Monday, July 28, 2014

Great Deal at Target This Week With In-Store Pickup!

I can't help but share this awesome deal at Target for this week!

Target is offering $10 off any order of $40 or more on their site using the in-store pickup option.  That alone is pretty awesome, but they also are offering some great gift card deals this week that make it even sweeter!

My daughter is typically in cloth diapers, but we're doing quite a bit of traveling in August and typically use disposables when we're away.  Target has two diaper deals this week:
  • Get a $20 gift card when you buy two giant packs of Pampers or Huggies, on sale for $34.99 each
  • Get a $10 gift card when you buy two bulk packs of Honest Company, BabyGanics or Up and Up diapers, on sale for $25.99 each
Today I ordered two boxes of The Honest Company diapers through target.com with the in-store pickup option.  That came to $51.98, but there was an instant $10 off for the in-store pickup promo, bringing me down to $41.98.  Then, the moment I picked it up, they emailed me a $10 gift card.  So it's like I paid $31.98 for both boxes.  Almost half off!  It's more diapers than we'll need but we'll just save them for another trip.

Don't have a kid in diapers?  There's another great gift card deal!  You can get a $10 gift card for buying any four of the following:

  • Laundry Detergent, on sale for $9.99 (including Tide 69-oz 36-load or 75-oz 48-load, Gain 100-oz 48- or 64-load, and select others)
  • Bounty Paper Towels, on sale for $8.99 (8-pk giant roll or Basic 12-pk big roll)
  • Charmin Bath Tissue, on sale for $12.99 (24-pk double plus or 12-pk mega plus)
  • Fabric Softener, on sale for $7.99 (select Bounce 200-ct sheets, Downy 120-load liquid, and select others)
  • Glad Trash Bags, on sale for $9.99 (select 45- to 106-ct 13 gallon or 34- or 36-ct 30 gallon)
I'm planning on using the $10 gift card today toward another in-store pickup, for the following:
  • 2x Charmin Bath Tissue ($12.99 each)
  • 2x Bounty Paper Towels ($8.99 each)
$43.96 before discounts, $33.96 after the instant $10 in-store pickup promo.  Then I get a $10 gift card on top of that, so it's like paying $23.96 for all four!  Again, this is nearly half price -- and no need for coupons!

You can get the deal on up to four transactions.

Placing and picking up my diaper order today was so easy!  I placed the order from my phone.  The site said it could take up to 4 hours to be ready, but within a half hour I received my email and text message letting me know I could drop by anytime for pickup.  I went to the service desk, they used my driver's license to look up my order, and brought it right out for me.  And as I mentioned, the $10 gift card showed up in my email almost immediately after I picked up the order.

Just a note, you can't use coupons on an online order, so you can't combine other deals here.  But these deals are so good, you don't need to!


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Couponing Myths, Busted: You can't eat healthy and coupon

I think one of the top comments I get when talking about couponing is the thought that you can't both eat healthy and be a couponer.  Totally untrue!

Yes, it is far easier to get crazy deals on prepackaged items that are full of things you can't pronounce.  I got some Chex Mix last week for $.15 a bag -- that's not the type of deal you expect to get on, say, an avocado.  Grains and chemicals are cheap.  I try to balance things for our family, but given our lack of income right now, I do take advantage of some of those deals when I think the product isn't too toxic.

But couponing isn't an all-or-nothing thing.  You might not walk out of the grocery store having spent $5 on a cart full of groceries, but you can still save quite a bit!  Here are my biggest tips:

Look for store coupons
The local supermarkets here typically have store coupons in their weekly flyers.  They often send coupons in the mail as well.  The items could be anything, but here's where I typically find great coupons for meat, produce and dairy items.  Store coupons can also usually be combined with manufacturer's coupons, so if it is an item that happens to have a MC as well, you can save even more.  I also often get coupons at checkout for money off a minimum purchase -- like $10 off $50 -- that can be used for anything.

Couponing isn't just about food
Even if you buy nothing but farm fresh produce and meats for your family (hey, can I come over?), you can still save big on other essentials for your family.  Paper products, personal care products, and cleaning supplies very commonly have coupons and deals.  I think I have enough laundry detergent right now to get my family through the next year; nearly all of it was under $1 a bottle.  The key is to keep an eye on the sales and stock up on those supplies when they're at their cheapest.

Keep an eye on the deals
It's not uncommon to find some great deals on natural and organic products.  If you're checking into the deals each week, you'll find them.  Mambo Sprouts is a website that specializes in coupons on natural and organic products.  Hopster often has some too.  If you shop at Whole Foods, they also have a page with their own printable coupons.

Take advantage of moneymaking offers
This isn't something you can do at every store, but if you're lucky enough to shop somewhere that will allow you overage toward other items, that's a great way to save on things that don't typically have coupons.  ShopRite allows overage when it involves using an eCoupon.  Target also allows overage so long as you have another item to absorb the cost (they won't pay you cash at checkout).  I don't think my husband will ever run out of deodorant again, because there have been so many moneymaking deals lately, saving me $1-$2 every time I buy one.  It's free money!  If it's a product you won't use, donate it.

This week was one of my healthier shopping trips and I still saved a lot.  Of course, everyone's definition of healthy is a bit different, and this isn't meant to be the ideal trip by any means, but here's what it looked like:


(Yes, I know ramen noodles aren't healthy -- but they were for a delicious cabbage ramen salad I made today!)


  • 4x Maruchan ramen noodles, $.25 each
  • Quick Oats, on sale for $1.69
  • Slivered almonds, $2.69
  • Sesame seeds, $2.29
  • Chicken drumsticks, on sale for $1.19/lb ($5.74)
    • Store coupon for $.50 off/lb ($2.41)
    • Total: $3.33
  • Fresh dill, $.99
  • Scallions, $.50
  • Land O Lakes Soft Butter Spread, on sale for $1.88
    • $.55 MC (requested by mail), fully doubled
    • Total: $.78
  • Butter, on sale for $3.49
    • $1.50 store coupon 
    • Total: $1.99
  • Butterball Deli Turkey, on sale for $5.99/lb ($18.03)
    • Store coupon for $2 off/lb, up to 3 lbs ($6)
    • Total: $12.03
  • 4x Matlaw's Stuffed Clams, $4.99 each
    • 4x $4.99 printable MC
    • Total: Free
Other deals:
  • $3 off $35+ store coupon
Total: $24.49 (savings of $46.74)

As you can see, not everything I bought was on sale or had coupons, but I still saved 66% off my trip.  The free stuffed clams definitely helped, but I also got some great deals thanks to store coupons.  I came home with a lot of meat and seafood!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Couponing 101: Making the most of printable coupons; a how-to with tips and tricks

Even though I get the paper now, most of the coupons I use are printables -- meaning, I print them out from my computer.  Those with iPhones can even print coupons using the coupons.com app.  I love printable coupons because you can easily find what you need, when you need them, and without having to deal with other coupons you don't care about.  You can also easily obtain multiple coupons (more on that below).

Where to find printables:
The main sources for printable coupons are coupons.com, smartsource.com and redplum.com.  While you can get their coupons directly from their websites, there are also a lot of other places from which you can get them.  The coupon companies pay websites to refer people to print coupons as well.  They're the same, but there are some advantages to printing elsewhere:

MyPoints: This is one of my favorite places to print coupons because you actually get points for the coupons you print and redeem.  Points can be redeemed for gift cards.  It takes a while to add up, but considering the coupons are free to print and use, a little extra savings is just a bonus!  MyPoints has partnerships with Coupons.com and SmartSource.

LivingRichWithCoupons: This is the main site where I get my deals from, so it's often just convenient to print there.  They often provide links that will open the coupons page with the specific coupon you want already clipped.  Also, their tool allows you to easily change ZIP codes.  This is useful, because some coupons are only available under certain ZIPs.  When you're looking at a coupon match-up site and they reference a printable that's ZIP-specific, they'll provide the ZIP you need in parentheses next to the link.  LivingRichWithCoupons has partnerships with all the major coupon providers.

General Mills products have some additional resources for their printable coupons.  They usually have a lot of coupons available through Coupons.com, but if you go to one of their sites directly to print, those coupons are worth slightly more.  So a coupon for $.75 off Golden Grahams on Coupons.com would be $.85 off through one of General Mills' sites.  You have to be a member to print from one of their sites, but it's free.  I typically go to BettyCrocker.com -- the coupons are the same no matter which of their sites you go to.

You can also find an assortment of General Mills coupons at everydaysaver.com.  In some cases the deals are better on one of the General Mills sites, but some of the coupons they have are exclusive as well.

Multiple coupons:
One of the best advantages of using printable coupons is the fact that you can easily print out multiples.  With coupons from the paper, you either need multiple papers or another way to get additional inserts.  With nearly all printable coupon sites, there is a maximum of two prints per computer.  If you have multiple computers in your house, you can print two from each of them!  That's how I end up with four coupons for really good deals -- my husband and I each have our own computers, so I just hop on his to print the additional coupons out.  Once you've reached the limit on your device, it will usually tell you that on the website and simply won't let you print that coupon anymore.

I believe that you can get two additional prints from an iPhone with Coupons.com, but I don't have one to test that out.  Unfortunately the Android version of the app doesn't have the ability to actually print any of the coupons.

Please note that you should never copy a coupon.  There are specific codes on each coupon, and copying them is considered fraud.  There are also some additional features in place on the coupon that can make it obvious when it has been copied versus printed out legally.

Updates and Resets:
New coupons are released throughout the month, but the best time to find new ones is right when the month is switching.  The beginning of the month is a big time for new coupons.

