Saturday, May 7, 2011

Making Some Changes

Within the next week, we plan to unveil our blog makeover.
 So, don't be surprised if you visit and suddenly things look a little different.

We are so excited about the changes, but want to be sure that everything on the blog remains. So, we are going to take a little time to tweak the changes.

Stay tuned, it's gonna be great! Until then, we will continue to post so that you don't miss a great deal!!

Wal Mart Dryer Sheets Under a Buck!

Wal Mart has Gain Dryer Sheets-40 count- for $1.87.

Use your $1/1 Gain Detergent or Fabric Enhancer 5/1/2011 P&G Insert (exp 6/30/2011)
Check out THIS eBay BUY IT NOW AUCTION  for 20 $1/1 Gain Detergent or Dryer Sheets (Exp 5/31/2011) and really stock up!

And get the 40 count dryer sheets for $0.87 EACH!

Perhaps Snuggle is more your thing?

Well, VISIT SNUGGLE'S FACEBOOK PAGE and print a $1/1 Coupon. You can print this coupon TWICE!!

Or, visit THIS eBay BUY IT NOW AUCTION and get 20 $0.75/1 Snuggle Dryer Sheet coupons to really stock up.

With the Facebook page coupon you get the 40 count dryer sheets for just $0.87 EACH!

Disclaimer: Ya Ya is not the eBay seller of these auctions.
The purpose of this post is to show you that you CAN save money without having to have clipped a coupon from your Sunday paper.

Until next time:

Extreme Couponers Grew Their Stockpiles Slowly Too

Couponing seems to have become a phenomenon as of late. I suppose we have Extreme Couponing on TLC to thank for that. The realization is that coupons have been in existence since at least 1894. It was Asa Candler, the co-owner of Coca-Cola who seems to be credited for handing out the first coupon. His was a coupon for a free coke. The effort to market his new soft drink seemed to pay off too, considering that with in a 10 year period, Coca-Cola was available for purchase in every state in the country. It took a total of 20 years, but apparently one in nine Americans eventually received their free Coca-Cola soft drink. (Boy, he doesn't know he missed by not having a Facebook page!)

In 1895, C. W. Post issued a 1 CENT coupon to market his new cereal: Grape Nuts.

In the 1930's, because our economy was struggling, clipping coupons became a necessity for struggling families.

By 1965, half of all American households were clipping coupons.

Thanks to the internet, printable coupons became an option for coupon clippers. It also helped retailers to go "global" and offer coupon codes to boost their sales.

As you can see, coupons really have been around for a long time.

And just as the coupon came to be, so must your couponing skills. Slowly, with a well thought out process.

It can be frustrating, I know, to see the stockpile pictures of others. Reading about the "scores" and seeing the pictures of glorious stockpiles that seasoned-vets of couponing have amassed can be both uplifting and confusing at the same time.
Uplifting because you suddenly realize that it really can be accomplished.
Confusing because you don't seem to have the great coupons those people have.

It is said that it takes at least 30 days to learn a new habit. I recommend taking those 30 days to ramp up your organization skills, to collect your coupons, and to come to terms with your current shopping habits. Once you have done so, you can become readily prepared to shop differently and successfully. Those amassed stockpiles are the result of work, determination, and changes to old habits.

One of the biggest concerns I hear from new couponers is that the coupons they received in this past Sunday's paper don't match up with the current sale ads. For the most part, new couponers are right, they don't. There's a reason for that.

Coupons are a marketing tool. They are placed in the paper because manufacturer's hope that you will do one thing: Run to the store and grab their item. This becomes a source of confusion for couponers starting out because they simply don't know if they are getting the best deal with that coupon. Many times I hear : "The coupon came out, I went to the store and bought the item. Two weeks later, the item went on sale and I could have saved more money."
Yes, you could have. Yes, it frustrates me too.

This is where 30 days to learn a new habit, really resonates. Products typically go on sale in cycles. Coupons come out almost every Sunday. If you run out and spend those coupons right away, you will typically spend more than you have to on an item. But if you wait, and do some research, you will likely find a sale within a couple weeks that makes that coupon a huge savings. It's been proven again and again. Just look at those stockpile pictures of the coupon vets.

