- It’s too expensive
- It takes too much time
- I can’t drive to multiple stores
Learning how to coupon is simple. You have to do it to learn it! That being said, there are a few things you should know before starting.
When you read this blog or another coupon blog, you are going to come across “Coupon Lingo”.
Coupon Lingo Cheat Sheet
OYNO – On Your Next Order (Commonly used with store currency such as ECBs)
YMMV – Your Mileage May Vary (You may not get the same results)
ECB – Extra Care Bucks (CVS currency, CVS OYNO coupons)
Rolling – The process of “rolling” your store currency from week to week. (Ex. Use a $10 ECB from last week to pay for this weeks purchase where you’ll get more ECBs)
Stacking – Using a manufactures coupon with a store coupon
B1G1 or BOGO – Buy One Get One Free
Blinkie – Coupons that come out of “blinkie” machines in stores. (Often red, blinking in the aisles.)
DND – Do Not Double.
IP – Internet Printable (Coupons you print from the Internet)
OOP – Out Of Pocket (The amount of cash you paid)
Peelie – Coupons that you peel off a product.
R/C – Rain Check (A store’s promise that you can buy the product later at the sale price if they run out of stock)
RP – Red Plum. (A newspaper insert)
P&G – Proctor & Gamble (A newspaper insert)
SS – Smart Source (A newspaper insert)
Rebate – Another program that will send you a check or coupon when you buy a certain product. Not an instant savings technique.
WYB – When You Buy
I was very sad to learn that R.A. Montgomery passed away. I loved his books as a child.
The Choose Your Own Adventure books are great for kids still. I’ve heard many people say that these books made them enjoy reading.
If you wear glasses, you know how expensive frames and lenses can be. With Zenni Optical, you can pay as little as $6.95 a pair! It doesn’t get much cheaper than that. Shipping is a flat $4.95. I ordered multiple pairs to keep in car, purse, nightstand, desk, ect.
Ditch Multiple Cleaning Products
How many clean products do you buy and use? Do you really NEED separate bathroom, kitchen and floor cleaners? I prefer to use vinegar and baking soda for just about everything. You can make your own multi-surface cleaner for next to nothing!
Make Your Own Coffee
Are you still buying coffee on your way to work? Just stop. Stop now. It’s not worth it. Make your own at home. Feel free to tip yourself.
Search For Codes
Before I make any purchase online, I do a quick search for available coupon codes. I don’t always find one but most of the time I do.
You probably heard that you should never grocery shop hungry. That also applies to any type of shopping or errands. Eat before you leave the house to avoid the temptation of fast food.
I love, love, love Swagbucks. You can earn Swagbucks by searching (the easiest in my opinion), watching short videos, using coupons, ect. You can redeem them for gift cards or PayPal. Great way to cut down on the cost of the holidays!
Do not settle for bad service. Complain if your food, product or service does not meet your expectations. Do not use this to get a free meal or product. Only make a complaint if it is truly deserved. For example, I bought a food product that had mold on it. I complained to the company and received a coupon off my next purchase.
Cut Dryer Sheets In Half
Cut your dryer fabric sheets in half. Or, go for a natural (and cheap!) alternative and use wool dryer balls.
Store Reward Cards
Sign up for store reward cards for wherever you shop. You will often get special discounts, promotions and coupons simply for being a member.
Read Your Bills
Make sure you read your bills every month. All too often, there are miscalculated charges.
Use A Basket, Not A Cart
Going to the store for one or two items? Use a basket instead of a cart to limit impulse buys.
PerkTV is an app available on Apple, Android and Windows phones. You can earn points by watching app and movie trailers.
Never go shopping without a list. And stick to what is on that list!
Ask For A Discount
Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount at stores. Many places are willing to give additional discounts to their customers.
Carry small snacks on you to curb hunger when you’re out.
I love programs where I can earn without doing much of anything. Qmee is a browser extension that will occasionally pop up when you’re searching on Amazon or Ebay or any other retailer. If you click through to the suggested page, you will earn a few cents. It’s not much but it does add up to a couple extra bucks per month.
Always compare prices before you buy. This is especially true of large purchases.
You don’t have the see the latest movie as soon as it comes out. You can save a bundle by waiting a few months after it’s released by renting it from Redbox.
Do you enjoy baths? Don’t let all that water go to waste. You can use it to bathe your animals once you are finished. Obviously, don’t do this if you use products that are harmful to animals.
Set A Cap On Presents
Avoid overspending on presents by deciding a set price before you start shopping.
Ever find a really good sale only to see empty shelves? Most stores offer rain checks if this happens. Just ask!
Consignment and thrift stores are my favorite places to shop. Most of the time, you can find children’s clothing for very low prices.
When you use laundry soap or cleaning products, try to use a little less than the recommended amount.
By far, coupons are one of the quickest ways to save money. Start small, any savings is good.
No Data Plan
Do you REALLY need a data plan? How often do you use it when away from WiFi? Cancel it if you can.
Shop For Next Year
Hit the after holiday sales for wrapping paper, decorations and anything else you need for the following year. You can find items 50%-90%!
I do not have cable. I have not missed it one bit! I do have a subscription to Netflix that I use. I’d rather pay $10 a month instead of $100+.
Cook At Home
Eating out all the time gets expensive. Cook at home instead.
