WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Welcome couponers from the Fuquay class!

Posted April 16, 2016

Class photo

Here's a big welcome to everyone who took the couponing class in Fuquay-Varina Friday evening!

Read on for a number of tips and links to resources that will help you get started in your couponing adventure and take you to the next level of saving!

Smart Shopper on Facebook and Twitter: For those of you who enjoy social media, you can see the Smart Shopper posts on our Facebook page HERE and the Smart Shopper Twitter page HERE.

Price Book: Click the link in the box above to find my price book with the prices to look for when shopping for food and non-food essentials. You may want to print the list so you have it with your coupons while you are shopping.

Drug Store coupon policies:

CVS Coupon Policy can be found HERE

Walgreens Coupon Policy can be found HERE

Rite Aid Coupon Policy can be found HERE

Printable coupon websites: Click the link for New January Printable Coupons in the section above for a list of printable coupon websites with great coupons every month.

Couponing abbreviations: You will find that couponers speak their own language so it helps to know the lingo. Click the link in the box above for some help cracking the abbreviations code and deciphering the BOGO's from the ECB's.

SavingStar cash back offers:

With the cash back site SavingStar, you don't print out a coupon to redeem at the register. You enter your store reward card numbers on the SavingStar website (for those stores that have them), then load digital coupons to your reward cards, buy the participating products at any of the participating stores and then the coupon savings are added to your SavingStar account a couple weeks after your purchase.

There are a number of participating SavingStar stores in our area including Harris Teeter, Lowes Foods, Food Lion, CVS, Walgreens, Target, Walmart, Kroger, Family Dollar and Rite Aid. With some of the stores (Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Kroger and Family Dollar), you will need to take a photo of the receipt through their app or website and submit it to get your cash back.

Once you have accrued $5 worth of savings in your SavingStar account, you can cash the savings. You can choose to have the money deposited into your Paypal account or checking account or donate it to a non-profit organization. For more information and to sign up for this free cash back offer site, click HERE.

Ibotta.com cash back offers:

Get cash back on groceries with the ibotta app. The first step is to sign up on their website HERE. Click Sign up with e-mail to register. Then you will need to download the app on your smartphone or other mobile device as well. Just go to the app store on your phone and look for ibotta. Once you have signed up and have downloaded the app, you are ready to score the digital coupons!

Here's how it works: 1. Before shopping, choose your offers through the app on your smartphone. The more you choose, the more cash back you'll earn. For each offer, you will need to complete 2 or more simple tasks to increase the amount of your digital coupons. Some of the tasks include taking a 1 question poll, looking at a recipe or watching a video. 2. Go Shopping. Buy your chosen products at any of the major retailers that Ibotta supports. 3. Take a photo of your receipt. They will verify your purchases and credit your account right away (you do not have to do this step at Food Lion. See below for details). 4. Cash in your earnings when they reach $5 or more. The money is sent to your PayPal account or cashed in for a participating gift card.

Participating stores: Ibotta works at many local retailers, restaurants, grocery and drug stores including these stores in our area: Harris Teeter, Target, Walmart, Kroger, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Food Lion, and various restaurants and retail stores.

Food Lion shoppers: You don't actually have to scan your receipt at Food Lion. Once you have signed up and downloaded the app, go to the Food Lion section on the app and link your Food Lion MVP card to your ibotta account, Your qualified purchases will go right to ibotta and you won't have to download any receipts. Make sure you connect your MVP card BEFORE checkout.

Like Savingstar.com discounts, the ibotta offers do not come off at the register. They are saved to your ibotta account. Once you reach $5 in earnings, you can have it deposited into your Paypal account or cash it out for specific gift cards. You can use the ibotta savings in conjunction with manufacturers coupons and savingstar.com e-coupons so you can stack a number of different savings avenues. This app does require a little extra work as far as taking pictures of the receipts but that doesn't take long at all and the savings add up fast.

Checkout 51 cash back offers:

Checkout 51 e-coupon cash back offers can be used in conjunction with paper coupons and other digital coupon programs! And you can use it with your smartphone or computer!
Here's how it works:
* Sign up on the Checkout 51 website HERE for free using your e-mail or Facebook info.
* Browse the available offers (and print out a list if you don't think you will remember them).
* Head to the store (any store) and buy the offers you want (like $1 cash back on ANY gallon of milk or .50 cash back on a package of Lenders bagels).
* Take a photo of your receipt and upload it to Checkout 51.
* Once they confirm your purchase, they will credit your account.
* When you accrue $20 in your Checkout 51 account, you can cash it out in the form of a check mailed to your address.

Additional information: This program is not store specific. You can buy the items at ANY store that offers a receipt with the items purchased listed. New offers come out each Thursday and are available until the next Wednesday. You have to buy the participating product and submit the receipt during that week to get credit. Not everyone gets the same offers so make sure you log into your account to see what offers you received. For more information and to sign up for this free coupon site, click HERE.


