How to Coupon - Part 38
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How to Coupon

Coupon Abbreviations

Posted on Monday, September 12th, 2011 at 10:30 am
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Coupon abbreviations can be confusing. Don’t worry, though, here is a list of the most commonly used terms and abbreviations that people use when they talk about coupons and couponing.

$1/1 etc. :: Stands for the exact worth of the coupon. So this would mean $1.00 off of 1 item. If it said $1.50/2 that would stand for $1.50 off of 2 of that item.

AC :: After coupon
AR :: After rebate

Blinkie :: Coupons that come out of the dispenser at checkout. The term Blinkie is used to describe their dispensers that sometimes have a blinking light on them.
BOGO, B1G1, B1G1F :: Buy One Get One free
BTFE :: Box Tops for Education
B&M :: “brick & mortar” store (as opposed to an online store or catalog)

CAT, Catalinas :: Coupons which print at the register after your purchase
CPG = Consumer Packaged Goods
CPN :: Coupon
CRT :: Cash register tape (coupons at the bottom of your receipt).

DND :: Do Not Double
Double Coupon :: A coupon that doubles in value

ECB :: Extra Care Bucks (CVS, used as cash in the store)
ETA :: Edited to Add
ETS :: Excludes Trial Size

FAR :: Free After Rebate
Filler :: An item you buy to get your total purcahse up to a certain amount in order to use a percentage off coupon
FS :: Free shipping

GC :: Gift card
GDA :: Good Deal Alert
GM :: General Mills

HABA: Health and Beauty Aids
HTH :: Hope That Helps

IVC :: Instant Value Coupon (Walgreens, printed in the monthly EasySaver booklet)
IPQ, IP :: Internet Printable coupon

MFG, MFR :: Manufacturer
MQ :: Manufacturer’s Coupon
MIR :: Mail-In Rebate

NED :: No expiration date

OOP :: Out of Pocket
OOS :: Out of Stock
OYNO :: On Your Next Order

P&G :: Proctor & Gamble coupon insert Printed in the Sunday newspaper
Peelie :: Coupon attached to an item that peels off
PSA :: Prices Starting At

Q :: Coupon

Regional :: A coupon or deal that only applies to a specific region
RP :: Red Plum coupon insert printed in the Sunday newspaper
RR :: Register Rewards (Walgreens, printed with receipt)

SCR :: Single Check Rebate (Rite Aid)
SS :: Smart Source coupon insert printed in the Sunday newspaper
Stacking :: Using a manufacturer’s coupon and a store coupon for the same item

Tear Pad :: A pad of rebate forms or coupons attached to a store shelf
TMF :: Try Me Free
Triple Coupon :: A coupon that triples in value

UPC :: Universal Product Code (bar code)
UPR :: Up Rewards, a coupon you can earn on your receipt at Rite Aid

V :: Valassis coupon insert printed in Sunday newspaper

WSL :: While Supplies Last
WT, Winetag :: A coupon hanging on the package of an item
WYB :: When You Buy

YMMV :: Your Mileage May Vary (A particular deal may not work at your store)

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Printing Coupons with Mac

Posted on Monday, September 12th, 2011 at 8:12 am
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If you, like many couponers, have experienced trouble printing coupons using a Mac operating system then you are in luck. I’ve also encountered several problems printing coupons from a Mac computer and these are the tricks that have worked for me.

Try a Different Internet Browser

Some coupons are browser specific. That is, the coupon may not print with Internet Explorer or Google Chrome, but it might print just fine with Firefox or Safari. If you are using a Mac, then you’re best bet is to stick to Firefox and Safari. This is an easy problem solution since it is quick, easy, and free to download a different internet browser. If printing with a different internet browser doesn’t do the trick then…

Try Altering the URL to Suite Your Browser

Thanks to a fellow blogger, I learned how to solve my coupon printing dilemmas by simply altering a couple of letters of the web page URL. In summary of the original blog about this coupon printing technique, this is what you will want to do:

Take this link for example:

http://bricks.coupons.com/Start.asp?tqnm=qfhsaei61276871&bt=vi&o=57042&c=PU&p=smDpIRXJ

If you are using Internet Explorer, the coupon should print fine because when using Internet Explorer, you’ll want the red underlined letters to read either “vi” or “wi.” If you are using Firefox, you will want to change the red underlined letters in the URL to read either “vg” or “wg.” If you are using Safari on your Mac, you will want to change those letters to “xs.”

