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Tuesday
Nov012011

Welcome To My Sweet Savings!

Welcome to My Sweet Savings! Hi, I am Heather and I love to share my bargains and couponing tips with others! It is a blessing to show others how to save their hard-earned money! The time that you spend couponing and searching for bargains means more money in your wallet!

I have been married to my wonderful husband Keith for over 13 years and we have two boys Drew, 7 years and Brady 2 years. 

I hope that you will enjoy My Sweet Savings! If you ever have any questions or concerns, please email me at: mysweetsavings@gmail.com 

Tuesday
Nov012011

Seven Steps to Sweet Success: Smart Shopping Strategies!

If you are new to couponing, you may need some inspiration to get started into this wonderful world of saving money. If you follow my 7 Steps to Sweet Succes, you will be well on your way to a whole new world of saving instead of spending your hard-earned money!

1. Sunday Newspaper-Purchase at least 2 newspapers on Sunday. This will give you 2 like coupons if there is a Buy One Get One Free Sale on items at your store. Remember, most stores do let you use a coupon on the FREE item. The more coupons that you have, the more sale items you can add to your stockpile. 

2. System of Organization-Find the best system of coupon organization that works best for you. Once you start collecting coupons on a weekly basis, you will see just how many coupons that you can accumulate. Good coupon organization is key to being a successful couponer!

3. Set a goal for yourself. Start small. Each week plan on saving just a few more dollars than you did the last week. Before you know it, you will be saving hundreds of dollars and building a wonderful stockpile for you and your family. 

I would also suggest to gradually add a few extra minutes each week towards your goal. In the beginning especially, it can take some time to set your goal. Once you know what you are doing and searching for, you will be a pro in no time at all!

4. Stack coupons to maximize your savings. Many stores have their own store coupons that you can stack with a manufacturer’s coupon to double your savings!  The general rule of thumb for stacking is one manufacturer’s coupon and one store coupon per item purchased. Stacking coupons, is probably one of the easiest ways to start building yourself a nice stockpile of items as you will be able to get items for Free or very inexpensive. 

5. Start shopping the sales. Scour the weekly ads and check out sneak peeks to your favorite stores. Did you know that many stores will post the next week’s ad as much as a week in advance? This allows you to prepare in advance and to get your coupons and shopping list together so that you have a plan of action.

6. Stockpile. Once you start couponing and searching for bargains, you will quickly see how easy it is to get items for Free and very inexpensive.  If your favorite brand of pasta is on sale and you are able to get it for Free or very inexpensive with coupons, purchase as many boxes as possible and add them to your stockpile. A great stockpile is made when you gradually add items each week that are Free or very inexpensive.

7. Share. Once you start adding items to your stockpile, you will quickly realize that not only do you have enough items for you and your family to last for several months, but you will also be able to donate items to those in need and to share those items with your family and friends. Even if an item is on sale that you and your family do not typically use but you can get it for FREE or pennies on the dollar. Go ahead and get those items to donate to those people in need!

Good luck on this wonderful journey of saving money! You will never go back to spending full price for items again! Winking smile

´╗┐Have couponing questions? Please feel free to email me at: mysweetsavings@gmail.com

Wednesday
Jul012009

My Beginning To A Coupon And Bargain-Hunting Addiction

As a young girl, I often remember how my mom would clip coupons to help with our family’s food budget. She would often have my sister and I help her clip the coupons so that we could be involved as well. Then, when it was time to go to the store, she would give us a coupon and have us go search for the product! I think that it is fun to get your kids involved too! Soon after my husband and I were married I started to follow in my mother’s footsteps.

I would clip a few coupons here and there, but once I saw just how much that the savings added up, I became addicted to couponing and bargain-hunting! Now that my husband and I have a little boy and another baby on the way, we are trying to watch our pennies even more!

Couponing and searching for the best bargains out there is very important to me and actually allows me to be a stay at home mom! Now, just like when I was a little girl, my son comes with me to the store and helps me find bargains!

 

Now that I have my own family, couponing has not only become a way for us to save money, but it is also a fun hobby! I love to share my coupon tips and bargain-hunting adventures with friends and family! It is fun to let others know just how much money you can save on any budget!

