Beginner’s Guide to Coupons

All posts in the Beginner’s Guide to Coupons category

Saving on Prescription Eyewear

Published October 17, 2012 by gweledydd

Let’s face it: medical costs are on the rise and they aren’t going to get better any time soon.  Those who need prescription eyewear can spend upwards of $100.00 a year on contacts or glasses AFTER insurance deductibles.  Instead of going blind to save some change, consider these alternatives.

My personal favorite way to save money on eyewear is to purchase your glasses and contacts online.  Coastal.com offers designer glasses, name brand contacts, and prescription lenses at an incredibly low cost.  On top of these savings, they run deals periodically for free glasses or contacts.  They also will participate with insurance companies to reimburse you for the cost!!!

Be sure to check out this HOT website and redeem their great deal for fall.  Receive a FREE pair of glasses with standard lenses until October 31, 2012 with the coupon code FBDEAL.  My husband got his glasses from them and they have held up great, were shipped fast, and the quality can’t be beat.  We spent $20.00 for shipping, thinner lenses, scratch proof coating, and the frames.  My glasses cost over $150.00 with those options at the optometrist!

If you’re like my husband and prefer contacts over glasses, then 1-800-CONTACTS is your new best friend.  This company has a ton of name brand lenses at an affordable price, participate with insurance, AND is a UPromise Partner which means you’ll get 5% back on every purchase you make!  If you haven’t signed up for UPromise yet, then check out my previous post to start saving.

 

If you have any other tips to help save money on prescription eyewear costs, please let me know!

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Beginner’s Guide to Coupons Handbook

Published September 30, 2012 by gweledydd

I have compiled all of my earlier Beginner posts in a handy-dandy notebook that you can print off and add to your coupon binders!!  This will be added to the beginner’s handbook page.  Feel free to give me any feedback on what you think should be included or what would make couponing a bit easier for you.  Download your copy by clicking on the link below!!!

 

Beginner’s Handbook to Couponing

Manager’s Special – Is It Worth It?

Published September 30, 2012 by gweledydd

Manager’s Specials have a bad rap.  Most people believe that Manager’s Specials are placed on items because they are about to expire or because there is something wrong with the product.  While it may be true that some items may be about to expire, the idea that the product is sub-par or defective is completely wrong.  Stores can’t sell spoiled merchandise.  Period.  Never feel afraid or ashamed of getting a manager’s special deal because the fact is these deals can help save you a ton of money!

First let’s talk about expiration dates.  While some products on Manager’s Special do have expiration dates, the majority of these products can be used past this date.  There are two different kinds of expiration dates:

Use By – This type of expiration date is cut and dry; do not use product after this date unless it has been frozen.

Best By – This type of expiration date is a general guideline.  You can use the product after the date, just keep in mind it may not be as effective (such as household cleaners) or tasty (like stale potato chips).  Most products have this type of expiration date.

One of the biggest budget-breakers on most peoples’ lists is meat.  Meat is very expensive, and usually there aren’t coupons on fresh meat available.  Manager’s Specials are a great way to combat the price.  As long as the meat doesn’t smell or look bad, you are good to go.  Some meat will have expiration dates on it.  Remember, most expiration dates are just a guideline..  If the expiration date is approaching, freeze it.  This will keep the product fresh for much longer than if you were to simply refrigerate it.

Manager’s Specials can also be combined with coupons for a super deal!!

Scenario: Kroger has ordered too many Suave products and needs to clear out the shelves before the new inventory arrives.  The Manager decides to place them on special for $0.75 each.  There is a coupon out for $0.35/1 Suave Product that will double.  The coupon CAN BE USED on the Manager’s Special products to make each item $0.05 each!!!

Keep in mind you can also use Catalina deals (ex: $10.00 off next purchase) to help reduce your grocery bill.  Manager’s Specials can also be combined with Catalinas.

Be sure to ask your local store manager what day markdowns are done.  Most Wal-Marts mark down their products on Sundays or Thursdays, and most Krogers mark down their products on Tuesdays.  Checking with your local store manager is the best way to ensure that you get there in time to find those great Manager’s Special deals!!

HOT! HOT! HOT! Dollar Tree now accepts coupons!!!

Published September 4, 2012 by gweledydd

The time has finally arrived!  Dollar Tree stores nationwide are now accepting manufacturer coupons.  If you are new to this store, Dollar Tree sells everything for $1.00 – deodorant, food, toys, etc.  This is a huge deal for couponers!  Since everything is always $1.00, you can guarantee maximum store savings with tons of FREE and CHEAP products!  Please check out their coupon policy for more details and add their policy to your binders.  I know I will be stocking up on deodorant and other supplies soon!

Finding Coupons Has Never Been Easier!

Published April 6, 2012 by gweledydd

I was looking around online about all of the fraud that was done on Extreme Couponing, and came across Nathan’s website weusecoupons.com.  Nathan was one of the couponers on Extreme Couponing that donated all of his items to Packages from Home.  He is one of the few on there that have not committed coupon fraud, and I really like his personality.  The main feature of his website is one I have been wanting to find for a long time.  The best feature of it is theONLINE SEARCHABLE COUPON DATABASE.  Using this database, you can find when a coupon was put out and where it appeared.  If you organize your coupons by date instead of clipping them out individually, this makes finding your coupons a snatch!  This is going to reduce my coupon clipping time by at least an hour, and I am sure it will help you save time as well.  Check it out and add it to your coupon bookmarks!

 

WUC’s Coupon Database

CONFIRMED Kroger Policy Change

Published April 5, 2012 by gweledydd

I confirmed tonight that Kroger stores in VA have changed their coupon policy.  You can now use only 5 like coupons in the same transaction.  They do not have any problems with doing multiple transactions.  Apparently some employees were using coupons for items that they weren’t meant for.  As a result, a lot of employees were fired and Kroger had to change the policy so they can avoid having another fraud issue.  Not a big deal for us couponers…it just means we need to plan on doing more transactions!

Preventing and Avoiding Coupon Fraud

Published April 4, 2012 by gweledydd

I will admit it.  I LOVE TLC’s Extreme Couponing.  Watching others get great deals gets me excited for my next big haul.  I get so pumped I pull out my binder and see if I’ve missed any deals this week that I should get.

 

Unfortunately, however, TLC has featured coupon fraud on their show.  Coupon fraud is a CRIME and is punishable by law.  So what is coupon fraud?

 

Coupon fraud consists of:

  • Intentionally using a coupon for a product that is not covered by the coupon language (ex. Using $1.00/1 Tide coupon on Shout OR using $1.50/1 Tide 52oz or larger on a smaller size product).
  • Using a counterfeit or altered coupon.
  • A store sending in coupons to redeem from the manufacturer that were not used by a consumer.
  • Using more coupons in one transaction than allowed (ex. Using 6 $1.00/1 Crest toothpaste coupons that state Limit 4 per transaction)

 

Even if you try to play by the rules and “accidentally” use a coupon for a product not covered by the coupon language, you are committing coupon fraud.  If you use a coupon that has been altered or is a fake, you are committing coupon fraud.  Even if you did not know the coupon was fake, you have still committed a crime.

 

Why should you care? 

 

When you use a coupon, the store sends the coupon to the manufacturer for redemption.  If the coupon is a fake, the store will not be reimbursed for the value of the coupon.  Sometimes the manufacturer will pull register tapes to make sure that the store is not committing coupon fraud.  If it is found that a consumer used more coupons than were allowed by the coupon language, the store will not be reimbursed for the rest of the coupons made in their transaction.  This can result in stricter coupon policies which will make it harder for us savvy spenders to save money.

 

What happens to a violator?

 

Coupon fraud is a serious offense that can lead to imprisonment and hefty fines.  To date, the longest sentence given to a fraudulent coupon user is 17 years and the highest financial penalty was $5 million.  It is not uncommon to serve a sentence of 3-5 years in prison and receive a fine of $200,000 or more.

 

How do I prevent and avoid coupon fraud?

 

There are several things you can look out for to avoid committing coupon fraud.

  •  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Does the coupon have an older version of the BARCode system? (To see a list of the current BARCodes in use, go here)
  • Is the value of the coupon a large amount/larger than you’ve seen before?  (ex. $3.00/1 Axe Bodywash)
  • Is the coupon in black and white?
  • Is the paper the coupon is printed on match the paper used in Sunday circulars?  If it is on a different kind of paper, it is probably fraudulent.
  • The Coupon Information Center (CIC) features a database of all fraudulent coupons that have been reported.  You can always check there if you are worried that a coupon may be fake.  Always feel free to email them so they can research the coupon, too.

 

There are plenty of great deals you can get WITHOUT committing coupon fraud.  Remember: NO AMOUNT OF SAVINGS IS WORTH GOING TO PRISON FOR!!!  Coupon fraud only gives others a bad impression of us who are trying to save a little bit of money, and makes it worse for everyone to try and use coupons at stores.  If you know anyone who is committing coupon fraud, report it to the CIC.  There is currently a $100,000 reward for any information on fraudulent coupon users.