Sunday, June 19, 2011
Coupons can help you stretch your budget for donations to food pantries and other charitable organizations.
I really do get it - some people simply have no need for coupons for their household. I honestly hear you when you tell me that. You make your own food. You’re too brand loyal. You shop exclusively at local markets. You don’t have pets. You really, really, really don’t buy packaged food no matter how much I want to think everyone does. You just don’t need the hassle. Got it! However, there is another way to use coupons that involves neither filling your own refrigerator nor buying things you would never use in quantities you don’t need. If you watch sales carefully or follow certain blogs or websites, you can use coupons to buy items for donation to your local food banks, to relief efforts in the United States or outside the country, to …
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Taking an hour or two to create a simple price book could save you time and money down the road.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
- Marla Blair
Sunday, June 12, 2011
It can get confusing trying to remember which store has the best prices on which items or when a sale is really a great deal. And taking a lot of time to run to multiple stores each week can be a huge hassle and even an unwanted expense now that gas prices are going up every five minutes. However, unless you are extremely store loyal to the point that you never set foot in anything but your favorite grocery chain - which is possible, I’m sure - you’ve probably noticed that different stores have different everyday prices for different items and that it’s not necessarily one store that has the best deals on everything every time. One solution to this problem is to create a simple price book that you can carry with you or reference when you’…
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Last week I told you about buying coupons. Not interested? Try trading instead.
So you don’t want to buy coupons - for whatever reason - or you do, but you want to expand your coupon stash in other ways too. There’s another option for you - and a way to get rid of what you don’t use and make others happy at once. (Say it with me - awww.) Trading! Think Locally at First Start simple - trade with your friends or your family. Seriously, start asking around. Find out what products your loved ones use all the time and save coupons for them. Find out what friends get the Sunday paper (whether for the coupons or to, you know, like, OMG, read it) and ask if they’d like to trade. Post on your favorite local email list and see if others want to get in on the action. See if you can get a group together for a weekly or monthly …
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Buying coupons seems so counterintuitive but it actually could save you money.
When I first learned that people sometimes bought coupons, I clutched at my pearls and wondered aloud, “Heavens, why would someone do that?” Superficially, this idea seems rather ridiculous. Coupons are about saving you money, so why would you buy them? Plus, coupons say right on them that they’re not for sale, so how could this system even be legal? Spend Less Money to Get Exactly What You Will Use Here’s the truth. Buying Sunday papers for two dollars each week is all well and good if you only want one or two copies of a coupon. But the circulars for which you’re paying a few dollars also contain many coupons you would never want or use. (They may even be for junk food! My goodness!) If you instead buy coupons on eBay or from one of the …
Sunday, May 22, 2011
If one more person asks me about Extreme Couponing, I may explode.
Lately, when I mention that I use coupons to someone, they inevitably ask me if I’ve seen the Extreme Couponing television show or if I am an Extreme Couponer. The simple answer is yes, I've seen it, and no I am not. TV shows are about the extreme; as we all know, “reality” TV is staged and edited carefully, and you can’t always believe what you see. I watched one episode (and a bit of a second) and that was enough to know that it was an over-the-top show. But there’s a bit more to it. The truth is that I can’t ever see myself being the subject of a show like that for five big reasons: 1. I don’t have the space for a giant stockpile. I have one refrigerator with a freezer compartment and one small pantry. That’s it. I’m not willing to …
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Obviously, there are coupons out there for the junkiest food you can buy. But is there anything else?
When I tell people I use coupons and still manage eat healthy, they are sometimes surprised. I commonly hear, “oh, well, they don’t have coupons for the things I buy! All coupons are for pre-packaged junk food.” First, maybe you never buy anything packaged, processed, or slightly junky, but I’m going to admit right here that sometimes I do, and I bet if you check your pantry, you’ll find that sometimes you do too. And it’s true - if you do want any of those things, you’re likely to find a coupon to help you on your way. But are coupons really just for junk? No. Let me tell you three ways to get around this issue. Milk, Eggs, Butter... First, the Sunday circulars (which also appear in your mailbox, among other places) do have coupons for …
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Coupons you load directly onto your store card are gaining popularity. Make them work for you!
As I noted last week, manufacturers really want to get coupons into the hands of the ever-growing consumer group that doesn’t regularly buy the newspaper. Printable Internet coupons are one way to do this, but e-coupons, which don’t require you to print anything or carry anything but your store card, are gaining in popularity as well. Get Clicking and Get Saving E-coupons are usually made available at the beginning of each month. As with printable coupons, a limited number is available and when they’re all claimed, they’re gone. You can find e-coupons primarily through www.cellfire.com and www.shortcuts.com. Kroger.com also has its own (occasionally overlapping) e-coupons available. All you need to do is set up an account, give the …
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Coupons in the newspaper are so yesterday; coupons you can print from home are the wave of the future.
Times are changing, and fewer people buy, subscribe to, or even read the physical edition of the Sunday newspaper. Manufacturers are therefore looking for other ways to get their coupons in the hands of consumers, and the push toward printable Internet coupons seems to be gaining steam. Broadly speaking, there are two main sources for printable Internet coupons - sites devoted just to this type of coupon and manufacturers’ sites offering coupons for a specific brand. Both types are worth checking out - come on, you’ve got time to surf to one or two extra sites, right? The big name sites that provide major-brand deals are coupons.com, smartsource.com, and redplum.com. Another useful site you may want to bookmark is mambosprouts.com, which …
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Now that you've started collecting coupons, how can you best organize them so they work for you?
Last Sunday, I taught you places to find coupons. So surely by this week you are drowning in them, no? Coupons, coupons, everywhere. But what do you actually do with them once you acquire them? Let’s be honest - you want your coupons to work for you in as little time as possible with as simple a system as possible. If you want to get fancy, you can check out this article to learn how to set up a binder that will cover all possible items in the grocery store all at once. I just don’t have the time or energy for that. It’s All About Simplicity My favorite system for organizing the coupon flyers found in the newspaper and in my mailbox is the one taught by the Coupon Mom, Stephanie Nelson. There are three steps, and that’s all: Step 1. Take…
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Tips and tricks to help you build your coupon stash right away
Are you ready to run out and start saving money? First, you need to acquire your coupons! You probably think you know where to get them. But there may be places you have yet to explore. The Sunday newspaper - The easiest and most straightforward way to get your coupons for the week is to buy the paper. If you don’t want to run to your local store each Sunday, you can just subscribe to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution - there are Sunday-only subscriptions available, and the paper often offers deals and specials to save you even more money. You can also pick up the bundled “double paper” - the early and late editions of the Sunday paper are packaged together for $3 instead of the $4 you’d normally pay for two copies. And if you’re lucky, you…