Couponing for the Rest of Us

Send Expired Coupons to Military Families!

Did you know that expired coupons aren’t trash? It’s true!

Military families are allowed to use coupons up to 6 months past their printed expiration date! While the service pay rates are no longer below the poverty level, they are in no way great when you have a family. Can you imagine what a blessing it would be to receive a bundle of valuable coupons from someone back home – and realizing they cared enough to send them?

If you are interested in dropping off coupons to be sent to military families, you’ll be happy to hear that the Dupont Community Credit Union has kindly volunteered each of their branches to be a drop-off point for unused and expired coupons destined for the military.  You can click on the image below to read more about the program and see the dropoff locations:

If you don’t live near a Dupont Community Credit Union you can mail the coupons to the address below.

 

Military Families at:Brooke Seigrist, Family Services Coordinator
48 FSS/FSFR
Unit 5200, Box 105
APO, AE 09461

Phone – 011-44-1638-522641

Questions? Email – lakenheathloanlocker@googlemail.com

NOTE: Please don’t drop off coupons expired PAST the 6 month limit, or the military base personnel will be forced to sort through huge boxes of unsorted coupons to find usable ones.  Please send coupons that are just recently expired, and if you have time – tuck them into envelopes sorted by categories (i.e. Food, Baby, Household Cleaners, Toiletries, Pets….)  Thanks!!


Manilla: FREE Online Organizer for Cards, Bills, Coupons, More!

 

Although we’ve posted about how GREAT Manilla is before – we’d like to remind you about this great organizing tool as you start working on Spring Cleaning your bills, subscriptions, online vouchers and more.

Put those goals in motion today -  Sign up for Manilla!

Sometimes I feel like I’m being crushed under the sheer weight of info I have to keep track of.  If you’re like me, you’re juggling too many balls – and you need about 10 more of yourself to keep them all in the air.   Enter this awesome web-based organizer called Manilla. It’s a totally free service that helps you out BIG TIME by making it easy to manage things like:

  • Bank & Credit Card Accounts
  • Bills like Utilities, Dish or Cable, and Phone
  • Subscriptions to Netflix and magazines
  • Loyalty Programs (auto, hotel, airline, etc…)
  • Vouchers bought from Groupon or Living Social

Keep all this info organized and accessible under *1* Password. Manilla keeps your info secure under just ONE login (so you don’t have to remember all the other ones from all those other credit card, bill, magazine, & daily deal sites). It presents everything in an organized way. Look at the example below of a typical account.

Doesn’t this just make you feel more sane?


Manilla even sends you friendly reminders when it’s time to pay a bill, renew a subscription – or use a reward before it expires! (I LOVE THAT)
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Oh yeah – Manilla has a Free mobile app too!

I almost forgot – they’ve just come out with a new mobile app for iPhone & Android - so you can easily check out your accounts on the go!

How is it Free?

So how is all this awesomeness free? (You’re gonna like this!) Companies are tired of spending all that money on paper bills and statements – and as a result, they’re willing to foot the bill for us to have this Free Bill manager!

Sign up for Manilla Today!

 

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*This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Manilla. All opinions are 100% my own.

Christmas Clearance: Coupons to Print Ahead of Time

The weeks following a big holiday are one of the BEST times to pick up ordinary items to stockpile in your pantry.  For instance, you can stock up BIG TIME on Ziploc bags in the aftermath of Christmas -  while everyone else is running for the toy aisle, you can be making a beeline for the baggies!  Here is a little list of items to hunt down – as well as the coupons you’ll want to print out.  You might want to keep in an envelope or special binder-pocket and bring along as you hit various stores over the next couple weeks.  You never know what you’ll find – so keep your eyes peeled!

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How to Delete or Cancel A Print Job That’s Stuck! (Restart Your Spooler)

Have you ever been printing several things when suddenly one item you were printing gets stuck?  You go to investigate and there’s one print job that has an ERROR – and it won’t allow anything else to print.  ARRGGHH!!  I’ve been there too.  So of course – you click “Delete” to cancel the troublesome print job – and it proceeds to delete until eternity…  It says “Deleting….” but it never actually moves on from that point.

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Coupons.com – Tips for Easier Navigation & Free Membership Offer

 

 If you are tuning in after viewing our segment on WDEF News 12 this morning I’ve included the information we talked about this morning below!  Thanks so much for stopping by.

Recently, Coupons.com made some changes to their site.  Unfortunately, it seems a little slower to load and thus far seems less user friendly.  Just in case you missed our previous post, a hot tip on how to click through pages of coupons faster you can read it here.

Often times we find new printables listed under specific zip codes.  Since coupons.com changed their site, we’ve gotten several emails asking how to search for a specific zip code.  I’ve included a couple of screenshots below to show you how.

 

1.  This is what you’ll see at the top of your screen.

coupons-tutorial

 

2. Click LOCAL COUPONS.

tutorial2 copy

 


3.  Enter Zip Code, then click the orange arrow button.

tutorial3 copy

 

4.  Click back to COUPONS, by clicking the first tab.  You can also scroll through categories of coupons by clicking either food, health care, personal care, etc.  (see arrows below)

tutorial4 copy

That’s the scoop.  It’s super easy!! Click coupons.com to try it.

Just a reminder, right now you can get a FREE 1-Year Subscription to the Coupons.com Savings Club!  This normally costs around $30 per year  and gives you access to higher-value coupons than normally available to print.  It’s an exclusive club for couponers only – and for a limited time only – they’re giving away free membership here.

Coupons.com: How to search under different zip codes.

 

Recently, Coupons.com made some changes to their site.  Unfortunately, it seems a little slower to load and thus far seems less user friendly.  Just in case you missed our previous post, a hot tip on how to click through pages of coupons faster you can read it here.

