How to Coupon - Part 37
Free Coupons, Printable Coupons, Grocery Coupons Online


How to Coupon

Start Saving 50% or More on Your Grocery Bill

Posted on Friday, December 2nd, 2011 at 11:39 am
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Finding a wide variety of coupons can be a daunting task if you don’t already know where to look.When I first started couponing, I could not for the life of me figure out how people were saving so much money!  Whenever I saw coupons for items that I would normally buy in the newspaper, I would collect all of them, yet I was hardly saving anything. It was about that time that I learned that to save a lot of money, you need a lot of coupons!

If you want to save 50% or more on your grocery bill:

By following these smart shopping tips, you’ll be drastically cutting down on your grocery bills and saving for that vacation you’ve been meaning to take!  Happy couponing!

 

 

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The Growing Problem of Stolen Coupons

Posted on Friday, November 18th, 2011 at 8:12 am
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Although finding free newspaper coupon inserts is always exciting for an extreme couponer, it’s important to be aware of the risks of going overboard. Be sure you know when it’s okay to snag a few extra coupon inserts so that you don’t find yourself accused of newspaper theft!

Recent Incidents of Stolen Coupons

Several months ago, an extreme couponer from Springdale, Arkansas was caught stealing 185 editions of the Sunday newspaper for the coupons inside, totaling $231 in theft. Her charge? A misdemeanor for theft. The woman explained to the police that she was unaware that what she was doing was wrong. The extra newspapers were left outside a local grocery store for the newspaper carrier to pick up and return to the printing company. Unfortunately, the woman accused of theft was most likely unaware of this. So, before you snag any papers that appear to just be lying around, be sure to ask for permission to avoid any misunderstandings like this one.

Reports of missing newspapers have also been popping up in Idaho. The coupon inserts have been vanishing from newsstands and even from people’s front porches! One newspaper sales manager watched as a woman purchased one newspaper from a vending machine and then proceeded to take the coupon inserts from all the newspapers. Police in this area have been notified on the increasing problem of coupon theft and are now on the lookout for the cause of the disappearing coupons.

How to Play it Safe and Avoid Coupon Theft

Although these are extreme cases of coupon theft, it is very important to be aware of the law. If you buy one newspaper from the newsstand, be sure to only take the coupons that you honestly purchased. Just imagine if you bought a paper only to find out that all the coupon inserts were already missing! Yikes! Again, don’t take coupons or newspapers that aren’t rightfully up for grabs. Here are several situations in which people may be stealing coupons without knowing it:

  • Taking the free papers off of driveways.
  • Taking multiple newspaper copies from the newspaper machines without paying for all of them.
  • “Double Stuffing” coupons into newspapers before purchasing them.
  • Dumpster diving for coupons without checking with the owner of the dumpster.
  • Taking newspapers from hotels, coffee shops, restaurants, etc. without asking – these papers may be intended for guests and customers only, but the owner may be happy to give them to you at the end of the day.

When in doubt, be sure to ask someone with the proper authority if it is okay to take some extra coupons you see lying around. By asking around, you’ll find you can come across plenty of extra coupons without having to take extreme measures. Good luck, couponers!

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How to Find Free Couponing Classes

Posted on Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 at 9:40 am
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Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the ins and outs of couponing? You’re not alone. There’s a lot of different coupons and a lot of different coupon policies to go with them. Couponing classes can benefit any level of couponer, whether you’re just starting to coupon or you’re a couponing pro!

Learning to Coupon With Freecoupons.com!

You can learn to coupon without ever leaving your house with Freecoupons.com. Get started with our Video Tutorials. These will teach you everything you need to know about the website, how to find coupons, and how to organize your coupons. Once you’re done watching the Video Tutorials, you can head on over to our “How to Coupon” section to read up on all different kinds of coupons and coupon policies. Can’t find what your looking for? Use the search bar on the right-hand side of the page to search for keywords in the blog posts. We’re here to help, so if you ever feel lost in a sea of coupons just ask! You can email us or post your questions to our Facebook page.

Learning to Coupon in Your Community!

