Couponing

ABC’s of Couponing: “F” is for Freebies & How to Avoid Freebie Scams!

Feb 28 2014
Posted by deidre 19 Comments
Loading Add to cuckoo favorites

cuckoo4freebiesPart of the ABC’s of Couponing Guide

*Re-posting this since it’s been a few years since I talked about this on my site

Completely free stuff comes around and I get all shaky and happy. I run and tell my husband about the freebie I’m getting and say “do you think it will come with some sick coupons??!?!” and he does this thing where he pretends he doesn’t know me. It’s our game really.  But if you don’t know how to tell legit freebies from fake ones, then you can lose out on the freebie game.  Here’s what you need to know:

  • How to determine legit freebies from spam.
  • Creating another email account.
  • Why companies giveaway freebies & why you want them!

In order to try to save you time from signing up for non-legit freebies, I have compiled a list of ways to tell the cuckoo freebies we love, from the spam we hate.  

  • First, I screen all offers posted on my site. I make sure they are from legit companies.  Be careful with other deal sites you use, not all of them screen the freebies they post.
  • Make sure the web URL in the address bar includes the name of the company or the brand of product.   The exception is StartSampling which I have used and gotten samples from before.  But most of the time, the URL will be the main company or brand name.
  • Any freebie where you have to sign up for other offers in order to get the freebie is spam and don’t waste your time.  There are too many real freebies out there; no need to do these ones.
  • Beware of trial offers for freebies. If they ask for a credit card number, even if they don’t charge now they will usually charge after 14 or 30 days.   As a rule of thumb I never enter my credit card number or social security number for a freebie! You usually have to enter mailing address and email info – but never more!  *An exception to this is when you are using a promotion code that drops the price of an item you are buying to free, you typically still have to enter CC info.  But that is when you are buying an item, not filling out a form to get a freebie. 
  • Have you seen this before? “This promotion is conducted exclusively by (whateversite.com) and is subject to participation terms and conditions.” Or “Must complete participating gold, silver or platinum offers to get this sample”.  That means it is spam.  Run away!  They are just fishing for your information and are wanting to sell your email address. Yes, people want to buy your email address and spam you.
  • Beware of who is running the site!    Once I saw a freebie that seemed legit, but after browsing the site I couldn’t find any contact information.  Companies want contacted by their customers, no contact info= fake company.  Also, the page you are on may look legit, but I usually browse around new sites I haven’t seen before and make sure it is current, and for example if the company sells a product you can go through the motions of ordering it.  I have seen “fake” freebies before for Gloves.  They said fill out the form to get free gloves.   The site was nice-looking and seemed alright, but if you clicked on any page but the freebie page and tried to order the gloves you couldn’t.  Huge sign of a non-legit spammer site!  Go to whois.com to see how long the website has been up – only for a few days, probably a quick setup trick to get your info then they’ll close down the site.
  • Speaking of spams, read my post on the horrible paypal scams I avoided!

Why would I create yet another email account or Free phone number?

  • Because for most freebies, even legit ones, they are going to ask you to sign up for their email newsletter list.   If you are scoring 5 freebies a day, as we often do, that adds up quickly to a lot of emails you don’t necessary want.  I have a separate email that I sign up for all freebies with and rarely bother checking that email account.  You can get a free email account at gmail.com or hotmail.com
  • Also, set up a free voice mail box online at Google Voice and leave that number as your contact number.
  • Many people have freebies sent to P.O. boxes, but beware as many freebies and deals state they will not ship to P.O. boxes.

Why do companies giveaway free samples?

Most companies spend millions on tv ads and other forms of getting the knowledge about their product into your heads.   Why not use some of that budget and just let you see for yourself? Put the product directly in your hands.   Most companies know if you like  a freebies, you are more likely to buy it later.

Why sign up for tiny free samples?

Many free samples also include high-value coupons.  This is particularly true of new products on the market.   And as cuckoo coupon shoppers we can turn that free sample with it’s attached coupon into a killer deal on a full size product!

Ready to start requesting your freebies?

Scroll through my category of freebie offers

This is part 6 of a 26 part “ABC’s of Couponing” series 

Pin It

ABC’s of Couponing: “L” is for Lingo 101

Feb 17 2014
Posted by deidre 19 Comments
Loading Add to cuckoo favorites

ABC’s of Couponing: “L” is for “Lingo”

This is part of the 26 page ABC’s of Couponing free eBook!  Re-posting here for those who missed it previously.

