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Posted on April 15th, 2015 by Freebie Felicia

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Common Coupon Lingo 101

Posted on April 15th, 2015 by Coupon Cathy

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Couponing is a great way to save money, even if you aren’t an extreme couponer. There’s nothing wrong with paging through the weekly ads and clipping out coupons for the items you need! However, if you decide to try to stretch those coupon dollars a bit further, you might go online to see how others do it—and end up totally lost. The first time I visited a couponing site and saw a phrase like “Bogo w/ mfr coupon,” I thought for a moment that my toddler had changed the language settings on my computer again. Here are a few of the most common abbreviations you may run across when couponing:

BOGO – Buy One Get One. Pay attention to what comes after this phrase—oftentimes it’s “buy one get one free,” but stores are commonly switching to “buy one get one half off.”

Blinkie—Those little dispensers with the blinking lights that dispense coupons in the middle of the grocery aisle, often in perfect reach of a child in a shopping cart who will happily pull out all the coupons you will ever need, are referred to as “blinkies” because of the blinking lights.

Catalina—You know when you buy two things at the grocery store and are taken aback when the cashier hands you a mile-long receipt of coupons? Those coupons come from the “Catalina” machine; hence, they are often referred to as “Catalinas.”

eCoupon—In this day and age even coupons are digital! If you often shop at a grocery store that has a loyalty rewards card you swipe whenever you check out, visit their website. You can often download coupons to your card, so when you swipe your card at check out, those coupons are automatically applied without you having to cut out anything. It’s convenient AND eco-friendly!

MFR—It looks like a terrible disease but is actually an abbreviation for “manufacturer(‘s coupon).” These are coupons offered by the product manufacturers, for instance, Kraft or L’oreal, as opposed to specific stores, like Safeway or Target.

 


The Frugal Life Is A Family Life

Posted on April 15th, 2015 by Freebie Felicia

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Family is important to most people. We do what we do to take care of our family and give them the things that they need. Being frugal can help give our families some of the physical needs and also helps us to meet their needs for time together.

We Prioritize Family Time

A frugal family takes the time to save a dollar, but doesn’t always chase a dollar. Sure, we clip coupons, work on gardens and crafts, but we can do all those things with a family around. We work hard at our jobs, but at the end of the day we don’t feel compelled to stay there to make a little extra money. Going home becomes our habit rather than money hunting.

We Do Frugal Things As A Family

The thrifty family likes to do things from scratch. We cook and bake from scratch. We make gifts rather than buy them. We even fix our own cars. Then we make sure that we teach our children how to do the things that we can. That means the two year old is in the kitchen helping pour ingredients in a bowl and mix. Teenagers learn to do their own laundry and darn socks and sew on buttons. This all comes from watching mom and dad do these things. In fact, throwing things out rather than fixing them becomes a foreign concept to them. Parents have taught them to fix things and make them last longer rather than waste money to buy another item.

Money Spent On Family

As a frugal family we worry less about the basic needs of our family. All our bills are up to date and our house payment or rent is paid. We buy things outright and nothing can be repossessed. When we do have money to spend often we spend the money on a family outing or trip. We camp together, go to amusement parks together, or just have movie nights with pizza and popcorn.

 


Where to Find Coupons

Posted on April 14th, 2015 by Uncategorized

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So you want to get on the couponing bandwagon? I don’t blame you, once I got about ten cans of air freshener for about ten cents total after applying tons of coupons (with multiple children and pets, air freshener is always appreciated). But you might be wondering where on earth people get all these coupons. After all, you only get coupons once or twice a week in the mail, but people march into stores with files stuffed full of coupons. Where do they come from?

The Mail—As you probably know, coupons are sent a couple of times of week in the mail. Most come in the Sunday newspaper, but oftentimes some arrive along with weekly ads in the middle of the week. Notice your neighbors immediately tossing their ads in the recycling bin without even looking at them? If they’re approachable, try asking them if you can have their extra ads!

In Stores—Stores often have plenty of coupons scattered about their aisles. Current ads are often displayed in the front of the store with coupons attached. Coupons can be found attached to little displays throughout the aisles, either on tear-away pads or little dispensers. Some stores have seasonal booklets of coupons in the pharmacy or at the customer service desk—take a peek next time you walk past one of those departments!

Online—In this day and age, many stores put coupons online. It saves them money and is eco-friendly. These coupons can either be printed at home for you to cut out and bring into the store, or are digital. Some digital coupons download to your specific store rewards card you show for fuel points, etc., when you check out. Some digital coupons can be scanned directly from an app on your phone or tablet—make sure that screen is bright and your battery is charged!

eBay—Yes, some people actually auction off and buy coupons on eBay. You can buy entire inserts or just a few of a certain coupon you really want. Just be careful to not spend so much on buying the physical coupons that you completely negate any savings you are trying to make.

