Friday, September 30, 2011

Quantity vs. Quality

When it comes to your stockpile, which is more important - quantity or quality?  I say quality.

If you watch Extreme Couponing on TLC, you may have noticed that those lunatics are big on quantity.  They'll buy hundreds and hundreds of a single item.  This week one woman had a giant stockpile of candy and actually said "I have enough candy to last 80 Halloweens!"  Seriously?  Is she delusional?  Now granted, I have already purchased my Halloween candy, at a pretty good deal, but I have enough for ONE Halloween (plus some extra for a random nighttime binge or two).  Regardless, my Reeses expire 09/2012.  They couldn't even last until a second Halloween.

In keeping with my rule of not dissing other people's stockpiles, I won't question her - maybe she has a valid reason for buying that much candy, but I don't.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Refrigerated Stockpile (AKA My Refrigerator)

As I have mentioned in a previous blog post, my refrigerated stockpile is severely limited in terms of space because I have only the one refrigerator in my kitchen.  Accordingly I must be wise when purchasing refrigerated items that cannot be frozen. 

I have stocked up on items such as juice, hot dogs, yogurt, coffee creamer, refrigerated rolls, butter, and cheese.  Oh, how I would love a second fridge in the garage! 

Some gals dream of diamonds and fancy vacations.  I dream of an additional refrigerator...  LOL

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Friendly Reminder

I'm taking a day off writing about stockpile info to remind you that today is the 28th of the month.  It's time to go through your coupons and check for any great ones expiring on the 30th!!

I actually found I had 2 coupons for FREE Pantene conditioner that were about to expire.  I had held on to them hoping to pair them with a buy 1, get 1 freee sale.  That didn't happen, and I was definitely in danger of those great coupons expiring!

Check through your coupons tonight and see if there are any worth using before they expire!

Don't miss out!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Frozen Stockpile

My frozen stockpile, which lives in a chest freezer in my garage, contains about 4% of my stockpile.  I limit this to items that are already frozen (like bagged vegies, frozen rolls, frozen pizza and frozen treats for the kids), and things that I know freeze well (like meat).  I generally only stock enough to last me 3 months.  I don't like things to be in there so long that they get icy.

I haven't tried what I consider to be "extreme freezing."  I have read online that you can freeze orange juice, as long as you leave space for it to expand.  One woman explained how she pours the juice into a gallon ziploc bag, lays it on a cookie sheet and puts it in the freezer.  Once it is frozen flat, she removes the cookie sheet and repeats with the next batch.  Hmmmmm......  What exactly do you do with the juice once you defrost it? 

Well the bottom line is, hooray if it works for you!  I can easily fit many containers of orange juice in my fridge so I won't be trying this one yet, but you never know!  I also have many concerns about how things will taste once they are frozen and brought back to life.  Oh well, there's only one way to find out, and lots of open space left in my freezer!  I'll keep you posted on what I try.

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Secondary Stockpile

My secondary stockpile, which lives in a closet in the finished area of my house, contains about 15% of my total couponed items.  This stockpile contains 10 cases of bottled water, and any food that comes in boxes and bags. 

I have this fear of keeping boxed food in the unfinished area - I'm afraid bugs will get into the boxes!  Accordingly, I keep cereal, Pop-Tarts, pancake mix, cake mixes, brownie mixes, chips, crackers, rice, pasta, coffee, cookies & candy there.  In reality, my brain acknowledges the fact that bugs are capable of crossing into the finished areas of our home, but it makes me feel better anyway.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Main Stockpile

My main stockpile, which lives in an unfinished storage area in my basement, contains about 80% of my couponed items.  It includes food in cans, jars and bottles, as well as lots of non-food items:
  • Paper goods (paper towels, toilet paper, tissues, ziploc bags, trash bags)
  • Personal care (deodorant, razors, shaving cream, feminine hygiene, q-tips, band-aids, sunscreen)
  • Cleaning products (laundry detergent, dishwashing tablets, surface cleaners, air freshener)
  • Medicine (vitamins, cold meds, stomach meds, allergy meds)
  • Dental care (toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss)
  • Skin/Hair items (hair dye, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, soap, hairspray, lotion)
  • Office supplies (tape, pens, copy paper, batteries)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What Kind of Stockpile Do You Need?

