End of the Month Reminders

reminders
Another month has come to an end and the 2013 year is winding down. Get ready for 2014 and make sure you print your coupons before they reset or disappear completely. Head on over to Red Plum, Hopster, Coupons.com, Smart Source and Saving Star pages and print your coupons today.

 

 

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What to Expect in November 2013

november

HOLIDAYS: Sadie Hawkins Day (13), Election Day (5), Veteran’s Day (11), Great American Smoke Out (21) and Thanksgiving (28)

Fall is supposed to be in the air, but this Canadian air hitting us this past weekend, it seems more like winter. Just in time for the brisk weather, you will start seeing promotions and sales on items like quilts, blankets, hot cocoa, coffee, tea, etc.

Also, in gearing up for the holidays, baking and canned goods will be on sale.

In November we have the Great American Smokeout, be on the lookout for smoking cessation products to go on sale.

In order to get ready for Thanksgiving, food related to the family dinner will go on sale, so look out for promotions on the following dinner foods: Turkey, pumpkin (canned), stuffing mix, potato mix, butter, sweet potatoes, fresh potatoes, gravy, bread/rolls, frozen pies, cranberry sauce and fresh cranberries.

In preparation for the winter months to come car care products will go on sale and promotions on car winterization packages will continue throughout the month.

Daylight Savings time normally ends in October, but will be ending on November 3.

Halloween Clearance goes on clearance sometime the week of Halloween, but you can count on leftovers being marked down from November 1st usually throughout the first week of November and then it is gone.

Produce in Season: Almonds, Anjou Pears, Apples, Artichokes, Green Beans, Beets, Bok Choy, Bosc Pears, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbages, Carrots, Celeriac/Celery Root, Celery, Chard, Chestnuts, Comice Pears, Cranberries, Daikon, Dill, Endive, Fuerte Avocado, Fuyu Persimmons, Garlic, Guava, Pineapple, Hachiya Persimmon, Huckleberries, Kale, Kiwi, Kohlrabi, Kumquats, Leek, Lemons, Mandarins/Tangerines, Mustard Greens, Navel Orange, Parsnip, Pecans, Hot Peppers, Sweet Peppers, Pistachios, Pomegranate, Potato, Sweet Potatoes, Quince, Radish, Rutabaga, Salad Mix, Winter Squash, Sunchoke, Turnip, Yams, Zutano Avocado

Other Promotions this Month:

 

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What To Expect in October 2013


HOLIDAYS: Columbus Day (14), World Food Day/UN and UNICEF (16), Halloween (31)

Fall is in the air and the Halloween season is in full swing. Right now you can find Halloween promotions on candy, cookies, baking chocolate chips and fruitcake/candied fruit nuts. Also baking season begins and all baking needs will be on sale.

Fall promotions have started on apples and fresh pumpkins. You can check out this list of farms you can visit near the city.

Sales have already started on pet products and pet food for National Animal Safety and Protection Month.

In preparation for the winter months to come car care products will go on sale and promotions on car winterization packages will also begin.

Daylight Savings time normally ends this month, but will be ending on November 3. Nevertheless, the promotions will be held this month and you will be finding sale prices on batteries, smoke alarms, safety equipment and alarm clocks.

Produce in Season: Almonds, Apples, Artichokes, Arugula, Basil, Fresh Shelling Beans, Green Beans, Beet Greens, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbages, Cardoon, Celeriac/Celery Root, Chard, Chestnuts, Cranberries, Daikon, Eggplant, Escarole, Fuerte Avocado, Fuyu Persimmon, Garlic, Haas Avocado, Hachiya Persimmon, Kale, Kohlrabi, Kumquat, Lemons, Lettuce, Valencia Orange, Parsley, Parsnip, Bosc pear, Comice Pears, Hot Peppers, Sweet Peppers, Pistachios, Pomegranate, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Quince, Radish, Raspberries, Rutabaga, Spinach, Winter Squash, Tomato, Green Turnips, Turnips, Walnut, Yams, Zutano Avocado

