Couponing Training & How To Make or Save $$$

Posted: September 24, 2016
38

Best Mobile Smartphone Apps for Couponing 2016

I had people request what are the best mobile apps for couponers, so here are my favorites! Please leave a comment with yours too!

Cuckoo for Coupon Deals:

You will NEVER miss a deal with the Cuckoo for Coupon Deals app – download it free on Android or itunes (apple) or  Windows phone app store.  Plus every week we giveaway a $25 Amazon.com gift card to one app user!  And we have new improved printable lists which are easier to click on your mobile browser.

SYWR1-app

 

SYWR Kmart/Sears App:

Download the free SYWR app to easily view your surprise points and get Kmart & Sears coupons.

Also download the Spin it To Win It app – people win SYW points daily with it!  Those points can be used at Kmart or Sears, and if you don’t have an apple phone you can play this game on a desktop now.

Ibotta:

Ibotta is a FREE Android & iPhone app. I find it easier to navigate than Shopkick and typically use it the most out of all apps. Here’s how to use it:

  • First, login to Ibotta and select the deals you are doing.   Just click on them with your phone, so easy!
  • Perform small tasks, like reading about how Chapstick works, taking 1-question polls, or sharing on FB to get $ added to the value of the coupon
  • To redeem your cash back, you will need to take a picture of your receipt and scan the barcode of the product you purchased. Ibotta will credit your account within 24 hours (it usually only takes 24 seconds).
  • Once you have earned $5.00 cash back you can choose to transfer it to a Paypal account or donate it to a charity.

Ibotta is offering a FREE $10 bonus when you sign up right now!

Shopkick:

Shopkick is a FREE Android and iPhone app. It gives you access to exclusive deals to stores like Best Buy, Target, Macy’s & Toys ‘R Us. You will get a free $25 restaurant.com gift certificate when you sign up!

Steps to get the gift card:

1. Sign up online first via the Cuckoo landing page
2.You will get a text message to download the app – click this to download it
3. The gift card gets dropped into your account the first time you do a ‘walk-in’ to a partner store. That is, you walk into one of the partner stores with the app open on your phone.  Best Buy, Old Navy or Crate and Barrel, or more!  When you visit, say Best Buy, you’ll open the app inside at the entrance and wait a few seconds – the points will get credited and so will their gift card! The gift card will appear under the “me” tab and should be pretty instant.

Here’s some coupons at Target on Shopkick right now:

  • $1.50 off Archer Farms Snack Trail Mix or Nuts
  • $5 off Merona apparel $20+
  • $5 off Liz Lange for Target apparel 20+
  • $2 off Champion kids tops or bottoms
  • $1 off Archer Farms Chips 8 oz +

Checkout 51:

Checkout51 is mobile or you can use it on your PC.   The best part about this is you can use it at ANY grocery store! This gives it a big advantage over Ibotta.

How to use Checkout 51:

1. Browse your offers, buy at any store
2. Upload your receipt
3. Get cash back!
4 When your account reaches $20, you can cash out and Checkout 51 will mail a check your way.

Target Cartwheel Mobile Coupons

Download the Target Cartwheel Coupons App and get coupons sent directly to your mobile phone! No need to print, just scan your smart phone at Target for the savings!

CVS Mobile App

View ExtraCare information – send offers to card, view Weekly Ads, sign up for offers, deals and more on the CVS Mobile Android app or the CVS Apple App

Let me know if you know of any others as well.

Posted: August 10, 2016
23

cvs_logo

Have you heard?!  CVS Pharmacy has changed their coupon policy again! This policy was updated 8/1/16.  There are a few changes and additions.  To make your life easier, we have broken down both the new policy point-by-point and highlighted the changes and additions.  Some of it is very confusing and unclear, but hopefully this post will answer more questions than it raises.  Remember that this policy is very new, so we still don’t know exactly how CVS will enforce it.  And, as always some stores enforce policies different than others.  We will all learn from experience together, so please leave comments as you shop and encounter these new policies being enforced.  You can read the policy in its entirety here.  Below, we have written out the policy as it pertains to coupon-usage.