These tricks have always worked for me, but unfortunately there is no one answer for all Mac coupon printing problems. If you’ve found another solution for printing coupons using a Mac operating system that you think could help other couponers, please feel free to share in the comment section!

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What You Need to Know about Printable Coupons

Posted on Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 at 4:12 pm
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Printable coupons are a great way to save money at the grocery store especially when you combine those printable coupons with sales. Matching up coupons is a sure way to get the most savings.

Printable coupons have some special considerations that are different from using Sunday insert coupons. Knowing the ins and outs of using printable coupons can save you a lot of grief at the checkout line.

Printing Coupons

Most coupon publishers or manufacturers require you to download an application that will allow you to print their coupons. This is a way of controlling how many time you can print the coupon and when the coupon will expire. It is also an effort on the part of the companies to prevent fraudulent use of a coupon.

Now here is the secret. In most cases, you can print out one additional copy of the coupon just by hitting your back button on your browser. Many people don’t know this, and they miss out on that additional savings.

If you have additional computers in your home, you can print out more of the same coupon, two copies per computer.

Using Printable Coupons

Many stores are wary of printable coupons because so many people have tried to do illegal things with them, such as photocopying coupons or making their own from scratch.

As a result of the fraud, stores have cracked down on printable coupon use. Check your store’s official store coupon policy. I bet is states that you can not use a printable coupon that offers a free product. Some stores won’t take any printable coupons that even contain the word free, such as “buy one get one free.”

Before you use your printable coupon, take a look at it. Does the coupon have a clear expiration date and a bar code on it? Some printable coupons also have a background image called a watermark that is hard to reproduce with a photo copier. If your coupon contains all of these things, then you can be pretty sure that it will be accepted at the store.

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More Brands for : How to get Coupons in the Mail

Posted on Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 at 6:12 am
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I have been doing my homework to find more brands that will send you coupons in the mail.  Make sure you read the original “How to get Coupons in the Mail” post for more brands and writing suggestions.  I hope you have as much success as I did!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Whites

Amy’s Kitchen

Bagel Bites

Batter Blaster

Bob’s Red Mill

Eden Foods

Freschetta Pizza

Frigo Cheese

IZZE Soda

Lean Pockets

Light Life

Ling Ling

Oroweat Bread

Sabra Hummus

Van’s Waffles

Wolfgang Puck

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Getting Deals without Double Coupons

Posted on Monday, May 16th, 2011 at 10:12 am
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In a blog written in the Extreme Couponing section, I wrote about how the show Extreme Couponing may be bad news for couponers.  One thing we may start to see more of is less and less coupon doubling.  As much as doubling coupons really helps us, there are ways to save without relying on it!

Match Your Coupons With Promotions and Sales

Check what promotions certain manufacturers are currently offering and what sales are in stores.  When you find a promotion or sale on an item you like, check to see if you have or can get any coupons for it.  If the coupons don’t specify what size you need to buy of the item, purchase smaller or travel sizes to save more.

Stack Coupons

Stacking your coupons can be really helpful.  Stacking means that you use both a manufacturer’s coupon and a store’s coupon on the same product.  Just check the store policy to make sure you can actually do so!

Price Books

Consider starting your own price book.  These books help you to figure out sale cycles of certain stores and which stores sell the products you use the most for the lowest cost.  They’re simple to make and will help you out in the long run!

Get Multiple Coupons

When you are buying a product you know you want to stock up on, you’ll want to have as many coupons on hand as possible.  See if you can print multiple coupons, snag a couple Sunday inserts, or trade friends and families for coupons.  Check your coupon to see if it says “One coupon per purchase” or “One coupon per order.”  If it’s the former, you can use one coupon per item.  So three coupons for three laundry detergents is just fine!  It it’s the later however, you are only able to use one specific coupon per visit.  Also, take advantage of BOGO deals.  When you have two of the same coupon you can usually apply one to each item!

