Coupon Crissy Blog

A newlywed with a need for savings, Coupon Crissy keeps you up to date onthe latest matchups while showing you how to save big with a balancedgrocery list. Ill give you the tips and tricks you need to save 50-90% on your grocery bill and so much more!

Use Your Applebee’s and IHOP Coupons Now!

Posted on Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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Applebee's LogoTwo well-known restaurants are about to close in several locations. This means your local Applebee’s, or IHOP, may not be there for much longer. Both restaurants are owned by parent company DineEquity Inc., who may open more of those restaurants outside of the United States.

USA Today reported that 105 to 135 Applebee’s restaurants will close. The original estimate was that 40 to 60 Applebee’s would close. In addition, 20 to 25 IHOP restaurants will close. The original estimate was that 18 IHOPs would close.

DineEquity says that it is planning to open up 20 to 30 more Applebee’s, mostly outside of the United States. DineEquity also revised its plan and says it now plans to open 80 to 95 IHOP restaurants (mostly in the United States). Originally, the plan was to open 75 to 90 IHOP restaurants.

There doesn’t seem to be any information that points out which individual Applebee’s or IHOP restaurants will close. There also isn’t any information about the locations where new ones will open. The Chicago Tribune reported that, worldwide, there are 1,968 Applebee’s locations and 1,752 IHOP restaurants.

Now would be a good time to use whatever Applebee’s or IHOP coupons that you have. Check the website of the restaurant before you go. It’s a good way to find out what special offers they are currently running. Find out if the Applebee’s you want to visit is holding a “Happy Hour” that night, and if so, what time it will be held. All of these offers could save you some money on your order.

The Chicago Tribune, in a second article about the closures, notes that Applebee’s is changing it’s menu. It is removing a turkey sandwich with siracha chile lime sauce and a pork-ham-bacon sandwich from the menu. Applebee’s will replace them with “old favorites” – but hasn’t given any further details about that.

IHOP could be beefing up its online ordering capabilities. This could mean it will enable customers to place an order online first, and then drive out to the IHOP to pick it up. It probably doesn’t mean delivery from IHOP, but it’s hard to be certain about that. It is also possible that IHOP will open smaller restaurants than typical, in rural locations and also in pricey urban markets.

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How to Save Money on Organic Produce

Posted on Monday, August 14th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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Fruit & Vegetable PlatterPeople who seek organic produce are making that choice because they want to avoid things like pesticide residues. Unfortunately, organic produce is often priced higher than “regular” produce is. That doesn’t mean your grocery bill has to always end up breaking your budget, though. Here is how to save money on organic produce.

Shop at a “Regular” Grocery Store
You don’t have to shop in a store that is known for having a lot of organic produce. “Regular” grocery stores, such as the ones connected to Safeway, have started carrying plenty of organic produces. Do some price checking before you shop. Chances are, the “regular” grocery stores have the best price on organic produce.

Buy Produce from Farmers
A Farmers’ Market is a good place to buy organic produce. Typically, the farmers participating are local. You can literally ask the farmer if their produce is organic.

The produce at the Farmers’ Markets came from somewhere reasonably nearby. It might be from your county or state. Produce that has to be shipped across the country, or from a foreign country, tends to cost more to make up for the shipping cost. The Farmers’ Market organic produce is likely to be a good deal.

Start a Garden
Do you have a “green thumb?” Is there room in your backyard (or balcony) for a small garden? If so, then you have the opportunity to grow your own vegetables and use organic methods to grow them. This is obviously going to take a little bit of patience, and you might need to supplement your grocery list with produce from the store while your veggies are growing.

What if you don’t have space at home for a garden? See if your town or city has a community garden. Ask if there is space available.

Shop Seasonally
The best time to buy fresh produce is when it is in season. This is true for organic produce (and produce that is not organic). Adjust your grocery list to include fruit and veggies that are in-season. You can pick those up for the lowest prices of the year. Wait too long, and they will go out of season and cost more.