Other Promotions this Month:

  • Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
  • Fire Prevention Week (6 – 12)
  • German-American Day (6)
  • National Animal Safety and Protection Month
  • National Apple Month
  • National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • National Chili Month
  • National Cookie Month
  • National Dental Hygiene Month
  • National Dessert Month
  • National Pizza Month
  • National Sausage Month
  • National Pretzel Month
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (September –October)
  • Computer Learning Month
  • National Go On a Field Trip Month
  • National Roller Skating Month
  • International Dinosaurs Month
  • Clergy Appreciation MOnth
  • Hunger Awareness Month
  • National Caramel Month
  • Cookbook Month
  • Spinning and Weaving Week (7-13)
  • National Newspaper Week (6 – 12)
  • World Rain Forest Week (7 13)
  • National Clean Air Week
  • Sweetest Day (19)
  • Reptile Awareness Day (21)
  • Make a Difference Day (28)
  • Statue of Liberty Day (28)
  • National Candy Corn Day (30)

Want to get started, print coupons from  Red Plum, Hopster, Coupons.com, Smart Source and Saving Star pages now.

 

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How To Get Started on a Gift Closet

Christmas gifts.

Have you ever been invited to a party at the last minute and you had no gift at hand? This had happened to me many times but I didn’t have a problem running out and getting a gift as I had no responsibilities at the time. Now that I have two (2) girls and being their sole provider, I had to learn how to budget my money. Last minute gifts are too expensive but I needed something to help me out for these little surprises. That’s when I decided to make a gift closet.

A gift closet is exactly what it implies, a closet for gifts. The gift closet has many uses and can get you out of a jam. I started building my closet slowly with items I found on clearance or got free with coupons. It doesn’t actually have to be a closet, you can use a chest, trunk, shelf or a drawer. Basically, anything that can keep all your gift giving items in one place. I keep all my wrapping paper with the gifts so everything can be at hand when I need it. Every time I see cheap or FREE wrapping, regardless of the occasion, I buy it because I’m a firm believer that you can never have too much wrapping paper.

Building my gift closet and maintaining it fully stocked takes time and patience. I only buy gifts if they are on sale or on clearance and if I have a coupon for the item. Most of the gifts in my stash were less than $5.00 and their have been times where all my Christmas gifts came out if my gift closet. I had to spend nothing out of pocket which is awesome when everyone else is spending an exorbitant amount of money during the holiday shopping season. I have never shopped on Black Friday (intentionally) and have participated very little during Cyber Monday. Maybe this year I will find items that are price worthy for me to shop on Black Friday, but in the mean time I will rely on my trusty gift closet.

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Extreme Couponing Tip: Learn How to Use Percent-Off Coupons at CVS

 

English: Alternative Logo of the CVS Pharmacy

Welcome to the tutorial all about the percent-off coupon from CVS.

First off, you must realize that every CVS store has the right to accept the percent-off coupon how they choose since it’s not explicitly covered in the official coupon policy. However, most stores will allow you to use it. When the coupon is scanned or if you sent it to your card, the computer will automatically apply the savings to all qualifying items in your transaction. If all of your items are sale price, then the computer will reject the coupon.

What You Can and Can’t Purchase with the Percent-off Coupon

The fine print is very tricky. Because it “excludes sale and promotional items,” you would think that means all ExtraBucks deals. This is true when ExtraBucks rewards are produced from sale-priced items. This is not true when they are produced from regular-priced items. An easy way of telling if an item is a sale is by looking at how it’s listed in the weekly ad. If a price is listed, then it’s a sale price. You can also look at the weekly match-ups. Full-priced items will have “online price,” or “regular price” written next to the item.

Percent-off coupons exclude: BOGO and BOGO-50% off, sale-priced items from the weekly ad, and most clearance items.

Percent-off coupons will apply to all regular-priced items, even if they produce ExtraBucks (minus specific items excluded in the fine print).

