Archive for the ‘Coupons’ Category

More Ways to Save Money has beautiful cards that can be personalized with your own text and photos.  They offer free shipping to send the card to you, or will charge the price of a stamp to send it to someone else.  The cards themselves usually run about $2.99, but they typically offer a free card about once a month.  If you plan ahead to the next occasion you’ll need a card, you will seldom have to purchase one.  The code right now is FRIEND12, which expires 8/5/12.

Recyclebank  offers opportunities for learning about going green and rewards you points for actions.  You can redeem the points for gift cards, high value coupons, magazine subscriptions and more.

I just won a $50 gift card to Starbucks from entering a contest listed at Penniless Teacher.  I’ve also won a $100 Walmart gift card, a case of cookies, and some other cool stuff by entering contests.  Blogs often have few people who enter contests, so the odds are really good.

MyCokeRewards is another place to enter codes that you find online or on Coke products to get gift cards, magazine subscriptions, or high value coupons.

Freecycle is a great organization that gives people the opportunity to pass on used items, avoiding the landfill and saving money.  You can post requests and offers, though general courtesy is understood to post an offer before posting a request.  Additionally, it is expected that if you receive an item from Freecycle, you won’t be selling that item.  Be sure to let someone know where you will be picking something up for safety’s sake.


Saving Money on Groceries

Þ  Don’t be choosy!  It’s fine to stick to one or two brands that work much better than other brands for a few items.  Branching out for other items, though, will save you money.  When one of 5 brands goes on sale, has a high-value coupon, or offers a sample, you have a better chance to get it more cheaply than if you will only buy one brand.  An example?  Laundry detergent.  I buy All, Tide, Gain, or Purex.  When All goes on sale at Target for $3.99 for 24 loads, and I use a $1 off coupon, that’s a good deal.  When Tide goes on sale for $5.24 at Safeway, and I have a $2 off coupon, I get another good deal.  When I get samples of Purex, Gain, and Tide in the mail, I get free loads of laundry.  Combine them, and I save money.


Þ  Use coupons! The best way to get coupons is to ask for them.  Printed coupons are not accepted as often as other coupons.  Ask your friends and family to save coupons for you.  Email or write companies that make products you like.  Request them online.  At Target, you can use their printable coupons (|&intc=263580|null) with a manufacturer’s coupon at the same time.  You can use Safeway’s store coupons with manufacturer’s coupons, too.  Here are some websites that I like to check in with daily (click on the images to visit the sites):





Þ  Request samples!  Normally you get to try the product or get extra of something you already use…plus a coupon!  Some samples are even full-size products.  I request samples even if I won’t use the product to get on a mailing list for other samples.  Then I give away what I don’t use.  The websites for coupons also blog about samples.


Þ  When requesting coupons and samples, don’t give them your real:

  • Birthdate: choose a birthday similar to yours to use for all of your requests
  • Phone number: sign up at for a “junk” phone number
  • Email:  Sign up at for a “junk” email


Þ  Earn free gift cards!  When you read emails, search, make online purchases, or enter codes from products or online, you get points.  When you get enough points, you can redeem them for gift cards.  Sites I use are (click on images to visit the sites):







Þ  Once you’ve gotten started, you’ll see more ways you may want to try saving money—rebates, the drugstore game, using coupons at stores and restaurants, and more.  Some may be worth your time and effort, and some may not.  Anything you do, though, will help save money on your groceries!

Personalized products–cheap!

I’ve been going a little crazy on Vistaprint lately.  First I found MoneySavingMom’s link (dead now), and then when I saw it again on Mom’s By Heart, I thought, “I have to order more stuff!”  I was inspired by this post at The Learning Tree and by Mrs. Starbuck’s Home Page.  I just came across another idea at Ashleigh’s Education Journey and another at Transitional Kinder.  So in 3 orders, I’ve purchased:

500 business cards for school

500 cards for people who can’t park (want some?  I’m giving these out!)

