Saturday, November 15, 2008

tips to maximize your savings

One of the best ways to maximize your savings is to use a coupon on an item that is also on sale. In fact, to get the most benefit, when a particular item is on sale, you should buy enough of that item with your coupons so that you never buy it at regular store price. This buying philosophy is commonly called "stockpiling" in the coupon world and is a great way to ensure you are getting the best deals.
For example, if Colgate toothpaste is on sale this week at the grocery store for $1.00 (locally, it was recently), then I pull out my Colgate coupons of $.75 and I buy as many tubes as I have coupons for free after my coupons are doubled to $1 off. Now, you need to be careful here. Some stores will only allow you so many coupons for the same item per transaction. Yes, I have gone through the checkout line, put my items in the car, and come back in the store for another transaction! Some have even divided up transactions on the conveyor belt and ask the cashier to ring them up separately. But, I have found that this will slow the line down, making the people behind you not too happy, and can even upset store management. I always try to be very conscientious and sensitive to other people in this area, so for me, a trip out to the car is no big deal if it makes everyone happy.
Another note of caution here, make sure you know your favorite store's coupon policy. They vary a lot even within the same chain. For example, I have found that one Meijer's store will double up to six coupons for the same item; but, another Meijer's policy is only two. That can make a big difference in your savings.
One last note of caution, some stores will frown if you walk in with, say, 20 Colgate coupons and wipe them out of toothpaste. Be considerate of others here. Perhaps a good idea here would be to buy 10 at the beginning of the week and 10 at the end after they get another truck in to restock. That way other shoppers can take advantage of the sale, and you don't wipe out their inventory in one trip.
That brings me to my last point here. Don't hesitate to get a rain check for an out of stock item. Some people don't like to get them, but for me, a rain check allows me to buy the item on sale, when I want and when I have the most coupons for that product. The timing is in my hands and I can use it to my advantage.
This buying philosophy helps you to stock-up on the items that you need without having to pay full price. I realize that some may not be able to do this for lack of space. For me, I keep items on shelves in our basement. When someone needs something in my family, they jokingly say, "I'm going to Mom's store", for whatever it is they need. And in most cases they will find it.
So, in conclusion, use coupons in conjunction with sale items and you will find you can save a lot of money off your total bill for groceries, health & beauty items and toiletries. For information on how to accumulate coupons, see my article "where to get coupons".

Walgreen's Trip 11/14/08

Enjoyed my trip to Walgreens, although, as usual, I ended up getting a rain check again.
I bought:
4 boxes Kelloggs Special K cereal 4/$10 -4 $1 cpns = $4/6
2 Hershey dark chocolate Kisses 2/$4 - 2 $1 cpns - $1 WAGS cpn. = 2/$1
Subtotal $7

Redeemed $3.30 Gift Card (October rebate)
oop = $3.70

Amazing CVS Trip

I had a GREAT trip to CVS this morning and had to share it. Above is a picture of all that I bought:
1 Box Rice Krispies Cereal $2/4 - $1 cpn
8 tins of Altoids B1G1 -$1 cpn on each tin = FREE
1 Garnier Fructis shampoo $2.99 -$1 cpn = 1.99 plus $2 ECB printed
5 local newspapers which have the Sunday coupon inserts in them!
Subtotal: $23.41
$5 ECB redeemed from last week's specials
oop = $.45, yes, that's 45 cents!!!
Plus, $2 in ECB on the Fructis!
I'd take that kind of savings any day!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Coke Rewards

If you regularly buy Coke products, this post is for you.
One additional way that I save money on Coke is that I registered at Registration is free.
In order to save money on future purchases, all you need to do is type in the codes from your Coke products that are printed on the inside of 12 packs or inside the lids of 20 oz. bottles. For each code you enter, you score points. You receive, for example, 10 points for every code entered on 12 packs. You can only enter 10 codes per day, but they accumulate.
Once you've accumulated points, you can search for different rewards available. I always redeem my points for coupons, of course!!! Over the summer, for example, for every 200 points I redeemed, they sent me in the mail a coupon for a free 12 pack. Now, the offer is for a B1G1 coupon. It's still a great deal..just make sure the pop is on sale! (Like any of us would buy it at regular price!!)
So get logged on and start entering your codes. You'll be surprised at how quickly your points accumulate.
By the way, this is for all Coke products: Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Powerade, etc...They are all listed on their web page.

About Me

I am a pastor's wife and homeschool our four children.  The Lord Jesus Christ is my personal Savior and I owe all praise to Him.
The purpose of this blog is to help people save money. I believe God expects us to be good stewards of what we have, no matter the amount. I desire to teach people how to effectively use coupons, with as little time and effort as possible. Couponing, for me, is a fun hobby. It's a challenge for me each week to get the best deals available. I also want to list updates on sales, rebates, and free offers. My ultimate goal is to glorify Jesus Christ in everything.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

how to organize your coupons

For me, organizing coupons has been a 'work in progress'. I have used several different methods before settling on the system I currently use.

My first method was simply an envelope with a few manufacturer's coupons in it for items I knew I would purchase. I clipped very few coupons then, so this system seemed to work. They were not in any particular order and usually expired before I remembered to use them.

Next, I got a little more serious about couponing. I bought a small coupon organizer with dividers in it to separate the coupons into various groups. At this point, I was cutting more coupons than before, and this system seemed sufficient.

