Sons are a heritage from the Lord. Psalm 127:3

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How to Coupon Shop, Save Money, Plus Much MORE!!!!

Many of my friends and family members have been asking me "how do I get such great deals" and "Where do you go to get all your coupons"! That's a great question! I usually do not have the time to tell everyone all my secrets, but your in luck. My MOPS group from church contacted me last week asking if I could compile a list so I could share all my tips on how I save money. I have added a few more items to my list this afternoon that I didn't remember to add earlier. :)

I would like to share some great websites that I have found very helpful this past year in helping me with all my coupon shopping and fabulous finds! I have saved hundreds of dollars for my family with taking just a few hours each week gathering all my coupons and matching them with store ads to help save as much money as possible. I encourage you all to try it and see how much you can SAVE!!! Coupon shopping may sound a little intimidating at first, but as you continue to see how much you can save, it almost becomes addicting!

Here are a few of my favorite websites I follow daily. They keep me posted on all the current coupons available & great deals to be had: This is a great site to go to if you are new to coupon shopping. It’s free and she explains all the info. you need to know on how to coupon shop, keeping organized and many more helpful tips to get started. Join A Full Cup and get instant access to hundreds of grocery coupons. This site is FREE to join and it will help you locate any coupons you are looking for.

The next three websites are coupon inserts found in your Sunday paper. Whole Foods now finally has printable coupons.

P&G Everyday Solutions- Sign up to receive Proctor & Gamble coupon booklets by mail & to print out coupons.

Home Made Simple- This is another coupon booklet you can sign up to receive, which gives you great coupons for cleaning & toiletry items. They sometimes have high dollar coupons.

Note: Most coupons allow you to print them out twice per computer. Just hit your back arrow button. To get more coupons, you would need access to another computer. These websites are for downloading e-coupons right to your store card without the hassle of clipping coupons. Just register your store card and once you download the coupons, they will deduct off your total immediately.

Vons- You can click on the link directly to Vons website to upload e-coupons directly to your Vons Club Card.

Stacking Coupons- You can stack coupons at Vons, Target & Walgreens. What is stacking coupons? It means you can take a store coupon and combine it with a manufacturer coupon to either get that item for FREE or at a very low cost! I LOVE when I can stack coupons. J I’m not aware of other stores that offer coupon stacking, but I know these 3 stores do from my own experience!

Internet Coupons: Most stores accept Internet coupons, as long as they are not photo copies! I have never had a problem with any store not accepting my coupons. One time, I actually had so many coupons that caused the register to beep and it wouldn’t accept anymore coupons without the managers approval. It was funny, but the cashier couldn’t believe my total when it was all said and done. My bill was $96.00 and my total only came out to $9.60.

Meal Planning: Another way to save money is by looking at the grocery store ads and planning out your menu for the week. Between shopping sales and using coupons, you can cut your grocery bill in half. It also saves you time and takes away the stress of not knowing what you will be making for dinner each day. We lead busy lives with our family and keeping up with our kiddos, so I have found that menu planning is the best thing I could do to not waste time, money or food! This website is great to get recipes for meals for $5.00 or under. Of course, we are always trying to stay within budget for meals and this is a great way to save money, but making great tasting meals as well. This website is dedicated to making only crockpot meals. I love using my crockpot, especially when I'm in a time crunch. This site pretty much has any type of crock pot recipes you are looking for. Crockpot cooking is great when you are in a time crunch or a working mom/dad. This is one of my favorite food websites that I go to often. I have tried many of her recipes and I have LOVED them all. Most of the recipes are made from scratch, which I find I like homemade stuff much better than store bought! This website is a great one to use if you are looking for coupons for dining out. You can purchase $25.00 gift certificates for only $10.00. That's a great deal, but let me fill you in. They often run 80% off, where you can get $25.00 gift certificates for only $2.00. That's a HUGE savings. I would recommend signing up for a FREE account, so you will keep updated with all there specials. They do have restrictions for each individual restaurant, so please make sure you read it carefully! My hubby and I partake on this for our date nights. :)

Signing up for E-Club- You can sign up with many different restaurants which offer either a free meal or dessert on your birthday. Places whom I know participate in this are: Red Robin (free burger), Cold Stone Creamery (free ice cream), Baskin Robbins (free ice cream), Mimi's Cafe (free breakfast entree), California Pizza Kitchen (free b-day meal for kids), Tahoe Joes (free appetizer), T.G.I. Friday's (free appetizer or dessert). I would highly recommend signing up all your family members and enjoy some free food and perks!