Swagbucks is one of my favorite sites! It allows you to earn free giftcards to Target, Walmart, CVS, Amazon, Starbucks, Sheetz, Kohl's, Paypal, Domino's (and many other stores) just by doing activities online. Basically, you do things like searching on their search engine (instead of Google), answering surveys, watching videos, playing games and more and they reward you with points called "SB points." You cash in the SB points for gift cards! I have been a member for years and have earned a bunch of gift cards.

How do you get these SB points? There are lots of ways.

* Search online: Each time you need to search for something online, use the Swagbucks search engine on their website (instead of Google). I actually have the Swagbucks toolbar installed on my desktop and it places a search box right on my screen making it super easy to search. Every once in a while, they award SB points just for doing the searches I used to do using Google.

* Take surveys on their website

* Answer the daily poll

* Watch videos through their website or multiple mobile apps (I earn about 80 - 100 SB a day doing this)

* Use their online shopping portal (I do most of my online shopping at major retailers who are part of the Swagbucks Shop and Earn program (like Amazon.com, Kohls.com, Walmart.com and more) and earn Swagbucks every time I shop. Recently I was credited with 562 SB points (worth $5.62 in gift cards) for an online purchase I made a few weeks ago.

* Play games

* Participate in special Swag Code events

* Enter the daily Swag Code (which we usually let you know about here on the blog each day). Swagbucks posts bonus codes on their Facebook, Twitter and blog pages each day. If you have the Swagbucks Mobile App, it will buzz when there is a new code. When the code becomes available each day, one of us posts it here on the blog so we can all get it. The codes are only valid for an hour usually. Once you get the code, you then copy and paste the code into the Swag Code box at the top of the homepage of Swagbucks.com HERE. Look for the circle with the words Swag Code next to it.

Swagbucks Sign Up Bonus: It's free to sign up for Swagbucks and only takes a minute. New members usually get 30 Swagbucks when you sign up. Right now, if you sign up through this link HERE, you can score 70 Swag Bucks when you click the text that reads "I have a sign up code" during registration and then enter the code SMARTSHOPPER to get the bonus. Make sure you use all caps since it is case sensitive. It only takes 500 SB points for a $5 gift card!

BzzAgent: Another program I recommend for getting free products to sample, free product coupons and coupons to share is BzzAgent. Click HERE for their website.

Recyclebank: Not only will you learn about great ways to become more eco-friendly in your home and throughout your community with Recyclebank, you will also be able to earn freebies, coupons and gift cards to places like Panera, iTunes, Best Buy and more! It's free to join HERE and you can start earning points right away by doing easy activities like watching videos about recycling, pledging to recycle certain products and reading articles about eco-friendly topics.

Sending expired coupons to U.S. military overseas: Click HERE for information on sending expired coupons to our military. You can donate your manufacturer coupons that are expired up to 6 months to our US military overseas who have access to an on-base commissary.

Daily Smart Shopper blog newsletter: You can have an e-mail sent to you once a day with a list of all the new posts I have made in the last 24 hours. If anything interests you, just click on the link and it brings you to the blog on WRAL. It's a good way to remember to check the site daily so you don't miss any new printable coupons or good deals.

To sign up for the blog, go to the home page of the Smart Shopper blog and click on the newsletter link on the right side of the page. Look for "Get the Smart Shopper e-mail newsletter". Once you sign up, WRAL will send you an e-mail once a day at 3:00 PM with the list of newest information I've posted. Of course, it is free to sign up.

If you signed up at the class, it will be about a week before you start receiving your blog e-mails. Until then, feel free to read the blog daily through wral.com and click on Smart Shopper.

Questions: Feel free to post your couponing and money-saving questions in the Share the Deals & Questions post I make every day on the Smart Shopper blog. You can submit your questions and share any deals you find in the Comments section at the bottom of the post. In order to post anything, you will need to register, which is free and easy to do.

Thanks again for coming to the class and please share your experiences as you embark on your couponing journey. Have fun!

This post contains some affiliate links and I thank you for using them!


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  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Apr 16, 2016

    alesibo - I am so glad you could both come to the class! Your daughter is lovely and I enjoyed meeting both of you! I love how you plan to use your coupon savings. It's such a wonderful thing for both your daughter and her friend. Thanks so much for coming to the class and let us know how the techniques are working for you. As Raesmom mentioned, feel free to ask any questions. There are a bunch of super couponers who post and help everyone out (and I thank them VERY much!!). Welcome!

  • raesmom1612 Apr 16, 2016

    Alesibo-welcome to the blog and couponing!! If you ever have a question, feel free to ask away. This is a great community of helpful people. Some of us have even become friends outside of the computer screen :) love that you are wanting to help your daughters friend, that says so much about the kind of person you are. I think you will fit in perfectly lol. WELCOME!!!!!

  • alesibo Apr 16, 2016

    Thank you so much! My daughter and I really enjoyed it and learned a lot! She is already clipping coupons and putting our binder together. We adopted her from Ukraine 3 years ago. We are currently trying to bring a friend of hers from her former orphanage here on a student visa. This is a costly process and we are all excited about how this can help us save money. THANK YOU!