Jul 262012
 

A bit intimidated by couponing? A new e-book can help. Couponing for the Beginner: A Guide to Couponing for the Uninitiated is the first in a series of guides released on GuideToCouponing.com. Author Jenny Dean has been couponing for more than 10 years. Dean has not only studied, but read, heard and experienced how to coupon legally and effectively. She wanted to create this guide for all the people who ask her, “How did you do that?” when her total is $0.00 at checkout. This book covers topics such as coupon rules & policies, where to get coupons, how to organize them, and how to maximize your savings, even how to get items for free. Dean also looks at refunds, rebates and money-back guarantees. It’s normally $9,99, but you can get $4 off through our special code. To buy it, go here. Scroll down to the “Buy Now” button. Look for the words Discount Code. In the box below type in LivingOnTheCheap. Click on “Buy Now.” You will be redirected to PayPal where the total should be $5.99 instead of $9.99. You can pay with your PayPal account or any major credit card. The eBook will be delivered almost immediately to your inbox – so be sure to check your SPAM folder.

Get started by printing some coupons from Charlotte on the Cheap’s Grocery Coupon page. They’re free to print out.

 July 26, 2012  Posted by  coupons Comments Off
Dec 162011
 

Please check out the Grocery Coupon page. I just updated it with dozens of coupons. You don’t have to necessarily click on each one. Once you click on one you’ll see others and you can browse through them. Give them a try…

 December 16, 2011  Posted by  coupons Comments Off
Dec 102011
 

Please check out the Grocery Coupon page. I just updated it with dozens of coupons. You don’t have to necessarily click on each one. Once you click on one you’ll see others and you can browse through them. They’re easier to use now, because they have images and are sorted by category. Give them a try…

 December 10, 2011  Posted by  coupons Comments Off
Dec 022011
 

Please check out the Grocery Coupon page. I just updated it with dozens of coupons. You don’t have to necessarily click on each one. Once you click on one you’ll see others and you can browse through them. They’re easier to use now, because they have images and are sorted by category. Give them a try…

 December 2, 2011  Posted by  coupons Comments Off
Apr 052011
 

I’ve just started working with a company that offers free samples and coupons. I’ll be posting some links once a week or so. I hope you find them useful! I’m excited about them. This is a long list.

Free Samples

Free sample of Zapzyt® Acne Treatment Gel

Free sample of Scotch® Reusable Strips and Tabs

Free sample of Hearos® ear plugs

sample of Lanacane® Anti-Chafing Gel

Free sample of Biore® Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser

Printable Coupons

New Coupons this week from Coupons.com

include:

$3.00 off Cosamin DS Joint Health Supplement
$1.00 off when you buy InStyle Magazine
Save Up To $50 on CIBA VISION Contact Lenses
$1.50 off Nutramax Pet™ Cosequin Product
$1.00 off (1)GARNIER FRUCTIS SHAMPOO/CONDITIONER
$0.60 off Pillsbury Toaster Strudel Pastries
$0.75 off Cinnamon Burst Cheerios cereal
$3.00 off Dr. Dolittle on Blu-ray™
$2.00 off any NASALCROM allergy product
$3.00 off Flicka on Blu-ray™
$1.00 off Totino’s Crisp Crust Party Pizza
$3.00 off The Bible on Blu-ray™
$3.00 off Because of Winn-Dixie on Blu-ray™
$1.00 off Basic 4, Cheerios, Chex Cereal
$0.75 off Chex cereal
$0.55 off Original Cheerios cereal
$0.50 off Yoplait Kids Cup Yogurt
$3.00 off Garnier HerbaShine Color Creme
$3.00 off The Sound of Music on Blu-ray™
$3.00 off Marley & Me on Blu-ray™
$3.00 off Robots on Blu-ray™
$0.40 off Totino’s Rolls Snacks
$0.75 off Cascadian Farm products
$3.00 off Anastasia on Blu-ray™
$0.50 off Pillsbury Crescent Dinner Rolls
$1.50 off Glade PlugIns Scented Gel products
$1.00 off Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough
$1.00 off ONE (1) GARNIER THE BRUSHER CLEANSER
$0.40 off Pillsbury Italian Meal Breads
$0.35 off Pillsbury Grands! Jr biscuits
$2.00 off PURPOSE Skin Care Product
$1.00 off (1) GARNIER FRUCTIS STYLE PRODUCT
$0.75 off Kix cereal
$0.75 off Glade Fabric & Air Odor Eliminator
$0.50 off Gardetto’s Snack Mix
$0.75 off Kraft 2% Milk Cheese Singles
$2.00 off Any One (1) Combat product
$0.75 off any Yoplait products listed
$3.00 off The Sandlot on Blu-ray™
$0.50 off Glade Carpet & Room Odor Eliminator
$0.40 off Pillsbury or Grands! Sweet Rolls
$0.75 off on any ONE (1) Gorton’s Grilled item
$0.35 off one (1) bag of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish
$0.75 off Frozen Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits
Free Portrait Package & 50% OFF
$1.00 off Progresso Panko Crispy Bread Crumbs
$2.00 off GARNIER FRUCTIS SLEEK & SHINE BLOW DRY
$0.55 off any Chore Boy Product
$3.00 off The Robe on Blu-ray™
$0.50 off Pillsbury Rolled Refrigerated Pie Crust
$0.50 off Two Packages of LAND O LAKES Butter
$1.00 off Dr. Sears Family Essentials Supplements
$1.00 off (1) tube StaphAseptic, 1 oz. or 2 oz
$0.35 off Eggland’s Best Fresh Shell Eggs
$1.00 off any 1 (one) AIR WICK Candle
$1.00 off any 1 (one) AIR WICK Warmer Unit
$2.00 off AIR WICK FRESHMATIC COMPACT Starter
$1.00 off 1 AIR WICK Double Fresh Warmer Unit
$1.00 off 1 AIR WICK Scented Oil Twin Refill
$4.00 off 1 AIR WICK FRESHMATIC Ultra Starter
$0.25 off Any Comet Powder product
off any 2 Comet Bathroom Spray or Comet Cream prod