New couponers express confusion, as well. While looking at a veteran couponer's stockpile pictures, they see a mini-grocery store. When they look at what they are buying they see a shelf of feminine pads, baby diapers, hairspray and ketchup. (Or what ever they were able to get a great deal on.) Discouragement sets in because those items don't relate to each other. They, often, are not sure why it's important to buy 10 ketchups with a coupon. They see those 10 ketchups on their cupboard shelf but don't understand their importance. It speaks back to the sale cycles that occur with products.

When you start a stockpile, you have to remember that it will eventually make sense. Those ketchup bottles will soon be standing next to 3 months of soups and a month or so of cereals.

I heard it best described by Big-D's daddy when he said:

" It's as if you are eating peanut butter and jelly for dinner, and you have 20 ketchup bottles on the shelf and not much else. But in about 3 weeks, your cupboards are full, and your eating steak for dinner."

It doesn't necessarily happen that quickly, but it IS like that.

Now, this does not mean that you should buy your stockpile items first and then worry about your weekly meal plan. Quite the contrary. Again, starting small can not be stressed enough. Buy what you NEED first, then use coupons to gather the items that you will stockpile. Do so when you can afford to add to the stockpile. This is why couponer's grow their stockpiles in several months rather than right away.

To the new couponer that lacks patience, I say, "put your toe in the water to see how you like it first".
One way to learn a new habit is to try your hand at your new habit. Instead of buying 10 newspapers and cutting all of the coupons, why not research the deals that are going on this, and next week. Many couponing message board, and blogs, post their deal finds in advance of the sales. This gives couponers the notice they need to start collecting their coupons. What you need to do is identify a deal or two that you find enticing, and then organize yourself for the score. If you don't readily have the coupons for that deal, check out an eBay auction, or order through a coupon clipping service. These are two great ways, and rather quick ways as well, to get the coupons you need for the score. When they arrive, double check your sale dates, and go get your deal.

By starting small, you run less of a risk of making a mistake (and we ALL make them, new and vet couponers alike). Mistakes cause discouragement, and discouragement begets loss of interest which leads to quitting. You, and your pocketbook don't want that. You also get a taste of what couponing is like. Nothing beats a great coupon score at the store. So, start small, and celebrate the little accomplishments.
After all, vet couponers will tell you that it took months of preparation, planning and smart shopping with their coupons to amass the stockpiles they have today.

So now you know a little bit of history about coupons. I know I feel impressive when I tell the coca-cola story. *smile* You also know, now, why the coupons you just got last Sunday need to be held in reserve for a bit rather than clipped and immediately spent at the store.

We encourage you to:
  • Take your 30 days, and learn your new habit. 
  • Use the internet at your disposal to seek out and find coupon match-ups (which, by the way, we are hoping to incorporate on our blog a bit more). 
  • Check out eBay, and look for Buy-It-Now auctions for those coupons you need. A Buy-It-Now auction saves you time, because you don't have to wait for an auction to end, and you don't have to compete with other bidders. 
  • If eBay isn't your thing, seek out a coupon clipping service. Place an order with them to score the coupons you need. 
Don't get frustrated, and always feel free to ask question, I'm here to help!
Until next time:

Credit: The History of Coupons, Thanks

Coupon Insert for May 8, 2011

Besides this Sunday being Mother's is also COUPON DAY! YAY!

You should receive one Smart Source coupon insert in your Sunday paper this week.

Remember, coupons are regional in nature. If you do not get every coupon listed, this is why. Be sure to consider an eBay auction, or a clipping service to get multiple coupons for the best stocking-up power. Use them if you do not get the coupons you were hoping to get!

Date in ( ) is the coupon's expiration date.