Look For Rewards

Several stores reward their shoppers for certain purchases.  One example is CVS with their Extra Care Bucks.  Check to see if your store will give you rewards for buying certain products.  These products can be in the form of coupons for money off or even cash back!

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How to Get Coupons for Free

Posted on Saturday, May 14th, 2011 at 4:16 pm
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Knowing where to find free coupons is important information every couponer should know! To help you out, I’ve come up with a little Where To Find Free Coupons 101 guide.

Let’s start with the Sunday inserts.  Once a week your Sunday newspaper is filled with several pages of coupon inserts.  These coupons can save you a ton of money! If you don’t regularly get a newspaper delivered, consider just picking up the Sunday paper.  The amount you can save with the coupons could more than pay for the paper!

Have you seen those free store magazines in grocery stores or drug stores?  Believe it or not they aren’t useless!  Store magazines are actually often full of coupons so don’t forget to grab one.

Some magazines include coupons.  All You Magazine is one that I have found to include several useful coupons.  Keep an eye out for coupons while flipping through your magazines.  You might be surprised by what you find.

You can also get coupons delivered by mail.  A great way to get some coupons in your mailbox is to go to manufacturer websites and see if they have a way to sign up for coupons.  If not, you can always send them an email about their product (question, comment, or concern).  Manufacturers love to get feedback and will often reward you with coupons!  If you’re one of the lucky ones, the coupons will keep showing up in your mailbox.

Browsing the internet for free coupons will yield some pretty good results.  Check out what we have to offer on FreeCoupons.com!  There are both printable and online coupons, as well as coupons for free shipping!  You’re bound to find the right coupons for you.

If you prefer to shop at a specific store frequently, see if they’re store website has anything to offer.  Stores like CVS and Target have free coupons you can print!

Facebook has become a great tool for couponers!  Check out our Facebook page to make sure you get the most up to date information on coupons!  In addition to “liking” us, look into some of your favorite manufacturers’ pages.  Sometimes they will let people know through Facebook how to get great coupons.

There are so many ways to find free coupons, you’ll be saving in no time!  Do you have tips to share for finding free coupons?  Let us know!

 

 

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How To Trade Coupons

Posted on Monday, May 9th, 2011 at 5:49 am
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Have you been clipping and printing coupons nonstop and still not finding exactly what you need?  Maybe it’s time you try your hand at coupon trading! Coupon trading is a great way to get what you need and help out your fellow couponers in the process.

The next time you clip coupons, clip everything!  Sort them into coupons you want to keep and coupons you want to trade.  While you’re at it, make a wish list of coupons you still need.  Now you’re ready to start trading.

The simplest and quickest way to get started is to trade with your family and friends.  If you see them all the time and they also coupon, why not take advantage of that?

If you want a bigger pool of people to trade with, consider creating a coupon club.  You can start trading coupons within an already existing group, such as a PTA or book club, or you can create a club specifically for trading coupons.  Establish a date, time, and place to meet up with several interested traders.  You can get to know the people in your club and their coupon needs so you can keep an eye out for each other.

One more option is to open yourself up to trading with everyone on the world wide web!  There are so many forums dedicated to coupon trading online.  Just type ‘coupon trading’ into your search engine and find a forum that works for you.  When you use a coupon trading forum, you post what you have and want to trade, and wait for requests.  Or you can seek out those who have what you want and make offers to trade.  Once an offer has been accepted, you will trade coupons by mail. When trading in online forums there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You will probably have to register to post on a lot of the forums, but if you can find what you need it’s worth it.
  • When listing the coupons you have to trade, make sure to give all of the information on the coupon (store, brand, expiration date, etc.).
  • Check the forums frequently.
  • When you get a request to trade, respond quickly and mail out the coupons you are trading within a day or two.

Also, look at our Facebook page to see what coupons people are wanting.  You might be able to find a friendly trader there!