With the growing popularity of couponing, many communities have started to offer couponing classes. Not all of these classes are free, but if you’re lucky you might just find your community offers free couponing classes. Finding free couponing classes in your community can sometimes be a bit tricky. You may have to do some searching. Check with your local clubhouses, community college, YMCA, churches, and schools. Also check Craigslist and community boards for flyers that may lead you to a couponing class.

Why Do I Need A Couponing Class?

Couponing classes are a great way to meet likeminded savvy shoppers and share all of your wonderful money-saving tips and tricks. Not only can you make new couponing connections and friends, but you can trade coupons and learn more about couponing than you ever imagined possible!

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Albertsons “Wish Big Win Big” Holiday Giveaway

Posted on Thursday, November 10th, 2011 at 10:29 am
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Attention Albertsons shoppers! Shopping at Albertsons just got more exciting for you avid savers! Through January 31st, 2012 Albertsons is featuring a chance for shoppers to win big prizes when shopping and using an Albertsons preferred card for purchases. This promotion similarly reminds me of the McDonald’s Monopoly game, however the likelihood of actually winning prizes seems to be higher for Albertson’s giveaway participants.

How “Wish Big Win Big” Works

The Albertsons “Wish Big Win Big” game board unfolds from a pamphlet into and double sided game board. There are products laid out in categories according to the prizes offered to win which include a $1,000 Albertsons shopping spree, cars, cash, and much more. There are only 2-5 spots under each category that need to be filled in order to win that prize; and every time you shop there’s an opportunity to receive two new game board pieces. In addition to game board pieces there’s an opportunity to instantly win free products and additional store coupons. On top of that, Albertsons has advertised certain in-store products that when bought, earn shoppers bonus tickets! Keep an eye out for this tag, as featured to the left,  on products throughout Albertsons stores.


Every time Albertsons shoppers use their preferred savings cards, not only do they save on their groceries, they receive either 2 game board pieces, an instant winner/free prize ticket, and/or additional store coupons. Place game pieces on corresponding game board slots and watch as the board fills up. The Albertsons “Win Big Wish Big” game board isn’t overloaded with slots like a monopoly board, so it’s more exciting and you’re more likely to win and save money! Additionally, buy advertised bonus ticket items to receive even more game board pieces and get closer to winning that dream car or flat-screen TV.

What to Remember

-Bring your Albertsons preferred card or use a phone number linked to a preferred account. Game pieces aren’t earned unless you use your preferred savings card. You have to save money in order save even more money and win prizes!!

-If you don’t have a preferred card, it costs nothing and is easy to join. Simply ask the counter clerk for an application and immediately start saving money on your current purchases.

– Keep your eye out for Bonus Ticket items that earn you more pieces while you shop.

-In order to be entered into the $1,000 Albertsons shopping spree, mail in your shopping spree game pieces. There are four sweepstakes taking place each month starting in November and ending in February. Enter your name as many times as you’d like with corresponding game board pieces. The earlier you play, the more chances you have to win!

– See the rules that apply to the game for information about products that will not earn you game board pieces. For example, alcohol, tobacco, and lottery ticket purchases do not qualify.

Happy Shopping!

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You Know You’re Addicted to Coupons When…

Posted on Friday, November 4th, 2011 at 9:12 am
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  1. You have an alert on your phone to remind you to buy Sunday papers. The alert goes off on Monday.
  2. You buy at least 3 Sunday newspapers, depending on what the inserts have in store that week. Oh yeah, and you wake up at 5 a.m. Sunday morning to be the first one at the newspaper stand. Once you’ve scored your papers, you head to the nearest coffee vendor to get energized before heading home to start your coupon clipping (using a coupon for your coffee, of course).
  3. You had to buy a bigger purse to accommodate your coupon binder. You bought a bigger coupon binder last week … it’s getting serious.
  4. You often find yourself pacing around public areas where people leave newspapers. The barista at your local coffee-house are starting to wonder about you.
  5. You’re friends and family have started to coupon … because Bingo night at your house last week turned into “How to Coupon” night. You even had a slide show presentation.
  6. You’ve bought things you don’t need just because there was a coupon. Can’t… waste… coupon…
  7. You could survive an apocalypse with the stockpile in your basement. People laugh, but you know what’s up.
  8. Sometimes the thought of missing out on a killer deal keeps you awake at night.
  9. You can’t remember the last time you paid the full price for anything because, oh baby, you know there’s a coupon for everything and anything.
  10. You plan your life around what you have coupons for. Meal plans, entertainment, travel … it drove your family crazy before you converted them to your way of life.
  11. You have at least 5 coupon websites bookmarked on your web browser. And you visit all of them, every day.
  12. You buy computer ink monthly, with printable coupons.
  13. Sometimes you secretly print coupons at work … just a few … for now (don’t worry, we won’t tell).
  14. You spend a minimum of 4 hours grocery shopping because you have to shop at multiple stores in order to use all of your wonderful amazing coupons!
  15. You’ll drive out of your way to save $0.50 on pasta sauce, but it’s all worth it because you save 50% or more on your grocery bill!