Well, it depends partly on what you have available to you in terms of space.  For example, I have lots of space in the unfinished area of my basement, so I am able to keep a ton of stuff down there.  I have a separate chest freezer which can hold a lot, but I am worried that it will stop working so I'm fairly conservative about what I put in there.

I do not have a second refrigerator, so my ability to stockpile refrigerated-only items is quite low.  I'm not saying I never stockpile any refrigerated items - I've had 5 large containers of orange juice, 18 small ones, 12 packages of hot dogs, 10 tubs of spreadable butter, and 10 packages of various Pillsbury bread items in there.  But that, along with all my regular food, is pretty much all I can fit.

Take a look around your place and identify the potential space you have for your stockpile(s)!

Friday, September 23, 2011

My Stockpile

So what's in my stockpile, you ask?  Well, my first question would be, "Which stockpile?"

Yes, I have multiple stockpiles:
  • Stockpile A, my main stockpile, lives in the unfinished storage area of my basement and represents about 80% of my total items
  • Stockpile B, my secondary stockpile, lives in a closet in the finished part of the house and represents about 15% of my total items
  • Stockpile C, my frozen stockpile, lives in the chest freezer in my garage and represents about 4% of my total items.
  • Stockpile D, my refrigerated stockpile, lives in the fridge in my kitchen and represents about 1% of my total items.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

OK That's Embarassing

I always read my previous day's post before I write my new one.  I just did that and my reaction was "Wow, I might have been a WEE bit dramatic yesterday."  LOL

Yes, I did have someone look at my stockpile and ask me why I would buy some of it, which did make me cranky, but I cannot say it instilled a FEAR in me against showing it to anyone else.  I've just decided to take the "show-my-stockpile-only-if-someone-asks" approach as opposed to the "COME-AND-SEE-MY-GREAT-STOCKPILE" approach.

So far it's working...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Don't Diss My 'Pile!

"So, what's in your stockpile?"  This is one of the most common questions I get.  I will start out by saying that stockpiling items is a key component to couponing.  You need to have enough items in your stockpile to last you until the next time you can get that item for free or cheap. 

How many you need of each item depends greatly on how much of that item your family uses.  Because of this fact, you could look at someone else's stockpile and think that person must be crazy because it doesn't fit what would work for your family. 

Let me just say - please do not judge other couponers!  I have had my stockpile judged and I didn't appreciate it.  So much so that I have not showed it to anyone since for fear of once again having to justify what items are in my stockpile and how many I have.

So what's in my stockpile?  More on that tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Are All Couponers Hoarders?

If you've watched Extreme Couponing you may think that all couponers are hoarders.  Some are, for sure.  Take the lady who bought 100 bottles of mustard and no one in her family likes mustard.  People like that are just organized hoarders.  They don't have a disgusting mess like traditional hoarders, but their homes are over-run with free stuff which makes them...  wait for it.... Hoarders! 

There is a delicate balance between having enough stuff but not having too much stuff.  That's why I like the one-newspaper-per-person-in-your-family guideline.  That way you are not going to end up with 100 of something that will not get used before it expires.

So what is a reasonable, non-hoarding amount of couponing?  We'll delve into the stockpile concept next.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Color vs. Black & White

New couponers often ask me if you need to print online coupons in color.  The answer is no!  We abandoned color printers long ago due to the cost of the ink and its tendency to dry up before it ran out.  We just didn't use it enough.  When it didn't dry up, it was often still a struggle to get a good print.  We have used black and white laser printers for many, many years and have been quite happy.

