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Wednesday
May062009

What Things Do You Get For Free?

I was standing in the checkout line behind a lady at Super Target the other day and could not help but notice all the toiletries and groceries that she was buying. I specifically was watching to see if she had any coupons or not, and when I noticed that she did not, and the cashier gave her the total which was well over $100 I about passed out! :o) Now, I know that you may think I am crazy, but I could have gotten the same cart of items that she had for at least 50-75% off! It just makes me cringe every time I am in line behind someone and this happens! I just want to stop and say to them, “Wait, I have a coupon for that!” or, “Stop, you could be getting that for FREE!” I thought it would be fun to list a few things that I almost always can get for FREE and never pay for. This could be at CVS, Walgreens, Target, or even the regular grocery store. In my case, here in FL, I love to shop at my neighborhood Publix for the best grocery deals and steals! Also, keep in mind that if you use coupons to their maximum potential (such as stacking them with a store coupon) you can buy the brand name products for FREE or for just pennies on the dollar! I have heard a lot of people say that they just buy the store brand to save money-why do that when you can get the brand named products for Free or almost Free? Many times, I just have to pay the tax on the item!

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Friday
May012009

New York City Here I Come!

One day several weeks ago, my husband called me from work and said, “Do you want to go to New York City with me?” I said, “Are you kidding me?” He goes on business trips quite frequently, so I was not completely surprised that he was going to New York; however, when he asked me if I wanted to go with him, I was so excited-no, I was ecstatic! We have talked about taking a long weekend trip there for quite awhile now, but have never made it there-until now! New York City has been at the top of my list of places to visit for a very long time! It will be a quick weekend trip, so we will have to pack a lot into the few days that we are there. My husband will be in business meetings on Friday, so I may have to be brave and venture out alone! I am hoping that there is shopping or something close to the hotel! A girl has to shop when she goes to New York City, right? ;o) We are definitely going to Ellis Island to see as much of the Statue of Liberty as possible (I am not sure how close you can actually get since 911), and the wreckage of the World Trade Center is right near our hotel. I am sure we will also try to see the Empire State Building and visit Central Park. We have even talked about going to a show on Broadway! Are there any tips I should know for finding some inexpensive tickets to a Broadway show? I would love to hear suggestions from those who have been there!

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Thursday
Apr302009

My $0.70 Trip to Albertson’s!

If you are fortunate enough like me to still have an Albertson’s near you, you probably already know what great 10 for $10 deals that you can get there. And, you don’t have to buy 10 items to get the $1 price for each item. To make the deal even sweeter, if you have coupons for those items, you can get them very cheap!

This week I was so excited because they had the Marcal Small Steps Toilet Paper as 10 for $10. I had 10 coupons from a recent Sunday newspaper insert for a FREE pack, so I could get 10 4ct. packs of toilet paper for tax only. So, this morning I took my 3 year old little boy with me and we went looking for our 10 packs of toilet paper. My little boy loves to help me put all the goodies in the cart and it keeps him involved as well!

The Albertson’s store that I decided to go to last night is remodeling and nothing, I mean nothing, is in the normal place! A couple of the workers saw me with a perplexed look on my face and asked if I needed help finding something. So, I asked them if they knew where the Marcal Toilet paper was. The Assistant Manager helping me starts running around looking for this toilet paper. Finally, he comes back and tells me, “I think I forgot to order it!” So, I asked him if I could get a rain check and he said that was fine. So, I took my little boy, we got our raincheck and headed outside to get into our car.  Just as I was putting my little boy in the car, this lady clerk came running out in the parking lot with a package of the Marcal Toilet paper that I was looking for! She said, “The manager found the toilet paper buried underneath some other boxes and he wanted me to find you and give you this!” I started laughing so hard and my little boy said, “Mommy, what are you laughing at?” I told him they found our toilet paper! So, I drug my little guy back into the store and got my 10 packages of FREE toilet paper. After all the coupons, I paid a grand total of .70, yes .70 for 10 packages of toilet paper! Wow, talk about the things that we die-hard bargain-shoppers will do for a sweet deal!

Wednesday
Apr292009

Coupon Stacking

One of my favorite ways to get the most bang for my buck with manufacturer’s coupons is to stack them with a store coupon. Do you know what stacking means? When I first started couponing I would hear people say that term and I did not what on earth they were talking about! Stacking just means that I am going to take my manufacturer’s coupon and pair it with a store coupon for the same item to get double the discount! When you do this, you can usually get an item for free or for just pennies on the dollar! Many stores offer BOGO promotions on a weekly basis. You should check your store’s policy first, but most stores will let you use a coupon on the item that you are buying and on the FREE item! If your store allows this, you could really get some sweet deals-especially if there is a store coupon to go along with the BOGO sale and your manufacturer’s coupons! This is one of my favorite ways to maximize all my coupons for my sweet savings! I am sure you are wondering where to find these store coupons for your sweet savings, right? I find that when I go into the grocery store there is usually a turnstile with the weekly store ads. Usually located with the weekly ad are many magazines, pamphlets, and booklets with store coupons. I usually try to grab several store coupons each time that I go into the store because you never know when there will be a BOGO sale! I thought it would be fun just let you see what kind of deals I have gotten recently by stacking my coupons. Here are few things I have gotten for FREE or for nearly free!