Using Other Coupons with the Percent-Off Coupon

The fine print says, “Savings applied to total qualifying purchase after other CVS coupons and discounts are applied.” You might think this means after all CVS coupons, including ExtraBucks. But that is not the case. It all depends on what each coupon scans as. Take a look at your last receipt. There are three types of coupons: “coupon” is a manufacturer coupon, “cvs mfr coupon” is a CVS manufacturer coupon, and the last one is “cvs coupon.”

The percent-off coupon will reduce when you these coupons:

  • Beauty Club Reward
  • Green Bag Tag Reward
  • Purchase-Based Coupons (e.g. $4/$20)
  • Manual- or Force-printed ExtraBucks
  • Expired ExtraBucks or other manual discounts
  • Any coupon that scans as a “cvs coupon”
  • Other percent-off coupons (if you’re using more than one)

Example: You have a 20% off CVS Coupon. Your subtotal is $20. You are expecting a savings of $4.00 (20% of $20.00). However, you use a $4/$20 and $5.00 Beauty Club Reward. The percent-off will be applied to $11.00 instead of $20.00. So, your percent-off coupon will only take off $2.20.

The following are taken off after the percent-off coupon, will not reduce the percent-off, and will result in bigger savings:

  • Manufacturer coupons
  • ExtraBucks earned from weekly/monthly deals (that aren’t force-printed or manually entered)
  • Store coupons that scan as a “cvs mfr coupon”

It’s sometimes hard to predict how two types of coupons will scan: purchase-based coupons (e.g. $4 off $20 purchase) and some magic coupon machine coupons. Most of the time the purchase-based coupons with be “cvs coupons,” but it’s not always the case. Magic coupon machine coupons usually scan as a “cvs mfr coupon” for brand name items, (e.g. Nexxus, or Simple, or Revlon), but there are exceptions.

CVS Percent-off Coupon FAQs

How can I get this coupon? These are most often sent to your email. Therefore, you must connect your ExtraCare card to an email address at cvs.com and “opt-in” to receive emails. They usually send them on Thursdays. Not everyone will get them every week. On a rare occasion you will find them on your receipt, from the magic coupon machine, in the weekly ad, or in special information booklets.

Is it better to print it or send it to your card? There are advantages and disadvantages to either method. In my opinion, sending it to your card is the best way to encourage the cashier to use it. If you send it to your card, you will get a CRT with the coupon information on it when you scan your card at the coupon machine. At checkout, it will prompt the cashier to ask you if you would like to use your coupon or not.

Printing it out at home gives you better control when and how it is applied. Nothing is more disappointing than forgetting you had it loaded, dropping in CVS for a soda and having it used up on that transaction, instead of the elaborate couponing trip you had planned for the next day!

Whichever way you choose, you should send it/print it the last day it’s valid (unless you want to use it sooner). The coupon expiration date is 4 days after you print it. So if you print it the last day, you’ll gain additional time to use it.

How many times can I use this coupon? Each coupon is one-time use only.

My store wouldn’t take the coupon because I had items earning ExtraBucks. What can I do? Ask them nicely to scan it and let the programmed register decide. Since it’s ultimately up to the store, you may be out of luck! However, don’t give up. Try another store! Or add something to your transaction that is regular price, like a $0.33 cent caramel. If the cashier/manager lets the coupon be scanned, they will see that the register automatically applies the percent-off to all qualifying items. Then they will either learn a lesson about the coupon or they will try to adjust it. If that happens I would void the transaction and try a different CVS. Hopefully, it doesn’t go that far; most cashiers will allow you to use any coupon as long as it doesn’t beep.

The percent-off coupon didn’t work! I was expecting it to take off $5, but it only took off $2. What happened? Make sure the other coupons you used were not any of the types that will reduce your total before the percent-off discount is applied (see above).

Thanks to The Krazy Coupon Lady » CVS for this great post!

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Weekly Menu Planning

A delicious-looking meal

Image via Wikipedia

Have you ever came home from a long day at work, kids nagging and you have to get dinner ready? You look in the cupboard and refrigerator and you have no idea what to do. I have been in this situation many times in the past, but I had to take control of the situation. I was spending more money per week, whether it was buying ingredients I needed at the last-minute or buying take out. I was spending more than $500.00 per month because I wasn’t planning  what to do for the week.

