Monday, July 18, 2011

More FREE Bluckbuster Express Codes

The following codes allow you to get any $1 movie for FREE. They expire July 22.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

FREE Blockbuster Express Codes

The following codes allow you to get any $1 movie for FREE. They expire July 15.


Friday, July 8, 2011

A Few Nice Coupons...

Here are a few nice coupons that have been available in the last few days. They are available at I found all of these except the last one using zip code 84711.

$1/2 Gerber Yogurt Melts
$.55 Gerber Graduate meals and past pic-ups
$1/2 Gerber Puffs
$1 Gerber Graduates entrees
$1/2 Libby's Fruit (These have been FREE with this coupon and store coupons at Rite Aid)
$1/4 Libby's canned fruit
$1 Coppertone Sunscreen
$1.50 Starbucks Infusions 12 oz bag
$5/5 Kellogg's cereals (extremely rare! but it might be out of prints)
$.50 Fresh Express Salad Mixes (try zip 77079)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Why It Works: Coupons, Sales Cycles, and Stockpiles

Before I started using coupons I tried to shop the ads. Being a good steward was important to me and I tried to buy only what we needed and avoided overindulging. I would buy sale items with a week or two in mind. While we hadn't started a strict grocery budget, I didn't want to buy too much and have a large grocery bill so I would buy a small number of sale items. I was saving money but running out of necessities and later paying retail. Until I figured out how to stockpile, I was at the mercy of the sales cycles.

Most items in the grocery store are on a sales cycle that causes prices to fluctuate from regular retail to rock bottom (a.k.a. "Buy Now" prices). This cycle may last 6 to 8 weeks. Using my old method of trying to buy a few weeks of sales items, I was hitting good prices some weeks and high prices the next. In order to ensure that a shopper only pays the rock bottom prices, they need to maintain a 6 to 8 week stockpile of shelf stable or freezer friendly necessities. Once I began shopping with the cycles in mind, I began buying enough of certain items to last 8 weeks when they hit my Buy Now prices.

Here is a coffee example. Starbucks was on sale for $4.99 (a fantastic pre-coupon price) AND I had $1.50 coupons to combine with the sale. I could buy a single bag of Starbucks for $3.49! But, if I didn't buy enough to last until the next great deal, I might have to buy the next bag at $6 to $11 (the normal price fluctuation). Instead, I bought four for $14. I spent more on coffee than I usually do, but I won't have to buy coffee for several months (giving me plenty of time to wait for a good deal).

One of the biggest hiccups to new couponers is that you may actually spend MORE in the first month or two of couponing. The reason for the bigger bill is that it will take you some time to acquire coupons and you will be buying more items to build your stockpile. But within two months, you will have a stockpile and your grocery bill will drop significantly.

Before I go on, I can picture some of you cringing at the thought of a stockpile. A stockpile is not hoarding, it is not selfishly clearing the shelves, and it certainly isn't wasting food by overbuying. It is simply providing your family with the products they need at the best price possible. Believe it or not, I can only remember tossing one expired product from my food stockpile in the last year. Because I am aware, I am not as likely to let food go bad. When I get fantastic prices that I can't pass up, I give excess to friends and charities. As a side note, my stockpile was an amazing blessing when I was pregnant with Ellie. Since even the sight of coupons made me sick, I did very little grocery planning in my first trimester. We had enough stockpiled to last during that queasy period with only occasional trips to the store for fresh foods.

Add in coupons! As I explain here, you don't have to use a single coupon to save on groceries. But coupons added to rock bottom prices make for huge savings, even to the point of being paid to take those items home with you! Using the stockpile method, your family may be able to buy 6 cereals for $9 ($1.50 a box at rock bottom prices). Simply add in 6 $.75 coupons and you'll get the same 6 boxes for $4.50. That's around 85% savings! While you aren't going to save 85% on every item you buy, keep it up and you will see hundreds of dollars of savings each month.

Planning a Grocery Trip

Come with me while I plan my grocery trip! Since the current ads are rather unimpressive my shopping trips will be smaller than usual. This is how I planned tomorrow's trip to Bel Air:

  1. The first step to planning a trip is checking the ad. I looked through the grocery ads that came in the mail (they are also available on most grocery websites). I circled some items that looked like good deals and began a list.
2. I checked the grocery coupon match-ups at The Frugal Find and selected items to create my list. I printed two of the KC Masterpiece coupons from the link provided. Then I printed my list.

3. Once you have been couponing for a little while, you will begin to recognize products for which there were recent coupons. To help me remember where that coupon is or to find a coupon to print I check sale items on my list against a coupon database.

4. I fine tune my list, keeping the best deals and saving the so-so deals for another week. For example, Ronzoni pasta is $1 and I knew there were $1 coupons available that could make pasta FREE. Unfortunately the coupons were for the vegetable variety, which were not part of the $1 sale. So, I crossed Ronzoni off my list and will wait for the vegetable variety to go on sale for $1 (as they were at Save Mart a few months ago). Then, I combine both lists (my list and the list from The Frugal Find) to create my final list.

