Coupons in the Beer Aisle? You bet!
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.
Today is the first day of the month – and that means TONS of new coupons will be added to Coupons.com, CouponNetwork, SmartSource and RedPlum – as well as many manufacturer sites. This is awesome news – unless of course, you’re currently out of ink…. :( But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all these “first day of the month” coupons!
While some of you may already know this – I want to put this tip out there for those of you who may not:
- Go ahead and click all the coupons you want and hit print, just as you would if you had ink in the printer. Just make sure your printer is NOT connected to your computer. Every time it gives you an alert message, just hit “Okay”. You’ll be lining up a whole bunch of awesome coupons in your printer.
Now when you do refill on ink – plug your printer back into your computer and all those coupons waiting in line will print out for you – even if they’ve become unavailable in the meantime!
For other ways to save on ink – here are just a few tips:
- Choose black ink and print in greyscale only
- In settings, switch to a low quality or dpi (less saturated with ink)
- When printing a coupon which has a large ink-guzzling ad after it, just hit “cancel” after the coupon prints and before the ad starts
- Take advantage of office supply store rewards to pay for ink (freebies in the form of store cash)
- Shop online specials on re-manufactured ink cartridges at 4Inkjets
Do you have any tips to save on ink? We’d love to hear them!
We all know about the paper coupons that we print or clip from the paper. They’re pretty straightforward – you cut them out and hand them over – get a discount and move along. But have you tried using eCoupons yet?
eCoupons are electronic coupons that you load onto a store loyalty card (For instance, your CVS card, Bi-Lo card or Kroger Plus card). There are several different companies offering eCoupons, and some let you stack these electronic savings with paper coupons, but some don’t. They do NOT double, and they only apply once (So if you load an eCoupon for toilet paper, it will only apply to one toilet paper package) Here’s the lowdown:
SavingStar eCoupons: Load to your card and the savings go into your SavingStar account. When you reach $5, you can pick your payout to come either via PayPal ($5 Credit), or as a $5 Amazon Giftcard, or to your bank account. While in the past these were allowed in conjunction with paper coupons – they have recently adjusted the wording on their site to discourage this. To be safe – don’t use these alongside a paper coupon.
UPromise eCoupons: Load to your card and the savings go into your children’s college savings account or your own student loan repayment accounts – or you can simply request a check. You’ll even get a $5 Giftcard when you join UPromise to get you started! These CAN be used alongside Manufacturer coupons.
P&G eSaver Coupons: Load to your card and save on P&G products in store. These can NOT be stacked with other Manufacturer Coupons.
Bi-Lo eCoupons: Bi-Lo eCoupons are really just store coupons you load onto your card. You’ll need to register your card on their site to load them. They come out with new ones every week and even advertise them in their weekly ad. They CAN be used alongside paper coupons.
Food Lion eCoupons: Also known as “Clip to Card” coupons, they can be loaded onto your MVP card once you’ve registered it on the Food Lion site. These coupons are a grey area and don’t have specific language stating whether or not you can use them alongside a paper coupon.
Target Mobile Coupons: These are a little different than the coupons you load to your card – these Target store coupons are loaded onto your mobile phone and the barcode is scanned at the register! These CAN be combined with Manufacturer coupons.
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:
- You can get a sale price on ground beef nearly every week – whether “ground beef” is on sale or not
- You’ll be able to get leaner ground beef for the same price (or cheaper) than the more fatty, processed ground beef
- You’ll get FRESHER ground beef
- 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.
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!
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!
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:
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.