Monday, August 31, 2009

New To Couponing? How To - Part 1

I am a relative "newbie" to couponing compared to some out there, as I have only been "saving" for about 6 months. However, there are a few essential tips I have learned along the way that I feel are worth repeating for any other newcomers to the coupon world!

STEP 1 - Get Coupons!
One important thing you need to know first is the difference between a "Manufacturer" coupon and a "Store" coupon. Manufacturer coupons are accepted at any store that takes coupons and sell the product you are buying. Store coupons are good only at the specific store printed on the coupon. There are some stores (for example, Wal-Mart) that take competitor coupons as well.

Now, where do I find coupons? There are several outlets for getting coupons, here are a couple of different ways I get mine.

The Sunday Paper: The Sunday paper always has valuable coupon inserts each week, between 1 and 4! A lot of bloggers out there subscribe to up to 5 Sunday papers per week. Personally I have found that I don't need that many. I subscribe to 1 paper and if one week is particularly full of coupons I head to a store and pick up a couple more. I am also lucky enough to have family members that save their weekend papers for me.

I mark the date on the front of these inserts, cut the coupons I know I will use right away and then file them away until I find a deal I can't pass up!

Printable Online Coupons: There are several websites out there to get free printable coupons online.
A few of the main sites I go to are:
I also have found that a lot of companies have printable coupons available on their websites as well. For example, has several printable coupons available for their products. If you have a certain brand of an item you like, I recommend checking out their website to see if they have any coupons available and sign up for their newsletter too.

Most companies offer an e-newsletter that you can sign up for through your email. Most of the time those newsletters can contain valuable coupons! For example, when you sign up for the Kohl's e-newsletter they will send you an introductory coupon for $5 off any $5 purchase!! Now just a tip on the newsletter thing, use a different email account for these unless you want a million emails in your main inbox every morning! I set up an account specifically for receiving newsletters.

A lot of the time you can find coupons at the grocery store! There are those little "blinkie" boxes that have manufacturer coupons, you can save these and use them at a later date or a different store to pair it up with a sale! "Peelies" are coupons stuck to the packaging of products for instant savings. These can be good only at your store or a manufacturer coupon good at any store. "Catalina" coupons are those coupons that spit out at the register after you have paid for your purchase. Catalinas are only good at the store printed on the coupon, unless your store accepts competitor coupons.

So - now that you know where to find them, start saving and organizing them! Stay tuned for an upcoming post on how to maximize your savings at the grocery store!

Monday Madness! What $6.45 Bought Me Today!

This morning I made a run to Safeway for the hot Kashi cereal deal and Albertson's to use my doublers from Sunday's paper! The above photo is what I got for $6.45! I saved over $30 by using my coupons and matching them up with a sale! Here's how I did it!

4 Boxes of Kashi Honey Sunshine @ 3.99 per box
1 Box of Kashi Seven Grain Puffs @ 3.99 per box
1 Bounce Dryer Bar @ 5.46 (on sale for 4.99 + tax)
Total before coupons: $25.41
-$5 instant savings for buying 5 boxes of Kashi Cereal
-$2.50 Bounce coupon (Thanks to Vocalpoint!)
-$2.00 Free Box of Kashi coupon (Vocalpoint again!)
(3) -$1.50 off 1 Kashi Honey Sunshine coupons
$1.00 off any Kashi Cereal coupon
Total After Coupons and Discounts: $2.96!! I got 5 boxes of Kashi for $0.10/box!

2 16oz. Bottles of Coffee-Mate Creamer @ 2 for $4.00
1 6-Pack Danimals Yogurt Smoothies @ 2.99 (Naomi LOVES these!)
1 Package of Barilla Whole Grain Pasta @ 1.50 (Making Spaghetti on Tuesday this week)
Total Before Coupons: $8.49
-$1.00 off any 2 Coffee-Mate Creamers (blinkie box next to the creamer in the store)
-$1.00 off any Danimals 6-Pack (8/30 Smart Source Coupon Insert)
-$0.50 off any package of Barilla Whole Grain (8/23 Smart Source Insert)
-$2.50 using 3 Doubler coupons
Total after coupons: $3.49!

This week I decided to start using the "envelope" system for my weekly grocery budget. I am really trying to hammer our grocery bill down as low as we can get it each week and I think that this is greatly going to help us out!