Coupon Jargan & Lingo on Cuckoo for Coupon Deals may be confusing:

Let’s learn what all that really means:

$1/1: One dollar off one product

$1/2: One dollar off when you buy two products. You must buy 2 items. If you buy two items, you can use that one coupon.

+UP: These refer to Rite Aid’s +UP Wellness Rewards program (full explanation HERE)

AY: All You magazine, a magazine sold online and at Walmart which sometimes has coupons in it.

BOGO (read more!): BOGO or B1G1: Both mean “Buy one, Get one” and will usually be followed by “free” or ” “50%”.  BOGO Free means “Buy one, get one free” and BOGO 50% off means “Buy one, get one 50% off.”  If you read my “B” is for BOGO post, you are a BOGO pro!

Blinkie: This is a manufacturer coupon found in-store. It is usually in a dispenser that is close to the product the coupon is for.

Catalina: This is a coupon that prints after you have purchased your items.  It prints on a separate machine from the receipt.  So it won’t look like a normal coupon.  Sometimes it will say “$xx off your next purchase” and you can use the coupon on any item in the store on your next transaction or shopping trip.  Other times, for example at Kmart, the coupon will be triggered based off items you have bought and will be a coupon for similar items.   Often when I buy Huggies, coupons for Pampers will print out of the catalina machine. Here’s a picture of a catalina.

Circular: Weekly or monthly ad released by stores to let customers know of their current sales.

Clipless Coupons: See “e-Coupons” below

Coupon Insert: These come in the Sunday newspaper. Deidre recommends buying multiple Sunday newspapers to get your coupon inserts. These are the bread-and-butter of couponing. Coupon inserts are one of the biggest weapons in a good couponers arsenal.

Coupon: Entitles the holder to a discount, as specified on the coupon. Is a form of payment.

Couponing:
The art of redeeming discount coupons in order to save money.

Couponer: A person who collects and saves coupons to redeem them on products, such as groceries, pet food, and toiletries.

CRT:  Cash Register Tape. Usually used when talking about CVS pharmacy or Kmart, CRTs print at the bottom of your receipt and are generated based on your purchasing history (seemingly random).  CRTs are specific to the store where they were printed.  They are usually product specific coupons, example: $1.00 off any deodorant purchase. Here’s a picture of a CRT.

Cuckoo: A great deal is often referred to as a “cuckoo” deal and you should know it is a “stock up” price.

Do Not Double (full explanation HERE) : This is on some coupons, sometimes it says “DND” or “No Doubling” it is meant to communicate to the retailer that the manufacturer will not  reimburse for any greater value than that of the coupon. A store may or may not double your coupon that reads “do not double” as part of a store doubling promotion. The wording is there to protect the manufacturer.

Double Coupons (full explanation HERE): Only certain stores will double a coupon. When a store “doubles a coupon”, the store still only gets refunded the value of the coupon from the manufacturer.   They take the extra amount they doubled out of their own pockets, as an advertising expense.

ECB:  Extra Care Bucks. This coupons print at the bottom of your CVS receipt when you purchase items that are specially marked in their weekly circulars.

E-Coupons (full explanation HERE): Also known as Clipless or Loadable coupons. Instead of printing the coupon, you load it onto your store loyalty card.  When you scan your loyalty card at the cash register, or give your phone number, you will automatically receive the savings if you’ve made a qualifying purchase!

ETS: What does ETS stand for on a coupon? Excludes Trial Size!

Extra Bucks: Extra Care Bucks. This coupons print at the bottom of your CVS receipt when you purchase items that are specially marked in their weekly circulars.

EXP: Expires or Expiration Date

FAR
: Free After Rebate.  You will pay cash for the item, but receive a full rebate back, essentially making the item free minus sales tax.

FF:  Firefox.  When a printable coupon specifies IE or FF, you must click the link that coordinates with the browser you’re using.

Handling Fee: Refers to an amount, usually $0.08, paid by the manufacturer to a store in addition to the price on the coupon.  This is to compensate them for handling the coupon.

