Today I have the pleasure of guest posting at Get Rich Slowly about common coupon myths and the truth behind them.
I was a deal seeker long before I ever became a mom. Why? Well, it began as a fun hobby. Scoring designer clothing at 90% off retail was just plain satisfying, and finding freebies in the mailbox always brightened my day.
But that all changed in 2002 when I found myself jobless and 7-1/2 months pregnant with my first child. My husband was a first year pipefitters’ apprentice earning about $9 an hour, and my high-paying job was our bread and butter. We managed for a few months on my severance and unemployment, but when we found out I was pregnant again only three months after our first boy was born, we knew that finding a job was not in the cards and that drastic measures were called for.
This was when I discovered the Grocery Game. I wish I could say it immediately transformed our finances, but I made every rookie mistake in the book. I didn’t truly understand how to use coupons, and I wound up purchasing only the cheapest items from the stores I shopped at. I was every coupon myth/misconception/excuse embodied in one. Perhaps you’re under many of the same false impressions:
Read more at Get Rich Slowly...
I had the honor of being a guest on MomAdvice Simplified yesterday, the Blog Talk Radio show hosted by my good friend Amy of MomAdvice.com!
I shared tips on organizing your coupons, how to maximize your savings, and where to find the best coupons. I highly encourage you to listen to the replay because Amy taught me a thing or two as well about shopping at Bed, Bath & Beyond!
I had good intentions on posting this yesterday so you all could listen live, but my schedule has been very off this week with my oldest boys on spring break.
When Ellie from NBC4 approached me about doing a guest post on her blog Elaborating With Ellie, I really struggled to find just the right topic.
In fact, I started and scrapped several posts before it occurred to me that my problem was I wasn't considering the type of audience that her site would have. While I get a good number of newbies here (which I love!), I'm willing to bet that visitors to her site are even greener at couponing and deal hunting than most.
Once that struck me, I found it much easier to settle on a topic, resources for coupons other than the Sunday newspaper inserts. I actually think this information is useful for newbies and pros alike!
Here are just a few of the highlights, and you can see the full post on Ellie's blog:
- Online printable sites – Online printable sites like Coupons.com and SmartSource.com are a great resource to check before you make your next trip to the grocery store. They often have coupons that you won't be able to find anywhere else. Just select the coupons you want and click print!
- eBay – Did you know that there are loads of coupons for sale on eBay? Well, actually, most coupons state that they cannot be sold; however, sellers circumvent this by stating that you're actually bidding on their time to cut, sort, and list the coupons. This is a super way to stock up on coupons so you can stockpile an item when it's on sale.
- Coupon clipping services – In addition to eBay, there are several websites where you can also purchase specific coupons like The Coupon Master, The Coupon Clippers, and Cents Off. The prices are only a fraction of the coupon's value, and if you use them wisely, the savings far outweigh the minimal price to purchase the coupons.
- Blinkies – Have you ever noticed those little machines in the grocery store with the flashing red lights that spit coupons out? If not, look for them next time you're walking up and down the aisles. In the couponing world these are called "blinkies," and they tend to be really good coupons. However, unless the item is on sale or is something you were planning to buy anyhow, don't be coerced into using them that day. Take just a few and stick them in your coupon keeper. Wait to use them until you find a great sale, which just might even be at another store. They're manufacturer's coupons, so they can be used anywhere.
- Magazines – You can find great money-saving coupons in magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens and Woman's Day, and even better, you can often find free subscriptions to these magazines online. The very best magazine for coupons is ALL YOU magazine. This magazine is only available at Walmart; however, I found a great deal on it right now where you can get 2 years for just $17.99. It's jam packed with coupons, and often there are coupons for free items, so the savings to be had more than defray the cost of the subscription.
Eventually these will all be compiled in a comprehensive list on Deal Seeking Mom, so I'd love to hear your favorite coupon resources!
Since the vyrlmkt debacle on Facebook, some stores have become even more difficult about accepting Internet printable coupons, with some stores refusing them altogether now. Well, you're in luck if they happen to be SmartSource coupons because now you can arm yourself with this informative letter from the SmartSource Senior Vice President.
Print it off and keep it in your coupon binder, box, purse, wherever you organize your coupons so you have it on hand when a dispute as to the validity of a SmartSource coupon arises.
Don't be afraid to be a savvy consumer and stand up for your rights!
I've had a number of people email and comment lately about their troubles with Internet printable coupons. Generally Bricks printable coupons are the most common culprit, and the issue can be very difficult to troubleshoot, not to mention frustrating.
Answers are hard to come by, so let me offer some suggestions that I've found.
- Disable your firewall. If you're running a personal firewall, the .exe file may not install properly. You'll want to follow the instructions to disable your firewall to install the coupon printer. Make sure to turn it back on when you're installation is complete!
- Verify that you have administrator rights. You will not be able to install the coupon printer if you do not have administrator rights on your computer.
- Turn off your pop-up blocker. If you use a pop-up blocker, you need to turn it off to print coupons.
If these tricks all fail, oftentimes you can actually request for manufacturers to mail the coupons to you.
And as a final resort (actually a first resort if you don't want to bother with all the rest), the easiest way I've found to resolve the problem is as simple as installing Firefox and using it as your browser when printing Bricks coupons. I'm no expert, so I won't even pretend to know why, but for whatever reason, it seems to work even when Internet Explorer doesn't!