The Queen of Coupons Reigns......

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Money in My Pocket


I don't carry the Sunday paper anymore, so I look at the store ads on-line on Sunday mornings. When I teach coupon classes, I encourage people to keep a grocery journal that lists the different products their family uses and keeps tract of when it goes on sale. For example, All laundry detergent is on sale this week at Fred Meyer for $2.99 a bottle. I quickly jumped over to ebay to see if there are any coupons available for this. Sure enough, there are save $1 on each floating out in cyberland. I didn't see any coupons on some of the main coupon websites, so I know that there aren't a lot of them in circulation. Obviously with a $1 off coupon, each bottle of ALL laundry detergent becomes $1.99. At Fred Meyer, they are normally $5.69 a bottle. $1.99 is a pretty good price to set 3 or 4 aside for a rainy day (when you'll have loads of wet and muddy clothes to wash in your free time ;) **Disclaimer: I haven't bought laundry soap in a couple of years and probably won't for at least another year, because this same deal went down a couple of years ago at Fred Meyer, but there were $2.00 off coupons at the time. You know where this is going, huh? A couple of Fred Meyers later and about 50 coupons--I was stocked for a few muddy seasons. But with 5 kids and a resident germ-a-phobe--we do a lot of laundry at our house. I don't have to worry about running out for awhile. I use this as the perfect example of "money in your pocket"--because if I had to buy the monthly supply of laundry detergent at the going rates, or even sales' rates, I'd wouldn't have any extra cash during the month because it would go right to the profit margins of the local stores every month.



Couponing Tip: look at the ads and see if there are any match-ups between the sales' prices and available coupons. Mini stock-up sales happen every week, sometimes we just don't know what the sale item is going to be. We need to be open and ready to set somethings aside that will be a great investment in our future savings. I've been stocking up on Campbell's' cream soups (cream of chicken and cream of mushroom), because they are staples in the dinner department, but also because now is the time of year that they go on sale for more than 10 cents off a can. Plus they are generating HUGE kick-backs for the schools, as noted in previous entries on this blog. I was positively thrilled to get those soups at 29cents a can and a 500 point coupon for the elementary school. And thinking frugally and to the future, the expiry on the cans isn't until 2012...so to stock up on this kind of product at such a low price is totally MONEY IN MY POCKET!! I've had to learn from sad experience that when I run out of these kind of soups, I immediately need them and have paid what normal people have paid...$1.29-$1.49 a can. OUCH!! I have issues and am obviously a control freak. I like to control what I pay for things. Most people grab extra cans of what they deem as a "good deal"--but when the expiration dates are so far out, my advice is to stock the pantry with the products you routinely use when you can get them for 75-90% off. Think of all the bucks you've saved throughout the next year and a half on one product alone!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Labels for Education!!!


You've got to print these coupons and get those Campbell's soups in your pantry. As a mom and member of the local PTO...do it for the children. http://www.campbellsoup.com/condensed_soups_try_something_new.aspx



The Campbell's promo at Albertsons' is stellar this week, especially for the local grade schools. For every $15 purchase of specified products, a 500 point Labels for Education coupon prints out at the register. There is a similar deal going on at Safeway, but prices and quantity requirements are slightly different. But no matter the points earned, each point is the equivalent of buying one can of Campbell's products. So 500 points is AWESOME because you don't have to buy 500 cans to actually accrue the points! I'm a bargain shopper so I totally understand the "bargain-ness" of earning the many points! All I can say for my local grade school collection buckets--GO HAWKS!!



You can also order the coupons from the coupon clearing house websites and also http://www.ebay.com/. A trick that I've learned with E-bay, is to put the word "coupon" on the search bar first and then just change the last word on your searches. It saves times and typing when you are on the hunt. Another tip...is that I never "bid" on coupons. I always go to the "buy it now" button and look at the coupons that have a set price. I try and save money by buying from the same sellers that offer free shipping with additional orders. I research the ads and try and order on the very first day of the sales' start to ensure that the coupons ship as soon as possible. Grocery sales start on Wednesdays and run through the following Tuesday. If I know that I am mass purchasing (larger quantities; aka=BULK), I call the store ahead of time and give a verbal "special order" with the grocery manager or order clerk, so that the product is always in-stock when I get my coupons in the mail. Mondays and Tuesdays are my main grocery days, but also the second to and last day of the sales. Special orders give me peace of mind and guarantee quantities and flavors of the products that we enjoy. And my motto for shopping in bulk is: free always tastes better. It really does.

Friday, September 10, 2010

HUGE Campbell's Deal Coming NEXT WEEK!!




