Couponing for the Rest of Us

Coupon Tip: Always Get Rainchecks! (My Finish Detergent Deal)

You may hear couponers complaining sometimes that the deals and coupons just aren’t what they used to be – and to some extent, that’s true.  It seems like prices go up, coupon values go down, and stores get a little more restrictive as time goes by.  That’s not to say we don’t still come across plenty of amazing deals – but it’s fun to pull out Rainchecks I got awhile back and use them here and there for a better deal.  Rainchecks are basically promise notes you get when  products that are part of an advertised sale are out of stock – the store promises that whenever you come back with your raincheck in hand, you can get the deal/price you were wanting today.

Interesting Tidbit: CVS rainchecks currently have no expiration date.  I have some from nearly 3 years ago just waiting for a time I need the items, or when some truly amazing coupons come out to pair them with.

This week CVS has Finish Electrasol Dishwashing tablets as part of an ECB Deal – and it reminded me that I have a raincheck for these tucked in my coupon binder.  I fished it out, and it was better that this week’s deal – check it out:

Raincheck Deal from last year: Buy $20 in Finish Products @ $3 each ~ Get $10 Extra Care Bucks
Deal for this week: Buy $20 in Finish Products @ $3.50 each ~ Get $10 Extra Care Bucks

I handed over my raincheck and bought 7 boxes of Finish Gelpacs for $21
I used (7) $.75/1 Finish Coupons
I paid $15.75 ~ Got $10 Extra Care Bucks back

That’s just $5.75 for 8 boxes of Finish Geltabs, or $.82 each!

Read more about the Rainchecks and how to get them in our post HERE


Coupon Abbreviations, Slang & Lingo to Know!

We couponers use a lot of abbreviations and special “lingo” to talk about deals.  It’s a sort of shorthand that makes our lives easier and saves our fingers some typing – but when you’re new to the couponing world, it can be confusing and overwhelming!

Here is an extensive field-guide to coupon abbreviations and lingo you’ll find us using here on Time2Save (New couponers, you may want to bookmark this page for easy reference!)

Coupon Inserts:

  • SS – Smart Source
  • RP – Red Plum
  • PG – Proctor & Gamble
  • GM – General Mills

Other Abbreviations:

  • $1/1 – $1 dollar off when you buy 1 product
  • $2/2 – $2 dollars off when you buy 2 products
  • BOGO or B1G1 – Buy one Get one Free
  • B2G1 – Buy two get one free
  • Cat – Catalina Reward
  • CRT – Cash Register Tape (usually refers to coupons found on a receipt)
  • DND – Do Not Double (some coupons say this on the bottom)
  • ECB – Extra Care Bucks, the CVS “store money” you earn on certain purchases
  • EXP – Expires on … (followed by date)
  • FAR – Free After Rebate
  • FLIP – Food Lion Internet Printable (Store coupons released weekly)
  • GC – Gift Card
  • HIPS – Harvey’s Internet Printable Coupons (Store coupons released weekly)
  • IP – Internet Printed coupon
  • IVC – Instant Value Coupon (Walgreens store coupons found in the ad or monthly booklet)
  • MFR – Manufacturer
  • MIR – Mail In Rebate
  • MM – Money Maker
  • MQ – Manufacturer Coupon
  • OOP – Out of Pocket
  • OOS – Out of Stock
  • OYNO – On Your Next Order
  • PSA – Prices Start At…
  • Q – Coupon
  • RIB – Reinventing Beauty Magazine found at CVS quarterly, full of store and mfr. coupons
  • RR – Register Reward printed at the end of a transaction at Walgreen’s in the form of a Catalina
  • SCR - Single Check Rebate (Rite-Aid rebate issued in the form of a check)
  • +UP – Rite-Aid “store money” (+ Up Rewards) earned on certain purchases
  • WAGS - Walgreens
  • WYB – When You Buy
  • YMMV – Your Mileage May Vary (in other words, this may vary from store to store)

Other Coupon Lingo:

