How to Coupon - Part 36
Free Coupons, Printable Coupons, Grocery Coupons Online


How to Coupon

Free Coupon Apps for iPhones

Posted on Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 at 10:21 am
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Today, when people want to find coupons, they get online and look at their favorite coupon websites.  If you want to get coupons while you are running errands or going shopping, you should use a coupon app.  This is a great way to get coupons, to check prices at different places, and more.  Here are a few that you can use on your iPhone.

Amazon Price Check is one of the coolest money saving apps that I have ever heard of.  This app is free to download and can be used on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.  When you are out shopping, use the Amazon barcode scanner to scan the barcode of something.  The app will show you what that item costs at Amazon.com.  This allows you to instantly compare prices, so you can get the best deal.

CVS Pharmacy is another free app that you can use on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.  This app will allow you to check your ExtraCare information, to check the CVS weekly ads, and to have offers sent to your CVS ExtraCare card.  You can also use the app to transfer prescriptions.

Target has a free app that is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.  Sign up from the app to have Target coupons sent to you twice a month.  These are eCoupons that can be scanned from your phone – no scissors required.  You can also check out Target’s Daily Deal, and to see the weekly ad.

Starbucks has a free app that can also be used on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.  Use this app to track your stars in the My Starbucks Rewards Program.  How close are you to earning your next free drink?  You can use this app to pay for your purchases at Starbucks (even the ones that are in Target and Safeway), and to reload your Starbucks card.

Kroger Co. is another free app that you can use on your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.  In order to use this app, you must have a Kroger’s Shopper’s Card.  Use the app to view your reward points and savings.  You can also get coupons through this app, and see which items are currently on sale.

Valpak is a free app that is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.  This app gives you access to exclusive coupons that are only offered by Valpak.  New ones are added daily.  You can use the coupons by showing your iPhone to the cashier.

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The Benefits of Group Couponing

Posted on Sunday, January 8th, 2012 at 8:42 am
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As we all know, couponing is a great way to save money. That being said, group couponing can help you save even more. There’s several ways that group couponing can benefit and increase your amount of savings. Here’s a few suggestions:

  1. Trading Coupons. Trading coupons is a great way to get the coupons you need. Next time you clip coupons, clip everything. Then sort your coupons into ones you want to keep and ones you want to trade. Get together with some fellow couponers and trade the coupons you don’t need!
  2. Sharing Strategies. With so many different ways to coupon and all the different types of coupons out there, getting together with a group to share saving strategies can be a big help. Try organizing a potluck for trading coupons and sharing strategies!
  3. Using Matchups. Another way to help each other save is by using our matchups to plan shopping trips together. The matchup section will help you match your coupons with store sales so that you can deepen your savings even more.
  4. Donating Coupons. When you and your friends find you have extra coupons, donating them to our program is a great way to share the couponing wealth. By donating your extra coupons to Freecoupons.org, you can help support military families overseas. Learn more about our program here.
  5. Social Couponing. While group couponing is a practical way to share coupons and ideas to save, it is also a great way to make couponing social and fun! I find that couponing with friends is easier because we are able to support and help each other. Also, time flies when I’m having fun with friends! This makes couponing less of a chore and more of a hobby!

 

So, trading coupons, sharing strategies, using our matchups to help each other shop, and donating extra coupons are all ways that group couponing can benefit you and others. Make couponing social and much easier with friends! Good luck with your group couponing adventures 🙂

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How Coupons Can Cost You More

Posted on Thursday, January 5th, 2012 at 8:42 am
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Coupons are meant to save money, right? While coupons can save us tons of money, they can also cost us money. After all, manufacturers produce coupons in hopes of making money, not to give us a financial break. It’s important to be aware of costly coupon downfalls in order to avoid them and keep those savings up. So what are some of the most common coupon errors that cost more than they actually save and how can they be avoided? Here are 3 major pitfalls that couponers often encounter:

  1. Unnecessary Purchases. This is one of the biggest coupon mishaps. It’s no surprise that people often make purchases they didn’t intend or need to make simply because they had a coupon for a product. I know I’ve caught myself doing this more than once! To avoid making costly unnecessary coupon purchases, search for coupons for the items you need rather than buying items for the coupons you just happen to have.
  2. Excessive Bulk Buying. Another costly coupon error is excessive bulk buying. In other words, buying more product than you can use just because you are getting a deal. If you don’t have a need for excess of the product, don’t stock up. I’ve found that when I make excessive bulk buys, I forget about it a few months later and end up repurchasing the same product. Before you know it, you’re bulk buy will have expired. Avoid this coupon pitfall by only buying bulk products that store well for extended periods of time and that you use regularly.
  3. Costly Upgrades. Generic and store brands are almost always cheaper than name brands. However, coupons are often for name brands rather than generic or store brands. Sometimes, buying a name brand with a coupon is actually cheaper. However, watch out for instances when upgrading to the name brand, even with a coupon, is more expensive than the regular priced generic brand!

