Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Power of Coupons

Today I was able to get two boxes (20 waffles) of Whole Wheat Eggo Waffles (the kind we always buy) for 25 cents a box. How?

Target's Eggo Waffles are on sale for $1.75.
I bought two boxes. $1.75 X 2= $3.50 should have been my total.
I had two Target coupons for $1.00 off of Eggo Waffles. $3.50-$2.00= $1.50
I also had a manufacturers coupon that I stacked with the other two coupons for $1.00off when you buy two boxes of Eggo waffles. $1.50-1.00= 50 cents, or 25 cents a box!

Wait for a sale.
Use store coupons with a manufacturers coupon (called coupon stacking).
Get groceries or toiletries for CHEAP or FREE!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Free Limade Sparkler from Taco Bell

Click the link below. You can then print your coupon for a free Limade Sparkler!

Free Limade Sparkler from Taco Bell

Free Kotex Sample Pack

Get your free Kotex Sample Pack here:

Kotex Free Sample

You have four different packs to choose from.

"Build a Grocery Stockpile" Article

I just received my July 23, 2010 issue of All You Magazine in the mail today. I highly suggest buying a subscription of this magazine because the coupons in the magazine will pay for the magazine itself in the end. If you buy the subscription through and have a Upromise account, you will get 25% back. The subscription runs about $20, which is also cheaper than going to Wal-mart each time to buy it.

In this magazine, turn to page 29. There is an article by Emily Hendricks Turnier on how to "Build a Grocery Stockpile." When reading through this, I thought, "this all sounds so familiar!" I have actually done these things in the last few months and I have my own stockpile now.

"What is a stockpile?" you might ask. Basically, it means you are stocking up your pantry or shelves with non-perishable items that you regularly use so that 1.) you have them on hand when you need them and 2.) you don't have to make several shopping trips to replace that item. For example, instead of just buying one can of diced tomatoes, you buy several, only if you know you are going to use them all in the next few months. Or, instead of buying one package of toilet paper, you buy several of these, too. I don't think you can ever have too much toilet paper--especially if you have a large household. The best time to stockpile are when these items are on sale and when you use manufacturers and store coupons to match that sale, if you happen to have any.

The magazine article mentioned above is a great article and a big summary of what I am trying to teach you on this blog. I have seen some very small stockpiles and some VERY LARGE stockpiles. After reading the article, let me know what you think. Have you started your own stockpile?

*Don't forget to clip the coupons in the magazine and save them for when a good deal scenario comes across!

Free Brand Name Health Samples Click Here

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How I Organize and Plan My Shopping Trips

I recently wrote a few tips for using coupons on the post below:
In this post I wrote about where to find your coupons and how to organize them.

Now that you are saving your coupons and keeping them organized, it is time to start using them.

I like to shop at the following stores in my area for my groceries and toiletry items:

1.) Wal-mart
2.) Walgreens
3.) CVS
4.) Food Lion
5.) Target

I used to shop for the majority of my groceries at Wal-mart because I thought it was cheaper. I dreaded these trips because I knew that I needed a lot of groceries and I always came out with a huge cart full. Now I make several trips throughout the week and make a few purchases at each store, stocking up on what I know I buy and need week after week, when the items are on sale, and usually with coupons. I create a stockpile of these items so that I do not have to go to the store each week to pick up one item, just to have to go back the next week because we ran out.

For example, baby bath wash was on sale at Wal-mart recently. I found myself buying bath wash every time I went to the store. When it was on sale, I stocked up and bought six, which ends up saving me money in the end when buying it at sale price, as well as keeping me from having to go back to the store six different times for bath wash!

When an item goes on sale that you know you buy regularly, buy several and create a small stockpile of that item. Eventually you will have done this with everything you buy and you find that you aren't having to go to the store as often. Once the sale ends, it usually comes back in a few months. When you find that your stockpile is running low, find that sale again later and stock up again. It is even better when you use a coupon (or several coupons) on top of that sale!

Are you ready to read about how I organize my shopping trips?

1.) I collect the store circulars from the stores listed above from the Sunday paper, or from the store itself.
2.) I look through each circular, find what is on sale that I need and circle that item.
3.) Then I look to see what coupons I have that will match the sale.
4.) I spread out my shopping trips throughout the week when I am out and about and stop into those stores, with my coupons.
5.) I buy what I need and head home knowing that I have saved some money!

