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Deals That Are Nifty by Sister Thrifty: Celebrating National Coupon Month Just Makes Cents

Deals That Are Nifty by Sister Thrifty

Great Steals and Deals around town and online to save you the big bucks and help you keep more of your hard-earned money!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Celebrating National Coupon Month Just Makes Cents


Celebrating National Coupon Month Just Makes Cents

Some people call me the Coupon Queen.  My kids even laugh at me and say if the house were on fire and we needed to flee to safety that I’d grab my coupon box before leaving.  We pretty much only go out to dinner if we have a coupon to use and yes, I even have one of those cute fabric coupon holders I take into the grocery store.  So, maybe I’m a Coupon Geek, rather than a Coupon Queen.  I actually have three coupon boxes: one in the house and one in each car.  I do love me some coupons!  J  
Despite all of the mocking I get for being thrifty and always using coupons, studies now reveal that 72 percent of shoppers have turned to the dark side…well, uh….the coupon side.  Today’s troubled economy has more consumers thinking twice to pay full price.  More and more people are converting to couponing and since 1998, September has been declared National Coupon Month.  The first coupon was handwritten in 1886 by Coca-Cola. Smart company.

TLC even has a show now called “Extreme Couponing.”  Have you seen it?  You’ll be inspired!  According to Nationalcouponmonth.com, 20 minutes a week of clipping and clicking online for coupons could save you over $1000 annually.  Sometimes a lot more.  True story…

I had just given birth to our third son and knew we were outgrowing our first home quickly.  I drove around town looking at homes for months, trying to find the perfect house and neighborhood for my growing family.  I fell in love with a particular home, but wanted to make sure it really was the right place for us.  I prayed about it and the next weekend I saw a coupon in the newspaper for $5000 off homes being sold by that particular builder.  It was like a sign!  I just knew that a house I could purchase with a coupon had my name written all over it!

Budgetsaresexy.com has listed the reasons why coupons are awesome as:
1.      You save money!  (My mantra is “Never pay full price!”)
2.      Instant fun family activity!  (We clip while watching TV.)
3.      You can feel accomplished and proactive about reducing your grocery bill.  
4.      Potential to find a good product that you might not otherwise have used since you are more likely to buy it with a good coupon!  Oh the places you’ll see…

I think I’ll add to the list that food always tastes yummier when you get it with a discount!  Movies are better with a discount!  Excursions are more fun with a discount!  You just feel smarter and more in control of your money when you can pay less for something than the average consumer.

Bulk coupon buying is now all the rage with web sites like Groupon and Living Social.  I’ve saved quite a bit of money on local deals, but please heed the warning that you need to use the bulk deal before they expire.  Thankfully, as usage and complaints have risen, these companies are now changing their policies on strict expiration deadlines.

Sprunk.com lets consumers sell unwanted daily-deal offers online. CityPockets.com charges $1 plus 8% of proceeds; DealsGoRound.com takes 10% of proceeds. Both sites feature a digital wallet to help you organize daily-deal coupons.  There are even several sites that allow you to create your own daily deal web site as your own business.  Couprecoup.com is a listing service where you can find local steals and deals online for free.   I love free.  It’s even better than a coupon!  I’ll tell you more about how to get tons of stuff for free later in another article!

Everything is going mobile now and the new QR codes allow us to scan digital coupons while we’re standing in the checkout aisle!  Last month I got a free bag of popcorn at my local Regal theater for showing a special QR code when I texted the word “popcorn” to 35350.   Use your cell phone’s browser to go to: http://popcorn.yahoo.net  for instructions. Movies taste even better with free popcorn!

We’ll see more and more of that as retailers catch on to mobile marketing, which is going to be HUGE.  Target now texts me coupon deals.  Become the “Mayor” of your favorite local restaurant, using www.foursquare.com and you’ll get special discounts. 

Every penny counts these days.  Remember the big ticket items too!  Some people are great at clipping coupons to save fifty cents on a can of fruit in the grocery store, but then they expect to pay full price on furniture or a computer.  When searching for big ticket items, check out these web sites which allow you to compare prices:

·         www.consumersearch.com

·         www.dealtime.com

·         www.lowermybills.com


Would you believe they actually have an entire web site dedicated to National Coupon Month?  Yep, it’s www.ilovecouponmonth.com    You’ll find some helpful tips, great resources and even consumer statistics that prove couponing is making a comeback.  Hey, maybe that means we’ll see more people carrying those cute fabric coupon holders in the grocery store now.  By the way, you can purchase them at: 
 http://store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/clink?yhst-16865137593772+PqhYS2+index.html+sisterthrifty    
and    www.4bestbargains.com     They both offer super cute designs.

A web site I particularly like for grocery coupons is www.grocerysmarts.com because it analyzes the grocery deals closest to your home.  Great news about those expired coupons…send them overseas to military bases where they can be used for up to six more months!  Is there a Dunkin Donuts in Afghanistan?  Well, most military bases have a “Commissary,” which is a grocery store and the other is the PX or BX, which is more like a Wal-Mart that carries pretty much everything else.  Our wonderful soldiers and their families need coupons for both food and non-food items.  Please bundle your coupons into those two categories into baggies and mail them to:

KCL Overseas Coupon Program
Amanda Brumbaugh
10960 W Bridgetower Drive, Boise, ID  83709


Some other fun couponing sites I like are:

·         www.couponmob.com

·         www.couponcactus.com    (Receive $3 when you sign up with ID 148775)

·         www.thekrazycouponlady.com

·         www.dailygrocerycoupon.com   

·         www.coupons.com

·         www.couponmom.com

·         www.valpak.com

·         www.couponnetwork.com

·         www.couponcabin.com

·         www.coolsavings.com

·         www.freecoupons.com

Using your time and money wisely empowers you to take control of your finances, and stay UP in a DOWN economy.  Happy National Couponing Month!

CENTSerely,

Sister Thrifty  (a/k/a  Trina Boice)

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