 

Of course, don’t let these costly coupon pitfalls deter you from couponing. Simply be aware of ways that coupons might cost you more money so that you don’t end up spending more than you need to. A savvy couponer can save a lot of money!

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All About Electronic Coupons

Posted on Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 at 8:12 am
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Do you ever feel like you would get more out of couponing without the hassle of clipping paper coupons? If so, you’re in luck! Electronic coupons are a great way to save, without clipping a single coupon!

A 1-2-3 Guide to Electronic Coupons

Electronic coupons are a force to be reckoned with thanks to constant advancements in technology. Nowadays you can search the web for specific coupons and deals. You can even use your Smartphone to redeem coupons at checkout! Just the other day I received a coupon for Bath & Body Works via email. I forgot to print the coupon before I went to the store, so instead I just handed over my phone to redeem the coupon. How cool is that? Electronic coupons can come in one of several forms.

1) The Printable Electronic Coupon

The first type is the printable electronic coupon. These can often be found online via manufacturer websites. You can also find them in the printable coupons section of Freecoupons.com, where we collect printable coupons from all over the web so you don’t have to search. The printable coupon may not require clipping, but keep in mind it does require printing.

2) The Coupon Code

Another form of electronic coupon is the coupon code. Coupon codes are generally words or numeric codes that can be entered during online checkout to receive a percentage off your order, free shipping, or another type of bonus. Coupon codes are most commonly found online on both primary and secondary sites. The coupon code is a great way for the occasional couponer to save money with not too much effort. Before you complete your next online checkout, make sure you do a quick web search for coupon codes specific to your order!

3) The Saving Card Electronic Coupon

The third type of electronic coupon, and possibly the one with the most saving potential for avid couponers, is the saving card electronic coupon. With saving cards, you just load your electronic coupons directly onto a participating store savings card. When you swipe your card at checkout, the discounts will be automatically applied. For example, on websites that offer saving card electronic coupons, you just click “add” to put the coupon on your saving card. Check out Shortcuts.com for more on saving card electronic coupons!


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Dating and Social Couponing

Posted on Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 at 11:12 am
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Date Night Coupon Codes and Deals

Social coupons, from websites like Groupon, are a great way to save some money.  Most people would find it perfectly acceptable to use these types of coupons with their families, or even with friends.  Is it okay to use a social coupon on a date?  The correct answer to that question is somewhat debatable.

When you buy a social coupon from LivingSocial, Groupon, or any of the other social coupon websites, you are doing it in order to get a discount on the product or service that the coupon offers.  There is nothing inherently wrong with doing this.  It is a great way to save some money, and it gives you the opportunity to check out something new.

Is it a good idea to use a social coupon on a date?  The answer to that question depends on many different factors.  In some situations, a social coupon could be a great thing to use on a date.  In other cases, the use of a social coupon could be seen in a negative light.

There will always be some people who feel that the amount of money a person spends on a date is equal to the value that they have placed upon the person whom they are dating.  A person who feels that way is not going to appreciate the fact that you have used a social coupon to save half price on the meal you had at the fancy restaurant that the date took place in.

On the other hand, there are plenty of people who have become very interested in saving money.  It is no secret that the economy has been really bad for several years now, and that a lot of people have had to deal with unemployment, or underemployment.  If your date considers himself or herself to be frugal, then your use of a social coupon could be considered as an impressive thing.

You could also use a social coupon as a way to get a date.  Check out your favorite social coupon website, and look for a coupon that gives you half price on tickets to a movie theater, or to a local restaurant.  Buying that sort of social coupon gives you a unique opportunity to ask someone out.

Casually tell the person who you have a crush on that you were looking at Groupon, and ended up buying half price movie tickets.  Ask that person if he or she wants to go with you to see whatever new movie sounds interesting to you both.  That social coupon could be the start of a wonderful relationship!

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Have Fun for Half the Price

Posted on Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 at 9:11 am
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One of the great things about social coupon websites is the variety of deals they can offer you.  In addition to discounts on meals at local restaurants, you can also find half price coupons on local attractions.  This allows families, and groups of friends, to have fun for a much lower price than it would usually cost.

Social coupon websites, such as Groupon, or Living Social, are a great place to look for special deals that are only being offered for a limited time.  When you register with a social coupon website, it will ask you to enter your zip code, or to select a town or city that is nearest to where you live.  That way, it can show you social coupons that are good at local restaurants, stores, and attractions.

