Extreme Couponing Startup Kit

Posted: 4th January 2012 by bnorfleet in Uncategorized

Want to be an extreme couponer but don’t know where to start? If so, you may just need a few materials to truly launch your life of savings. Every extreme couponer uses a slightly different set of supplies to hunt for bargains, but most of them have the same foundation to build from. What you need is an extreme couponing startup kit, which will give you everything you need to at least start the journey of saving money. Here are some of the items you may want to include in this kit so you can be prepared to shop.

Printer

A lot of the coupons you may use will come from sites like www.CouponSuzy.com. These coupons are printable, so you will need to have a printer and some paper to be able to use them. You don’t have to get a fancy printer or anything along those lines. You just need something that can print information off the web. If you want to be on the safe side, you should also get a printer that can make copies so that you can make multiples of the coupons you print from the web. Then you will be able to get a lot of use out of a single device.

Binder

No extreme couponer’s life is complete without a coupon binder. This is a large binder that you can use to store all of your coupons for easy access. If you have a three ring binder already, you may just need to add some baseball card protectors to it to make it coupon friendly. You can also add a pencil pouch with scissors, a calculator, or anything else you may need for couponing. Take a look at this video for more information about what you may be able to put into your coupon binder…

Paper Cutter

Once you start using hundreds of coupons a week, the idea of cutting them by hand will seem a bit absurd. You need to have a better and more practical way of cutting out the coupons you want to use. This may come in the form of a paper cutter, otherwise known as a guillotine cutter. The cutter will have a large arm with a blade on it so that it can slice down and provide a clear line of cuts from the start. You can stack many ads together at once and cut them all out at one time. This is a simple and effective way to clip a lot of coupons at once.

Sunday Paper

The Sunday paper is going to be a great source for coupons for you, so you need to make sure you subscribe to it. This may cost a little extra money a month, but it will be well worth all the money you get to save. You can also talk to the people that run the newspaper in your area and see if there is a way for you to pick up any ads that they do not use at the end of the week. You could get huge stacks of savings delivered right to your door if you play your cards right.

You will most likely figure out some other pieces to add to your couponing kit along the way, but those should give you a decent starting point to work from. If you watch the show Extreme Couponing on TLC, you will get even more ideas for items to include in your kit. Then you will be fully prepared to start saving money.

How Coupon Match-Ups Work

Posted: 1st January 2012 by bnorfleet in Uncategorized

Have you ever heard of coupon match-ups? If not, you may be missing out on some fantastic deals in your area. Extreme couponers have been using match-ups for years now, and most of them can’t leave home without checking them. In order to use them to your advantage though, you need to know what match-ups are and how they can work for you. Here is an overview of the coupon match-up system so you can get a better idea of what may be in store for your savings in the future.

What Are Coupon Match-Ups?

Match-ups are coupons that correspond to a sale going on in a store. For example, let’s say that General Mills cereal is on sale at a grocery store. The store price is $10 for five boxes of cereal. If you had a coupon from General Mills that could save $.50 off each box of cereal you buy, you can get each box for $1.50. If you have a store discount on top of that, you could save even more money. By matching the sales and the coupons available for a given week, you can get the best deals possible at a store.

How to Find Coupon Match-Ups

You can try to figure out coupon match-ups on your own by comparing your local ads to the coupons you have in your binder. You may miss something doing that though, so you might want to check a few websites that offer match-ups for free. The sites will do all the work for you so all you have to do is print off the coupons mentioned in the match-ups. I like to use CouponDivas.com because it is easy to work with. You may find a site you like better though. It just depends on the stores that you like to shop in.

Where to Use Coupon Match-Ups

Some stores will not allow you to use a coupon on top of the sale price for an item, so you need to be careful as to how much you rely on coupon match-ups. You first need to make sure there is a store in your area that will allow that. Most of the time, this will be a grocery store like Kroger or Albertson’s that is already good about offering low prices on food. You can speak to a manager at one of your local grocery stores to see if you can use match-ups or not.

How to Make the Most of Your Match-Ups

If you find a place to use match-ups in, you need to make sure you do all you can to get the most out of your match-ups. This means that you need to use as many resources as possible to find them. Some sites only offer match-ups for certain stores, and you may have multiple stores in your town that you can save at. Thus you need to look around to get as many options as possible. You also need to do your own research to increase your chances of finding a good deal. Pretend you’ve gone through police officer training and you will be able to scope out the good deals around you.

Since most store ads run weekly, you need to get in the habit of looking for match-ups every week. If you only do this once a month, you may miss out on a great sale on your favorite food items. As long as you plan your hunt well enough, you can usually find great deals with the match-up process. You may even wonder why you never thought to look for that in the first place. With a little research and some good coupons on hand, you can get a great deal for your family in no time.

Are You a Krazy Coupon Lady Yet?

Posted: 25th December 2011 by bnorfleet in Uncategorized

If you want to call yourself a true couponer, you have to check out KrazyCouponLady.com. This is a site founded by two actual extreme couponers for the purpose of helping others save money like they have. These women are the authors of Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey, a top selling book outlining the chronicles of their couponing experiences. The website is an extension of their book and their legacy, and it allows men and women alike to learn how to save from the best. Here’s a look at some of the features of that site to give you a better idea of the opportunities that come along with being a krazy coupon lady.

