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Archive for August, 2007

Oh Wait!!! Are you done with that paper???

August 28th, 2007 at 08:01 am

I think sometimes people must think I'm crazy. I have shaken off any sense of notions about being shy or timid when it comes to asking people for their newspaper.

It's not that I can't buy a newspaper of my own - quite the contrary, we get one delivered daily to the house.

It's not that I can't get a copy from a co-worker, family member, or a neighbor. In fact, they are all quite pre-disposed to handing over the paper (albeit, minus the funny pages, jumbles, and crossword puzzles)!!!

But the strangers in the Starbucks, McDonald's Playplace, a hotel lobby or airport when we travel, or pretty much anywhere, is always a little taken aback with my request. And if there are two people together reading their own papers (like at a cafe on a Sunday morning) then they are even more shocked.

But there's glossy gold in those papers in the form of valuable coupons and offers.

Last week, my paper had free canned dog food coupons. My pooch, who normally gets dry dogfood, loves the paperboy for bringing him this delightful treat.

My favorite deals this week are going to combine coupons from the beginning of August ($1 off 1 Ball Park hotdogs) with an instore ad from this week (2 for $3 - (2) $1/1 coupons = 2pks for $1 + $2free on your next purchase of ANYTHING!!!). And with our little clippable double coupons, the hotdogs are free - the catalina register coupon for $2 on my next purchase is bonus money.

How many papers did I scrounge up for those coupons? Enough that if I can do the deal multiple times this week, I wind up making $40 in the on my next purchase coupon (cash) from the register.

I'll use that money for milk, protein items, and produce that I either don't have a coupon for, or that I can combine with coupons for an even better deal.

I have to admit, I almost thought I was a little nuts about asking people for their papers when I started doing it a few years back. I got my Mother-in-law to take up a coupon collection from her entire neighborhood on my behalf. I think her neighbors think we're poor as church mice....little do they know that their Friday recycle is my next trip to Hawaii. And the let the money slip right through their fingers and into mine.

August has been a good month for savings. Between reading the ads for all the back-to-school loss leaders (.25c color pencils at office depot is the next deal to chase!) and the scorching hot deals that have been rolling through the catalina machines, it's been a month to pocket money. Even better are the super high profit rebates like Kelloggs cereal - buy 10 items, get $10 back - but buy the items for free or little cost with coupons. I should net $20 from those rebates alone this month. The rebate forms were of course, in the paper.

Then the office supply deal where the items were Free After Rebate - like 3M's post-it flags highlighter pens. $5.99 - .90 for buying a backpack and getting an extra 15% off - $2 off any post-it product (a printable coupon I believe was posted on our website) = $3.09 for a 2pk of highlighter pens with post-it flags. Net profit to me - $2.90 + free pens.

This month was also a good month for donations. Our local foodbank struggles in the summer time, so with all my extra free coupons and coupons that yielded me free items because the sales were aligned the right way, our foodbank scored on hygiene items, food items and snacks for kids - about $500 in all if you added up the retail value.

The point is, there is so much you can do with coupons and shopping smartly. But it starts with having a stock of coupons and to do that, you need to get a little more social with strangers and simply ask, "Are you done with that paper?" Inevitably, they do hand over the parts I'd like out of the ad section, and I am on my way to saving more at the store.

It never hurts to ask if it will gain you more coupon inventory - the worst they can say is no!

Happy Shopping!!!

How much can you save with a click of a mouse?

August 10th, 2007 at 06:24 am

Internet printed coupons, which once seemed such a strange concept, are now fairly commonplace amongst shoppers, and even retailers.

While some retailers have been burned by fraudulent printables that were being rampantly copied and printed a few years ago, and have since adjusted their policies, many stores still are willing to take them in some form or another.

What's the big deal about printing a coupon from home? Big dollars saved for one thing! Internet coupons tend to have higher values than their Sunday paper counterparts. Most always, they can be doubled for additional savings. And unlike having to pay full price to get the Sunday paper, for the cost of a print, you can pick and choose from the coupons that are available and only snag the ones you're interested in using. Additionally, you can print two of the same coupon by simply going through the steps of highlighting the coupon a second time, and hitting print a second time.

Internet coupons can be printed in either black or white, or color. For the cheapest way to print, pick black and white and use scrap paper.

Copying internet coupons on a copier is a HUGE no-no. Printable grocery coupons have unique IDs which can trace back to the printer from which they were generated. So even when you print two of the same coupon, they are each going to have a separate ID number.

You can find multiple coupons of a coupon that is available by printing them from additional sites which they are available on, and that's ok. For example, you might find a printable coupon at Pillsbury.com, and then find the same coupon at BoxTopsForEducation.com. You can then print two coupons from each site - 4 in total. They will each have a unique ID, but you'll be good to go. The Coupon Database at Hotcouponworld will have links to multiples of the same coupons available at different coupon sites so you don't have to hunt around for them and can one-stop-shop on the printing.

The other great thing about printable grocery coupons is that there are usually more of them available to print than there are ones available to cut in Sunday's paper.

Haven't tried printables yet? Here's a link to 70+ HOT coupons that match up to the fall back-to-school grocery sales that are already in progress.

http://ad.coupons.com/click,AAAAAAhoAwBEVQYAzqoBAAAAAAAAAAAA...

Sorry, it's a long one, but since it generates to a rolling list of coupons, there's no real way to shorten it.

If you click on the link, or C&P it into your browser, you'll notice a TON of General Mills coupons. These coupons can be doubled, and they have higher values than what you'll find in the paper. The great thing is, this month and into September is the start of all the General Mills sales.

For example, my local Albertsons last week had GM products 10 for $20 - $5 when you buy 10, so really, 10 for $15. If you had a printable coupon for $1 off 5 of the items, and .55c of the other 5, you'd wind up with $7.65 in savings, and $7.35 cash for 10 items, or .73c each. But it does get better. My local Albertsons will accept the clippable double coupons (your local store might just double on their own). I can use 8 of these per visit, for an additional $4 off total, bringing my cost down to $3.35.

But, it gets one step better than that. There are rebate forms for $10 off GM products right now. So after the cost of the stamp to send the rebate it, I am looking at a profit of $6.24 to buy 10 of these items.

Another great thing about printable coupons is that they roll, meaning, if I print only one today, and then go back in 3 days, the expiration date is going to be different, giving me a date further out on the 2nd print than the first, which means more time to use the coupon. But, you have to check back ofter with the sites because when the manufacturer's printing budget is drawn down, the coupons disappear. They might come back on when the manufacturer throws more budget at the campaign, but they come and go almost daily.

The upside of that of course is lots of variety of printable coupons are available, and almost always match the store sales perfectly.

So, if you're looking for a way to save even more money on groceries and haven't tried printing coupons from home yet, give it a shot - you'll be glad you did.

For more information about printables, check out the site. We have a whole section on internet printed coupons, which stores take them, what values are available right now, etc.

Happy Shopping!!!

Hotcouponmama