How to Coupon

How to Avoid Fake Coupons on Social Media

Posted on Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 at 7:00 am
Pin It

Woman with laptop.People who love using coupons are often searching for the very best deal. If they aren’t careful, this can lead them to clicking on links for coupons that look real but turn out to be fake. Here are some tips to help you avoid fake coupons on social media.

Don’t Click the Link
Not sure if a coupon is real or fake? Don’t click the link that accompanies that coupon on social media. That link could take you to a website that puts malware onto your computer.

That link could be to a survey that asks you to put in all of you personal information. People fill out the survey because they think they will end up with a fantastic coupon when they finish it. What happens instead is the person is tricked into giving out their email address, home address, phone number, and more to an unscrupulous company. The coupon, if it appears, will be a fake one.

Check With the Manufacturer
The first thing you should do if you see a coupon that looks too good to be true is to check with the manufacturer. Find the real Facebook page, or Twitter account, for the manufacturer and see if the coupon appears there. You have to be very careful about this on social media because deceitful people can, and do, create accounts designed to trick people into thinking it is the real manufacturer’s account. Some go so far as to steal the company’s logo and put it on their fake account.

The best thing to do, when you are questioning a coupon you saw on social media, is to leave the social media website and seek out the manufacturer’s website. Look for the part of their website that has coupons. The real manufacturer won’t post fake coupons. If the coupon you were seeking isn’t on the real manufacturer’s website – it means it was a fake coupon.

It is very important that you check to see if the coupon is fake before you share it on social media. Many people share things without investigating them first. Don’t help the scammers spread their fake coupon to more people.

Check the Local News
In general, the local news outlets are better at picking up stories about fake coupons than are the big, nationwide, news sources. Tune in to your local nightly news on TV. Check the website of your local news channel. They might have information about the fake coupon you found on social media. Share the news story that warns people away from the fake coupon on your social media account.

Posted in: How to Coupon | Comments (0) | Join Discussion

Kids Can Learn Couponing Skills

Posted on Tuesday, November 15th, 2016 at 5:43 pm
Pin It

Fifth graders at a school in Texas are involved in an Extreme Couponing Project.  You can teach your kids the skills involved with efficient couponing.People who start using coupons for the very first time have a lot to learn. They may be unaware of the importance of using math to figure out the best deal. Couponing requires some planning and a keen awareness of your budget. One school is teaching students how to do couponing.

Teaching Kids About Couponing

Fifth grade students at the Nichols Intermediate School, in Jacksonville, Texas, are in the middle of their Extreme Couponing Project. The project involves learning how to do extreme couponing and it combines several skills that fifth graders are required to learn.

The project started with math, reading, writing, and social studies skills. The project focused on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) that fifth graders are required to learn. In other words, the extreme couponing project teaches students how to efficiently use coupons and, at the same time, makes them learn skills that they are required to know.

On the couponing side of the project, the students are learning about text features, budgets, persuasive techniques, how to balance a budget when expenses exceed the income and more. These are the necessary skills that adults who want to become an extreme couponer, or who are new to couponing and unsure of what to do, need to learn.

Even better, the couponing project includes a way to give back to their community. The project will benefit The Mission, The Crisis Center, Hope, and First Methodist Food Bank in Jacksonville, Texas. Students contacted those organizations and asked them what items they were most in need of. The majority of items that are needed are food items.

The charities also informed the students that there was a need for clothing and non-food items. To solve this problem, the students came up with the idea of having a Clothing and Food Drive to acquire the non-food items that the charities needed. Students made signs about the Drive, posted the signs around the school, sorted items, boxed items, and labeled them for delivery.

Parents who use coupons can teach their children the necessary skills that are required to be an efficient and effective couponer. It isn’t a topic that is taught at most elementary schools, middle schools, or high schools. Kids who are in fifth grade can learn to extreme coupon. Those skills will prepare them for when they are adults and need to stay within a budget. Your kids might be inspired to use their couponing skills to help those who are in need.

Posted in: How to Coupon | Comments (0) | Join Discussion

Victoria’s Secret Ends the “Free Panty” Coupon

Posted on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016 at 4:07 pm
Pin It

Victoria's Secret will no longer send out "free panty" coupons.  People were coming in for the freebie and failing to make any purchases.Victoria’s Secret is going through some changes. Unfortunately, one of those changes involves their “free panty” coupons. The company has decided to stop sending out those coupons. This will be disappointing to shoppers who waited to get that coupon in the mail before they visited a Victoria Secret’s store.

