The Coupon Blog

This page is going to be full of resources and couponing tips to get you started.  Please check back on a regular basis for new tips, pages and weekly recaps :)  We will also be playing games and having fun!  Be sure to scroll to the beginning of the blog and read what you may have missed! 

A Thanksgiving to remember and SAVE!

posted Nov 19, 2012, 12:47 PM by Rebecca Marko   [ updated Nov 19, 2012, 7:20 PM ]

Hello all! 'Tis the season to save some money!  I don't know about you but I LOVE the holiday season and Thanksgiving is one of those that means a lot to me.  However, it is also one of those days that can really strain the budget.  However, this year, I will give you tips on how to feed your whole family for less than the average dinner at a fast food joint!  

First some tips...Do your research.  Look at your store adds and read the fine print.  Sometimes you can score some deals without coupons!  I did a trip to Raleys and purchased a whole Thanksgiving feast to donate to a local family and get this, WITHOUT any coupons from the Sunday paper.  All I did was load up some offers onto my Raleys "something extra" card  and then looked at their deals.  I got a 14.5lbs turkey, stuffing, veggies, fresh yams, fresh potatoes, dinner rolls, cake mix, cranberry sauce, and gravy for under $25! 

Then, I did some price matching for walmart and found that if you print out some coupons online, you can do a HUGE feast for under $15 ($20 before the butterball rebate). Here is a wonderful blog with a list of the Thanksgiving coupons online that you can print up and match to the sales http://frugalliving.about.com/b/2012/11/04/thanksgiving-coupons.htm

Some tips....
Fresh potatoes and yams are often cheaper than buying the boxed or canned versions!  plus a lot healthier.  
Frozen veggies are often cheaper than canned as well.  
If you want to get fresh veggies instead of canned or frozen, do your research online and see what is on sale and is it worth making the drive.
The turkey is another thing to consider.  Fresh, unfrozen turkeys are often more expensive, however, stores will often run specials.  Frozen will be the cheapest, however, we are almost to the point where it will be a bit too late to thaw them out in time. 
And Finally, ENJOY your holiday season! All too often, we are rushed and don't just sit back and enjoy it! Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!  

Groceries online??? Say what???

posted Nov 7, 2012, 4:48 PM by Rebecca Marko

How has everyone been?  If you are followers on Beckthecrazyhousewife.com. you will learn that things have been super busy and crazy around here at our house!  Unfortunately, since July, I have been down for the count because of a Lisfranc  (foot) injury and now nerve damage....So, as a addict to saving money, I have taken up the hobby of shopping online because, I LOVE my wonderful husband, however, a stack of coupons often makes him a bit bonkers.  So, I have been saving buying many groceries and gifts online!  As well as using some local delivery businesses to help me save money! 
Lets start with groceries! 
So, did you all know that you can buy groceries online, use coupons AND get it delivered for much cheaper than you can in stores?  AND eat healthy at the same time?  I will say, you won't save quite as much as some extreme coupon trips, but you can save enough to make it worth the while, PLUS, you don't have to leave the house, so that will save time and gas! It's a win win situation! Healthy??? ONLINE???  Why YES!  In Reno, we have an amazing delivery company that will deliver fresh organic fruits and veggies TO YOUR DOOR for an amazing price! It's called Basket Case organics (basketcaseorganics.com) It's a locally owned business here that will save you time and money!  Every week, you get a "weekly basket"  It will come with a list of fruits and veggies and you log into your account and make changes to the weekly basket list to fit your tastes and they deliver it to your door!  The owner is really nice and has been such a huge help! You will be given an assigned delivery day and all you do is leave out the previous weeks box and they will put a new one with your order in it!  you can choose from three sizes and it can be delivered weekly or every other week.  Be sure to tell them that Beck, the coupon lady sent you! 
Next is morning star milk! They are also a locally owned business that delivers Model Dairy milk and other dairy products to your house.  YES!  a good old fashioned milk man!  You call in your order weekly or set up standing orders and the wonderful Dave leaves it on your porch for you to wake up to!  For more information and delivery areas, check out morningstarmilk.com 