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Dealing with Coupon Regret

Posted on Friday, November 4th, 2011 at 8:12 am
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You know that feeling you get when you just know deep down inside that you paid more than you would have liked? It can happen happen to even the savviest couponers – coupon regret! I know I’ve experienced it a few times. In fact, after a trip to the grocery store just last week I got home and realized I’d purchased  things I didn’t want or need just because I had coupons. Oops! This got me thinking about times I have experienced coupon regret and ways I can help others avoid these shopping mishaps. So, here are some suggestions for how to stop coupon regret from happening to you!

I Bought Something I Didn’t Need or Want…

I’ve found this to be one of my most common couponing mishaps. That is, buying things I don’t need or want just because I have coupons. When couponing, it is important to remember what you really need. Don’t let all the discounts and savings coax you into buying items you wouldn’t normally buy because chances are, you won’t use them.

Avoid this couponing mishap by searching for coupons for the things you buy and use regularly, rather than buying items you just happen to see coupons for. Trust me, with a little patience you can and will find coupons for the items on your list. Don’t let the coupons own you, you own the coupons!

I Bought Something Without a Coupon…

This is also a pretty common predicament for avid couponers. You always have a coupon for everything and you never pay full price. But maybe you didn’t stockpile enough last time there was a sale or coupon. Now you are out of an item you need and there’s not a sale or coupon in sight. Instead of waiting for a sale or coupon for the item you need, you break down and buy it at full price. I did this once and, of course, there was a coupon in the next weeks Sunday inserts. Ouch!

Avoiding this scenario takes time and experience with couponing. We all make mistakes when we are learning something new (sometimes even after we’ve mastered it!) so don’t let this mishap discourage you. If you’re new to couponing, you can check out our list of stock up prices. When you see one of these prices, stock up! You should also keep track of what you buy and how often you buy it so you don’t run into the dilemma of whether or not to buy something at full price when you are out and don’t have a coupon. If you always have a stockpile, you can replenish when there’s a deal without ever letting your stockpile run out!

I Bought Something With a Coupon, Then Saw it Cheaper Somewhere Else!

This scenario isn’t as common, but it does happen from time to time. So, what do you do when you find out your purchase with a coupon actually cost more that the regular price at another store? For anyone who coupons, this can be pretty discouraging. But don’t let one coupon-gone-wrong incident get you down. If the price difference is substantial enough, check into the store’s return policy. If you can, return the item you bought with the coupon and go buy the cheaper alternative!

The point is, don’t let some occasional buyers remorse discourage you from couponing. Even if you find you’ve made one of these mistakes, think about all the money you’ve saved because of couponing!

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When To Get The Best Coupons

Posted on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 at 2:44 pm
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If you’ve been flipping through your Sunday Red Plum insert or checking out Smartsource’s online coupons, but have still been unable to find the coupons you’re looking for, you may simply be searching at the wrong time of the month.

Manufacturers usually release their best coupons, including savings on brand names and grocery items, at the very beginning of the month so be sure to snag a copy of the newspaper on every first Sunday of the month. The same also goes for online printable coupons.  Websites like Coupons.com and SmartSource come out with their best coupons on the first of the month. Manufacturers issue print limits on their coupons so it’s important to print out the ones you want before they’re all gone.