In other words, what you will be offered depends on what types of things are near you.  If you live in a major city, then you might be able to pick up a social coupon that will enable you to pay half price for tickets to a local museum or a zoo.  This is a great way to take your family out to do a fun activity, and to save some money while doing it.

Some of these types of social coupons might only be offered seasonally.  For example, some big cities set up an outdoor ice skating rink during the Winter.  The social coupon website might be able to offer tickets to it for half price.  During the Summer, you could find half price tickets to the zoo, to the local museum, or even to the county fair.

The local attractions that are connecting with a social coupon website have good reasons for doing it.  They are going to take a loss on the price of the tickets.  However, they are hoping to make up for that loss in other ways.

The social coupon you bought was probably for half price on two tickets to the fair.  If you bring your whole family with you, then you are going to have to buy at least a couple more tickets (for full price).     While you are there, you will very likely buy food, drinks, and pay for parking.  If your family had a good time, then they might want to go to the fair next Summer, (when you don’t happen to have a discounted coupon).

For consumers, these types of coupons for social activities are great.  It lets you go to the local attraction for a lower price than normal (plus whatever you paid for the coupon when you purchased it from the website).  It might put something into your price range that would have been too high otherwise.  It also provides a great excuse to go out and do something fun!

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Couponing: Are the Savings Worth It?

Posted on Monday, December 12th, 2011 at 10:42 am
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In regards to couponing, many people still ask: “Are the savings really worth it?” So, as 2011 comes to a close, I have spent some time reflecting on my own coupon savings since I started back in May. I tallied up my total savings from some of my best shopping and saving excusions, and here’s what I got:

  • May: Saved $99.57 in one trip.
  • June: Saved $187.77 in one trip.
  • July: $152.22 in one trip.
  • September: $157.36 in one trip.
  • November: $52.48 in one trip.
  • December: $321.34 between three trips.

 

Total savings: $970.74!

Seeing my total savings over just six months and from just eight shopping trips was absolutely amazing! I saved almost $1,000 by using coupons on these shopping trips. Yes, it takes some time and organization to save this much with coupons, but once I got the hang of it, it was like second nature. I also had a lot of fun seeing how much I was saving as I became a better couponer. I also strongly encourage all of you couponers out there to keep track of your savings like I did so that you can tally up all those dollars saved at the end of the year. When you see your total annual savings, you’ll know it was all worth it. Keep up the good work everyone 🙂

 

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Dining Out for Half the Price

Posted on Monday, December 12th, 2011 at 6:12 am
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Dining out can be a relaxing, enjoyable, social experience.  The problem is that dining out can get rather expensive, especially if you buy drinks, and are dining in an upscale restaurant.  One solution to this problem is to use a social coupon for dining.  You could end up with dinner for half the usual price!

Social coupon websites have plenty to offer consumers.  Registering with one, or more, social coupon website can make it easy for you to find deals for restaurants that are located near a specific geographic location. If you live in a major city, like Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles, then you won’t have any problems finding social coupons that can be used for those places.  Otherwise, you may have to select a town or city that is somewhat close to where you live.

I think that social coupons that give you 50% off of a meal at a restaurant are perfect for married couples, or for couples that are in very long term relationships.  These couples have combined their income, and are aware of the limitations of their budget.  They might not be able to afford to dine out at the new, expensive, restaurant that just opened up in their town, but could still have the desire to do so.

This is why social coupons that give you half the price on dining out are wonderful!  A couple could use one to have a nice Date Night, without breaking their budget to do it.  A social coupon for dining gives you a good opportunity to check out a restaurant that you have never been to before, without the risk of spending a ton of money to do so.

If you are frugal, and have likeminded friends, then it might be fun to use a social coupon for half off a meal at a nice restaurant together.  Have a nice lunch or dinner with the friend who you clip coupons with.  Your friend might decide to register with the same social coupon website that you did, if the deal, and the meal, was excellent.  You can take turns treating each other with a nicely discounted meal.

It is possible to use a social coupon while on a date, but, it could be uncomfortable.  Your date might not be impressed by you if he or she finds out that you are using a social coupon.  Then again, if your  date happens to be into extreme couponing, then a social coupon could work in your favor.

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The 411 on Social Coupons

Posted on Friday, December 9th, 2011 at 12:32 pm
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Social coupons are different than the coupons you would find in your Sunday newspaper or on your favorite online coupon website.  Consumers who use social coupons can often find some great deals.  It is debatable whether or not retailers and restaurants also gain from their participation with a social coupon site.  If you have never heard of a social coupon, then you should read over this quick explanation about what they are.

Typically, a coupon is something that you clip, or print out, and then take with you to the store.  The coupon will say exactly what product it can be used on, how much of a discount it will give you, and when the coupon will expire.  In general, anyone who finds a coupon can use it to save some money at the grocery store, or at a department store like Walmart or Target.