Often times we find new printables listed under specific zip codes.  Since coupons.com changed their site, we’ve gotten several emails asking how to search for a specific zip code.  I’ve included a couple of screenshots below to show you how.

 

1.  This is what you’ll see at the top of your screen.

coupons-tutorial

 

2. Click LOCAL COUPONS.

tutorial2 copy

 


3.  Enter Zip Code, then click the orange arrow button.

tutorial3 copy

 

4.  Click back to COUPONS, by clicking the first tab.  You can also scroll through categories of coupons by clicking either food, health care, personal care, etc.  (see arrows below)

tutorial4 copy

That’s the scoop.  It’s super easy!! Click coupons.com to try it.

Just a reminder, right now you can get a FREE 1-Year Subscription to the Coupons.com Savings Club!  This normally costs around $30 per year  and gives you access to higher-value coupons than normally available to print.  It’s an exclusive club for couponers only – and for a limited time only – they’re giving away free memberships….  Click here for the scoop.

Coupon Tip: Bad Trips Happen to Good People (Even Us!)

When I was just getting started couponing, I remember going out to Walgreens for an amazing diaper deal.  We were on a very tight budget – so much so that I was nervous to spend $20 all at once on diapers, even if it was making for an awesome deal.  Well – things went from nervous to terrible when I got to the register and things went wrong.  I don’t remember the details – except that when I walked out my door I was giddy with excitement, telling my husband about thes Huggies diapers that would be $2.50 a pack – and when I came home, I’d spent much more than that.  I was in tears and very discouraged.  I felt like I’d been tricked, and that failure alone made me want to pack it up and quit.

Beginners aren’t the only ones who have a tough trip now and again though.  Let me tell you about my day….

I had my trip to Bi-Lo pretty much planned out – I’d printed my list and coupons, I tossed my inserts into my carry-all, and I headed out the door to run errands with my five-year old in tow.  We’re down to one car now, and I had a lot to fit in today – the bank, some returns at various stores, school pickups and of course Bi-Lo.  I took a few minutes in the Kohl’s parking lot to clip everything out and when I pulled into Bi-Lo parking lot I hopped out of the van and made a bee-line for all my items.

  1. The first snag I hit was that some of my best deals were sold out – and I’d have to get rainchecks.  I was going to be cutting it close to pick up my middle-schooler – so this was going to be time I might not have at the end of my trip.
  2. As I got to the register, I pulled out my $.55/1 coupons for Pepsi 2-Liters (when doubled, it should’ve made them free!).  They didn’t double.  I’d failed to notice that the barcode started with a 9 (meaning the cash register would automatically not double them).  Sigh…..  I got them anyway at $.45 each.
  3. Then when I went to pull out my stack of coupons for the rest of the items, I couldn’t find it.  I stood there apologizing to the folks behind me – asking my 5 year old and my cashier to please be patient with me – and proceeded to dump my purse into the shopping cart searching frantically.  They just weren’t there!

Long story short – I was embarrased and upset, because I paid more than I’d hoped and I’d sweat bullets while searching high and low for a stack of coupons that had just up and disappeared.  On top of that, I was out of time and so I couldn’t get my rainchecks either.  UGH!

Life happens – and when it does, you have to pick yourself up out of that occasional bad trip and learn a little lesson from it.  I learned something I should know well by know – being prepared is really important when you plan a coupon trip.  Also – giving yourself the time you really need to shop will cut down on lots of the stress.

Despite all that – I’m here to tell you that it’s worth sticking with it. Even in this bad trip – I still saved around 50% by getting mostly BOGO deals. I’ve saved my family so much money in the past 3 years – and my time spent couponing each week is the equivalent to if I were working part time to help make ends meet.  Although couponing can be tough, it’s extremely worthwhile when you look at the big picture.

Have you had a “Bad Trip” lately?  Please share it with us!  Misery loves company :)

 

 

Coupon Tip: 5 Ways to Save Money on Meat

Hey – You don’t have to worry about pink slime being added to your ground beef if you’ve just watched your butcher take a chuck roast and grind it in front of you!

People who attend our coupon workshops always ask how to save money on meat.  Ground Beef has risen in price quite a bit in the last couple years.  I remember when my “buy” price for lean ground beef was around $1.50/lb.  Lately – it’s hard to find it for less than $2.50/lb. One way to get cheap ground beef is to take whatever beef is on sale for the week (For instance, this week, Bi-Lo has London Broil on sale Buy One Get One Free) and ask your store butcher to grind it for you, or grind it yourself.

There are several benefits to doing this:

  1. You can get a sale price on ground beef nearly every week – whether “ground beef” is on sale or not
  2. You’ll be able to get leaner ground beef for the same price (or cheaper) than the more fatty, processed ground beef
  3. You’ll get FRESHER ground beef
  4. You won’t have to worry about the dreaded “pink slime” being added to lots of ground beef these days.

You’d be surprised at how willing your butcher is to not only grind your beef, but also cut it into cubes (for grilling kabobs or stew meat) or into steaks (from a roast).  Just be extra-friendly when you ask !

More ways to save money on meat:

  • Look for meat markdowns.
    Snatch up meat that has been marked down for quick sale – just make sure you use, cook or freeze it right away!  Watch our video - Meat Markdowns at Bi-Lo
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  • Find Rebates & Coupons for Meat.
    Many times around grilling season especially, you can find tearpads for rebates that include meat purchases – Read our post “The Beer Aisle: A Hot Spot for Coupons”.  Sometimes you can also find coupons for meat – a good place to look is Coupons.com – just search the “food” category.
  • Buy a Side of Beef.
    Find a local supplier and go in on it with another family.  This is a great way to know the quality of your beef is good – most local ranchers are proud to offer hormone-free, grain fed beef.