Remember, there are plenty of people to trade coupons with.  If there’s a will, there’s a way!

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Creating A Price Book

Posted on Sunday, May 8th, 2011 at 10:12 am
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Warning: what may be on sale may not always be the best deal!  Sometimes grocery stores will trick shoppers by knocking off just a few cents and calling it a sale, but really you can save much more at other times.  Savvy shoppers know that the best way to be mindful of these tricks is to keep a price book.

What Is a Price Book?

A price book is an organizational tool that allows shoppers to know when they are getting the best price possible.  You use the price book to track the items that you purchase most frequently and make note of certain information.  After a while you will know when to buy which products at which stores to get the most for your money.

How Do I Start a Price Book?

It sounds a little daunting, but it isn’t that difficult and it is absolutely worth the effort!

To begin you will need to get some sort of a loose leafed three ring binder or notebook.  You probably don’t want it to be too big since you will take it to the store with you.  Next, create categories for items you purchase.  These categories might include dairy, produce, meat, or snacks.  It’s your price book, so organize it how it will best work for you!  After you have your categories set up you will want to have columns for information.  Again, you will want to create your price book in a way you will best understand it, but these are a few ways to divide up information: store name, date, product (you can include brand names or just keep it general), size of product, price, sale price, coupons and discounts used.  You may find that all of that information is helpful, or that you only need some of it.  Now you are ready to start filling in your price book.  All you have to do is collect all of your receipts from shopping trips for several weeks and write in the information for the products you regularly buy.

There is another way to create a price book for those shoppers with smartphones.  You can create your price book in a spread sheet using something like Excel that you can view on your phone.  There are also apps available that allow you to enter all of your information and use it while at the store.  Isn’t technology wonderful?

Now What?

After you have been entering information into your price book for a while you will start to notice trends.  You will be able to see the sales cycles of certain stores (these usually range from 6 to 12 weeks).  Knowing this information will help you figure out when and where to stock up on certain items.  Now you can compare prices quickly so you know if what the store is calling a sale will really benefit you or not.  Happy shopping!

 

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Getting Started With Couponing

Posted on Friday, May 6th, 2011 at 8:12 am
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Do you have the couponing bug?  With today’s economy being what it is and TLC’s new show, Extreme Couponing, on the air people everywhere are starting to take notice of the amazing deals they can get by clipping coupons.  If you’re new to couponing you’ve come to the right place!

What Kind of Coupons Are Out There and What Does It All Mean?

Well, you can find coupons for nearly anything!  Food, electronics, auto repair, restaurants–the list goes on.  Now, when you’re first getting started you may be a little confused by a lot of coupon lingo that you might run into.  The basic thing you need to know is that coupons, discount codes, promotions, and vouchers can all save you money.  To go a little more in depth and for a nice list of coupon vocabulary and abbreviations check out my blog post on Coupon Abbreviations.

Where To Find Coupons

You have several options when looking to find coupons.  The most traditional way and probably the first thing that comes to your mind would be the inserts in your Sunday newspaper.  These inserts can save you a ton of money!  You can also find coupons online.  FreeCoupons.com has hundreds of coupons for you, both to print and use online.  

While you’re online you can wander over to our Facebook page and add us.  Here you can see our posts on coupon news and savings, links to deals, and talk from fellow couponers.  Manufacturers Facebook pages will also let you know of upcoming deals and how to get coupons.  If you still can’t seem to find the coupon you want go ahead and email the manufacturer.  Often times an email with praise, suggestions, or even complaints can result in the manufacturer sending you coupons in the mail.  Use one method, a combination of two, or all!  You will be swimming in coupons in no time.

How to Organize Your Coupons

Now that you know how to get a good pile of coupons you’re going to need to know how to organize them all to maintain your sanity! There are several ways for you to keep your coupons tidy and easy to manage.

  • Envelopes
  • A binder with plastic sheets (like for trading cards)
  • Index card or recipe box
  • Accordion folders

These are just a few ideas for you to start with.  As you continue couponing you’ll find out what works best for you.