CVS Pharmacy coupons (ExtraCare® coupons and other store-issued coupons), ExtraBucks® Rewards and third-party manufacturer’s (mfr.) coupons are accepted in our retail stores in accordance with the following guidelines and as required by state and local laws. CVS Pharmacy reserves the right to change this policy at any time without advance notice or advertisement.

The highlighted portion has been added. This is pretty standard language for most coupon policies and just allows the company and stores to enforce any policy at any time.  We see this a lot with some stores enforcing certain policies, while others don’t.

All paper coupons:

  • Must be presented during checkout in order to receive credit
  • Must be legible
  • Must have a scannable barcode
  • Are acceptable in black and white or color
  • May not be duplicated

Other guidelines & limitations:

  • We reserve the right to process coupons in any order.
  • Coupons must be used on or before the expiration date.

The highlighted portion has been added.  It is unclear whether this applies to CVS ExtraCare coupons and ExtraBucks rewards.  Some stores have accepted them past their expiration date, but this new policy may mean that they will no longer do that.

  • Qualifying ExtraCare card must be presented at checkout to use CVS Pharmacy coupons. Does not apply in limited circumstances.
  • Valid coupons loaded to your ExtraCare card will be applied at checkout.
  • We cannot scan coupon barcodes directly from a mobile device.
  • Manufacturer’s (mfr.) coupons are generally designated with “manufacturer’s coupon” or “mfr.” printed on the face of the coupon (other similar type language may appear on the face of the coupon indicating funding from the manufacturer).
  • You cannot exchange your coupons or ExtraBucks Rewards for cash or gift cards. Neither coupons nor ExtraBucks Rewards can be refunded or re-issued. CVS Pharmacy coupons may be subject to state sales tax rules similar to manufacturer’s coupons. Sales tax may be charged on pre-coupon price as required by law.

This is new.  I read this as you can’t return an item you paid with ExtraBucks Rewards for and receive ExtraBucks Rewards back, but instead you get store credit.  Some may interpret this as meaning if you pay with ExtraBucks Rewards and return an item, you may not get the value of the ExtraBucks Rewards you used refunded at all.

  • Your purchase must include qualifying items in order to use coupons.
  • Individual coupon value cannot exceed the value of the item it is applied to.

This is new.  This most likely means you can no longer use two coupons on a Buy 1 Get 1 FREE sale.  You will now only be able to use one, since the second coupon would exceed the value of the free item.
(8/9/16) Reader Tanya has confirmed that she was able to use a coupon on a free item in a BOGO Free sale.

  • CVS Pharmacy coupons generally cannot be used on sale, promotional or clearance items. Other restrictions may apply. Language at the bottom of coupons may provide additional coupon acceptance rules.

This has been added.  It is unclear as to whether this means that we won’t be able to use CVS Coupons or CVS ExtraBucks Rewards on sale, promotional or clearance items.

  • You can only use one item-, brand-, or category-specific CVS Pharmacy coupon and one manufacturer’s coupon per qualifying item unless prohibited by either coupon. We honor manufacturer limitations.
  • Some coupons may not be applicable to orders placed on CVS.com
  • We have the right to refuse or limit the use of any coupon and/or the subsequent return for any reason and at the discretion of CVS Pharmacy management.

Visit CVS.com/CouponPolicy for more information.

 

Coupon policy FAQ

What happens when I want to use a coupon with a value that is higher than the amount I am purchasing?
You may still use the coupon; however, its value will drop down to the value of the amount you are purchasing.
Example:

  • A $5 coupon for a $4.99 item will result in a $4.99 coupon value.

Can I use multiple coupons within a transaction?
Yes, as long as all of the coupons meet their qualifications.
Examples:

  • Two $3 off $15 coupons for purchases that are $30.00 or higher.
  • $3 off $15 coupon and $5 ExtraBucks® Rewards for a purchase of $15.
  • $1 off toothpaste mfr. coupon and a $2 off toothpaste Coupon Center coupon for a $3 toothpaste item.

