in color but I know of folks who print black and white and have no problems.
Other great sources for coupons are:
www.pillsbury.com Offer booklets
www.bettycrocker.com Offer booklets
www.smartsource.com You must download Java in order for these coupons to print
www.eatbetteramerica.com Offer booklets
Always check the web site of the manufacturer if you need a coupon. Many times, they have coupons on their site that can be downloaded.
You can also find coupons on the back of packages and in the boxes. Be sure to check before throwing away. Other areas to find coupons:
Blinkies: Those blinking machines you see in the aisles
Grab when you see those. When the product goes on sale, out goes the
Tear Pads: Those pads of coupons in the aisles
All You magazine found at Wal-mart
Reinventing Beauty found at CVS (hard to find)
Catalinas Those coupons that print at the end of your transaction
Peelies Pealable coupons found on the front of products
Magazines like Woman's Day, etc.
You can order coupons from:
Also, go to your store's website. Harris Teeter, Staples, Rite Aid, Food Lion, Walgreens, and CVS all have their own in-store coupons. CVS also has no-clip coupons. Go sign up for a rewards card and on-lin. Walgreens and Rite Aid do not have a rewards card.
HOW TO UNDERSTAND THE DEAL
If you are a newbie to couponing, understanding coupon terminology can be over whelming. In my, and other posts, you will see lines that read like:
SS2 7/12 Kellogs Mini Wheats BOGO Use -1.50/2
There are coupon circulars within the Sunday paper. These circulars are printed by Red Plum, Smart Source, Unilever, and Proctor & Gamble. When a site is typing up a deal, it takes too much time to type everything out, so we use a sort of short hand. The above deal means:
Go to your Smart Source circular that came out in the 7/12 Sunday Paper. There were 2 Smart Source circulars that week and so we call them SS1 for the first Smart Source circular, and SS2 for the second one. Within that circular, there was a coupon for Kellogg's mini Wheats. Your grocery store has that cereal on sale buy one get one free (BOGO). You will use the coupon $1.50 off 2 boxes.
Now, if it started with RP that means the Red plum circular.
PG means Proctor and Gamble. See how easy that was?
If you are still confused, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to clarify.
| Posted by caringwithcoupons at 11:03 AM on July 30, 2009 || delete edit comments (0) |
Say What? OOP
- out of pocketBlinkies
- Machines that spit out coupons in store islesPeelies
- coupons found on the packageRain Check or RC
- When store is out of an item, they will give you a paper with the sale price and when they restock, you can take advantage of it!CRT
- Cash register tape - coupons to use at CVS, target, etc.Catalina or CAT
- machine that spits out coupons, usually at grocery storeOverage
- When coupons make you go negativeRR
- Register Rewards at WalgreensECB
- Extra care bucks at CVSBxGy
- Buy X and get Y freeBOGOF
- Buy one, get one freeBOGO1/2
- Buy one get one 1/2 priceWAG
- item(s) purchased to "fill" in when you should be getting money back but the store won't allow it. This prevents "lost $".MIR
- mail in rebateQ
WYB-When You Buy
B1G1F, B2G1F-"Buy one get one Free", "Buy two get one Free"
TEAR PAD- A pad of refund forms or coupons hanging on a shelf at the store.
BLINKIE-A machine that spits out coupons.
UPC-Universal product code (those black straight lines with numbers under them)
POP-Proof of purchase (like a product label or UPC)
P&G-Proctor and Gamble
Jedi- The cashier you want!
Peelies-sticker like coupons found on products.
ECB-Extra Care Bucks (CVS) More info here
RR- Register Reward (Walgreens)
HARRIS TEETER BASICS
Harris Teeter Basics
Harris Teeter Guidelines:
1. Coupons up to $.99 will double (up to $1.98 during super doubles)
2. You can only use 1 coupon per BOGO. Therefore, maximize your savings by only purchasing one item.
3. BOGO items are priced half off. You do not need to buy 2 during BOGO
4. You are allowed 20 coupons to double each day
5. Any coupons after the 20 will deduct at face value
6. You must have a VIC card to get sale prices and for coupons to double
7. On B2G3 deals, you have to buy 2 to get 3. This is true for any other combination except BOGO
8. Pay attention to the bottom of your receipt. If you have earned a Red Box code for a free movie, it will be printed on the bottom. Other specials are printed there also.
GOOD ITEMS TO DONATE
What are some good items that you can donate to local food pantries? Most are not equipped to handle refrigerated items so stick with items that have a shelf life (can be stored for awhile). Below are some great donation ideas:
Canned meats such as tuna
Canned items such as Manwhich and ravioli
Canned vegetables and fruits
Pastas and rice
Pancake mix and syrup
Boxed meals such as Mac and Cheese (the kids love those)
Applesauce and fruit cups
Toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste,and deodorant
Baking items such as flour, sugar, equal, oil and Crisco
Items for Diabetics
Have you ever heard of stacking coupons? When using coupons, you are only allowed one manufacturer coupon. However, you can use a manufacturer and the store's own coupon. When you put these two coupons together for one purchase, it is called stacking. The only time you cannot stack is if the stores coupon has manufacturer written on the top. Harris Teeter is one of those stores. Pay close attention when trying to stack so that you don't end up presenting 2 manufacturer coupons.
HOW TO USE COUPONS
Grocery store prices fluctuate every 6-8 weeks. It is helpful to keep a price book of the items you normally purchase (such as eggs, bread, etc) so that you know when the prices are dropping. Once the price of an item hits rock bottom, combine with a coupon to maximize savings.