Couponing Tips

There are several sections of the site devoted to tutorials, helping novice and experienced couponers alike hone their skills to maximize their savings. Whether you want to save a few bucks a week or you want to see a 75% savings on your next couponing trip, there is a tutorial on the site for you. The founders of the site have literally been paid to take merchandise out of the store before, just because they know how to work the system. Their tips can help you do the same.

Printable Coupons

KrazyCouponLady.com pulls from some of the top couponing databases on the web to provide an extensive list of printable coupons you could use. Some of them are featured on the homepage, and others are categorized by store or product type. If you see a coupon you like on the site, you can print it off your computer to use at the store. If there is a specific store that you like to shop at more than others, you can search for coupons based on that criterion. Take a look at some of the options on the site because you may be able to supplement your current coupon supply.

Freebies

There is a whole section of the site devoted to freebies, or things you can get for free if you meet certain conditions. Sometimes these freebies are just free product samples, but other times they may be free offers with the purchase of something else. For instance, you might be able to get a free drink at a fast food restaurant with the purchase of a sandwich at regular price. Deals like that happen more often than you’d think, but you don’t have to scour the web looking for them. Just pop onto the site and see what’s going on.

Brag Lounge

The brag lounge is a place where couponers can go to brag about their success stories. This is a great way to get support from other couponers and encourage people to save money with this process. If you just saved 85% on your grocery list, you can brag about it on the website. Then you can check to see the kinds of savings other people have had recently. This is a great way to get extra coupon training as well because you can pick up on the tricks of the trade from others. Doing so may make you a better saver down the road.

Are You Fit to Be a Krazy Coupon Lady?

You don’t technically have to be a “lady” to be a krazy coupon lady. You just have to have a passion for savings and a dedication for finding a good deal. If you have that and more, this is certainly a site to look into. You may even find some free scholarships along the way if you look around enough.

Must Have Accessories for Your Coupon Binder

Posted: 15th December 2011 by bnorfleet in Uncategorized

Your coupon binder is the keeper of your savings, and it is something you should cherish just as much as you would a textbook for one of your software development courses. A binder doesn’t have to just be a thing with rings that you shove paper into though. It can be a lively little creature that you accessorize like your favorite outfit. If you want to make the most of your coupon binder, you need to have some accessories to go along with it. Here are some of those accessories you may want to invest in.

Pencil Pouch

A pencil pouch is a simple device that you can put in the front of your binder to hold all of your other accessories. This pouch will have a few zipper pockets to use, along with holes in the top of it so you can strap it into the binder. You probably had one of these as a kid to hold your pencils and pens for school. You could bring that old one out, or you could look for a new one. Just make sure you find a coupon for it so you don’t spend a ton of money on a pencil pouch.

Scissors

A small pair of scissors can always come in handy if you have to cut coupons on the go. You may find an ad on the sidewalk outside of a store, and without scissors, you would have to rip any coupons out that you want. You can get a small pair that will fit into your pencil pouch, and then you will always have something on hand to use when you coupon. You don’t have to get a fancy pair of scissors. You just need something that you can take with you in your binder.

Plastic Sleeves

Plastic sleeves are great for holding your coupons. If you get the kind that can be used for baseball cards, you could store several sets of coupons on the same sleeve. These will have clear faces, so you can always see what you are about to use before you use it. If you have been putting full sheets of coupons in your binder until now, having some protectors like this on hand could help you get organized better in the future. You’ll soon wonder how you ever lived without them.

Calculator

If you want to figure out if something is a good deal or not in a store, you should get a calculator to bring with you. Try to look for a small, flat calculator because you will be able to put that in your pencil pouch. Anything that is super bulky may not fit in there. A lot of calculators nowadays are made with fabric backings, so they are really light and flexible. You may want to look for something like that to use in your coupon binder. You don’t need to take online accounting courses to benefit from having a calculator on hand.

Dividers

To ensure that our coupon binder is well organized, you need to have a set of dividers to keep track of everything. You can use dividers to separate coupons by date, by category, or by store if you want to. You just have to think about how you will logically look for the coupons you use, and then you can setup your dividers accordingly.

There are plenty of other little accessories like these that you will probably come across in your couponing adventures. After a few months of consistent savings, you should be well stocked for the next time you go to the store.

Setting Up a Coupon Club

Posted: 7th December 2011 by bnorfleet in Uncategorized

Do you ever feel like you may be missing out on some really good deals just because you don’t have access to all the coupons you should? Wouldn’t it be nice if you had an extra set of eyes watching out for those good deals for you? If you said “yes” to those questions, you may think about setting up a coupon club. This is a group of people that you can meet up with to discuss the ads for a week, much like a book club. Coupon clubs are becoming quite popular nowadays because of the expansion of the coupon world. The guide below will explain how you may go about setting up yours.

Step 1 – Call in the Couponers

The first thing you need to do is get a group of people together that make up the club. This could be a set of moms from your PTA group, a group of girls from your Everest online classes, or a set of strangers you happen to see in the checkout line. That is up to you. The size of your club is entirely up to you, but it would be nice to start with at least four or five people. If you’re trying to just gather new people out of nowhere, you can explain what the purpose of the club is. Let them know that you plan to work together to compare your ads for the week so everyone can benefit from the savings. If your pitch is convincing enough, you will draw in the newbies in no time.

Step 2 – Set up the Meetings

Like every good club, you will need to have a meeting place and a meeting time that you can rely on every week. You may agree to meet in a neutral location, like a local restaurant or the library. You could also agree to meet at a different person’s house every week. That way one person doesn’t have to carry the burden of hosting the meeting every single week. Figure out a time and place that works for everyone, and then you will be able to go about the clubby duties.

