Friday, April 15, 2011

How I learned to Coupon on You Tube

After seeing my friend Victoria's coupon box on FaceBook, I sent her a message begging her to show me how to coupon.  She responded with a ton of links that pointed me in the right direction.  Her best advice though?  Search You Tube for couponing.  So I did.  There are TONS of how-tos on couponing.  The best one I found was Southern Savers

Jenny from Southern Savers literally starts at the beginning.  The plus side to learning couponing on You Tube is that there is a pause and rewind button, so if you need to hear something again, take some notes or take a break from information overload, you are able to.  Each of Jenny's videos are 6 to 10 minutes long and really breaks down how and why you do something when you coupon. 

This is the first in her series called "Introduction to Couponing: Getting Started Part 1" 

There are 3 videos in the Getting Started series, 2 on organizing your coupons and then the one that sent me on my first shopping trip (which I might add ended up being successful, but that's another post.) - The Beginner's Guide to shopping CVS.

After watching these videos, I KNEW that I could coupon, and be successful at it.

Coupon News: TLC Looking into Allegations of Coupon Fraud

It looks like TLC has heard the backlash from couponers against the coupon user featured in the first episode of the new series of "Extreme Couponing", J'aime Kirlew.  According to this article from Entertainment Weekly,

TLC said in an exclusive statement to EW: “We have received a strong response to the premiere and are listening to and reading the various comments around the show — as with all programs, we appreciate the feedback. While the series documents extreme couponing strategies, we take any concerns about specific tactics seriously and are looking into the situation.”

So, if she is found to have committed coupon fraud what would you say her punishment should be?

Money Saving Mode: Call Your Cable Provider

It's been 6 months since I called and asked for a lower rate on our cable bill and was given a 50% discount on our internet rate.  So today I called again and asked if there was any way to lower my bill. The CS's initial response was that there wasn't anything she could see. I made the point of asking if there were any special promos available.  After looking a bit she found that she could give me a discounted rate on my cable plan, cutting it in half for 6 months!

Cable is so freakin' expensive!  It amazes me now when I think about the things that we don't really need but that we CHOOSE to spend money on.  While I couldn't do without high speed internet (I do work online from home), we could live without cable.  I've posted before about how we've considered dropping cable TV and going for other options like Hulu and Netflix.  We are using Netflix more and more to watch older TV shows, and I still haven't tried the Hulu Plus (which offers a free week trial).  I've been using Hulu on my computer to watch Biggest Loser while I work out, even though I record it on my DVR.  Since there are fewer commercials on Hulu, I get more show for the time.

If you haven't called and asked for a lower rate on your cable bill lately, now is the time to do it.  Don't forget to set yourself a reminder to do it again every 6 months (if you get a deal, or monthly until you get a deal).

Money Saving Mode: Don't Be Scared to Return Items

Before I started couponing I rarely did returns, especially at the grocery store. I paid a lot of "stupid tax" on items because I was just plain lazy.  If I bought clothes that I ended up not wearing they would sit in my closet until it was too late to return them. If I bought food that went bad, it just went bad and it was on me.  I'm not longer lazy!  If there's an error on my receipt I speak to management, if my food goes bad before it should I return it!

Last Friday I bought some fresh green beans at Publix.  The "sell by" date was April 15 (today), however when I pulled them out to cook them on Tuesday I noticed they weren't looking so good.  They had brown spots and some "fur".  EW!  So, yesterday when I made this weeks grocery trip I took the beans with me.  I showed them to the CSM and he immediately gave me a refund. I mentioned that I had the receipt and went to pull it out but he said that wasn't necessary.  He just gave me the money back and I headed off to do my shopping.

There are times when I still eat a mistake, usually it's my own.  I've learned the hard way to double check and make sure exactly which item is on sale.  BOGO sales are usually very specific products and rarely say "all".  But, I'm learning every day and more importantly, I'm saving!

Green Bag Tags Free @ CVS Starting 4/17

If you shop at CVS, you NEED a Green Bag Tag.

What is a Green Bag Tag?
A Green Bag Tag is CVS' way of rewarding its customers for being earth friendly. Just bring your own re-usable bag and they will give you back $.25 for each shopping trip.

How Does it Work?
You buy a Green Bag Tag ($.99) at any CVS and then have them scan it when you check out (you will need to  bring your own bag for them to scan it, or just carry your own items out without a bag).  After every 4 scans a reward ECB for $1 will print on your receipt.  You can use this $1ECB towards anything in the store (just like any ECB).

So, How's it Free This Week?
Like I said, usually you pay $.99 for a Green Bag Tag (one time cost).  However, for the week of 4/17 if you buy a Green Bag Tag for $.99 you will instantly get a $.99 ECB on your receipt, making the Green Bag Tag free!

Do It!

Free Sample: Garnier Fructis Pure Clean

Wal-mart is offering up a free sample of Garnier's Fructis's new Pure Clean line.  Click here for your free samples.