Final List
5. I cut out the coupons and place them inside my list (original Frugal Find list folded in half).

6. I head to the store to get:

1 Pound Strawberries FREE
1 Package Breakfast Sausage FREE (retail $4.29)
2 Bottles KC Masterpiece FREE plus $2.22 overage to pay for pork ribs
2 Packages Chips Ahoy for $.69 each
1 Bag Food Should Taste Good snacks for $1 (sweet potato chips, yum!)
1 Box Quaker Squares cereal for $1
and some nice deals on fruit and chicken

A few notes:
  • This was a slow week so my list is relatively short. Because I buy extra when the sales are good, I don't have to buy much when the sales are scarce.
  • Where's the milk? I buy my milk at Rite Aid since it costs less than all our local grocery stores after using the $.55 dairy coupon.
  • Where's the veggies? I just bought 4 pounds of frozen veggies and two salads for $4 last week so we'll use those veggies until the next sale.
  • You told me to stockpile! Unfortunately, this week is a poor example of stockpiling. The store coupons were limit 1 or 2. Ordinarily, I would have purchased several bags of Food Should Taste Good since they were at my Buy Now price ($1), but the coupon says limit one per customer. I only had one Quaker Squares coupon since it came on a free sample limiting my purchase to one. The only item that I stockpiled was barbecue sauce (as two bottles will last our family until the next sales cycle, 6 to 8 weeks from now).
  • This took me about 15 minutes. Better weeks may take a little more time.
  • Since I shop with my girls, I like to make sure I am completely prepared and not fumbling for coupons or lists. A little time at home (perhaps during naps or after bedtime) saves time and sanity in the store.
  • Here's an example of stacking store coupons with manufacturer coupons:
Notice the $1 coupon says manufacturer's coupon at the top and the numerical code at the bottom begins with a 5. The Raley's coupon begins with 0. I read the coupons to make sure that the sizes match up. I also noticed that the Raley's coupon says limit 2 so I can use a second manufacturer's coupon to get 2 packages for $.69 each.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Where to Find Coupons!

Once you start looking, you will be amazed at how many coupons are readily available. Here are some of the places you will find coupons:

At the grocery store:

  • On a display

  • By the pharmacy (check the front desk and surrounding displays for pamphlets, booklets, and tearpads)

  • At the Customer Service Desk (Check for tearpads, booklets, and pamphlets)
  • The Catalina Machine (This machine prints out great coupons including FREE item coupons, store cash, and high value coupons)

At the drugstore:

At gas stations convenience stores (711 and AM PM, for example:

  • Check for tearpads and displays

At your doctor or dentist's office:

  • Check for coupons on display or ask your doctor/dentist specifically. For example, my dentist gave me this pamphlet and has given me samples containing coupons.

Inside or on packages:

  • Check the packaging! I've found coupons in razor packaging, cereal boxes, oatmeal boxes, toothpaste packages, cleaning wipe containers, starter kits, granola bars, diaper and wipe packages, and many more. Sometimes the presence of coupons is announced on the package. Other times, coupons are a welcome surprise.

In the mail:

  • You may already be getting them, but there are other great coupons to request. I'll highlight ways to get high value coupons and free items in the mail in a future post.
On the internet:

  • You can request coupons to be sent to your home, such as the Organize in Style booklet pictured above.
  • Print them! The most common and largest coupon site is, there are many more mentioned in this post.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Free Coupon Sites

One of the easiest ways to gain coupons is to print them on your computer.

Here are several websites that provide free internet printable coupons (IPs):

The following are just two of many manufacturer's websites that provide coupons. They may require signing up for an account: (Kellogg's brand items)

Many Stores provide both store and manufacturer's coupons. Here are a few: (scroll to the bottom of the page to find the coupons link)

You can often find high value coupons on Facebook fan pages.

Internet Printable (IP) Tips:
  • Print Two: Most printable coupons allow two prints. If it is a Bricks coupon, which looks like the image below, you can usually print a second coupon by hitting the back button on your browser three times. You will be redirected back to the print set-up page where you can hit the print button a second time. At and similar sites you can simply return to the home page after printing to re-select coupons to print.

  • Print Now: Print the coupons you think you will use while they are available. Many coupons are only available for a short period of time or for a limited number of prints.
  • Create a Coupon E-mail Account: I highly suggest that you create an e-mail account that you don't mind getting spammed. Many of the high value coupons require an e-mail (your price of admission) to print. Protect your account and information with an unused e-mail address. It's free and easy to sign up for a gmail account.
  • NEVER copy coupons: It is illegal and easily traceable (each coupon has an individual signature that can be traced back to your computer). Increase prints by using multiple computers, asking friends to print, or visiting the library.
  • Sundays, the 1st, and Month End are Golden: tends to reset at the beginning of the month. That means that you should print any coupons that you will use before the end of the month. On the first of the month, you will want to return and print any coupons that are valuable to you. RedPlum, SmartSource, and Target usually restock on Sundays.