Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fru-Gal Column June 9

Is the show Extreme Couponing damaging the everyday consumer deals? The Coupon Information Corporation expresses great disappointment with the show not addressing potential illegal acts that appear to have been portrayed on the show. What you are not seeing is many of these extreme couponers using coupons to obtain products other than those specified by the coupon offer. Does the coupon go through the register, it seems they do but remember the store will not get reimbursed for those coupons ultimately passing the expense to the consumer. I received a question from Maureen Peters whom asked me about fraudulent coupons. She had a bad shopping experience where the cashier suggested that her internet coupon was fake. I was very proud of her because she was cordial to the cashier and asked to see the manager who accepted the coupon. She had been couponing for awhile so she knew she had a valid coupon but how do you know? With coupon use on the rise especially since the airing of Extreme Coupon this does need to be addressed. Here are some tips for spotting fraudulent coupons:

1. Stay away from “FREE Items” printable coupons.
It is rare that a company will put out a pdf or jpg coupon for a free product. Many products or offers that seem too good to be true are more likely to be counterfeits. What happens is the coupon has been manipulated by changing the expiration date or size of product. I am not saying that you will not receive free coupons from a company but it will be on their own webpage and now I receive free coupons from liking a product on their facebook page. Many of these coupons will say supplies limited or to the first 10,000 people who like us.
2. Be very careful about pdf and jpg coupons you use.
Coupons cannot be copied. This is fraud. Each printed coupon carries a unique ID that is encrypted in a barcode, enabling each coupon to be traced from print to redemption.
3. Never pay money for coupons.
This includes buying coupons from companies/individual who “sell the service of clipping coupons”. You cannot ever be guaranteed that a coupon is legal.
4. Check with the Coupon Information Corporation that provides a list of fraudulent coupons.

Some tips on proper use of coupons.
1. Use a coupon for the item or size that is written on the coupon. Remember that many manufacturers will put a picture of their product on the coupon but that is not necessarily the product you have to purchase. For example: Starbucks has a coupon which pictures there new Fusion brand but the coupon says $1.50 off any Starbucks brand coffee. This means you can use the coupon for any size Starbuck coffee product.
2. Don’t try to use an expired coupon. I know it is frustrating when you missed the date by a day or just plain forgot about the coupon.
3. Most valid internet coupon sites like will make you install the Coupon Printer, an industry-standard browser plug-in. A coupon never appears on the consumer’s screen. Instead, it is sent directly to their printer, to prevent duplication of the coupon. The Coupon Printer also provides each coupon with barcodes that can scanned at the point of sale.
If you have more questions please go to my facebook page for answers. Together as a saving society we will be able to reap the rewards of couponing.

Staycation deals:
All Fayette Libraries have just launched their summer reading program for adults and kids. Go to your local library to put up a reading and activity log. Read anything thing you like- NEWSPAPERS, books and even listen to audio books. Keep track in your log of your reading time then after you have read 15 hours; bring the reading log into the Library before July 31 for a free prize. If you have a Kindle one our famous local writers, Jan Watson’s novel “Still House Pond” was handpicked by Amazon for their summer reading program enabling you to get the download for just 99 cents until June 15.

Father’s Day Special Workshop at Home Depot on Saturday, June 18 starting at 9am to 12pm. Have the kids make a special Lil Toolbox for Dad.

Play Skee Ball online at Chuck E. Cheese’s website to win free tickets

Enjoy bringing the kids to different restaurants in the area throughout the summer for kids eat free meal deals.

Fazolis- Tuesday nights kids eat free from 5pm to 8pm when you purchase one adult entrée get two kids 99 cents kids meals free.

Denny’s- Tuesday and Saturdays from 4pm to 10pm kids 10 and under eat free with an adult entrée purchase of $2.50 or more.

Perkins- Friday from 4pm to 9pm kids eat free and on Sunday from 4pm to 7pm kids eat for 99 cents.

Chick-Fil-A- Monday from 5:30pm to 7pm in Hamburg kids free 4 pack with adult combo purchase. Thursday from 5pm to 7pm at Turfland Mall off Harrodsburg kids eat free with adult combo purchase from 5pm to 7pm.

Zaxby’s- Kids eat free all day on Saturday and Sunday. One free kid’s meal per adult meal purchase.

Mancino’s Pizza, 1590 Leestown Rd- Tuesdays starting at 4pm kids can get one free kids meal pizza or spaghetti per adult entrée purchased.

Abuelo’s, 3395 Nicholasville Road-All day on Mondays kids meal are only a penny per pound the child weights.

Smashing Tomato, 3801 Mall Road- Mondays from 6pm to 8pm kids meal are $1.99. Limit two kids meals per adult purchase.

Moe’s Southwest Grill, 141 Rojay Drive- Tuesday’s kids eat free all day with an adult combo purchase. Dine-in only.

Lexington Legends at Whitaker Bank Ball Park – Monday home games all kids age 12 & under receive a free hot dog, ships and a soda.

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