Couponing Training & How To Make or Save $$$

Posted: January 10, 2017
17

catalina-couponsPart of the ABC’s of Couponing Guide Let’s break couponing down to be fun and easy, not extreme and time-consuming!

What is a Catalina??

dove-catalina

A Catalina is a piece of paper that prints at the end of your transaction.  There are 4 different types of Catalinas that may print for you:

  1. Dollar Off Coupons: An example would be a “$4.00 off your Next Your Purchase” Catalina.  These can be used on ANY future purchase.
  2. Manufacturer Coupons: Sometimes you may get a manufacturer’s coupon printed out instead.  I usually buy Beech Nut Baby Food for my daughter because it is cheaper.  But Gerber wants me to purchase their brand, so I will always get Gerber Manufacturer Coupons printed out of the Catalina Machine.  Many times we don’t know when or if we will get the manufacturer’s coupons printed out after our order.  Just think of it as a little surprise if you do!
  3. Store Coupons: Target is a great example of this.  Instead of printing out a manufacturer’s coupon for a brand, you will actually get a Target Coupon.  These are great to get because you can use one Target coupon and one Manufacturer’s coupon on each item.
  4. Previews of Upcoming Catalinas: Sometimes you may not get one of the 3 coupons I mentioned above.  Instead, you will get a preview of an upcoming Catalina.  It will tell you when the Catalina Promotion Starts and which products qualify to get the coupon.

 

Helpful Hints on Getting your Catalina to Print

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  • Make sure the Catalina Machine is on: Before the cashier starts scanning your items, make sure the Catalina machine’s green light is on. If it isn’t, your Catalina will not print. And, if the Catalina machine is turned on in the middle of your transaction, chances are that you will not get it to print either.  So make sure you check that before you start checking out.
  • Double Check the Items you are Purchasing: In order for a Catalina to print, you have to purchase the EXACT sizes, quantities and brand.  If the 11.8 oz Box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch is part of the Catalina Promotion and you purchase the bigger box instead, you WILL NOT get a catalina printed out.  So make sure you double check sizes, brands and that you purchased the right amount.
  • Call up Catalina: Sometimes you do everything right and the Catalina still doesn’t print out.  What do you do in that case?  Call up Catalina directly at 1-888-8COUPON or email them at ncsc@catalinamarketing.com.  You will need to have your receipt and item handy so they can get the information from you.  If you did purchase the correct brand, sizes and quantities, then they will mail you your Catalina coupon.

newsletter

Where you can find a Catalina Coupon List?

Well, these are hard to come by as they aren’t advertised.  I post them when I find them.

They are not all inclusive, but are great starting point.

Posted: January 9, 2017
10

Part of the ABC’s of Couponing Guide

the-best-way-2

To stay up to date on the latest deals you can do many things.  I show you all the ways and you can pick the best one for you!

Sign up for Text Alerts

text-alerts

Get text alerts by texting FOLLOW CUCKOO4COUPONS to 40404.

These will be sent once or twice per day on the very best full-size product freebie coupons and insane deals.   You will still need to follow in other ways, and many days you won’t get texts.  This is just for killer deals I don’t want you to miss.

If you have free text messaging on your plan, there will be no charge to you!  If you don’t have free texts, then you may not want to sign up for this.

Get the Cuckoo App

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  1. It’s FREE! Snag it on Google Play (Android) or iTunes app (works on iPads & iPhones) or Windows Store (windows phones)
  2. Create free shopping lists with step-by-step instructions to save money at your favorite stores
  3. Never Miss a Deal or FREEBIE!
    *FREE push notifications of the hottest deals.  This is great for people who don’t have unlimited text messages because it doesn’t use up any texting.
  4. Easily enter weekly for a FREE $25 Amazon.com gift card:
    *Click on the three little lines on the top – this will pull up the Main Menu
    *Click on “Weekly Contest” to enter
    *Winner will be announced on our site + right on the Weekly Contest app every Sunday!

