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Old 12-01-2010, 01:52 PM   #21
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Every time I take a second look at coupons, I find that they are usually for name-brand stuff. Often the store brand is cheaper, or I can find a cheaper alternative.

Also, I've never seen a double- or triple-coupon offer around here.
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When gathering coupons, I think it's very helpful to only get the ones that are for something you planned to buy anyway (and for the same brand, I agree, Al). Otherwise there is a risk of spending more, not less, with coupons.
Yep, and the coupons are rarely for the stuff we buy. They need to push the stuff with high markups. They can't afford to do this with the low margin stuff.

Every time we see some TV blip about someone getting an entire shopping cart of stuff at a grocery store for 2 cents or something, DW & I mention that you couldn't pay me to take 98% of that over-processed crap. I'd be embarrassed to give it to the food bank.

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Old 12-01-2010, 02:37 PM   #22
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Most of the coupons we use are on the store's aisles, and we only use them if it's less than a generic/store brand. Otherwise we'd have to sort through an awful lot of junk mail for one or two coupons.

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Every time I take a second look at coupons, I find that they are usually for name-brand stuff. Often the store brand is cheaper, or I can find a cheaper alternative.
Also, I've never seen a double- or triple-coupon offer around here.
Goodwill, especially with a punch-card redemption!
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:43 PM   #23
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I had never really thought too much about coupons. At this time i'm dating someone fairly new and she is into this. Anyways as an example we just went and "purchased" 3 cans of gillete shaving cream, 3 deodorants (some female brand) and 3 other cans of female shaving cream. Anyways for all this we had a $5, $9 and $5 coupon that came in the paper as long as you purchased multiples of these products.


I say that gal is marriage material!
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:56 PM   #24
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That's a shame Dawg.

I shop at Kroger, get the double and triple coupon deal and yes I use my Kroger card for the sale items. They do track my purchases...and send a packet of coupons to me about every three months or so on items I purchase.
Glad it works for someone. Never have I received a packet of coupons in the mail on items I have purchased. But that's Winn Dixie. Glad they are gone.
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:14 PM   #25
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I also didn't like it when the store card idea came out. But one way to look at it is this: The company thinks it's really valuable to know what I purchase. As a result it subsidizes my purchases.

But even better, my purchases are subsidized by the non-card-holder shoppers who pay significantly more. That's a pretty good deal. I haven't gotten any targeted advertising, and it wouldn't bother me much if I did.

Also, the cards are coded to my phone number, so I don't have to carry anything extra in my wallet.
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:40 PM   #26
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I say that gal is marriage material!
Yep, she's well groomed, smells good and she's frugal. Can she cook??
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:49 PM   #27
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What I really meant to comment on was using coupons for prescription transfers or new scripts. DW and I get 3 or 4 scripts each year for items which are cheaper to buy as generics for cash than to run them through our insurance. We seem to hit it lucky and find coupons for anywhere from $10 to $25 in-store coupons for each new script or transfer. A couple of times, we've been able to use a 4-refill script to get $100 ($25/each for the new and transfers) while spending about $40 total for the actual scripts. Felt just a little bit guilty, but assuaged the old conscience by realizing it was a bunch of running around to play their silly little game. I used to make a lot more $$ per hour by w*rking, but there's no taxes on saving money (yet!). We need the stuff and it makes the stores happy, so everyone wins.
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Old 12-01-2010, 10:31 PM   #28
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It chaps me you have to carry around a darn card to get the sale price advertised. I do it because I would be crazy not to, but I shop at other stores mostly that have no such thing. Others must feel the same way I do as the Winn Dixie Store close to my house went out of business not long ago. And it was a fairly new store. But Walmart and a generic grocery store did them in.
Don't get me started....I thought we were talking about coupons. I refuse to carry any more friggin cards around....no matter what size they are! Most of the stores around here that have discount card promotions will link the member discount to a (fake) phone number. Others will give you the discount anyway if you complain or "forgot" your card.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:36 AM   #29
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Semi-interesting experience using this coupon (which I printed out after reading robis attached note on Walgreens). The coupon was pretty nebulous, indicating several items it was NOT good for. It didn't make particularly clear what it WAS good for, but I assumed that meant anything in the store not on the list of 'prohibited' items. So, I just went to the local Walgreens and asked at the front register. The lady seemed puzzled though she admitted a couple of other folks had brought in similar coupons. She had to call a supervisor to figure it all out. After about 10 minutes, we found that it was as I thought. Most items were eligible for the % off coupon. Here's the kicker, though. You can only use this coupon at the cosmetics counter. You don't have to buy cosmetics there, but it's the only register that will give the discount. No reason for it, just their policy.

