Here's a big welcome to the folks who took the class in Sanford Thursday afternoon!Read on for a number of tips and links to resources we discussed that should help you get started in your couponing adventure and take you to the next level of saving!
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.
Grocery Store coupon policies: Click the link in the box above for a summary of the policies as well as links to the store coupon policies on their websites. You may want to print them and have them with you in case there is any coupon confusion.
Drug Store coupon policies: I suggest you print them out so you have them handy in case of an issue at the register.
CVS Coupon Policy HERE
Walgreens Coupon Policy HERE
Rite Aid Coupon Policy HERE
Meal Planning: Click HERE for meal planning suggestions and resources. You can also post your meals on the daily What's for Dinner post here on the blog each day. It's a great way to share frugal meal ideas and recipes and find out where people are buying the ingredients.
Printable coupon websites: Click the link for Coupon Sources in the resources section above for a list of printable coupon websites from legit companies. You'll also find a number of other coupon resources in the list.
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.
Cash Back Coupon Websites (Click the link for Coupon Sources in the box above for even more details about CHaeckout 51, SavingStar, ibotta and a new site called Shopmium.com)
Checkout 51 cash back coupons: 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. 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.
SavingStar e-coupons: With the e-coupon 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, then load digital coupons to your reward cards, but 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. Once you have accrued $5 worth of savings in your SavingStar account, you can cash the savings in for a gift card. You can choose to receive an Amazon gift card, have the money deposited into your Paypal account or checking account or donate it to a non-profit organization. My favorite aspect of this site is that you can use a hard copy coupon at the register for a product that also offers a SavingStar e-coupon (at least for now)! For more information and to sign up for this free coupon site, click HERE.
Ibotta.com: Get cash back on groceries with the ibotta app HERE! 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.
Special sign-up bonus: Once you redeem your first successful offer, you'll receive an extra $2 in your account as part of their referral program as long as you redeem your first offer within 10 days of registration!
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.
Swagbucks: One of the ways I earn free giftcards to CVS, Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart (and many other stores) is by using a site called Swagbucks. How do you get these super Swag Bucks? 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 easy to search. Every once in a while, they award Swag Bucks just for doing the searches I used to do using Google. There are also a number of other ways to earn Swag Bucks including taking surveys, answering polls, watching videos, playing games, referring friends and more. Swagbucks also posts additional bonus codes on their Facebook, Twitter and blog pages. We usually post the codes here on the blog each day. The codes are only valid for a couple hours usually. Once you find a code, you then copy and paste the code into the Swag Code box at the top of the homepage of Swagbucks HERE. Look for the circle with the words Swag Code next to it. It's free to sign up for Swagbucks and only takes a minute. New members usually get 30 Swagbucks when you sign up HERE but through the end of January, you can score an additional 70 Swag Bucks for a total of 100 Swag Bucks! To get the bonus Swag Bucks, 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.
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.
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.
Sending expired coupons to military overseas and more: Click HERE for a list of helpful resources including how long to freeze food and information on where to send 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. See coupsfortroops.com for more information.
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: Please post your couponing questions in the Share the Deals & Questions post I make every day on the blog or in the specific thread for the subject (if there is one). 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!
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