Use Coupons for Non-Food Items
You might not be able to find many coupons for organic produce. You can still save money by using coupon on non-food items (like food storage containers, trash bags, and tissue). Saving money on non-food items means you can take that savings and allocate it towards organic produce. This trick does not lower the cost of the produce – but can help lower the cost of your overall grocery bill.

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Coupon Industry Analysis Shows How Consumer Use Coupons

Posted on Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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stackingcouponsInmar Inc. applies technology and data science to improve outcomes for consumers and those who serve them. An analysis by Inmar shows how consumers use coupons. It also revealed what consumers who use coupons are expecting from grocery retailers.

Consumers redeemed more than 1 billion coupons between January and July of 2017.

Shoppers want coupon offers that are easy to acquire and that can be used wherever they shop. In other words, they want coupons that can be used either in the store or on the store’s website. Or, it could mean they want coupons that are “universal” and not restricted to any particular store (such as how manufacturers’ coupons work.)

Shoppers like to drift between retail channels for their grocery-item purchases. In other words, people are regularly shopping at more than one grocery store (and switching off between a few different stores.) This includes brick-and-mortar stores and websites.

At the same time, shoppers are demanding more digital coupons than they have been receiving. In response, grocery retailers have increased the amount of digital coupons that they offer. Inmar suggests that retailers make an effort to ensure that relevant offers get to their target audiences through the channels that the shoppers prefer.

A total of 72% of the coupons used in 2016 affected purchase behavior. For the most part, this means that shoppers that had a coupon for a specific product not only purchased the promoted product sooner, but also bought more of that product.

The analysis showed that 69% of shoppers are making shopping lists before they visit a store. In other words, they are going into the store with clear intentions about what they are going to buy. Among the shoppers who created lists before they shopped, 41% of them used coupons.

Coupons that are found in Sunday newspapers accounted for 89.8% of all coupons distributed between January and July of 2017, and 34.2% of all coupons redeemed.

Coupons are particularly effective incentives for getting shoppers to try new products. Research for the Shopper Promotion Impact Report found that 65% of shoppers say they would try a new product if they had a coupon, while 58% say they would switch from their normal brand if they had a coupon that makes another brand cheaper.

Free-Stand Inserts (FSIs) dominated both distribution of coupons and redemption of coupons between January of 2017 and July of 2017.

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Ways to Save on Back to School Shopping

Posted on Monday, August 7th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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Globe, notebook stack and pencils. Schoolchild and student studiBack to School shopping can be expensive – especially for families with a lot of kids who all need school supplies and clothing at the same time. Fortunately, there are ways to save on Back to School shopping.

Shop the Back to School Sales
Stores that sell stationary, pens, folders, and other school supplies tend to start their Back to School sales in early August. You can compare prices by checking the websites of the stores in your area. Check the prices of the school supplies your kids need at office supply stores and at dollar stores. Pick the store that has the best prices.

Compare Generics to Name Brands
You may be aware that many name brand groceries have the same ingredients as the generic versions – and that the generics are almost always less expensive. The same concept holds true for most school supplies. Buy the generic version of lined paper folders, and pencils. Your total will be less than if you purchased name brand products.

The trick is to pay attention to the sturdiness of the school supplies. If the generic ones, and the name brand ones, feel equally durable, then it’s best to go with the lower-cost generic ones. However, if the generic ones are flimsy, it means they could fall apart sooner than the name brand versions.

Buy in Bulk
People buy groceries and household products in bulk because it’s cheaper than buying those same items individually throughout the year. This technique works well for Back to School items, too.

Purchase multiple boxes of unsharpened pencils now, when they are on sale. (They tend to cost less than the boxes of pre-sharpened pencils.) Store the extras at home. When your child runs out of pencils halfway through the school year, you can “shop at home” for more and save money.

Find Out What You Already Have
Is last year’s backpack still in good condition? Your child might be able to reuse it in the upcoming school year. Go through your home and gather crayons, pencils, folders, pens, and notebook paper. You might have enough supplies at home for your child to start the first week of school with or to get by until your next paycheck arrives.

