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Monday, May 20, 2013
Welcome to Part 2 of my new series on "Tips, Tricks & Techniques for Saving Money on the Central Coast"! All I know about couponing and saving money will be laid out here for the next few weeks. Each week will cover a new topic so stayed tuned!
Have you missed a previous week's post?? Catch up or review the whole series HERE!
Part 2: Stockpiling and Using E-Coupons, Money Saving Apps, & Catalina Coupons
1. Stockpiling – the KEY to Making Couponing Work!
- Most people shop as I used to. When you NEED an item, you add it to your shopping list and then purchase all those items each week. They may or may not be on sale and they likely are not at their lowest sale price.
- The concept of stockpiling is to purchase multiples of a single item, BEFORE you NEED them, when it is at its lowest price, and purchase it with a coupon. You then store it in your Stockpile for when you need it. (Show pictures of my stockpile?)
- Using a coupon with any item is better than not using a coupon at all. But are you using the coupon at the right time??
- Purchase items when they are at one of their lowest sale prices of the year.
- Stores rotate their sales depending on the time of the year. For example, during the Spring, you start to see lots of summer deals come out: Sunscreen, Hot Dogs, Condiments, Chips, etc. With experience, you start to learn what a good sale price is for an item. March is Freezer month so you see great deals on frozen items. And August and September are a great time for peanut butter & school lunch item deals
- Pair up that great sale price with a manufacturer coupon
- In my weekly store “Weekly Deals & Coupon Match-ups”, I tell you what times are at their lowest sale prices and tell you what coupon to use with the sale. Simply click on the STORE DEALS tab of the site and choose your store. You'll find the weekly matchups there.
- If you’ve purchased multiple papers on Sunday, you’ll have multiples of a coupon to use when a good sale comes along.
- Example: if you ran out of ketchup and go to the store to buy some, you are likely to spend around $3.50 for a bottle, maybe $.50 less if you use a coupon. If you buy ketchup at its very lowest sale price ($.75 - $.99 on Sale) and use a $.50 coupon, you can get ketchup for $.50 or less! And if you had multiple of that $.50 coupon, you could get 7 bottles of ketchup for what you would have spent on just one $3.50 bottle of ketchup!
2. Join the Loyalty Programs for any of the stores you shop at. Many stores will not give you the sale price unless you scan your store card or enter your phone number. This is a bit of a pain but it becomes just part of shopping once you get used to it. Store cards are definitely required at Vons & Albertsons, as well as other in the area. Just by scanning your card, you will save quite a bit of money when you buy items on sale. Sign up for store cards at their website or customer service desks.
3. Take Advantage of E-Coupons/Digital Coupons, Money-Back Apps & Catalina Coupons
- E-Coupons are electronic coupons offered by various companies. They require NO CLIPPING!
- 4 Main E-Coupon Sites:
- SavingStar.com: This site works like a cash-back rewards program. Instead of getting a dollar amount off of an item you buy at checkout, the savings amount is added to your account and then after you reach at least $5, you can have the money deposited into a bank account, PayPal account or gift card of your choice. This site works with Albertsons, Ralphs, CVS and RiteAid in our area.
- PGESaver.com: This is an e-coupons site for Procter & Gamble products. Here you load P&G product coupons to your club cards and then discount comes off at checkout. This site works at Ralphs in our area.
- Shortcuts.com: This is an e-coupons site for grocery, household & toiletries items. The coupons are loaded to your club card and then the discounts come off at checkout. This site works with Ralphs & Food4Less in our area.
- CellFire.com: This is an e-coupon site for grocery, household & toiletries items. The coupons are loaded to your club card and then the discounts come off at checkout. This site works with Ralphs in our area.
- Use money-making apps like Ibotta & Endorse. Available to download with iPhone or Android. Find them in your iPhone App Store or Android Play Store. Both companies give you money back for specific items that you purchase. Simply purchase your items, take a picture of the receipt and submit it through the app. Easy!
- Ibotta: Earn money back just by shopping for the products you are already buying and by taking polls, reading, or watching videos! Locally, it works at Vons, Ralphs, Target, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, 7-11 and more are being added each day. It looks like in 2013 they will be adding on Albertsons, Dollar Tree, Costco and more!
- Endorse: Endorse gives you personalized offers for up to 100% cash back on all your favorite brands, in any store. Sometimes they are brand specific, but many times they are good on any brand!
- Some of the offers I’ve been given:
- 100% back on any coffee!!
- 10% back on any fast food purchase!
- 50% back on Old Bay product
- 50% back on Planters NUT-trition Peanut Butter
- 20% back on SoBe Beverage
- 20% back on Quaker Soft Baked Bars
- 10% back on any Laundry Detergent!!
- 50% back on ANY brand of diapers
- 20% back on Nature Valley
- 20% back on Cheerios
- 20% back on Fiber One Bars
- and even MORE!!
- Grocery Stores are beginning to offer their own E-Coupons
- Albertsons - They don’t have a lot of e-coupons yet but I wouldn't be surprised if more are added very soon. Next to each coupon it gives you the option to print it, but some coupons have a “Save To Card” option which allows you to load it to your card as an E-Coupon.
- Vons Just for U Program – My Favorite Store Program! Just for U Programs allows you to save about 10-20% extra with each shopping trip, on top of your already great coupon savings! We will talk about it in future weeks, but basically through the site you get access to tons of great manufacturer coupons & store coupons that you load directly to your card to come off at checkout. Once a week you are also given Personalized Deals based on your shopping habits! These are deals that are only for you and are usually really great deals!
- Target - Target has some great e-coupons! They have printable coupons (both store coupons & manufacturer coupons), mobile store coupons and their new Cartwheel site. Best of all, you can use a manufacturer coupons, a store coupon and a Cartwheel coupon on ONE SINGLE ITEM, tripling your savings!
- What is a Catalina coupon?
- Catalina coupons are those coupons that print out at the register after your purchase. The machine is by Catalina, hence the name! Manufacturers offer these coupons when you buy a certain number of specific items. They run for a specific amount of time and at specific stores. They are typically for $x.xx off your next transaction.
- The best place to find current Catalina coupon deals is through CouponNetwork.com. Click the “Your Bucks Offers” tab to see the current Catalina deals. Most offers will be listed, but not all. Some are just mysteries that we don’t know about until they print!
- Stores will also print various Store Coupons & Manufacturer coupons from the Catalina machine. These will be for $x.xx of a specific item, just like a typical coupon. If it says Store Coupon, you can use it with another manufacturer coupon, but if it says Manufacturer coupon, you cannot use another manufacturer coupon for a single item.
Stay Tuned Next Monday for Part 3:
Coupon Organization & How to Plan a 60%+ Saving Shopping Trip
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I don't typically link to other blogs but this post is just too good not to share. I'm really trying hard to improve the quality of the food my family and I eat. I am trying to buy more organic and "real" foods. I'm learning more and more about what really in American foods and its definitely concerning. One of my biggest dilemmas though is how to buy great foods but still stick to my budget.
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