ABC

Posted: July 11, 2011
12

ABC’s of Couponing: Episode #1: “Piggybacking”

This new animated weekly series, released every Monday at 11:30am MST, called ABC’s of Couponing, will answer questions that I get emailed to me. To possibly have your question featured in next week’s episode, email deidre@cuckooforcoupondeals.com

To be notified when new videos are released, subscribe to my Youtube Channel

Posted: July 11, 2011
16

Walgreen’s Register Rewards questions answered! Every question people have asked on my site I rounded up and answered in a very in-depth training video.

Posted: June 30, 2011
5

Part of the ABC’s of Couponing ebook

Here’s some coupon savings calculators and spreadsheets to help you calculate your spendings and savings.  Some things to keep in mind:

  • How much did your coupons cost? I go on a per-month basis.  I spend about $17 a month getting 4 copies of the Sunday newspaper each week.   So when I calculate my savings at the end of the month I subtract $17 from my amount saved.
  • How much extra gas did you use? Often driving to multiple stores to get deals uses more gas then a regular shopper.  This should also be calculated.
  • How much ink and paper did you use? I normally get paper free after rebates at Office Max and Staples, so my only cost is ink.
  • Do you insure your stockpile? Some people have insurance on their stockpiles, well you need to subtract that from your savings.  (I do not personally but some people on Extreme couponing said they do…)
  • Lost time: you can’t put a dollar amount on this.  Sometimes deals take too long to do for the amount you are saving.  Never let couponing take over your personal, family, and spiritual life.

With all that in mind, are 100% savings possible?? YES!  Some deals you end up making money on, which cover your gas money to get to the store. Also, with online deals 100% savings are easy to calculate and I post as many of those as I can find!  But there’s tons of amazing deals in-store too.

Posted: June 27, 2011
9

Part of the award-winningABC’s of Coupons” series

I try to make couponing un-extreme and un-complicated, not extreme and time consuming.   In order to achieve extreme coupon transactions without the headache, I have  a few tips:

Be Prepared For Entire Lifestyle Changes:
You aren’t going to start saving without trial and error, and without taking the time to “learn the ropes”.  This is not a get-rich-quick-scheme. Being a Couponer is a way of life. An entire new way of life isn’t going to start out immediately and you can’t dive in half way.  If you really want to save time couponing, you need to know all the rules before you start.

  • I have store coupon policies for several stores – print them and take them with you shopping.
  • I have a FREE 36-page ABC’s of Couponing guide which teaches how to do the deals.
  • I also list the deals at 72 stores nationwide – scroll over “Find My Store” at the top of my site to see all the store coupons and deals on my site; I add new ones weekly.

If you haven’t taken the time to learn how to coupon, and you want to show up at the store and save a bundle, you may be in for a big surprise.  It is possible to save time and money couponing, but it won’t happen without full preparation.

Start with ONE Store:
Learn how to coupon at one store.  Each store works differently and if you try to run around doing deals at 5 stores your first week of couponing, you will most likely fail.  Pick one store and learn their rules and do some shopping trips there.  Also, keep in mind you can miss some deals.  It isn’t saving money if you jump in the car and go in for just one deal.  You’ll miss some, but you’ll save in the long run. And trust me, the deals come around again so don’t feel bad if you miss them at first.

After mastering one store, start adding more to your resume.

“But Deidre, what store should I choose?!?!? – First, don’t choose Sam’s, or any other wholesale club.   I recommend choosing one of the 3 following depending on your needs and which is closer to you:

  • Drugstores – Walgreens, CVS or Rite Aid are my favorites.   You can score nearly free health and beauty items each week; but a word of caution, these are also the hardest stores to learn how to do.  I have training posts and videos for each and definitely learn one at a time.
  • High-low Grocery Stores – the grocery stores you commonly associate with high prices are also the ones that have some of the best grocery deals!  They have high every-day prices to “compensate” for their drastic sales.  They expect you to make impulse buys when you go in for the great sales.  This is why they have “loss leaders” or ads on their circular which are amazing, to get you in-store and then hope you buy regularly priced (expensive!) items while you are there.  But not anymore, now that you’re  a couponer you know better!  Examples of these stores are Publix, Kroger, Safeway, & Albertson’s to name a few.
  • Super centers – Target, Walmart etc… often have some great deals and their rules are pretty straight-forward compared to the other options, but actually the savings often won’t be as great as at high-low grocery stores.