Can I use multiple coupons on sale items?
Yes, for certain coupons and certain sale items.
Examples:

  • Suave shampoo is on sale for $2.00 Buy One, Get One Free (BOGO) and the customer purchases two shampoos; the customer may use two coupons for $1.00 each and pay the applicable tax.
  • Suave shampoo is on sale for $2.00 BOGO and customer has a mfr. coupon for Suave BOGO. Customer will receive both items for free but will need to pay any applicable tax.

How do I determine the application of sales tax on my purchase that involves the use of a coupon?
Funded manufacturer’s/mfr’s coupons will generally calculate sales tax on the pre-coupon price of the item, as required by state law*. If the coupon is issued by CVS Pharmacy® (ExtraBucks Rewards plus ExtraSavings coupons that includes ExtraCare® Coupon Center and myWeekly Ad circulars), the coupon is generally deemed a retailer coupon and the sales tax is calculated on the discounted price of the item (after the coupon is applied), as required by state law. However, some CVS Pharmacy issued coupons are “funded manufacturer’s coupons” and designated as mfr. on the face of the coupon and also on your receipt. Sales tax is calculated on CVS Pharmacy issued mfr’s coupons on the pre-coupon price of the item.
*Sales tax is calculated on the discounted price of the item (after the manufacturer’s coupon is applied) in the following states: CT, MA, MO, PA, TX

Can the processing order of multiple coupons that are applied to an item affect the calculation of sales tax?
Yes. Although CVS Pharmacy reserves the right to determine the processing order of its retailer coupons issued (including discounts earned via the ExtraSavings Programs and myWeekly Ad circulars), individual state tax laws govern the processing order of retailer coupons vs. funded manufacturer’s coupons.

Am I limited by how many items I can buy?
There is no set limit however, store managers do reserve the right to set discretionary limits on specific items being purchased in order to ensure there are enough of those items for other customers.

How am I able to use percent-off coupons?
Percent-off coupons may be used on non-promotional/non-sale items. Exclusions are displayed on each of the coupons.
This is new.  All percent-off coupons exclude sale items.  However, in the past, percent-off coupons could still be used on promotional items and items that were regular-price and earned an ExtraBucks Reward.  However, this new policy seems to exclude the latter.  We are still not sure exactly what this means.
(8/9/16) Reader Clint confirmed that he was able to use a % off coupon on a regular-price item that produced an EB Reward.

How do I use digital ExtraCare coupons or ExtraCare coupons that have been sent to my card?
You are able to send available deals and coupons to your ExtraCare card from CVS.com® , the CVS Pharmacy mobile app, digital receipts and CVS Pharmacy email. Click on the Send-to-Card® icon and view the success indicator on the landing page to ensure it was loaded properly. To use it, purchase the necessary items the coupon is valid for and ensure your ExtraCare card is scanned. The colleague will ensure it is applied to that transaction during the checkout process.

What is considered an ExtraCare coupon?
Any coupons and ExtraBucks Rewards that print at the ExtraCare Coupon Center; or are featured in your printed or digital receipt, CVS Pharmacy mobile app, or on CVS.com are considered ExtraCare coupons. Quarterly ExtraBucks Rewards, circular ExtraBucks Rewards, BeautyClub ExtraBucks Rewards, and Pharmacy & Health ExtraBucks Rewards® are all types of ExtraCare ExtraBucks Rewards.

What are your thoughts on the new policy?

 

Posted: July 22, 2016
45

amazon-prime-vs-syw-max

I made this infographic comparing SYWR Max versus Amazon Prime free shipping memberships. Comment below with what you think! Would love if it you pinned to pinterest as well.

Snag a FREE 90 day trial of SYWR Max. Just login, click on “become a client” on Deidre’s SYWR Personal Shopper page, then you will get 90 days of free shipping at Kmart.com, Sears.com, and Landsend.com. There is not a charge for being my client, it is free!

Snag a FREE 30 day trial of Amazon Prime.