Where else do you get your coupons?


Planning To Save Time and Money

Posted on April 14th, 2015 by Freebie Felicia

Planning

Planning has many benefits. It keeps us on a calm, organized, and on schedule. We know what most of our days will bring and gives us a sense of security. It also saves us time, resources and stress.

Saving Time

Saving time doesn’t just save time. It save money. It gives us the time to spend with our children and to do the things we actually want to do. Tools for time management can be very expensive. They can also be free. A good example is that many email accounts come with a calendar that then can break down your day. Some even have the weather built into your daily calendar check.

It’s good to know what the weather will be like the next day so that you can plan appropriate travel time into your schedule. It’s also important to check traffic patterns before leaving for work. You may find you need to leave early or take another route to work. This can keep you from wasting gas, sitting in traffic, and getting to work late even though you left on time.

Recurring Appointments

Plan for wellness check ups, doctor’s appointments, and regular car maintenance in advance. On the day of your appointment schedule the next appointment. In doing so, you know that expense is coming months in advance and you can start planning for it months in advance rather than at the last minute.

Meal Plans

Having a grocery list ensures that you have food in your home. Having a meal plan ensures those ingredients come together to create a meal. You can have a strict plan that follows a day by day menu for your meals. You could also have a soft plan where you have all the ingredients for certain recipes, but you still choose which recipe to use today rather than earlier that week or month.

Planning your meals ahead also gives you a better chance of making healthy meals. You can look up recipes and check nutritional value and calorie content. A good website for this is sparkpeople.com. It has all the recipes and meal planning tools in one spot.

 


Free Subscription to Shape Magazine

Posted on April 14th, 2015 by Freebie Felicia

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New Printable Coupons!

Posted on April 14th, 2015 by Coupon Cathy

If you need more savings, check out these printable coupons!

$2.00 off Loreal Paris Butterfly Intenza Mascara $2.00 off any 1 Quilted Northern Ultra bath tissue $1.00 off any 1 Quilted Northern Ultra bath tissue Buy 3 Hamburger Helpers, get 1 ground beef free $0.75 off any one (1) HERDEZ Cooking Sauce $0.50 off HERDEZ Tortilla Chips or Salsa product $0.75 off one (1) HERDEZ Cocina Mexicana Bowl $1.00 off ONE Gillette or Venus Disposables $1.25 off ONE Olay Hand & Body Lotion $2.00 off TWO Pantene Shampoos or Conditioners $1.00 off ONE Crest Pro-Health Advanced Toothpaste $1.25 off ONE Olay Fresh Collections Body Wash $1.25 off ONE Olay Body Wash Twin Pack $0.25 off ONE Ivory Body Wash OR ONE 3 Bar $5.00 off Adult Zyrtec 24-30ct or Childrens Zyrtec $0.25 off ONE Bounty Paper Towel $2.00 off any ONE (1) OxiClean Laundry Detergent $2.00 off TWO (2) ARM & HAMMER™ Detergent Paks $1.50 off Irish Spring Signature™ for Men Wash $0.50 off ONE Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats Cereal


Before You Check Out…

Posted on April 13th, 2015 by Coupon Cathy

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I noticed I started doing this terrible habit about the time my first child was born. In my sleep-deprived haze I realized I would throw completely random items in my shopping basket that SOUNDED like a good idea at the time, and then I’d get home and wonder why I thought I needed three cans of pomegranate-scented shaving gel to begin with. Sure, I’d eventually use them, but there was really no reason to have spent the money on three cans right then and there. So now, after I get everything on my list and have wandered through a few more aisles and am ready to go check out, I stop and go through every item in my basket and ask myself these questions:

Was this item on my list? Yes? Was it on the list because we needed it? Yes? We’re good.

Do I really need this? For example, sure, lipstick is on sale for a crazy deal right now but do I NEED a fourth shade of brown lipstick? It sounds thrifty to preemptively buy something when it’s on sale, but if I’m not going to run out of lipstick for another six months, do I need to buy it right now or can I wait for another sale in the future?

Is this something the kids randomly threw in the basket while I wasn’t looking? Back it goes.

If I’m buying this because I had coupons, did I bring the coupons with me? If I forgot the coupons, or if my infant ate the coupons when I wasn’t paying attention, is this something I really need right this moment or can I wait to buy it until next time, when I remember to bring my coupons?

If this is something I decided to buy because someone else (friend, family member) had it and it looked neat, can I borrow it from that person first to see if it even works for us before buying my own? Can I get a used one in good condition for cheaper elsewhere?

It’s amazing how much you can put back and never miss just by pausing to think for a moment before checking out! What other questions do you ask yourself that help keep your impulsive spending in check?


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