Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Coupons; Organization, Use, and Getting Paid!

Today's tips concern Coupons! I know some of you read that 7 letter word and think "OH NO!, I don't do coupons, that takes too much time, I don't have that kind of time", OR, you read that glorious word and your heart races with pure joy! This post will benefit BOTH of you! So I don't lose my readers who despise coupons I will address what they may find interesting first....

Coupons and how to get PAID for them regardless if you use them or not:

A lot of people get the paper, either the daily paper, or just weekend papers, or they will go and pick up the Sunday paper. If you ever get coupons in your paper regardless if you plan to use them or not, you can make money off of them without even cutting them. SELL THEM! If you are coupon King, or Queen, there are always coupons that you don't use....keep them! I am the coupon guru in my house, and I would throw the ones that I knew I would never use away....then one day I had an epiphany, I thought "why not sell the ones that I do not use?", I mean I've purchased bundles of coupons before on eBay for a particular product that we use all the time to combine with a sale just to get multiples of that item almost FREE, so why not do the same and sell the ones that I don't use? Guys, I tried this, and it worked better than I had hoped! I spread out the coupons on the table took a quick picture with my phone, and then listed my bundle of coupons that I was not going to use on eBay! I did not even take time to list each one on the listing page...I just put "Lot of 43 Coupons" and asked $0.75 for them on a 1 day auction. To my surprise they sold for $2.31 including shipping ($0.44 stamp). Listing them is easy and FREE, you just pay eBay a small commission (percentage of sales price I think) when they sell, I think I paid like $0.10 to eBay, and another $0.10 to PayPal to get my money. Overall I profited around $1.70 cash back to me just to get rid of the coupons that I don't even use, this paid for the Sunday paper that I bought just to get the coupons.

If you are going to sell your coupons, here are a few DO NOTS:


  • This is important, YOU CANNOT SELL COUPONS, YOU ARE GETTING PAID FOR YOUR TIME GATHERING AND CLIPPING THEM (if you take time to clip them). The reason you cannot sell coupons is because it says right on the coupon that you cannot sell them...not sure what will happen if you do, however I play it safe, and in the listing I specify that they are getting the coupons for FREE, they are just paying me for my time of gathering them and clipping them. 

Organization of Coupons, and how they can SAVE you big dollars!:

So as you may have figured out, I gave up my "Man Card" to save my family big money....that's perfectly fine by me, I'll get it back when I pay cash for that Ski Boat in the near future. Coupons have saved my family HUGE DOLLARS over the last 2 years that we've been using them! I wouldn't consider us "Hard Core" coupon users either. When I first started using them I would stuff them in different envelopes with categories names. That was a mess and headache, sometimes I would miss a coupon we could have used...frustrating! So I bought a 3 ring binder, "trading card" pages, and dividers (all of which you can buy at an office supply store for less than $20). This allowed me to organize the trading card pages into categories such as "Dairy", "Frozen Food", "Canned Goods", Ect. I would place each coupon into one of the trading card slots on the pages into the different categories. This allowed me to view each coupon individually as I was shopping for the items that fit the category. This saved me BIG time and headaches while shopping in the grocery store.

The best time to use your coupons:

If you go to the grocery to buy your certain items that you need and are on your list, if you've got a coupon for it...then USE IT! However, the very best time to use your coupons is when you can combine them with items that are already on sale. If you are shopping and see an item that you use, however you don't need it right now, but it's on sale, PLUS you have a good coupon to use on top of the sale...if your budget will allow, buy it (if it is non-perishable). I will stock up on things like deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, ect when I can get them for really cheap, even if I don't need them at that time...I will need them at some point.

Also, check your store's coupons policy. My store doubles coupons $0.50 or less, so if I have an item where I've got two different coupons, one for $0.75 and the other for $0.50, if I don't need two of that item then I will use the $0.50 coupon since I will actually get a full $1.00 off since it doubles!

Electronic Coupons are NOT as good as the paper ones, here is why, they DO NOT DOUBLE, and sometimes they do not work.  However, I use them if I do not have a paper one, or if the electronic one is better face value than the paper one that I've got....just pay attention while you are checking out to ensure they get applied to your purchase.

The first thing you should do before giving the attendant your coupons, is to have them scan your shoppers card (example: Kroger Plus Card....NOT A CREDIT CARD) or enter your alternate ID number. If you do this after you give them your coupons you will NOT get your coupons doubled, nor will your electronic coupons work.

Restaurant Coupons/Gift Cards:

Every city that has any size to it will have these little circulars that go out that are a book of coupons for local vendors, restaurants, and businesses. These books are a good source for savings when you are going out to dinner or a quick bite. Another GREAT way to save, your local public schools will sell these little wallet cards that have lists of local restaurants and businesses on them that give you automatic savings when you show the establishment the card. Not only are you saving money, but you are also supporting your local schools! That's a WIN/WIN if I've ever heard of one!

Ashley and I will go on a "Date Night" every other week or so, and we will usually be using a Groupon certificate that we picked up from Groupon.com, this website sells everything from vacations, electronics, massages, to restaurant certificates. We will usually pick up 2-4 certificates they've got a restaurant featured that we like. You pay for the certificate on Groupon and when you go to use it it's like spending cash and you usually will save 50% or more on your bill. Another fantastic way to save BIG bucks on fine dining! I've hear of people say that Restaurant.com is pretty good, however, there seems to be so many catches when using their certificates it's almost a headache....that's just me personally. Coupon apps for your iPhone are another good way to save a buck or two when dining out.

During the holiday season, a lot of restaurants will have gift card promotions where you buy $X.xx in gift cards and you will receive $X.xx in gift cards back for FREE! This is a GREAT deal as well. For instance, I took my family, my mom, and my mother-in-law to dinner at Outback Steakhouse one holiday season, and when I got the bill it was right at $100.00, they were running a promotion where if you bought $100.00 in gift cards you received a $25 gift card back in return. So, BEFORE I paid for the dinner bill, I went and bought a $100 gift card, got my $25 dollar gift card on top of that and paid for the dinner bill with my $100 gift card and left the restaurant with a $25 gift card and it cost me NOTHING!!!, it was FREE! I like free! Now, you don't have to spend that kind of money in order to get gift cards back, I have done the same thing at different restaurants in town for every $25 in gift cards bought, you got back a $5 gift card in return. These are great if it's just two for dinner or ten, they will pay out the $5 promo gift cards for every $25 bought! I will buy the gift cards and then turn around and pay for the lunch or dinner ticket with them and come out ahead with the bonus gift cards!

If you have any ideas or tips to add please feel free to post your comments to this page so everyone can enjoy!

Thanks for reading!!!

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