New Cellfire Coupons - available online until 04/18, redemption expiring 05/02.

The offers below are available at Lowes Foods, and some other stores that I haven’t seen in the Charlotte market (Kroger and Kroger subsidiaries, Safeway subsidiaries, and Foodtown.)
These offers will also be available at ShopRite from 4/10 – 4/23.

Green Giant boxed Save $.60
Save $0.60 when you buy THREE any variety Green Giant® Frozen Boxed Vegetables.

Totinos Party Pizza Save $1
Save $1.00 when you buy FIVE any flavor/variety Totinos® Crisp Crust Party Pizza® Products.

PB Sweet Rolls Save $.40
Save $.40 when you buy any TWO Pillsbury® Sweet Rolls OR Grands!® Sweet Rolls.

Pillsbury® Crescents Save $.50
Save $.50 when you buy any TWO Pillsbury® Crescent Dinner Rolls.

PB Refrig’d Grands! Save $.30
Save $.30 when you buy TWO any size/variety Refrigerated Pillsbury® Grands!® Biscuits.

PB Italian Meal Brd Save $.40
Save $.40 when you buy any TWO Pillsbury® Italian Meal Breads (Includes any Loaves, Breadsticks, Dinner Rolls, and Pizza Crust).

Totinos Pizza Rolls Save $.40
Save $.40 when you buy TWO PACKAGES any flavor/variety Totinos® Rolls Snacks.

PB Cookie Dough Save $1
Save $1.00 when you buy TWO PACKAGES any variety Pillsbury® Refrigerated Cookie Dough.

Total® cereal Save $.75
Save $0.75 when you buy any ONE BOX Total® cereal listed: Whole Grain Total®, Total® Raisin Bran, Total® Cranberry Crunch, Total® Blueberry Pomegranate, Total® Cinnamon Crunch, Total® Plus Omega-3s Honey Almond Flax.

Trix® Cereal Save $.55
Save $0.55 when you buy ONE BOX Trix® cereal.

Honey Nut Cheerios® Save $.55
Save $0.55 when you buy ONE BOX Honey Nut Cheerios® cereal.

Cookie Crisp® Cereal Save $.75
Save $0.75 when you buy any ONE BOX Cookie Crisp® cereal.

GG Bagged Vege’s Save $.40
Save $0.40 when you buy any variety 19 OZ. – 24 OZ. ONLY Green Giant® Frozen Bagged Vegetables.

PB Holiday Cookies Save $1
Save $1.00 when you buy any TWO Pillsbury® Refrigerated Holiday Cookies.

Select Cheerios® Save $.75
Save $0.75 when you buy any ONE BOX Cheerios® cereal listed: Frosted Cheerios® ,Apple Cinnamon Cheerios®, Banana Nut Cheerios®, Fruity Cheerios®, Chocolate Cheerios®, Cheerios® Oat Cluster Crunch, Yogurt Burst Cheerios®, Cinnamon Burst Cheerios®.

GG Valley Fresh Stmrs Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy TWO any variety Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers® frozen vegetables.

