Monday, February 28, 2011

Value-able Coupon Lesson #1 - Get Coupons!


The first thing you need to do is get coupons! There are many sources of coupons, I'll share where to get them below

Inserts from the Sunday Paper.
You need to pick up your local paper. A subscription is best, because it will lower your cost. My subscription is $1.00 a week. However, a KEY to couponing is having multiple coupons. I go to the Dollar Tree and pick up additional papers for $1.00 each.

My Story: I once read that you need to have 4-6 per week and I thought, no way! There's no way I'll need that many. My first week, I bought the paper @ cost, which is $2.00. I figured, I don't really want to subscribe to a paper, because I don't know If I am going to stick with couponing, so I'll just buy one this week and see.... My second week I bought a "Double" paper, which is 2-in-1 for $2.89. I figured that It was very intriguing to coupon and I figured that I'd invest a little more to see what happens.... My third week I ordered a subscription, and in addition I picked up a "double" paper... Fast forward to six weeks later and I'm kicking myself in the butt for not having enough coupons from those old papers! I found that when you first start out, you really don't have enough coupons. It takes time to gather them up, week after week, so here's what I suggest:

Subscribe to your local paper, then go to Coupon Dede and you can buy the old inserts. I would buy the previous 2 months worth because generally coupons don't expire for 2-3 months. You can also buy specific clipped coupons from here (which I do when a deal is really good), but to get started, I would just buy the whole insert.

Printable Coupons
There are a number of printable coupon websites, here are the main ones: - there's a banner at the top of this site that you can click on - you'll have to go all the way to the bottom of the website

Manufacturer Sites:
Also, if you like a specific product, you might want to go to their website, usually they have coupons right on there. For example, I use Pull-Ups, so I go to and get $2.00 off coupons. They allow me 1 per month.

Alot of times, if you like a product on facebook, they will give out coupons right on Facebook.

Peelies, Blinkies, Tearpads & Hangtags:
Another Great source for coupons are finding them right on a product. (or near a product)
A peelie - located on the product. It will say something like "Save $0.25 Now, peel here"
Blinkies - these are machines in the aisles that have red blinking lights and you pull them out of a dispenser

Tearpads - Just like it sounds, a tearpad is found near the product and you tear off your coupon from the pad. (don't have a picture yet)
Hangtags - These hang on the products. Like a bottle of an all-purpose cleaner or a drink bottle

Booklets, Magazines, Mailers
Booklets: Sometimes stores have booklets that are free and have many coupons in them. During Superbowl, I found a booklet in Kroger that had coupons in them for Ritz crackers, Philadelphia cream cheese, Velveeta cheese, & Rotel Diced Tomatoes, just to name a few. I found the one pictured below near the pharmacy at Kroger.

Magazines: Some Magazines have great coupons. The favorite among couponers is All You Magazine, found in Walmart stores and you can buy a subscription online at Amazon.

Mailers: When you register at a Manufacturer's website for emails & special offers, a lot of times they will mail you savings coupons.

Friends, Family, & Trading forum websites
If you know someone who subscribes to the paper and doesn't use their inserts, ask them if they will give them to you.

Trading forum websites - I personally belong to It is a great site to talk with a community of other couponers. Unlike Blogs which only give you information, on this site, you can ask questions to people, and they help answer your questions. They also allow you to trade coupons. I post a "have" list and a "wish" list. If someone wants what I have, and I have what they want, then we agree to trade and we mail coupons to eachother. This is great because some coupons are not offered in certain regions, so it's a great way to get coupons that you would not have otherwise received.


For my California friends that shop at Ralphs (Kroger here)

Attention California RALPHS shoppers:

I just called Ralphs in Riverside, CA (Canyon Crest) and they confirmed that they double up to $1.00. This means that if you have a coupon for $0.50, it will double to $1.00. If it is $0.55 - it will double "up to" $1.00, which means, you won't get $1.10 off, but you WILL get $1.00 off. Please check with your local store next time you are shopping there, it could save you $$$!

