Hello and welcome! I’ve always been a saver at heart and shopped frugally, but it wasn’t until I got pregnant with my first child in 2009 that I discovered the world of “extreme couponing”. I quickly learned that if you shop smart by matching the right coupons with the right sales at the right stores at the right time, you could very easily save 50-90% off your shopping trip!
Once I knew this was possible, I decided to start sharing my weekly finds with friends, and thus I became the Crazy Coupon Mommy blogging at Deals4Dummies….because really, any “dummy” can do this and I’m here to show you how!!
I am a HUGE fan of shopping online. I probably do 95% of my shopping from my couch in my jammies :) Especially big shopping events like Black Friday – there is NO NEED to go out in all the craziness and waste hours in line when I can do the exact same thing at home!
Go on – I’ll wait. BOTH of these companies will give you a $5 cash back bonus after you make your first purchase too! So sign up for BOTH!
Seriously – it’s the #1 best thing you can do for yourself when shopping online! Why?
- It’s completely free to sign up (it only takes a second)
- and by making sure you shop thru either of those accounts each and every time you shop online, you will be well on your way to receiving up to 25% cash back on your purchases – NO COUPONS REQUIRED!
- This is my way of giving myself “bonus” savings on top of any codes I use PLUS its the perfect way to make sure you save money even if you can’t find a coupon!
- Login to your Ebates or ShopAtHome.com account and search for the store you want to shop at (I actually use BOTH because one may offer a higher cash back percentage than the other)
- You will see how much cash back they are currently offering. For example, they are both offering a huge 14% cash back at Lancome.com right now.
- You will also see lots of coupon codes that you can use during checkout to help you save even more. These two sites usually have the biggest variety and most recent VALID codes to help you stack your savings. (i.e., Ebates shows an exclusive code to get receive a 5 piece sample set with a $35 Lancome.com purchase (A $119 Value)!!!)
- All you have to do is click on the orange (ebates) or blue (shopathome.com) “shop now” buttons so that your order will be “tracked”.
- Now shop like normal and use any codes you have.
- The cash back from either site DOES NOT COME OFF AT CHECKOUT. It gets deposited into your account at Ebates or ShopAtHome.com within 30 days. (It has been my experience that I see the “deposit” within about 48-72 hours!)
- All your online shopping you do gets deposited in your Ebates or ShopAtHome.com account and gets paid out as a lump sum every month (for ShopatHome.com) and every 3 months (for Ebates).
- So on my Lancome example above, I was able to score free shipping, the awesome huge free gift with purchase on my order ($50). Then in about 3 days, I will see a deposit into my cash back account for $7! <— remember, no coupon codes needed! just make sure you shop through using one of those buttons!
- Easy cheesy!
While I am a HUGE fan of online deals, most of my stock-up, household freebies can be found locally at stores near you! But in order to do most of these deals, you will need coupons….and lots of them!
First, you’ll notice that there is some “coupon lingo” that you need to know. Don’t worry – it’s really easy and you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly! Here is a list of the terms or acronyms that are commonly used in the couponing world:
Sunday Paper Coupon Inserts: GM = General Mills, PG = Proctor & Gamble, RP = RedPlum, SS = Smartsource
B1G1 or BOGO = Buy 1 Get 1 (usually followed by FREE or 50% off, etc)
CRT = Cash Register Tape
ECB = Extra Care Bucks (only with CVS deals)
MIR = Mail in RebateOOP = Out of Pocket
RR = Register Rewards (only with Walgreens deals)
Q = Coupon
+UpR = Up Rewards (only with Rite Aid deals)
VV = Video Values (only with Rite Aid deals)
WYB = When You Buy
YMMV or YSMV= Your mileage may vary or Your store may vary. This means it will depend on your store’s policy and cashier.
Where to get coupons
Sunday Paper Coupon Inserts
First and foremost, I recommend subscribing to your Sunday paper. This is how I guarantee myself that I will ALWAYS have at least one copy of each weeks coupon inserts. While I usually try to get 1-3 more from the newstand, but most weekends I totally forget – so it’s nice to always have at least delivered to my door.
**TIP*** Want to know what coupons are coming in next week’s paper so you’ll know if you want to stock up on the paper? Just check here for a list of the upcoming coupons (usually available on Wednesday or Thursday!)
Other ideas for getting the sunday paper inserts – ask your neighbors, friends and family. You’d be surprised how many people just throw them out! You can try asking local stores that carry the paper what they do with the unsold ones – some will let you pick them up on Monday!
You can also try SWAPPING coupons for ones you need! People do this on forums all the time – trading coupons they don’t use for the ones that they do! I’ll be hosting a swapping forum for my readers soon!!
Printable and E-Coupons
A very valuable resource for coupons is the internet. I’d say I use 50% paper coupons and 50% printable coupons. Most store coupons that are “stackable” are ones you print online!
Here are some online printable and e-coupon resources:
- All You
- Betty Crocker
- Box Tops for Education
- Coupon Network
- Eat Better America
- Ever Save
- Grocery Coupon Network
- Home Made Simple
- P & G
- Red Plum
- Smart Source
- Snack Picks
- Target Coupons
Manufacturers and Brands also often post coupons on their websites and facebook for a limited time. Whenever I find these, I will share the link with you here.
Get Coupons For The Products You Love and Use!
Another great way to get exactly the coupon you want is by simply contacting the company and sending them an email! Go here to read my post on how to do this :)
This handy little tool should be your BIBLE!!! Any time I go shopping or am trying to match deals with coupons, I use my coupon database. All you have to do is enter in a search term and then click on the button and you’ll get a current list of available coupons. The list will include the sunday paper inserts, magazines, online printables and more – it’s a very comprehensive list and I use it every day.
I hope you guys find this new tool as valuable as I do. Be sure to book mark the page (http://www.deals4dummies.com/coupon-database) and use it often! I’d love to hear your feedback!!
Using Your Coupons!
Ok, this is the easy part! Now that you know where to get your coupons, all you need to do is follow my blog and choose the weekly deals you’d like to participate in! It’s super easy and I break down the transaction for you and tell you exactly where to find the coupon(s) you’ll need to make the deal work! Have fun!
Here are some quick links to all the different ways to save I cover on my blog. Have fun!
- Photo Deals
- Hot Daily Deals
- Hot Amazon Finds
- Baby Deals
- Coupon / Promo/ Discount Codes for Specific Online Retailers
- Rewards Programs (even one just for visiting and interacting with my blog!)
- Product Reviews and Awesome Giveaways
- Legitimate Ways to Earn Money From Home
- Swagbucks and Zoombucks
- Weekly Store Coupon Matchups
- Printable Coupons
- Free Searchable Coupon Database
- In-store Money Maker and Freebie Opportunities
- Printable Restaurant Coupons
- Printable Retail Coupons
For more detailed help on shopping at certain stores, you’ll want to check out these posts: