Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Couponing #2

I'm sorry I didn't get this posted yesterday. I had two drop in visitors and spent four hours at the school. My schedule was not my own yesterday. I'll try to get the rest typed and scheduled for posting....

Regional Websites & Where to Find Coupons

Abbreviations you might see...
These are some of the abbreviations you'll come across.
*RP = Red Plum (newspaper insert)
*SS = SmartSource (newspaper insert)
*P&G = Proctor & Gamble (newspaper insert and loadable onto your shopper discount card)
*IE = Internet Explorer (click this one if this is your web browser)
*FF = Firefox (click this one if this is your web browser)
*Cellfire = (Coupon site that loads coupons directly to your preferred shopper discount card)
*Shortcuts = (Coupon site that loads coupons directly to your preferred shopper discount card)

Regional Websites...
Click on “Grocery Deals” at the very top. The links to online coupons are in red.
Acme, Genuardi’s, Giant of PA, Giant Eagle, Kroger, Meijer, ShopRite, SuperFresh (coming soon), Wegmans (coming soon)

Mid-west/Southern US -
Click on the grocery store link underneath her name logo.
Kroger (Dillon’s), harris Teeter, Food Lion, Harvey’s, Ingles, Piggly Wiggly, Winn Dixie, Publix, Bi-Lo

(This is the website I use for my Dillon’s store. I have to remember that the sales she lists go from Sunday through Saturday. My sales go from that Wednesday through Tuesday. Also, the prices she lists are usually between 30 and 50 cents cheaper than at my local Dillon’s.)

Fargo -

Utah - (Albertson’s, Smiths)

Utah, Idaho, Washington, California, Arizona -

Sacramento -
Type in the grocery store you want to search (i.e., Raleys) in the search box on the left side.

General - (Click on store deals - right side of link banner across the top)
- (general Walgreens/Target, etc. PLUS Idaho)

Other Ways to Get Coupons...
I usually go to my favorite website for this area ( and click on the coupon links that are embedded in the grocery ads they have listed. (Remember that most coupons can be printed TWICE from each computer.) I also get coupons this way (*NOTE* - I do not pay for any of my coupons) -

* (internet copy of the Sunday insert)
* (internet copy of the Sunday insert)
*Product websites (like Nestle or Bar-S) frequently have coupons. It's often worth a check.
*Free product samples usually come with coupons
*Recycling Center - Our recycling center saves out inserts and will give me a stack that's an inch high every time I go in. If yours doesn't do that ask if you can search through the bin they have for the high gloss newspaper recycling. It usually isn't very dirty because people take in a stack of newspapers and don't mix them in with their garbage.
*College Newspapers - When we lived in Idaho we discovered that the college there included the newspaper inserts (Albertson's ads and coupons) on the day before we got them in the regular paper. I usually drove to the school and ran into one of the buildings where I knew they had a newspaper box. Right next to the newspaper box there was a recycling bin. You'd be amazed at how many ads I could pick up out of the recycling bin. It was fabulous!!!
*Schools - Many schools use newspapers in their classrooms (I did when I taught in Utah). Check with your child's teacher to see if they do and if they have any inserts they'd be able to share with you.
*Libraries - Our library here in Pratt has a little box for coupons that they get from their copies of the Sunday paper. I regularly sort through those for the coupons I know I'll use.
*Neighbors, friends, family members, Church members - If you know people who aren't sold on couponing but still get the paper, ask them if you can have their inserts.

You can also BUY coupons on ebay and (It is illegal to sell coupons so they charge a small handling fee. I've never actually purchased coupons from either of these sites - I don't know why, I just haven't - but I have a couple of friends who have and love it! Turn around time is very quick. The coupon clippers are located in Florida so take that in consideration when you are totally up shipping time.)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Couponing #1

This is the first of five (or six or seven or....) posts about couponing.