Kroger Trip 2/28/11

Oh my, I had a very FUN shopping trip at Kroger (Ralphs) today. Unfortunately, this is not a newbie transaction, because they were not just coupons from this last week's paper, but this is for inspiration to the newbies.

Unlike my regular CVS & Walgreens trips, which are usually Health & Beauty items, or Cleaning items, this is a GROCERY shopping trip. I did a total of 2 transactions. In the first transaction I bought 30 items, all for the Daytona Mega Sales event, which, for every 10 participating items, you get $3.00 to spend on your next shopping trip. I did it this way, so that I would earn the money in the first transaction, and use it towards the second transaction, which was for other items I either needed, or was a good sale and/or stock up item.

Before I went grocery shopping, my husband said - "Don't spend too much!" LOL! I think he says that out of habit, because before I'd spend $150-$200. I think he'll eventually get used to me spending less, don't you? By the way, for anyone who wants to get their spouse involved in couponing - the best way to do it, is to take them with you on a good shopping trip. They'll get all worried and anxious when you pull up to the register and when the total is calculated, they'll get it!

Total for both transactions: $111.10. Paid: $34.99.
Breakdown of Transactions are below the pics:

1st Transaction: Total: $71.05. Paid: $21.22. Earned $9.00 to use towards next shopping trip
(On this transaction, I used a $5.00 "good on your next purchase" coupon from my last Kroger trip)

2nd Transaction: Total: $40.04. Paid: $13.77.
(also bought strawberries, not pictured because my kids were already devouring them by the time I took this pic!)

Notes: You're probably wondering where all my fruits and veggies are huh? Well, to my suprise, I went to Walmart today to pick up some ink for my printer (all those end of the month printables!) Anyways, I was rewarded a $10.00 gift card for buying a black/color combo pack, so I used it to buy that kind of stuff.

Printable Coupons - Print today before they are reset!

Get Your Printer Ready!

I've been reading all the couponing blogs and newsfeeds and everyone is saying to print your online coupons because it's the end of the month. I guess they will be reset tomorrow, so here's the websites. I printed all mine, (2 prints per coupon max) and I DO recommend you print 2 of each. I'll check back tomorrow to see if, in fact,there are new coupons!

Here's the sites:

Happy Printing!

- Veronica

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Free P&G Organize in Style coupon booklet!

Did you know that you can request a new Organize in Style booklet every 30 days?!?!  I was able to go HERE and request another NEW Organize in Style coupon booklet today! These booklets come filled with over $35 worth of coupons and include all sorts of great P&G coupons, including a coupon for $1 off ANY Dawn with Olay Hand Renewal dish soap, which makes for FREE dish soap at CVS as it goes on sale for $.99 or less (quite often)!  Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.
Thanks, Hooked on Bargains

For Newbies: Walgreens Trip 2/27- 3/5/11

This post is going to solely focus on newbies. I am only going to post transactions that you can do with the CURRENT Sunday coupons, or with online Printable Coupons! Since most newbies don't have weeks and weeks worth of coupons yet, you will be able to do the ones I post!

If  you haven't already subscribed to your local paper, pick one up today so you can take advantage of these deals. If you go to the Dollar Tree, you can pick up papers for $1.00 ea! You can expect to see the Smart Source insert, (may look different), and the P&G brand saver:

Also, you'll need to print a few coupons so have your printer ready!

Here's our Walgreens Ad for 2/27/11, you can find it in the Newspaper. I have my own personal budget to never spend more than $10.00 at Walgreens or CVS, so that is all you'll ever spend!

 This is what I bought and I'll teach you how to do it:

Total: $65.74. Paid: $9.56. Earned $15.00 in Register Rewards
Total # of transactions: 6
(Yes you will have to do 6 different transactions, , or you can pick and choose which ones to do, but you don't have to do them all in one day. You can go back through the week, but I don't mind standing there handing the cashier 1 or 2 items at a time, lol!)

Make sure you pick up your March Instant Value Coupon Booklet (IVC), effective today. We won't need it this week, but pick one up anyways, It looks like this:
(dang it, I don't know why it rotated, but in the file it's upright. Sorry!)