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Tuesday
Apr282009

Coupon Lingo for the Bargain Enthusiast

I will never forget when I first started couponing and bargain-hunting several years back. I would search online forums and discussion threads, but not understand some of the abbreviations and terms that people were talking about regarding coupons. What in the world is BOLO or OOP? I thought it would be fun to make a list of these terms and abbreviations to see just how much you know! If I have forgotten some terms or there are some things that you think I should add, just let me know! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas too! :o)

BOGO - Buy One Get One Free
B2G1 - Buy Two Get One Free
BOLO - Be on the Lookout *be on the lookout for a certain coupon or product.
OOP - Out of Pocket *after all coupons are accounted for this is how much you use of your actual cash.
WYB - When you buy (for example: I recently found a TP (tear pad) coupon for FREE eggs WYB 2 Kellogg’s cereals)
WT - Wine Tag
NWP - No wine purchase necessary *some of the wine tag coupons that you will find, do not require you to purchase wine!
GC - Gift Card
MIR - Mail in Rebate
OOS - Out of Stock
YMMV - Your Mileage May Vary *this is saying that the deal may vary by location.
POP - Proof of Purchase *many rebates require this!
TMF - Try Me Free *this is like a rebate incentive. You usually have to mail in a proof of purchase with your receipt to receive your refund.
CO - Cents-off coupon
FAR - Free After Rebate
HT - Hang tag *many bottled items will have these types of coupon around the neck of the bottle.
PSA - Prices Starting At *many times in advertisements you will see this in the fine print. It is just letting you know that the prices for that deal start at a certain amount.
AR - After Rebate
AC - After Coupons
UPC - Universal Product Code
RC - Rain Check *if your store is out of a certain item for the week that you really would like to purchase, I find that it is always best to get a rain check! There may be some awesome coupons that come out at a later date for those items! I have often gotten an even better deal on an item that I had a rain check for than when the sale was going for that item! The best thing about RC’s is they usually do not expire! :o)
WSL - While Supplies Last-*no rain checks can usually be issued for these items. They are first come first serve items!
IP - Internet Printables * refers to Internet Printable coupons
DND - Do not double *unfortunately, I don’t have to worry about this as my state does not double coupons; however, many states do double! If you see this term it just means that particular coupon cannot be doubled.
EXP - Expiration
NED - No expiration date *it is rare to find a coupon with no expiration date, but I find that many times when you contact a company they will send you coupons with no expiration date. I love these coupons!
GDA - I love to this term! It means heads up on an awesome deal!

B&M - Brick and Mortar * when you see this term, it usually means that you have to go to the actual (brick & mortar) store to get the deal.
CRT - Cash Register Tape *these are the coupon that print off of your receipt at places like CVS.
SS - Smart Source *this refers to the Smart Source insert coupons found in your Sunday newspaper as well as www.smartsource.com IP coupons.
RP - Red Plum *Sunday insert coupons. You can also print coupons from www.redplum.com
P&G - Proctor and Gamble *insert with coupons for Proctor and Gamble products. This particular insert can usually be found in your Sunday newspaper once at the beginning of each month.
CAT - Catalina *this is a paper coupon that prints from a machine usually at places like Walgreens, or many different grocery stores.
OYNO - On Your Next Order- *many of the CAT coupons that you receive will say that particular coupon is good for your next shopping order.
RR - Register Rewards *these are the paper-like coupons that you receive at Walgreens when you purchase certain advertised items. RR’S print from the Catalina machine and you can use them on most everything at Walgreens! You may also hear these referred to as CAT’s or Catalina coupons.
ECB - Extra Care Bucks *these are the paper coupons that print on your receipt at CVS. You can earn these when you buy certain advertised products. ECB’s are like money that you can spend on pretty much anything at CVS!
Stacking - When you hear this term in coupon world, it means that you are taking a store coupon and pairing it with a manufacturer’s coupon to sweeten your deal! This is one of the best ways to get items for FREE or for pennies on the dollar! Some of my favorite places to stack are: Publix and Target!

Now that I have given you some of the most common terms to BOLO (remember what that one means?) you can sweeten your coupon and bargain-hunting adventure even more! I hope that you had fun reading these terms and that it will help you out! Do you have any funny stories or comments to share with me about when you first learned the lingo? I would love to hear from you! ;o)

Thursday
Apr232009

Couponing Basics 

Couponing and searching for those die-hard bargains is a lot of fun, but BEWARE it can become very addicting!  My husband is very grateful to me for all of the money that I save, but sometimes even he just laughs at me!  To be a successful couponer and bargain-hunter, you must first familiarize yourself with the basics.

