How do you organize coupons?

Posted by Centsable Andersons Thursday, May 13, 2010 0 comments

Once you get into couponing, you will have to find a coupon sorting method that works for you. When I first started years ago, I clipped every single coupon I got my hands on. Then, I sorted them in a binder with baseball card inserts. This worked for me then because I was a stay at home mom with more time on my hands to clip and sort. Plus, I didn’t have as many coupons as I thought. It was handy though, because I had all my coupons in one binder and was easy to tote around. I clipped then sorted them by product. This may work for you as you get started.

Now, I don’t have as much time, and I have way too many coupons to fit into a simple binder. Way, way, too many. What I use now are 2 small, plastic file boxes, with file folders. One is categorized by dates for my Sunday inserts. Every Sunday, I buy eight newspapers and take all of the coupons out. Make sure to check in the Parade because sometimes they stick a few in there, too! Then, I make a folder with that Sunday’s date. The reason that I do this is because many coupon sites use this method in their matchups: 1/22 RP, which mean January 22 RedPlum. This helps me find it easier.

My other file box consists of my “loose” coupons. These include internet prints, coupons mailed to me, and coupons found (blinkies, tearpads, books, etc.). This one is alphabetized by product name. These were in envelopes in a shoebox but once again, we have too many to keep up with that way.
One thing I plan on doing to make the sorting and finding easier on me now is to also print a list of that Sunday’s coupons. Remember how we talked about coupons being regional? Well, sometimes they don’t have a coupon I have! And we want to use as much as we can to save all that we can.

The downside to my system is that I can’t take it with me to the store, really. The upside is that it is very organized, tidy and I can’t take it to the store to make unplanned purchases. We try and stick with just lists. Now, if there are certain items you always needs like diapers or dog food for instance keep some coupons in an envelope in your car.

CVS How To

Posted by Centsable Andersons Wednesday, May 12, 2010 0 comments

CVS has its own rewards program called Extra Care Bucks or ECBs. To get started, get a CVS ECB card at the checkout counter from your local CVS. If you can stand the wait, sign up here for yours and wait for your card via mail. The limit is 2 cards per household. Please adhere to this! Either way you sign up, make sure to sign up here online to link your card to your email address. This will get you lots of valuable coupons and promotional emails.

So what are ECBs? They are basically a rewards coupon to be used like cash at CVS. When you purchase certain advertised items at CVS, ECBs will print at the bottom of your receipt. They do expire, so make sure to use them before the expiration date. Also, do not lose these!

Like most stores, you can get the CVS advertisement in the Sunday newspaper, in the CVS store or view it online by finding your store here. Before you shop CVS, checkout the matchups. By matchups, I mean look at a site (like ours) that gives you the ad for CVS with a list of coupons that matchup to what is on sale. Also, pay special attention to “free after ECBs”. These are GREAT items to stock up on. We all need razors, why not get them free? A free after ECB example would be paying $3 for a shampoo and getting $3 ECBs back. It’s like getting it for free. What do you with an ECB? Spend it! A lot of shoppers use it to buy other items with ECB sales. This is considered rolling your ECBs. If you choose, you may purchase most anything with your ECBs (except for alcohol, tobacco, lottery, gift cards, money orders, postage stamps, pre-paid cards, prescriptions, and special order Home Health Care items, including footwear). What if you don’t want or need the free after ECB items? Donate! Churches always welcome donations. This is a great way to save and help your community. How do I earn extra ECBs? Well, you earn 1 ECB for every 2 prescriptions you have filled there. Plus, they have a green bag tag. They cost $.99 and you should have the cashier scan it every visit you purchase an item (once per day). On your 4th visit, you will earn one free ECB. Also, there is an ECB kiosk near the front of every store. SCAN YOUR CARD EVERY TIME YOU GO IN! You can scan up to two times a day. I’ve gotten coupons from that (made some items FREE!) as well as $10 off a $40 purchase, $ off a $10 purchase and more! Join the CVS Advisor Panel by signing up here online. Have your card handy when you fill out that application because it requires your CVS card number.

Once you have a list of what you are getting, let’s go shopping. When you walk in, grab and ad to ensure you buy the correct items on your list. Then, scan your card to potentially score more coupons. If you see that they are out of an item, get a raincheck! The rainchecks do not have a time limit date on them. Have the cashier scan your ECB card first. Hand over a $4/$20 purchase CVS coupon first if you have one (these are everywhere online!). Instant savings! Make sure to stack your coupons (use a manufacturer and a CVS coupon), for more savings if possible. If they are running a BOGO sale, use a coupon on each item for more savings. They only take manufacturer and CVS coupons, though!