Now for the Breakdown of transactions: (which you can do today!)

Notes: First lesson in transactions like these, you can't count on everything that you want to be in stock. The store opened at 8am, and I needed to purchase additional papers for the deals, so I had to wait til 10am for Dollar Tree to open, but I was late, it was more like 11:45 by the time I got there. I'm going to blame it on the kids, lol. Anyways I hit my Walgreens at noon, and by then, the very first transaction on my list was all out! Shelves cleared! So the deal would have been a Motrin PM transaction, and if you have it in stock, you can do it at your store. The deal goes like this:

Motrin IB Pain Relief, 20 ct., on sale for $3.00
Get $3.00 in Register Rewards (RR), Limit 1
Means that you pay $2.00 Out of Pocket (OOP), and in turn, you get to spend $3.00 on your next transaction.
Notes: I happened to have $2.00 in Register Rewards from my transaction last week, so this would have been $0.00 Out of Pocket for me. For the purposes of being a newbie, I will add it up like If I don't have any Register Rewards, so the total reflects what YOU will pay.

I had to move on and do the next transaction on my list:

#1 - Colgate Transaction
Colgate Toothpaste 4 oz. Total Gum Defense or Advanced, on sale for $2.99
Get $3.00 in Register Rewards (RR), Limit 1
     - $0.75 off  from this week's Smart Source Insert
Means that you pay $2.24 Out of Pocket (OOP), and in turn you get $3.00 in Register Rewards (RR) to use on the next transaction:

#2 - Baby Magic
Baby Magic Lotion or Hair & Body Wash 16.5 oz., on sale for $3.00
Get $3.00 in Register Rewards (RR), Limit 1
      - Use your $3.00 Register Rewards from the Colgate Transaction
(This transaction is what I call a wash, you use your $3.00 RR, and get another $3.00 RR, you don't pay anything, or gain anything)
Notes: I don't even use Baby Magic, but it's free, you should always think about ways to use the items that you get. Personally, I am saving this and any other free baby items I get for the next baby shower!

#3 - Aquaphor & M&M Transaction:
Aquaphor Lip Repair, .35 oz., Reg. $4.99, plus a "filler" I chose M&M's @ $0.59
Get $4.00 in Register Rewards (RR), Limit 1
     - $1.00 off Aquaphor Printable
     - Use $3.00 Register Rewards from the previous transaction
Notes: The reason why i need a filler, is because Walgreens Coupon Policy states, you can't use more coupons that items, so I have (2) coupons, one Printable, and the Register Rewards count as one. I wouldn't be able to use them both on just 1 Aquaphor Lip Repair.
Means that you pay $1.58 Out of Pocket (OOP), and in turn you get $4.00 in Register Rewards (RR) to use on the next transaction: Total OOP so far is $3.82, but yours may vary because you might choose a different filler item.

#4 - Gillette Fusion Proglide & M&M Transaction:
Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razor System, on sale for $9.99, plus "filler" M&M's @ $0.59
Get $4.00 in Register Rewards (RR), Limit 1     - $4.00 off  from this week's P&G Insert
     - Use $4.00 Register Rewards from previous transaction
Means that you pay $2.58 Out of Pocket (OOP), and in turn you get $4.00 in Register Rewards (RR) to use on the next transaction: Total OOP so far is $6.40, but yours may vary because you might choose a different filler item.

#5 - Nasogel transaction: (& M&M's if you happen to find a $1.00 off coupon on the product)
NasoGel Drip-Free Gel Spray 1 oz., on sale for $4.99
Get $5.00 in Register Rewards (RR), Limit 1
     - Use $4.00 Register Rewards from previous transaction
Means that you pay $1.00 Out of Pocket (OOP), and in turn you get $5.00 in Register Rewards (RR) to use on the next transaction: Total OOP so far is $7.40, but yours may vary -I personally happened to find a "peelie" stuck to the product for $1.00, so I used that to pay for the sale and in order to use it, I had to pick a filler item, that's why in my pic, I have M&M's here. I only paid $0.59 for the candy