There are lots of coupons and bargains out there, you just have to know what to look for and where to find them at.  You might actually be surprised where you can find coupons if you just open up your eyes and put on those bargain-hunting glasses!  8o) I feel that now I am continually on the lookout for coupons and bargains wherever I go!

It is fun to get your kids involved in the bargain-hunting too.  My three year old loves to help mommy as we go through the aisles at the store.  If he sees a coupon, he grabs it!  The other day it was so funny because my husband went into the grocery store with me to grab a few things.  In our almost 9 years of marriage, we have been in the grocery store together, but not too often, as I do all of the grocery shopping.  My husband was just laughing at me because I was on a mission for coupons even though we had very few things on our list!

Now that you know just how addicting couponing and bargain-hunting can be, it is important to know what to look for and where to find them at.  Here is a list that I have compiled of the different types of coupons:

  • Inserts - coupons in your Sunday newspaper
  • Newspapers - Don't forget to glance through your Sunday newspaper even if you don't read the entire thing!  I have found great deals and coupons just by looking in my local newspaper.
  • Magazines - Don't throw out those magazines that you get every month!  I have found some great gems hidden in them!
  • Home Mailers - Companies will add you to their mailing list fi you prefer and send out great coupons!  Complimenting or Complaining to a company will also get you some great home mailer coupons!
    Monthly Home Mailer Coupons - Many companies offer monthly mailers.  I find that many of these mailers include coupons and discounts for local entertainment and dining.  In fact, a lot of time , there are BOGO (buy one get one) coupons in these mailers for restaurants.  My husband and I particularly enjoy these bargains as it allows us to have date night! :o)
  • Internet Printables - There are some great Internet couponing sites such as:  www.coupons.com, www.smartsource.com, www.redplum.com, www.bettycrocker.com, www.couponbug.com, and www.boodle.com that offer great coupons which you can print right from your own computer!  There are also a couple of couponing sites that give you a preview of the next week's Sunday newspaper coupons.  I find that the early previews are usually available sometime on Thursday.  My favorite sites for early previews are: www.taylortownpreview.com and www.thecouponclippers.com.
  • Tear Pads - These are a pad of coupons usually found hanging from a store display.
  • Peelies - Sticker-like coupons that are stuck right on a product -you just peel it away!
  • Blinkies - These are found in coupon machines right in the aisle of the grocery store and usually next to the item that the coupon is for.  The coupon is dispensed from a machine with a blinking red light.  These coupons are my little boy's favorite to get for Mommy!  He loves to see the red light blink when the coupons come out!
  • Hang Tags and Wine Tags - These are coupons found right around the neck of a product or bottle.
  • Store Coupons - If your store has a turnstile or display where they keep the weekly store ad, chances are, you can probably find store coupon booklets or pamphlets there as well.  Those store coupons can be gems especially if your store allows you to stack a manufacturer's coupon with their own store coupon!  This is how I often get items for free or for just pennies on the dollar!

Now it's your turn!  What about you?  Where are your favorite places to find coupons?  Do you let your children help you hunt for bargains and coupons?  Do you have any great sites or sources that I did not mention? Please let me know!  I can't wait to hear your stories and ideas!

Monday
Apr202009

My Beginning to a Coupon and Bargain-Hunting Addiction!

As a young girl, I often remember how my mom would clip coupons to help with our family’s food budget. She would often have my sister and I help her clip the coupons so that we could be involved as well. Then, when it was time to go to the store, she would give us a coupon and have us go search for the product! I think that it is fun to get your kids involved too! Soon after my husband and I were married I started to follow in my mother’s footsteps. I would clip a few coupons here and there, but once I saw just how much the savings added up, I became addicted to couponing and bargain-hunting! Now that my husband and I have a child and we are trying to watch our pennies even more, couponing and searching for the best bargains out there is even more important to us! Now, just like when I was a little girl, my son comes with me to the store and helps me find bargains!

 

Now that I have my own family, couponing has not only become a way for us to save money, but it is also a fun hobby! I love to share my coupon tips and bargain-hunting adventures with friends and family! It is fun to let others know just how much money you can save on any budget!

 

When I am not searching for those die-hard bargains or coupon-clipping, you will find me in the kitchen trying out new recipes or baking cookies with my little boy. I also love to decorate, drink coffee, go on dates with my husband, and watch chick-flicks when I have the time!

 

What about you? Do you have memories of couponing with your family that you would like to share? How did you become addicted to couponing and bargain-hunting? Did someone inspire you to save money? I would love to hear your story too!

Thursday
Apr022009

Welcome to my first blog!

Welcome to My Sweet Savings!  I hope you enjoy my site :)

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