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My Favorite Freebies

October 3rd, 2007 at 10:28 am

Everyone loves free stuff. Who doesn't? It's of course even better when it's delivered right to your doorstep or computer.

Links to my favorite freebies:
LINK TO MYCOKEREWARDS.COM (good for a free 20z coke coupon for new members)

30 free prints from Snapfish.com

Free 7-day trial to Napster.com

I'll continue to add these as I encounter them.

Rainchecking - Eating tomorrow at today's prices

July 30th, 2007 at 01:02 am

Rainchecking. It's not in the dictionary as a real word yet, but it should be.

Rainchecking is the art of collecting rainchecks. A proficent Rainchecker is one who knows the precise time that rainchecks can be had.

Ideally, a skilled Rainchecker can capture several rainchecks for items during the same week of the sale. Then the Rainchecker will also know how to follow up on rainchecks by collecting matching manufacturers coupons to be used in conjunction with the raincheck at a later date.

Why be an active Rainchecker? Simply stated, the goal is to eat tomorrow at today's prices.

The raincheck policy for most stores varies wildly across stores and store types. Some as little as 30 days, and others have no expiration date (my favorite).

A good example of why Rainchecking can help stretch dollars and maximize sales. Today I went to Safeway and they were out of corn. At 4 for $1, in my area, it doesn't get much cheaper than that anymore. So, I captured a raincheck. Their raincheck gives me 90 days to get it used. That puts me into October when I have to use the raincheck. Corn is still flavorful then, it's just a lot more expensive. So now when the rest of the customers are buying corn for .79c each, I'll still be paying summer's price of .25c each. I will get enough that I can freeze to have for the winter right at the end of the season, so I am freezing the freshest products from the fall harvest, instead of freezing from the summer harvest and adding a few months extra time in the freezer.

The other nice thing about Rainchecking is that if you get a good one, it gives you time to get additional coupons to go with the raincheck. That way, you can get additional items, more than if you had purchased during the sale.

Also, sometimes additional offers present themselves at the current higher price, but you've got a lower-priced raincheck handy.

A good example is when there is a register coupon deal (catalina) like a buy 5 of something, get free money for your next shopping purchase. Instead of buying the 5 at today's price, you get it at yesterday's sweetheart price, making the register deal even more lucrative.

So, how do you know when to score rainchecks and not waste time making multiple trips.

First day of the sale is a great time to go. People wipe out the shelves because the store wasn't prepared for the sale. Snag a raincheck, and come back later in the week. Ask when the store gets freight deliveries and be there the night before a freight delivery because the shelf will likely be empty.

The last day of a sale is hit or miss. It could all be gone again and you might score big, or depending on when their freight comes in, you might be out of luck to fund holes in the shelves with missing products.

A few tips on scoring rainchecks...

1. If only one flavor is out, ask for the raincheck in that flavor. Just because the shelf is full of eggo waffles, if they are out of the obscure pinstripe moonberry flavor, ask for that one - most times the raincheck will cover all flavors when you return to redeem.

2. Talk a walk up and down each aisle and look for holes on the shelves. Even if it isn't for something you use, if it's a hot enough deal, you can use it as a raincheck to trade with someone else.

3. Be sure to bring a pad and paper so when you walk through the store looking, you can write down the ones you need and the details so it speeds up the cashier and you don't miss a raincheck because you forgot about an item before you got to the cash register.

Rainchecking will give you sale prices when there is no sale for an item you're looking for. Don't forget that it's a sure fire way to save big bucks at the store.

Quick catching up to do

June 4th, 2007 at 11:13 pm

Well, I started off strong, and really wanted to get in here and do some good writing, but life got in the way.

Right after I started writing here, I got a call from my brother that he needed me to take in his four kids while he went back to Afghanistan. So, with my 3 plus a hubby, there's now NINE people living in the house to shop and coupon for.

You know what? It's no different with a larger group than it is for a smaller one. And in fact, in some ways, it's easier.

I'm finding that 7 kids go through lots of juice, peanut butter, cereal, cheese, and snack items. And with this many people, the grocery budget could easily get out of control.

My challenge this year to myself before we got these extra kids was $100 or less a month and live off the existing stockpile. With the extra kids, I kicked that up to $200. I've learned that since milk has gone up, $200 is going to be a bit more challenging since we are going through a gallon of milk nearly every day.

The first month, I spent $301 and saved $1055. Not bad for trying to get my feet wet in this bigger family shopping mode, but I thought I could do better.

Trading for coupons and searching for access to multiples really helped me out this month, because at least once in a month, while all sales really do have some good things hidden in the ad pages, there's usually one week out of the month (3rd week) that is better than the rest. And I hit the motherload with juice, hygiene items, hamburger meat, and more.

9 ppl and a dog last month - spent $165 after rebates, and saved.....$2700!!!

This month, we're off to an ok start. And we'll have the kids for several more months, so I'll be interested to see if my budget per day per person when there was just 5 of us can stay on par now that there's 9 of us.

And I want to get back into blogging so I can share what's up in the world of building personal wealth and financial health through shopping smartly!

[i]Entry by Hotcouponmama[i]

Glad to be here

February 26th, 2007 at 02:29 pm

In a cooperative effort to bring you the best savings, deals, and finance information on the web, SavingAdvice.com offered us the opportunity to set up a blog to share information with the members here.

A little bit about us and our site. As a co-owner of hotcouponworld, I've had a great experience helping our members find a better financial future by learning how to shop and save wisely.

The site has a ton of great information on everything from how to use coupons to which store has free toilet paper this week!

I've personally been a hardcore couponer for about 5-6 years, but have couponed for about 13 in all. By hardcore, a hardcore couponer is one who stockpiles multiples of an item when they are free, trades online for coupons to maximize the sales, and otherwise lives for the thrill of the hunt of a great deal or freebie.

Ultimately, by shopping smarter, you have more money to invest in other things. I've read stories about members who are debt free as a result of couponing, or are well on their way to it.

For me, couponing is about utilizing the savings to achieve my family's financial dreams. And it's working! This is the year that we'll max out pre-tax accounts and put a down payment on a piece of property to build our dream home.

So we are glad to be here. It's one thing to get a great deal on a one-time purchase. It's quite another to get great deals on the everyday items we all need to live and live well!

This entry is courtesy of Hotcouponmama