When Harris Teeter has BOGO sales (buy one get one free), prices are cut in half. Even though BOGO means buy one get one free, you only need to purchase one. The price would be half off. Say, for example, Ziploc bags are normally $4.00. On a Bogo sale, you could get 2 for $4, or 1 for $2. Only purchase one. Use one coupon. During a normal week, a $.50 cents coupon would double to $1, making the Ziploc bags cost $1. If you purchased this during triples, the $.50 coupon would triple to $1.50, making the cost of the bags $.50. If you used a $1coupon during super doubles, the coupon would double to $2, making the cost of the bags free.
At Harris Teeter, all coupons $.99 cents and less are doubled every day. During triples, coupons $.99 and less are tripled. During Super Doubles, coupons $1.98 and under are doubled. You can double or triple 20 coupons per day. You can present more than 20 coupons but after 20, they will deduct at face value.
The order of your coupons is VERY important. Harris Teeter doubles/ triples 20 coupons PER DAY. However, if you stick a higher dollar coupon in the mix, it will count that coupon toward the 20 doubled.....even though it did not double it. Always start with rain checks, followed by the manufacturer coupons you want doubled, and end with higher amount coupons.
You are allowed one manufacturer coupon per item and one per BOGO (that is why you would only buy one item during BOGO)..
Shopping with coupons is very strategic and mathematical. Take time to work out your deals. The last thing that you want to do is to try and figure it out at the store. This will cause chaos and panic. Organize your coupons before you leave the house and take a list. i like to write down everything that I am purchasing along with coupon, sale, and final amounts.
Building a stockpile.
Once you find that terrific sale, buy, buy, buy! The goal is to buy items when they are at their lowest price as opposed to waiting until you need them and paying full price at the supermarket. I frequently tell friends and family my goal is to “create a store at home.” The idea is when I need something, I will “shop” from my own pantry and not from the store! So when the oatmeal (which is normally $3.99 a box) goes on sale for $.50, you’d buy as much as your budget could allow.
Understanding The Deal
Whenever you see a deal that posts something like:
$4 RR wyb (2) Neosporin/BandAid Products (Monthly Deal)
Neosporin $3.99 -.50/1 Neosporin, SS 8/02, 6/28, RP 5/17
-$1 off Neosporin, SS 8/02, 6/28/ RP 5/17 or printable (IE) or printable (FF) -$2 off Neosporin, Walgreen’s Activity Book coupon (store coupon)
The deal is saying that you will receive a $4 Register Reward when you buy 2 Neosporin Bandaid Products (this is from the monthly rebate program) from Walgreens.
You will PICK one of the coupons listed below it. All available coupons are listed. You don't get to use all 3 on your deal. Remember.......1 manufacturer coupon per item. You cannot use 2 manufacturer coupons.
Let's breakdown the first line. On the first line, it is saying that you can find a .50 cents Neosporin coupon in the 8/02/09 and 6/28/09 Smart Source insert, and in the 5/17/09 Red Plum insert.
The second line says that there is a $1 Neosporin coupon in the 8/2 and 6/28 Red plum insert.....plus there is an internet printable coupon. Click on the word printable to print those coupons. You can print 2 coupons by double clicking the back arrow twice.
The last line says that there is a $2 coupon that can be found in the Walgreen's Coloring book (Activity Book) found in the pharmacy area.
Now see how easy that was?
Recently I have received some comments about trouble printing SmartSource coupons. These instructions are taken from the ‘Get Help’ link that appears in the lower-left of the SmartSource print window.
- Make sure you have installed the SmartSource Coupon Printer. You will be automatically prompted the first time you try to print a SmartSource coupon. Instructions for your particular browser will appear, but usually the download will begin after you click ‘activate’ and will only take a few seconds. Note: some anti-virus programs classify the coupon printer as a threat, but it is safe.
- You must have Java from Sun Microsystems installed on your computer. You should receive an automatic prompt. If not, follow this link.
- Make sure Java is enabled:
- For Internet Explorer v6 or higher:
- From the menu bar click “Tools” –> “Manage Add-ons” –> “Enable or Disable Add-ons…”
- At the top there is a drop-down box labeled “Show:”
- Choose “Add-ons that have been used by Internet Explorer” in this drop-down box.
- Next, click on the column titled “Publisher” to alphabetically sort the list by publisher.
- Look for anything by publisher Sun Microsystems, Inc. (may say “(Not verified)”)
- Click on each item you find with this publisher with a Status of “Disabled” and enable it.
- Click OK to save your settings.
- You should now restart your browser (close all open windows) and come back to the page you initiated printing from to try again
- Also, click Start –> Control Panel –> Network and Internet Connections –> Internet Options –> Advanced tab. Make sure the box for Java(Sun) is checked.
- For Firefox 1.x
- From the menu bar, choose Edit –> Preferences
- Select the Advanced category
- Check the box labeled “Enable Java”
- Click OK to save your preferences
- For Firefox 2.x and 3.x
- From the menu bar, choose Tools –> Options…
- Select the Content category/tab
- Check the box labeled “Enable Java”
- Click OK to save your preference.
- For Safari
- Click “Safari” and then “Preferences…” in MacOS or “Edit” and then “Preferences” in Windows
- Click the Lock Icon labeled “Security” at the top.
- Close the Preferences dialog window to save your settings
- Make sure your computer meets the following system requirements:
- Windows XP, Windows Vista, MAC OSX 10.4 (tiger) or 10.5 (leopard).
- Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher, Firefox 1 or higher, Safari or Google Chrome.
- SmartSource is compatible with AOL, but not with Windows 2000, CompuServe, Linux or WebTV.
- Connected to a working printer cabable of 300 dpi resolution. Coupons cannot be saved.
- Note: Your computer at work is probably behind a firewall that prevents the coupon printer from downloading.
- If all else fails, click here to contact SmartSource technical support.