Okay, OKAY, I know that you can't live off of just fruit, veggies and milk, so what about the other stuff???  Well, thats where online shopping comes! my favorite online grocery is Amazon.com!  I buy my dish soap, laundry soap, toilet paper, paper towels, nuts, jerky, diapers (when my kids were in them many moons ago) and well, pretty much anything non-parshable!  There are several blog out there that will post amazon deals, or if you know your prices, just go and take a took around!  AND guess what, you can use coupons and you don't even need the sunday paper and you don't need to clip them!  The P&G coupons are loaded onto the amazon grocery system go to http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=2231352011 and you can see the coupons that they have!  Now here is the fun trick, When you order something that you use often, like diapers, dish soap, laundry detergent, shampoo, cat litter and what not, you can do the "Subscribe and save" feature.  That will save you 5% off each order, and it will be shipped automatically on the set timeframe.  You can cancel or change it at any time.  The best part, FREE SHIPPING if it is from amazon.com and also over $25!  IT comes fast and you can't beat some of the prices!  They have some awesome ales and closeouts as well at http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_link_365860782_21?ie=UTF8&node=2235819011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-4&pf_rd_r=1MYWAACBDDG8G813TJPB&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1411355562&pf_rd_i=909656.  I even got our halloween candy from amazon!  I love it and it will save you lots of time and money!  Please take note that often times it is very large quantities, so think costco.  

There are more stores as well!  CVS.com has some great deals, as well as walgreens.com for your drug store needs.  The best part is, almost every major online store has a wonderful deal blogger out there and all you need to do is a quick google search to find the current deals.  So for instant google "amazon.com grocery deals" and you will find several bloggers with whats going on!  It's a win win!  

Thank you all for being so awesome! Happy shopping! 

You don't need to be extreme to save money!

posted Apr 4, 2012, 1:53 PM by Rebecca Marko

Hello couponers!  So, you want to get started but you don't want to make it a part time job clipping coupons, THATS OKAY!  Everything adds up!  even if you grab a few coupons each time you go shopping will add up, as long as it is something that you always purchase.  So lets say you always buy a bag of cat food, a bag of dog food, cheerios for the kids, and charmin toilet paper.  Those are something that you ALWAYS pay full price for.  Well, those coupons are very common, so just take the time to clip those out and just throw it in.  Wow, I saved $5, BIG DEAL, right?  well, if you do that four times a month, thats $20 saved a month, and in a year that is $240 saved......It all really does add up, and obviously, you can do much more....I promise, you will start to see the savings!  

a fun way to make some money, donate to charity and have fun :)

posted Jul 9, 2011, 8:58 AM by Rebecca Marko

Okay, I am not talking about being the next millionaire or anything, I am talking about making a couple of dollars here or there, getting the chance to donate it back to charity, OR even getting the chance to try out new products, including clothing!!  Sounds like fun, righ????  You should check out Croudtap.com It is a really almost addicting page where you can answer questions, then you are given the chance to do "actions" which sometimes include free products.  You earn points and money!  The plus is, if you sign up now, you get $1!!!  wahoo fun!  You get to pick your own charity, I picked susan G. Komen, in honor of my mama who is on her second battle with breast cancer.  Anyways You all should join up and join the fun!!!!


Girls125x125

FREE FREE FREE DISHWASHER DETERGENT!!!!!

posted Jul 3, 2011, 2:36 PM by Rebecca Marko   [ updated Jul 3, 2011, 3:15 PM ]

If you purchased today's PG saver, you will notice that there is a $1 off Cascade dish washer detergent....WELL, at Walmart, they have these cute 3 pack trial size for 97 cents each.  SO, you make 3 cents off of each one!  pretty darn awesome if you ask me :)  

This is what I got from walmart today for $8.89!!!




How to get started without being TOO overwhelmed.

posted Jun 30, 2011, 10:44 AM by Rebecca Marko

The thought of clipping coupons and getting started may seem a bit overwhelming!  Yes, I understand!  When I started a few years ago, I was totally doing it the WRONG way!  I would use a coupon at the wrong times and leave frustrated because I figured I would save more than I did.  

I wanted to link you to an amazing webpage, the Krazy Coupon lady.  She has a great tutorial on HOW to become a couponer in 10 days!  http://thekrazycouponlady.com/beginners/
Read it through.  I do have my own set of tips that I would like to share to go along with her wonderful getting started page.

Tip 1, It WILL NOT happen over night. It personally took us a good month or two to REALLy see the savings.  Once you get a stock pile going, you will start to see the savings.  My "stockpile" is based on if my family can use it in 3 months, then buy it, if not, donate it.  I don't want a room full of stuff that I won't be using any time soon. 