From time to time, usually at the beginning of a new month with the big update, some coupons will "reset" -- meaning they basically get a new supply and if you previously reached your limit, you'll be able to print more again.  The big couponing sites usually tell you which coupons have reset.  You can also just check in to the printable coupon sites at the start of a new month to see if the site still claims your limit has been reached.

Tips for printing:
It's always a good idea to check out the coupon sites right when they've made their big update for the new month.  Printable coupons typically have limits -- once a certain number of people have printed them, they disappear.  This means that the good coupons that come out at the start of a month may go quickly!  If you see a really good coupon for something you'd buy regularly, it may be worth your while to go ahead and print it, even if you're not sure you'll use it.  At the start of July, I got 4 copies of a coupon for $1.50 off any Breyers, Magnum, Popsicle, Klondike or Fruttare product.  That's a great deal on a product that's super popular during this time of year and often has great sales -- the coupon was gone within 24 hours!

Ink can get really expensive quickly.  To help keep costs down, print in black-and-white only.  Unfortunately you can't change any settings before printing coupons -- it's a safeguard to help keep people from finding ways to print out more copies than they should -- but you can change the default settings on your computer to be grayscale.  Here's how to do it on a Windows computer.  Your coupons won't be as pretty, but who cares?

I try to maximize how I use my paper so I'm not overly wasteful.  With most of the sites, up to 3 coupons can fit on a page.  If I need to print multiples of a single coupon, I'll print one on one side, then flip the paper over and print on the other side too.  Just make sure you're not printing on the back side of the first coupon, because you need the coupons to be separate!  Sometimes if I needed to print two coupons I'll use the other side to print a single coupon as well.  Just make sure there will be enough room.  If you have any doubt that the coupon will fit without overlapping another coupon, don't do it!

When I can, I'll group like coupons together and cut multiple pages at once.  The coupon sites each seem to have a standard coupon size, so even if the coupons are for different items, they often line up just fine for cutting.  Just give yourself a little bit of a buffer around the coupons so you don't accidentally cut off some of the fine print on the side.

This week's deal:
I'm pretty stocked up on just about everything right now, so this week's shopping was just to pick up a few things that had really good sales.  All of my manufacturer's coupons for this trip were printed!  This was at ShopRite, as most of my trips are.  But don't fret if there's not a ShopRite near you -- you can get similar deals at many regional supermarkets.  Also, I'm planning a post soon to talk exclusively about my good friend Target!

I'm getting paid $.44 for this!  Don't mind the toddler hand; she was really excited to help me put things away!


  • 5x Golden Grahams on sale for $1.88 (had to buy in multiples of 3 -- the Reese's Puffs below is also part of the deal)
    • 4x $.85 printable MC (BettyCrocker.com), doubled
    • $.75 printable MC (Coupons.com), doubled
    • $.75 eCoupon
    • ($1/2 eCoupon pending -- have to call ShopRite because it didn't work)
    • ($.75 SavingStar rebate pending)
    • Total: -$1.40
  • Reese's Puffs, on sale for $1.88
    • $.60 printable MC (BettyCrocker.com) - didn't double?
    • $.50 eCoupon
    • ($.50 SavingStar rebate pending)
    • Total: $.28
  • 4x Sprout Organic Toddler Pouches, on sale for $1.39
    • 4x $.75 printable MC (Coupons.com), doubled to cost of item
    • Total: Free
  • BumbleBee Tuna, on sale for $.69
    • $.69 store coupon
    • Total: Free
  • Food Should Taste Good Chips, on sale for $2.00
    • $.75 printable MC (EverydaySaver.com), doubled
    • $.75 eCoupon
    • ($.75 SavingStar rebate pending)
    • Total: -$1.00
  • 3x candy bars (Hershey/Reese's), $.79 each
    • B2G1 Free eCoupon ($.79)
    • ($.79 SavingStar Friday Freebie rebate pending)
    • Total: $.79 ($.26/each)
  • Wasa Crackers, $1.99
    • $1 printable MC (Wasa's Facebook page)
    • ($1 Ibotta rebate pending)
    • Total: -$.01
  • Peaches, on sale $.99/lb ($1.93)
    • $.98 store coupon ($.50/lb)
    • Total: $.95
  • Sargento sliced provolone, on sale for $2.99
    • $.55 printable MC (SmartSource), doubled
    • Total: $1.89
  • Land O Lakes Eggs, on sale for $2.50
    • $1.51 store coupon
    • $.35 printable MC (Land O Lakes website)
    • Total: $.64
  • Bird's Eye Recipe Ready chopped onions, on sale for $.99
    • 2x $1 printable MC (SmartSource)
    • Total: -$.02
  • Klondike Bars, on sale for $1.88
    • $.89 store coupon
    • $1.50 printable MC (Coupons.com, no longer available)
    • Total: -$.51
Other deals:
  • $2 Catalina coupon from last week
Total out-of-pocket (before SavingStar and Ibotta rebates): $3.35
Total after rebates: -$.44