SO, I bought some deep discount sale items that I needed anyway and then got 15% off of the whole price. With the sales and the % off, I had to have saved half of what the stuff would have cost at any other time. Just glad my patience quotient was high tonight.

Thanks robis!!
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:51 AM   #30
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Yup - hate the cards, too - give them a fake phone number - not interested in them tracking me. Most of the coupons I use are in flyers and for things I want/use. Don't buy brand name stuff too much and a lot of the time the brand name stuff even with the coupon is more expensive. Where I really save money with coupons is:

tooth brushes - toothpaste - laundry detergent - certain canned goods (tomatoes, etc) - pharmacy stuff (especially cold medicine during cold season - that stuff is expensive!!!) - vitamins - paper goods

Fresh vegetables, meats, other dry goods usually don't have coupons - protein is usually the most expensive food item, so any coupons on that can really offset the grocery bill.

Have done a few rebates - think that they make you call in after sending in the origami paperwork just to ensure you really want the rebate - so don't play that game very often

For online stuff - best deal is usually free shipping (I live overseas - makes a huge difference in price) - but discounts are good, too. Tend not to buy anything not on sale. When get back to the states, craigs list will become a regular - oh, when I visit parents in FL, they go to outlets and other places - stepmother is the QUEEN on how to make TJ MAxx, BEall's and Beall's Outlet (and Goodwill) even cheaper than they say they are. Here in Europe clothes are exhorbitantly expensive - my colleagues love going to the states with seveal huge suitcases and stocking up and taking it back with them

Bottom line - it's all relative....to me only use coupons for stuff you would buy anyway
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:06 AM   #31
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Semi-interesting experience using this coupon (which I printed out after reading robis attached note on Walgreens). The coupon was pretty nebulous, indicating several items it was NOT good for. It didn't make particularly clear what it WAS good for, but I assumed that meant anything in the store not on the list of 'prohibited' items. So, I just went to the local Walgreens and asked at the front register. The lady seemed puzzled though she admitted a couple of other folks had brought in similar coupons. She had to call a supervisor to figure it all out. After about 10 minutes, we found that it was as I thought. Most items were eligible for the % off coupon. Here's the kicker, though. You can only use this coupon at the cosmetics counter. You don't have to buy cosmetics there, but it's the only register that will give the discount. No reason for it, just their policy.

SO, I bought some deep discount sale items that I needed anyway and then got 15% off of the whole price. With the sales and the % off, I had to have saved half of what the stuff would have cost at any other time. Just glad my patience quotient was high tonight.

Thanks robis!!
You're welcome!
I printed out the coupons from Walgreens at work. (On company-time. Bad!) I carefully read all the fine print on the coupon during my lunch-break, and brought up the weekly Walgreen ad to see if they had any items I needed. And made a list. Stopped after work, picked up the items and got the 15%-20% discount on various items. Sweet!
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:39 AM   #32
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I use coupons and rebates and various other incentives the stores offer to get you out there to shop. Rite Aid is my favorite at the moment with all the deals they offer.

Sunday at RA netted 2 Gillette Fusion razors, 2 Gillette antiperspirants, 2 rolls of Scott tp, Dial liquid handsoap, and a small container of Morton sea salt. With all the coupons, rebates, and UP+ coupons I came out a couple dollars ahead of the game.

A week ago I bought a Sonicare rechargeable toothbrush at RA for $45 and used a $10 man coupon and a $5 off $25 RA coupon for $30 out the door. There is a $20 rebate from RA which has already cleared and a $10 manufacturer rebate which I have to mail in. If I get the $10 rebate that means a free Sonicare toothbrush or at worst a cost of $10.

Over time I have been able to get lots of toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, body wash, razors, lotion, pain relievers, cold and allergy meds and baby things for free or very little out of pocket. What I don't use can always be donated. Earlier in the year I donated several grocery bags of shampoo and toothpaste and toothbrushes to the local senior center for them to include in their food boxes.

