Tuesday, October 4, 2011


October 5, 2011

Once I finally decided I do this last week I started searching for information on modern couponing. The very first thing I did was set up an email address that would be used strictly for couponing, rebates, freebies and sweepstakes(yes I do sweepstakes too, and when I was doing them on a regular basis I won a lot of small prizes). Very little personal information was listed on this email and the subsequent facebook and other websites I signed up for.

I’ll write another time about the freebie lists and doing sweepstakes, for right now couponing and rebates are my main theme.

My reasoning for this was that this project had the potential to create a lot of junk mail. I did not want my personal email account to be flooded with such junk mail. But then I tend to have separate emails for all my different activities (genealogy, mystery shopping, chat groups, bill payment etc). I find keeping the different activities in separate emails with sub folders in each email address for automatic filtering makes my email reading a LOT easier. I can do a bulk delete on themes I’m not interested in very quickly that way. Gmail is great for creating various email accounts.

Once that email account was set up I started to do my research for help in getting into modern couponing.

First I went to the ever trusty yahoogroups looking for a “how to” group. For the first time yahoo failed me. Oh there were lots of groups, with 1-5 members and little to no activity. I joined one, posted my intro as requested and was never even acknowledged.

Next stop facebook. JACKPOT, the very first one I found was Couponingtodisney.com . Boy did this one strike a cord with me. After all part of my need to coupon is to get back to Walt Disney World as soon as possible. I signed up for this group and found their website to contain everything I needed to know to get started couponing.

Another great site I found was coupondivas.com . They too had a lot of great info. Between these two I found so much info I stopped my search right there and started studying all the steps to be a successful extreme couponer.

Before I had a chance to study both sites as much as I should it was time to purchase a Sunday paper and an All You magazine, which I did. I read later I should have purchased the paper in multiples of two and on my first trip saw why they said to. But last Sunday I only purchased one. It was a jackpot of a coupon mother lode. Between that single paper and the one magazine I acquired over $300 worth of coupons. I know from my past experiences that it won’t always be so, but for me it was the perfect Sunday to buy my first paper.

I spent much of Sunday on the sofa reading the newspaper and magazine so they could be cut up. The paper then went down for my “no-no” kitty who misses the litter box all too often, but always hits the paper or feed sack if we have a clean one down by the box. From what I saw in news content for the paper that was a very appropriate use for it.

The magazine, once butchered, went into the recycling sack. By the way this magazine was also an excellent source of how to information, complete with recommended websites and a $1 coupon for a truly how to magazine by them that I plan to pick up as soon as I locate a copy.

Then I filed the coupons I had cut from the two to familiarize myself with what ones I had.

Once that was done I started on reading the various sale ads and trying to decipher what would be my best purchases for my $100 budget allowance for the week.

I slowly made out a list of what I thought would be my best buys for the week, but I wasn’t pleased with how little I was going to save at first. Remember my long term goal is to have a decent, but not extreme, food storage system, paid for with as little money as possible and to be debt free in as short of time as possible. I am very impatient about those goals, I’m not getting any younger.

Back to the web and more studying. The girls on both of the afore mentioned websites had match ups listed and explained how certain stores allowed a stacking of coupons of sorts. This lead me to internet coupons, which I consider to be my most likely source since I cannot subscribe to just the Sunday paper in my area and I have no desire to have newspapers stacking up daily in my corner. That just might be too tempting to Amy Jo, the no-no kitty.

So next I went to my mypoints account to print coupons. This is a bonus place to print internet coupons. If you aren’t familiar with mypoints it basically is an online company that you get points for clicking on ads, doing internet searches, answering surveys, doing purchases on line, and printing and using internet coupons to get points to redeem for gift cards.

My personal favorite gift card is a $50 Wal-Mart gift card, which we in turn use to get $.03 off per gallon (sometimes up to $.05 off) to purchase fuel for my truck. Mypoints is free to use, if you would like more info please leave me a message and I’ll send you a referral (you really don’t need one to join, but I get bonus points if I refer you). I like saving $50 out of my fuel budget!

Back on facebook I have started “liking” various companies, restaurants, and product webpages of places we normally visit or items we normally use. These will often net you money off or free item coupons. Again I use the coupon only email address for all of this.

Not all the stores I was considering using had inserts in the Sunday paper. So using my mypoints tool bar I google searched for the webpages of the various stores I was considering for shopping. This helps get me toward my goal of x amount of searches per month for more points. The number of searches required for the varied amounts of bonus points vary from month to month.

I discovered some of the online ads had where you could click a box and create a grocery list of the items you wanted, then click “print” and a nice neat list prints out for you for that store. Talk about convenient. Wal-Mart was one such store, just make sure you have plenty of ink in your printer when you do it. I later got to a store and discovered I had ran out of ink in the middle of my list. LOL! I had to grab a sales ad at the store and wing it as a result.

As I read each sale ad online I also looked up that store’s coupon policy and printed a copy for my files. This can be an important step for everyone. I once had a store refuse my, really good one time one use only for an item I went there specifically to purchase with that internet coupon. I found out via their website the store was suppose to honor it. So now I will have the corporate policy with me in case there is ever another discussion.

I also found out that the 3 shoe boxes of “no expiration date” coupons I own may or may not be honored at various stores—ones with bar codes, no problem, ones with no bar code it is up to the individual store.

With all this basic research completed I felt I was ready to go on my maiden shopping trip.

Jan who says “next entry please” in OK

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