Carefree Free 18-22ct up to $1 or $1/1 (6/30/11)
$1 off 1 Stayfree pads (6/30/11)
Air Wick $1/1 Scented Oil twin refill pack or $1/2 single refills (6/19/11)
Air Wick Get Double Fresh warmer unit free wyb any Scented Oil refill up to $2.50 (6/19/11)
Allegra $2/1 24hr 5ct & 15ct, 12hr 12ct, Allegra-D 12hr 10ct, 24hr 5ct, or children's 12hr (7/9/11)
Allegra $4/1 24hr 30ct+, Allegra-D 12hr 20ct or 24hr 10ct (7/9/11)
Arm & Hammer $.75/1 toothpaste, whitening booster or mentadent product 2.5oz+ (8/31/11)
Clear Care $3/1 twin pack cleaning and disinfecting solution (7/15/11)
Clear Care $1/1 12oz+ bottle of cleaning and disinfecting solution (7/15/11)
Finesse $1/1 any (8/15/11) $2 rebate form
GenTeal $1.50/1 any (9/30/11)
Hanes $.75/1 apparel item Target coupon (6/18/11)
Hormel $.50/1 Natural Choice (7/11/11)
Hormel $.55/2 cans of chili (7/11/11)
Hormel $1/1 Always Tender flavored meat (7/11/11)
Hormel $.35/1 pepperoni pack (7/11/11)
Hormel $1/1 Compleats kids (7/11/11)
Hormel $.55/1 Compleats (7/11/11)
Jack Daniel's $.55/1 product (7/31/11)
Jack Daniel's $.75/1 28 or 40oz barbecue sauce (7/31/11)
Ken's $1/1 16oz dressing (6/30/11)
Litehouse $1/2 products (8/31/11)
L'Oreal $3/1 Sublime Mousse (7/3/11)
Mitchum $1/1 advanced control (6/13/11)
Mountain High $1/1 64oz yoghurt (6/30/11)
Mountain High $.50/1 32oz yoghurt (6/30/11)
Mrs. Dash $.50/1 seasoning blend (6/30/11)
Mrs. Dash $1 off fresh beef wyb one seasoning blend (6/30/11)
Neutrogena $1/1 naturals cleanser (9/30/11)
Neutrogena $1/1 suncare item (9/30/11)
New York Style $.55 off eggs wyb 2 bagel crisps (9/30/11)
Newtons $1/1 any 10-14oz (6/8/11)
Northland $1/2 dark fruit juices (Raleys, Bel Air & Nob Hill foods coupon) (8/13/11)
o.b. $1/1 ets (6/30/11)
Purina $2/6 can Chef Michael's canine creations (6/4/11)
Purina $2/1 4.5lb bag Chef Michael's canine creations dry dinners (6/4/11)
Purina $4/1 11.5lb bag Chef Michael's canine creations dry dinners (6/4/11)
Purina B1G1F 6oz Beggin up to $3.99 (8/8/11)
Precious $1/1 10oz+ string cheese (7/31/11)
Raid Max $3/1 bug barrier starter (6/11/11)
Raid Max $1/1 bug barrier refill (6/11/11
Reach $2/2 single toothbrushes or $2/1 multi-pack toothbrushes (8/8/11)
Schick $1/1 slim twin or slim triple disposable razor pack excludes 2ct (6/19/11)
Schick $3/2 slim twin or slim triple disposable razor packs excludes 2ct (6/19/11)
Scott $1/12 or more rolls of 1000ct bath tissue (6/19/11)
Smart Balance $.75/1 cooking oil or cooking spray (6/22/11)
Smart Balance $.75/1 Omega Plus light mayonnaise dressing (6/22/11)
Smart Balance $.75/1 popcorn (6/22/11)
Smart Balance $.75/1 rich roast peanut butter (6/22/11)
Smart Balance $1/1 milk (6/22/11)
Smart Balance $1/2 buttery spreads or sticks (6/22/11)
Tide $.75/1 laundry detergent ets Target coupon (6/18/11)
Tide $1/1 stain release ets Target coupon (6/18/11)
Viactiv $2/1 soft chews dietary supplement (9/30/11)
Wacky Mac $.40/1 (12/31/11)
Yoplait $1/10 any variety yogurt (7/2/11)
Zadiator $3/1 (9/30/11)
Zantac $1/1 24ct+ (7/31/11)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Feeling Crafty? Enter to Win A Cricuit Expressions 2

Feeling Crafty? You could win this Cricuit Expressions 2!!

Click here to enter the FAVECRAFTS.COM Cricuit Expression 2 Giveaway which is going on right now.
To enter is simple, just fill out their short form.
There is nothing to buy, no hoops to jump through. Just an honest-to-goodness entry form to complete.