Step 3 – Hold Your First Meeting

Once you know when and where to meet, you can actually go about holding your first meeting. Have everyone in the club bring their coupon binders and any other materials they have to help people save. Then at the meeting, you can all compare coupons to see what other people have to say. This is also a great opportunity to exchange coupons with other people for ones you may not want. If you have a set of 20 coupons for baby food but all your kids are in high school, you might exchange them with a new mother who has a set of coupons for soda and pizza rolls. You can combine resources with other people in the club so that everyone gets the most out of the current sales.

Step 4 – Coupon, Clip, Repeat

Eventually, you should be able to get a rhythm going with your meetings. You may elect a set of officers for the meetings if you want something formal, or you may just carry things on as a group of friends. Get everyone’s email addresses so you can communicate with one another, and that will give everyone a chance to send links to great coupon sites they find. You may also think about making a wish list that highlights the coupons that everyone likes to use. That way when other group members come across those coupons, they know who to give them to. If you establish the right amount of team work, you can get a lot out of your coupon club.

5 Supplies No Couponer Should Be Without

Posted: 2nd December 2011 by bnorfleet in Uncategorized

If you’re trying to make ends meet living on a paralegal salary, you may be drawn to the art of couponing. This practice is sweeping the nation because of our current economic situation, and it is not expected to fade in popularity any time soon. In order to be a true couponer though, you need a few tools to get you started. Consider these tools as the gateway to your future savings. Here are five special supplies that you should not be without if you decide to pursue couponing on a regular basis.

Binder

Every couponer has a sacred binder that holds all of his or her coupons. This is organized in a different way for every person, but it is designed to give a person easy access to all the coupons in his or her arsenal. Most coupon binders have three rings in them, and on those rings are dividers and clear pocket protectors. The pockets can be used to hold coupons, which you can clearly see through the clear plastic. Whenever you need a coupon from a binder like this, you can easily find it and put it to good use. Without something like this, you could miss out on a ton of opportunities to save money.

Paper Cutter

Paper cutters make clipping coupons easy. Doing this with scissors will hurt your hands after a while, but doing so with a paper cutter is simply a matter of pulling a lever down. If you need to cut out multiple copies of the same coupon, you can stack all the papers together and slice them all at once. That is definitely not something you can do with a small pair of scissors. Investing in a $40 paper cutter may suck at first, but you may be able to find a coupon for one to use. Hobby Lobby almost always has a 40% off coupon on their website, so you could try using that if all else fails.

Shelves

When you start couponing excessively, you will begin creating what we all know as a stockpile This is a large set of items that you got on sale and now have to store somewhere for later use. In order to keep your stockpile as organized as possible, you are going to need some shelves. I use the metal garage shelves they sell at Wal-Mart in the hardware section because they are easy to put up and adjustable. They also don’t take up much space if I’m not using them because they come apart with no effort at all. You can use something like that to keep your stockpile as organized as possible.

Paper Clips

Paper clips are great for bunching groups of ornaments together. If you need to use coupons for multiple days in a week, you can clip them by day to keep yourself on the right track. I like to use colored paper clips in my couponing to help me designate the different kinds of food the coupons belong to (frozen foods, cereals, etc.), but you can come up with your own purposes for the paper clips you use.

Shopping Card

Most stores have shopping cards nowadays that you can use for additional savings on your purchases. For instance, Petco has the PALS card, which is totally free to get. All this card does is allow you to get the PALS pricing on a lot of sale items on the store. In exchange for the card, you may get the occasional newsletter from Petco, but that usually outlines the specials going on in the store. A true couponer will want to see those no matter what. Check for savings cards in the stores you love to shop at, and then you will be able to save as much as possible.

How to Save Money on Gas

Posted: 25th November 2011 by bnorfleet in Uncategorized

Gas prices keep fluctuating in this country, and it seems like they go two cents up for every one cent they go down. As a couponer, you will inevitably need your vehicle to snag all the hot deals you find in your shopping adventures. Stockpile-friendly mini-vans aren’t always the most fuel efficient things in the world, so you need to learn how to make the most out of the gas you get. The tips below will show you how to save money on gas at the pump and how to last as long as you can on a tank of gas.

Gas Discount Cards

A lot of stores nowadays will offer discounts for people who put gas money on a store gift card. For instance, you can get 10¢ off every gallon of gas at Wal-Mart if you put the money on a Wal-Mart gift card. All you have to do is go into the store and load the card at a register. Then you can take the card to the pump, and it will automatically deduct money off the price you pay for gas. This special only lasts around the holidays, but you can get 3¢ off year round with a Wal-Mart card. The savings will add up over time.

In my town, you can save 10¢ on gas at Shell gas stations if you buy at least $100 worth of goods at Kroger every month. I don’t ever shop there, but my father in law does. He goes to the lowest priced Shell station in town and uses his discount card to save a ton of money on gas each time he fills up. You could look for a similar deal in your area to see what you could save.

Price Checks

Before you drive around town looking for the lowest prices you can find, you may want to check on the web. GasBuddy and MapQuest have regularly updated price lists that reflect the current prices in your area. You can look to sites like that to give you an idea of where you should go for gas. The stations in your neighborhood may be priced significantly higher than those two miles away. If you do a quick search on the web, you can compare prices to find the best deal for you.