 

When I am not searching for those die-hard bargains or coupon-clipping, you will find me in the kitchen trying out new recipes or baking cookies with my little boy. I also love to decorate, drink coffee, go on dates with my husband, and watch chick-flicks when I have the time!

 

What about you? Do you have memories of couponing with your family that you would like to share? How did you become addicted to couponing and bargain-hunting? Did someone inspire you to save money? I would love to hear your story too!

Wednesday
Jul012009

Couponing Basics

Couponing and searching for those die-hard bargains is a lot of fun, but BEWARE it can become very addicting!  My husband is very grateful to me for all of the money that I save, but sometimes even he just laughs at me!  To be a successful couponer and bargain-hunter, you must first familiarize yourself with the basics.

There are lots of coupons and bargains out there, you just have to know what to look for and where to find them at.  You might actually be surprised where you can find coupons if you just open up your eyes and put on those bargain-hunting glasses!  8o) I feel that now I am continually on the lookout for coupons and bargains wherever I go!

It is fun to get your kids involved in the bargain-hunting too.  My three year old loves to help mommy as we go through the aisles at the store.  If he sees a coupon, he grabs it!  The other day it was so funny because my husband went into the grocery store with me to grab a few things.  In our almost 9 years of marriage, we have been in the grocery store together, but not too often, as I do all of the grocery shopping.  My husband was just laughing at me because I was on a mission for coupons even though we had very few things on our list!

Now that you know just how addicting couponing and bargain-hunting can be, it is important to know what to look for and where to find them at.  Here is a list that I have compiled of the different types of coupons:

  • Inserts - coupons in your Sunday newspaper
  • Newspapers - Don't forget to glance through your Sunday newspaper even if you don't read the entire thing!  I have found great deals and coupons just by looking in my local newspaper.
  • Magazines - Don't throw out those magazines that you get every month!  I have found some great gems hidden in them!
  • Home Mailers - Companies will add you to their mailing list fi you prefer and send out great coupons!  Complimenting or Complaining to a company will also get you some great home mailer coupons!
    Monthly Home Mailer Coupons - Many companies offer monthly mailers.  I find that many of these mailers include coupons and discounts for local entertainment and dining.  In fact, a lot of time , there are BOGO (buy one get one) coupons in these mailers for restaurants.  My husband and I particularly enjoy these bargains as it allows us to have date night! :o)
  • Internet Printables - There are some great Internet couponing sites such as:  www.coupons.com, www.smartsource.com, www.redplum.com, www.bettycrocker.com, www.couponbug.com, and www.boodle.com that offer great coupons which you can print right from your own computer!  There are also a couple of couponing sites that give you a preview of the next week's Sunday newspaper coupons.  I find that the early previews are usually available sometime on Thursday.  My favorite sites for early previews are: www.taylortownpreview.com and www.thecouponclippers.com.
  • Tear Pads - These are a pad of coupons usually found hanging from a store display.
  • Peelies - Sticker-like coupons that are stuck right on a product -you just peel it away!
  • Blinkies - These are found in coupon machines right in the aisle of the grocery store and usually next to the item that the coupon is for.  The coupon is dispensed from a machine with a blinking red light.  These coupons are my little boy's favorite to get for Mommy!  He loves to see the red light blink when the coupons come out!
  • Hang Tags and Wine Tags - These are coupons found right around the neck of a product or bottle.
  • Store Coupons - If your store has a turnstile or display where they keep the weekly store ad, chances are, you can probably find store coupon booklets or pamphlets there as well.  Those store coupons can be gems especially if your store allows you to stack a manufacturer's coupon with their own store coupon!  This is how I often get items for free or for just pennies on the dollar!

Now it's your turn!  What about you?  Where are your favorite places to find coupons?  Do you let your children help you hunt for bargains and coupons?  Do you have any great sites or sources that I did not mention? Please let me know!  I can't wait to hear your stories and ideas!