I hope you have started saving your coupons that you are coming across daily. This is important because I will eventually be posting deal scenarios where you can get certain items for FREE if you have the coupon. The blogs to the right on the Deal Watch List post deal scenarios often, so you don't want to miss out if you do not have the coupons.

Now that I have given you tips on where to find your coupons and how to organize them (on the previous post), and given you tips on how to organize your shopping trip, I am ready to start giving you more information on using certain coupons with deal scenarios.

I will also be posting a few free samples that come along my way. Come back often!

Frugal Free Gal's First Free Sample!

Here is the first free sample that I have found that I would like to share! Come back often to check for more, or look at My Deal Watch List to the right on my blog!

EOS (Evolution of Smooth) is giving away a free sample of their shave gel. Click here to get your sample!

EOS Free Sample Shave Gel

Swagbucks is HOT Right Now! Sign Up Today!

If you haven't signed up for Swagbucks yet, now is the time to do so. I just searched on my Swagbucks toolbar and won 47 Swagbucks! The proof is below in the picture. That is from 1 search! This doesn't include all of the other ways I can win! (Go to my blog archive on the right to see my article on the many different ways you can win Swagbucks.) Yesterday, I won 39 Swagbucks TWICE on the search toolbar! Keep in mind it only takes 450 SB to get a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card. I am working on card #7 in one month!

Here is the link to get started with Swagbucks!

You can also click on the large square button on the right of my blog! Check my Swidget at the bottom to see if there are any active codes available!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tips for Beginner Couponers

As I get older, I realize I enjoy been a frugal person. Finding ways to save money is a hobby of mine. I like saving money in certain areas of life because I know that I would rather spend that money saved on nice vacations and on fun things for the family to do.

I was recently introduced to using coupons. My life has changed. :)

I used to think that those things called "coupons" were a joke. I used to think that I could never find the coupons on things that I wanted, and thought that buying store brand was always cheaper than buying name brand items even with a coupon. I used to think that only crazy people used coupons. I guess I am the crazy one now! I used to think this because I didn't know how to use the coupons. I didn't shop for things when they were on sale and pair coupons with that sale. I didn't know what "coupon stacking" was (using a store coupon with a manufacturers coupon, and even better, using them with a sale!) I didn't save my coupons until I needed them. I now see those little pieces of paper as money. Free money--and I clip them and hold on to them, for dear life, because I know that next week, I may be able to get that item for free--all because I saved that little piece of paper.

Keep in mind that you will be buying groceries for the rest of your life. Do you use toilet paper? Do you use toothpaste? Do you eat food? Chances are, there is a coupon out there that you can use to get what you want for even less than dollar store prices. Why not learn now how to become a pro at using coupons so that you can use this valuable information for the rest of your life?

Using coupons seems like a lot of hard work, right? It's really not. You first need to know where to get your coupons. Below are my favorite places to get my coupons.

1.) Sunday Newspaper (look through it before buying to see if they have either the RedPlum or the P&G Coupon Inserts.) SAVE your inserts. Most people look through them and toss them once they realize they don't need a coupon that week. The coupons don't expire for a while so keep them for certain deal scenarios where you can get the item for next to nothing or for when the item goes on sale.

2.) All You Magazine from Wal-mart (This magazine is PACKED with good coupons, which outweigh the cost of the magazine itself, and its just a good magazine!)

3.) Save on Groceries at! Click Here
*You can usually print two of each coupon. Sometimes you can print more. It will tell you when a certain coupon has reached the print limit. If you have two computers at your house, you can print two from each computer.
*I suggest using refill ink if you are going to print a lot of coupons. Refill ink is very inexpensive.


5.) Red Plum - Free printable grocery coupons. Click Here

6.) Favorite Product Webpages
*Example: is a favorite of mine and they post coupons on their site.

7.) Blogs specifially designed for coupon clippers. If you take a look to the right on my blog, I have a blog list. I have specifically put these here because they update when someone posts a good deal or coupon on their site. When I see a deal or coupon I am interested in, I click on the link and it takes me to their blog where I can then print or take advantage of the offer. For example, I currently see a coupon listed for $1.00 off Eggo Waffles on one of the blogs listed. I know that I buy the whole wheat waffles each time I go to the store, so this is one I will for sure print. You can also link most of these sites to your facebook account and it updates in your FB account as well.

8.) Smart Source electronic coupon machines inside of stores. You remember these from when you were a little kid right, where you would pull all of them out because it was fun? Well get to pulling because it is still fun.