Living in a city where basically time is money, you have to move at a fast pace. Every bit of time is precious and a little planning can go a long way. First, take out some time on the weekend, or before the start of your work week and plan out what you are going to cook that week. Write down for each day the meals you are going to do each day. Also, it is helpful if you write out the ingredients you are going to need for each meal. Next confirm you have everything you need for all the meals, if not make a list of the items you need to buy to complete the meals. You can begin to prepare the meals on the weekend also to save more time during the week. Whether its cutting up vegetables or seasoning meats, you can do these things and place them in freezer bags, label the bags with the day you are going to use them and place them in the freezer.

The less you have to do when you come home from work the more relaxing your evening will be. Since I don’t have to rush to get things done when I get home, I am able to spend more time with my girls. Real quality time because I am stress free and the girls really appreciate this. It took me a while to get used to having a plan and sticking to it. I still have moments of weakness and order out, but it’s not like before where more than $500.00 was being spent monthly!

Talk to you later…… 😎

Bx Che@psk@t3 <—Like us on Facebook
@BxCh3apskat3 <—Follow me on Twitter

If you like this post, please consider sharing….BxChe@psk@t3….HAPPY SHOPPING 🙂
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Newspaper subscription

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STOCK UP PRICES

If you are new to couponing, you might not be aware of when items are at their rock bottom prices. It takes time to develop a working knowledge of when to stock up on an item. Last we spoke about price books and their benefits. Now we are going to use those prices to analyze what the lowest price was for an item over time. Every store differs a little, so it is best you perform your own analysis after a couple of weeks of price entries into your price book. Here is an average from all the stores I shop at, but this does not mean that I have not seen the price go lower.

GROCERIES

Bread  Free – $1.50
Brownie/Cake Mix/Flour Free – $0.75
Butter (1lb) $2.00
Vegetables (Can) $0.25 – $0.50
Soups (Can) $0.50
Cereal $0.75
Granola/Cereal Bars $1.00
Cheese (1lb) $2.50
Cheese (Shredded) $1.00
Chocolate Chips $1.00
Coffee $2.50
Cornstarch $1.00
Corn Syrup $1.00
Cookies/Crackers $1.25
Eggs (Dz) $0.99
Frozen Pizza $2.00
Ice Cream (1/2 Gal) $1.25
Jelly $1.00
Juice (64oz.) $0.75
Mac & Cheese $0.50
Oatmeal $0.99
Oil (1 gal) $1.50
Olive Oil (1 Gal) $6.50
Pastas Free – $0.75
Pasta Sauce $0.50
Peanut Butter $0.75
Soda (2Liter) $0.69
Soda (12/Pack) $1.25
Sugar (5lbs) $2.00
Yogurt (Single) $0.25

MEATS

Ground Beef (1lb) $1.59
Boneless  Chicken Breast $1.50
Whole Chicken (1lb) $0.59
Chicken Quarters $0.79
Thighs/Drumsticks $0.59
Turkey $0.89
Pork Chops (Boneless) $1.89
Bacon $.099
Cod Fish $1.59
Salmon $1.49
Shrimp (Raw 1lb) $1.99
Tilapia $0.59

HEALTH & BEAUTY

Toothpaste Free
Floss Free
Mouthwash $0.50
Shampoo/Conditioner Free – $0.99
Shaving Cream $0.50
Razors Free
Body Wash Free – $0.99
Body Lotion Free – $0.99
Toothbrush Free
Face Wash Free – $0.99
Deodorant Free
Makeup Free – $1.49
Contact Lens Solution $2.50

BABY

Shampoo/Conditioner Free – $0.99
Diapers (Jumbo Pack) $2.50
Baby Wipes $1.00
Diaper Rash Cream $2.00
Baby Formula (25oz) $12.99

