Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How to go crazy.

I've had a few people ask me about my crazy "couponing" ways. I figured it was time to post something up here to direct you all to!

There isn't really a secret to coupon shopping- there is a ton of information on the internet! You just have to start at a few quality websites and be willing to bust out the ol' scissors!

Where to find coupons and how to start being a

coupon lady!

I use the following websites to find out how to "stack coupons" (using in-store coupons and manufacturer coupons together), where to find freebies and online deals.

Check the websites a couple times a day (at least!)

I  sign up for anything free that I'm interested in, within the last week I've received:
maxi pads, tampons, stevia leaf samples, shampoo, pictures, picture books, a mouse pad, picture calendar,  picture cards, picture flip book, and more!

All of the websites I posted list FREEBIES from legit places. It's so fun to open the mail box and find free samples everyday. Often these free samples will have awesome coupons in them- one of my free samples for Always had a coupon for one FREE Always Infinity product. It was a $5.95 value!

Obviously: GET THE SUNDAY PAPER! I get mine and steal the coupons out of my parents so I have more than one of a coupon.

Become a fan of something on Facebook. I got free Oreos yesterday for doing this!!

On the websites you will find how to save at each particular store (make sure you print a coupon policy for each store, there are cashiers that don't know what their coupon policy is and may be overwhelmed by your coupons, always have it on hand!) and how to organize your coupons. If you watch the video on Hip2save about her organization, that's how I do it. I have a huge 3 ring binder full of coupons in the baseball card holders. I look like a maniac in a store, but it works.
I  sign up for restaurants for good deals (Black Angus and TGIFridays have awesome deals for birthdays). I put in my info and then go back and give Cameron's info so that we both get freebies or goodies near our birthdays!

I shop at Pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid. I wouldn't have done this before, but the websites tell you whats on sale and how to get awesome deals (including money making deals. I'm getting a rebate check from Rite Aid in the next few weeks!). Walgreens and CVS give you Catalina coupons (Walgreens calls them Register Rewards, CVS calls them Extra Care Bucks) for your next purchase which can be used like gift cards. I have a few of those saved up for when we need milk in the next couple of weeks.

I don't shop at the same store for everything. I follow what's on sale. I've shopped at Vons, Staters, Target, Wal Mart, CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid this week. It's actually cheaper than sticking to one store.

If I'm looking for something in particular, I go to the company's website and sign up for coupons or specials(For example, Johnson and Johnson has great coupons online.)

Sign up to coupons through snail mail. Home Made Simple has a great book of coupons you can send for. It has $35 worth of coupons for brands like Swiffer, Mr. Clean and Febreeze.

Grab coupons from the stores. Stores often have in-store coupons that you can stack with manufacturer coupons. They might be right in the weekly ad, or you might have to look for them in brochures around the store (Walgreens for example has a coupon book for the month with tons of savings in it that they put next to their weekly ads).

You can load coupons right onto your store cards (Vons, Ralphs, etc). Here's the websites:

Stock up on gifts. I have a bag out in the garage of gifts that I've gotten for free or cheap that I could give to someone on the fly. I have Victoria's Secret body wash, Bath and Body Works lotion, candles, etc. So even if you don't think you'll use a coupon for something, think about it for a gift.

Kids, Babies and Diaper Deals!

Use Huggies Rewards . You earn points from codes on Huggies products. Pampers has a similar program.

Disney Movie rewards- You get points for buying Disney movies, CDs and going to see Disney movies in theaters.

If you really like Organic products for Baby and household, Seventh Generation has awesome coupons for cleaners, diapers and wipes. (I love all of their products, I just got their All Purpose Cleaner and it rocks my face off!)

Point and Recycle Websites:

Kashless: sort of like Freecycle or Free stuff on Craigslist, but you earn points for posting.

You can use these points at RecycleBank and redeem them for coupons, goods or gift cards. I just got a coupon in the mail for free Huggies wipes! Check and see if your area has Curbside Recycling points program. You get points from everything you recycle!

-Swagbucks- you can earn "swagbucks" by using their search engine, buying something through their website, or referring friends.
-Ebates- go to their website before you shop online and you'll get cash back from certain websites for shopping there.

Just so everyone can know where the credit goes to making me "Crazy", my friend Nichole really inspired me to this level of coupon shopping when we visited her family in December. She's the real guru.

I think that's everything for today! Have fun saving money, once you start it's really addictive.

Have fun! Let me know how things go and how you saved money for your family this week.

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