  • Advantage Buy Flyer – Publix Coupon Flyers (Yellow-Grocery, Green-Health & Beauty)
  • Blinkie – A small box that dispenses coupons in a store, usually placed near the product
  • Catalina – Coupon that prints at the register when you buy a specific group of products
  • Double Coupon  - A coupon that a grocery store doubles in value
  • eCoupon – Electronic coupon that you load onto your store loyalty card
  • Filler – An inexpensive item used to bring your total up to a certain amount (mostly Walgreens)
  • Hangtag/Winetag - A coupon hanging from the neck of a product
  • Insert – Coupons that come in Sunday Newspaper
  • Overage -  The value of your coupons/rewards is greater than the cost of the item
  • Peelie – A coupon in the form of a sticker that has to be peeled off to redeem
  • Rain Check – Piece of paper given when a sale item is out of stock, guaranteeing the sale price valid for a later date
  • Rebate – Mail in offer for money or some other reward when certain items are purchased
  • Rolling – Separating orders to using one catalina or store reward to pay for the next transaction
  • Scanner Q – CVS Store Coupon that prints from the red machine when you scan your card
  • Stacking – Using a manufacturer coupon AND a store coupon together for more savings
  • Tearpad – A pad of coupons placed near a product

Slang you may hear in the Coupon Forums or Comments:

Some of this is just common internet slang – but I know when I first started reading the forums I was lost on some of these for a good long while!

  • BTW – By The Way
  • DD – Dear Daughter
  • DH – Dear Husband
  • DS – Dear Son
  • DIL – Daughter in Law
  • FS – Free Shipping
  • GDA – Good Deal Alert
  • HTH – Hope That Helps!
  • IMHO – In My Humble Opinion
  • ISO – In Search Of
  • LOL – Laughing Out Loud
  • ROFL – Rolling on the Floor Laughing
  • SAHM – Stay At Home Mom
  • SIL – Son in Law
  • TIA – Thanks In Advance

I hope this list helps you, but remember we’re always here to answer any questions you may have. Please leave us a comment and let us know if you have any that should be added to this list!

Couponing with Kids in Tow: Tips, tricks & humor to help you cope!

Couponing at the grocery or drug store takes patience and focus – and let’s face it, with kids in tow (especially the little ones) those qualities tend to fly out the window faster than you can say “Sit back down in the buggy and stop smacking your brother!”  If you’ve forgotten what it’s like – CHECK THIS OUT!

So how is a couponer to manage?  In a perfect world, our husbands would walk into the room and say “Sweetie, why don’t you take some time to get your list together and then go out for a couple hours.  I’ve got the kids – take your time!”  But even those of us who are blessed with wonderful husbands would probably fall out of our chairs if we ever heard those words.

So here’s what I do ….  I don’t take my kids. 

Unless I can’t help it, I will wrangle my schedule around so that I can go out once a week at nighttime, and I’ll hit every store I need to hit all in one fell swoop.  I’ll stop at CVS on my way to Bi-Lo, make a pass at Walgreens on my way back – and call it a week!  On an awesome Publix week, I have to plan a little harder because that’s a  20 minute drive for me – but for enough great deals I can make it happen.

These late night trips are pretty exhausting, but I spend the couple days ahead of time getting my list together, printing and clipping my coupons during a naptime or after the kids are in bed, and double checking on the shopping day for any last-minute finds.  Being prepared it the best way to get in and out quickly and with everything you planned to get.

Phone a Friend:

Those times when I haven’t been able to get my husband to watch the kids – I’ve swapped “shopping times” with a friend.  My friend Tessie used to come over and hang out with our kids while I ran out to the store – and then I’d come back and do the same for her.

In a pinch – I’ve even sent my coupons and list (prepared extra carefully to be considerate) with her while she went on a trip for the both of us.

There are usually ways to make it work – and it just makes it all so much easier when you can run in and out by yourself!

But what if leaving the kids at home is not an option?