#6 - Nyquil & Puffs transaction: (phew, done!)
Vicks NyQuil or DayQuil, 20 ct, Liquid, 10 oz, Formula 44 or Child’s NyQuil 6 oz $5.49 with in ad coupon, Limit 3 (However, I purchased 4, and it was fine. It's up to the store to decide if they want to enforce limits, most won't)
***There is a monthly Register Reward Deal that says if you get $15.00 in Vicks products, you get $5.00 in Register Rewards, and if you buy $20.00 in Vicks products, you get $10.00 in Register Rewards, currently all the bloggers and readers (including me) are trying these transactions, and no Register Rewards are printing. I've contacted the company responsible at and they will give us the $10.00 Register rewards, but everyone will have to contact them on their own, so you may not want to purchase as many as I did, I only did it because I wanted to get the $10.00 in Register Rewards. You can do only 1 and it would look like this:
Vicks NyQuil or DayQuil, 20 ct, Liquid, 10 oz, Formula 44 or Child’s NyQuil 6 oz $5.49 with in ad coupon
Puffs (up to $1.99
     - Use $4.00 off Vicks Sinex from this weeks P&G insert
        (I know it says Sinex, but it works on Nyquil, I did it this morning)
     - Buy a Vicks product and get Puffs FREE (up to $1.99)
Means that you pay $1.49 Out of Pocket (OOP), no Register Rewards (RR). Total OOP so far is $8.89, but yours may vary depending on your fillers and how many Vicks you purchase.

Here's what I did
(4) Vicks NyQuil, 10 oz, $6.49, you need to show them the coupon in ad so they can scan it and it takes $1.00 off each making it $5.49 ea
(4) Puffs, $1.49      - I used (4) $4.00 off Vicks Sinex from this weeks P&G inserts
     - I used (4) Buy Vicks product and get Puffs FREE (took off $1.49 for each)
Means I paid $5.96 OOP, but am expecting $10.00 in Register Rewards when printing problem is fixed.
Notes: I made a Rookie mistake when I did this transaction. I forgot to hand the cashier the in-ad coupon, and paid a lot more than I should have. If his happens to you, it is no problem. I reviewed my receipt when I got back in my car, and brought it right back into the store and they refunded me the difference! Make sure that if you make mistakes, take your receipt back and get what's owed to you.

 I know that was a lot to take in, but this week's ad was really good for newbies. I hope you actually go out and do at least one of these transactions, and if you do, please leave me a comment letting me know how you did, I would love to hear your stories!

Happy Savings!

- Veronica

Friday, February 25, 2011

CVS Trip 2/25/11

Total: $69.83. Paid: $12.65.
Earned $1.00 in Extra Care Bucks for using my Green Bag Tag (See Notes Below)

So, you're thinking CVS again? Didn't I just go 2 days ago? Yes! Let me tell you a few things. 1st, the sale was really good and I didn't have the necessary coupons to do the deals, so when I figured out my shopping trips at the begining of this week, I had to order coupons and they came yesterday. The sale ends Saturday, so I went today!

Q: Why don't I have the necessary coupons?
A: The inserts in the Sunday paper are regional. Most of the coupons are the same, but some are not distributed everywhere. I read a blog that listed this deal and when I realized that I wasn't one of the lucky ones to get this specific coupon, I ordered them.

Q: Where do you order coupons?
A: You can get coupons from Coupon Clipping Services. It is illegal to "buy" a coupon, but what you are paying for is the"service" of clipping. (Loophole, I know it's wierd, but it's valid) The one I use is called Coupon Dede.

(4) Purex Ultra Concentrate. Sale $1.99 - Used (4) Manufacturer coupons for $1.00 off
(4) Purex 3-1 Complete: Sale $3.99 - Used (4) Manufacturer coupons for $3.00 off
(1) Aleve Tablets, 50ct: Sale: $4.99 - Used (1) Manufacturer coupon for $2.00 off
(1) Snickers Peanut Butter: $0.50
(1) M&M's: $0.50

Notes: Don't forget to buy a Green Bag Tag. It is $0.99 and it looks like this:
Everytime you shop, bring your own reusable bag, and scan this card. One scan per day is allowed. On every 4th visit, you earn $1.00 in Extra Care Bucks to use on your next shopping trip.