HOUSEHOLD

Laundry Detergent $0.99
Fabric Softner $0.99
Dryer Sheets $0.25
Toilet Paper (per roll) $0.10
Dishwashing Soap Free – $0.39
Sandwich Bags (50 ct) $0.75
Garbage Bags (10 ct) $0.99
Bleach (1 gal) $0.79
Cleaning Solutions $0.99
Paper Towels (per roll) $0.25

OFFICE & SCHOOL

Markers (10/Pack) $1.00
Colored Pencils (12/Pack) $1.00
Scissors (Full Size) $1.00
Binder $1.00
Stapler $2.00
Paper (ream) $0.50
Correction Liquid $0.50
Permanent Markers (2/Pack) $0.50
Highlighters (2/Pack) $0.50
Child Scissors $0.25
Pencil Pouch $0.25
Filler Paper $0.25
Note Pad (Post its) $0.50
Tape Free
Composition Notebooks $0.10
Pens/Pencils $0.25
Crayons (24/Pack) $0.25
Pencil Sharpener $0.10
Compass $0.50
Index Cards $0.25
Paper Clips $0.25
Rubber Bands $0.25
Spiral Notebooks $0.25
Glue $0.10
Rulers $0.05
2-Pocket Folders $0.10
Pencil Cap Erasers $0.10

In no way am I finished with my list, this just what I have compiled so far. This is the average between all the stores I shop at. I have paid less than I stated in many instances, but I wanted to list the maximum price I would pay at any given time. These prices are achieved by combining clearance sales, sales cycles and coupons; when all used correctly you can cut your shopping budget in half.

Use this only as a guide. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment.

Talk to you later…… 😎

Bx Che@psk@t3 <—Like us on Facebook
@BxCh3apskat3 <—Follow me on Twitter

If you like this post, please consider sharing….BxChe@psk@t3….HAPPY SHOPPING:-).

 

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THE BENEFITS OF A PRICE BOOK

Last week I wrote about the benefits of having a stockpile. The benefits were not only in weekly savings when I shopped, but I was also fully stocked and ready for Hurricane Irene. In order to get the benefits of huge savings at the checkout, you must know when an item is at its rock bottom price. To know what the rock bottom price is at your stores, you have to compile a price book. I compiled more than one because each store has different prices and they tend to have different items on sale at different times. You do not have to be as detailed when starting off, its best to work with two (2) grocery stores and (2) pharmacies until you get the hang of it.

A price book takes several weeks to assemble, buts its benefits are invaluable. The book contains a chart of the weekly sales prices for your stores. Every week you go shopping, take your notebook with you and jot down the price of an item you buy frequently. Over time, you will see a pattern developing, showing when the item is at its lowest price. Knowing when an item is going to go on sale helps you prepare to stock up. Knowing sales cycles, clearance sales, special promotions, and combining them with coupons will help you score loads of groceries for little out of pocket, if any at all.

Talk to you later…… 😎

Bx Che@psk@t3 <—Like us on Facebook
@BxCh3apskat3 <—Follow me on Twitter

If you like this post, please consider sharing….BxChe@psk@t3….HAPPY SHOPPING:-).

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BENEFITS OF A STOCKPILE

Hotcouponworld Member Mi5zonsn1 gets her groce...

Image by Hotcouponworld.com via Flickr

How’s is everyone doing in light of the storm? How are your preparations coming along. Since I have been stockpiling for some time now, my preparations are very minimal. When I first began to stockpile, my mom was wondering where were we going to store all that food. I prepared a pantry in my laundry as to keep everything out of sight. I received jeers for looking “retarded” with all that stored food and household items.

How foolish do I look now??? I have everything I need for the hurricane and I have to buy is milk and bread. How sweet is that, while everyone else is doing big shopping trips expecting the worse, I’m in the express checkout lane with less than 10 items!!! Having a stockpile enables you to be prepared when you least expect it as well as cutting down on your grocery bill. The benefits of having a stockpile are numerous, so why don’t you start your stockpile today. I did, and now I can relax with the kiddies while we await the arrival of Irene.