IE:  Internet Explorer.  When a printable coupon specifies IE or FF, you must click the link that coordinates with the browser you’re using.

Inserts in the Sunday paper: SS= Smart Source, RP= Red Plum, P&G= Proctor & Gamble (once per month).  Insert coupons can be used at any store that accepts manufacturer’s coupons.  Almost all grocery and drug stores do. Order your Sunday Coupon Inserts here.

IP: Internet Printable coupons may be printed right from your home computer.  Usually limited to 2 prints per computer, download quick and safe printing software to be able to print securely from home.

IVC: Instant Value Coupon.  IVCs are store coupons found in the weekly Walgreens ad.  IVCs may be stacked with a manufacturer coupon.

Loadable Coupons: See “e-Coupons” above.

MIR (full explanation HERE): Mail in Rebate, refers to rebates which must be submitted by mail.  These are the traditional rebates that require you to mail in both your receipt and proof of purchase in the form of UPC barcodes.

Manufacturer:
The company who produces the brand items:  Dove soap manufacturer, Pace Salsa manufacturer, etc.

MFR: Some people save time by typing this instead of  ”manufacturer”

Manufacturer Coupon: A coupon created by the manufacturer, or by a marketing company on the manufacturer’s behalf.  Manufacturer offers a discount to shoppers in order to entice them to buy their product.  When a coupon is redeemed the manufacturer reimburses the store for the entire value of the coupon, plus a handling fee, aprox $0.08.

Mobile Coupon App: An application you download on your phone which has coupon offers on it, or where you scan in your receipts to get instant rebates for purchases. I have a list of the top 8 mobile apps I recommend.

OOP: Out of pocket. This refers to the amount you pay for an item, not factoring in rebates, ECB’s, +Ups, RR’s or any other catalina.

OYNO: On Your Next Order.  OYNSO: On Your Next Shopping Order.  This refers to offers where you will not see the savings on that order, but on your next shopping trip or transaction.  For example, spend $25 and save $10 on your next order.  You would spend $25 (usually before coupons) and a catalina would print giving you $10 off your next order.

One Coupon per Purchase:  You can only use one coupon per item purchased.  Usually you can buy multiple items and use multiple coupons in one transaction with this type of coupon.  As long as you buy multiple items, you can use multiple coupons of the same type per transaction.

One Coupon per Transaction: This one means you can only use one coupon per transaction, even if you have multiple items and multiple coupons.  Your store may let you do multiple transactions.

Peelie:  Manufacturer coupons that look like stickers and are stuck on products in-store.  I personally don’t remove these and only use these if I am buying that product at that store.

P&G: Proctor and Gamble manufacture a wide range of consumer goods and are one of the largest corporations in the world.  Proctor and Gamble puts out monthly coupon inserts filled with coupons for a variety of Proctor and Gamble produced brands, just a few of which include: Always, Bounty, Crest, Dawn, Gillette, Olay, Pampers and Tide.

PSA: Prices starting at; when a group of items are on sale, such as Fiber One products 25% off.  We might write “PSA $2.09? and list a group of Fiber One coupons.  This means that the cheapest Fiber One product is $2.09 and prices go up from there.

Purchase: a purchase refers to buying any item.  If I buy 30 items on a single shopping trip, I just made 30 purchases.

Purchase-Based Coupon: Purchase-Based coupons specify a dollar amount off a minimum dollar future purchase.  Some common values:  $2 off $10, $3 off $15, $4 off $20.  Manufacturer purchase based coupons may be used in addition to store coupons.

Q: Coupon abbreviation – also used, Q-pon.

Raincheck (full explanation HERE): A Rain Check is a written slip that you can request from a store when a sale item is out of stock.  When the store restocks the item, after the sale period is over, a rain check entitles you to purchase for the previous sale price.  Store may include an expiration date as well as a quantity limit on your rain check.  Rain checks are usually issued at the customer service desk.

Rebate (full explanation HERE):  Virtually all rebates are limit one per household, and P.O. boxes are never accepted.  Make sure to read the fine print- don’t waste time or money sending in multiple rebates for the same deal, since you’ll only get one back. Keep this in mind if you find tear-pad rebates at stores- there is no reason to take the whole stack, since you can only use one rebate.  Most of the best grocery rebates are found in the beer aisle.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Virtually all rebates are limit one per household, and P.O. boxes are never accepted.  Make sure to read the fine print- don’t waste time or money sending in multiple rebates for the same deal, since you’ll only get one back. Keep this in mind if you find tear-pad rebates at stores- there is no reason to take the whole stack, since you can only use one rebate.

