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!


You Might Be Recycling Wrong

Posted on Wednesday, July 13th, 2016 at 7:00 am
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Recycling is good for the planet.  Make sure you aren't recycling wrong.  One mistake could mean your recyclables end up in a landfill.We have been taught that recycling is good for the planet. When everything works like it should, recyclables get sorted correctly and prepared for reuse. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to recycle correctly. You might be recycling wrong.

Not Everything Can Be Recycled
Most people understand that plastic bottles can be recycled. This doesn’t mean that all things made of plastic can go in the recycling bin. Some recycling facilities only take certain kinds of plastic. Take the time to learn what kinds of plastic can be accepted by your local recycling facility (or the recycling truck that comes to pick it up.) It matters!

Do not assume that because some types of plastic bottles can be recycled that it means that all items made of all types of plastics are recyclable. Things like plastic shower curtains, plastic toys, plastic plants, and plastic shopping bags are not recyclable. Don’t put them into the recycling bin.

Plastic bags can be recycled at your local grocery store. There is usually a designated plastic bag recycling container near the door of the store. It might be a repurposed trash can that has a sign on it letting people know that it is for plastic bags only.

Trash Cannot be Recycled
Many people put their soda cans into a plastic bag before recycling them. That’s fine if you are going to a sorting facility and intend to take all those cans out of the bag before turning them in. Don’t toss a plastic bag full of cans into the recycling bin. Your recycling facility might not be able to process the bag. The result could be that your bag of otherwise perfectly good recyclable cans will wind up in a landfill.

Do you live in a place that asks residents to put all types of recyclables: cans, plastic bottles, and paper, into one recycling container? That system can work well if everyone follows the rules. Sadly, all it takes is for one person to throw garbage into that recycling container to spoil things. Those recyclables are now contaminated and cannot be processed by a recycling facility.

Be Careful with Shredded Paper
Those that care deeply about the planet will make the effort to put even the smallest scraps of paper into the proper recycling bin. Unfortunately, doing so makes it harder for facilities to recycle that paper. The best way to recycle shredded or small bits of paper is to put it inside a paper bag, seal the bag shut, and write “shredded paper” on the front of the bag. Workers can easily grab the bag and sort it correctly.

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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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4 Simple Tips for Saving Food

Posted on Monday, July 11th, 2016 at 6:50 am
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Food that went bad before you could eat it is a waste of money!  Try these simple tips for saving food (that will also save you some money).The way to make sure you get the most value out of the money you spent on groceries is to consume all the food you bought before it goes bad. If you had to throw the food away, you wasted the money you spent on it. In addition, you have to pay more money to replace that food. Try some of these simple tips for saving food (and money).

Simple Ideas for Saving Food

Choose Frozen Food
Fresh produce is nice, but it doesn’t have much time before it goes bad. One simple way to prevent your fresh fruits and vegetables from going bad before you could eat them is to buy frozen ones instead.

The frozen produce will last longer than the fresh ones can. Frozen produce can be equal, or superior, in terms of nutrient value, quality, shelf-life, and cost.

You can save leftover fresh herbs and make them last a few weeks longer if you freeze them. Wash the herbs and cut them into small pieces. Put the pieces into the individual molds in an ice cube tray. Top off each mold with cooking oil. Use some frozen herb cubes when you cook.

Buy the Ugly Food
Some grocery stores are starting to sell ugly fruits and vegetables. A misshapen potato or a funny looking tomato are two examples of produce that are just as safe and nutritious as the prettier versions. Grocery stores that sell ugly food often sell it at a discount. When you buy ugly produce, it not only saves you money – it also saves healthy food from being thrown in the trash.

Eat the Leftovers
People are happy to eat the leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner. However, they tend to throw leftovers in the trash the rest of the year. This is a waste of money!

You can safely keep leftovers in the refrigerator for three or four days. Make sure to reheat your leftovers until the internal temperature reaches 165 F (74C). Doing so can prevent food poisoning.

Get Creative
You bought way too many strawberries at the Farmers’ Market and can’t eat them all before they go bad. It’s time to figure out creative ways to use them up. You could make them into a homemade jam. Bananas that have turned brown are a key ingredient in banana bread. Take a bunch of veggies that are getting close to their expiration date and make a stew, or a stir fry, or a smoothie.

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Academies of Science Find GMOs Not Harmful to Humans

Posted on Wednesday, July 6th, 2016 at 7:00 am
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A new report found that genetically engineered crops (also called GMOs) are not harmful for humans to eat. A new report that was done by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that genetically engineered crops (also called genetically modified organisms or GMOs) are safe for humans and animals to eat. The report is called “Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects”.