Tip 2, Visit your favorite brands online or even call them.  Many brands will have their own personal webpages and many of the times you can find savings on their page, or a place where you can sign up to receive special offers.  If you don't see those areas, give them a call.  Yes, I know, seems a bit extreme, but really it does work sometimes.  Call them  and tell them how much you enjoy their products and would like to know how to get more savings.  Some will drop some coupons right in the mail, or some will put you on their mailing list.  Mom's with babies, a lot of baby companies will do this as well!  babies are expensive, lets face it!  so this is a great way to help you out!

Tip 3, SHOP AROUND!  I can't say this enough.  Just because you have a coupon, does not always mean you should use it.  Let say you have a coupon for $1 off BLAHBLAH (made up the name, lol can you tell) deodorant, the blahblah deodorant is on the shelf for $4.99, so after the coupon it would be $3.99.  WELL, there is your regular brand on sale for $1.99.  Buy your regular deodorant!!! It is cheaper even without a coupon.  However, I must admit, I have not spent over 50 cents for a deodorant for years :)  but 90% of the time it was free. lol.

Tip 4, Take your time!  I spend about an hour a week, sometimes two. planning my shopping trips and seeing what stores to shop at.  I won't drive to the other side of town just for a small amount of savings, however once a month I plan the across town trip where I do a mass shopping trip.  Normally a Sunday after church the kiddos and I do a loop around down for savings.  Some days I will hit 5 stores.  Yes, those kind of days, I will spend 3-4 hours shopping, but those are the days I save $200-$500!  So worth it!  Plus I try to get a whole months of food!  

Tip 5, (FOR RENO ONLY) look into getting your milk, produce and veggies delivered.  It will save a lot of money and also your family can eat healthy.  With that said, there is a common rumor going around that couponers don't eat healthy.  If you say me on the news, yeah, I am not a size zero but I have had a lot of health issues.  HOWEVER, I am a crazy food mom.  I don't like my kids eating bad foods.  I try to feed them mostly organic foods.  When I buy pasta, 90% of the time it is whole wheat, only organic veggies/fruit, Only have dairy that is not treated with hormones.  THat is why Morning star distribution (they deliver only model dairy) and basket case organics have been amazing.  The best part is, MUCH MUCH cheaper than store!  If you go  to my Hello Reno page (there is a link to it on the right hand of this page) 

Tip 6. A penny saved is a penny earned.  There are times you need stuff that is not always on super sale.  Lets say dishwasher soap. I have a tuff time find super awesome deals with them.  You can almost always find coupons for $0.35-$0.75 off coupons.  Well, when it is $4 for a small bag, it really does not seem worth it. WELL, Just remembers you were already paying $4, so the $0.35 will add up.  I promise.  Lets put it this way, I use generally 40 dishwasher tabs a month, which would be two small packages a month.  If I used two $0.35 coupons off a month That would be a $0.70 savings, after a year that would be $8.40.  Now that is just ONE item.  Lets next do laundry soap.  Normally $9 for a small bottle of the name brand detergent.  You can almost always find $1 off coupons.  For a family of 5, I use 3 bottles a month.  SO, that is $27 a month that I WAS saving. If I use 3 of the $1 off coupons.  that would be $36 savings a year!  Well, with those two items alone that is a $44.40 a year savings.  That is without finding them on sale at all.  If you start adding in store sales along with those savings, you can double or even triple those savings. Just imagine the savings that you will have if you do this with ALL of your normal every day purchases!

Tip 7, HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!  If you make it a chore, you won't like it, but if you make a fun game out of it, it will make it so much easier.  SO SO much fun.  You will soon start enjoying the savings!  If you could save $2000 a year on groceries, could you imagine what you can do with that money???  Pay off debt??  trip to Disney land?  It makes the extra work much more worth it.

ANyways, Good luck with your new couponing adventures. As always, I am always here to answer questions!!  just drop me an email at nevadamommiesmeetup@yahoo.com



 

You have question??? I have answers!

posted Jun 29, 2011, 9:12 PM by Rebecca Marko

Wow, what a fun time that I had tonight at KTVN Channel 2 news!!!  It was a lot of fun answering phone and getting to talk to some of yoU!  Thank you for calling in.  I have also been getting some emails from views as well and I must admit, I am having a blast answering them!  I did want to share a few questions that I received.  I am going to copy and paste my responses :)  If you missed the segments, you can find them here


So here we go,

Lori asked what stores that I like to shop at
 I LOVE CVS for beauty, heigein, and medical stuff.  The catch is, CVS does have a limit on items, however, you can generally get the same thing the next month.  