Fuel Conservation

In the midst of high gas prices, all you can really do is try to conserve the fuel you already have. Stick to highway driving if you can because that will provide you with better gas mileage. Every time your car has to start or pick up speed, it eats up a lot of gas. That is why it is better to stay at a consistent speed as much as possible. The most stop-and-go traffic you get into, the worse your gas mileage is going to be. Check for roads in your area that don’t have a lot of stop lights or stop signs. Try using those when you drive, just so you can stay at a consistent speed.

Check the “info” options on your car to see if you have an MPG indicator. Most new-ish cars have options that you can put on display in your gauges to tell you when you’re improving or hurting your gas mileage. When you push down the throttle, the indicators will tell you that you are losing fuel economy. If you watch that enough, you should be able to conserve as much fuel as possible.

Whether you make a forensic psychology salary or you earn minimum wage, you can benefit from learning how to save money on gas. Hopefully the tips above will help you make the most out of your money and your gas tank in the future.

Save Money by Ordering Pizza Online

Posted: 14th November 2011 by bnorfleet in Uncategorized

Do you ever get in the mood for delivery pizza? True couponers may say yes, thinking about the stockpile of Digiornos they have in their freezer. If you are one of the others out there actually thinking about pizza from Pizza Hut, Dominos, Papa John’s, or a similar pizza parlor, you may be able to save money and fulfill your cravings at the same time. There are new opportunities waiting for you online. Here is a look at what your options are with ordering pizza online.

How to Order Delivery Pizza Online

Most pizza restaurants now give you the option to place your orders online. This saves them from having to pay employees to take orders on the phone, and it gives you a chance to make sure your order is correct. All you have to do is go to the website for your favorite pizza place. Here are some of the most common ones:

I have a blog post about the 5 Best Pizza Places that may give you a better idea of what some of those restaurants have to offer.

Go to the ordering section on the website and enter your address, phone number, etc. Some sites only offer carryout ordering online, so you will have to look into that before you place your order. If everything goes well though, you’ll be able to place your order right there on the web. You won’t have to spend gas money to get your pizza. It’ll zoom right to you.

Coupon Codes

You can use coupon codes to save money on your online pizza orders, just like you could for any other purchase online. If you aren’t familiar with coupon codes, check out this post: Using Coupon Codes to Shop Online. All you have to do is enter your coupon code when you go to order your pizza. Then the computer will automatically adjust your total to reflect the coupon. You may not save a ton of money this way, but it won’t hurt you to look around. A good couponer is always looking for a deal somewhere along the way.

Internet Specials

Some pizza places put special offers on the web to encourage people to order online. They may throw in a free order of bread sticks or a two liter of soda. That just depends on where and when you order your pizza. Fast food restaurants do this a lot with their ordering kiosks because they want people to use those rather than the time of their employees. You could keep an eye on your favorite restaurant’s website to see if they have any interest specials you may be able to benefit from. Then all you have to do is wait for your food to show up.

Conclusion

We all have cravings for a good piece of delivery pizza every now and then, even those of us pursuing law degrees. The key to enjoying those cravings is to get the pizza for a low price. You will save money on delivery fees by picking up the pizza yourself, so keep that in mind before you place an order. Whatever you do, you should be able to enjoy all the benefits that come along with ordering delivery pizza online.

Making the Most of Black Friday

Posted: 7th November 2011 by bnorfleet in Uncategorized

Black Friday – just reading its name probably makes you salivate. Those delicious, post-Thanksgiving savings are right around the corner, and as a good couponer, you have to be on top of your game on Black Friday. This is one of the best times in the year to get a really good deal on electronics, clothing, furniture, and more. You just have to know how to use it to your advantage. The tips below should help you make the most out of Black Friday so you can enjoy as many savings as possible.

Look at the Sales and Prioritize

Just about every retail store in your area is going to have a sale on Black Friday. You have to take a look at all the sales that are going to come up on that day in order to determine where you want to shop. Chances are you’re only going to be able to shop at one or two stores on that day, so you need to know which ones are going to offer the best deals for you. Then you can choose to go to those stores on Black Friday to catch the deals that matter most to you.

You can always have a backup list of sales that you may want to go to later in the day. Then if you get out early, you can continue your savings later on in the day. Most of the really great deals are going to go away early on in the morning, so you just need to make sure you get to those before anyone else. Then you can move on to the ones that aren’t quite as important to you.

Check When the Stores Open

Stores usually open extra early on Black Friday, so you need to find out when you need to be in the shops to catch the deals. Plan to get to the first store at least an hour before it opens, if not longer. There is inevitably going to be a huge line of people you are going to have to weed through. On my first Black Friday, I got to K-Mart at 4 a.m., and they weren’t going to open until 6 a.m. I was amazed to see a line that wrapped around the building two full hours before the opening. It’s madness I tell ya, and you have to be ready for it.

If one store opens several hours later than another, plan on going to the early opener first so you can potentially make it to the other when it opens. There is no guarantee that you will get out of the first store in enough time, but you could get lucky. You just have to make a schedule for yourself and try to stick to it the best you can.

Map out Your Shopping

Don’t rely on your ability to just browse a store on Black Friday. That’s not going to happen. You have to know where everything is that you want to buy so you can go directly to it when the doors open. Get a mental map going so you can put your tattoo artist salary to good use. You’ll definitely have an upper hand this way in the end.

Shop Online

Brick and mortar stores aren’t the only ones that have great deals on Black Friday. Websites also release good deals on that day. Find out if your favorite stores have any sales on the web, and then find out when the sites will be “opening” those sales on Black Friday. Then all you have to do is put an item in your virtual cart and wait for it to get to you. With the right plan in store, you should have no issue saving money on Black Friday.