The “free panty” coupon offered consumers a free panty. Customer had to use the coupon within a limited span of time. The coupon offered a specific type of panty and clearly stated the value of the free item.

The best thing about the “free panty” coupon was that it was exactly what it appeared to be. The coupons said “no purchase necessary in stores”. The idea behind it was that people would come in to use the coupon and get the freebie – and then decide to make some additional purchases.

While the coupon did influence people to shop at Victoria’s Secret, it didn’t do what the company hoped it would. The stores were able to get a lot of traffic by enticing customers with the coupon for a free item. Some shoppers who used the coupon also decided to buy some other items.

However, many of the people who came to Victoria’s Secret to use the coupon did not intend to spend any money. They went in, got their freebie, and didn’t buy anything at all. This was not what the company intended to have happen. The coupon was supposed to increase sales.

Victoria’s Secret is not the only store to have a coupon problem. Last year, Bed Bath & Beyond ran into a coupon problem of its own. The store used to frequently send 20% coupons in the mail to countless customers. Bed Bath & Beyond hoped the coupon would entice shoppers to come in and become regular customers.

Instead, many consumers decided to wait until they had a 20% off coupon before they shopped at Bed Bath & Beyond. The coupon that was supposed to increase sales ended up causing too many customers to buy items for a discount. The store lost money because of that coupon.

The moral of these coupon related stories is a simple one. If you want a store to keep send you a coupon for a free item, or a coupon for a 20% discount – you need to spend enough money to make it worthwhile for the store to continue to offer the coupon.

Posted in: How to Coupon | Comments (2) | Join Discussion

Will the Epi-Pen Coupon Save You Money?

Posted on Tuesday, October 11th, 2016 at 6:39 pm
Pin It

Mylan increased the cost of the Epi-Pen by over 400%.  That makes it hard for families to afford it.  Will the Epi-Pen coupon help you save money?You may have heard about the recent price increase on the Epi-Pen. It was controversial! In response to backlash, Mylan, the company that makes the Epi-Pen, offered coupons that would help lower the price. But, will the Epi-Pen coupon really save you money?

The Epi-Pen is a pen shaped device that contains epinephrine. It is a life-saving medication for people who have severe allergies. A person who encounters an allergen, and goes into anaphylaxis, needs the dose of epinephrine that is in the Epi-Pen to prevent them from dying. When Mylan raised the cost of the Epi-Pen by over 400% it put this important medicine out of reach for many families.

In response to backlash over the tremendous cost increase, Mylan offered a coupon. The coupon was a discount card that originally covered $100 of insured patient’s copay costs. Mylan boosted their discount card coupon to cover $300 of insured patients’ copay costs.

But, will Mylan’s Epi-Pen coupon save you money? It depends. If you do not have health insurance coverage, you cannot use the Epi-Pen coupon. The website that offers the coupon says “If you do not have insurance, unfortunately you are not eligible to use the My EpiPen Savings Card.”

What if you, or a family member, is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or TRICARE? Sorry, the Epi-Pen coupon won’t help you, either. The website that offers the coupon says: “If you are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or any other state or federally funded benefit program, unfortunately you are not eligible to use the My EpiPen Savings Card.”

In some states, people covered by Medicaid get all of their medications for free. In that situation, a person wouldn’t need the Epi-Pen coupon, because they would not have to figure out how to pay for an incredibly costly Epi-Pen.

What if you have commercial insurance? If you are 18 years of age or older, the Epi-Pen coupon website considers you eligible to receive and use the Epi-Pin discount coupon. But, it isn’t actually going to lower the cost of the Epi-Pen itself. Instead, it will reimburse you for up to $300 of your co-pay. In short, it will save you some money, but it might not bring the cost of the Epi-Pen down enough to fit in your budget.

There is another option. Ask your doctor if he or she can prescribe an alternative epinephrine injector. There could be another on on the market that is less expensive than the Epi-Pen. Eventually, there could be a generic form of the Epi-Pen – and generics always cost less than the name brand.