I've entered, and you can too. Entries are taken from now until May 14th. You can enter once per day.

Head over and fill out your entry.
Don't forget to post back to us if you win!

Good Luck!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Two Great Printable Coupons

At the bottom of the page is a link to print out a $1 coupon off a 12 pack or more.
This coupon is good at Wal Mart Stores ONLY.
You can print the coupon twice!

Look for the link in the lower right hand corner and print a $2 off coupon for either Hartz UltraGuard Pro or UltraGuard Plus.

I Choose to print for my dogs, but you can click that you have a cat and receive a $2 offer for Cats protection too!

Until next time:

The Cost of Free-Is FREE Really Free?

 Or, is it?

I've been posting recently about some really great FREE scores that I've been able to achieve using my coupons.

Just last month I was able to secure: 40 loads of laundry detergent, toothbrushes, toothpaste, body wash, and dental floss. All of which cost me nothing out of pocket, FREE.

While I've been happily adding items that my family will use to our shelving, and couponing to get those items for free, I've not paid much attention to what it actually cost to secure those items.

In fact, I recently had an interesting discussion about couponing, and the items that I've been able to get for free. This discussion resulted in a friendly debate about the cost of free.

For the sake of fairness, I thought I would post today about the cost of free, and ask: Is free really free?

This was the question posed to me, and after some consideration I've deduced that what FREE has cost me has been so negligible, that it didn't bare mention, or calculation. However, I do realize that to some, what I consider to be a negligible expense might, in fact, be a budget breaker for others.

In the spirit of the question, here are some things to chew on while your deciding to make a trip to get those FREE items with your coupons.

1. The cost of the coupon.

Are you getting the coupons you will be using from your Sunday Paper?
What does your Sunday Paper delivery cost you?
Are you purchasing the paper from a paper box? 
Either way, are you purchasing multiple papers in an effort to score extra coupons, and extra FREE stuff?

For me, this cost of free is something that I do not calculate. Why? Because, I don't subscribe to the Sunday paper.

I am so lucky, and have the support of my Dad who gladly gives me coupons from his Sunday paper. He has been genuinely tickled to see my mile long receipts from the store, which boast my savings. My Dad is awesome, but that's a whole other article!!

I also have a "hook up" at a local gas station where a paper box is located. The gentleman that fills the box on Sundays always has extras. He leaves them at the gas station with the attendant for me. I often get at least 5 extra inserts this way as well.

In contrast, I will calculate the cost of coupons that I secure using a coupon clipping service, or from an eBay auction. This is because I am spending money in order to be able to get that particular score. I deduct that amount from the retail cost of the items I receive using the coupons. Many times my savings is over 95 %. I can live with that cost of free.

However, you may subscribe to your paper. You may pay for delivery. You may resort to purchasing papers from the box. You may also turn to a coupon clipping service or an eBay auction to receive your coupons. If so, you may feel that your cost of free needs to be reflective of these costs.

2. Storage Space.

For me, I had shelving that was bare. Yep, before I started couponing again, we were running low, and were literally out of items we use. When this happens, it results in having to pay full price for items. That hurts the pocketbook. So, for now, where I am storing our items we get for free, is in places that I have room to store it.
I feel that somewhere down the road, I will have to make an investment in additional shelving.

Additionally, there will be a loss of real estate in my home, or so one would argue. My plan all along has to been designate one particular room for storage, and this is where my new stockpile/stock up room where be.  I have also had the blessing of being able to incorporate a pantry into my kitchen plans which will house many of our stocked up food items.
For me, the argument for organization in my case outweighs the cost of providing storage space.

However, you may not have a dedicated storage space in your home. Providing one may cost you money up front. If so, then this may be a cost that you will deduct from your cost of Free. Remember, if you plan ahead, and adopt an organized effort in storing your items, this will likely be a one time cost.  You may not have a room that you can spare for storage at all.  So, alternatively, you may choose to add storage space as you go. Again, be organized, and shop smart, and your costs will be minimal.