Here are some additional tips to keep you clipping the top money-savers:

  • Print the same coupon more than once by using multiple computers.
  • Visit a coffee shop on a Sunday afternoon (particularly the first Sunday) and “clean up” the newspaper inserts that have been left behind.
  • If you find a high-value coupon (such as a $5-10 dog food coupon or the highly-coveted Covergirl $8/2 deal released last month), purchase a second copy of the newspaper—these savings are definitely worth the $1.50 investment cost of buying another newspaper, plus you’ll have doubles of all the other coupons!
  • Trade coupons with a friend so both of you can score coupons that you’ll use on needed products.

If you follow these tips and stock up on coupons at the beginning of each month, you’ll always have coupons for your favorite brands and products!

 

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Preparing Thanksgiving Dinner With Coupons

Posted on Saturday, October 29th, 2011 at 2:12 pm
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If you’ve ever hosted Thanksgiving dinner, then you know how expensive a Thanksgiving meal can be. This year, you can save money on your Thanksgiving dinner by planning your menu using coupons. In fact, we’ve planned a Thanksgiving dinner for you, complete with coupons for (almost) everything you need! Just click the links for the corresponding product coupon or product saving tips.

Festive Spinach Salad

A fresh salad is always a great way to kick off a great Thanksgiving dinner. Your salad can be as easy as a ready-made salad kit from the grocery store, or you very own favorite recipe. Here’s my favorite recipe:

  • 1 large bag baby spinach (or lettuce, if you prefer)
  • 2 large handfuls shredded carrots
  • Pine nuts (raw or toasted in olive oil) or sunflower seeds
  • Dried cranberries (yummy and festive!)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Homemade salad dressing: 1 part white wine vinegar, 1 part tangerine olive oil, 1-2 spoonfuls honey, dash of sea salt.

I love this salad because it just looks so festive with the rich colors of the spinach, carrots, and cranberries. Also, the homemade vinaigrette keeps it light and fresh so that everyone has room for the feast to come!

Mulled Cranberry Sauce

No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without cranberry sauce! Here’s a recipe you’re sure to love:

  • 1 12-oz bag cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups Merlot (or other fruity red wine)
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger (look for the boxes in the Asian foods section)
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine all ingredients in large saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium and cook until liquid is medium thick syrup and sauce is reduced to 2 2/3 cups, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Transfer sauce to bowl. Refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours. Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover, keep chilled. You can also double or triple this recipe for larger groups. Enjoy!

Mashed Potatoes

I’ll be perfectly honest, I’ve used boxed mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving before and no one even knew the difference! Around Thanksgiving, there’s sure to be seasonal coupons and sales for boxed mashed potatoes. It can be a lot trickier to find coupons for whole potatoes since produce coupons are often few and far between. Do the price comparisons and find which option will get your more savings this year!

Stuffing

Once again, I’m all for boxed stuffing. Stove Top Turkey stuffing is as good as any in my opinion. However, if I’m not able to find any coupons for the boxed kind (sometimes you can even get it for free), I’ll make my own. This simple recipe is both tasty and easy to prepare:

  • 30 slices white bread, lightly toasted (allow toasted bread to sit approximately 24 hours, until hard)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Crush the bread into crumbs with a rolling-pin. Place the crumbs in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and celery and slowly cook until soft. Remove from heat and drain. Mix the eggs and chicken broth into the bread crumbs. The mixture should be moist, but not mushy. Mix in the onion, celery, rubbed sage, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Press the mixture into the baking dish. Bake 1 hour, or until the top is brown and crisp.

Turkey

No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without a Turkey (or Tofurkey)! Well guess what … there are coupons for that too! Starting in November, be sure to watch the weekly matchups and your local grocery store’s sales because there are sure to be some Thanksgiving deals!

Sweet Potato Souffle with Praline Topping

This recipe is sure to be a hit. I make this souffle as a dinner side dish, but it’s delicious enough to double as a dessert! The recipe below should serve 6-8 hungry guests.

Filling:

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup milk

Topping:

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart baking dish. Set aside . In a large saucepan, boil potatoes in water to cover until tender. Drain & cool slightly; peel & quarter potatoes. Ina large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, butter, sugars, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, eggs & milk. Beat to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish.To make topping, combine topping ingredients in small bow. Mix til crumbly. Sprinkle mixture over potato mixture. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and slightly firm.