Posted: March 27, 2016
652

Part of the ABC’s of Couponing Guide

This is my in-depth coupon clipping slicing & organizing  video.  It covers:

  1. Where to get coupons (I have negotiated the lowest multi-copy Sunday rates here!)
  2. Coupon binder vs. filing method
  3. Slice Coupon Cutter (no more scissors for me!)
  4. Pre-sorting categories as you slice coupons
  5. Showing my coupon binder & categories I use (view them HERE)

I have gotten so many emails asking about my Slice Coupon Cutter – you can scoop up a slice safety cutter here on Amazon.com for just $6 plus free super saver shipping!

UPDATE: I got a new binder cover from Coupon Clutch that you’ll love- check it out below!

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 7.08.40 PM

Note, I use the same organization system as seen in the video above, I just got a binder that looks cuter for shopping!
I hope you enjoy the video and leave me any questions you have or suggestions!

Posted: March 27, 2016
12

diy window cleaner

How to Make Window Cleaner like Windex

Lately we’ve been making and testing homemade products to help save our readers money.   I have seen a Homemade Window Cleaner and after looking around found 2 different recipes (formulas) to try.  I wanted to let you know how to make them and what I thought about them. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to get printable lists.

window cleaner recipe

The first one is very simple.  It only has a few ingredients and everything I already had in my home.  Just put all the ingredients in an empty spray bottle and shake.  I used a funnel to make it easier.  When done it filled about 1/2 my bottle and matched the color of the dishsoap which happened to be blue.

I used this on windows inside and outside my home.

It worked EXACTLY like Windex.

Not a cheap store brand, but seriously EXACTLY like the name brand product Windex.  There were absolutely NO streaks and it cleaned perfectly.  I also used it on some pretty dirty mirrors and got the same result.  It has a light sudsing when you spray, but does not hinder the way you use it.  It also has a light vinegar scent which was not bothersome at all.

diy window cleaner

The second mix I made was also simple, but took a few more ingredients.  Again I had all the ingredients in my home. I added the cornstarch after the warm water, but that was a mistake because cornstarch will make clumps.  Since I did it this way I had to shake it harder to get rid of the clumps.  I would recommend mixing the cornstarch with the cool vinegar ahead of time and then adding it to the warm water.  You probably won’t have the same issue I had.  This made about 3/4 bottle and is a white color.

window cleaner side by side

I used this on windows inside and outside my home.

It also worked EXACTLY like Windex.

Again, just like the name brand Windex.  There were a couple of differences.  When I cleaned the windows outside it worked better on built up grime.  I think it’s because the cornstarch gives it a scrubbing effect (texture.)  The other thing I noticed was the smell.  It smells like Vinegar and Alcohol more than my sinus’ appreciated.  When using it inside I had to back off a little after I sprayed because the smell was bothersome.  Outside it made no difference.  You do have to shake this up after it’s been sitting for a while because the cornstarch begins to sit at the bottom.  It’s easy to shake it back up.

No matter what I will use both bottles of DIY Window Cleaner I made.

My thoughts:

The first recipe is better for indoor cleaning and the second recipe is better for outdoor grimy buildup cleaning.  Both are simple to make and take ingredients I had in my home.  After making this I doubt I will ever buy the store bought Window Cleaner again – unless it’s a very cuckoo deal.  This is absolutely cheaper and works the same.  Share your experiences with these recipes if you try them out.

You can print the recipes here:

Posted: March 11, 2016
4

How to Start

If I did it, you can do it.

Trust me, when it comes to scary terms like “web hosting” and “cloud technology”, I’m no guru. But setting up a website these days is really not as technical as you’d think. So, moms and dads? Fear not. This handy-dandy guide will show you how to transform empty, void space on the web into a money-making machine. That’s the dream at least!

Step 1: Pick Your Package

You can do this by heading over to Bluehost. They’ll give you a free domain (that is your blog’s URL) with the purchase of a hosting package, which you’re gonna need anyway. You might have to tweak your domain a little if the one you want is taken, but eventually you’ll find your happy place with your very own URL and hosting account to go with it!