BC Potatoes Save $.50
Save $0.50 when you buy TWO any flavor Betty Crocker® boxed Potatoes (Except Potato Buds® and Betty Crocker® Pouch).

PB Toaster Strudel® Save $.60
Save $0.60 when you buy TWO any flavor/variety Pillsbury® Toaster Strudel® Pastries.

 April 5, 2011  Posted by  coupons, Free Events, Wait, there's more Comments Off
Aug 122010
 

I often post about grocery deals like triple coupons, and several people have asked me how to best use coupons. So here I’ll sum up what I’ve learned from my smart, frugal friends and what I do myself. To get an idea of how much you can save, I just got back from a Harris Teeter Super Double sale. My items, at regular price, would have been $123.23. I used my customer card (VIC card) to get the weekly deals, and I used coupons, and paid $58.20. This is a typical shopping trip, and I bought only things that my family actually uses.

The basic idea

The basic idea behind couponing is to combine coupons, especially multiplied coupons (doubled, tripled) with grocery deals to get items for a deeply discounted price, or even for free. Several grocery stores in the Charlotte region double coupons every day. Harris Teeter, Lowes Foods, BiLo, and Bloom all do. In order to double coupons, you need to have a customer card at the store. I have customer cards for all three, and they’re all on my keychain. All three stores have the same basic limitations on doubling coupons. You can double up to 20 a day, and the face value of the coupon has to be 99 cents or less. That’s why a 75 cent coupon is often more valuable than a dollar coupon.

Special coupon deals

Harris Teeter and Lowes Foods frequently offer triple coupons, sometimes for a week at a time and sometimes for just a few days. When they do this, the limitations are the same as for double coupons. 20 a day and a face value of 99 cents or less. Harris Teeter also sometimes offers Super Doubles. That means they’ll double coupons with a face value up to $1.98. There’s still a 20 coupon per day limit. This is the time you want to break out your $1 and $1.50 coupons.

Combining with grocery deals

All the grocery stores have weekly deals, and they almost always require you to have a customer card. The serious savings occur when you combine the multiplied coupons (especially triple coupons and super double coupons) with a weekly deal. Here’s an example.

Oscar Myer Light Beef Franks: Normally $4.25 each $8.50
Harris Teeter weekly special: Buy one get one free -$4.25
Coupon – Buy 2, save $1 Super Doubles -$2
You pay: $2.25 for 2

This is NOT an unusual example. In any one shopping trip you can get many deals like this.

Where to get coupons

Sunday paper

The easiest place to get a whole lot of coupons at once is the Sunday paper. You can get weekend delivery of the Charlotte Observer (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) for $2.50 a week, or every day for $3.50 a week, with occasional special offers. In each Sunday paper, except for holiday weekends, there are usually at least two coupon inserts.

Online

There are several websites where you can download grocery coupons for free. It would probably be costly (and definitely time-consuming) to download and print every coupon you’d want to use, but if you know you’re looking for a specific item and you don’t have a coupon for it, it’s worth doing. Some sites are:

Coupons.com
Coolsavings.com
Couponcodes4u.com

Trading

You can also trade coupons. Several library branches have coupon-swapping events set up. Also BJ’s Wholesale Club has regularly scheduled coupon-swapping events. And just keep an eye open. The health club I go to has a table in the back with coupons sorted into categories. I just bring in coupons I can’t use and take what I need. The coupons I pick up there probably pay for half of my monthly health club fee.

At checkout

When you get your receipt after shopping the last thing you may want to think of is more coupons, but check. Coupons are often printed with the receipt and they’re usually pretty good, and aimed at the kind of things that you buy.

Process

Everybody’s process is a little bit different, so I’ll just tell you what I do. I am not someone who wants to spend a lot of time on couponing so there are probably ways I could save more money, but it’s not worth it to me.

Organization

I keep my coupons in labeled envelopes. My labels are dairy, frozen, cereal, health & beauty, drinks, snacks, baking, meat, other groceries, and non-food. I also have an empty envelope that I fill with coupons that I’m using as I go through a store.

Sunday

On Sunday I clip coupons from the paper. I clip most of the coupons, not just the ones I need. As I clip them I put them on top of the appropriate envelope. If it’s one I won’t use, I put it in a separate pile for trading or sharing. When I’m done clipping, I go through each envelope and take out any expired coupons (they can be used by deployed military personnel after the expiration date, so I drop those off at a coupon-swapping place.) Then I put the new coupons in the back of the appropriate envelopes. I keep each envelope sorted roughly by expiration date. However, if I’m planning to shop at a Super Double event, I move the $1 and $1.50 coupons to the front.