Wednesday
Jul012009

Coupon Lingo For The Bargain Enthusiast

I will never forget when I first started couponing and bargain-hunting several years back. I would search online forums and discussion threads, but not understand some of the abbreviations and terms that people were talking about regarding coupons. What in the world is BOLO or OOP? I thought it would be fun to make a list of these terms and abbreviations to see just how much you know! If I have forgotten some terms or there are some things that you think I should add, just let me know! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas too! :o)

BOGO - Buy One Get One Free
B2G1 - Buy Two Get One Free
BOLO - Be on the Lookout *be on the lookout for a certain coupon or product.
OOP - Out of Pocket *after all coupons are accounted for this is how much you use of your actual cash.
WYB - When you buy (for example: I recently found a TP (tear pad) coupon for FREE eggs WYB 2 Kellogg’s cereals)
WT - Wine Tag
NWP - No wine purchase necessary *some of the wine tag coupons that you will find, do not require you to purchase wine!
GC - Gift Card
MIR - Mail in Rebate
OOS - Out of Stock
YMMV - Your Mileage May Vary *this is saying that the deal may vary by location.
POP - Proof of Purchase *many rebates require this!
TMF - Try Me Free *this is like a rebate incentive. You usually have to mail in a proof of purchase with your receipt to receive your refund.
CO - Cents-off coupon
FAR - Free After Rebate
HT - Hang tag *many bottled items will have these types of coupon around the neck of the bottle.
PSA - Prices Starting At *many times in advertisements you will see this in the fine print. It is just letting you know that the prices for that deal start at a certain amount.
AR - After Rebate
AC - After Coupons
UPC - Universal Product Code
RC - Rain Check *if your store is out of a certain item for the week that you really would like to purchase, I find that it is always best to get a rain check! There may be some awesome coupons that come out at a later date for those items! I have often gotten an even better deal on an item that I had a rain check for than when the sale was going for that item! The best thing about RC’s is they usually do not expire! :o)
WSL - While Supplies Last-*no rain checks can usually be issued for these items. They are first come first serve items!
IP - Internet Printables * refers to Internet Printable coupons
DND - Do not double *unfortunately, I don’t have to worry about this as my state does not double coupons; however, many states do double! If you see this term it just means that particular coupon cannot be doubled.
EXP - Expiration
NED - No expiration date *it is rare to find a coupon with no expiration date, but I find that many times when you contact a company they will send you coupons with no expiration date. I love these coupons!
GDA - I love to this term! It means heads up on an awesome deal!

B&M - Brick and Mortar * when you see this term, it usually means that you have to go to the actual (brick & mortar) store to get the deal.
CRT - Cash Register Tape *these are the coupon that print off of your receipt at places like CVS.
SS - Smart Source *this refers to the Smart Source insert coupons found in your Sunday newspaper as well as www.smartsource.com IP coupons.
RP - Red Plum *Sunday insert coupons. You can also print coupons from www.redplum.com
P&G - Proctor and Gamble *insert with coupons for Proctor and Gamble products. This particular insert can usually be found in your Sunday newspaper once at the beginning of each month.
CAT - Catalina *this is a paper coupon that prints from a machine usually at places like Walgreens, or many different grocery stores.
OYNO - On Your Next Order- *many of the CAT coupons that you receive will say that particular coupon is good for your next shopping order.
RR - Register Rewards *these are the paper-like coupons that you receive at Walgreens when you purchase certain advertised items. RR’S print from the Catalina machine and you can use them on most everything at Walgreens! You may also hear these referred to as CAT’s or Catalina coupons.
ECB - Extra Care Bucks *these are the paper coupons that print on your receipt at CVS. You can earn these when you buy certain advertised products. ECB’s are like money that you can spend on pretty much anything at CVS!
Stacking - When you hear this term in coupon world, it means that you are taking a store coupon and pairing it with a manufacturer’s coupon to sweeten your deal! This is one of the best ways to get items for FREE or for pennies on the dollar! Some of my favorite places to stack are: Publix and Target!

Now that I have given you some of the most common terms to BOLO (remember what that one means?) you can sweeten your coupon and bargain-hunting adventure even more! I hope that you had fun reading these terms and that it will help you out! Do you have any funny stories or comments to share with me about when you first learned the lingo? I would love to hear from you! ;o)