When checking out, present your coupons in this order to maximize your savings!
1. Have Cashier Scan your card and then make purchases
2. CVS $/purchase coupon i.e. $5/$25
3. CVS store and manufacturer coupons
4. ECBs you have earned

Please note that you will not get change back on an ECB. If your purchase is 4.50 and you use $5 ECB, you’ve lost the 50 cents. Check for filler items (cheap pencils, candy, cups, etc.) to avoid losing any!

If you have any problems with your experiences at CVS or have questions, call their corporate number at 1-888-607-4287.

CVS Coupon Policy
CVS is a little trickier because they do not have a formally written policy online to go by. One thing to note is that CVS leaves the final word up to the local store manager to make a decision regarding the acceptance of a coupon. After many couponers have emailed them, the basic response is the following:

Up to one CVS coupon and one MFR coupon can be used on any one item.
However, this will not work in a one-item transaction, because the
register "item counter" logic will not allow more coupons than items.
Additionally, this one-to-one relationship of coupons to items exists in
all transactions. (Ex.: If you use 7 coupons total on 4 items, you
must have 7 total items the transaction for the logic to permit

Also, we take internet coupons with barcode at the discretion of the
store manager.

Furthermore, coupons are accepted on clearance merchandise (up to the
value of the product) as well as $1 off coupons on 99cent items, etc.

If you have any further questions or concerns regarding our coupon
policies, please speak to your local store's manager.

80% off!

Posted by Centsable Andersons Monday, May 10, 2010 0 comments Weekly Promo Offer 300 x 250

Let's face it, no matter how many groceries we have, how big a stockpile of food, or even if we have leftovers ready and waiting, going out to eat still happens. Heck, it is always a welcome treat! We always get asked don't we get tired of eating at home? Well, yes, occasionally. Everyone loves to eat out at some point, and let's face it, it makes date night just a bit more special!!

So how, do you save money and still get to at out? Coupons of course! (Girl, I can find a coupon for almost anything I want if I truly set out to do so.) So, were do you find these elusive restaurant coupons?

Get 80% Off $25 Gift Cert. Use code ENJOY and pay $2 thru 5/13/10. Is this legit? Oh, yes. I have used them PLENTY of times. Some people have asked is it worth it when most of the certificates require you to spend a certain amount? Yes, it still is.

*Please remember to tip your server based on the total before your gift certificate.*

House Party, Free Family Fun!

Posted by Centsable Andersons Friday, May 7, 2010 0 comments

Have you ever heard of House Party? It always surprises me how few people have. House Party is a site I’ve been a member of since 2007, so trust me when I say, this is a site you want to join. The first upside to the site is that it is free. Interested?

House Party lets people who really love something host a special event featuring a fun, free, exclusive experience sponsored by the world's leading brands.
Cool people sharing cool stuff. A House Party is thousands of parties happening across the country on a single day, hosted by people just like you. Each event is sponsored by a leading brand and focuses on something cool–like a new product, hit TV show, or great cause–that the sponsor wants its best fans to experience firsthand and share with their friends. (Check out some of our recent events.)

You host. Everyone wins. House Party lets you share the stuff you like with the people you like, through a fantastic, free party experience. What's the catch? There is none: Our partners understand that if they share something good with the right people in a fun way, we'll all help spread the word.

What's inside the party packs?
Each event has a unique Party Pack filled with all kinds of free stuff to make your party a success. We've thrown all kinds of events: TV Viewing, Wine & Chocolate Pairing, Kid-centric, you name it.

I’ve hosted parties for new Nickolodeon movies, one raising awareness of Breast Cancer, Hershey's Chocolate Bliss (YUMMY!), Avon, Scholastic and lots more! They are always free, lots of fun and provide a GREAT excuse to have people over. Nobody ever calls or tries to sell you anything either. This is a total win situation!

Besides, in this economy, couldn't we all use a free party?

Where do we find all of our coupons?

Posted by Centsable Andersons 0 comments

Well, the first and obvious answer is of course, in the Sunday newspaper. The common Sunday coupon inserts are RedPlum (RP) and Smartsource (SS). Usually on the first Sunday of the month, a Proctor and Gamble (P&G) insert will be included.

Coupons are regional. For example, Pensacola often gets “better” and higher dollar coupons than we do in Mobile. For example, in the past few months we have seen Pensacola get a $3 off Snuggle coupon that we didn’t get. We have seen Pensacola get $2.50 off Finish (aka Electrasol) coupon that Mobile did not get. Now, you have two options. Drive to Pensacola (some locations in Foley-including Publix in Fairhope- offer the paper, too). Or purchase them online. Some great sites to purchase coupons are:

Ebay, TheCouponClippers, Couponsthingsbydede

IF you are buying off of ebay, make sure to see how quickly you will get your coupons and check the expiration date. Usually, you will want that coupon for a current weekly sale. I advise buying any coupons on that Sunday. Honestly, any later than that and you run the risk of not getting your coupons until after a sale is over. You also run the risk of the seller selling out of the coupons.