Target for cleaning and house hold stuff.  I love that you can stack target coupons with manufactures coupons. PLUS they have the $5 gift card specials as well.  

For groceries, I go to a combinations of safeway, scholaris and walmart.   I do hit smiths every now and then too, however, I am pretty far from all of them, so it has to be a BIG sale to get me to drive to them. 

For milk/dairy I get it delivered from Morning star (MUCH cheaper than stores)  http://www.morningstarmilk.com/ the owner is named cliff and if you tell him beck the couponer sent you, he will get a kick out of it. 

For fresh produce, I get it delivered by basketcaseorganics.com  also much cheaper than organic produce.  

If you check out http://thekrazycouponlady.com/  she does some awesome match ups for every store in Reno BUT scholaris.  She also had a whole data base of printable coupons that you can go to.


Peggy wanted to know if we donated our expired coupons. 

YES!!!  You can donate your expired coupons to members of our military. They can use them 6 months AFTER they expire!  Please email me if you would like the contact info.

Danielle wanted to know how to get started


We are planning our next coupon meet up on July 12th.  We are still debating on a location, but I will keep you updated.  If you have location suggestions, they will be appreciated. For now, here is a link to my resources on my blog 
https://sites.google.com/site/couponwithbeck101/what-s-going-on if you scroll to the bottom it has some easy tips.  Also, here is a list of my favorite webpages 
  Our next meet up we will have a 101 chat, a coupon swap, and then we will go shopping, so that is always a fun thing to do and a great learning too.  It will be a lot of fun. 

These are just a drop in the bucket of questions that I received today, but I hope that they will help some of you out.  
If you want to submit a question, please email me at nevadamommiesmeetup@yahoo.com

HAPPY COUPONING!!!!!  

What is coupon fraud????

posted Jun 20, 2011, 7:05 PM by Rebecca Marko

Yes, Coupon fraud has become a huge problem since, more so now that coupons are becoming more and more popular.  Some may not even know what they are doing is considered fraud.  So that is why I wanted to post a few examples of it. So I am making coupon fraud tips.

Tip 1 ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS read the fine print on the coupons.  Some coupon language 101, some coupons say "limit 1 coupon per purchase"  that means that you can use just ONE coupon for the ONE item that you are buying.  If it says "limit 1 coupon per TRANSACTION" that means that you can only use 1 coupon per each transaction that you make.  Now some (more recently) will say "limit 1 coupon per purchase, limit of 4 like coupons per transaction"  That means that you can only use 4 of the same coupons per each transaction.

Tip 2, Buy what the coupon states.  So if you have a coupon for $.75 off a box of blueberry frosted mini wheats and you use it for a box of regular mini wheats, that is FRAUD.  Yes, it may scan and work, but the store risks loosing payment and us couponers get another "ding" in our reputation. So like tip #1, read your coupons well!

Tip 3, Just say NO to photo coping those coupons.  When you print coupons from the internet, most times they are given unique numbers.  So if you were to say have a $1 coupon for a candy bar that you found online (score!) and you REALLLLLLLLLY want a stock pile, so you go to a copy machine and run 25 of the same printed coupon, go to the store and buy 25 of the candy bars, you walk out of the store with 25 candy bars, and when the store goes to get their money for the candy bars, they end up only getting payment for just one of the $1 coupons. So you just stole $24 worth of merchandise and yet again, us couponers will get yet another "DING" in our reputation.  

Tip 4, DO NOT alter the coupon in any way, including changing the expiration date, amount, or bar code.  That will void the coupon and the store will not get payment.  "DING"

Tip 5,  Coupon fraud IS a crime!  YES, you can be charged with it!  A worst case scenario is up to 17 years in prison and up to $5 million in financial penalties. However, the common sentences are 3-5 years in prison and $200,000 in financial penalties.  Do you REALLY want to risk it? 

So lets keep those "DIngs" in coupon reputation low and remember these simple rules! 