Social coupons are different.  You won’t find them in your Sunday newspaper, or on your favorite coupon website.  People have to sign up with a particular social coupon website before they can access the deals that are offered through it.  Signing up is free.

Social coupon websites want you to select a city or town that is closest to where you live, so that it can show you offers that are in your area.  Not every social coupon website will be connected to where you live, unless you happen to reside in a major city in the United States.

You may have heard of some of the more popular social coupon websites.  Groupon and LivingSocial might be the most popular ones.  Others include SocialBuy, Tippr, PeopleDeals, and EverSave.  Google just got into the game with their GoogleOffers, which is currently in beta.

So, first, you pick one of these websites, and register.  Next, you select a city or town from a drop-down box that is either the town you live in, or one that is close by.  Now, you will be able to see what the website is offering.  Usually, there will be one deal offered every day, but some of these sites will place a shorter time limit on a particular deal.

You could find a coupon that will save you 50% off dinner at a local restaurant.  There might be a coupon for a discount at a local spa, or a local attraction (such as a zoo).  If you find an offer you like, then you will need to buy it.  The amount you are spending depends on the specific deal.  You need to think about if it is worth it to spend that amount of money in order to receive the discount that goes with it.

In general, once you buy a social coupon, you will get an email that contains a voucher.  Print it out, and take it with you to the restaurant, store, or other venue that the social coupon is for.  Make sure you use it before the expiration date, (which could be anywhere between one and three months from the time you bought the social coupon).  The restaurant or store will honor the deal that is printed on your social coupon.

Ideally, local businesses can connect with a social coupon website in order to catch the attention of new customers.  For example, a restaurant could offer a social coupon for 50% off of a dinner for two.  The restaurant isn’t going to make very much money when someone uses the social coupon.  But, maybe that person will really like the restaurant, and will become a repeat customer, (who will pay full price next time, and every visit thereafter).  Things don’t always work out that way, though.

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Stock Up With Huge Holiday Sales

Posted on Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 at 1:39 pm
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It can feel really good to give holiday gifts to your family and friends.  Unfortunately, this isn’t so great for your budget.  January is a time when many families find themselves struggling to pay off credit card bills that were run up during the holidays.  One way to save money in January is to take advantage of huge holiday sales that are happening right now.

The holidays bring huge grocery sales. Since so many families are buying large quantities of food for their holiday dinners, manufacturers can sell their products to a store at a lower price but the store will have to bring in a higher volume of product.  This is why we see such great sales over the holidays.  Take advantage!  Stock up on those deeply discounted items: cream of mushroom soup, gravy, stuffing, pie, canned vegetables…… Use your coupons to match up with these sale items and save big!

Starbucks gift cards make great holiday gifts.  If you are planning on buying a few for your internet savvy family members then you may want to purchase a Starbucks Card eGift instead.  Basically, this is a virtual gift card that they will get in their email.  To use the gift card, they can have the Starbucks barista scan it off of their smartphone.  Use your Visa card to purchase 4 Starbucks Card eGifts.  This will get you a free $5.00 Starbucks Card eGift for yourself to use whenever you want.

If your family eats a lot of cereal, I would recommend signing up at Kelloggs.com, so you can access their coupons.  You can find coupons for a variety of Kellogg’s cereals, Kellogg’s Eggo waffles, Kellogg’s pop tarts, and more.  Use those coupons when you notice that the same thing is already on sale at your local grocery store.

For example, there is a coupon on the Kellogg’s website right now that will save you $1.00 off any three packages of Kellogg’s Eggo Waffles.  The Ralph’s grocery store has Kellogg’s Eggo waffles on sale for $4.99, (if you have the Ralph’s card).  Stock up, and store them in your freezer!  That should get your family through breakfast for at least a few weeks in January.

Does your family drink a lot of soda?  If they aren’t super attached to a particular brand, then there is a way to stock up on soda and save money at the same time.  Jewel and Vons both offer periodic deals where either varieties of Coke, or varieties of Pepsi, are on sale.

For example, right now Jewel has 3 cases of Pepsi products (12 packs), for $10.00, (with the Preferred Card).  Vons usually has a Buy Two Get Two Free sale on soda.  These sales tend to fluctuate between the two major brands, and you cannot mix and match both Coke and Pepsi.  It has to be one, or the other, depending on the sale.  My husband and I have saved money by paying attention to these soda sales.  They are a great way to stock up!

Everyone needs toilet paper!  Target has a coupon on their website that will save you $1.00 off any two packages of Scott bath tissue, paper towels, or napkins.  Walmart has Kleenex Cottonelle Ultra Toilet Paper, (12 pack) for $7.97.  That should help you stock up on enough to get your family through January, when money may be tight.

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