So the envelope system is where I put a certain amount of cash in an envelope at the beginning of the week (I have chosen Sunday as my 1st day, your 1st day will have to be up to you!) and then use that for my groceries each time I shop. Once it's gone, it's gone and I will need to improvise the rest of the week. Alternatively, if I have money left over, it will transfer over to the next week and so on. That way if I might have a large purchase the next week, I'll have some extra wiggle room.

After looking over what I have been spending each week on groceries for the last few months, I have decided to challenge myself by only putting $40 in the envelope each week. We will see how that goes over the next couple of weeks and see if I need to up it to $50. Each family is different so if you are going to try this out with me, figure out what your family can realistically spend on groceries each week. A family of 2 or 3 is going to spend less than a family of 4 or 5, don't be too drastic and give your family of 4 a budget of only $30 per week on groceries, especially if you are new to couponing.

So are you going to try this with me? Each weekend I will try to do an update on my weekly budget and purchases! You can leave a comment to let everyone know how you did also!

Want to read more about the envelope system? Money Saving Mom did an excellent post on setting a budget and using this system HERE.

Good luck getting started and let me know how it goes!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

FREE Barnes & Noble Gift Card Promotion

From now until September 30th, 2009, receive a free $5 Barnes & Noble gift card when you buy $15.00 worth of participating products from Hain Celestial brands. (This includes Earth's Best Sesame Street!) -or- receive a $10 gift card when you send in $25 in receipts!

GO HERE for a list of participating products and the redemption form.

You must send in your receipts and the form by 10/07 to receive the gift card. *Promotion does not include Earth's Best baby food jars or cereals.

Earth's Best Sesame Street toddler foods are on sale at Whole Foods this week so it would be a great place to stock up on some snacks, soups or microwave meals! Go Here for a $1.00 off 2 coupon for the Earth's Best Sesame Street products.

Don't Forget to Get Your Sunday Paper!

Hey Folks, Sorry for my absence these past few days! We had a very successful garage sale Friday and Saturday! So it's been a little busy around here but we now have a "clutter-free" garage!
Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that if you do not subscribe to the Sunday paper that you should go pick one up today!

There are at least 2 (3 in some regions) coupon inserts in today's paper! This is one of the main ways that I get my coupons every week! If you don't subscribe and want to get into couponing, this may be a great time to sign up! Most papers will allow you to subscribe just for the Sunday paper as well.

There is also an Albertson's flyer in today's paper that contains 3 doubler coupons! These are great because you can use them to double the value of any manufacturer coupon up to $1.00 each and you can use 3 per transaction at any Albertsons! These "Twice the Value" coupons are good today through Tuesday so don't forget to plan a trip in the next couple of days!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Yard Salin' Today and Tomorrow

Hey Everyone!

I just wanted to check in and say that I hope you have a lovely weekend! We are in the middle of our big 2 day neighborhood yard sale so posting will probably not happen until Sunday unless I find a smokin deal that I can't wait on!

So until then.... Take Care!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Gone - FREE Organic EOS Lip Balm!

**Update** The 50,000 lip balms have been given away, but you can still go there to get a $1.00 off coupon!

GO HERE to request your free Sweet Mint EOS Lip Balm Sphere!

They are only giving away 50,000 and these will surely go quick so do it now before they are all gone!

Thanks Deal Seeking Mom and Money Saving Mom!!

2 Awesome Giveaways!

I just recently won a $25 Famous Footwear gift card from Money Saving Mom! Here are a couple great yogurt giveaways that you can enter!

- Stretching A Buck is giving away a YoBaby Prize Pack this week! Go Here to enter!

- The Good Deal Gal is giving away a Yoplait Whips Prize Package! Go Here to enter!

Good Luck!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Various Printable Coupons and Freebies

- Sign up Here to print a coupon for $1.00 off any pint of Starbucks ice cream! These are SO yummy!

- Go Here to request your FREE sample of Honey Nut Cheerios + $1.00 off coupon!

- Go Here for 3 fabule$$ coupons from Honest Tea!

- Go Here to sign up for 2 Coffee-Mate Creamer printable coupons! (If you go through as much creamer as we do in our house, these come in very handy!)

- Sign up Here for a bunch of coupons from Organic Valley, including $1.00 off any gallon or 1/2 gallon of organic milk! There are also coupons for eggs, cheese and butter!

Have you found any great coupons or freebies around the web? Feel free to leave a comment or email me!

FREE Car Wash Tomorrow!! All Brown Bear Locations!

Go Here for a complete listing of all the Brown Bear car washes participating tomorrow. No coupon needed! It is to celebrate their 52nd anniversary!