Here are some tips to keep the kids happy and maintain your sanity while shopping with kids and coupons:

  • Prepare – Prepare – Prepare!  If everything is printed, clipped, sorted and listed – you will be better able to stay on track.  I even mark on my lists how many coupons I have for each item I’m buying – that way I don’t ever have to pull out the coupons to count them.  (Less chance for them to get knocked to the floor)
  • Bring a snack, that way when the inevitable asking begins – you don’t have to splurge.
  • Think of a grocery game you can play with the kids – I like to have mine play “Spot the blinkie machines and tearpads” and I award them imaginary points for each one they find.  That helps me not miss any – and keeps them occupied.
  • Ask them to help you load things into the cart – just keep them busy doing little things to help mommy – idle hands and all that….
  • Find out if your store offers balloons, stickers, lollipops, etc…  For me, the time waiting at the register is the most stressful part – so a well-timed lollipop from our friendly Bi-Lo bagger is always a welcome distraction!

What tips do you have for couponing with kids?    Please share them in the comment section below!

Instagram: Do you have a favorite “filter” or “effect” that you use or do you use them all? #iheartsavvy


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When You Need a Break from Couponing (Part 2)

I got 10 packs of Trix Yogurt for $.59 each!

Couponing can be stressful and overwhelming at times, especially when you need to run out for groceries and you just don’t have time to check the ads, print coupons, clip them and form a gameplan.  You’re not alone – we’ve ALL needed a break from time to time, and there are options to combat “coupon fatigue”!  (In fact, last night Kasey co-hosted a chat as part of Ebates Savvy Living Community on just that topic!  You can view it HERE)

In the first part of this series, we talked about UGO Grocery Outlets.  I live near one, and this week was able to pick up 8 boxes of Sunkist Fruit Rollups for $.50 each!  I also got Kraft American Cheese Slices 24-pk for $1.99 and Smart Balance Peanut Butter for $1.49.  (Woohoo!)

Here are some more places that I like to shop when I just don’t have the energy to coupon:

  • Aldi  (Yep – we do weekly lists for them too!)
  • UGO (United Grocery Outlet)
  • Big Lots
  • Merita Bakery Thrift Stores (Do a Google search to find one near you)
  • Little Debbie Thrift Stores (Do a Google search to find one near you)
    *I picked up Blueberry Mini-Muffins for $.50 per box a couple weeks ago!

Where are your go-to places for good deals without coupons?  Please share them in the comments!

New Video: Bi-Lo Shopping with Kasey (FREE Bounty Napkins!)

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Watch the video above to see Kasey’s “Happy Dance”.  Oh yeah, and also how to shop at Bi-Lo for free things…. ;)

Currently, Bi-Lo has Bounty Napkins (the small pack) on Price Lock for $1. Using the $.50/1 Bounty Napkins coupon from the 4/1 P&G Insert, we were able to get FREE napkins this week!

“Good Things Come in Small Packages”:
One tip to keep in mind when couponing is that sometimes the smallest-sized products are the best deal (I know, counter-intuitive when you’re used to buying in bulk to save money, right?). Because some coupons don’t have size restrictions on them, you can use a high-value coupon on a low-priced item to get it FREE!

How To Print Coupons Online

Using coupons is a great way to save money – heck, we’ve devoted a whole site to it! – but you’ve got to get some coupons in your hands before you can start.  Printing coupons online is an easy way to get them right now – on almost anything you could imagine.  Manufacturers release a limited number of coupons online for consumers to print out – usually with a limit of 2 prints per person.(Your computer won’t let you print more after that)

Here’s how to access and print those coupons from your computer:

