Couponing for the Rest of Us

Tutorial : Internet Printables

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The Beer Aisle: A Hot Spot for Coupons & Rebates!

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Now, let me start by assuring you we are NOT suggesting you take up drinking :)

What we ARE suggesting, is that you look in unlikely places for great coupons!  You may not think that some of the best coupons can be found between the Old Milwaukee and Budweiser….  but you’d be wrong!  The beer aisle is one of the first places I head to in the grocery/drugstores/gas stations to check for tearpads.  While most of them are rebates for buying beer (or a beer + food combo) – there are often regular coupons that say specifically “No Beer Purchase Required”.

Isn’t that awesome??

My favorite “beerpad” of the year so far is the Pabst Blue Ribbon tearpad.  It is good for $1 off ANY fresh or frozen pizza priced at $1.99 or more.  That can make for GREAT deals during a BOGO sale, or paired with deals like the Bi-Lo pizza meal deals we see so often.

Another tearpad I just found this week was at a gas station down the road.  It is good for $.59 off Lance Peanuts (Which are exactly $.59)  And although Miller is depicted all over the coupon – it simply says “Compliments of Miller Lite”.  That means FREE PEANUTS!

I hope you start taking a closer look at the “Beerpads” in your neck of the woods!

NO Beer Purchase Required Rebates:

Super-Cool Fact: Most beer rebates require you to purchase a certain amount of alcohol in addition to meat, soda, snacks, etc…   However, in some lucky states (AL, AR, CT, HI, KY, ME, MD, MO, NC, NJ, NY, OK, UT and WV) you are not required to purchase beer in order to get the rebate.  The law prohibits it.  Which means, you can buy the item – and NOT the alcholol – and get money back!

Example of a Beer Rebate in a “lucky state”:

Purchase Heineken 12-Pack + $7 worth of Deli Meat – Get a $5 Rebate.
You are a lucky duck, and were buying deli meat anyway
Send in the rebate and your meat receipt
= Super cheap deli meat for you!

There are folks that save TONS using these beer rebates, they even look for them on Ebay!  Our friend Kristen is one of these savvy shoppers in a lucky state, and she suggests searching the term “Beer Rebates” to find them.

Let us know if you find any good ones in your beer aisle!

Coupon Binder Tutorial!! FINALLY!! Binder

So many of you have asked us how to start a coupon binder.  We put this tutorial together for you and tried to be as thorough as possible. (Click “Full Screen View” to see everything more clearly) 
Links to store policies that are published are below. 
Helpful Downloads:
  1. Learning the Lingo HERE (simple version), HERE (detailed list)
  2. Printable Meal Planner HERE
  3. Walmart Corporate Coupon Policy HERE, price matching policy HERE, and FAQ’s HERE
  4. Rite Aid Coupon Policy HERE

Online Store:
We now have Binders, Baseball Card Holders & All You Magazine available online to purchase HERE.


Rainchecks: Don’t Pass Them Up!

One of the things that can be a hitch in your coupon giddy-up, is when sale items are sold out.  For instance, I’m betting that many of you weren’t able to get your hands on the FREE Theraflu at CVS this week.  Or perhaps the FREE Irish Spring was just a big empty spot on the shelf at Walgreens.   That can be so discouraging, when you’ve spent time clipping and planning!

I thought it would be a good idea to share with you, in case you weren’t aware, that Rain Checks are some of the easiest and most time-saving ways to make sure you get the deals you’re after.  With a raincheck in your hand, you can return to the store later and “Make your own sale” by just handing over your slip of paper.

Plus, there is no need to rush to the store and fight off the binder-toting coupon crowd, only to realize the shelf is empty.  Take a deep breath, maintain your composure, and kindly ask your cashier to write you a Rain Check for the items you want!  Here’s why you should love rainchecks too:

  • While you wait for the item to restock, you may come across more coupons.  When the clerk asks “How many?’ – I ask “What’s the limit?” even if I don’t have that many coupons at the time.  Given a couple weeks, you’ll probably come across more coupons to use (or better ones)!
  • The selection will not be picked through when you return at a later date.  You don’t want the 2 measly packages of shortbread cookies on the shelf, do you?  You want the Chocolate-Chip Pecan Sandies you had dreamed of!  It’s fine if you ask for a raincheck for a particular flavor/variety that is out as well!  For instance, a few weeks ago at Publix, I requested a raincheck for the Four Cheese Pasta Sauce – even though every other variety was in stock.
  • With a raincheck tucked away in your binder, you can wait for the best possible time to use it.  I got a raincheck for B1G1 Schick Quattro’s at Rite-Aid a few months ago.  I only had one coupon to begin with.  By the time I went back to use it, I had found another coupon so that both were free, AND those razors were earning a Single Check Rebate that would give me money back!

The rules of rainchecks differ from store to store, but you are usually allowed to wait at least a month before redeeming them.  Rite-Aid and Walgreens rainchecks say that they “should” be redeemed within 30 days from the date written.  CVS and Publix, however, have no expiration date whatsoever.

  • CVS will issue you the original Extra Care Bucks Deal upon redemption, but it is a good idea to remind the clerk of the exact details of the sale/deal when they’re writing it out- just in case they’re not familiar with it.
  • Rite-Aid, in my experience, writes the raincheck to reflect the price the item WOULD have been, after considering the +UP reward.  I believe this differs from store to store.
  • Walgreens does NOT write Rainchecks for Register Rewards.  They do write them for sale prices, however.