STAY SAFE EVERYONE AND HAPPY SHOPPING:-)

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WHY USE COUPONS

For many years I’ve had my weekly shopping circulars delivered to my house but, like many, I would discard them without glancing at anything inside the little package. The same went for the Sunday newspaper, I would discard all the inserts, since to me it was all a waste of time, paper and money. As the years went by and I came to be more in control of the family finances, I had to find ways to save money and still be able to feed my family. It was getting harder and harder to feed everyone and pay all the bills which kept rising, while our pay remained the same with no prospect of increasing. I began researching methods on how to save money, live “ghetto fabulous” and still be able to enjoy everything this city has to offer. As I drew up our family budget, I noticed that I was spending around $1,000.00 on groceries and household items for a family of 5 every month. YIKES!!!  I almost fell out of my chair as this outrageous number looked back at me; I was hoping this was an error and the correct, lower number would appear at any moment.

This was a wakeup call for me and I knew I had to find ways to save money on groceries and household items. I was amazed to see their were communities of people that dedicated themselves to blogging on how to use coupons effectively in cutting down spending budgets in half. Knowing that I can get $300.00 worth of groceries for $100 or less got me involved in couponing immediately. The notions of stockpiling at first were daunting but slowly as my stockpile grew, I understood the concept.

Coupons are available for just about everything and can be found everywhere. When learned how to use correctly, coupons can be used to lower the price of an item 50 – 75%, maybe even more! The ultimate goal of a couponer is to use a coupon to purchase an item at rock bottom prices. You don’t have to wait for “Black Friday” sales to get a good deal. More than likely you can get the same sale price or even better throughout the year using coupons without having to stand in line at 2AM.

It’s only been a couple of months, but I have been able to cut down my grocery and household budget down to $450.00 a month and I’m still trying to reduce that number even more.  I know I’m setting the bar real high but with a little penny pinching and planning it can be done.

Please feel free to post your comments on how you started couponing or if you plan to start and need help on how to begin.

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HOW AND WHEN TO USE COUPONS

Coupon Accordian

Image by bargainbri via Flickr

Now that you started to clip and organize your coupons, the next step is knowing when and how to use them. When I began clipping coupons, I couldn’t wait to use them. I wanted to see how it all worked and if any problems would arise in using them. I was very nervous as many people think it is embarrassing to use coupons. I have to admit I was one of those persons. I went to the supermarket after 10PM, to make sure the least amount of people would be looking at me using the coupons. I only saved $10.00 on a $200.00 shopping order but I kept using the coupons. I was not discouraged by the low number in savings. As the weeks went on, my savings increased until I now get many products for free. [Read more…]

ORGANIZATION OF COUPONS

Coupon Accordian

Image by bargainbri via Flickr

Now that you started collecting your coupons, where do you put them? There are many ways to store your coupons but the trick is to have them at hand when you need them. When you don’t organize them or set up a system, you tend to forget to use them. When they are not organized you can miss deals because you can’t find the coupon you need. This happened to me a few times when I started couponing months ago. It took me a while before I found a system that worked for me. [Read more…]

UNDERSTANDING A COUPONER

Have you ever listed to two couponers discussing a shopping trip and.or strategy. It’s as if you traveled to a whole other county and you don’t understand one word of the language. The following is a list of terms that I have found useful in learning how to coupon correctly: [Read more…]

Where to Find Coupons

There was once a time where coupons could only be found in the newspaper but nowadays coupons are virtually everywhere. It may seem daunting and intimidating when one does not know where to start looking for coupons. Today, we use printed coupons, e-coupons and recently there has been a rise in stores using mobile coupons. There are many places and resources once can tap into in order to get coupons without having to spend a penny.

The first and most common way to get coupons is in your Sunday paper. The local papers with the largest circulation numbers tend to have the best coupons. Consider having the Sunday paper delivered to you as a subscription is usually cheaper than buying the paper every Sunday at the grocery store. It is a common coupon practice to purchase a newspaper per family member in the home. [Read more…]

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