Plan Your Trips:

  • Will you need “filler” items to bring your totals into correct amounts? No one wants to end up at the cashiers browsing candy for filler items because they haven’t planned their shopping trip!  Examples of why you’ll need a filler item:

At Walgeen’s, you need to have as many items as you have manufacturer’s coupons and register rewards that you are going to be using to pay for the transaction (not ones that you expect to print).  This means if you are buying 6 items and have 6 coupons and 2 register rewards that you want to use to pay for the transaction, you’ll need two filler items.   Don’t waste your filler item on something you don’t need.  Gellitin is found at many Walgreens for around $.20 and is more useful to you then candy.

I have even bought Sunday papers as filler items at a grocery store where I needed my total to be over $50 to use a $5 off coupon.

  • Avoid End Caps!
    End caps are displays at the end of aisles.  Before you were a couponer, you thought these were great deals.  These usually aren’t and are a great way to end up over-paying for items you could have gotten cheaper later when you found a sale stacked with a  coupon.
  • Avoid Impulse Buys!
    This goes along with my last tip of avoiding end caps, because those are usually where you will do an impulse buy.   Check your stock up price list and  then see if the “deal” paired with any coupons you have is a stock up price.  If not, pass on the sale.  More deals will come along later.
  • Have Your Coupons Ready:
    Don’t be the lady at the checkout sorting through coupons and holding up the line.  Every time I am at a store and find an item on my shopping list,  I pull the coupon(s) I am using and put them in a tab at the front of my binder.  Then when I get to the register, all my coupons are in one place and ready to go.

Let’s make couponing fun, one coupon at a time!  If you have more tips to share, please post a comment.

Posted: June 15, 2011
3

ABC’s of Couponing Question Answered:

If you have a coupon that expires today, let’s say for example on 6/15, can you use it on 6/15? Yes you can! You can’t use it on 6/16. Overseas military can use coupons up to 6 months expired, so I pull out my expired coupons at the end of each week, and once a month send them on over for military families!

Posted: May 16, 2011
41

Part of the ABC’s of Couponing Guide

What is a Double Coupon?

First, let’s start with what double coupons aren’t.  I have heard people think you are using two manufacturer coupons on one item.  That is illegal and it not what double coupons mean.  Second, I have heard people think it simply means coupon stacking (when you use one store coupon and one manufacturer coupon on one item).  Stacking is valid and legal at many stores, but this is not what double coupons mean.  There is no such thing as a “double coupon”. What there are, however, are stores that allow you to double a coupon.

You use the same coupons you find in your local Sunday paper or print online.  Certain stores will let you double the value of the coupon.  When you redeem the the coupon at your local store during a double coupon promotion you will get twice the value of the coupon taken off the one item. If a coupon on a package of Huggies is $.50 off, you’ll get $1.00 off your package of Huggies.

Some coupons say “do not double” – read my post on Do Not Double coupons, why they say this, and why you can still double these in most cases!

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.

You can use double coupons to get high value items free!  If a razor is normally $8, but is on sale for $4 (or on sale for $8 and is BOGO free), and you have two $2 off coupons, and your store doubles up $2, they would take off $4 for each razor, and then you would get both razors free!

Do you have a list of which stores double coupons?
Some stores don’t advertise that they double- so make sure to ask!   Other stores only double on certain days of the week, every week.  Kmart doubles randomly, and sometimes it is up to $.99 and other times it is up to $2.00, they just advertise it in their weekly circular.   Please leave a comment and let us know which stores in your area double, so we can create a master list.  Here is a list of over 20 stores and whether they double or not is listed on their policies page.

Know the rules of your store before you shop:

  • The store may limit your total coupons used to no more than 75 (or another number) per transaction or visit.
  • Stores may limit you to no more than 4 coupons for the purchase of 4 of the same items.
  • Each store doubles to different amounts; some stores double coupons $.50 and under, other stores double coupons up to $2.00.
  • Some stores won’t let you double coupons on clearance items.

Sharing is caring: Don’t go crazy and buy 100 of an item and clear the shelf.   If you know a great deal is coming, ask your store to order you extra of the item.

Tips for making your trip less stressful for you (and the cashier):

  • Bring the stores circular ad that advertises the double coupons. Some cashiers don’t know about their own stores promotions.
  • Have your coupons out and ready to scan before you get to the register. Put the same items together when checking out, and have your coupons in the same order as your products are being scanned.  Sometimes when items don’t match-up and the cashier has to scan the register tap to find them, this will make it easier for them to find the coupons and products because they are in order.
  • Hand the cashier each coupon one-at-a-time so that you can verify that non stick together and you are getting all your savings.

Do I have to pay taxes on items I get for free?
This varies by store but most registers will still ring up the total tax due.