RR: Register Reward.  These are triggered at Walgreens for buying certain products.

Rolling Catalinas: refers to the practice of separating your purchase into multiple transactions in order to use register catalina coupons from your first transaction to pay for your second transaction.  Another catalina prints from the 2nd transaction that pays for the 3rd transaction and so on.  This doesn’t work so well at Walgreen’s and you’ll need to read their store training guide full full details.

RP: Red Plum.  Formerly known as Vallasis, Red Plum coupon inserts and website feature coupons from a variety of manufacturers.  Red Plum is part of Valassis Interactiv.

SCR:  Single Check Rebate, Rite Aid Drugstore monthly rebate program, which has been cancelled.

Stacking Coupons:  Stacking coupons refers to using both a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon on one product.  Nearly all stores will allow you to “stack”.  Only one manufacturer coupon may be used per item.

Store Coupon: A coupon created by the store to entice you to buy a certain product at their store.  Stores receive no reimbursement from store coupons.  Store coupons may be found in the weekly ad, printed online or downloaded as e-coupons.

Store Loyalty Card:  A free card which you present at checkout to receive additional savings.  Fill out a short application to receive a loyalty card at your local grocer.  If you don’t want to carry the card, the cashier can look up your preferred card by entering your ten digit phone number.

Sunday Coupon Inserts: In many of my posts, you’ll see references to use Sunday coupon inserts; order your Sunday Coupon Inserts here. Here is  an example of how I tell you which insert a coupon is in when I post a deal:

Buy Olay Lotion $2.99
Use the $1/2 Select Olay Products, exp. 11-30-10 (SS 10/31/10)
Final Price= $1.99

What does the pink coupon information in the deal above mean?

  • $1/2 = $1 off when you buy 2.
  • exp. 11-30-10 means the coupon will expire on 11-30-10 and will no longer be useable.
  • (SS 10/31/10) means a coupon came from the Smart Source insert in the Sunday paper on 10/31/10.

Transaction: a transaction refers to your entire purchase, especially the payment you make for that purchase.  If I buy 30 items and then pay the cashier, I just made one transaction.

Tear-Pad:At many locations in supermarkets there are tear pads with rebates or coupons on them.  These are often found in the beer aisle or at the customer service desk. Remember, almost all mail-in rebates say “one per household, no P.O. boxes allowed” so don’t bother taking all the tear-pads. Leave some for other shoppers.

Stockpile:   Buy items when they are at their lowest prices and buy enough to get you through to the next big sale, so you never have to pay full price.

SS: Smart Source. A marketing company, like RP, Smart Source coupon inserts and website feature coupons from a variety of manufacturers.  Smart Source is part of News America Marketing Co.

Tear Pad: At many locations in supermarkets there are tear pads with rebates or coupons on them.  These are often found in the beer aisle or at the customer service desk. Remember, almost all mail-in rebates say “one per household, no P.O. boxes allowed” so don’t bother taking all the tear-pads. Leave some for other shoppers.

WAGS: Abbreviation for Walgreens Drugstore

UPC: Universal Product Code. Bar code printed on product packages that can be scanned electronically.

WYB:  When you buy.  ”Save $10 wyb 3 items” would mean: Save $10 when you buy 3 items.

YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary.  Usually means a deal is for clearance items and since it’s not advertised in the circular, there is no guarantee that your store will have the same deal.

Pin It

Think You Can Get Away With Photocopying Coupons? Think Again!