You know I love deals, so here’s one of the best deals that includes everything and makes setup easy – Bluehost has you get setup in the cheapest and easiest way possible:

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 2.53.54 PM

Here’s what you do…

At bluehost.com, click the “get started now” button up top and it will take you to this plan selector:Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 3.01.42 PMIf you are just getting started, you the $3.95 plan and it is easy to upgrade later if your blog grows and you need to expand your website space.

Step 2: Name Your Baby

This is it, the birth of your brand! Time to throw all inhibitions out the window and go with the title that suits your fancy… for the most part at least. Choosing your blog’s name is something you can really have fun with, just keep in mind that humans tend to like things simple. So something like thecouponator.com might be easier to remember than theeasybreezybeautifulcouponator.com.

I choose CuckooForCouponDeals.com before I knew anything about blogging, and quickly realized it was too long for some people to remember.  So I ended up purchasing CuckooForCoupons.com and Cuckoo4Coupons.com.  Now if anyone goes to either of those URL’s, they are redirected – or sent – to my main page.  That makes it easier for people to find my site.

Once you feel rock solid about your catchy title, the next step is to cross your fingers and hope it’s available! There’s about a zillion blogs out there, so don’t get too attached before you check your new title’s availability.

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 3.12.37 PM

Quick Tips for a Killer Blog Title

  • Stay true to your audience. Would they like it? Is it their style?
  • Stay true to you. Does it capture the essence and tone of your blog-to-be?
  • Go shorter rather than longer – it’s easier to remember.
  • Keep search terms in mind. Think of the type of words your audience will be searching for, and incorporate a few if you can.
  • Make sure it’s a name you can live with for….ever. Rebranding is always a messy business.
  • Take your time. Some of the greatest marketing slogans of all time took weeks to muster up.
  • Last of all… have fun with it! Boring never sells, so be creative and catchy.

Since you’re just starting out, I’d say go ahead and select the cheapest plan (you can always upgrade later when your blog becomes mega-successful!). From there it’s pretty simple. You’ll type in your domain, account and billing information, the nitty gritty stuff.

Wait, what is hosting?!

Not sure what “hosting” even means? It’s okay… I didn’t either. Long story short, every site on the internet needs a place to live, right? A place to store all its files and keep itself running smoothly. That’s where a web host comes in. You absolutely have to have one to start a site. Thus, my Bluehost recommendation.

Now, enough tech talk!

Step 3: Install WordPress

This is my favorite part. I believe there’s a little designer in all of us, and that’s why piecing together the look and feel of your coupon blog will have you oozing with happiness.

Once you log into your new Bluehost account, go to your dashboard and you should be able to find an “Install WordPress” button, shown by the huge blue arrow below:

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 3.14.38 PM

The installation is pretty straightforward, but try this walkthrough if you have any trouble.

If you have any trouble at all just call Bluehost they are super friendly and helpful!  I worked on one late at night and they will still answering the phones!

Quick Review

Bluehost is your host… while WordPress is your site builder (and it is free). One is your site’s house, the other is your site’s tools. Got it?!

Once WordPress is installed, you can sift through hundreds of themes, customize your design, and start filling in the blanks with your killer content! I’d recommend publishing a few posts before going public. Clean your house and put up the decor before your company comes over, and then they’ll be enticed to come back.

And vuela! You’re ready to start blogging, sniffing out coupons, and saving the world. No biggie, right? Just remember… the set-up may be easy, but the dedication can be hard.

A successful blog takes time and lovin’.

Happy blogging!

Posted: December 23, 2015
29

VIP 100 free

How Do You Qualify for SYWR VIP?

All your purchases online and instores from Sears, Kmart, SYWR.com and LandsEnd.com qualify for your annual spend totals:

  • VIP Silver: $2,500.00 annual spend OR if you purchase stuff totaling more the 800 in 11 transaction you can make silver.
  • VIP Gold: $5,000.00 annual spend
  • VIP Platinum: $10,000.00 annual spend

I recommend logging into SYWR.com and viewing your year-to-date spending, if you are close to VIP towards the end of a year, you may want to hurry and hit it! Because you must hit it before Dec. 31st or you’ll reset to $0.  If you hit it, you’ll get it for the remainder of this year + the full following year.