Is it worth buying a coupon? Yes! It truly can be! Especially if you are paying a few dollars to save up to $10-$20!

Manufacturer’s Websites
I am always amazed at how few people have written their favorite manufacturer! Many companies LOVE to hear from their consumers. Think of what you use. Think of what you would like to use but maybe cannot afford. Write that company a short email of praise or mention you are curious about their product. If you feel comfortable, ask if they have any coupons they can send you. Honestly, most of my emails were simple praise and thank you notes. We have saved so much from coupons sent to us. Besides, who doesn’t like mail?? Occasionally, we will just get a thank you. Sometimes we have to hear the dreaded words “NO, we do not just give out coupons”. Shrug it off and write someone else!

Also, sign up for different manufacturer emails. We use one of our side email addresses for this (just be sure to check it often!). A lot of companies and brands will send weekly or monthly email updates, recipes and random news. Occasionally in these emails, they will also send you a coupon just for being on their email list. We recommend printing this out quickly and saving it. Often, if you save the email for later, the item will go on sale and guess what? All prints for that coupon are GONE!

Member Sites
These are sites that you become a member of in exchange for spreading the word about products, trying products, getting free samples and reviewing products. These are all free! What is great are the coupons you get from being a member of these sites. Most of the coupons are for free items. We’ve even been given extra coupons to email, print or give to our friends and family. Join these today!

Vocalpoint, Startsampling, Kraft Food,

Internet Prints
Internet prints are all over the internet. As mentioned above, you can often find coupons on a manufacturer’s website to print off. Also, Smartsource and RedPlum have sites to print from, too! These coupons reset at the beginning of each month. Sometimes we get new ones and sometimes they give us the same one to be able to print. Typically at sites like these, you can only print once from each computer.

Now, if you have been directed to a site like RedPlum or and cannot find a coupon mentioned, try a different zip code. Oh yes, your read that right! Just like Sunday coupons are regional, so can IP coupons. We check 90210. It’s silly, but works. Also, feel free to ask other online couponers what zip code they are using. We are all in this together!

Before you learn this lesson the hard way, let us warn you. Do NOT print every single coupon offered on these sites. It will become an overwhelming mess quickly. Besides, you probably will not want, need or use every single coupon on there anyway.

You will also come across brick coupons. You can look at the list of current brick coupons to stay up to date. If you are sent to a link to use a Bricks coupon, be patient. First print the coupon. BUT WAIT! Click back three times. Woohoo! You now have that coupon TWICE!

Blinkies, Tearpads, Peelies and Books
What is a blinkie? Have you ever noticed those little red or black machines hanging on a shelf as
you shop? The spit out little coupons and have a blinking light and usually go beep beep as you pull
a coupon out. Take a few, but please don’t be greedy. Taking every single one is just rude.

Tearpads are found in several places. One location is hanging off of a shelf. When we are shopping anywhere with food, we always check the chips aisle. For some reason, this is a popular location for them. Check out displays. You know those big beer displays you always walk by? You can sometimes find GREAT tearpad coupons them! Next time you stop for some gas and a drink, check the gas station out! You can find tearpads on their displays, shelves and sometimes in their drink coolers! Tear you off some coupons, but again, please do not take them all.

Peelies are coupons found on the items and can be peeled off. Now, there is a great debate in the coupon world regarding coupons. Should you peel and steal or leave it and miss a deal? There are two sides as always on this subject. If you take it, knowing you will use it, knowing it is on sale somewhere else or will be, you save! Of course, then if you do, you are taking that savings from whoever is actually buying the item the peelie is on. Some consider taking a peelie off of an item without buying that item, stealing. Others call is fair grounds.

Books are awesome! Books are pamphlets with information and coupons found in them. Publix has books that it gives out. As usual, these are regional. Sometimes our Publix gets the books, sometimes they do not. Walgreens also has their own coupon books they put out. Some are monthly books, some are specific like a Diabetes magazine. You can also find manufacturer books in other stores, too. Once again, check out those displays!

Magazines are a great place to find coupons, too! Next time you are flipping through pay attention to the advertisements. You never know where you are going to see a coupon! Also, start buying ALL YOU magazine. This magazine is full of coupons and is often listed in the coupons needed for sales. We never miss an issue, and sometimes buy two. ALL YOU can only be found at WalMart or you can get a subscription

Store Coupons are different from a manufacturer’s coupon. A store coupon is obviously distributed by the store and can actually be used with a manufacturer coupon. Target, Publix, Walgreens, RiteAid and CVS all have store coupons. These can be found on the store’s websites.

70% off + Flowers for Mom!

Posted by Centsable Andersons Wednesday, May 5, 2010 0 comments has an AWESOME deal right now!
Save 70% Off $25 Gift Cert. + receive $15 Off ProFlowers order. Use code MOM and pay $3 thru 5/9/10.

Treat your mom, your wife or hey, be like me and treat yourself!