Oct 27 2011
Posted by deidre 27 Comments
Loading Add to cuckoo favorites

Here’s a letter from a reader I got back in July, I thought I’d re-post this since I’ve had several new readers asking me about photocopying coupons:

I am a loyal follower of your blog since I started couponing in May of 2011. Recently I have run into a ”gooey situation” and was hoping you could give me your expert opinion regarding my account with SS.com.  I think my “cookies have crumbled” because I tried to print some Q’s from there a couple days ago and was denied. I recieved a screen saying something like “Application Security Warning Access Denied” and it gave me a reference number and told me to contact them via e-mail to resolve this issue. In their troubleshooting area there was a topic that said my account may have been temporarily disabled due to fraudulent “copied coupons” which nearly made me choke up “chocolate chips”.  I sent them repeated emails and still havnt recieved a reply. I did a little investigating of my own because I was sharing coupons with some friends who have denied copying any of them and I have had the occasional scuffle with “grouchy mean” managers at a couple stores in which I wrote their Supervisors and Corporate Offices complaints because they had my patients wearing ”wafer” thin and was worried they may have set me up somehow. I started to go through my sales reciepts to see if any SS.com Q’s were used during any transactions that had to do with these “cookie cutter” individuals but didn’t find anything. I then decided to follow the “crumb trail” of Q’s that I have used from SS inserts and I found one for …”!!WhoNu Cookies!!”… that was labled as prohibited in NV my homestate {:o([. I felt like “tossing my cookies” because I didnt read the fine print and neither did the store associates that accepted them with doublers making for some great cookie deals. WHONU???? Being kinda new at this I never expected to recieve coupons that were restricted in Nevada in my Nevada mailbox! I used alot of these at Albertsons during the Double Coupon Event Last Week at least 8 or 9 and in one particular transaction I used a BOGO and 1/1 together which made them $.25 cents ea for two pkgs. I think these may have been the culprits which “soured the milk” and left me with “chocolaty evidence all over my teeth”…. but i’m still not sure so I was wondering….Have you come across any similar situations like this within the “Cuckoo Community”? Any idea of what I can expect or what I should do after getting busted with my hand in the “cookie jar”? I would hate to have legal troubles over “couponing for cookies” considering I try so hard to practice couponing Legally and Legitimatly. I was just so “charmed by cheap cookie deals” and now I feel “sandwhiched” by fear! It’s times like these that I (almost) wish I was “diabetic”… so any advice you could offer a poor poor innocent ”cookie crook” would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You so much for all your hard work and for educating us “cookiecuck-I-I-mean “CouponCuckoo’s” :)

SweeetTeeef.

Deidre’s Take: Here at Cuckoo for Coupon Deals we never photocopy coupons! If you are in a coupon train or any other way of exchanging coupons, never exchange internet printables!  You never know if that other person is going to photocopy them, and since they were printed from your IP address YOU could be in huge trouble.  Not only might you not be able to print coupons anymore, the CIC may choose to prosecute you!

Ask CFCD Readers: Any advice for Sweet Teeef?

Pin It

Rite Aid Ad Deals 8/14 – 8/20/11

Aug 13 2011
Posted by angeri No Comments
Loading Add to cuckoo favorites


Rite Aid Store Coupons, Ad Weekly Deals, & Coupon Matchups provided by Time 2 Save. Couponing can be confusing if you don’t understand SCR’s and +UP rewards; read my Rite Aid training guide!

View this week’s Rite Aid’s Ad Scan from I Heart Rite Aid. Want to be an extreme couponer? Don’t hesitate to ask questions because I answer them quickly!

**Stock up “Cuckoo Deals” final prices are in pink!

+Up Rewards
Single Check Rebates
School Supply Deals
Other Good Deals

STARTING WITHOUT ANY +UP
STARTING WITH $8 +UP FROM LAST WEEK
STARTING WITH $10 +UP FROM LAST WEEK

Click on “Display All Matchups” to view the full list of matchups!

Pin It

Walgreens Ad Deals 8/14 – 8/20/11

Aug 13 2011
Posted by angeri 13 Comments
Loading Add to cuckoo favorites

Walgreen’s  Ad Deals & Store Coupons & Matchups provided by Time2Save.  View this week’s Walgreen’s Ad Scan from I Heart Wags.

Read my Walgreen’s Training Guide if you’re new to extreme couponing! My goal is to make store deals as easy as possible.  So if you have any questions, ask in the comments below and I will be quick to answer.  Let us know what in-store finds you score!

**Stock up “Cuckoo Deals” final prices are in pink!

Register Reward Deals
Good Grocery Deals
Health/Beauty & Personal Care Deals
Household Deals
Fillers Ideas

STARTING WITHOUT ANY RR
STARTING WITH $4 RR FROM LAST WEEK
STARTING WITH $7 RR FROM LAST WEEK
STARTING WITH $8 RR FROM LAST WEEK
STARTING WITH $9 RR FROM LAST WEEK

Click on “Display All Matchups” to see the full list!