9.) Sign up for free samples. They usually send you free coupons with the sample. Free Brand Name Health Samples Click Here

10.) Look in store circulars, especially Walgreens. They have store coupons in their circulars. Remember you can pair store coupons with manufacturers coupons (coupon stacking.)

11.) Ask your family and friends to save coupons for you when they come across any.

Next, you need to know how to organize your coupons. For the beginners, I recommend a small accordian file that fits in your purse. I started out with one of these. I liked it because it did fit in my purse and was easy to carry around everywhere I went. However, the one drawback to these is that you find yourself searching and flipping through coupons at the store because they are in a big clump by categories. If you have 50 coupons in your frozen food section, you find yourself wasting time trying to find the coupon you know you have in that stack! If you are shopping with a toddler and you try searching through coupons, they get a little frustrated!
You can see that I organized it like this: Personal Care/Medicine, Cleaning/Household Supplies/Pets, Meat/Dairy, Sauces/Dressings/Condiments, Canned Goods/Soups, Pasta/Rice/Seasonings/Crackers, Beverages, Flour/Baking/Oil, Cereal/Breakfast Foods, Frozen Food/Bread, Paper Goods/Baby/Containers, Desserts/Snacks. The front section was reserved for store coupons.

If the accordian style does not work for you, you can organize your coupons in a much better way by using a binder. I am currently using a binder because that is the only way I feel I can see every coupon I have-and it is more organized. You don't find that you are wasting time searching through your coupons with a binder. You flip right to the section, have a picture of what you are looking for, making it easier. However, the binder is bigger, cannot fit in your purse, and you do have to take it everywhere you go to get your maximum savings. You also have to be one that doesn't care that people see you carrying a coupon binder around the store! You just have to ask yourself, "What is funny or embarrasing about saving money?!?" You should be questioning those that give you looks why they don't use coupons! To create your coupons binder, all you need is a binder that zips, dividers, and plastic baseball card sheets. You can always buy more of the dividers and baseball card sheets if you need them. It took me two hours to organize my binder. Now that it is organized, it is very easy to discard the expired coupons and add new coupons. In the outside pockets of the binder, I keep a pen, pair of scissors, and a calculator. In the inside pockets, I keep my store circulars, large coupons, and rebate forms. I keep a price book in the front of all sections so I can compare prices on certain items.

*The first section of my binder is specifically for FREE coupons.

*The second section are for store coupons, including department store coupons and restaurant coupons.

*The third section is my food section divided up into these categories: Meat/Dairy/Milk, Cereal/Granola Bars/Bread/Cold Breakfast, Frozen Food, Snacks/Chips/Candy, Condiments/Sauces/Dressings, Pasta/Rice/Seasonings/Crackers/Baking, Canned Goods/Fruit Cups, Beverages.

*The fourth section is my Health and Beauty section divided into these categories. Toothpaste/Toothbrushes/Oral Care, Shampoo/Conditioner/Hair Color, Deodorant, Shaving Cream/Razors, Feminine Products, Body Wash/Soap, Make-up/Eye Care/Moisturizers/Face Wash, Sunscreen/Vitamins/Medicine.

*The fifth section is for household items and is divided into these categories: Diapers/Baby Wipes, Pets, Toilet Paper/Paper Towels/Paper Products, Laundry Care, Dish Cleaners, Multipurpose Cleaners, and Air Fresheners.

*I recommend taking a sharpie and labeling each page of coupons. For example, if you have a large Meat/Dairy/Milk file, write meat on a page and keep all of your meat coupons together, write dairy on a page and keep yogurt/butter coupons together, and milk on one page, keeping all milk coupons together.

*Remember: Do not throw your coupons away just because you do not need them that week! The key is to save them until you need the item and it is on sale. You can then pair the coupons with a sale, getting it for a very low price, or even free.

Now that you have organized your coupons, it is time to put those coupons to use. I cannot wait to start showing you some good deals I have received and what I have received for free since I have started using coupons.

Check this site when you have some free time.

Take a look at some super couponing videos on Youtube to get more ideas on couponing.

Tips for Earning Swagbucks

What is Swagbucks?
Swagbucks is a search engine site (powered by Google and where you earn "swagbucks" for doing your everyday searches and more. Every time you search you have a chance of winning "swagbucks" that can be redeemed for prizes & gift cards.

Current Earnings: $300.00 in Amazon Gift Cards since June 2010 through Swagbucks!