At the store

When I’m shopping I get out my empty envelope. Going up and down the aisles, as I choose a product for which I’m going to use a coupon, I move that coupon into the envelope. I periodically count to make sure I haven’t gone over 20 coupons. I look at the weekly special circular to try to match up my coupons to the weekly sale items. Many people do this in advance, by downloading the weekly ads from the store’s website before they go. Also there are even websites that match up coupons and weekly specials for you. I haven’t found it too difficult to just do as I shop, though. I do make a shopping list, but it’s a flexible list. For example, instead of “grapes and apples” I’ll list “fruit” and then see what’s on sale.

The stockpiling concept

One criticism I’ve heard of coupon shopping is that you end up buying a bunch of stuff you don’t need. But if you shop wisely you’ll avoid that. The goal here is to build a stockpile of items when they are cheap or even free, and then avoid buying them at full price. For example, right now I have four bottles of dishwashing liquid in a closet. It will be a long time before I use them, but they were free with coupons. So I won’t find myself running out of dishwashing liquid and buying it at full price. So it’s true that I buy stuff I don’t need right away, but I never buy items that I can’t use. (Although, if you can get an item for free, why not consider donating it to a food bank or homeless shelter?)

You can stockpile food too. Many items that you might not think of as freezer food can be frozen. Some items in my freezer right now are Miracle Whip, yogurt, and bread. I know of people who freeze milk when it goes on sale. When I’m not sure if an item is freezable I google. Someone out there knows.

So the first month you coupon shop you might not save as much money as you’d like because you’re stockpiling. But after that, the savings will be dramatic because you find you don’t have to run out and buy pasta sauce and laundry detergent. You just get them from your stockpile.

Of course this depends on having room in your house to store the items. Even if you devote one shelf to your stockpile, you’ll see a benefit.

Secrets I’ve learned

Just buy one

A few things I’ve learned have saved me a lot of money. When an item at a store is listed as “2 for $3.98″ you don’t have to buy 2 of the items. Each will ring up as half price. Even if the item is listed as Buy One Get One Free it might be the case that you can get just one of them for half price. That’s definitely the case at Harris Teeter. If you’re not sure, just ask at customer service before you shop.

Combining coupons

You can hardly ever use two manufacturer’s coupons for one item, but you can sometimes use a manufacturer’s coupon with a store coupon. This is usually permissible at places like Target and drug stores. There are usually coupon inserts for Target and the major drug stores in the Sunday paper, so you can clip those and combine them with your manufacturer’s coupons. The drug stores are usually an expensive place to shop for groceries or toiletries, but when you combine the coupons they can be great.

Wiggle room

This tip is controversial. Use your own sense of ethics to decide whether to take advantage of it or not. A manufacturer’s coupon can almost always be redeemed in a grocery store for a different item. The registers generally check just the first few numbers. So if a coupon is for Uncle Ben white rice, but it happens that Uncle Ben brown rice is part of a weekly special, you can probably use the coupon for the brown rice. You can also probably use it for a smaller, less expensive item than what the coupon is for. I’m not recommending you do this. I’m just passing on the information.

Some more thoughts

You’ll do best if you’re flexible about brand. If you aren’t combining coupons and weekly deals, it’s usually better to buy generic.

I don’t buy a lot of produce at the supermarket. I usually go to farmer’s markets and get better deals, especially in the summer.

Never buy something that your family won’t use, or that goes against your nutritional standards. If I was willing to buy anything, I could fill up my shopping cart for practically free. But I don’t want to end up with a lot of junky snack food. If you don’t want your family to eat pork, for example, buying pork sausage is never a bargain – even if it’s free. (Although, as I mentioned, you might be able to donate it to a food bank or homeless shelter.)

There are some items that, once you get going with the stockpile method, you really should almost always be able to get for free. Deodorant, toothpaste, dishwashing liquid, yogurt, and pasta sauce are a few that you should be able to get for free (or almost free) as long as you aren’t picky about the brand. Sometimes it seems like all you see are coupons for toiletries, but go ahead and stock up. The coupons seem to cycle and before you know it you’ll be getting free spaghetti sauce, and taking the toiletries from your stockpile.

Resources

Charlotte on the Cheap, of course! By following Charlotte on the Cheap, you’ll know when the coupon events are taking place.
Southern Savers matches up coupons to weekly deals for several supermarkets in our region.
Harris Teeter Weekly Specials in flyer form, or as an interactive shopping list
Harris Teeter’s e-Vic program offers more savings
Bloom’s weekly specials

 August 12, 2010  Posted by  Food and Drink, Wait, there's more 7 Responses »