So remember – asking for a raincheck is NOT a waste of time.  In fact, we really want you to remember to ask for them – which is why we left you space on the Time2Save Printable List to jot down raincheck notes as you make your way through the store.  (It’s the big box on the right!)  My box is usually full of notes like:

- Bertolli Sauce 4-Cheese BOGO
- Coffee-Mate 32 oz Vanilla BOGO
- Allegra Allergy 5ct $6.99 FREE w/ECB’s

Use Our Printable Shopping List!


1)
Take advantage of our fun *Shopping List* feature by checking the boxes to the left of items you want. (See below)  As you check them off, they will fade a bit, so you can focus on the rest of the items.

 

2) You will see your list pop up in the bottom right corner of your screen.  Each item you check will add itself to your shopping list! (See below)

3) When you’re finished, click PRINT! A Pop-up window will appear. (see below)
You can remove items and make extra notes in the provided boxes (like “Grab a raincheck” or “Look for Cheerios Coupon Booklet”)

And now, you’re ready to go!

How to use a BOGO Coupon on a BOGO Sale.

NOTE: The following only applies to stores who offer “True BOGO” (I.e. Drugstores & regional grocery stores).  Stores that actually give you 1/2 off the price of a BOGO item don’t apply in this reasoning.

We get lots of questions about using a BOGO coupon on a BOGO sale –

  • How can it make both items free?
  • Is is cheating?

We’ve had problems with it oursevles – about 1/3 of the times I’ve tried, I’ve had problems.   Most of those problems, however, were because the cashier either didn’t understand the logic behind it or didn’t know the store’s policy – but if YOU know it well enough to firmly (but kindly) stand your ground,  you should have fewer difficulties.  Here’s the logic and the documentation to back it up!

Logic behind using a ‘Buy One Get One Free’ Coupon for a ‘Buy One Get One Free’ Sale:

  1. When a store offers BOGO sale, we pay for one item, and the STORE gives us the 2nd item free. (One item is FREE)
  2. When we use a BOGO coupon, we pay for one item and  the MANUFACTURER gives us the 2nd item free. (One item is FREE.)

When you use a BOGO coupon on a BOGO sale, you are paying for item #1 with the coupon (FREE), and receiving item #2 from the store (FREE).  *Remember – Coupons are like Cash – a form of payment.*


The manufacturer will reimburse the store for the value of one FREE item (from the BOGO coupon).

The store takes responsibility for the value of the OTHER FREE item given (from the BOGO sale).


Ethics of BOGO  on BOGO:

UPDATE: Rite-Aid has since changed their policy to DISALLOW using a BOGO coupon on a BOGO sale.

Just because you are clever enough to take advantage of a store offer at the same time as a Manufacturer offer does not mean you are “Cheating”. This is totally ethical, and is supported in the Rite-Aid Coupon Policy HERE - as well as the Walgreens coupon policy HERE - and is not prohibited in the CVS coupon policy.
Here’s the Rite-Aid Quote:

“If a customer presents a Buy One Get One Free coupon for the purchase of two items that are on a Buy One Get One Free promotion; we accept the coupon, essentially making both items free.”

If you’ve kindly explained a BOGO situation to your cashier, and presented a printout (if available) of the policy and they STILL won’t allow it – you may want to simply find a store that is more coupon-knowledgable/friendly.

Catalinas: A Mini-Refresher Course!

With the Bi-Lo catalinas making for $.30 Fiber One Bars & $.50 Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks this week (See Here), we’ve had a few email questions about catalinas.  I thought it’d be helpful to pause and have a mini-refresher course!

* You can also watch this video of me working a Betty Crocker Fruit Snack Catalina.
* You can also check out the current National Catalina List HERE.
* If more “Coupon Lingo” has you scratching your head – head over to Learning the Lingo!

What is a Catalina?

  • A catalina is one of those coupons that occasionally print at the register for no apparent reason.  I love them – and I want you to love them too!

[Read more...]

Free Giftcards with Swagbucks (NEW Friday Show & Tell!)

Have you been hearing about Swagbucks but haven’t had the time to really check it out? Now is that time! Click on the image below to view a Get-To-Know Swagbucks Guide with helpful screenshots.  This is one more way to put aside a little on the road to a Purposeful Peaceful Christmas!

Join Swagbucks & build a nest egg of Free Gift Cards.

One of our FAVORITE ways to earn gift cards is by using Swagbucks. Kelly, Kasey, Rosie, Robin, Deal Detective Kim & I (Jamie) all use Swagbucks on a daily basis to earn giftcards.  Just download the toolbar HERE, use that to search for all your normal sites, and randomly win “Bucks” througout the day!  (450 Bucks = $5 Amazon Gift Card!)

*NEW* Friday SwagBucks Show-N-Tell

Starting TODAY – we’ll be hosting a Swagbucks Show & Tell every Friday for you to keep track of how many Bucks you’ve earned over the week.  Let’s work together to earn a few gift certificates to use for Christmas Shopping!   Just leave a comment or link-up (if you’re a blogger) below to “Show & Tell” your Swagbucks Wins.   And hey – attach your screenshots if you have them – we want to see proof! :)