  1. Register for Coupon Sites:  First, register for the following coupon printing sites and install each of their coupon printer software when prompted.  The major sites that offer printable coupons are totally safe and will not send you spam or put spyware on your computer – they are:
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  2. Manufacturer & Store Websites: You will also be able to print some coupons directly from manufacturer and store websites – like Pillsbury.com or Target.com.  These are safe as well and in most cases will send you an e-newsletter occasionally with new coupon offers or product info.
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  3. Problems Printing?  In most cases, switching browsers will solve your printing problems.  Some browsers work better for different sites, I use Firefox, and I usually have no problems printing at all.
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  4. Searching for a specific Coupon:  Most of the main coupon printing sites will have categories that allow you to find a certain coupon more quickly (Like “Baby” or “Beverages”).  If you don’t see a coupon that we mentioned here on Time2Save, you may want to try changing your zipcode.  Some coupons are targeted at specific parts of the country, and changing your zipcode to that of a large city (for instance, 90210) may bring up a wider array of coupons.One more great way to search for a coupon is to visit our Coupon Database!  This is a search engine that ONLY searches coupons – so just type in what you’re looking for (i.e. Frosted Mini Wheats) and it will pull up the links where coupons for Frosted Mini Wheats are available to print!
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  5. Print 2 Coupons: In most cases, you can print each coupon twice by using your back arrow or simply going through the process again to print.

Welcome: Workshop Information, Helpful Links & More!


Hey ya’ll!!  We met so many of you yesterday at the Kidz Fest in Chattanooga.  Thanks so much for stopping by our booth.   We have a FREE Community Wide Workshop on June 9th, from 10:00 am – 12:30pm at Redemption Point Church in Ooltewah, TN.  Please help us prepare for the event by registering online here.

Registration fee for this event is waived with the donation of a non-perishable food item.  This is a one time free event, Time 2 $ave Couponing Workshops are usually $10 per family.

If you have thought about using coupons, or attempted without success, don’t quit now. Learning an entire new mindset to shopping doesn’t happen overnight. It will take time to understand the process, take one step at a time. I (Kasey) remember the first time I saved $12.00 on my grocery bill, I floated out to the parking lot to my car. We encourage you to celebrate those moments, give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy how great it feels to save.

Now, to keep this in perspective we don’t LOVE COUPONS. We don’t wake up every morning excited to cut up coupons or jump on every deal that we can find. Simply put – couponing just happened to be the tool that brought hope to our family’s finances. Most importantly it has afforded us the incredible opportunity to give into the lives of others in ways we never imagined.

 

Couponing has to FIT into YOUR LIFE ~ NOT become YOUR LIFE.

 

Helpful Links:

  • How to use our site here.
  • Printable Grocery “Buy Price” List here
  • Learning the lingo short version here & detailed version here.
  • Links to Printable Coupon Sites here
  • Newest Printable Coupons here
  • Problems Printing Coupons here
  • Rainchecks – Don’t Pass them up! here
  • Freezer help printable list here.
  • News 12 This Morning Weekly Savings Segments here (video archive July 2011 – current)

Don’t Miss These Hot Deals!   

  • Photo Deals here
  • Freebies & More here
  • Hot Deals / Flutterbuys here
  • Two great ways to earn free gift cards and a quarterly check in the mail here.

Grocery and Drug Store Sales matched with Coupons
You can check out our grocery store and drug store match-ups – click here. You’ll see a list of grocery, drug and national retail stores – from here, click the store that you shop at and you’ll be directed to that stores weekly sale items matched with coupons. Don’t worry we walk you step by step through the process at a workshop.

Don’t Miss a Deal!
We update the blog all day long – you don’t want to miss out on the HOT deals we find. Some are very time sensitive – in that case twitter is a great way to be notified each time we update the site. Join our facebook community of over 22,900 and growing strong. It’s a great place to connect with other couponers, share your deals, ask each other questions, and of  see deals that we ONLY post on facebook.  Make sure to click “like” on several post on fb to ensure that you’ll see updates.  Of course you don’t want to miss our daily FREE newsletter that summarizes that days posting here.  

 

You’ll see quickly that we want to offer our community much more than just grocery/drug store savings. Only a small part of our life is spent at the grocery store. We want to speak encouragement to each of you, bring you content that is relative to your life, introduce you to thousands of others in our community and have FUN all at the same time!

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Join our growing Time 2 $ave Facebook Community, follow us on twitter, subscribe to our daily email and subscribe to our You Tube Channel.