The Official Couponing Thread- Updated 11/9/11:
The PTOT is closed. We are no longer adding anyone. Sorry
We made the PTOT because someone from my local city that owns a blog sent me an email saying she had been lurking our thread, as one of her resources for HER blog. We sometime run into deals on our own, and we don't want it spread all over the internet and shelves cleared before we can stop working, get our kids out the door, or whatever other thing we need to do in life.
Of course, if you have been lurking this thread for a while, you would have known we were going to make it a PTOT.. we have been talking about it for a while.
The PTOT is closed. We are no longer adding anyone. Sorry
This thread is for us to show off our savings, share deals, and trade coupons. You do not have to be an "extreme couponer." We do not have 529323 deoderants on hand at one time
We have a small stockpile that can supply our family's needs for several months.
For a list of FAQ's please see the bottom of this post!
I started couponing in January 2011 & save anywhere to 50-90% on my grocieres, house hold and health & beauty items just by combining coupons with sales.
If you are new to couponing check out these links:
A Beginner’s Guide to Couponing
Rite Aid 101:
Walgreens (WAGS) 101:
Where do I get my coupons from?
- The Sunday Paper- I usually buy 2-4 every Sunday. And, I don't pay $1.50 for them either-- you can get them at the Dollar Store or Wal-Mart for $1.00 plus tax. Online through free printing sites such as:
- All You Magazine- I have a subscription that pays for itself in coupons. Other magazines have coupons in them as well, but I wouldn't buy a subscription for them. Somehow I come across random magazines in my mailbox from the previous tenents and I always flip through to see what I can find.
- Facebook fan pages- A lot of times you can "like" a fan page of a product and print out a coupon for that product or something in the brand family.
- Manufacturers- I have called and emailed brands that I am loyal to (such as Cascade-- I love their dishwashing tablets) and asked them to send me coupons or add me to their mailing list. I got a free product coupon from Cascade-- the item I purchased was $16.00 retail that I got for free- and the tablets have lasted me a good 6 months so far!
- In the stores- sometimes you will find coupons on products or in dispensers. I always grab a few (don't take ALL of them- that is greedy) and save them for later. Those dispensers always disappear when the item goes on sale
How do I store my coupons?
- There are also clipping services that charge you to clip the coupon and ship them to you. This can save you time but can cost you more than buying a paper would
You do NOT need a huge binder when you first start out. Some ladies coupon for years without a binder.
The actual cost of the binder can be a little expensive (binder, tabs, baseball card dividers), so wait a ltitle to invest in one.
You can use an accordian file, a system of envelopes, or a binder.. The most important thing is to be organized so that you can find your coupon when you need it. Find what works best for you!
Where do I shop?
I shop at various stores. Find stores in your area that double coupons-- not all stores do. Wal Mart seems to be cheapest, but when you shop at other stores (even the more expensive stores), and combine sales with coupons, the other stores are usually cheaper than Wal Mart.
It is important to keep a copy of the stores coupon policy in your binders. Not all cashiers (or even managers) are educated on their policies.
The key to couponing is to wait until the item is on sale, at it's lowest rate. The more you shop and watch the sales flyers you will start to learn the lowest price for items.
You can also write these items and their prices down in a "Price book" so you don't have to keep it all in your noggin'.
Sales repeat every 6-12 weeks, depending on the store and where you live. So, when you find something on sale only buy enough for 3 months supply (granted it does't expire in two weeks).
There's no need to buy 80 boxes of cereal because you found it for .75 a box Start out slow. You will not save huge at first- but a little here and there. Let's say every two weeks you spend $9 on two boxes of cereal. You find it on sale & have a coupon and get it for .75 a box so you buy 12 boxes, totaling $9. Now, when you go shopping for the next 6 trips or so, you will have an extra $9 to save or spend on other items you can "stockpile'. And, yes you can get cereal for less than a $1.. I got frosted mini wheats for .70 the other day.
I follow www.southernsavers.com
for my sales add/coupon match ups. They tell me what is going to be on sale, what coupon to use AND my total cost. This saves me a TON of time. They have several stores they do this for.
When I started out, I read all the How- To's and FYI stuff off of www.couponing101.com
Sites to help you with couponing:
This is a really great FAQ that will get you started on your way to free & cheap shopping at CVS!
The site also has a coupon lookup (you can search by brand and find coupons listed by what circular they were in, as well as find printables).
This one to see what coupons will be in the upcoming paper (so i know how many copies i'll buy)
This site has a lot of good coupon links and seems to put new coupons up pretty fast as they come out
And the next two for deal match-ups
**KCL STOCK UP PRICE LIST**
Couponing Abbreviations & Lingo:
Coupon lingo can get pretty confusing! Here is a list of commonly used terms in this thread:
= In-store coupons near product, usually from a red blinking box.
BOGO or B1G1F or B1G1 Free
= Buy One Get One Free.
CAT or CATALINA
= Coupon that prints at the register after purchase.
= Cash register tape, coupon that prints in store.
= Coupon that a grocery store doubles in value.
= CVS Extra Care Bucks earned for purchases.
FREE ITEM COUPON
= A coupon that allows you to get the product completely free.
= Walgreen’s Instant Value Coupon ( Found in the monthy EasySaver Catalog ).
= Internet Printable Coupon.
= Manufacturer’s Coupon.
= Mail In Rebate.
= No expiration date.
= Out of Pocket, in reference to how much “real money” you will pay at the register.
= On your next order.
= Proctor & Gamble Coupon Insert found in the Sunday newspaper.
= Coupon that you peel off the package.
= Prices Starting At.
= Red Plum Coupon Insert found in the Sunday newspaper.