This is part 4 of a 26 part “ABC’s of Couponing” series

Posted: April 6, 2011
21

Part of the ABC’s of Couponing Guide

Guest Post by Lea from Coupon Train

Hello Coupon Friends,

My name is Lea. I do a coupon train. Coupon trains are simply a way of exchanging coupons by postal mail. While this is not a new concept and predates the Internet, the Internet has opened up opportunities to better connect savers. This means those “Great Coupons” that aren’t available in your local paper, supermarket, or even mail just may be in someone else’s. That pile of “free” products or coupons you were going to discard may be exactly what someone else is looking for. Add in a few more people, and you may just have a savings Dream Team!

Coupon Trains – The Basics

Every train is different, depending on who needs what, when, why, and where! Whoever starts up a train usually defines the specific goals and rules for that group. There are a few key fundamentals to consider before you decide which train is right for you.

Basics of the Coupon Trains – The basic coupon train begins with a group of 3 – 6 members at different mailing addresses. An envelope of coupons (typically 40 – 200) is mailed from the “conductor” to the first person on the “train route” (mailing list). That person takes out the coupons they want and replace them with other coupons at least equal to the number they took out. They then mail the envelope (“envie”) to the next person on the route, who does the same.

Ideally each person keeps the envelope for no longer than 1 – 3 days, and pulls out any expired coupons. The train needs to keep moving along, since the idea is to send and receive those much-needed coupons before the next sale, or the expiration date. Coupons expire quickly, so the train is only worthwhile if the coupons can be received, matched up with sales, and redeemed before they expire.

We host all the state but Hawaii and Alaska, Sorry!

Most of all, remember that the coupon train is a team effort! It should be enjoyable, rewarding, and bring SAVINGS to all the members. If you have any questions about the train, just ask!

Email: Freecoupontrain@gmail.com

On Facebook Freecoupontrain-Personal Blog

Thanks so Much,

Lea

Note from Deidre:

If that coupon train fills up, and there are more people who want to be involved, please leave a comment for other readers and a way to contact you below!  Maybe Hawaii or Alaska people who want to start one locally??

Posted: April 4, 2011
17

Part of the ABC’s of Couponing Guide

For smartsource, coupons.com, bricks.com, and redplum coupons, after you print them hit the “back” button on your browser to print them one more time.  You can print each coupon twice!  Don’t hit the back button multiple times, just hit it once.  A pop-up may appear that says “resend” or “cancel”, hit “resend”.

You can only print coupons twice per computer.  You also should never photocopy coupons.  This is illegal and could get you in serious trouble.  Coupons have a unique identifier, so if you photocopy them then that number is the same on both coupons.  The manufacturer will not reimburse the store for the multiples, the store will lose money and this is essentially stealing from the store.  Not to mention, they may decide to stop taking printable coupons altogether.

Posted: March 31, 2011
3

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

Have you ever ran to the store to score an awesome deal, then find the store is sold out? Before you start to pout, think about getting a rain check.

A rain check is a slip of paper that you can get from a store when they are out of an item that is on sale. The slip of paper allows you to come back when they have the item back in stock to purchase it for the sale price.  Often the store associate will sign the piece of paper to verify it since it won’t have a barcode.

So even after the sale ends, you can come back and get the item for the sale price!  Sounds great, but keep in mind:

  • Check your coupons expiration dates!  No use going through the trouble of getting a rain check if the coupons you need to get the cuckoo deal will be expired by the time the store is back in stock.
  • Items on Buy 10, get $4 off sales usually you will not be able to get rain checks on, unless you plan on getting all 10 items on the raincheck.
  • Clearance items aren’t valid for rain checks.  Only sale prices.
  • Register rewards from Walgreens, and Plenti Points from Rite Aid are not eligible for rain checks.
  • EB’s at CVS are eligible for rain checks.   I cut the ad out so I remember what it is I wanted, and what the limits are so when I go to redeem the rain check I make sure to get the correct items and EB’s.

Next time you are in a store for a sale and it is wiped out, think about getting a rain check! Then when you go to use the raincheck, tell the cashier before you swipe the groceries so the cashier can scan them correctly.

If you go back to the store and the items still are not back in stock, make sure to request to have the rain check expiration date extended.   On great sales you may have to extend these for several weeks.

To view individual stores rain check policies, view my store coupon policies!

View more of my coupon training posts!

Posted: June 27, 2010
37

Part of the ABC’s of Couponing Guide
coupons

There is so much information to learn about couponing! One thing I just realized I have never have talked about is writing to companies to express dislike/problems or great news about their products.

My sister once got a bad bag of Stringster’s String Cheese.  She emailed the company and complained, and they sent her tons of coupons for free string cheese!