I'm delighted to report that my black and white printed coupons work just fine in the stores.  I've never had a problem due to their lack of color.  We bought a relatively inexpensive Brother printer (retails for around $100 but we got it for $50 with a trade-in of the old crappy color one!)  We replace the toner about once per year (toner retails for $70, got it for around $40 on Amazon).

Another perk is that the laser printers print more quickly than inkjets and are generally quieter.

If you are in the market for a new printer, consider a black and white laser.  You'll love it for coupons!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Love My Cashier!

A few days ago I blogged about how to choose a cashier.  I mentioned my favorite cashier who works on the weekends at one of my local Walgreens.  Well, he proved himself once again this weekend. 

On Saturday I went to do one last round of the great free Skittles deal before the offer ended.  I had tried this deal at various Walgreens throughout the week and always had a problem.  I was delighted to see my favorite cashier when I showed up and the transaction went through flawlessly.  The issues that tripped up other cashiers and sometimes caused me to leave without the product, were no problem for him.

When you find a great cashier, make sure you let him/her know how much you appreciate all their help.  They are a key piece to successful couponing!  Of course I am thankful and polite to all cashiers, but having one that knows their stuff just rocks!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Can Couponers Be Brand Loyal? (Part 2)

Now that you know many intimate details of my buying practices, let me tell you how coupons fit in to the picture.  If I have a coupon that will get me an item free or very cheap, I will buy one even if I haven't used it before to see if I like it.  I have found that most name brands are pretty good. 

Some items that I am brand loyal to very rarely have coupons.  At that point I need to rely on watching sales and store rewards to get the cheapest price.  I will tell you a secret - not everything I buy has a coupon...  SHHHHH!!!!  Don't tell.  Yes, I still have to buy certain items without a coupon, and I'm OK with that.  Am I walking out of the store paying less than $1 and getting $500 worth of stuff?  No.  But I am still getting good deals. 

Occasionally there are coupons for my brand-loyal items and when that happens I collect as many coupons as I can.  Same for when that item goes on sale.  If expiration dates are not a problem, then I STOCK UP on the item.  At one point a few months ago there was a coupon for Vlasic Pickles.  I got a ton of coupons and a few weeks later they went on sale and enabled me to get them for .67 cents.  Well I bought about 14 jars.  (For the record we only have 2 jars left - we are pickle people!)

So the bottom line is, you can be brand-loyal and still coupon, but the more items you are flexible on the better.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Can Couponers Be Brand Loyal? (Part 1)

Many people ask me if I had to give up all my favorite brands in order to coupon.  My answer is: definitely not.

As you may recall from my very first blog post, I fell off the couponing wagon for many years.  Shortly before I decided to start couponing again I decided to switch to store brands on many items in order to save money.  While that did save some money compared to the brand items, I thought I was going to freak out if I opened one more of my kitchen cabinets and saw "GREAT VALUE" staring back at me.

Once I started couponing I was amazed at how nearly everything I buy is a name brand, and was cheaper than the store brand.  Love it!

On some items I have never been brand loyal.  I don't care if my sandwich bags are Hefty or Ziploc.  I will use Kleenex or Puffs tissues, Duracell or Energizer batteries, Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines cake mixes.

For some items I would always buy one brand, but was open to trying others.  I have found that Brawny paper towels are no different than Bounty, Cottonelle toilet paper takes care of business as good as Charmin, Finish cleans the dishes similarly to Cascade, and Colgate toothpaste gets my teeth clean like Crest.

I am fiercely brand loyal to a few items - Coca-Cola, Vlasic Pickles, Q-Tips, and L'Oreal Hair Color.  I won't budge on these items - there is no substitute.

So how does this affect my couponing?  More on that tomorrow....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Picking a cashier (Part 3)

When I shop at a smaller store, like Walgreens or CVS, there is usually only one cashier.  At larger stores, like Kroger, Target and Walgreens, you usually have several cashiers to choose from.  Choose wisely! 