= Register Rewards.
= Smart Source coupon insert found in the Sunday newspaper.
= Using a store specific coupon with a manufacturer coupon (most stores allow this).
= A pad of refund forms or coupons found hanging from a store shelf or display.
= A coupon that a grocery store triples in value.
= When You Buy.
= Your Mileage May Vary (success of the attempt may vary at your store).
**Coupon Locations in Deal Posts**
When I post deals for stores
I post the location of the coupon you need to use. I post the coupon location in this format: (date, coupon insert). Example: (9/7 SS) = (September 7th SmartSource Insert)
So, if I post this deal:
- $1/1 Cracker Coupon (9/7 SS)
That means you can find the coupon for $1 off 1 package of crackers in the September 7th issue of Smartsource Coupons. Coupons do vary by location. I might get $1/1 crackers and you might get $1/2 if you are in a different area.
To calculate your savings:
Subtract your Total out of pocket cost from the before savings cost (original price). This equals the $ amount saved.
Divide the amount saved by the original price. Move the decimal over two spaces= your savings percentage!
It is a good idea to keep a spreadsheet and track all of your spending, normal or non couponing spending! Keep all of your receipts until you enter them in your spreadsheet.
Support our troops through couponing!
Military families can use coupons at commisary stores up to 6 months after they expire. You can also contact BG member http://members.baby-gaga.com/member499162
about sending the coupons to her. Just send her a PM!
Coups For Troops
PO Box 147
Winnabow NC 28479
-manf coupons only (no store specific coupons, target, publix, cvs etc)
-printables are accepted
-send coupons that have expired within the last month or two because of how long mailing can take. (they take expired coupons up to 6 months)
-cut them out before sending, to save time and money for both parties
-sorting food from non-food items is not required anymore
-canadian coupons are not accepted
Send your expired coupons to:
Q: Can I use multiple coupons on one item?
A: You can only use one mfr cpn per item. However, you can use a store coupon and a mfr cpn together!
Q: How do I find out if my store doubles coupons?
A: Contact your store via phone or look at their policies online. We are all over the country, and store policys vary by region, even if it's the same store so we can't say for sure!
Q: Can I use a B1G1 Free coupon and a $1 off coupon if I buy two items?
A; If the barcode on your B1G1 coupon ends in a 14 then it attaches to both items and you cannot. However, if it ends in something else, you can use both!
Q: An item I want is on sale for BOGO Free, and I have a BOGO Free coupon, can I use the coupon to get both items for free?
A: It depends on each store and therir policy. Some stores ring up each item at half price, so you'd get both items for the cost of half of one. Some ring up the first item at full price and the second one for 0.00, so you could potentially get both items for free (using your coupon to take off the first full price item). However, some stores will NOT allow this.
Q: All the websites have ALL the same coupons.. how do I get different ones?
A: The sites add new coupons periodically through the month, and reset coupons on the first of each month. Generally all the coupons will be similiar through the sites. HOT coupons (high value or hard to find coupons) go faster. Use other methods described in this post to locate other coupons (FB, newspapers, contact mfrs, etc).
Q: Where can I get a newspaper at??
A: You can find them in newspaper vending machines, inside gas stations, at grocery stores, dollar stores, etc. You should go early in the morning or they WILL sell out!
Q: My paper didn't have any coupons- why not??
A: Coupons are not inside of papers on holiday weekends (i.e. Easter, Memorial Day, Christmas, etc). For a schedule of when coupons are included in the paper go here: http://www.sundaycouponpreview.com/2011-sunday-coupon-insert-schedule/
If it is not a holiday, your paper may have been skipped when stuffing coupons... in the future make sure to always check your papers before you purchase!
To find local papers that carry the P&G insert: http://www.baby-gaga.com/outbound.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pgeverydaysolutions.com%2Fpgeds%2Fbrandsaver-coupons.jsp&post_id=41482735
To find local papers that carry the RedPlum insert: http://www.baby-gaga.com/outbound.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.redplum.com%2Fpages%2Fviewarticle.aspx%3Fid%3D3173&post_id=41482735
To find local papers that carry the Smartsource insert, call them at 1-800-462-0852, or use their "Contact Us" form here: http://www.baby-gaga.com/outbound.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.newsamerica.com%2Fpages%2Fcontactus.aspx&post_id=41482735
Q: What are Register Rewards (RR)?
RR are rewards that Wags gives you when you purchase a certain item. You can use them on a next purchase (same day or later). If you buy the item that earned you the RR in the first place, another RR will NOT print. Try to buy other items that will give you RR (just not the same brand or family i.e. P&G, Listeerine, etc). This is called "rolling your RR." RR usually expire in 2 weeks from the date they print.
Q: What are fillers? (Wal Greens Question)
A: Fillers are items that you buy in order to redeem your RR. Wags has a rule that you cannot have more mfr cpns & RR then items you purchased. So if you have two items, and use two coupons, you would need a third item to use a RR. Try to find a cheap piece of candy, a cheap clearance item, or an item that will GIVE you a RR making it free. Your filler should not be over .50 unless it is something you really need!
Q: What are ECBs (Extra Care Bucks)?
A: ECBs are CVS rewards that you can use in store on future purchases (same day or future). You can use them on any item and they do not have any stipulations llike the RR do. Most stores will not let you use them to cover sales tax however. The key to ECBs are to use them on items that will allow you to earn more ECBs. This is called "rolling EBCs." ECBs expire in one month from the date they print (usually).
If you are an active member in this thread and need specific coupons, or have coupons to give away, please request in the request thread:
You can request in the couponing thread, but it may not be lost in the thread due to the volume of posts.
Grab this siggy if you want :