Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Party on

I went to a class on how to shop with coupons and I learned that if I shop with coupons I will save money, if I shop with a lot of coupons I will save a lot of money. I also learned that as a single person I may not really need to use a lot of coupons - for example, I do not need five boxes of Hamburger Helper no matter what the discount! But I can donate what I don't use to a food pantry.

I learned about "stacking" which is when you use several different coupons from different sources for the same item. Digital coupons "do not stack", Catalina coupons also do not stack, Catalina's are the coupons you get with your receipt and the ones that the little machines spit at you in the aisles -  but the discount on your loyalty card and a regular coupon can both be used on the same product.

Other things I learned:

1. Just because the coupon says "Redeemable at fill-in-the-blank store, this does not mean you can only use it there, its just another opportunity to advertise fill-in-the-blank. Do check to see it does not say  ONLY redeemable at fill-in-the-blank.

2."Like"Kraft, Kellogg's, P&G etc. on Facebook, you can get more and better coupons. This is exspescally good for organic products. Also go to their sites and  register with them, they will email or mail you special offers above and beyond the regular store circulars.

It was also suggested to use another email address for your couponing because the sites are very aggressive in their marketing of the coupons, they send hundreds a day. They said that Gmail will now separate your email into types for you.

3.Check the internet for coupons - there are sites that have printable coupons, digital coupons and sites that list methods of combining deals.

4. Check out the beer and wine aisle, there are often coupons on the displays. Due to NC law, you don't have to buy the booze to get the coupon, if its a buy a bottle of vodka and get a pound of  pork chops for a X amount, you can get the pork chops for X amount and not buy the vodka.

I learned that while using coupons is a real money saver that it requires a lot of time and energy to do it well. A good idea is to check in with your store loyalty cards and see what other services you can get through them. Some of the have digital coupons that go directly to your card, when you buy the product, it is automatically used for the sale. This saves you time and energy.  You first have to go to the store web site and pick with the coupons you want, you have to scroll through what is offered but you are sure to find something you want. These offers do expire so you have to remember that they are on the card.

It was a good class, and I got free water and a handful of bite sized snickers.

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