What do you get with SYWR VIP?

The greatest benefit is the SYWR Bonus and Choice coupons on the SYWR VIP page.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 5.48.40 PM

VIP members can get all the bonus deals.  Examples above.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 6.13.04 PM

VIP members can get one “choice” deal per quarter.  Examples above.  These vary per quarter, but typically include:

  • 100% back in points on a TV
  • 100% back in points on various lawn mowers
  • 100% back in points on Cuisinart or Kitchenaid applicances
  • 100% back in points on select kids toys
  • 100% back in points on select fine jewelry
  • and more!

Cuckoo’s Tips on how to use your VIP choice benefits:  You click on your choice benefit and click “Get Benefit”.  A coupon will be loaded to your account.  Go to Sears.com or Kmart.com (whichever one the benefit was for) and find the exact item.  Add it to your cart.  Click on “apply my sywr coupons”.  Apply the coupon for your benefit.  Apply any $ off coupons.  Do not apply any other get points back coupons – those will nullify your reward.  Then click to the last page of checkout. Do NOT pay with points.  If you do, it will lower the amount of points you get back on the deal!  Checkout and get your points.  You will have 90 days to use them or they will expire.

Other VIP benefits:

  • Exclusive VIP Member offers throughout the year.
  • VIPs automatically receive 20% in Points on all computer accessories (includes mice, web cams, keyboards, cases & bags) and Alphaline Electronics, in store and online at Sears & Kmart.
  • Enjoy a 5% points special bonus day each quarter.
  • Treat yourself to 5% points on all qualifying purchases during your birthday month. (Be sure your birthdate is included in your Member profile!)
  • $4.99 oil change with free tire rotation at Sears Auto Centers twice a year.
  • Early notification of upcoming sales.
  • Discounts on shipping throughout the year.
  • Priority service for any Membership questions by contacting our dedicated VIP-only customer relations phone number

How Long Do You Get to Be SWR VIP?

At any point in a year that you reach a VIP status, you would keep that status for the remaining portion of the current year and the full following year.

So if you were VIP Silver for a year, and then you hit VIP Gold in July 2016, you’d be VIP gold until December 31st, 2017!

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 5.41.40 PM

Hit VIP? Expect to get a mailer soon!

Make sure your mailing address is correct so you’ll get your mailer.

Why didn’t I automatically get upgraded to VIP?

Once my husband hit over $2500 in spending, but his VIP status never got upgraded.  He finally found out that he had hit Spam on an email once from Kmart or Sears, and that downgraded him from a Bonus member to a Base member. Only Bonus members are eligible to become VIP member. So he quickly changed his email right in SYWR.com and clicked the confirmation link.  Then he became a bonus member, and was then able to move up to VIP Gold!

Bottom line: Don’t Mark SYWR Emails as Spam!

FREE Personal Shopper:

If you haven’t yet, add me as your FREE SYWR Kmart/Sears/Lands End Personal Shopper so I can send you weekly coupons and you can snag 90 days of free SYWR max!

Find the Deals:

Follow my SYWR Deals page for all the best Kmart Double Coupons matchups and SYWR points deals, join my Kmart Group and if you want text alerts only on SYWR deals, text FOLLOW SYWRDEALS to 40404

Posted: December 21, 2015
32

Best Mobile Smartphone Apps for Couponing 2016

I had people request what are the best mobile apps for couponers, so here are my favorites! Please leave a comment with yours too!

Cuckoo for Coupon Deals:

You will NEVER miss a deal with the Cuckoo for Coupon Deals app – download it free on Android or itunes (apple) or  Windows phone app store.  Plus every week we giveaway a $25 Amazon.com gift card to one app user!  And we have new improved printable lists which are easier to click on your mobile browser.