August Register Rewards~These Run until 8/27

Pin It

CVS Ad Deals 8/14 – 8/20/11

Aug 13 2011
Posted by angeri 9 Comments
Loading Add to cuckoo favorites

CVS Ad Deals, Matchups & Store Coupons provided by Time 2 Save Workshops

Ask a question in the comments section below; I am quick to answer.  I want to simplify couponing, not make it more difficult.

Read my CVS Training Guide if you’re new to extreme couponing!  Don’t forget you can register your Extra Care Card Online to sign up for email coupons and a $4 off $20 in-store coupon will be sent to you via email! View this week’s CVS Ad Scan from I Heart CVS.

*****Stock up “Cuckoo Deals” are in pink!

Best ECB Deals:
Other Good Deals:
Gas Promo:

Click on the “display all matchups” button under the matchups to view the full list!!!

Pin It

FREE box of Garnier Herbashine Hair Color *HURRY!* $7.99 Value

Aug 11 2011
Posted by deidre 8 Comments
Loading Add to cuckoo favorites

UPDATE: GONE – check back tomorrow at 6pm EST for 20,000 more samples!

 FREE box of Herbashine on the Garnier Facebook Page! First click the checkbox to select your haircolor type, and type in the box about how your hair makes you feel, then click Post. Then scroll clear down to the bottom where it says to enter your mailing info!

Then go to their wall and tell them @CuckooForCouponDeals sent you!

Thanks, Couponing To Disney

Approximate Retail Value of Garnier HerbaShine haircolor is $7.99. First 20,00 today, then it appears tomorrow at 6pm EST it may be live again! 

Don’t forget my massive ongoing freebies list!

Pin It

#SwagShare Giveaway #13: $750 in Michael Angelo’s Free Product Coupons (15 winners)

Aug 10 2011
Posted by deidre 287 Comments
Loading Add to cuckoo favorites

Last one of the night!

You thought it was all over on the last one huh? You didn’t know it was going to be this epic did you?

While frozen meals are few and far between for my family, when we do have them I like to be sure it is healthy and not just some dinner in a box. At the Blogher conference this weekend I was able to meet the wonderful people of Michael Angelo’s We tasted one of their wonderful dishes there and heard all about how they took their time to be sure the meals were prepared fresh. Each meal is prepared to order and shipped within 36 hours after being prepared. This means it gets to you only shortly after that and is fresh for your family when you serve it. Just put it on a pretty plate and no one would know it wasn’t home made! ;)

You can find Michael Angelo’s Single Serve and Family Sized Meals at Walmart Stores nationwide priced around $9.49. You can choose from the following six Family Serve: Meat Lasagna, Eggplant Parmesan, Chicken Piccata, Vegetable Lasagna, Shrimp Scampi and Italian-Style Sausage and Meatballs.

We are excited to give THREE winners FIVE coupons for FREE Michael Angelo’s Products valued at $9.49 each. Here’s how to enter:

  • Like Michael Angelo’s on Twitter
  • Then come back here and write a comment of what your favorite Michael Angelo’s products is
  • BONUS entry Tweet: #SwagShare & @Michael_Angelos FREE $9.49 value coupon giveaways – $750 total!  Learn more at @cuckoofordeals

Plus you can also enter to win a set of coupons on each of these blogs. You will need to comment on their Michael Angelo’s post in order to enter.

SwagGrabber

Cuckoo for Coupon Deals

Couponing to Disney

Consumer Queen

The Sassy Saver

The giveaway will run through August 11, 2011 at 11:59 am EST. The winners will be selected randomly and will be posted Aug. 13th 1:00pm PST after the close of the contest. SUPER AWESOME: On all fill out a form contests, prize will be mailed to you automatically, you don’t even have to claim your prize! On comment based entries, you will need to check back to see if you won. Must be 18+ to enter and reside in the United States. This promotion is sponsored by The Consumer Queen, Couponing to Disney, Cuckoo for Coupon Deals, SwagGrabber and The Sassy Saver and all thoughts and opinions are our own.

 

Pin It
©2014 Cuckoo For Coupon Deals