Let me start by saying I love coupons!! Don’t let the title fool you. But I only believe in certain types of coupons, not traditionally food coupons. I don’t coupon for many reasons. I think extreme couponing shows are absolutely ridiculous, rigged, and fake. No one can score those kind of deals without some higher power allowing them to do so or with the power of “help”. I’m sorry, but there is no such thing as “healthy” couponing. Most of the good, fresh, healthy foods do not need a coupon because the value is in the product. Coupons seem to be only available for junk food that will just add inches to my thighs, my behind, and we can’t have that now can we ladies!!! Not only that, is it not good for our children, my son being a severe ADHD and medicated cannot eat a lot of pre-packaged and processed foods. So this eliminates a lot of coupons for me right off the bat. Couponing also takes up a lot of time and energy that I just don’t have at the end of the day. I’m a working mom and have never been an at home mom, so my time is sparse and very limited. I use my time wisely and it definitely does not involve couponing, however I do coupon when I can as long as it’s effortless.
Mailers: A good example is that I do browse through the envelope mailers that you get I think once a month called ValuPak. They are full of hundreds of coupons from local vendors and businesses in your area and often times it’s a new restaurant or a hair salon. You will often find really good deals in here but other than that it’s basically home improvement stuff and beauty regimens such as massages that I just don’t need. I often get coupons for $6 haircuts or BOGO at a restaurant in these.
Community Boards: Often times there will be a community board that random customers can put coupons or even business cards with deals on them.
Loyalty Cards: You can find business card trays that often have reward cards or buy 10 get 1 free they’re also called loyalty cards. I use these a lot for places I go quite frequently. I have one for Subway, hair cuts, Vitamin Store, and some mom and pop restaurants.
Manufacturer Deals: I visit websites of manufacturers I DO buy from and see if they offer any coupons for the stuff we consume. I do not do this to “try” something as that sometimes leads to a waste of money. But I will keep on top of things I need and that we eat often. Jenny O Turkey is a great example!
Service Coupons: I do this for every service related item that I need for things like oil changes, new tires, detailing, landscaping, etc. I will not pay full price for oil change or any service on my vehicle including tires unless I have a coupon to reduce my bottom line. Just last year I got a brake job done on my car, I replace the front brakes and with my coupon my front brakes only cost me $49 dollars because I went online to the website and downloaded the coupon. But there’s always a little catch. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment with online coupons because they often state stipulations in the fine print. My brake job deal of $49 was valid with an online appointment only.
Price Matching: I will often price shop for things I want and seeming vehicle maintenance and repair are often “price matched” it isn’t really that hard. I make a spreadsheet using Excel of different automotive or service retailers or even electricians or whatever the job that you’re looking for maybe and I list them out. I call each one and ask them the price for getting that service done or obtain that item and if they will price match any of their competitors. Depending on these answers depends on which retailer gets my business. Now mind you, I will not go to a rinky dink store or go to the ghetto to get a service that I need or even go to a dump to get what I want. I am picky and I will go to name brand places like NTB, Just Brakes, Jiffy Lube, etc. I just choose which name brand wins my business.
In Store Incentives: Look out for these! I’ve seen it become more and more popular with social media. I read flyers or look in the plastic holders within those businesses every time I go inside. They are often by the doorway or near the register. For example, I went to a Quick Kar to get an oil change one time and they had an 8 x 10 flyer at the register that stated if I joined email club and like their Facebook page I would get $5 off my oil change. So I did both got my oil changed and paid my bill saving $5.
Reward Cards: ok, granted they clutter up your purse, but I simply have one key ring that I keep in the back zipper pouch of my pocketbook and it’s in the same spot every time. I use the CVS and Walgreens app on my phone to keep track of my reward cards. Often times you will receive free ExtraCare Bucks to use as “free” money towards your next purchase.
Survey Panels: The CVS Panel is a great way to earn extra ExtraCare bucks. You earn them by simply taking surveys about their service, the facilities, their business practices, and their programs. Your opinion counts so why not get paid for it!! Just like the survey I took today on the program and my opinions regarding that program. At the end of the survey I got emailed a $5 ExtraCare buck coupon! Hello……..Free Money!
So I do a lot of saving, leg work, but I will not sit endlessly clipping coupons for crap. I use them when I’m able, price match, use reward cards, in store incentives, and online surveys ONLY for things I use or places I shop frequently at. I earn my money and I work damn hard. So why not do a little extra to keep what you’ve worked for. Price gauging is becoming more and more popular these days as owners get cocky or greedy. I take control and I dictate where I go and from whom I purchase.
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