A little bird drop a HUGE worm of information in my lap yesterday. It's worthy of sharing too, especially if you have kids in school and would like to participate in fund-raising without having to break the bank. Starting next Wednesday, the Campbell's Labels for Education coupons are going to be HUGE for minimum transactions at Albertsons'. My source couldn't disclose the full details, but said that it looked like a minimum purchase of $15 in Campbell's products (before coupons) would generate a 500 (yes--that's FIVE HUNDRED) label coupon!! It's the largest label volume coupon I've seen from Campbell's. And for all of you that aren't aware of this...unlike the General Mills' BoxTops program which redeems their coupons in cash, the Campbell's program cashes in the labels with point values attached to the label for redemption of products that the school can pick via a catalog. Either way--it's free stuff for the schools from the manufacturer's. And the beauty of this kind of incentive program--we all have to eat. I look forward to this time of year to stock up on cream soups that are great for cooking with, quick-meal soups, and other products that my family loves. If there is a coupon available for the desired product, we buy a LOT of that item because the price is usually the cheapest it has been all year and for the determined purchase amounts, we are able to donate a TON of points for the school to redeem on things like playground equipment, classroom supplies, computers, and all sorts of new items for improved learning opportunities.


http://www.campbellskitchen.com/ is a great place to print off coupons to use next week. Each computer is allowed to print up to 2 of each desired coupon. If you have access to multiple computers, the sky is your limit. It is one of the few places that you are able to find coupons for the "great for cooking" soups, like Cream of Chicken and Cream of Mushroom. So stock up and don't forget to send those 500 point coupons to school with your child. Make sure they get collected and counted so they can be used for all the great products the school could use to improved their educational inventory.


**This week, I am taking advantage of the Box Tops incentives offered at Albertsons' as well. For every 10 products purchased from the pictured sales' items, a 50 Bonus Box Top coupon prints for cash redemption. That's awesome because it's worth $5...and for me--that's called Making Money because each 10 items will not cost be $5!! In fact, I'm stocking up on Betty Crocker potatoes and Suddenly Salads, both with coupons on them that bring the product down to a big fat (), except the cost of the coupons from ebay.... And since I've ordered almost 300 items between the 2, that's $140 in cash from my kids' elementary school. Disclosure: I spent $30 on all the coupons 280 products. With the cost of the coupon taken into consideration, it works out to be about 9 cents a box. I'm OK with that.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Huddle to Fight Hunger Kick-Off at Albertsons'

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Wednesday. I love Wednesdays. It's kind of perverse and shameful to admit, but Wednesdays kind of give me a "buzz"--those legal highs I have when a new ad breaks. Now admit, there are some Wednesdays that are complete downers...and this in not one of them. I'm still waiting for the screaming highs...sure to come in a week or two, or so I've been promised by a reliable source in management at the local Albertsons. That's when the Campbell's Labels for Education sales will come in full-force, but I'm getting ahead of myself here.

This week Kraft is doing a "Huddle to Fight Hunger" promotional on their designated products. You get $5 off a purchase of 5 Kraft items. Woo Hoo!! If you purchase in increments of 5, that's a $1 savings per item. Now slap a coupon on it and you have a deal! For items like Cool Whip, that are $1 each, buy 5 for $5 and you get a $5 Catalina towards your next purchase. If you do the math, that equals free Cool Whip. (I'm wishing that my second refrigerator hadn't chosen this week to bite the dust).

Not everything is stock-up worthy without fridge space. But things like Capri Sun sale priced at $1.99 become 99 cents a piece when purchased in sets of 5. Not to shabby for those Back to School lunches. Oscar Mayer hot dogs are on sale 2 for $3. Print a coupon to save $1 on 2, combine with the Catalina $5 savings and they are reduced to free. Remember--those dogs FREEZE!! Kraft salad dressings are similarly priced for a deal. There are coupon books available at Albertsons that contain coupons for many of the items that are going on sale. The Kraft salad dressing is one of them--save $1 on 2. If you combined it with the "Huddle" promo--you could stock up on salad dressing for 49 cents a bottle. With the dressing that cheap, a variety on the shelf could never hurt.
The Huddle for Hunger Kraft adventure was introduced on August 22nd. It's a large corporate attempt to bring awareness to the growing hunger problem around the nation. For every "like" button selected on Facebook, Kraft will donate a meal to local charities. They are also donating meals through the promotions purchase requirements. They are projecting that they will be donation 20 million meals with this ad campaign. It's a good thing that I'm feeling "charitable"--not only will I be helping my own family and building a reserve pantry, but my couponing purchases will increase the numbers of my sales and add more meals to the total that Kraft will be distributing nationwide. What a "win-win" scenario. I love "charitable" buying--especially when it benefits my own family.
Kraft isn't the only company sponsoring a great deal this week, but I thought they were noteworthy. General Mills has a "Free Milk" deal going on when you buy 4 boxes of their cereal. With a couple of stealthily placed coupons--that could be a decent deal, especially in the milk department. You know that milk runs between $2-3 a gallon. For larger families like mine, we are buying at least 4 gallons of milk a week. So if I did a trade-off and bought the cereal, threw a few coupons in the mix to reduce the cost--I'd spend the same as I would for those 4 gallons of milk, but get a slew of cereals thrown in for free. Just a thought.
Keep scanning those ads. There's a deal waiting to be had. Double coupons may or may not come out for the Labor Day weekend, but if they do...combined with the $5 Catalinas from Kraft--things would be beyond free, so make sure that you keep your eyes peeled on the Sunday's paper for the big ads coming out for the holiday weekend. You never know when a great deal will fall in your lap!