Contacting Manufacturers: If you are wanting coupons for some of your favorite products, all you need to do is either call or email the company directly and most likely, they will be happy to send you coupons. I have done this several times and I have received many generous coupons from the manufacturers. There contact information is usually listed on the back of the product near the bottom.

Understanding the Coupon Language....Welcome to Coupon World!!!!
by: My Frugal Adventures (I thought this might help)

BOGO or B1G1: That is a Buy One Get One sale. I usually spell this out so it is clear.You might occasionally see B1G2 which is just a Buy One Get 2 free sale and so on....
FAR: Free after rebate! If an item is $2.99 and you can send off a rebate for $2.99 that item is FAR. We also love to combine FAR items with coupons to make a little profit (and cover the cost of the stamp!).
SS/RP/P&G: This simply refers to my good friends the coupon inserts (which you will find in the Sunday paper). Each insert is from a different company Smart Source, Red Plum and Proctor and Gamble and they change from week to week. You can see exactly how to tell the difference HERE..
OYNO: On Your Next Order. This is usually used in reference to a catalina coupon. Often times if you get a catalina coupon or a gift card (like at Target) you can not use it on the same transaction- you can use it OYNO.
Catalina: I have a much longer explanation HERE but basically a catalina is a little coupon that prints at the cash register. It can be an actual coupon or it can be for a dollar amount off your next transaction. Catalina is simply the name of the company that makes these machines. You will ALWAYS want to check the catalina machine at your stores because you never know how much money you are leaving on the table by forgetting these little papers.
Peelie: This is a coupon that is stuck to the front of an item and can be peeled off. You can see an example of a peelie HERE- see the little sticker that says Free? These are usually coupons but can also be rebates.
Blinkie: The little machine you might see at the grocery store that spits out coupons. Grab the blinkies when you see them. They are typically available when an item is at the highest price. Just hold those blinkies for a sale!
MQ: Manufacturer coupon.
OOP: This is your out of pocket expense. We are always trying to reduce the OOP by using gift cards, rebates, Register Rewards, store coupons etc... The bottom line is to keep your money in your pocket!
Rolling: This is when you use a gift card or catalina to pay for another transaction and get yet another catalina. For example, if you buy 2 boxes of cereal at Target and get a gift card for $2 back- you might want to "roll" the gift card by buying 2 more cereals- use the gift card to pay and get another gift card and on and on.
Stockpile: This refers to whatever you are able to stock up on at dirt cheap (or free) prices so you don't ever have to pay full retail again. You might have a stockpile of 6 boxes of cereal that you bought with coupons and a sale for .25 a box. Since you have multiple boxes you never have to pay $3 or more for cereal again since you have enough on hand to get by until the next sale.
Stacking: This is when you use a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon. For example, you can use a Target coupon for a specific item as well as a manufacturer coupon on the same item (so 2 coupons for the same product) to double your savings.
MIR: This is a mail in rebate offer.
TMF: A type of rebate that allows you to Try Me Free. So the manufacturer will refund your full purchase price- often times you can also use a coupon and still get reimbursed the full retail price of the item. This is different than a Money Back Guarantee as that rebate requires you to be dissatisfied with the product to get your money refunded.
Register Rewards: The catalina program specific to Walgreens. Read more about it HERE.
WAGS: Walgreens.ECBs or EBs: CVS's store program. Extracare bucks are awarded for specific items you purchase and can be used like cash on virtually anything in the store. See my CVS posts HERE and HERE.

So the bottom line is what does this mean:
Kellogg's Cereal $1.50
Use $1.50 from 8/9 SS
Final Price: FREE

That means to go look in your Smart Source coupon insert from the weekend of 8/30 and cut the coupon for Kellogg's for $1.50 to get your free cereal.

Online Shopping: Another way you can save money, is by going through Ebates or Shop At Home to get a percentage of cash back on your purchases. It's free to join and all you have to do is log into your account, go to the specific store you want to shop at and you will receive money back on your purchase. It's simple and what a better way to save money on something you would already buy anyway.

I hope all this information is helpful in getting you started on your way to saving LOTS of money! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email me at

Happy Coupon Shopping! ~ Jessica Wilhite


  1. Thanks Jessica! This is very helpful and I am sad I missed this MOPS!

  2. I'm a friend of Sara's and she directed me to your blog. I coupon shop as well. Thanks for the sites...some of them are new to me! Here are some sites I use as well:


  3. Thanks Diane! I will check these sites out! It's always nice to have fellow coupon shoppers share sites that are very helpful. :)