Posted in: How to Coupon | Comments (0) | Join Discussion

Woman Uses Coupons to Feed Thousands

Posted on Tuesday, October 4th, 2016 at 7:00 am
Pin It

Extreme couponing can be used as a tool that helps a person to feed people who are in need. Learn about one woman who uses coupons to feed thousand of people.The phrase “extreme couponing” might make you think of those TV shows that featured people who could buy tons of groceries for very little money because of how they used coupons. There are others who use couponing as a way to keep their personal stockpile full. One woman is using coupons to feed thousands of people.

Lauren Puryear lives in New Jersey. She is a mental health clinician who has been spent years of her time trying to feed the hungry. She has four degrees, including a bachelor’s, two masters, and a Ph.D. In psychology.

In 2012, she started an organization called For the Love of Others, which assists people of all backgrounds. She had been buying food in bulk from stores like Cosco, and also from online stores like Amazon. This helped her to buy food for the hungry people her organization helps, but it wasn’t enough.

Someone taught Lauren Puryear about couponing. It didn’t take long for her to figure out that she could use couponing to reach tens of thousands of hungry people. She has delivered more than 5,000 meals to people in need. Lauren wants to feed 30,000 people by her 30th birthday (which is in September of 2017).

Some of the couponing techniques she uses are ones that anyone can learn how to do. She uses the coupons that are in the Sunday papers and also the ones that are online and printable. Lauren collects as many coupons as she can. She also matches the coupons to the store. This often results in her getting items for free.

Lauren Puryear spends between five and ten hours a week looking for coupons. She enlists the help of her friends and family to snip vouchers and to come with her on her shopping trips.

Bringing multiple people with on a grocery shopping trip is helpful for more than one reason. It is a simple way to get around the coupon limits that some stores have. Split the food items, and the related coupons, among several people in the group. Each person counts as an individual shopper.

Another good reason to bring extra people with you while extreme couponing has to do with space. You might need to pack your pile of groceries into multiple vehicles in order to transport it home.

Lauren Puryear is using extreme couponing to feed people who are hungry. She takes the food she buys and makes meals out of it. She also looks for places that have a homeless population, and makes sure to check the laws to be certain she will be allowed to serve food in public at that location.

Posted in: How to Coupon | Comments (0) | Join Discussion

What is a Ghost Coupon?

Posted on Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 at 10:21 pm
Pin It

Have you ever tried to clip or print out a coupon that you believed should be there only to find it has disappeared?  It might have been a ghost coupon.It is easy to see why so many people get excited about collecting coupons. People use a mixture of paper coupons, digital coupons, and coupons that can only be found in apps. All of them will help a person save a little money. That’s why it is so frustrating to discover that what you though was a good coupon was actually a “ghost coupons”.

What is a ghost coupon?

It is a coupon that you have been led to believe exists and is obtainable – when that simply isn’t true. The coupon doesn’t actually exist in your area – or may not exist where you expected to find it.

One example of a ghost coupon comes from product advertisements. You see an ad for a product that your family frequently uses. The ad could be in a magazine or online. Somewhere in the ad is the statement: “$2.00 coupon found in most Sunday papers”.

But, when you search your Sunday paper – there is no coupon to be found. The alleged coupon has disappeared like a ghost. Where did it go?

The answer to that question is in the wording of the advertisement. It says most Sunday newspapers. The ad did not promise that it would be in your local Sunday paper. People make the assumption that “most” means that they are included in the group that can receive that coupon. What turns out to be a ghost coupon for you could be a real coupon for people who live in a different region.

Another example of a ghost coupon is when a manufacturer suddenly stops offering coupons in places where it has always offered them. A vivid example of this type of ghost coupon can be found in a decision made by P&G.

For a long time, people regularly who used Tide, Downy, Bounce, or other P&G products could expect to find some coupons for those products in their Sunday newspaper. Recently, P&G stopped offering those coupons in that location.

Those who expected to find coupons instead found a mostly empty space that directed consumers to visit the P&G website, and make an account, in order to get coupons. Naturally, this made people feel frustrated. Some may have decided to make an account at the P&G website. Others might have switched to other, similar, products.

There’s another version of a ghost coupon. Sometimes, a company offers a coupon to a limited number of people. The first people who go online to collect the coupon are able to obtain it. After that, it becomes a ghost coupon for those who were too late.