How to Save Money on Expensive Cocktail Dresses

Posted: 31st October 2011 by bnorfleet in Uncategorized

Cocktail dresses are fantastic pieces to add to any wardrobe, but some of them cost more money than others. As a result, you may be looking for a way to save money on cute cocktail dresses for your wardrobe. You can wear these just about anywhere if you have the right accessories, so they are definitely good investments for your wardrobe. With a few of the tips below, you may be able to find the perfect dress for your body without having to spend a ton of money along the way. Here are some suggestions to spare your wallet when it comes to cocktail dresses.

Buy “Off-Brands”

You can also look for dresses from off brands that look high end but may not necessarily be high end. You have to be careful about this because sometimes a cheap dress is nothing more than a cheap dress. On occasion though, you can find an affordable alternative to an expensive gown that you can dress up with accessories to make it look formal again.

Shop Online

The internet is notably the most affordable place to shop for much of anything, including cocktail dresses. There is such competition online that retailers have to mark down their prices to entice business. This can help you greatly because it will provide you with a chance to save money on the clothing of your dreams. It also costs less money for websites to advertise their products, so you do not have to cover the costs of their promotions. Your savings are guaranteed every time.

Shopping online in general is a great way to save money because you can compare prices and designs with ease. You also save money in fuel because you do not have to travel anywhere, and you can get the dress sent right to your door. With the huge selection of cocktail dresses online, you are guaranteed to find something you like without having to break your budget.

Look for Clearance Sales

Check when local stores are getting in new sets of cocktail dresses because that will give you an idea of when they might be clearing their inventory. The dresses they are trying to get rid of at that time may be very much in style, but they are simply taking up valuable space that the store needs for new designs. This is the best time to save money if you want to shop at a brick and mortar store because the company will be trying to get rid of their stock of dresses. If you pick the right times of year to shop like this, you can get a great deal on a dress that is still in style. Then you can wait until the next change to shop again.

You can look for clearance sales in your local stores, or you can look online. That is where many retailers will put up their overstocked inventory to try to reach a larger audience.

Consider Pre-Owned Dresses

You can also look into used cocktail dresses that will be available at a discount price, but many women like to have dresses to call their own. You’ll be the only person to know that you’re wearing a “used” dress, so you might as well make the most out of the potential savings available to you. You can’t be picky when you’re trying to stretch your school counselor salary as far as it will go. Swap dresses with some of your comparably-sized friends, and then you will all feel like you have something new in your wardrobe. Talk about a good way to save money, right?

If you put your couponing skills to good use, you can easily get an expensive cocktail dress at an affordable price.

Printable Coupons: Are You Really Saving Money?

Posted: 26th October 2011 by bnorfleet in Uncategorized

Printable coupons are coupons that you can print off the computer, and in theory, they are great sources of savings. However, you may not be able to save as much money on printable coupons as you might think. It all depends on how you use them, and how much money they are worth. Before you rely on these coupons as your sole source of savings, you may want to weigh out your costs and rewards to see if they are good options for you. Let’s take a closer look at printable coupons to see if they are actually saving you money.

The Cost of Printable Coupons

While printable coupons seem free at first because they come from the computer, you have to think of the resources that go into creating them. You have to pay for the internet, the computer, the paper, the printer, and the ink needed to print off the coupons. Of course, most of these items can be used for other things, like printing off course work for your RN to BSN online. Nevertheless, a small fraction of the money you put toward those resources is going to go to the coupons.

The main costs that you are going to encounter are going to be in paper and printer ink. Both of these can get very expensive over time, especially if you print off a ton of coupons at once. Think about how many prints you can get out of one cartridge of ink, and then figure out how many pieces of paper you use for those prints. When you do all of the math, you should be able to see how much money you are actually spending on your printable coupons.

Bypassing the Expense of Printable Coupons

If you want to bypass some of the costs of printable coupons, you could print them off at a local library. You can get a library card for free, and then you can use the printers as much as you want. You may have a limit to the amount of pages you can print in a day, but you can go back multiple times to get your coupons if you need to. You could also use the copier there to make multiple versions of the same coupon. That will cost less money in ink for the library, and it will still give you the coupons you need.
You could also save money with e-coupons, which are like free printable coupons – minus the printing. Some grocery stores offer e-coupon cards that allow you to go online and load coupons onto a shopping card you can use in the store. Then when you checkout, all you have to do is swipe your card and use the discounts like you would with traditional coupons. Again, not all stores offer this option. Those that do provide you with a chance to save money without having to spend it on ink and paper.

The Verdict

Do printable coupons save you money? For the most part, yes. You only spend a few cents per coupon that you print off, and most printable coupons are at least $.50 in value. If you are worried about the money you are spending on printable coupons, you may want to find coupons for the supplies you would use on printing them. If you can get paper and ink for next to nothing, you won’t see any negative side effects from printable coupons at all. There are always ways to cheat the system. You just have to think outside the box sometimes to see them.

Couponing for a Living

Posted: 25th October 2011 by bnorfleet in Uncategorized

Couponing is quite literally sweeping the country, especially since the economy hasn’t improved much over the past couple of years. As a college student living on a budget, you probably use coupons to save you money on the groceries you need. Have you ever thought about making a living as a couponer though? This may not be one of the highest paying careers out there, but it is still something you can keep in mind while you’re in college. Listed below are some of the different ways you could make a living through coupons.