Using Your Coupons In Store

The obvious tactic is to hand the coupon over to the cashier when you’re checking out.  You should be aware of ways to save more though.  For example, you can stack.  Stacking is using manufacturer coupons on top of store coupons.  Match up coupons with store deals to keep saving! You should know that there are opportunities to double (and possibly triple!) your coupons! Also, there is the possibility of essentially getting money back when you use some coupons and being able to apply that to the rest of your transaction.  This is called overage and can be very helpful.

There is always more to learn and new coupons to find!  Good luck!

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How to Get Coupons in the Mail

Posted on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 at 12:12 pm
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Have you been trying to find free coupons in the mail? You found it the answer!

Manufacturers coupons are valuable, and companies are more than willing to send you those grocery coupons if you know just where to look and how to ask for them.

Don’t miss out just because you can’t print coupons at home. I’ll show you how to get coupons in the mail quickly and easily so you can start saving right away.

Save even more money at the grocery store since these vouchers are often of higher value than the printable coupons. In fact, many coupons in the mail are for free stuff. It is great to be able to pick out something off of the grocery shelves, hand the cashier a coupon, and then get it for free!

Sign Up for Coupons in the Mail

The way to start receiving free coupons in the mail is to send a comment to a company by email. Many companies respond very nicely to personal comments and will bless you with all sorts of samples and coupons.

They take the comments and complaints that you make about their products very seriously. They want to know how you, the consumer, feels about their products, and they will usually reward you with a lot of coupons for your trouble. In fact, once you are on their customer mailing list, you may find that you continue to get coupons in the mail without any additional effort.

How to Ask for Coupons in the Mail

When you contact a company, you want to be very honest with your feedback. It isn’t true that the only way to get free coupons in the mail is to complain.You can encourage manufactures to send coupons just by telling them something in one of three areas.

Praise: Tell the company how much you enjoy their product and be specific. Did it fulfill a need in your home? Was it so much better than the competition?

Suggestion: Tell the company how you think they might improve the product or the packaging, or let them know what other products that you would like to see them provide.

Complaint: If you didn’t like something about the product or had a negative issue with it, let the company know. It is important to be nice and objective. State the facts and let them know that you expected a better product from them, but don’t rant and rave.

Just remember that you don’t need to be a professional writer. Keep your comment short and sweet, mention the product name (some companies have many different products) and be honest if you haven’t tried the product but are thinking about trying it. It is best not to flat out ask for grocery coupons; most of the time the companies themselves will make the offer to send you free coupons in the mail.

How to Find Company Contact Information

Here at FreeCoupons.com we did a lot of research to put together a list of manufacturer contact information. The following food companies have shown themselves to be willing to send a lot of coupons when asked.

Remember your tips about how to write for grocery coupons in the mail and then get to it. Some companies will send coupons right away, while others may take up to six weeks. Be patient. Your mailbox will soon be flooded with grocery coupons.

Manufacturer Coupons

If you don’t see a contact form right away, look for a “Contact Us” link, usually at the bottom of the page. Some of the contact information below contains direct email links.

Aleve

Apple and Eve

Banquet

Bar S

Barber Foods

Bounce

Breathe Right

Breyers

Bumble Bee

Burts Bees

Bushes Beans

Cabot

Campbells Soup

Carl Buddig Lunch Meats

Carolina Rice

Celeste

Chiquita

Colgate

Crisco

Dannon

Del Monte

Edy’s

Eggo

Egglands Best

Entenmanns

Eveready

Fresh Express

Glade

Herbal Essences

Hefty

Heinz

Hillshire Farm

Hostess

Huggies Pull-Ups

Jif

Johnson

Kashi

Kozy Shack

Lean Cuisine

Lofthouse Cookies

Malt-O-Meal

Marie Callenders

Marzetti

McCormick

Michelinas

Motts

Mt. Olive

Neutrogena

Northland

Pepperidge Farm

Plum Rose

Propel Fitness Water

Rite Guard

Sargento

Schick Intuition Razors

Sensodyne

Sharpie

Skinny Cow

Smuckers

SPAM

Turkey Hill

Tyson

Welchs

Zatarains

Ziploc

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