8am to 8pm Tomorrow only!! (8/27) Lines will probably be long so plan accordingly.

So go grab a car wash after you eat your free taco from Taco Del Mar!

Taco Del Mar - FREE Taco Tomorrow, 8/27

Go Here to send a friend an e-card in honor of National Forgiveness Day and they will receive a printable coupon good for a free taco tomorrow, 8/27!

Although your friend may need to forgive you for being stingy and sending the coupon to yourself!!

Thanks Deal Seeking Mom!

SAFEWAY (8/26-9/1) Hot Cereal Deal Going on This Week!

Here is the best deal I can see at Safeway this week, great week to stock up on cereal, especially with school starting again soon!

Buy 5, Save $5 Instantly - Mix and Match Sale
Many cerals are on this list including: Kashi, Cheerios, Kellogg's Mini Wheats and Corn Flakes, and Post Honey Bunches of Oats.

Coupon Match-Ups for this Promo: (Prices below are assuming you buy 5 and reflect $5 discount)
**Remember you are allowed to use coupons for the cereals making most of them cheaper than $1 per box! Also note that you are allowed to print two of each online coupon. Most of the time you can just hit your browser's back button to trigger your printer again.

Kashi Whole Grain Puffs $1.00
$1.50 off 2 printable coupon
Final Price: $.50 for 2 boxes!

Kashi Go-Lean Crunch $2.00
$1.50 off 2 printable coupon
Go Here to join the "Kashi Community" and print a coupon for $1.50 off any Kashi cereal after you sign up.
Final Price: $0.50 - $1.25 per box depending on which coupon you use!

Post Honey Bunches of Oats $2.00
$2 off 1 printable coupon
Final Price: FREE

Cheerios $1.50
$1 off 2 printable coupon
Final Price: $1.00 per box

To view more of Safeway's deals and coupon match-ups this week, check out The Good Deal Gal's post Here! Thanks!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Beech-Nut - Free Starter Kit

I usually sign up for as many newsletters as I can, a lot of times you will find that newsletters will contain valuable coupons and freebies! I have a separate email account for newsletters so that I don't get a million emails in my main inbox every day. (For Example: samsnewsletters (at) hotmail (dot) com)

Right now, you can sign up HERE to get a free starter kit from Beech Nut. If you have a little one that is just beginning solids or have a toddler that is already on solids, this will be a great to sign up for as you will get a kit in the mail and a monthly e-newsletter with coupons!

Even if you don't have the need for baby/toddler food this would still be great to give to a friend or neighbor with little kids!
Thanks to Stretching a Buck!! I guess you can also call 1-800-523-6633 to request your free Beech-Nut Parents Pack! (8am-5pm CST) I am going to call to get mine now!!

TARGET Printable Baby Coupons!!

Target recently released a bunch really great coupons for baby items!

I love Target because you are able to use 1 manufacturer coupon + 1 Target coupon PER item! There have been several occaisions where I have gotten things for free or almost free at Target!

Go Here for the coupons. (no print limit!)
Then go check out the Krazy Coupon Lady's post about this deal with a complete listing of prices and match-ups for these coupons!

If you are a Huggies fan this would be a great week to stock up! At the Redmond Target last night I noticed that the large boxes of Huggies were a "Special Purchase" this week and if you buy two boxes you get a $5 gift card*. If you buy two boxes to get the gift card and use (2) $1.50 off 1 Target coupons and (2) $1.50 off 1 Huggies Coupons you can get these for a smashing deal! With the gift card that is a savings of $11 on diapers!
*Please note, this deal may not be at every Target, please call your store before making a special trip to confirm the promotion.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Super Cheap Baby Wipes at Walgreens!

From now until 8/31 you can get tubs of Huggies Baby Wipes at Walgreens for .99! Plus, you can get them for even cheaper if you have any coupons for Huggies wipes! ($0.50 off 1 coupons for these were in the 7/19 and 8/16 Sunday paper Smart Source coupon inserts.)

Even without the extra coupon these would be cheaper than Costco wipes. (Costco wipes are $.02/wipe and these would be just slightly cheaper at 0.015/wipe or even cheaper if you have the extra coupon!)

Find out more information on how to get this great deal here!
Thanks Stretching a Buck!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Albertsons: 6 Pack Arrowhead Water for $0.37!