Ask the Teacher
If possible, ask your child’s teacher what school supplies are absolutely necessary for your child to bring on the first day of school. Explain that you are struggling financially at the moment, and need to spread out the cost of Back to School shopping over more than one paycheck. Most teachers will understand your situation and be willing to help you make decisions on what to buy first.

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Some Facts About Soy Milk

Posted on Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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Soybeans and Soy milk from PixabaySoy milk is one of many alternatives to dairy milk. There has been debate about its name and about its nutritional content. Here are some facts about soy milk that will help you determine if it is a good choice for you (and for your family members.)

Soy Milk is not Dairy
Milk comes from cows. It is a dairy product. Soy milk comes from soybeans, which are vegetables that belong in the legume family. The National Milk Producers Association want the Food and Drug Administration to prevent beverages made from soy from being labeled with the word “milk”.

Soy Milk and Allergies
Soy milk might be a good alternative for people who have an allergy to milk, or who have an intolerance to dairy. People who are allergic to soy should not drink soy milk. To be clear, drinking or eating soy does not cause food allergies. Soy is one of the eight most common food allergies, but it is relatively rare in comparison to the other seven. Soy allergies are much less common than milk or peanut allergies.

Soy Milk and Nutrition
According to Livestrong, each 8 ounce serving of soy milk provides 100 calories, 8 grams of carbohydrates and 7 grams of protein. It also contains 4 grams of fat. Specifically, soy milk has 0.5 grams of saturated fat, no trans fats, and no cholesterol.

Per serving, soy milk includes 0.510 mg of robiflavin, which is more than one-third of the USDA’s recommended 1.3 mg. Soy milk also contains 299 mg of calcium per serving. (The daily recommended amount of calcium is about 1,000 mg.) Soy milk contains 119 IU of Vitamin D (more than half of the daily recommendation.) There is about 1.2 grams of sucrose in 8 ounces of soy milk.

FitDay states that soy protein contains all of the essential amino acids, which means that it is a complete protein. About 35% of the calories in soybeans come from protein, while other types of beans only offer 30% of their calories in protein.

Soy Milk and Babies
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies receive human breast milk, because it is the ideal source of nutrition for infant feeding. Their report showed that isolated soy protein-based formula has no advantage over cow milk protein-based formula as a supplement for a breastfed infant. AAP says that soy protein-based formulas are not recommended for preterm infants.

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Things to Know About Pharmaceutical Coupons

Posted on Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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pillsThere are coupons for just about everything you can think of – including prescription medications. Pharmaceutical coupons (also called to as “drug coupons) are produced by companies that make medications. The company tells consumers that the coupon will lower the cost of the medication they need. But, that’s not exactly correct.

There are two kinds of pharmaceutical coupons. One gives the consumer a discount on a specific brand name prescription drug. This type of coupon is distributed by the manufacturer of the medication. People who are uninsured cannot use these coupons.

The other type is a copayment coupon. This coupon is distributed by a third party coupon vendor – not the person’s health insurance company. When the consumer uses that coupon at a pharmacy, he or she won’t have to pay their co-payment.

At a glance, it sounds like both of those types of coupons will save you money. But, that’s not always true. For example, let’s say a person uses a drug coupon to buy his name brand prescription medication. The coupon will allow him to buy that drug for less money than it typically costs.

There are many brand name drugs that have generic versions. Usually, the generic version costs less than the name brand does. The drug coupon for the name brand might save you money on the name brand – but you might save more money if you purchase the generic version and skip the coupon.

What happens if a consumer uses a coupon in place of their copayment? The consumer doesn’t have to pay their copayment. They save that money. But, that’s a short-term way of looking at it.

According to Modern Medical Network, these kinds of coupons actually end up costing consumers more money overall. “As coupons increasingly shift spending toward pricey brand-name drugs, the net effect is greater pharmaceutical spending and higher health insurance premiums, which hurt those same consumers.”