Yes, I had to buy my Kindle but it has saved me a lot of money. I very rarely purchase Kindle books. Instead, I read the ones that are free! (Bookmark that link so you can find free Kindle book deals anytime). Being an avid reader, I used to spend at least $50 a month on books. Having a Kindle allows me to read more for less. You don’t have to purchase a Kindle to take advantage of free book deals, with Amazon.com – Read eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App on Most Devices. You can use the free reading app on your computer, tablet or phone.
Don’t throw away your leftovers. Use them for lunch the next day or wait a few days and have a leftovers night.
You don’t have to go truly paperless to save money. Printing to OneNote or Evernote allows you to keep your documents without the cost of paper and ink. Also, less to store!
Do you do any shopping only? Take advantage of Ebates or other similar programs to get cash back on your purchases.
Cut Hair At Home
This may not work for everyone but some people can save money by cutting their own hair at home. Men seem to have an easier time with this. It’s expensive being a woman!
Bring Drinks With You
I cannot drive without something to sip on. Instead of stopping at a store, I bring my own from home.
Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk can often save you money. Make sure you are going to use up everything before it expires.
Consolidate Student Loans
When you consolidate your student loans, you are usually eligible for a lower interest rate.
Speeding is bad for your fuel consumption and you could get an expensive ticket. Leave a little earlier to give yourself more time if you have a lead foot.
Failure to plan is planning to spend, spend, spend. Meal planning allows you to know every night what you are going to cook. It eliminates the last minute decision for fast food or restaurants.
How many adults do you purchase gifts for? Suggest a Secret Santa exchange instead.
Shop Year Round
Shopping year round for gifts allows you to get them at deep discounts. And you get to avoid the holiday rush!
Stop Hobby Shopping
Shopping is not a hobby. Don’t treat it like one.
Use Shopping Bags
The bags you get from the grocery store are great for trash bags!
Pay Bills Online
Paying bills online saves you stamps and envelopes.
Turn Off Lights
Turn off your lights when you don’t need them to save on electricity.
Inbox Dollars has been around for years. It is a good source of extra money if you do it right. Don’t expect to make a living with them. Many people do not like this sort of thing, YMMV.
Plan ATM Trips
ATM fees are ridiculous. Plan one trip a week or month. Even better, get cash back at stores.
Sell Unwanted Items
Have unwanted things cluttering your home? Try to sell them for extra cash.
Try to find a way to reuse items. One of my favorites is jars. I wash them and reuse them for crafts, store, ect.
Sign up today and get $15 to use across the site. Schoola is a great website for used children’s and women’s clothing. 40% of what you purchase goes back into school funding programs. Refer a friend and get a $15 credit! Check out this post for more information.
Make Your Own
Save money by making your own household and beauty products.
Do you want to save money on Amazon purchases? Check out ways to shop on Amazon…for free.
I would love to hear what your favorite ways to save and make money are. Leave them in the comments!
Looking for additional ways to save money? Visit The Penny Hoader for 7 Reasons To Read The Krazy Coupon Lady!
Find other great ideas at A Pinch of Joy!
Disclaimer: There are affiliate links included in this post. These help me maintain this website. Please see my Disclosure Policy for additional information.
Yesterday I told you how I dropped my cell phone package down. I haven’t felt the “withdrawal of the data plan” that many believed I would. Why? Because of IFTTT.
Have you heard of IFTTT? Seriously, if you haven’t, you must check it out.
It’s a little hard to explain HOW to use IFTTT. It’s easiest to just jump right on in.
They have different “Channels” you can activate. Given that I have unlimited texting, activating the SMS channel was a must for me. Facebook, Email and Weather were also on my must have list.
After activating them, you can make “Recipes”.
If This (It is 7 Am) Than (Text Me) That (Weather)
That is a very basic example. You can make your recipes as simple or as complicated as you need them to be.
I receive email alerts, package tracking and update my Facebook.
All without a pricey data package.
The cost of cell phones is becoming insane. I bought my first smart phone in 2010 and haven’t looked back. Until now. I *thought* I was getting a good deal with my cell phone plan. I have three lines on my account. I purchased new phones for $100 each. My plan was to be around $100 a month for unlimited everything. Sounds good right?
WRONG! Every month, my bill kept going up. It got up to $115 before I said enough is enough!
In the location radius I’m frequently in, I only had service half of the time. The main problem was the 16 miles I had no service driving home. Isn’t the whole point of a cell phone to be able to get help in an emergency? I decided to get a cheap track phone to keep in my car for emergencies.
That would have added at least $10 a month to my total cellular cost.
I sat down and figured out that I could switch companies and pay even less! The downside was I wouldn’t have unlimited everything. Who needs it anyways? Not one of my lines ever went over 500 minutes a month. We barely used the data package.
I live in a fairly rural area without a lot of options. AT&T seemed to be the best. I cannot stand the idea of ever being locked into a contract again. So, I looked at their prepaid plans. Their rates are surprisingly reasonable.
I unlocked the phones on my account and bought a
$10 AT&T sim card for each. AT&T is awesome. They gave me the sim cards for free!
For the first month, I started all of us on the cheapest plan. For $25 each, we have unlimited texting and 250 minutes. No data but who really needs that anyways?
With the old company I paid $115 monthly. AT&T cost me $75 for this month.
Can’t beat that!
Learn how I have a data experience without a data plan tomorrow!