Shopping for Other People

If you are really good at finding the best deal on certain items, you may be able to coupon for other people for money. You could get paid a certain fee for saving other people money on their groceries. For example, let’s assume you live near a retirement community in your town. You could speak with the men and women in the community about your couponing abilities and how much money you usually save through couponing. Those people could then turn around and pay you a fee for buying groceries for them with your coupons.

This would be a great solution for everyone involved because it would allow you to buy bulk versions of an item and distribute it to multiple people. If five women in the retirement village all needed toilet paper, you could utilize a coupon for five packs of toilet paper without having to give one woman a ton of toilet paper she may never use. You could also save yourself extra money, getting the most use out of every coupon you have. As long as you get an idea of what everyone on your list needs from the store, you can search for the deals that will work well for all of them.

Selling Items for Discounted Prices

You could open your own mini-store as a result of your couponing, where you sell items for lower prices than what people may find in stores. You will still make money on the items because you bought them on sale, and the other people will enjoy getting a good deal from you. This might be a great way to get rid of some of your stockpile if you think it is getting too big. Then you can work on building it back up again.

You could also consider charging retail prices for items if you had them in a convenient place. This would mainly be the case in a dorm room, where you could sell stuff to other people on the floor that may not want to go all the way to the grocery store at night. You could actually make a pretty decent income just by acting as a convenience store on your dorm floor. You just have to find good deals and price your items accordingly.

Saving More than You Spend

If you coupon well enough, you can actually get a system down that may allow you to get store credit for items that you buy. If you have a $1 coupon on an item that normally costs $1, you could get $1 in store credit on a double value coupon day. Some people actually use coupons as if they are money because they know how to work the system and save tons of money. This may take you a little while to figure out, but eventually, you should be able to figure out a way to virtually eliminate the amount of money you have to spend on groceries.

Couponing is a great way to save money, but it could also be a great way for you to make money. You just have to play around with some of the ideas above and see what you can do.

Effects of Couponing in Society

Posted: 20th October 2011 by bnorfleet in Uncategorized

As a couponer, you probably see nothing but the savings that tally up on the bottom of your receipts. In this sort of economy, some people cannot survive without savings like that. I was pondering this concept the other day, and I started to look at the big picture of couponing in society. Most couponers rarely go beyond the checkout counter when thinking about their actions, but you may want to keep in mind the impact that your couponing habits have on the nation and world as a whole. Here is a brief glimpse into how couponing may be impacting the world so you can have a better grasp on the effects of your actions.

Low Supply, High Demand

If you attend one of the top online universities, you will likely come across an economics class at some point in time. The core concept in any econ class involves supply and demand. When the supply of an item lowers or the demand for it rises, prices are going to go up. Thus if you have hundreds of extreme couponers all gunning for one item made in a limited supply, prices are going to go through the roof.

When prices go up, the effectiveness of your coupons goes down. The coupon values will likely stay about the same, but the prices on the goods will rise. You will inevitably end up spending more money for the same items you buy for free now if other people like you continue to coupon extensively. That is just the reality we have to deal with.

Minimal Cash Flow

As more people continue to coupon, the amount of money floating through the economy will go down. Remember the stimulus checks everyone got from the government a few years ago? Those were designed to encourage people to spend money, which would in turn put money into the economy. Couponing provides the opposite effect. Rather than spending more money to go towards the overall US economy, couponers save money that they rarely put back into the market. The negative effects that could come from this could be devastating to the nation as a whole.

Reduced Coupon Values

Companies lose money with every coupon used. Even though that provides a great savings opportunity for you, it puts the companies in a sticky situation. Most of them will eventually start to reduce their coupon values because they simply cannot afford to give away products for free anymore. This will force you to pay actual money for the products you need. This spiral of events may not happen until several years down the road, but it is something you might want to watch out for.

Couponing Limitations

If stores and manufacturers decide not to reduce the values of their coupons, they will likely start putting strict requirements on how coupons can be used. You may only be able to use ten coupons per transaction at a store, or you may not be able to combine a coupon with a sale priced item. Whatever the case may be, you might lose some of your couponing power if couponing continues to be a popular practice in the future.

Final Thoughts

I’m not telling you all of this to scare you away from couponing. I still think that couponing is a great practice that can help college students and parents alike save money on the items they need the most. If you have a little extra money to spare for an item though, you might want to hold back on the couponing to help the economy. Who knows what that small act of kindness could do for the future.

Couponing for the Greater Good

Posted: 18th October 2011 by bnorfleet in Uncategorized

When you think about it, couponing is a fairly selfish act. It helps you save money on your own groceries so you can make it through each day. If you have a talent for couponing though, you may want to think about using your saving powers for good instead of evil. I’m not saying that couponing is “evil,” but you get the idea. Before you use your coupons purely for yourself, you might want to think about other people in your community that could use the resources too. Here are some ideas to help you help others in the future.

Food Bank Couponing

One of the easiest ways to coupon for the greater good is to buy a set of products for your local food bank. You can use the Food Bank Locator from FeedingAmerica.org to find a food bank in your area, and then you can contact them to see what kinds of food and household goods they need on a regular basis. While the food bank will take any donations you can provide, they may have a shortage of high-demand items you could help them buy.

Keep an eye out for coupons for non-perishable food items, like cereal, flour, sugar, oats, dried fruits, pasta, and other foods that the food bank could store well into the future. If you find a really good deal that would actually let you get a large quantity of an item for free, find a way to get as much of the item as you can. Toilet paper, soap, paper towels, trash bags, and other household goods like those could certainly come in handy at the food bank. Any help you can provide to them would be highly appreciated.