3. Speaking of storage, where do you put your coupons until you use them?

This speaks back to the article I posted the other day about my binder. There was the cost up front for the binder, and it's "guts". However, the binder itself was purchased for a child who is no longer in school. The binder was well used already (I really LOVE 5 star products, they last and last!). For me, the binder itself was recycled and therefore, it's cost not a factor in my Free. I also put my binder together 4 years ago, as such, I feel that to factor the cost of these items now would be superficial and would be falsely deducted from my cost of Free.

Then there was the discussion about where I put my coupon inserts before I cut them. Again, I think this speaks to my organization skills. I do clip all of my coupons. The ones I do not, or will not use, are immediately filed to be sent to our nation's military. I do not allow inserts to sit for more than 4 days. That's my cut off. I clip the night before my garbage/recycling is collected so that my discards don't stay in my home until next week's collection. Thus, these inserts do not take up valuable real estate with in my home.

You may not have your coupon organizational method secured yet. Or, you may still be working on it. Then of course, I give. There will be a cost to secure and then to begin to utilize that method. I suggest recycling what ever you possibly can to keep costs down. Check with thrift stores for binders, inserts, etc. Often Staples will offer rebates on items that you can use, so watch for those sales particularly close to back to school. Doing so will definitely keep your cost of Free down.

4. What about the time it takes to plan your shopping and to match up your coupons? Isn't your time worth something?

Of course my time is worth something. The saying "Time is Money" is one I live by. Because of this, I consider the time that I use to collect, clip, organize AND spend my coupons to be time well paid for. If I were to deduct this time from my FREE, I would not be able to secure my free items at all.

Saving money, using coupons, getting Free stuff is all a part of my weekly schedule.

For you, starting couponing may take more time that it takes me. Couponing is a habit and it takes time to learn a new habit. My honest belief is that if you stick with it, you won't feel the need to deduct your time. You, too, will be well paid for it.

5. Have you seen the cost of gas? How can you just go shopping willy-nilly?

Well, yes I have seen the cost of gas. Which is one reason I like to shop at the store that I do: Kroger. I use the gas points to help me save on the cost of gas.
Besides, I don't just go shopping willy-nilly. Every trip I make is well planned. I choose one, possibly two days a week to do my shopping, and I coordinate my shopping trips so that I get the best bang for my Free buck in the process.

Maybe you feel gas is too high to just jump in the car to make a shopping trip (believe me I do too!).
Perhaps you can partner up with another couponer and share the cost of gas for a trip. Maybe you can shop only once a week and do it on your way home from work. Maybe you have the blessing of public transportation and so the cost of your free would be a bus ticket that day. One thing about being frugal is that you soon learn to be creative in your thinking process. Stick with it, you CAN do it!

My goal with this article is to show you that while there may be a cost for free, FREE can still be accomplished. Of course, the accountants, and the statisticians who all work with money down to the penny may still feel that the cost bares mention. That's OK. At the end of the day, you can only deduct that penny so many times. In my mind, that penny is negligible to the hundreds if not thousands of dollars I save my family. It may ultimately be for you, too.

Until next time:

Kroger-Double Check Your E-Coupons Before You Shop

We just confirmed with the Wheeling,WV Stores: Mt Dechantal, and Warwood,  that if you have an E-coupon loaded to your Kroger Savings Card, and paper coupons for the same item, your E-Coupon will scan and you will not be able to use your paper coupons for those items.

In the past, customers were able to use both, and in effect, stack these coupons. However, Kroger states that both paper coupons and E-Coupons are Manufacturer coupons. Thus, you can not use two manufacturer coupons for one item.

Also, per the Kroger digital coupon webpage: Limit one use per digital coupon per transaction. Digital offers cannot be combined with manufacturer paper coupons on the purchase of a single item and do not double.

We suggest that you fore-go the E-Coupon if:

  •  If you have paper coupons for the items that you are going to purchase. (One coupon per item) and that coupon amount will DOUBLE for you to save you more than the E-Coupon.
For example:
You have an E-Coupon for an item worth 50 cents. You also have a manufacturer's coupon for that same item for 35 cents.
Kroger will double that manufacturer's coupon to 70 cents. The E-Coupon will be worth only 50 cents.
It would be better to fore-go the E-Coupon because you will save more money with the manufacturer's coupons, which double.