General Couponing Information

I love to coupon. I started couponing when we lived in Idaho and I could attend a group in the next town over. The group leaders would go through the grocery ads and tell us what the best deals were, where to find coupons, etc. It was definitely my style... no-brainer couponing! When we moved to Kansas this past May I couldn't find a couponing group like the one I'd left in Idaho. Then I attended a Church event that was attended by women from surrounding towns. During the course of a conversation I had with a lady I discovered that she was a supreme couponer. We exchanged emails and I've since learned how to coupon here in Kansas. The leaders of our Church strongly discourage debt. Since we move a lot we have a hard time getting rid of the debt we incur every time we move. For the past couple of months I've felt like getting rid of our debt needs to be a main focus for us. I looked into going back to teaching (first as a sub and then applying for jobs for next year) but since I'm four months pregnant and have a three year old that didn't seem like a viable option right now. I decided that if I could save enough using coupons then I wouldn't have to go to work. That's when I started actively couponing again. (Sometimes I use my "extra" food budget money to help amass a year supply of food - another suggestion from our Church leaders.)

I've come to the belief that it is possible to coupon (and save major money) anywhere you live. I've done a little research using the areas of the country where I have lived or have siblings living and have found websites that offer the same help as my couponing group in Idaho. Over the next week or so I'm hoping to be able to detail the things I've learned here because there are some who stop me in the grocery store (after they've watched me save 50% or more) and ask how I do it. I'd like to be able to refer them to this blog as an easy "how-to".

Before you get started, there are a couple of things to know...

1) It will take about three months before you really see results. The first month you'll be excited that you have a year's supply of cake mixes and salt. The second month you'll feel unbalanced and be frustrated that you only have a year supply of cake mixes, salt and cold cereal. The third month things will start to even out and you'll notice a difference. (For example, my normal food budget is $200 every two weeks. This week I was able to only spend $80 on groceries for the next two weeks. This is because I have a stockpile of staples like cream soup, pasta, spaghetti sauce and vegetables that I have purchased in bulk over the past few months.)

2) I was told to use half of my monthly out-to-eat budget to start couponing with (to use on the great sale/coupon deals). I don't have an out-to-eat budget. We live in a small town that doesn't have a lot of restaurants. Also, IF we go out to eat it's a drive-thru experience on our way to another town to do shopping or something. I decided that I could spare $30 a month (or sometimes a pay period) to use on the smoking deals.

3) Know that about once every quarter (3 months) every item in the grocery store will be at it's highest price and at it's lowest. If you know (about) what the "usual" price is then you can be aware when the prices hit bottom. The key to getting the biggest bang for your buck (or the most stuff for your buck) is to use the coupons when the items are on sale.

4) There are many websites out there that give tips and tricks to super-size your couponing. The two I like the best are It's Hip 2 Save and Pinching Your Pennies. Both sites list lots of offers and great deals. If you subscribe they will send you emails every evening telling you of the deals they found that day. Also, on Hip 2 Save she has a lot of great how-to videos (look on the right sidebar of her blog). I highly - HIGHLY - recommend watching those videos. They are about 10 minutes each.

5) Use your coupons on sale items to get the biggest bang for your buck. Stores will allow you to use a manufacturer’s coupon AND a store coupon on the same item. That is called stacking. For example.... Say I am going to buy a box of Cheerios that usually costs $4 but is on sale for $2. I have a $1 manufacturer’s coupon that I got out of the newspaper insert (or printed online). I also have a 50 cent coupon that I cut out of the grocery store ad (store coupon). I get the $4 box of Cheerios for only 50 cents!!! That’s a savings of 75%.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Kissable Lips

In honor of Valentine's Day, here's my tip.....

In order to have your lipstick stay on all day (and I mean ALL DAY) here's what you do...
1. Apply lipstick
2. Apply a thin layer of face powder
3. Reapply lipstick
4. Blot

I'm serious, this really works. Your lipstick will stay on all day and all night!

(I really do have plans to keep this blog updated and have many posts "in progress". Because of pregnancy issues, illnesses, vacation and overall exhaustion, they just haven't made it to the "publish post" stage yet. Stay tuned....)