SYWR1-app

 

SYWR Kmart/Sears App:

Download the free SYWR app to easily view your surprise points and get Kmart & Sears coupons.  It’s also easy to find your SYWR pin, which you will need to use when you checkout and cash in points over $10.  Plus you can play sweepstakes right in the app for free, and I win money nearly every week on these!

Ibotta:

Ibotta is a FREE Android & iPhone app. I find it easier to navigate than Shopkick and typically use it the most out of all apps. Here’s how to use it:

  • First, login to Ibotta and select the deals you are doing.   Just click on them with your phone, so easy!
  • Perform small tasks, like reading about how Chapstick works, taking 1-question polls, or sharing on FB to get $ added to the value of the coupon
  • To redeem your cash back, you will need to take a picture of your receipt and scan the barcode of the product you purchased. Ibotta will credit your account within 24 hours (it usually only takes 24 seconds).
  • Once you have earned $5.00 cash back you can choose to transfer it to a Paypal account or donate it to a charity.

Ibotta is offering a FREE $10 bonus when you sign up right now!

Shopkick:

Shopkick is a FREE Android and iPhone app. It gives you access to exclusive deals to stores like Best Buy, Target, Macy’s & Toys ‘R Us. You will get a free $25 restaurant.com gift certificate when you sign up!

Steps to get the gift card:

1. Sign up online first via the Cuckoo landing page
2.You will get a text message to download the app – click this to download it
3. The gift card gets dropped into your account the first time you do a ‘walk-in’ to a partner store. That is, you walk into one of the partner stores with the app open on your phone.  Best Buy, Old Navy or Crate and Barrel, or more!  When you visit, say Best Buy, you’ll open the app inside at the entrance and wait a few seconds – the points will get credited and so will their gift card! The gift card will appear under the “me” tab and should be pretty instant.

Here’s some coupons at Target on Shopkick right now:

  • $1.50 off Archer Farms Snack Trail Mix or Nuts
  • $5 off Merona apparel $20+
  • $5 off Liz Lange for Target apparel 20+
  • $2 off Champion kids tops or bottoms
  • $1 off Archer Farms Chips 8 oz +

Checkout 51:

Checkout51 is mobile or you can use it on your PC.   The best part about this is you can use it at ANY grocery store! This gives it a big advantage over Ibotta.

How to use Checkout 51:

1. Browse your offers, buy at any store
2. Upload your receipt
3. Get cash back!
4 When your account reaches $20, you can cash out and Checkout 51 will mail a check your way.

Target Mobile Coupons

Sign up for Target Mobile Coupons and get coupons sent directly to your mobile phone! No need to print, just scan your smart phone at Target for the savings!

Walgreens Mobile Coupons

You can text APP to 21525 and Walgreens will send you a direct link to their app in iTunes, Android” Market and BlackBerry App World.  You can also sign up for Walgreens Coupons Alerts to get coupons sent directly to your phone.

CVS Mobile App

View ExtraCare information – send offers to card, view Weekly Ads, sign up for offers, deals and more on the CVS Mobile Android app or the CVS Apple App

Let me know if you know of any others as well.

SavingStar:

SavingStar is great because you can get cashback for shopping at Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Target, and more.

Posted: October 4, 2015
64

download (1)
Did you know that Kmart/Sears have a program that lets you earn points (which convert to money) just for getting and staying fit?  The program, FitStudio, is FREE to sign up for and use – and you can earn up to $2 weekly!  If you are already a SYWR member then you just use your email and password to sign in and create your profile.

Deidre’s Video Tutorial:

To easily earn your first points you can do this:

Connect

  • Sign up for FREE = 2000 Points ($2)
  • Complete your profile = 2000 Points ($2)
  • profile
  • Connect a Device = 1000 Points ($1) connect
  • You will be able to connect via several fitness and health tracking apps.  Link to the one that you use.  You can use Fitbit Tracker and other ones. *We use My Fitness Pal.  We personally have tested it and get our SYWR points daily!  It’s a little complicated to setup, details on this post: Syncing My Fitness Pal with Map My Walk and SYWR FitStudio.
  • Connect Activities can be completed once per account. Use points within 7 days

To continue earning points you do this:

Get Active

  • Walk or run 2 miles a day = 100 points (limit 100 per day)
  • Share Fitstudio content = 100 points (limit 100 per day)
  • Burn 200 Active Calories = 100 points (limit 100 per day)
  • Share your progress = 100 points (limit 100 per day)

You can Redeem Points at Kmart or Sears for purchases like cash!