In short, these types of coupons might save you a little money right now. But, you will end up spending more money on higher priced pharmaceuticals and health insurance premiums later on as a result.

There is another thing to consider. Some states do not allow pharmaceutical companies to offer coupons for brand name drugs. California has a bill going through state congress that would prohibit these coupons. Market Watch says that federal health programs are barring those they insure from using these kinds of coupons.

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Save Money by Thinking Outside of the Box

Posted on Monday, July 10th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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Woman Holding BoxPeople tend to get into a routine. They do the same things, the same way, all the time. That might make life easier in some ways simply because you don’t have to think much about when or how to do something. However, it is possible to save money by thinking outside of the box. Alter your routine a little bit, and see how much money you can save.

Take Public Transportation
People who drive their cars or trucks to their workplaces end up spending more money than they may realize. You have to pay for the gas you burn driving to and from work. You might also have to pay for parking. Vehicles that are excessively used might end up needing routine repair work more frequently than ones that aren’t driven every day.

Save money by taking public transportation instead. You might be able to take the bus or train to and from work instead of driving. Find out the cost of a monthly ticket. It might be significantly lower than what you spend to drive yourself to work and back several times a week.

Visit the Library
Most, if not all, libraries, will offer a free library card to people who live in the local area. That card can help you save a lot of money! You can check out books for free instead of buying them for full price at big chain book stores. Some libraries have copies of the local newspaper that you can read for free while you are there.

Many libraries allow people to borrow music and movies. You might be able to cancel your favorite music streaming service, or movie streaming service, and rely on the library’s catalog instead. This could get you through a lean period when you are low on hours or have an unexpected bill to pay.

Use Up Your Groceries
You might be throwing away food that is still safe to use. Overripe bananas can be made into banana bread. Do you have a lot of vegetables in your refrigerator that are a little past their prime? Turn them into a vegetable broth. You can add in vegetable parts you wouldn’t typically eat, like stems or skins.

Stale bread can be turned into a bread pudding, or garlic bread, or turned into croutons. Use up the stale bread as ingredients in homemade meatballs or meatloaf. Consuming groceries while they are still edible is a great way to save money.

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Coconut Oil has More Saturated Fat than Other Cooking Oils

Posted on Wednesday, July 5th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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coconut-1501334_640The American Heart Association released a presidential advisory about dietary fats and cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association is sharing this information in an effort to help people prevent themselves from developing cardiovascular disease. Some people are angry about this news, because it reveals that coconut oil is not as healthy as they believed it to be.

WebMD points out that coconut oil is made by pressing the fat from the white “meat” inside the coconut. “About 84% of its calories come from saturated fat. To compare, 14% of olive oil’s calories are from saturated fat, and 63% of butter’s are.”

Harvard Medical School notes that saturated fats are solid at room temperature. “Common sources of saturated fat include red meat, whole milk, and other whole-milk dairy foods, cheese, coconut oil, and many commercially prepared baked goods and other foods.” Harvard Medical School says that a diet rich in saturated fats can drive up cholesterol.

The American Heart Association (AMA) reviewed and discussed the scientific evidence, including the most recent studies, on the effects of dietary saturated fat intake and its replacement by other types of fats and carbohydrates on cardiovascular disease. Randomized controlled trials that lowered intake of dietary saturated fat – and replaced it with polyunsaturated vegetable oil, reduced cardiovascular disease by approximately 30%. The AMA says that result is similar to the reduction achieved by a statin treatment.

In addition, the randomized controlled trials showed that replacing saturated fat with refined carbohydrates and sugars did not reduce cardiovascular disease. In short, the AMA is saying that you should avoid using saturated fats and choose polyunsaturated fats, or monounsaturated fats, instead. Put down the coconut oil and replace it with soybean oil, safflower oil, corn oil, or flax oil. reports that some people, who are personally or financially invested in coconut oil, are taking the AMA’s presidential advisory personally. In the article, points out a specific website that is loudly complaining about the AMA’s advice. That website sells coconut oil and receives a commission on the coconut-oil based diet books that appear on the page.