Call it "Cashier Profiling," but I carefully survey the cashiers to see who I think will give me the least hassle.  Not because I'm using the coupons fraudulently, because I am trying to make the process as painless as possible for both of us.  My experience has been that middle-aged women are the worst.  No offense to all the middle-aged women out there.  I'm one of you! 

I have had the least problems with young, under 25 cashiers - usually male.  If there's one of those I will pick that lane every time.  Sometimes I will also seek out a manager that might be on register.  They tend to be more aware of coupon policies (but not always) and if there is a problem, they can make the decisions themselves.

If you do get a bad cashier try the "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again" motto.  I have been known to give up on certain items that are not ringing correctly and go back at another time and they go through with no problem.  Since I buy multiples of items, sometimes I use the "yesterday they let me..." line with some success.

Like I've said previously - I use my coupons only in legitimate ways so usually I'm pretty confident that I'm right.  I am generally not an arguer so if my first attempt fails I usually do not purchase the item and try again at another time.  You'd be amazed at what difference a cashier makes!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Picking a Cashier (Part 2)

Sometimes coupons make the register beep despite having bought the correct item in the correct size.  A beeping register is never a good sign.  It means the coupon is not automatically being accepted.

When this happens, some cashiers will simply just push the coupon through. I find this happens frequently with cashiers like the young man who works Sunday mornings at my local Walgreens. He helps me every week and I feel I have proven myself to him as a reliable couponer. I think he trusts me.

Some cashiers will ask if you did indeed purchase the item, and then put the coupon through. Some will look through your purchases to confirm. Since I always follow the specifics of the coupon, I certainly don't mind.

Some cashiers will immediately panic and call the manager (this happened to me just yesterday). Some will flatly refuse to honor the coupon if it beeps (this also happened to me yesterday).  Some will even accuse you of coupon fraud or trying to steal from the store.  Thankfully this hasn't happened to me.

Part of the reason I carefully choose a cashier is to avoid the hassle and hold-up of having the manager come over. I also want to avoid having an angry mob form behind me as everyone has to wait (this ALSO happened to me yesterday).  Ugh.

So how do you pick a cashier?   We'll cover that tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Picking a Cashier (Part 1)

My husband is very supportive of my couponing and sometimes accompanies me on specific couponing trips.  The only thing we really disagree on is the checkout process.  He wants me to always choose the shortest checkout lane.  Of course that makes sense, but not necessarily when couponing.  I pick my cashier carefully.

I try very hard to follow all the specifics of each coupon in terms of product, size and expiration date.  Even when you buy exactly the right items sometimes your coupons will still make the register beep which means your fate is now in the cashier's hands.

At that point things can go very badly if you haven't chosen your cashier wisely.

What happens when you pick the wrong cashier?  We'll cover that tomorrow.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Coupon Fairy?

Last week I blogged about the different newspaper I was switching to.  Yesterday was the first day my 4 new subscriptions were to be delivered, but I was disappointed to find only one newspaper on the driveway.  So I called the newspaper to freak out, yeall and scream, alert them to the issue, and within an hour 3 more papers were delivered.  I was happy, but skeptical about what would happen next week.

Fast forward to this morning (Monday) when I found 3 newspapers on my driveway.  Since I had only subscribed to the Sunday paper, I was confused by this until I noticed that they were actually more copies of the Sunday paper.  COULD THERE BE MORE COUPONS IN THEM?!?!?!?!  I was excited to find that indeed there were coupons in each paper.  In fact, there were DOUBLE coupons in those 3!  So instead of just the original 4 I paid for, I now have 10 copies of most of the inserts!  (Which is awesome because there were some great coupons this week - I was actually tempted yesterday to go buy more papers, but didn't).

So what is the deal?  Did the delivery guy get a note that he shorted me 3 papers so he brought them despite them having been redelivered yesterday?  Did they realize I'm a crazy couponer so they delivered extra to make up for disappointing me on the first delivery?  Who knows.  Let's see what happens next week...  In the meantime, THANK YOU, COUPON FAIRY!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Couponer's Favorite Word: Overage!