Fundraising Couponing

You may be able to coupon your way to a set of free supplies to use in a fundraiser. For instance, you could get a stockpile of cookie dough and brownie mix to use in a bake sale. You could also get huge boxes of popcorn to pop and sell in small bags. There are tons of fundraisers like that, and you can gather supplies for them just by couponing properly. If you are a part of an organization or you want to contribute to one, this may provide you with a way to help a fundraiser in the future.

Charity Couponing

Charities like Habitat for Humanity and Toys for Tots are always looking for donations when they can get them. Even a local Goodwill could benefit from the items you can gather through couponing. You don’t have to be a crime scene investigator to find good deals on furniture, paint, children’s toys, clothing, or other goods that charities can benefit from. You just have to have a good eye for sales and coupons. Assuming you have such an eye because you’re reading my couponing blog, this could be the perfect solution for you.

Pharmaceutical Couponing

Drug stores have sales on medications all the time, and most of the medications are well within their expiration dates when they go on sale. If you find a really low price on a commonly-used pharmacy product, scoop it up and donate it to a local health clinic. Small hospitals and low-end clinics rely on financial and product donations to treat people on a limited budget, so you could actually improve someone else’s life by donating products like this. As strange as it sounds, your couponing could save lives. Take a look at some of the philanthropic coupon opportunities in your area, and you will make a difference in society.

Saving Money Strategies – Simple Ways to Cut Costs

Posted: 17th October 2011 by bnorfleet in Uncategorized

Saving money is not always easy to do when you think about putting funds away, but it can be simple of you cut back on your spending. The less you spend, the more money you have on hand to save. You can do this through couponing, but you may not always have the coupon you need for an item. There are many different ways that you can cut back and start living frugally, and some of them take no effort at all. Here is a look at some of the easiest ways to reduce your spending habits.

Generics

Many people stay away from generic medications and other generic items because they fear they will not get the same out of them as the name brands. While there are some differences when it comes to generic brand food, everything else that is generic is meant to be exactly the same as a name brand product. This is especially true when it comes to medications. Generic medications are tested repetitively to ensure that they are the same as the name brands they represent, so you can save a ton of money just by getting generic medication instead. That same can be said about shampoos, deodorants, and other products along those lines.

Ad Matching

If you watch different ads that come out in the papers, you may be able to save money on the products you want and need. Some people will not do this because they do not like shopping at a store that happens to have a sale going, but that is where ad matching can be beneficial. Some stores will match competitor prices in the area if there is a sale elsewhere on a product they sell. Thus you can shop where you want but still save money on your favorite products. Bring the ad in just in case they ask for verification, but they will not do that in many cases.

Bulk Buying

If you have a large family, you can save a great deal of money by buying in bulk. There are many bulk stores around that offer sets of items, rather than single items that you may pay more money for. Even if you are a single person, you can save through bulk buying. It is best to do this with non-perishables, like toilet paper, sugar, paper towels, laundry detergent, and those kinds of items. You can do it on other things though if you know you will go through them before the expiration date. Chicken, milk, beef, vegetables, and other items are all available in bulk if you shop in the right places. The savings are endless from there.

Public Transportation

If you can stand being on the bus for a little bit, you could save a ton of money in fuel costs. Most people do not realize just how much money they spend a month on gas until they notice a limited amount of funding in their bank accounts. Even if you make an occupational therapy assistant salary, you could benefit from the money you have left over from fuel savings. Try taking public transportation and see what it does to your available spending money.

Conclusion

Saving money is not hard to do when you develop the right habits. Once you have a rhythm of savings established, the money will float right into your pocket. Combine some of the tips above with your couponing skills, and you should have no reason to break the budget every month. Your successful financial future may not be that far away.

How to Get the Best Deals on a Hotel

Posted: 14th October 2011 by bnorfleet in Uncategorized

If you are planning a vacation for yourself, your friends, or your family in the near future, you may want to spend some time searching for a good deal on a hotel. Hotel rooms can be very expensive, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. A good couponer knows to look for a good deal no matter what, so that’s what the tips below are aimed to help you do. Here are a few tips that should get you into a good hotel room every time. As long as you don’t sacrifice quality for price, you should be plenty satisfied with your transaction.

Book the Room Early

If you want to stay at a hotel because of a big event happening in the area, you need to book your room as soon as possible. As demand for hotel rooms rise, so do the prices. If you reserve a room when there are many vacancies though, you have greater bargaining power and you have a better selection of rooms in your price range. As soon as you know when you need to stay in a certain place, start searching for a hotel to stay in. You may not have to pay anything until you actually stay for a few nights there.

Shop Online

Shopping online often leads to deals on hotel rooms. It costs less money and requires less time for the hotels when you book your room online. They are usually able to cut you a break because of how convenient booking is for them when you reserve a room on the internet. Sometimes you can combine your hotel costs with rental car costs or flight costs to get a good deal on a bundle package. You just have to see the different options available to you through the hotel.

If you go to school online and know you’re way around the web, take the time to research for a good deal. Price comparison sites like HotWire and Travelocity should prove to be highly beneficial for you. Don’t settle on the first mediocre deal you come across. You may be missing out on a huge savings if you do that.

Don’t forget to look for coupon codes that you may be able to use for your hotel room. They are just as couponable as anything else (yes, I made that word up).