If your family has a history of cardiovascular disease, you might want to consider what the AMA’s presidential advisory is telling you. The AMA recommends that people reduce saturated fat to no more than 5% to 6% of their total daily calories.

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How Amazon’s Purchase of Whole Foods Affects Coupons

Posted on Tuesday, July 4th, 2017 at 7:00 am
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rsz_1whole-foods-logoWhole Foods CEO John Mackey announced that his company had been purchased by Amazon. In general, when one company buys another – some changes are made. How will Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods affect coupons? We won’t know for certain until the partnership is completed – but some speculation can be found online.

The Herald Whig newspaper reported that Amazon has made a habit of collecting information on customers. It seems that industry experts think that there may be some crossover in higher-income customers who patronize Whole Foods as well as Amazon Prime.

There is speculation that perhaps, sometime in the future, there might be special discounts on items from Whole Foods that will only be offered to people who have an Amazon Prime membership. Those who frequent Whole Foods might be tempted to get an Amazon Prime membership for those extra deals.

Recently, Amazon began offering a Prime Membership for $5.99 per month or people who have a valid EBT card. The Amazon partnership with Whole Foods could result in helping people who have very low incomes to purchase organic food at an affordable price.

CNBC reported that there is the possibility that Amazon will choose to lower the prices at Whole Foods. If so, that could mean shoppers would have less of a need for coupons. After all, the main purpose of using coupons is to lower one’s grocery bill.

In the same CNBC article, there is the implication that Whole Foods might stop issuing coupons entirely. The reason is not one you might have guessed. Grocery stores tends to offer weekly promotions and manufacturer coupons to entice customers to shop there. Amazon has sold food online for quite some time, but it has never functioned like a typical grocery store would.

It might be possible for customers who shop at Whole Foods to be able to use digital coupons. There are some apps that provide users with digital coupons that are not directly connected to one, specific, store. It might be best for people to call their local Whole Foods, and ask about their new coupon policy, after the merger with Amazon is complete.

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Best Things to Buy in July

Posted on Monday, July 3rd, 2017 at 7:00 am
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sales-signs-from-pixabayJuly is a month where people are thinking about hitting the beach, taking a vacation, or spending time with family. People who love to shop know that they can get some great deals on things that go on sale in July. Here are a few of the best things to buy in July.

4th of July Sales
Some of the 4th of July sales are on t-shirts that have an American flag design on them. You might also find hats and sandals that resemble the flag. These are great if you are attending a 4th of July party or watching fireworks at a park.

However, the 4th of July sales include more than that. Now is a good time to stock up on heavier denim and khaki for the fall. Check to see if brands like Levi’s and Dockers are having a sale. Stores are trying to clear out their current inventory so they can bring in the new Fall lines. This means you can pick up whatever summer clothing is left for a low price.

Christmas in July
It is hard to predict exactly what a Christmas in July sale will include. Sometimes, it literally has dramatic discounts on leftover Christmas stock that didn’t sell in December.

Usually, the Christmas in July sales feature discounts on toys. You can save money by purchasing that toy now, and hiding it away until Christmas. In the past, Christmas in July sales have includes deals on travel and jewelry.

Steam Games
If you love video games, now is a good time to see what games are on sale at Steam. The Steam Summer Sale continues through July 5, 2017. Older games that have become less popular over time might be on sale for as much as 75% off the original price. Somewhat newer games could be offered at a discount of 20% to 50% off.

Amazon Prime Day Deals
This year, the third annual Amazon Prime Day will take place on July 10. The sale will last for a total of 30 hours. Those who want to take part in the savings must sign up for Amazon Prime before July 11, 2017.

In general, it is difficult to predict exactly what the Amazon Prime Day deals will be. If you are fast, you could end up with a great deal on something you want or need. On previous Amazon Prime days, specific items tended to sell out very quickly. There also can be a lot of things you have no interest in purchasing. It’s a bit of a “grab bag”, but it might be fun to check out.

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