The report notes that the most commonly grown genetically engineered crops in 2015 were soybeans (83% of land in soybean production), cotton (75% of land in cotton production), maize (29% of land in maize production), and canola (24% of land in canola production).

The 388-page report was begun two years ago. It was conducted by a committee of more than 50 scientists, researchers, and agricultural and industry experts that were convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. They reviewed more than 900 studies that involved data that covered the past 20 years since genetically modified crops were first introduced.

The committee who worked on the report heard from presenters, and from public comments, that voiced concern about the safety of GMO crops. The committee also reviewed several peer-reviewed reports that concluded that there was no evidence of health risks from GMO crops. There is a lot of information in the report about how the committee tested and evaluated the comments and reports.

One thing the committee did was compare the epidemiological data from the United States (which has been consuming GMO crops since the 1970s) and Canada (which has been consuming GMO crops since the mid-1990s). They also compared it to the epidemiological data from the UK and western Europe, where genetically engineered food is not widely available.

The data did not support the hypothesis that genetically engineered foods caused increases in cancer. In addition, the data did not support the conclusions that GMO foods cause an increase in obesity, or in gastrointestinal illnesses, or in kidney disease, or in autism. In short, GMO crops are safe for humans to eat.

There were some questions, however, about whether or not a genetically modified food could be an allergen. No animal model exists for predicting sensitization to food allergies. So, the scientists had to rely on multiple indirect methods for predicting whether an allergic response could be caused by a protein that is either intentionally added to a food by genetic engineering or if one appears in a food as an unintended effect of genetic engineering.

In short, they noted that testing for allergenicity before commercialization of a GMO crop could miss allergens that the general public had not been previously exposed to. Post commercial allergen testing would be useful in ensuring that customers are not exposed to allergens. However, the committee recognized that such testing would be difficult to conduct.

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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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Frugality is Hard to Afford

Posted on Monday, July 4th, 2016 at 7:00 am
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A working paper found that high-income families can afford to use saving techniques (such as buying in bulk) that low-income families cannot.One of the most common pieces of advice about how to save money is to buy things in bulk. That might work out well for individuals or families who are already doing ok financially. That being said, the ability to buy in bulk is not easily accessible for people who truly are in poverty.

Buying in Bulk is Expensive

The reason why people buy in bulk is because it can save them some money. Buy one product, all by itself, and it costs a certain price. When items are sold in bulk, it causes each individual item in the bulk purchase to cost less than it would if you were to buy those items individually off the shelf.

A working paper documented that households that are less likely to use cost-saving strategies (such as buying in bulk) are the low-income families who would have a greater incentive to save money than a well-to-do family would. That may seem counterintuitive, unless you understand what it is like to be extremely poor.

More specifically, the paper found that high-income households, (that make $100,000 or more a year), bought their toilet paper on sale 39% of the time. Low income households, (those making $20,000 or less a year), only did that about 28% of the time.

High-income households were more likely to buy more rolls of toilet paper at a time than were low-income households. That meant the high-income households not only saved money on the cost of toilet paper, but also did not have to make as many trips to the store. They were able to reduce the amount of gas they spent driving to and from the store because they bought in bulk.

Let’s say a roll of toilet paper costs $2.00. A bulk package of 12 rolls of the same brand of toilet paper is not going to cost $24.00. Instead, it might cost $10.00.

A person who has the up-front cost of the bulk product available will buy it knowing that he or she will save money. But, the person who only has $2.00 until their next paycheck can’t afford to buy the bulk sized product – even though doing so would result in greater savings over time. That person probably cannot wait for a sale to appear before they purchase another roll of toilet paper.

The key point to get from what the working paper revealed is that people who are poor aren’t able to use the same techniques to save money as are people who have a higher income. Saving money by purchasing items in bulk could mean you are a savvy shopper. It also means you are starting out with more money than the people who can’t afford to buy bulk packages of toilet paper.

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Win a Sam’s Club Membership & Cheez-It Snacks #CheezItUp

Posted on Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 at 8:03 am
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Get entered to win a Sam's Club Membership and tasty Cheez-It Sandwich Cracker snacks during our limited time giveaway!

 

We’ve partnered with Sam’s Club & Cheez-It to give away Sam’s Club memberships and packages of the new Cheez-It Sandwich Crackers, which are available for purchase at Sam’s Club.

Get entered HERE now!

Giveaway Details:

  • Monday, June 20th at 12AM ET to Friday, June 24th at 11:59PM ET.
  • Ten (10) Grand Prize winners will receive a prepaid Sam’s Club membership card valued at $45.00. Ten (10)
  • First Prize winners will receive an 18ct pack of Cheez-It Sandwich Crackers valued at $7.32.
  • Users can enter the giveaway by heading to the Sam’s Club page on Savings.com and submitting their email address on the form at the top of the page.
  • The winners will be chosen through a lottery drawing and notified on Tuesday (6/28) via the email address they used to enter.
  • See complete Official Rules for entry instructions, full prize descriptions, restrictions and other important details.