Sign up for the Newsletter

Emails are sent once a day with all the deals from the last 24 hours.  Sign up in the form  below:






We respect your email privacy

Posted: January 5, 2017
64

Part of the ABC’s of Couponing Guide

all-about-how-coupons-work-1

Have you ever worried you are costing a store money by getting freebies? Or how exactly getting free items with coupons can be legal and ethical? Let’s start at the very beginning:

Coupon Advertising

Manufacturer’s create food products, beverages, household and personal items.   It costs a lot of money to do ads on T.V. or elsewhere to inform consumers of these products, so another form of advertising for them is a coupon. Manufacturer’s create a coupon for an item to get the word out about the product, and get it directly in the hands of the consumer.  They want you (the consumer) to use the coupons. What a better way to get the word out about your product then having people try it out!

Where do I get coupons?

Manufacturer’s pay for the coupon to be distributed in Sunday coupon inserts, online, or through magazine ad placements.  This is to get the coupon in your hands.  See my video where I show you how to find coupons:

I want to use my Coupons

After you get the coupon in your hands, you create your shopping list and may even choose to use the coupon.  After you scan your coupon on the register, the store takes the amount off the total purchase.  You are stoked – if you follow my site, you may have just scored a freebie by combining a store sale/coupon with the manufacturer coupon! But the store is not reimbursed yet.  The coupon is sent to a coupon clearinghouse to verify it was used correctly.

What is a coupon clearinghouse?

A coupon clearinghouse is a third-party independent of the manufacturer and the store the coupon was redeemed at.  They determine the amount each manufacturer owes each store.  The manufacturer takes the “hit” for the coupon, not the store.  The store should get reimbursed for the amount of the coupon…but…if you scan a coupon on the wrong item, the coupon clearinghouse may find out and decide the manufacturer doesn’t owe the store that amount for that coupon.

Do not copy coupons

If  a coupon is a photocopied coupon, the clearinghouse will know and will not reimburse the store for the coupon.  This means if you use coupons fraudulently, stores don’t get reimbursed and they lose money.  That is stealing from the store!  Some stores have already decided that too many fraudulent coupons are being used, and they have stopped accepting coupons printed from the internet because they are worried they are photocopies and won’t get reimbursed.  So please don’t photocopy coupons; as a general rule, coupons can usually be printed twice online and should never be photocopied.

Store Coupons

Store coupons (coupons released by a store) are not reimbursed by the manufacturer.  The store releases these to attract customers. You can “stack” a store coupon or sale with a manufacturer coupon.  The manufacturer pays the store back for their coupon and the store is the one who takes the hit for the store coupon.

Everyone Wins with Coupons

It’s not all bad news for the stores! Many people uses manufacturer coupons legitimately and stores are getting reimbursed by the manufacturer – plus eight cents for handling.  Manufacturer’s are getting their products in the hands of consumers and are happy their ads were successful.  They hope once a consumer tries a new product, they may try it again even if they don’t have a coupon next time.  Consumers are getting to try products they may have never tried before at great prices.  In the end, if coupons are used properly then the consumer, manufacturer and store are stoked.  Using coupons to score freebies can be done completely legally and ethically without hurting anyone involved!

Posted: December 5, 2016
37

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! UPDATE: This year, not just total spending but if you do a lot of transactions you may have been moved to VIP, check your VIP status. 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.

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

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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!

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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: November 27, 2016
55

amazon-prime-vs-syw-max

I made this infographic comparing SYWR Max Free Shipping at Kmart, Sears & LandsEnd.com Trial versus Amazon Prime free shipping memberships. Comment below with what you think! Would love if it you pinned to pinterest as well.

Want even more savings? I can send you Kmart/Sears coupons if I am your FREE personal shopper. Just login, click on “become a client” on Deidre’s SYWR Personal Shopper page.

Snag a FREE 30 day trial of Amazon Prime.

Posted: September 24, 2016
39

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

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: 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!

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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:

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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 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

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

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