Monday, April 9, 2012

Frugal Forum Column April 8, 2012

Saving money shouldn’t just be a passing fad. Since the economy has taking a turn for the worse we have all been cracking down and saving money. One simple way to save money is to use your coupons. If you have been watching the popular TV show Extreme Couponing on TLC network, you can see that you can save a large sum of money. The show has been very controversial by teaching you some fraudulent ways to use coupons. Stores have cracked down by tightening their rules but this still doesn’t mean that you cannot score big savings. Here are some tips to help you with your couponing.

Know the rules:
Print out your stores new coupon policies. The show has made stores changed their coupon policies. Having the policy on hand will help you know the rules because many cashiers are not familiar with their stores policy. If one of your coupons is denied please politely point out to the cashier that it should work and the next step is ask to see a manager. Remember most stores want you to walk out happy so being patient will only help you in the end.

Kroger policy- Ask the customer service desk most of them have a printed form available for you.

CVS policy-

Rite Aid policy-

Walgreens policy-

Target policy -

Meijer policy-

Dollar General policy-

Whole Food policy-
Walmart policy-

Go back to basics – Pick up your Sunday paper or have a subscription sent right to your house.
The Nielsen Company says that 89% of grocery coupons still come from the newspaper.

Combine a coupon with a sale or a store coupon – Most stores (check your policies) still accept a store coupon along with a manufacturer coupon. The way to save the most money is stack a store coupon, manufacturer coupon along with an in store sale. Remember that Kroger and Meijers will double coupons worth up to 50 cents.

Check your coupons for any sign of being fraudulent. – Every coupon will have a barcode, expiration date, say manufacturer or store coupon, many coupons now have yellow dots that cross the expiration date and a value on the coupon. Watch out printing any PDF coupons these have the opportunity to be scanned then manipulated to change a value or date. If a coupon is being passed around by a personal e-mail, it probably is fake. Legitimate coupons generally can’t be emailed. The CIC posts a list of known fake coupons and offers rewards for information leading to the arrest of the person who created them.

Use social networking- Like your grocery store on Facebook and follow them on Twitter so you’ll be among the first to know about special promotions. Being the first one at a store will only be to your advantage. A coupon etiquette rule is not to clear the shelf. Even if you are this first one at the store for a great deal you still don’t need to take the entire product save some for other deal seekers.

Visit more than one store- There are many sales and deals going on in multiple stores. To limit yourself to just one store for shopping will not give you your full amount of savings. Check out your Sunday paper flyers to get yourself ready for a week’s worth of shopping.

Get to know your manager or cashier- I shop at the stores near my home. I know my managers and most of the cashiers know me. You can always ask them when something might be going on sale or what deals they might know about.

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Receive a $10 mail-in rebate from Burt’s Bees when you purchase $25 in sensitive skin care products.

Get a free greeting card from Shutterfly when you enter ONEFREECARD at checkout. Greeting cards are priced up to $2.99 each great time to get that Mother’s Day card.

Get free access to 1 Billion birth, marriage, death and military records from 1940s plus U.S. City Directories and the 1930 U.S. Census from until April 10, 2012.

Free 5 pounds of document shredding coupon at Office Depot good until April 28, 2012.
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Register at P&G Everyday Solutions to receive a booklet with over $25 in savings on your favorite P&G brands.

Receive 100% of your purchase price on NasaDrops mail in rebate.

Read Conmigo is helping parents provide a unique learning tool like bilingual children’s book for free to help improve the learning environment in their homes. Teachers can also request a 20 book pack for their classroom. These books are geared towards K – 5 grades children.

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