After I signed up it had me set a goal.  Once I hit my goal I get another 5,000 Points ($5)

Points are injected in your account, they are NOT surprise points!

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 11.01.58 AM

These points can be used on anything!  And you can earn up to $2 per week, just for walking 15 miles.  (it used to be $5, it is now $2)

It will keep track of your points and activities after you have your device connected in one easy place (Dashboard)

dashboard

You can also check My Library, under My Profile, to easily save FitStudio programs, workouts, exercises and articles for quick access later.  You can check out he the Programs

programs

and Workout Gallery

workout

and customize it to the type of workout you want to do:

workout

The points you earn are automatically added to your SYWR account and ready to spend – no restrictions!  Use them on anything you want!

redeem

Posted: July 26, 2015
27

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 

Posted: June 29, 2015
1

14-Items-Never-Buy-At-Costco

Top 14 Costco Secrets:

1. Refills ink cartridges for JUST $7.49 at Costco!cash-card

2. Pay with a Costco cash card and avoid the Costco membership fees!

Only Costco members can buy these cards, so ask a family member or friend to get you one.  Then you can get in the store and pay with your cash card for even just part of your purchase, and pay the rest with cash.

But if you are an executive member, you get 2% cashback on all purchases and if that doesn’t equal more than your savings each year, you are refunded your membership price. So I recommend going executive.

hot-dog

 

all-beef hot dog at Costco, photo credit Daily Herold

3. The Beloved Food Court is a a Membership Free zone?!?

Costco lets you just walk in the exit door without showing your membership card to get to the inside food court as well. You don’t need to be a member to eat at the food court even if the food court is not outside.  They have $1.99 ginormous pizza slices and $1.50 hot dogs.

4. You CAN Coupon at Costco – with apps such as Ibotta, Checkout 51 & Snap.

5. Prices ending in $.97 are nation-wide markdowns.

We will share these on Cuckoo 4 Coupons so everyone can look for them.

6. Prices ending in $.00 are local markdowns and aren’t nationwide.

7. Don’t worry about name-brand batteries, Kirkland Brand rocks & are on the cheap!

costcotickets

photo credit: consumerist

8.  Costco offers discounts on movie tickets, ski lift tickets, and more regional activities (but are limited so scoop those discounts up as soon as you see them.)

costco

photo credit: consumerist

9. Items with an astrisk * in the upper right-hand corner are going bye-bye, and not coming back anytime soon.

Viva Paper Towels

10. Several items you can get cheaper with couponing, and you should not buy at Costco:

  • Shampoo,
  • razors,
  • feminine
  • hygiene products,
  • peanut butter,
  • cereal, lotion,
  • toilet paper,
  • paper towels,
  • sugar,
  • diapers,
  • baby formula.

11. Fruit, string cheese, photos, and electronics are some of the best deals at Costco. I also buy my milk at Costco.

12.  Supermarkets often sell quarter sheet cakes for $20, while Costco sells half sheet cakes for $18.  And their 7-pound Chocolate Cake is a must-try.

13. Yes, they really will give you a refund on half-eaten food if you didn’t like it. Or anything else for that matter – no receipt required. Just electronics have a 90 day return policy (it’s a new policy).

14. Some locations are required by state law to allow non-members to buy alcohol. 

Posted: April 22, 2015
114

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 – which is ending.  Learn about the new Plenti Program starting May 3rd 2015.

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.  Kmart will doubled DND coupons.

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.

Plenti (full explanation here) – Rite Aid’s new rewards program

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.

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.

SYWR (full explanation here): Shop Your Way Rewards Kmart / Sears Loyalty program. 10,000 points = $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.

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