A Sunday paper or 10 Sunday papers????

posted Jun 16, 2011, 3:07 PM by Rebecca Marko

I get asked often where I get most of my coupons from.  I get 80% of my coupons from Sunday papers.  I check http://www.sundaycouponpreview.com/2011-sunday-coupon-insert-schedule/ each week to determine how many papers I will be purchasing...So, For example, when the P&G, Smart source, and Red plumb coupons will be released, I will buy 10-15 papers.  However, If it is just one of the inserts, I will buy 2-5.  SO, this Sunday Smart source and Red Plumb are scheduled to come out, so I will be purchasing 6 papers. On July 3rd, there will be NO coupons that weekend, so I will be purchasing no papers.  Why so many papers you ask?  Well, coupons often have 30-120 days until they hit their expiration date.  So, I have time to wait for good sales, OR, I use 3-4 at a time (if allowed, always read your store's police and the back of the coupon carefully).  So an example, last week when I went to Scholari's, they had salad dressing sprayers on clearance, I had coupons from February that were about to expire that I was holding onto for a good deal.  WELL, I got the salad sprayers for $.49 each!  Without clearing the shelves, I was about to get my family some awesome dressing.  We are huge salad eaters here, so this was an awesome find. 
So for every $1.50 Sunday paper that I purchase,  I save on average $50-$300, so yes, that is HUGE!  I joke because I once added up the amount of coupon values in my binder and I have well over $15,000 worth of coupons in there.  No, I won't use them, but I think that is why my binder makes me feel all powerful!  
Anyways, good luck coupon shopping!!!! and remember those Sunday papers! 

Beck's couponing 101 :)

posted Jun 15, 2011, 12:31 PM by Rebecca Marko

Beck's couponing 101

Okay, so let me first admit that I have a very messy and unorganized case of OCD. Yeah, seems like an oxymoron, but really That is just me. Lets just say, I am an odd person. Anyways, I have had several friends ask me how I do my couponing. I am far from the extreme couponers that you see on TV. I see no need to have 350 cans of soup, or 1100 tooth brushes. I buy what I know my family will need and will use OR something that a charity could use. I don't have a crazy stock pile, a more reasonable one. So, my way of doing it is a bit more mellow :)





It starts with the Binder :) I use a three ring binder that I got for $0.25 on a before school sale. Natasha decorated mine for me! pretty darn cute??? huh? 


It is the kind of binder that has the outside clear pockets, In those I keep register rewards, catalina, and a pair of scissors. 


I then purchased 30 plastic sleeves for whole papers. I can't remember their technical names, sorry. 
I have two major sections and then subsections in my binder. In the front of it I have my loose coupon area that are then divided into thirteen sub sections....



Body stuff (tooth paste/brushes, body wash, soap, shampoo, deodorant, etc)
cleaning/house stuff (laundry soap, cleaning stuff, , etc)
office/electronics (batteries, ink refill coupons, paper)
Medicines (vitamins and other meds)
non-perashable foods (pasta, sauce, rice, chips, etc)
perishable foods/freezer (milk, eggs, ice cream)
Cereal (Yeah, I know it is a non-perashable food, but I use these the most, so I thought they deserved their own space)
Pet stuff (dog food, cat litter, cat food)
paper goods (paper towels, toilet paper, paper plates)
eating out (lots of fast food coupons, that we almost never use)
coupons for coupon train (normally pads, diapers, and stuff I don't use but others can)
OTHER (toys, clothing, etc)

Then in the back I have the complete non-cut adds from the papers. I put all of the smart source, red plum, p&G papers and what not in their own pocket.


I have 8 broken down boxes of crest tooth past in one because they each had four coupons on the inside for stuff I actually use, so they got their own pocket! 


I normally get 2-6 Sunday papers, depending on how good of coupons that they have. When I run out of empty pockets, I just put the newer smart source over the older and so on. That way I always know where they are. When they get so cut up that they are falling apart, I then just finish clipping the coupons and putting them in the front of my binder into the clipped coupon sections. 


Are you confused yet???? Okay, I am sure you are.

Now when I plan for a trip I check out several coupon sights (like Krazy coupon lady, Link on the right side of my blog) and also the store pages and make out a long list. I normally I will make lists for two or three stores at once. 
I get a blank envelope. My mother in law gave me a stack of return envelopes a while ago and these are my best friend! Anyways, I write my list on one side and place the coupons inside. 


That way they are all together. Then I bring another envelope that I place the coupons into as I get the items into my cart. That way I don't accidentally give the cashier coupons that I ended up not using. I reuse the same envelope four time because I write my list in several areas :) 
Now, to make my trips more fun, I normally bring a kid with me. They love it when they get to go shopping with mommy one on one. plus they almost always know that they get a special treat :) It is normally the kids that put the coupons in envelope #2 


when I put the item in my cart. They love it. :) Today, Isaiah was my date! He got to eat lunch at Target for his treat! 



SO, that is how a Crazy Beck does her shopping :) I hope I did not fully confuse you and you can get a glimpse of my chaos :)

happy couponing :)

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