My New Coupon Clutch!

I'm so excited. I have a new "Binder", but It's technically called a "Coupon Clutch" so that's how I'll refer to it from now on.
Here's my old binder, (don't judge). LOL. It's just a regular old plain black 3-ring binder:

Here's my Coupon Clutch! Isn't it cute?

Here's what it looks like opened up... Very easy when you're in the store!
Now here's what it looks like when I transferred all my coupons in it...

And, when It's all packaged up! Ready to go shopping!

I love it! If you want to see all the different styles and prices, go HERE

Use Coupon Code TAKE5 to get $5.00 off!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Target Trip 2/24/11

Total $45.58. Paid: $7.99
(don't forget to bring your own reusable shopping bags! They credit you $0.05 for each!)

Ok, I know what you're thinking.. This is excessive! Well, I didn't plan to buy anything in the back row (with red clearance stickers) but wait till you see the breakdown, then you'll understand why!


2 Dove Shampoos: $1.78 ea. (clearance)
 - Used 2 Manufacturer coupons for $1.00 off

2 Pantene Shampoos: $1.98 ea. (clearance)
 - Used 1 Mfr coupon for $2.00 off 2

3 Garnier Fructis Conditioners
2 Garnier Fructis Curl Sculpting Gels
1 Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Humidity Hairspray
(All were clearance priced at $1.48 ea.)
 - Used 6 Mfr coupons for $1.00 off - a printable coupon can be found at, there is a banner at the top of my posts that will allow you to print it. I believe the maximum prints per coupon allowed is 2 per computer.

1 Garnier Fructis  Wonder Waves Mousse: $1.67 (clearance)
 - Used 1 Mfr coupon for $1.00 off

2 Up & Up Pantiliners: $0.89 ea.
 - Used 2 coupons for $0.75 off

2 Up & Up Dental Floss: $0.89 ea.
 - Used 2 coupons for $1.00 off (since it exceeds the amount of the product, the coupon only takes off $0.89)

2 Dentyne Pure 3-pack gum: $1.79 (on sale)
 - Used 2 coupons for $0.75 off
 - Also Used 2 Mfr coupons for $1.00 off (This method is called "stacking" and is allowed at Target. It is one (1) target coupon plus one (1) Mfr coupon per item)

NOTES: Ok, so I have alot to say about this particular post. 1st of all, I explain in Lesson #1 of my value-able coupon lessons that it's a good idea to get multiple papers so that if a good deal comes along, you can stock up. You're probably thinking, does someone really need all that Shampoo and Conditioner? Well 1st, I do have 4 females living here (including me) so we do go through quite a bit of shampoo. Also, if you are really getting good deals on something, I don't see why you can't share with family and friends. Imagine how happy people will be when you hand them free Shampoo or Conditioner. I say "free" even though I paid about $0.48 ea. item, because if I (or you) run out of Shampoo or Conditioner tomorrow, and you went to the store how much would your total be if you bought 1 of each? Probably about the same Amount I paid for all of this stuff together!
The other thing I wanted to point out is that I mention getting printable coupons from and Both places allow you to print 2 of each coupon per computer so If it's a good deal, then I'd get 2. (In this particular post, the floss, pantiliners, and gum)

Walmart Trip 2/24/11

Total: $7.87. Paid: $0.81


2x Dial Nutriskin Lotion: $1.97.
 - 2x Manufacturer Coupon: $2.00 off 1*

Gain Fabric Sheets, 40ct: $1.87
 - Manufacturer Coupon: $3.00 off 1*

Fritos: $2.00

*That Gave me an overage of $1.19, which I used to purchase the Fritos. Technically, I could have bought the Gain Fabric Sheets, 60ct which was $3.12, but my daughter has been asking me for Fritos and I told her that since I didn't have a coupon for it, I wouldn't buy it. With this transaction, I could!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011