500 meeting reminder cards for school

a t-shirt for my dad for his annual summer party

a sticky note pad with one of my favorite sayings on it for school

a sticky note pad monogrammed and personalized with my daughter’s name and initial

a tote bag for my daughter

a personalized pen for school

10 thank you cards for school

a rubber stamp that says “This was checked together in school”

and spent about $25.  I don’t order all the things that are on the blog’s link page.  I order what I want, and then go to the blue tabs at the top to look for more free things.  These change fairly frequently–I’ve ordered address labels and mugs before, too.  If you go into sticker shock at the shipping, be sure to click the standard shipping–it’s not the default–and you can remove items to make the shipping drop.  I had another t-shirt and tote bag in my cart, and when I removed them, the shipping dropped $6!  When I received the tote bag that I did order, it was printed wrong.  They immediately sent me the correct one (received in about a week), and I got to keep the wrong one.  On everything I order, to keep it free, the vista print website is printed on the item.  It’s very small, and not noticeable at all.  Except to my family members, who look for it.

Free stuff to start the weekend

Requested:  free Private Selection frozen meals from Kroger stores and free Kroger’s Truly Awesome Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies from Bzzagent, sample or coupon Seattle’s Best coffee, Ontario Outdoor Adventures Calendar, 3 Extra Strength sinus rinse packets, 3 Oregon Chai Teabags

Received:  6 samples of Nescafe instant coffee (including peppermint mocha!) with a $1 off coupon, 3 Twinnings Tea bags (Lady Grey Cold Brew was DELISH, and really liked the English Breakfast Cold Brew and the Mixed Berry Cold Brew, too), Parents magazine, More magazine

Shopping:  free 8 oz of Kerry real Irish butter, free with coupon.  $1 off Friskees cat treats, so for .42, I can donate it to the animal shelter.  We like ham for Thanksgiving, so I got a spiral cut one for $1.29 a pound.  I also picked up the $7 turkey anyway, and will use it instead of chicken in recipes.  That’s a lot of meat for cheap.  Got a tube of Crest, sample of floss, sample of Scope for .69 with a $2 coupon. Target had Cream of Mushroom soup advertised for .59 cents a can–also found Cream of Chicken for the same price.  .25 coupon off of 4 cans sealed the deal.  Got dd some cute pajamas for Christmas…$7.48 each for top and bottoms, minus two $3 coupons.  That’s $20.96 off the original price. Got 2 cans of Del Monte corn and 4 cans of Del Monte Mandarin Oranges for $3.49 total by stacking two .50/2 coupons with a b3g1 free Target coupon, and using sales. Picked up a box of Kashi TLC bars for $1.49 with a $1.50 coupon.  Target is cheaper than Safeway on milk, Quaker cereal, and many other basic grocery items.  For instance, on sale, Stovetop stuffing mix was .89 compared to Safeway’s 1.50.  Captain Crunch was regularly $3.04 compared to Safeway’s regular $3.89.  Milk was regularly $2.49 compared to Safeway on sale at $2.99.  International Delight creamer was $1.79 compared to $2.29 at Safeway.  Target beat out Smith’s prices, too, though I do need to hit Smith’s to find some products I have “free coupons” for.

Prescriptions:  Always ask the doctor for samples, and always check the drug’s website before going to the pharmacy.  I’ve been on some asthma drugs for years, but when I asked for samples last time, she had one for a drug I use daily.  It saved me a week’s worth of the drug, AND had a $25 coupon off my next refill.  This is a $40 copay for this one, so that’s a chunk.  I had to switch to a new drug this week, and went to the drug’s website.  It’s another pricey copay, but I got my first prescription for free, and will get money off subsequent refills for a year.  I take Vitamin D, and even had a $2 coupon off a 90-day supply, bringing it down to $10.  One of the office people at my doctor’s office told me what day and time to call to see if the drug reps left any of my med.  This saves me a lot off at the pharmacy

Free stuff this weekend

Requested:  3.5 oz sample of White’s Premium Dog Food, Wendy’s Where’s the Beef t-shirt (contest over), TRESemme shampoo and conditioner sample, Roadsides in Bloom calendar

Received:  Crest sample, 9 apples and a package of hamburger from Safeway using a $10/10 catalina and a $1 coupon off of ground beef, $10 gift card from Animas Valley Mall by printing out the membership email and taking it to center court, 2 great new release books from the library to read!, Martha Stuart Living magazine, Popular Science magazine, a magnet business card for Fentiman’s plumbing and heating–my new favorite business!