Today I went to Target to buy some bags of Starbucks coffee.  Yesterday my hubby spotted them not only on sale, but you also received a $5 Target gift card if you bought two.  The net cost could be $6.39 each.  An extreme couponer knows the best deal is to get it on sale, with a store reward AND a coupon.  I didn't have any coupons, but I knew a $1.50 off 1 Starbucks coupon was coming in the Sunday paper (net cost $4.89 each) so I waited until today.

Did I pay $4.89 each?  No, sir!  Why not, you ask?  Because of overage!  Overage is a wonderful thing that sometimes happens when the amount of a coupon exceeds the value of the item.  Some stores will apply the extra toward other items you are purchasing.  The Target I frequent allows for overage - I've even had it approved by a manager in the past.  I knew from yesterday's trip that the Simply Orange orange juice was on sale for .73 cents and my coupon was for $1, allowing me .27 cents overage per juice.  So today, in addition to the 2 bags of Starbucks, I also bought 8 of the orange juices, which I got for free and which also gave me $2.16 of overage that got applied to the cost of the Starbucks.  Because of overage, my out-of-pocket cost for the Starbucks was reduced to $3.81 each (72% off).

Overage works out best when you are getting an item you will actually use, like the orange juice for me, but I have also done this with items I don't use.  I can always find someone to give/donate the items to, and in the meantime they are reducing the cost of the other items I'm buying.  It's a beautiful thing.
Not all stores allow for overage.  Many stores simply reduce the amount of the coupon down to the actual price of the item.  So the item is still free but you don't get any extra credited toward the rest of your purchase.  Sometimes it even depends on which cashier you get.  Try it and see if it works!

On a side note, my son once figured out that if we bought an iPad and 885 packages of an item that had .60 cents overage each, that it would give us enough overage to completely cover the cost of the iPad.  We haven't tried it... yet!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Shout Out To My New Aspiring Couponer Friends I Met Today In Target!

Today, as I embarked on a relatively small coupon shopping trip at Target, I was approached by two lovely gals who noticed my coupon binder and asked if they could tag along and get some info.  I am always happy to share info - I just wished I could have a more exciting trip planned for them to see. 

I really just went to get some free orange juice and lemonade, and some not-so-free tic-tacs.  I ended up getting 8 orange juices, 8 raspberry lemonades, 8 Tic-Tacs, 4 Skittles and 1 Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Bread -  total $31, saved $26 and spent $5 - 85% off.  Not too bad, but not my best.  Half of what I spent was on the goldfish bread - it was so cool I had to try it!

Anyway ladies, as I mentioned, here is a link way back to the beginning of my blog: The Beginning!! with pictures of all my free and cheap stuff.  You'll love couponing - it's totally worth it!  You can do it, too!  Good luck!  Post here if you have any questions! :-)

P.S.  Thanks for the tip about the Kroger that triples coupons.  I will definitely check that out!

Friday, September 9, 2011

It's Sold Out???? NO!!!!!

Despite the fact that I try to run to the stores on Sunday and get  the great deals, sometime I do miss out.  If this happens to you, don't worry - all hope is not lost.  Here is a phrase every extreme couponer needs to learn: "Can I have a raincheck for that item?"

Rainchecks are WONDERFUL!  Most stores offer them on most sale items, but not all.  If a sale item is out of stock you can get a raincheck that allows you to get the item for the sale price when it comes back in stock, after the sale has ended.  This rocks because within a week of the sale ending, the shelves are usually fully restocked.

The biggest risk is that your coupons may expire before the item comes back in stock.  Even if this happens, all hope is still not lost!  Coupons are fairly cyclical, so hang on to that raincheck and often a new coupon for that item may be released within a short time.