Reserve the Right Room

The kind of room you stay in can determine the amount you pay for a hotel. Suites will obviously be more expensive than standard rooms, but they will be larger and more luxurious. Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra money to get a good hotel room, but also note the price differences between the rooms. You may have to get a little creative with sleeping arrangements to find something you can afford.

Ask about Discounts

You can always find a good deal if you inquire about long stay discounts, senior citizen discounts, military discounts, student discounts, bulk room discounts, and the like. I have literally cut the price in half for a hotel room before just by asking if the people could cut me a break I don’t know why most people are afraid to ask about this, but they are. You have to grow a pair and just ask the hotel clerk if they can cut you a break. You may be surprised by what all they can do.

If you explore your options enough, you can almost always find a cheap price for a hotel room. Put your couponing skills to the test and you’ll be lounging in luxury in no time.

Raincheck – More Than a Soggy Source of Money

Posted: 11th October 2011 by bnorfleet in Uncategorized

Ever heard of a raincheck? You probably have, but you may not know how it applies to couponing. Most people think of a raincheck as a promise to meet with someone on a different day. “Sherri and I have a raincheck for a date some time next month.” While that is a form of a raincheck, there is a much more useful one to keep in mind. It relates to shopping and hopefully saving you money whenever you buy supplies for your online college courses. I won’t keep you waiting any longer. Here is a look at what rainchecks are and what they could do for your couponing.

What Is a Raincheck?

A raincheck is basically a reservation for goods that are supposed to come in within the next few days or weeks. The raincheck not only serves as an order form for an item, but it also acts as a price holder. Thus if you catch a really good deal on an item that you buy a lot of, you can put a raincheck in for it to ensure that you will get the sale price on the item when it comes in. You can easily see the benefits that could come from this.

Benefits of Rainchecks

Rainchecks allow you to reserve the price on an item even when a store does not have it in stock. If the store you shop with only has a limited quantity of items that you need, you can get a raincheck to make sure you get everything you need at the low price you can afford. You will still be about to apply your coupons on these items, even if they come in after the expiration dates. The savings will add up from there.

Rainchecks also save the store from over ordering an item because they know the exact quantity they need to buy. This process helps them out just as much as it helps you out. I was a cashier at Hobby Lobby for around 9 months, and I can’t tell you how many rainchecks I wrote up for people. The managers loved them because they made money from the transactions, and the customers loved them because they could lock in half off deals on whatever it was they needed at the time. It’s a winning solution all the way around.

How to Get a Raincheck

In order to get a raincheck, you need to speak with a cashier or a customer service representative for the store you want to shop through. Sometimes they will need to get a manager or department head to complete the transaction, but other times they can take care of it themselves. Every store is a little different, but just about every grocery and retail store will have a raincheck option for you to look into. You may never need this service if your store stays pretty stocked, but at least now you know that the option is out there.

Now that you know what a raincheck is, all you have to do is go out and use one. You can apply this theory to just about anything you want to buy, from picture frames to potty training diapers. College students on a budget, single moms with mouths to feed, and everyone else in between can benefit from using rainchecks at one point or another. You just have to remember to take up the opportunity for one when you have it.

Best Times to Shop Extreme Coupon Style

Posted: 10th October 2011 by bnorfleet in Uncategorized

Shopping like an extreme couponer may seem like a walk in the park, but it’s not as easy as it looks. A lot of this comes down to precise timing, knowing when to buy what you need for the best price and quantity. You should know all about timing from planning the schedule for your online degree program, so getting the hang of this shouldn’t be hard for you. Here is a look at some of the best times of the day, month, and year to shop with your coupons in hand.

Early Morning Shopping

If you can hit the shelves at seven or eight in the morning, you will have much better luck as a couponer. There are a few reasons for that. One is that there won’t be very many people around, so you can find what you need without mass confusion on the aisles. You will be able to check out without having to worry about holding up a line, and you will be able to choose from the best selection of goods possible. Most stores stock their shelves late at night or really early in the morning. If you get in before other people do, you get first dibs on all the goods that come up.

On top of all that, parking is fabulous early in the morning. You won’ have to worry about lugging several carts of crap across the parking lot. You can get a front row space to unload when the time comes. You won’t necessarily save money from shopping early in the morning, but you will have a much more pleasant experience as a whole this way.

Season Change Shopping

Grocery stores, clothing stores, and other stores you may shop at are going to change their inventories with the seasons. If you can time your couponing with these changes, you may be able to snag some great deals on merchandise that the store needs to get rid of. Stores will mark down items that they have no room for so they can make room for new merchandise on the floor. Come in during that time and you are guaranteed to find something you need at a price you can afford.

Double Coupon Days

Many stores will offer double value coupon days, where all of your coupons literally double in value. You need to watch these days like a hawk because they will provide you with a significant source of savings. This is when you can pull out all the stops and build your stockpile for the year. You might spend a few double coupon days trying to stock up for the year, but eventually you will have a set of items to pull from whenever you need them.

Bad Weather Shopping

If you have a stream of bad weather in your area, you may want to go shopping in the midst of it. This is going to be a challenge, but it will allow you to catch the special deals most people are stuck inside their homes missing. Many stores will drop their prices considerably during bad weeks of weather because they can’t keep up their sales enough with regular prices. If you happen to catch a sale like this, you can stock up on goodies to last straight through the next round of bad weather.

You will soon develop a rhythm for your shopping if you get into couponing enough. Start making a logical schedule that is going to save you the most money, and you will soon have cash to spare for other expenses.