Good deal:  I pod data cable for $1 shipped  I’m always misplacing mine.,  .29 for a pack of up2u gum with $1 off coupon

Free Stuff Lately

Requested:  Noisy Planet bookmarks, calendars, information; $15 Itunes gift card from Swagbucks; Hach calendarChinese Paintings calendar, Biosecurity for Birds calendar

Magazines:  Lego, Redbook, Lowe’s Creative Ideas, Woman’s Day, Martha Stewart Living

Received:  Target Beauty bag with 5 diff samples and a coupon pack inside, 2 samples of cool touch Kleenex, Tom of Maine’s toothpaste sample, birthday card (not for me, but to use), sample of Scope and Crest Toothpaste

In shopping:  another free Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet cleaner thingamajig with coupon, 25 photo Christmas cards–preprinted, with return-addressed envelopes for .37 total at Office Depot using $10/10 printable coupon, animal 4 g flash drive for .29 after using rewards check from Office Depot, .44 cent calculator on clearance at Office Depot, free Idahoan Potato mix using coupon from All You magazine, a Beautiful Life Pitcher for shipping only (6.34), Dole Mandarin oranges for .50 a full-size can with coupon from All-You, free Fresh Express Salad with coupon,

Lots of Free Stuff!!!

Requested:  Islands magazine, Awesome hat, Lawry’s Seasonings (from

Received:  10 Touchscreen cleaning wipes, pocket calendar, Winners Never Quit paperback, gift card for free steak and side from Outback, Scrubbing Bubbles 1-step toilet bowl system cleaner, magazines:  Taste of Home, More, Guideposts, Working Woman, Family Fun

Shopping:  used $10/$10 from JC Penney to buy 2 shirts for $5.32.  They were clearanced from $25 each to $7.50 each.  At Target, I used 4 $1/1 coupons to purchase 2 Simply OJ and 2 Simply Lemonade single serving bottles at .73 each…received $1.08 in overage. Nature Valley granola bars were on sale for $2.50, with the 5th box free.  I had two .75/2 coupons, so it ended up being $1.50 a box. Bug Spray was clearanced, so I bought a box of 10 wipes for $1.48.  At Safeway, I used a $1/1 and a .75/1 coupon to purchase 2 Kashi frozen meals…marked to half price at $1.75 each.  The $1 went through, but not the .75, and when she tried to take off one of the meals, it wouldn’t go through.  So I gave back one meal, but she just let the $1.75 ride off of my purchase.  Ended up being $1 overage on that with the other meal free.  Also at Safeway, All detergent was on sale for $3.99, and with a store coupon it was $3.49.  I used a .50 manufacturer’s coupon that doubled to $1 off, so $2.49 at the end.  AND I used a $1/1 coupon on Fresh Express salad to get a bag for free–on sale for 10 for $10.

Other neat stuff:  The magazines at the Farmington Public Library book sale are free, so I loaded up on magazines to read and to use in the classroom.  On the 3rd day, they offered a free bag of books to teachers, and on the 4th day, all remaining books were free.  I didn’t get to take advantage of that, but it was a great thing to do!  A friend gave me tickets to the Stephen Curtis Chapman concert this Friday, so I’m taking my kids and making a night of it!  Thanks, Mary!  My dr. gave me a 14-day fill of Flovent for me with a $25 coupon off my next refill–I just had to ask–well, hint :o)