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
    .
  • 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.

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!