***Be sure to first set your homepage to the Swagbucks homepage. Make sure your Swagbucks toolbar is installed and effective. This is how you maximize your earnings!***

1. I earned 30 Swagbucks just for signing up. Join Free and earn 30 Swagbucks!

2. I use the Swagbucks toolbar daily for all of my searches. You will earn 1 SB a day just for using the toolbar. By using the toolbar, you can win up to 3-4 times a day through searches (usually ranges from 5 SB to 36 SB). You will see the Swagbucks pop up and it will tell you how many you have won. This is where I earn the majority of my Swagbucks. My advice is to do a search in the morning, then a few hours later, up to about 4 times a day. Simply searching all day for SB will not get you more Swagbucks and you will be wasting your time.

3. Participate in the searches on Mega Swagbucks Day (on Fridays) by using the Swagbucks toolbar. You can win big Swagbucks on these days.

4. Complete any of the free offers or download free programs. If you aren't happy with the programs or don't want them on your computer anymore, simply uninstall them.

5. Vote in the daily poll. Everyday you can win 1 Swagbuck just for voting in the daily poll. In a year, this = to 365 Swagbucks, which is close to earning a $5.00 Amazon card (450 SB).

6. Watch the super short videos (Bing, Best Buy, Scion, etc.) on the Swagbucks homepage on the offer scroll bar. Some days there are up to 6 videos which = 12 SB in a day!

7. Add the Swagbucks Swidget to your home page or social networking site to check to see if there are any Swagbucks codes available. Swagbucks codes are posted throughout the day and the Swag guy will give you hint on where to find the code. You then simply enter the code into the "Gimme" box on the Swagbucks home page to get your Swagbucks. 

8. Visit the Swagbucks Facebook Social Media page often (you can find this on the toolbar). Usually when you see a lot of fans posting "Thanks TSG!!!" that means there is an active code available.

9. Check the Swagbucks blog and twitter feed for new codes. These can be found on the toolbar or the Swagbucks homepage.

10. Connect your Swagbucks through Facebook and Swagbucks will post if you have won through searches, codes, when you get new referrals and when you redeem a prize. This helps you to get new referrals.

11. Shop and Earn through Swagbucks. You will earn several Swagbucks when you order through Swagbucks partner sites. (I have not used this feature because I use Upromise, but if I did use this, I would be earning even more SB.)

12. Complete the surveys. Swagbucks has started to offer surveys. If you qualify for the surveys, you can earn Swagbucks after taking them. If you visit the Trusted Surveys link from the homepage each day, you will earn 1 Swagbuck. These add up.

13. Refer Friends and Family. Tell your friends and family about Swagbucks. Post tips on your blog on how Swagbucks has helped you earn free prizes. Post a Swagbucks promotion banner. When you get referrals, you will earn what your referral earns through searches, up to 1000 Swagbucks. If you see that your referral doesn't understand how to use the site, help them by giving tips. If you have 3 very active referrals, you can earn up to 3000 Swagbucks just from them using their search toolbar. You get swagbucks when you aren't even at your computer!

14. Trade in old cell phones or video games to earn Swagbucks. I have not used this feature yet but may have a few cell phones in the future to trade in.

15. Print coupons from through Swagbucks to earn 10 Swagbucks for every one redeemed.

16. Earn Swagbucks with the new Swagbucks TV. More information to come soon.

17. Ask questions on the Swagbucks Facebook Fan page. Learning how to use Swagbucks was confusing for me at first. If I had a question, I went to the fan page and asked my question. You will be amazed at how fast people will respond.

18. Be patient when learning how to use Swagbucks. Take the time to learn how it works and how you can maximize your earning potential.

19. Most importantly, have fun earning Swagbucks and earning free prizes!

Does it cost anything to use Swagbucks?
I have not paid any money to use Swagbucks. The only time you will pay is when you use the Shop and Earn feature, which I have not used yet. You can also pay for some of the offers. I choose to complete only the free offers.

What should you redeem your Swagbucks for?
After asking several people on the Swagbucks Facebook Fan page, I have been told it is best to cash out your Swagbucks on the $5.00 Amazon Gift Cards (450 SB each), and then Paypal. You are allowed to redeem up to 5 per month and once you place those into your Amazon account, they do not expire. You must verify the cards first before receiving them. If you do not want to redeem your Swagbucks for Amazon cards, look around the prize area for prizes that interest you.

What do I plan to use my Swagbucks for?
I plan to use my earnings for items on my personal wish list along with Christmas and Birthday gifts.

Join Free!