Posted in: How to Coupon | Comments (0) | Join Discussion

Facebook New and Improved Offers Might Include Coupons

Posted on Tuesday, September 6th, 2016 at 7:00 am
Pin It

Facebook updated its Offers feature.  You might find some interesting deals, offers, and perhaps even coupons inside it.There was a time when you could regularly collect coupons from Facebook. Brands would post a special coupon on their Facebook page and people who wanted the coupon would print it out (or have it sent to their email address).

Those days are gone, and there is a good chance the the coupon you see on Facebook is a fraudulent one. Facebook’s newly updated Offers might bring back the coupons.

Facebook has had a feature called “Offers” for quite some time now. Over the years, they have been tweaking it in an effort to see what worked best. Recently, Facebook Offers was redesigned for a new, streamlined, mobile experience.

Facebook Offers is now a place where people can go to see what their favorite brands are offering. If you find an advertisement, offer, or deal that you like, it will be possible to save that Offer. Doing so will put that Offer into the new Offers bookmark. The offer that attracted your attention will be easy to find later on.

People can review and access their saved Offers at any time by clicking on the bookmark and then redeeming them on mobile, desktop, or in-store. Which one can you use? It depends on what the advertiser has specified. Some advertisers might limit which of those options they want customers to have – and others might be not feel a need to limit them.

The newly updated Facebook Offers feature makes it easy for people to redeem their claimed offers. People can copy offer codes and access details, such as the terms and conditions of the offer, on their mobile device while they’re on the advertiser’s mobile site. That means you don’t have to memorize any coupon codes in order to get a good deal.

What about when you shop at the advertiser’s “brick and mortar” store? You can still access Offers through the Offer bookmark on your mobile device and pull it up when you get to the register. That advertiser can choose to enable a barcode or QR code that the cashier can scan at the register.

In addition, Facebook will send you helpful reminders to make sure you don’t miss out on the Offers that you claimed (or bookmarked). These reminders could be sent to you on your mobile device when you are on-the-go. Or, you might get a reminder after logging into Facebook on desktop. Facebook will also send reminders to let you know when your saved Offers are about to expire.

Posted in: How to Coupon | Comments (0) | Join Discussion

Beware of Unicorns and Glitter on Facebook

Posted on Tuesday, August 9th, 2016 at 4:19 pm
Pin It

Facebook groups that use the word "unicorn" or the word "glitter" are not what you might expect them to be about! The word unicorn usually refers to a mythical white horse with a horn on its head. Glitter is something one would expect to find on a preschooler’s art project. Be careful when you see these words used as the name of a Facebook group. People are using those two terms in groups that involve counterfeit coupons.

Columnist Jill Cataldo wrote an article that explains some new coupon terminology that is being used by criminals. The word “unicorn” and the word “glitter” sound innocent. Criminals chose those words specifically for that reason.

The criminals use those words as a signal to people who want to engage in coupon fraud. They use cute words to try and disguise what they are doing so in the hopes that they won’t get caught. Most people are unaware that those terms are being used to signal that the group is a place to find counterfeit coupons.

You should avoid joining Facebook groups that involve counterfeit coupons. A Facebook group with the word “unicorn” is not about the beautiful mythical creature. A Facebook with the word “glitter” is not about art projects.

A “unicorn” is a high-value coupon that doesn’t exist in the real world. It is a counterfeit coupon. It is a coupon that looks too good to be true. There’s been plenty of them floating around Facebook. People who try to use these fake coupons discover they’ve been tricked when a cashier refuses to take the coupon.

Why are people being fooled? One reason is that the “unicorn” coupons are made to look as legitimate as possible. They include the correct font that the real company uses on coupons and a logo that matches that company’s real logo. Some may have what appears to be a hologram (or other security feature that was created in an effort to make it harder for people to create fake coupons).

The other reason people are being fooled is because they want to believe the coupon is real. It’s from one of their favorite brands (or, so they think), and it offers an excellent deal. It is a tempting coupon.

One way to avoid fake coupons is to realize that a coupon that looks “too good to be true” is a fake coupon. Never pay money for a coupon. Real coupons are freely offered by manufactures (via newsletters and email) or on legitimate coupon websites (like coupons.com). People who sell coupons are engaging in coupon fraud. People who use those fake coupons can also get in trouble for coupon fraud.