TIP:  Don't wait until the last day of the sale to get your raincheck.  The very first time you go to a store and an item is sold out, get a raincheck.  Don't believe them when they say they are getting another shipment on Tuesday.  Often an item will never come back in stock during the week, or if it does, your extreme couponing comrads may grab it up before you can get there.  Get the raincheck right away.  If you go later in the week and the item is in stock you can buy it, but save that raincheck for a future awesome sale/coupon matchup.  Sometimes you can even coordinate it with a store reward too!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

When Is The Best Time To Go Couponing?

Of course you can go couponing at any time, but there are two guidelines I follow:
  1. If there is a great deal where you can get something free or extremely cheap, go couponing for that item as soon as it goes on sale.  For example, the sales at CVS and Walgreens start on Sundays.  Many times I can get the coupon deal if I go that morning, but can return later in the week on several occasions and the item will always be out of stock.  You are not the only extreme couponer out there, so don't dilly-dally or you'll lose out.
  2. Don't coupon during peak times at the grocery store.  I like to coupon in the evenings or early in the morning.  No matter how hard I plan out my trip, inevitably I have some coupons that won't scan, or some situation that requires the manager.  When there is a line of people with full carts behind you trying to get home and make dinner, this can get very uncomfortable for you, and very inconvenient for others.  I tend to coupon at times when the stores are more empty.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Seriously?!?! Now You Offer Me A Deal?

So on the heels of my post yesterday about newspapers, tonight I received a call from our old newspaper company asking why we cancelled our subscription.  I explained about the deal I got from the new newspaper and how I had contacted the old one to see if they could do a similar deal but they said they could not.

The lady then says, "well we have the same deal - $50 for the year."  So I explained that the best deal they told me was $120, so I had instead gotten 4 subscriptions to the other paper.

I guess I should have known better.  I have found with most services that if you cancel and then wait, they usually call you back with a better offer.  In this case I had already pre-paid for the new newspaper for the year so I'm not switching back.  But I would have been happy to stay if they had matched the deal either time I inquired about it.

One day I'll write about the smoking hot deal I got with XM/Sirius!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cut Down On Coupon Cost

The best way to cut down on your coupon cost is not to pay for coupons at all!  Often you might have friends and/or family who will just give you the coupons they are not using.  While that is great, it can complicate your process if the inserts are from different newspapers, and especially if they are from different regions of the country.  You'd be amazed at the differences in coupons, even if it's just the order they are on the pages.  It causes major problems when you try to collate and clip them.

For years I have subscribed to our major local paper.  I tried to get Sunday only delivery but the minimum they offered was Friday/Saturday/Sunday delivery for $38.25 per quarter - $153 per year for one copy of the Sunday paper.  I would then buy 3 more copies of the paper at the store, for $1.75 each which cost an additional $252, for a total of $405 for coupons for the year.

I recently found a smaller local newspaper that gives all the same coupons as the major one, and they had a Sunday only delivery special - $50 for 52 weeks.  I called my current newspaper to see if they could match the deal but the best they could do was $120 for the year.  So, I called the new newspaper and got 4 subscriptions at the $50 price so now I'm paying only $200 for the year.  That's basically a 50% off sale on my coupons - awesome!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Buy 1 Get 7 Free!

If you were in the grocery store and saw a "Buy 1, Get 7 Free" sale on a product you use, you'd jump on it right? Me, too! Well today I made my own B1G7 sale using store sales and coupons together.

A few months ago I bought a couple of the very cool, Lysol Healthy Touch No-Touch Hand Soap Systems.  I had seen them on sale for anywhere from $9.99-$14.99 but scored them for $3.99!  I was pretty excited... until the soap ran out.  I found out the refills cost $3.99 each - for only 8-oz!  I was used to buying a large bottle of soap to refill my old soap dispensers, and was determined to do the same.