Why would companies send you free coupons? Companies want to hear from customers.  Research varies, but some studies show only 8% of people with problems with a product complain to the company directly!  Most people just stop using the company’s product and/or take it back to the retailer.  To the company, that 8% represents a lot of people.  For every bit of feedback they get, they know a lot of other people feel the same way.  Hearing from you is invaluable to them!

Whether you write to them about a great experience or a horrible dud product, they are happy to hear from you because even if you never use their product again, they want to know what people are saying about it.  Most companies happily offer freebie coupons to people who write to them and tell them about the company’s products.  Some companies only send out high-value coupons, but that is better than nothing!

How does this affect couponers?
You can write to companies to get great freebie coupons or high-value coupons!  Always write the truth, of course.  Sometimes people pick a specific day, like Writing Words Wednesday, to write to companies.

Coupon Booklets mailed to you:

What companies can I contact?

You can contact just about any company via email or written letter asking for coupons. I once contacted Nivea telling them I never receive their “regional” coupons and they sent me a hand full of high value coupons. I was so excited! If there’s a product you use often, or one you want to try don’t hesitate to contact that company. You’d be surprised how simple it is to get coupons mailed to your home.

Want to view our Master List of companies to write to? Check it out!

Let me know if you try this and what great coupons you get!

Posted: June 9, 2010
73

I got the Stewart Fashion Silk Tie shown above to review from ABC Neckties; I didn’t tell my husband about the review so I could give it to him for Father’s Day.    I always get the mail since it comes when he is at work so I was going to get the tie and stash it from him.  Of course the tie came a few days before I expected.  I was spending the entire Memorial week at my parents house and thought the tie would come after the holidays.  It came while I was gone and my husband called me to say we randomly got a tie in the mail.

I said “Hide that tie.  I can still surprise you with it on Father’s Day” and he laughed. He wore it to church this week.   I’m still counting it as his Father’s Day present though!

My husband says it is great quality tie.   My husband served a mission and wore ties everyday for two years, and so he knows his ties.   He’s got dozens.  This is one of his new favorites.

ABC Neckties has every type of tie you can think of and you can search by color,style, or browse novelty ties.

I am hoping that we can get the winner of the giveaway their tie before Father’s Day because I think it’d be  a great gift.

Giveaway: 1 Winner Will Get any Tie of their Choice from ABC Neckties!  ABC Neckties will send you your tie, but I’ll do my best to get it to you by Father’s Day.  Giveaway is a short 24 hour entry time so that we can select a winner and get their tie to them in time!

HERE’S HOW TO ENTER TO WIN:

  • MANDATORY: Leave a comment letting us know what you’re giving dad/hubby this Father’s Day.
  • OPTIONAL EXTRA ENTRY: follow @ABCNeckties (Twitter) and leave a comment saying that you did
  • OPTIONAL EXTRA ENTRY: “like” ABC Neckties Facebook page
  • OPTIONAL EXTRA ENTRY: “like” Cuckoo for Coupon Deals on Facebook

4 entries max – remember to leave a new comment for each entry (this is slightly different then our other system of entries where you only have to leave one comment and you select the drop-down lists; I’m trying to decide which way people like best- let me know).

Please enter your email address in the required e-mail field only.  Do not type it in your comment box because spambots will see it and spam you.  Your email address will be saved to your comment in our database so you can be instantly notified if you are selected as the winner.
Entry is open to US residents. Ends 10:00AM MST on Thursday, June 10th. Winner will be chosen using a third party site, random.org, announced on this site, and have 24 hours to respond or an alternate will be chosen.  Disclosure: I was in no way paid for this review and this is my honest opinion.
Posted: March 30, 2010
52

View the other posts in my ABC’s of Couponing series

I receive emails daily from people with questions.  Here’s  a new video I made today to go along with my others store Videos that answers a lot of stacking coupon questions and printable coupon questions.

In the video I talk about coupon policies, view each stores coupon policy.

I also teach how to “stack” a manufacturer’s coupon with a store coupon.  You can read a text walk-though of how store coupons and manufacturer’s coupon work.

In the video I talk about these sources of coupons:

Rite Aid Video Values No Longer Available
Redplum.com
Smartsource.com
Coupons.com
Target.com

I didn’t mention eCoupons: but I should have! These do “stack” with coupons from above.  You don’t have to print them, you just type in your rewards card number for your grocery store and when you swipe your card at checkout it will deduct your coupons. Learn all about eCoupons now!

 

July 11, 2011
July 11, 2011
June 30, 2011
June 27, 2011
June 15, 2011
May 16, 2011
April 6, 2011
April 4, 2011
March 31, 2011
June 27, 2010
June 9, 2010
March 30, 2010
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