Posted in: How to Coupon | Comments (0) | Join Discussion

P&G Changed the Way it Distributes Coupons

Posted on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016 at 3:52 pm
Pin It

P&G has been rolling out a change to how it distributes coupons.  Some couponers are disappointed by this change.  Has it come to your region yet?The Sunday newspaper has been an excellent source of coupons for a very long time. Couponers looked forward to clipping coupons from the inserts in the Sunday paper long before coupons went digital. Recently, P&G changed the way it distributes coupons. This change is making some couponers very upset.

P&G (Procter and Gamble) is the company that makes Tide, Gain, Downy, Bounce, and plenty of other well known brands. Many people find a brand of laundry detergent that they like and stick with it. This is especially true for families who have a family member with allergies or sensitive skin. It’s always nice to find a coupon that helps you save money on your favorite brand.

In January of 2016, P&G started changing the way it distributes coupons. They are rolling this change out regionally, which has led to some disappointed couponers.

Back in the days when the Sunday newspaper coupon inserts were the only option for coupon clippers, it was only possible to know what was in your local newspaper. Today, couponers are able to discover what the coupons in the upcoming Sunday paper will be ahead of time – which could influence them to buy multiple copies of the newspaper. Couponers also can go online and learn what coupons are available regionally.

Previously, people could open up the P&G brandSaver insert that came in their Sunday paper and find several coupons. P&G has, in some regions, replaced those coupons with a white box that says: “Go to pgeveryday.com to print out your Tide, Downy, Bounce, and Gain coupons!” Those who went to the website found that they had to make an account before they could print out any coupons.

This change is leaving some couponers feeling angry or betrayed. This is especially true for coupon clippers who do not want to give their email address to a brand in order to obtain coupons. The change made by P&G may have already come to your region. If not, you can expect that it will arrive eventually.

Companies that switch from paper coupons to online coupons do this for several reasons. They can collect email addresses of consumers who want their coupons. Often, those email addresses are used to send advertisements and special offers to those consumers. The company can control how many copies of a coupon a consumer can print out, and can control what kinds of coupons are available to people in specific regions.

When P&G stops putting coupons in your Sunday paper, you will need to make a decision. Do you want to make an account at their website and continue to have access to P&G coupons? Or, would you rather switch to a brand that is still offering paper coupons?

Posted in: How to Coupon | Comments (3) | Join Discussion

Digital Coupons may not be Ideal for Extreme Couponers

Posted on Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 at 7:00 am
Pin It

Extreme couponers need to be aware of the potential limitations of digital coupons (that paper coupons do not have).There are people who use coupons once in a while. Many others use some coupons every time they go grocery shopping. Then, there are the extreme couponers who put a lot of effort into figuring out how to use coupons in the most effective and money saving ways. The limitations of digital coupons may not be ideal for extreme couponers.

Glitches Can Affect Digital Coupons
Digital coupons can be extremely convenient, but they also have some disadvantages. The digital coupons that get loaded onto your favorite grocery store’s loyalty card could disappear before you use them. Usually, this happens when a digital coupon has expired.

Sometimes, digital coupons disappear due to a glitch. It isn’t common, but it has happened. Extreme couponers might want to rely on paper coupons, that won’t disappear due to a glitch, as they make their plans.

Family Might Use Your Digital Coupons
There was a time when grocery stores had to see your store loyalty card before you could access the savings connected to it. Today, many cashiers simply ask for the phone number that is attached to the loyalty card. This method is convenient for people don’t like to carry a lot of cards around with them.

The disadvantage is that your family members may have the same phone number that you do. This means your spouse might accidentally use up a coupon that you had been saving for your next shopping tip. It also means your teenager, or college student who returned home, could do the same thing.

Digital Coupons are Store Specific
Some digital coupons are store specific. In other words, the digital coupons on your loyalty card for Vons cannot be used if you shop at a different grocery store. This exclusivity could make it difficult for an extreme couponer to make their plans.

This limitation could be worked around, if the extreme couponer doesn’t mind visiting several different grocery stores on one shopping trip. It is harder to save an extreme amount of money if you have to factor in the cost of the gas you burned while driving around.

There is another problem with store specific digital coupons to consider. There are some stores that will accept competitors coupons. All a customer has to do is hand the cashier the paper coupons she wants to use. That same store might not have the ability to accept their competitors digital coupons.

Posted in: How to Coupon | Comments (0) | Join Discussion