I couldn't get the top off the Lysol container, but my husband was able to do so with a screwdriver.  Hooray!  Unfortunately I was out of refill soap so I went to buy some.  The 40-oz store brand refill was $3.99.  Sure, it was the same price, but it was 5 times the size of the individual Lysol refills.  However I still didn't want to spend that much.  I started to explore other options and looked at the individual 8-oz bottles of Dial soap.  They retailed for $1.60, but were on sale for .88 cents.  I had a .35 cent coupon that would double, enabling me to get each for only .18 cents.  If I bought 5 of them (40-oz worth) and used them to refill my Lysol dispenser, it would only cost me .90 cents instead of $3.99 for the larger refill or  $19.95 if I bought the correct Lysol ones.

I used all my coupons and bought 8, which cost me $1.44 total.  That is less than the $1.60 retail cost for one.  So I look at it like I bought 1 and got 7 free!  I wish I could have gotten as good a deal on the 40-oz refill so I wouldn't be wasting all the individual packaging, but an .18 cent refill was too good to pass up!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Alert! Alert! No Coupons Today!

A rude awakening that most new couponers get is that there are NO COUPONS on most holiday weekends!  Given that tomorrow is Labor Day, there are no coupons in the paper this weekend. 

Many new couponers buy their 4 papers and get them home only to find no coupons.  If you follow my advice, however, which is look in each paper before you buy it to check for coupons, this will never happen to you.  But back in the day when I first started I didn't know about that rule and came home with a stack of papers on Memorial Day weekend and was very disappointed.

If you are ever unsure, you can check to see what coupon inserts are coming.  Sometimes I will look to see which specific coupons are coming in each insert, but coupon amounts and details vary widely from region to region, so just understand that the specific coupon you get may be slightly different than the one listed.

Regardless, while no coupon weekends stink for sure, it is nice to get a break once in a while.  Take time today to clear out very old coupon inserts out of your whole insert filing system, or revamp your binder.  And have a great long weekend!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Thank You, Random Couponer!

Today, once again, I popped into the grocery store.  We were having some friends over this evening and I needed to pick up some paper goods.  I didn't have a coupon (shocking, I know), so I was evaluating the cost of the store brand vs. the Solo brand of plastic plates.  So I pull out the Solo plates to see how many are in the pack, and to my surprise there was a coupon on top of it!  Some generous couponer had left 2 coupons there.

This is not the first time this has happened, especially in this store which happens to be frequented by many couponers.  I, too, have left coupons for people, but usually it's when the coupon is expiring soon and I know I won't use it.  The coupon I found today didn't even expire until October and saved me $1 off!

For the record, I used one coupon and left the other for the next lucky person.  Sometimes couponers get a bad rap - that we are hoarders or buy things we don't use or need.  This couponer's random act of coupon kindness proves that couponers are good people too!  Thank you!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Take Your Coupons With You ALL The Time

Today I popped in to the grocery store to get a few things.  As I was walking around I noticed goldfish crackers on a Buy One Get One (B1G1) sale.  My kids love these!  Remembering that I had printed some coupons for them, I leafed through my binder and there they were - and they were expiring today! 

So of course I used the coupons and got a great deal.  Keep in mind that you can only take advantage of deals like this if you HAVE your coupons with you.  This means taking your coupon binder in with you to EVERY store, or at least having it in your car in case you need it.  I run into unexpected deals like this all the time!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

First of the Month

Today is the first of the month.  This means a few things:
  1. Check the online printable coupon sites including and  They often put up new coupons, or "reset" the old ones.  This means that coupons that you have already printed and reached the print limit, may now be available for you to print again.   
  2. Walgreens puts out its monthly coupon booklet.  Remember, these coupons can be combined with manufacturer coupons for great savings.
  3. Now is a great time to even further organize your coupon binder.  With all the blank spaces from the expired coupons you removed, you can move around a few coupons to group them.  For example, I have several Kellogg's coupons that are scattered through several pages of K coupons.  This is the perfect time to shift the Kellogg's coupons so they are all next to each other which helps when you go to use them.