An Intro to Coupons

November 5, 2013

I generally don’t post about coupons, but I have gotten enough questions lately that it would be easier to post than to type out responses.  Coupons are not difficult to use, the keys are collecting them and matching them to sale or clearance items.  I have a few favorite coupon/deal blogs I follow, they generally alert me to any really good deals.

Coupons on regular priced items rarely make a dent, but when used in conjunction with a sale they can help you score some sweet deals.  I will use the Kmart sale on Purex, Cottonelle, and Viva as an example.

Purex 50oz bottles of detergent were on sale for 4 for $9, they ring up $2.25 each regardless of the number purchased.  There were several nice Purex coupons floating around varying from $1 off each bottle to $1.50 off the purchase of 2.  If you could round up the $1 off each coupon, it brought the price down to $1.25 a bottle before the added bonus of the Catalina printing or the Shop Your Way savings.

Kmart has a free membership based savings program similar to a “Kroger card” called Shop Your Way.  It is free to sign up and you can earn rewards along with additional savings.   Shop Your Way members received an additional $3 off the purchase of 3 designated products during this specific sale.

So what is a Catalina?  I have had this question a few times today.  Catalina’s are the coupons that print at the end of a transaction with your receipt.  They are generally good toward a future purchase.  Catalina coupons generally only print out for a short period of time.  They can often be used with a manufacturers coupon.

A $3 off a future purchase catalina coupon printed with the purchase of 4 bottles of Purex detergent.  I used that catalina coupon toward my next purchase of Viva paper towels, which can be used in conjunction with a regular manufacturers coupon too.  The six pack of Viva paper towels were on sale for $3.99.   I used 3 high value $1 off the purchase of a pack of Viva paper towel coupons, since I was purchasing 3.  This brought the purchase price down to $2.99 a package, and then I used the catalina coupon for $3 off a future purchase to make the package price a $1.99.  This transaction printed a $3 catalina coupon toward a future purchase.

I used a similar senario for the Cottonelle toliet paper which was on sale for $3.99 for a 12 roll pack.  The toliet paper generated a $3 catalina toward a future purchase, and I used it to buy several more bottles of Purex since I had coupons left.

I had roughly $12 in my small stock pile of name brand products.  
Three 6 roll packs of Viva paper towels
Three 12 roll packs of Cottonelle toilet paper 
Nine bottles of 50oz Purex
1 package of 18 Purex Ultra detergent packets
Remember that many of these deals only last for a short time and if you don’t act quickly you won’t score.  
A few tips:
Start with small orders until you get the hang of things.
Find a regional coupon blogger and follow them on Facebook, they will post deals.  
Search for your own coupons through google
If you have more coupons than items you plan to purchase, surprise someone and leave a few near an item.  I love finding a surprise coupon, and you would too.  Don’t let coupons expire that someone else could use.  
I will try to post great deals as I find them.  I will also try to provide detailed explanations later but this should be plenty enough for now.  
Happy Manic Monday,

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