How to Coupon

Will the Epi-Pen Coupon Save You Money?

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

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Woman Uses Coupons to Feed Thousands

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

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What is a Ghost Coupon?

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

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Facebook New and Improved Offers Might Include Coupons

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

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Beware of Unicorns and Glitter on Facebook

Posted on Tuesday, August 9th, 2016 at 4:19 pm
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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 People who sell coupons are engaging in coupon fraud. People who use those fake coupons can also get in trouble for coupon fraud.

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P&G Changed the Way it Distributes Coupons

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

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Digital Coupons may not be Ideal for Extreme Couponers

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

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Millennial Parents Shop with Coupons

Posted on Tuesday, July 5th, 2016 at 7:00 am
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Millennial parents utilize a variety of different kinds of coupons, from many sources, to help them save money.Decades ago, coupon clipping was mostly done by mothers who wanted to save some money on groceries. At the time, the only type of coupon that was available was the paper kind that people had to manually clip from their local newspaper and bring with them to the grocery store. Today, millennial parents shop with coupons, but they do it differently than parents of previous generations did.

How Millennial Parents Save with Coupons

Millennial parents (both moms and dads) are using coupons. They may still get some coupons from the newspaper, but the majority of the coupons used by millennial parents are digital coupons.

Bloomberg reports that millennial parents get coupons from a variety of sources. They use multiple coupon apps. Those apps might include ones that are specific to particular stores (such at Target’s Cartwheel) as well as more generalized coupon apps (like Ibotta).

They also visit websites that are about coupons and saving money. These kinds of websites are an excellent resource for printable coupons, coupon codes, information about sales, and helpful advice about how to combine coupons with sales to get the best deals.

Millennials also use store loyalty cards. Most, if not all, grocery stores offer a loyalty card to customers. People who have a loyalty card are able to access special sales that are only offered to members. Millennials know they can load digital coupons onto their favorite grocery store loyalty card before they shop. Those coupons automatically get used at the checkout.

Pharmacy loyalty cards typically offer a wide variety of coupons. Some can be digitally loaded onto the card. More coupons can be printed out at the store. There generally are offers that automatically appear when a customer uses a pharmacy’s loyalty card at the register.

Valassis found that millennial moms and dads shop more like the people in the Gen X and Baby Boomer generation. One reason why millennial parents are so focused on saving money is because so many of them are struggling with massive student loan debt.

Millennial parents shop differently than do their peers who are not parents. 89% of millennial parent use coupons when they are making their shopping list, but only 78% of millennials who were not parents do that. Millennial parents spend more time on the internet looking for coupons, and use more paperless coupons, than do their childless peers.

Unsurprisingly, millennial parents spend 40% more when they shop than their peers who do not have kids. It makes sense that a generation that started their adult life with student loan debt, and who now has children to feed, will use coupons to cut down costs.

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How Sports Authority’s Closing Will Affect You

Posted on Tuesday, June 14th, 2016 at 7:00 am
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All of the Sports Authority stores, nationwide, are in the process of closing.  How will this affect your coupons, gift cards, and exchanges?You may have heard that Sports Authority has announced that it is going out of business. It will close all of its 450 Sports Authority stores nationwide. What does this mean for shoppers who have coupons, gift cards, or who want to try and get a good deal before the store closes?

The first thing to understand is that Sports Authority is closing all of its stores after it made a failed attempt to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The result is that all Sports Authority stores will be closing, forever. You should not expect that they will reappear under a different owner. This is the end.

What this Means for You

Gift Cards
You should make an effort to spend whatever amount is on your Sports Authority gift cards as soon as possible. Wait too long, and you will lose whatever amount is on them (because you can’t use a gift card from a chain store that has closed). ABC News reported that Sports Authority will honor their gift cards both online, and in their stores, through June 28, 2016.

Exchanges and Returns
Do you need to exchange something you bought at Sports Authority for a different size? Is there an item you recently purchased from the store and need to return? Again, you should try and get that done right away. Returns and exchanges will be allowed in the Sports Authority stores (but not necessarily online) through June 28, 2016.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Sports Authority stores are in the process of selling off as much stock as possible. This could cause difficulty for those who want to exchange an item for a different size. Sports Authority may have sold out of your size before you get there!

It is typical for stores that are going out of business to have big sales. Some of those sales have already begun, and all of them are expected to end around August 31, 2016. Keep in mind that not all markdowns are a great deal. The closer the store gets to the end, the larger the sales will be. Take a close look at the product before you buy it. Everything is being sold “as is” and you probably cannot return it if you find a defect later.

Be careful when using coupons. There have been some situations where a person used a Sports Authority coupon – only to have the cashier deny it. The problem seems to be that some coupons have fine print that states the coupon cannot be used on clearance items. Or, the store may be refusing coupons because it is in the process of liquidation.

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Pinterest Might be Adding Coupons

Posted on Tuesday, June 7th, 2016 at 5:54 pm
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Pinterest might be adding coupons to some of their pins.  It appears they are offering the option of adding coupons to retailers who buy ads.Pinterest may have a lot of pins that are about coupons and couponing, but the social media site typically isn’t a place to find actual coupons. That might be changing! It appears that Pinterest is upgrading its ad platform in the hopes of attracting more brands.

People use Pinterest for many reasons. Many people create boards that are filled with pins of products that they want to buy. It isn’t easy for companies to tell if their pin was added to a board because the person intends to purchase that item, or if they wish they had the money to buy it. Some boards are inspirational and serve as a note of a good idea instead of functioning like a shopping list.

Business Insider reported that Pinterest is offering brands a new ad suite. The goal is for Pinterest to attract more brands who want to purchase ads on their platform.

The suite could include digital couponing, sales, and coupons that can be tacked directly onto a Pinterest ad. The coupons could be used to enable Pinterest users to test out a new product or to buy the products that the see on Pinterest.

It is anticipated that the coupons will be digital coupons. This could mean that the Pinterest coupons might be designed for use on retailer’s websites – only. It may also be possible for some of the Pins to connect to a site where a user can download and print out a printable coupon that can be used at a physical store.

Digiday reports that Pinterest may be offering retailers the ability to use “Cinematic Coupons”. It is something that Pinterest says has never been done before. In short, the Cinematic ads are designed to attract attention in a way that other Pins cannot.

Pinterest describes Cinematic Pins this way: “Cinematic Pins are a collection of Pins that use mobile-first animation to reveal a product.” Pinterest suggests that retailers could convert video into a .gif to show their product in action or being used. Or, another option is to use video content or a still image and add a coupon offer at the end.

Right now, it is difficult to tell when you might be able to find coupons on Pinterest. There is no information on the Pinterest website or its blog that mentions the potential addition of coupons. It is possible that the addition of coupons depends upon whether or not Pinterest can attract enough retailers to start offering coupons there.

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