We suggest that you keep the E-Coupon if:

  • If the E-Coupon value is equal to, or greater than, the coupon amount when doubled, if applicable. And, you are buying one item.
For example:

You have an E-Coupon for an item and it's $1.25. You also have a manufacturer's coupon for the same item, but it is 50 cents. Kroger will double your paper coupon, to $1.00. The E-Coupon will save you more money in this case, since it is worth $1.25.

It is always wise to put together your shopping list first.
Then, match up the coupons you have for the items on your shopping list.
Then, match up any E-Coupons to your list.
Compare what you will save, and keep in mind that the E-Coupon will only be used one time during your transaction.

E-Coupons are great:
  • When you are purchasing one of the item
  • When you have no manufacturer coupon for that item
  • When you have an manufacturer coupon that will not double up to the amount of the E-Coupon
E-Coupons should be passed upon when:
  • You're buying several of the same item
  • You have manufacturer coupons for those items (one coupon per item)
  • Your manufacturer's coupons are able to be doubled, thus saving you more on those items.
So, what do you do if you find you have E-Coupons on your card, but your manufacturer's coupons will save you more money?
Simply log into your E-Coupon account, and use the delete feature to remove the coupons from your card before you shop.

Until next time:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Know WalMart's Coupon Policy

I have become a huge WalMart fan when it comes to using my coupons.

One reason is that because I have been able to match up some of my great coupons to their merchandise price. In fact, one trip to WalMart resulted in my being PAID to shop.

Their "overage" clause in their policy is wonderful.

It states: "If coupon value exceeds the price of the item, the excess may be given to the customer as cash or applied toward the basket purchase."

This simply means that if you purchase items that you have a coupon for, and the coupon amount exceeds the retail amount of those items, AND that the coupon amount covers the tax assessed on your purchase, you will be handed "change" for your payment with coupons.

You are more than welcome to add additional items to your purchase to make up for the "overage" amount, but you do not have to.

You can read about my coupon overage shopping trip here: Wal Mart PAID YaYa $1.36 to Shop Today.

In addition to their "overage clause", their policy on coupon acceptance is fairly straight forward.
Here are some things that stand out and bares mention.
Wal Mart Accepts the following coupons:
  • Internet Printable Coupons
  • Manufacturer Coupons
  • Competitors Coupons
  • Soft Drink Caps
  • Check Out Coupons (Catalinas received from other stores at checkout)
Wal Mart does NOT Accept:

  • Check out coupons that offer dollars/cents/percentages off entire basket purchases
  • Internet Printable Coupons that require NO purchase
  • Certain Competitor coupons, which state value off at a specific competitor, or Buy one Get one with no specific price, or Double-Triple Coupon values.
When shopping at Wal Mart with multiple coupons, it's best to remember:

  • You must present the coupon at the time of purchase.
  • One Coupon per item
  • There is NO coupon limit per transaction

  • The system WILL prompt for manager approval when:
  • You use 40 coupons in one transaction
  • The coupon value is $20 or more on one particular item
  • You use $50 in coupon value or more in one transaction.
So, don't worry, you did nothing wrong. Use those coupons, and let Wal Mart management do what they are required to do.

You can read all about Wal Mart's coupon policy here: Wal Mart's Coupon Policy

In fact, we recommend printing it out to have on hand when shopping.

Happy Wal Mart Shopping!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

First of The Month Coupon Resets

Affiliate Ad included

It's the first of the month. That means sites like RED PLUM and SMARTSOURCE are resetting their available coupons.

The same goes for

Remember you can print coupons twice!! GO get them before the great ones disappear!

Become a Sunny D Ambassador

This week Sunny D is a part of Kroger's Mega Sale.

YOU can get Sunny D for as low as 34 cents when you become a Sunny D Ambassador.

Simply click HERE!!!

And have a 55 cent coupon emailed to you that you can print twice. :)

Sunny D- 64 oz @ Kroger during the Mega Sale is 89 cents.
Use your printed 55 cent coupon and get Sunny D for 34 cents!

There are also some 25 cent tear pad coupons floating around worth 25 cents. They expire June 30, 2011.

Thanks to The Coupon Hustler for this great find!