The key to saving with coupons this Thanksgiving is to start planning and collecting the coupons you need now. Throughout the month of November, stores will be running specials on everything you need to prepare your feast. So, instead of buying everything in one trip, buy it as you find the deals and coupons. Thanksgiving dinner will taste just that much better when you know just how much you saved with couponing! Happy Thanksgiving!


 

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How to Coupon for Presents During the Holidays

Posted on Thursday, October 27th, 2011 at 4:12 pm
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Buying gifts for all of your family and friends during the holidays can get expensive and add unnecessary stress. Relieve some stress this holiday season by couponing for presents!

Gift Shopping With Coupons

  • Shop online with coupon codes. A great way to coupon for presents during the holidays is by shopping online. When shopping online, you can take advantage of the plethora of coupon codes available on the internet. You can find coupon codes on Freecoupons.com. If you can’t find the coupon code you need here, try running a Google search for the item you want to buy. For example, search “Northface coupon codes.”
  • Look for in store coupons for gift items. Although online coupon codes are the easiest to tailor to your shopping list, you can also gather in store coupons for gifts items. For example, Target offers an assortment of coupons for gift appropriate items such as toys, video games, movies etc.
  • Or, look for coupons for the gifts you want to buy. If you have coupons for gift items, but they aren’t exactly what you want to buy, hang in there. With some patience and searching, you can find coupons specifically for the things you want to buy.
  • Start clipping coupons now. Believe it or not, the holidays are just around the corner so start couponing for gifts now! By starting early, you will have more time to find coupons for the gifts you want to give.
  • Use coupons to buy gifts to donate. There’s nothing more satisfying than taking a moment away from all the holiday hustle and bustle to give something special back to your community. If you come across extra coupons for gifts, such as toys, use them to buy gifts to donate to families who can’t afford to buy gifts. You’re donation can help brighten a child’s Christmas 🙂

 

Create Your Own Gift Coupons

Instead of shopping and clipping coupons for presents, you can even make your own gift coupons. This fun and creative gift is both free and thoughtful. Make your loved ones coupons that they can redeem to you for a service or outing. For example, you could make a gift coupon that is redeemable for lunch, your treat, or perhaps you can give sweetheart a gift coupon that is good for a date night or homemade dinner by you. Let you imagination run wild! You can also make printable gift coupon books online. Try Kodak.com!

However you choose to save money this holiday season, remember that the most important thing is to enjoy the time with your loved ones. Happy holiday shopping to all you savvy couponers!

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Scavenger Hunting for Free Sunday Papers

Posted on Monday, September 26th, 2011 at 10:12 am
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If you’re an extreme couponer, finding deserted Sunday newspapers lying around is like finding money on the ground. As you probably know, you should buy at least one Sunday paper (for the Sunday coupon inserts, of course) but ideally you probably want closer to 5 of these money-saving machines. Unfortunately, buying 5 Sunday papers ends up costing somewhere around $10 – dilemma! So, if you’re serious about finding those free leftover Sunday papers (packed full of awesome coupon inserts) here’s some places you can check:

  • Coffee Shops. Where there’s coffee, there’s sure to be an abandoned newspaper nearby!
  • Doughnut shops. Again, coffee… doughnuts… newspapers… coupon inserts.
  • Airports. Business people? Wall Street Journal? Hello Sunday coupon inserts!
  • Hotel lobbies. If you don’t see any papers just lying around, ask a hotel employee. Sometimes they’ll have stacks of leftovers hidden away. Some hotels even take the coupon inserts out of the papers before putting them out for guests (*gasp*). Regardless, they’re likely to be more than happy to give them to you!
  • Dumpsters (this one is for the real die-hard couponers out there). If you’re feeling a little wary about diving head first into a dumpster, you might want to warm up with some recycle bins.
  • “Wanted” ads. Post “wanted” ads on Craigslist or a community mailbox. Perhaps a trade is in order?
  • Word of mouth. Ask your friends, family, and neighbors to drop their leftover Sunday papers off on your doorstep. Whoo! It’s like Christmas!

 

Don’t be afraid to ask around for free Sunday papers. You might even ask someone who is reading the paper if they plan to use the coupon inserts. If not, they’ll most likely give them to you. So many people read the paper and disregard the coupons, leaving more for you! Don’t let all those perfectly good coupons end up at the landfill – get out there and start hunting! Good luck! 😀

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