I also send care packages to deployed soldiers that have requests on Books for Soldiers so free toiletries and sometime snacks or junk food are often what they want. The shipping cost is pretty high so any free or reduced cost items for care packages is very helpful.

There are many web sites that have information about the coupons and deals at various stores. I use Fat Wallet, Slick Deals, and Hot Coupon World. There are lots of discussions about yard sales and flea markets where some of the coupon users sell their stockpiles and a few make pretty impressive amounts of money. For some it's extra money and for some it really helps their families financial survival. To accumulate large stockpiles though purchasing coupons from a clipping service or some other ready source to lots of Sunday paper coupon inserts is necessary.

I don't want to bother with purchasing coupons or holding a yard sale so don't desire to gather 150 boxes of pasta and 75 scented candles or similar quantities.

Couponing is certainly a choice and it's understandable if some don't want to bother with it and have other more enjoyable things they want to spend their time doing. I think it's fun and figure every dollar saved is a dollar that can be directed elsewhere. I do not find much in the way of coupon savings for the food I purchase, but really find a bounty of deals in the HBA area.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:10 AM   #33
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I keep thinking that I should coupon more (read: at all) and then I realize, for what products? We just don't buy that much processed food. I go to Von's once every four months or so and buy a couple of jars of Best Foods mayo and maybe something like birthday candles (really). Just don't need what they sell. Between Trader Joe's (no coupons, good prices on dairy, bread and wine), Costco, the local greengrocer's or farmer's market and the local co-op for bulk items, we're covered. I look at the coupons every week and sort of wish I could use them, but I just don't buy that stuff.

On the plus side, we probably save a ton of money by preparing most of our own foods and buying whole foods.
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:31 AM   #34
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I lost my house, car and post office box keys last year. I couldn't remember what else was on that key ring until a local grocery store contacted me. My never used store card was also on that key ring...
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:53 PM   #35
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In the old days, people put a little tab on their key ring with their license plate number. If you found keys and dropped them in a post office box, they would supposedly be returned to you.

And, I guess replacement keys with electronics in them can cost > $100.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:29 PM   #36
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I was in the market for a new coat and found one I loved in Banana Republic last night, but was appalled at the price - $275.

After seeing the disappointment on my face, a salesman came by and we struck up a friendly conversation and I asked him if the store was offering any incentives, sales, or discounts. Instead of answering the question, he went to the back and came back a minute later with a 35% off coupon in hand and said, "It's your lucky day." Indeed it was - I purchased the coat and saved nearly $100 simply by asking.

Moral of the story: coupons ROCK!
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:09 PM   #37
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After seeing the disappointment on my face, a salesman came... back a minute later with a 35% off coupon in hand and said, "It's your lucky day."
Please help me practice that look - I have some car shopping to do!

-ERD50
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:05 PM   #38
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I don't use the cards either. I am waiting for the companies to sell the info to health or life insurance companies. You can bet your rates will go up if they see you buy a 30pack of Busch every day, or a box of twinkies.
I've asked for and received permission from from friends and family to use their phone numbers at the register in lieu of the cards. I get the discounts, but throw big brother off my scent. I've told friends/family why I don't use the cards and they aren't concerned. In fact, I think one of them gets a small wine credit at one store.
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:42 PM   #39
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In the old days, people put a little tab on their key ring with their license plate number. If you found keys and dropped them in a post office box, they would supposedly be returned to you.

And, I guess replacement keys with electronics in them can cost > $100.
That's what happened to mine. Who ever found them must have dropped them in a mail box someplace. The Post Office then contacted the store. It took awhile for them to contact me because of the routing thru the Post Office.
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:40 PM   #40
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Southern Savers is one of the sites which gives strategies. Some say its not worth the effort... well, when my wife buys $300 of groceries and walks out paying under $60 I'd say its worth the effort. She spends hardly any time at it thanks to that site, which tells you how to time the coupons with the non-coupon sales cycles manufacturers have, plus you go where coupons are doubled. Not unusual for half the items in the cart to be free, or even better, priced at less than $0.

ER is about what you save and put away, not what you make, so I have no problem with people turning up their noses about saving when shopping, that they are above that and its not worth it. I laugh all the way to the bank.
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