This weekend Albertsons is having a 3-day sale! (Friday-Sunday)

6-Packs of Arrowhead water are on sale for $.87 each, Go Here for a $1.00 off 2 coupon and get these for $0.37 each!!
**Check your Sunday papers to see if there are any "Twice the Value" coupons this weekend. If there are then this will be an even better deal if you buy them on Sunday. (You can double your manufacturer coupons up to 1.00 each with these coupons!)

Buy 4 - 6 Packs of Arrowhead Water - Total: $3.48 Before Coupons
Use 2 (1.00 off 2) coupons
Use 2 Twice the Value Coupons
Total after coupons: -0.52! (24 Bottles of Water for FREE!)
*You will need to purchase another item as well that is worth at least $0.52 as Albertsons won't let you have a negative total.

I don't have confirmation that there will be any doublers in the paper but even if there aren't any this will still be a great deal at $1.48 for 24 bottles! I'm waiting until Sunday to shop just incase though!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Heading to the mall this weekend?

Here is a list of the best deals I can find for retail stores this weekend:

Gymboree is having their "Circle of Friends" event for back to school, use this Printable Coupon for 30% off your ENTIRE purchase! Or use the code: GYFAMILY for online shopping! **This discount works on sale and clearance items as well, this would be a great time to stock up on clothes for next summer!

Go here for $20 off a full priced purchase of $20 or more at Ann Taylor! (Thanks Money Saving Mom!)

Use this Prinable Coupon for a free lip product with any purchase at Bath and Body Works! (Thanks Coupon Cravings!)

Victoria's Secret - Free Supersoft Panty with any full priced purchase of a Body by Victoria Bra. (Thanks Stretching a Buck!)

Printable Natural & Organic Product Coupons

I try to feed my daughter as organically and naturally as possible, but most of the time organic food can be very expensive. If you are in the same boat as I am, you should add Mambo Sprouts to your favorites list. They have natural and organic printable coupons available for free and they update about once a month or more.

My favorite this week is .75/1 32 oz. Santa Cruz Organic Juice!

FREE Chocolate Today!

Happy Friday!

Go Here to sign up for a coupon for a free candy bar today only. Every Friday morning through September Mars is giving away coupons for free chocolate! The promotion is limited to 250,000 coupons per Friday, so go now!
*You may sign up with the same email address once per week, and it is limited to 4 per household for the entire promotion.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thank You Vocalpoint!

I got another sweet surprise from Vocalpoint in my mailbox today! It was a sample box of Kashi's new cereal called, "Honey Sunshine" and 6 coupons (one of those was for a free box!) that I plan on saving for a future sale and possibly get a lot of free or almost free cereal! The cereal is very yummy and healthy too! (6 grams of fiber/3 grams of protein!)

This is my 3rd freebie that I have received from Vocalpoint in one month just for being a member! First I was able to try out a free Bounce Dryer Bar, (they just came out this month and I can tell you 1st hand that they work and are awesome!) and they sent me some coupons for future purchases as well. I also received some coupons for Rice Krispies. (1 free box + 5/1.00 off coupons) I paired those coupons with a sale and ended up with 5 boxes of Rice Krispies cereal for FREE! I made a TON of Rice Krispy Treats for our camping trip a couple of weekends ago and they went over very well!

If you are not a member of VocalPoint yet, go here to sign up for free. They have a ton of great household tips and they will send you little surprises in the mail just for being a member. The only stipulation is that if you like what you try, you tell your friends about it, simple as that! Enjoy!
I know my daughter, Naomi, loved trying out the new cereal!

Welcome To My Fabule$$ New Blog!

Hello! Welcome! I am SO excited to have started this blog to bring to all of you the best deals and freebies I can find!

Over the next few weeks I am going to be doing some lengthy "How-To" posts to get you all started with couponing and show you how I pay very little for my groceries each week and often even get them for FREE!
I will also be doing a few posts about how I make extra money on the internet!

So start saving those coupons you find and coming up soon I will show you how to use them to get the best deals possible!

But for now, let's get started with a great deal going on that doesn't require the use of any coupons before checkout!

Albertsons is running a Kraft Promo: Between now and this Sunday (8/23) - Buy $25 in select Kraft items & get: a $5 Catalina Coupon (good on your next purchase) AND a $20 Mail-in rebate form.

That means $25 worth of FREE groceries!

*Both the coupon and the rebate form will print out at the register after you pay.
*Catalina - This is a coupon that prints at the register after you have paid for your groceries.
** Please Note: Offer not vailid in all states. Please check your store's local ad for confirmation.