After this, I realized that the small holder was becoming so packed that it was hard to flip through the coupons to find the one that I wanted to use. So, I bought a large plastic shoebox container and some large dividers to again separate the coupons by types. This system was actually very effective in that I had a lot of room to store the coupons, they were very well organized by groups, and they were protected in a box with lid. However, the downfall for me in this system is that I was cutting so many coupons, even multiple copies of the same coupon, that I got tired of looking through even the divided sections to find the right coupon. Also, I found that I allowed so many coupons to expire because they got lost in the sections.

And this leads me to what I believe to be the most effective way to organize coupons and the system that I now use. I bought a package of baseball card sleeves (the clear plastic ones with 9 pockets front and back). I placed these sleeves into a large 3 ring binder and began organizing my coupons. Now, I have to say that the initial setup of this system is quite time consuming, but the results are well worth the effort.

Now all my coupons (which is numerous for I buy up to 10 copies of the Sunday paper) are organized using this system. I placed them in order based upon the aisles of the grocery store I most commonly shop. I can see all my coupons, the value of them, and the expiration date. It has really made using coupons much easier and quicker.

For example, if Cheerios are on sale, I got to the cereal section in my binder. I look for Cheerios coupons and can tell by the amount whether it's a good deal. If it is, I pull out those coupons, for all the Cheerios coupons are in the same pocket and know how many boxes I will buy at the sale price.

I have found this current well organized system to be the best at maximizing savings. I know what coupons I have, where they are, and can quickly determine how many I have for a particular item. I believe that I save so much more money using this system. Again, it is a little more time consuming especially initially, but for me it is well worth the effort.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

CVS Deals Nov.9-15

There are a lot of deals this week at CVS and a lot include ECB's.

Good Deals w/ cpns :
Nature's Bounty Vitamins B1G1 $4.49 (the cheapest) - 2 $2 cpns. = 2/$.39
Colgate Kids toothpaste B1G1 $2.29 - 2 $.50 cpn = 2/$1.29
Altoid mints B1G1 2/$1.99 - 2/$1.00 peelie cpn = free
Glade Airfreshener $.99 -$1/2 = 2/$1.00
Lysol Wipes (35 ct) 2/$5.00 - $1 cpn. = $1.50 each
Zest Soap $1.99 - .35/cpn = $1.64 each
Kellogg cereal $2/4 - $1 cpn =$1 each
Sunmaid or Sunsweet 2/5 - $1/2 cpn = 2/4
Chex Mix 2/3 - 2 $.50 cpn. = 2/$2
Bayer Aspirin 2/3 -$1 cpn. = $.50 each

Good Deals w/ cpn & ECBs:
Fructis shampoo $2.99 - $1 cpn -$2.00 ECB =FREE after ECB +$.01 overage (limit 1)
Palmolive Dish $1.49 - $.25 cpn. -$1.00 ECB = $.24 after ECB (limit 5)
Rimmel mascara $6.99 -$1 cpn - $4 ECB = $1.99 after ECB
Listerine Agent Cool Blue $3.99 - .50 cpn -$3 ECB = $.49 after ECB
Aqua fresh White Trays $42.99 - $5 cpn - $10 ECB = $27.99 after ECB
Always Infinity pads $4.99 - $2 cpn - $1 ECB = $1.99 after ECB
Stayfree/Carefree pads $4.99 - $2/2 cpn - $1.50 ECB = 2/$6.48 after ECB
Zantac $19.99 - $1.50 cpn -$3 ECB - $15.49 after ECB
Colgate 6 oz. w/free brush $3.49 -$1 ECB =$2.49 after ECB
Glaceau Smart water $1.59 -$1.59 ECB = free after ECB

These were the best deals I saw. Let me know if I missed any! Thanks

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bath & Body Works Sale

I don't get to Bath & Body Works too often; but when I do, I'm ready with the coupons!!
Here's what I bought this last Friday:

4 Anti Bacterial Handsoaps $10
1 Midnight Path Wallflower $12.50 - free cpn = free
1 2 oz. lotion $3.50 - free cpn = free

Total cost $10.65

The Anti Bacterial Soaps are on sale for a limited time only.
The wallflower will make a great Christmas gift for someone I need an extra little something for.

CVS trip, Saturday, November 8,2008

Here's a summary of my latest CVS trip:
4 Local newspaper w/coupons inside $.50 each = $2.00
10 Ice Breaker Gum 10/$10 - 5 $1/2 cpn = $5.00

Total Cost $7 - $4 ECB = $3 oop + received $5 ECB!!

For info on abbreviations, see my explanations in side panel.

I usually shop CVS on Saturdays for 2 reasons:
1) They carry our local paper which includes the coupons that are found in the Sunday's papers and it only costs $.50 each. (Sometimes, the coupons are not exactly the same but they usually are)

2) My CVS honors both that week's ad and the upcoming week's ad, so I get a sneak peak at what's going to be on sale.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Quick Look at This Week...

Just a quick look at the deals for the week of November 9-15:

Kroger is again doing the mega deal. For every 10 participating
items you buy, you automatically receive $5 off your bill.
Some new coupon matches would be:
Hormel pepperoni $1.00 - .50 per deal - .55 cpn doubled = free
Edwards pie $1.50 - .50 per deal - $1/2 cpn. = $.50 each

CVS: Looks like some good ECB deals; I'll match them up with coupons for
a longer post later.

Walgreens has a lot of deals on baking stuff; Again, I'll match with coupons.
They do have Glade Air Freshener for $.99. BOGO cpn = $.49 each

Sunday, the Lord's Day, is very busy for us as my husband is pastor of a church.
So, I'm good to get my papers and the coupons clipped. It's all about priorities!