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Thursday, July 5, 2007

Couponing how-to's for beginners only

ok, so you heard you can save a fortune using those little pieces of paper that you normally toss out?

It's true!

You can find basically all the intensive, nitty gritty details of how to save at stores like Target, Rite Aid, Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, etc online. If you got the time, you will pay yourself back in the money you WILL save.

Just a few very basic things to get you started:
Subscribe to the sunday paper in most areas and you will get tons of manufacturer coupons(or MC as many of the forums call them)

IF you dont get the paper, you can purchase them at the store, etc, or you can also buy the coupons you want/need at www.couponclipper.com . I love this website!!

There are also tons of manufacturer coupons in every issue of ALL YOU magazine, which you can find at walmart or subscribe to it. I have a posting in my blog where to get a 12 issue subscription for less than $8.

You can print coupons online(for stores that accept these-check the forums for more details) and use these as manufacturer coupons. THere are lots of places to do this, including the official product websites of the items you are interested in. try looking up your faves and see what they have to offer!
Another place is right on my blog in the sidebar!! coupons galore :)

Just ONE example of the many ways you can start saving money:
When you shop at walgreens, you can use their in-store coupons that are either listed in their weekly circular ad(by the front door) or in the Easy Saver booklet which is a monthly publication.
AND you can use a manufacturer coupon WITH the walgreens coupon on the SAME ITEM.

So, if an item is on sale for $3.99 after using their coupon, you can use a manufacturer coupon for $3 off, and get it for .99

ONce you get going in purchasing sale items at walgreens, you will receive Register Rewards, which is basically credit you can use towards your next walgreens purchase. THis is obviously yet ANOTHER way to save on your purchase totals!
So buy xx amount of stuff and get $10 in register rewards. That is like $10 in your pocket.

-->There is so much more to using Register Rewards so make sure you read up on all the details at forums such as www. hotcouponworld.com. (my fave)

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Buy one, get one free. Depending on your store, you may be able to use two coupons. For example, let's say that Ziploc bags go on sale for $1.99, but they're also "Buy 1, Get 1 Free" with your store membership card. (Most grocery stores offer "membership" cards for free). At my store, I can use two $1 off coupons because I am essentially buying two boxes of Ziploc bags. Granted, my store is offering to give me one free, but that's their choice. I'm purchasing two boxes so I'm using two coupons. So, using my two $1 off coupons, I get $2 off two boxes for $1.99. In other words, I'm getting two boxes of Ziploc bags for free. (This also works with two 50 cents coupons if your store doubles coupons.)


Free trial sizes. Would you rather pay $1.99 for a full-size deodorant or get four smaller sizes for free? Unless your coupon says "not good on trial size," "Good on 4.6 oz. only," etc., you can get almost any toiletry for free. Check the trial size bins for deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and even food. You can use them for travel or every day, give them to your local shelter, fill Christmas stockings, or make gift baskets.


Buy this item, get a different product free. Many stores and manufacturers now offer free secondary items when you purchase two or more of selected products, such as "Buy two boxes of Cheerios, get a gallon of milk free." My store was running a special for a month: buy any two of the listed products and get a free disposable camera. I got three free cameras in one month for purchasing two containers of deodorant each time. What's more, the deodorant was free! Each of the deodorants was a trial size on sale for 99 cents, and I had several 50 cents off coupons (my store doubled them to $1 off). I got six sample sizes of deodorant and three 24-exposure disposable cameras for free.


Don't overlook certain products. Although I don't have kids, I do get baby food when I grocery shop. Notice I said "get" and not "buy." Baby food is something I get only when I can get it free. I've gotten free apple juice (juice boxes) that are the same size as three packs of adult juice boxes, which run somewhere around $1.99. I've also gotten lots of "baby" water for free, which I take on trips when I bring my dogs or go hiking. I've also gotten free jars of meat baby food that I mix with my dogs' food for a special treat. And of course, any time I can get something for free that I can't use, I donate it to a local food shelter.


Stock up on in-store coupons. Many of those instant coupon feeders offer coupons, which are good for several months. Save several and then buy the product later when it's really on sale. I saved several $1 off coupons for Minute Maid Lemonade and then used them when it was on sale for $1.19. Who wouldn't want a half gallon of Minute Maid Lemonade for 19 cents?


Look for double packages. One of my best buys was a two-pack of full-size Colgate shaving cream. They were selling two canisters, bundled in one wrapper, for 89 cents. I had a coupon for 40 cents off two (doubled to 80 cents), so I got two canisters for 9 cents total. I did this twice since I had two coupons and there was no limit on how many I could buy. So I purchased four canisters for 18 cents. Not bad at four and a half cents each!
--thanks to stretcher. com
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Here's a few other places to find out information about couponing, but the best way to learn, is to try it. You won't really come to a good understanding of "how it all works" until you do it!

Grocerycouponguide.com says:
Couponing Fundamentals – Researching Your Stores
Why you Shouldn’t be Embarrassed to Use Coupons
Common Coupon Policies

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Couponing101. com says:

Free Product Coupons – When to Use Them

Coupon Basics: What Every Couponer Needs to Know
Beginner’s Guide to Couponing
Couponing Terms and Abbreviations
Coupon Sources
CVS 101
Walgreens 101
Internet Printable Coupon Sites
Honest Couponing
How I Organize My Coupons