What’s your favorite Cheez-It snack? Enter above and then tell us in the comments below.

 

 

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FDA Changes the Nutrition Facts Label

Posted on Wednesday, June 15th, 2016 at 7:00 am
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The Food and Drug Administration has changed its requirements for how information is presented on Nutrition Facts labels.Over the years, it has become more and more common for people to read the nutrition label before they purchase packaged food. There are a variety of reasons for doing so: checking the calorie count, finding out how much sugar is in the product, or scanning the list for allergens. In May of 2016, the Food and Drug Administration modernized the Nutrition Facts label that will be on packaged foods.

The purpose of the Nutrition Facts label is to help people make informed decisions about what they are eating and what is in the foods they are feeding to their families. The updated Nutrition Facts label is a modernized improvement of the version that was introduced over 20 years ago.

Key Updates Include:

* An update design to highlight “calories” and “servings”.

* Requirements for serving sizes that more closely reflect the amounts of food that people currently eat.

* Declaration of grams and a percent daily value (%DV) for “added sugars”. This is to help consumers know how much sugar has been added to the product.

* “Dual column” labels to indicate both “per serving” and “per package” calorie and nutrition information for certain multi-serving food products that could be consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings.

* Packages that are between one and two servings (like a 20 ounce soda) will be required to list the calories and other nutrients as one serving because people typically consume it in one sitting.

* Updated daily values for nutrients like sodium, dietary fiber, and vitamin D, consistent with Institute of Medicine recommendations and the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

* Declaration of Vitamin D and potassium that will include the actual gram amount in addition to the %DM. The %DM for calcium and iron will continue to be required, along with the actual gram amount. Vitamins A and C will no longer be required because deficiencies of these vitamins are rare.

* The phrase “Calories from Fat” will be removed because research shows that the type of fat is more important than the amount. “Total Fat”, “Saturated Fat”, and “Trans Fat” will continue to be required.

* An abbreviated footnote to better explain the %DV.

Food manufacturers will be required to use the new Nutrition Facts label (as well as a new Supplement Facts label that will be used on dietary supplements) by July 26, 2018. Part of the reason for the changes is in response to new scientific information regarding nutrition. Some of that includes the links between diet and chronic diseases, obesity, and heart disease. The FDA is still in the process of determining what the word “natural” should mean when it appears on a food package.

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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!

Sales
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.

Coupons
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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Pre-Cut Produce Reduces Food Waste

Posted on Monday, June 13th, 2016 at 6:44 pm
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A study found that serving pre-cut sliced apples encouraged students to eat apples at lunch. This could work for your family too!One way to stay healthy is to have a diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. In order for that to work, you have to actually eat the fresh produce. Have you noticed that the fruit you bring home from the grocery store is ignored by your family? The way to entice them to eat is simpler than you might expect.

Researchers at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab conducted a study in eight schools. The researchers noticed that many of the apples that were being sold to children as part of the National School Lunch Program were ending up in the trash. The researchers wanted to find out why that was happening.

Was the problem that the kids didn’t want to eat apples? Or were the apples too difficult to eat? The researchers started having the schools serve sliced apples instead of whole apples. They found that fruit consumption jumped by more than 60 percent when apples were served sliced. A further study strengthened that finding.

Part of the reason why the sliced apples were more convenient to children than the whole apples was because of the size of the fruit. A whole apple can be difficult for small children to hold. Kids who have lost some teeth will have problems biting into the apple.

The other reason sliced apples were more popular than whole apples has to do with convenience. It’s a lot easier for small children to eat a few pre-cut apple slices than to attempt to eat an entire apple. The convenience isn’t limited to kids – adults like convenience, too.

You may have noticed that your local grocery store has started carrying packages of pre-cut fruit and vegetables. People buy them because they are easier to eat than whole pieces of fruit. One extreme example is the watermelon. They are heavy and difficult to carry from your car to your kitchen. You have to cut the watermelon open, and then cut it into smaller pieces before you can eat it. That’s a lot of work for busy families.

Compare that to the simplicity of a plastic carton of pre-cut watermelon. The smaller package is light and will fit into your refrigerator much easier than a whole watermelon will. The pre-cut pieces of watermelon make a quick and easy snack.

Does your family avoid the fresh fruit and vegetables that you bring home? One solution is to cut up the produce before offering it to your family as a snack. Or, you can start buying pre-cut produce from your grocery store. You will end up saving money because more of the food you bring home will be eaten (instead of thrown away).

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