Beginner Info on Getting Deals (very long….sorry)

**Update: This post was written BEFORE the new coupon policy came out so please note that you can no longer stack coupons and there is a limit of 12 “like” coupons per day and a limit of 2 “like” printed coupons (policy doesn’t clarify if it’s per day or transaction so YMMV)

**Sorry this is so long..I just had more and more things I wanted to say ;-)

Barbara (Sunshine) commented on one of my post with these questions which I will try to answer.  If anyone has anything to add to it, please do :D

“I’ve been using paper coupons for about four months now, and I’m wondering about the Cellfire and eCoupons program that GE has. There are others I’ve found, too, that you add things to your card.
Can a person use all of these programs on one card, or just one? Like, am I limited to just choosing one of these to use on the card?
A friend of mine saw a lady leaving the store one day, and she said her cart was filled to the top, and she paid nothing.
How is that accomplished? Anybody know?
I get great deals, and even moneymakers, but have never gotten a full cartload!
Which site is it that pays for schooling if you want, or you can use the money for whatever you want,(I can’t recall which one that is..” Can that be used also with the others? Is it legal to do that stuff?
All info. appreciated! Sunshine”

First I want to say, welcome to couponing!  I hope you are having lots of FUN :-)

Giant Eagle Does allow stacking of paper and digital coupons.  Many stores have stopped this (like most Kroger stores) and I imagine that one day Giant Eagle will no longer allow it either.  But for now, they do :D

You can load your card with digital coupons from all these sites(you don’t have to choose just one):

Giant Eagle eOffers – these come directly from the Giant Eagle website and there are LOTS of eOffers to add!
Cellfire – Giant Eagle only gets a handful of coupons to add, but some are really good ($1/1 Fiber One which makes it FREE when stacked with a paper coupon!)
Shortcuts -Again, Giant Eagle only gets a handful (the ones with the circle with an explanation mark cannot be added to a GE card)

Some rules about digital coupons:
*they do not double
*One-time use! (If you have $1/1 tide and you buy 4 bottles, only $1 will come off the first one)
*At Giant Eagle, they seem not to always work.  I suggest printing a copy of the eCoupons that you load to your card just in case they do not come off.  Simply take your receipt and your printed copy to Customer Service and they should take care of it.  They have excellent customer service.  If you don’t have time to go to customer service or don’t notice the mistake until you get home, simply call  1–800–553–2324, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.  I’ve heard from many readers that they will make it right!

*****

On top of the digital & paper coupons, you can also use Upromise.  You can go to my post here to read more about it.  The Upromise eCoupons do not come off of your receipt at the store, but the amount is deposited into an account.  This money is supposed to be used to pay for school or towards student loans, however, you can request a check if you want and use however you like!  So anyone can use this and it is completely legit to use all three combined if that would happen!

*****

For printable coupons, there are four main sites:

Coupons.com
Redplum.com
Smartsource.com
CouponNetwork.com

You can print each coupon from these sites 2 times per computer.  Most the time you can simply hit backspace (delete on a MAC) to print the second time.  There are times when they limit these coupons to one per computer.  If you have many computers and it’s a great coupon, I suggest printing as many as you can.  Making a copy of a coupon is illegal.

Facebook also is a hot place for coupons.  If you have a favorite product, check out their site to see if they are running any promotions or offering any coupons.

*****

For non-printable paper coupons, The Sunday Paper is the main source! If you are still working on stocking up I would suggest getting many Sunday Papers each week.  How many you want will depend on what coupons are actually in there.  Right now I have plenty of cleaners, shampoos, razors and deodorants, so I wouldn’t spend money on a paper to get these for FREE since I don’t need them at all.  So how many papers you want will depend on what you want to stock up on and what’s in the paper that week.  The Sunday Coupon Preview lists the coupons that may be available each Sunday (all areas don’t receive every coupon and the coupon values may vary).

To get even more coupons, you may want to get the All You Magazine.  This magazine has tons of coupons! However, it is only sold at Walmart stores or you can subscribe online. Right now you can get  a 6 months subscription of All You at Amazon for $10. But I would suggest getting one from Walmart first to see if you like it.  You can check out the coupons that are available in the January issue here.

Also, don’t forget to search the stores for blinkie machines and tearpads!  Most of the time, the items are not on sale at the moment, so you might want to grab a few of these coupons and hold on to them for a future sale!  And if you have noticed, the coupons from the GE blinkie machines usually start with the number 9 (meaning it will not double).  The same coupon from another store (like Kroger) will start with a 5 (meaning it will double).  So, I make sure to grab a few extra at Kroger to use at GE!

*****

Okay, Back to your question ;-) Can you get a cartload and pay nothing?  My answer would be yes, however, I don’t think this should be the main goal.  If you have been getting many Sunday papers and have a lot of computers to print from, when a freebie comes around, you can snag many.  So your cartful of stuff would probably be many duplicates of a handful of items. (Ex., 12 coffee-mates, 12 toothpastes, 12 bags of rice, etc.) GE now has a rule that you can only use 12 like coupons per day so that’s why I gave an example with 12.  Digital coupons don’t help much with “stocking-up” since they can only be used once.  So, the FREE Fiber One Yogurt will only be FREE for the 1st one you buy.

When I first started couponing, I wanted my total to be as low as possible, so when I was getting a GREAT deal at Giant Eagle, I hated to ruin my total by throwing in something I needed or wanted that wasn’t on sale -lol.  So I would get an awesome deal,  but go home and wish I had a steak to cook for dinner or Giant Eagle’s delicious sugar cookies to eat ;-).  I did have one time when I got about $60 worth of groceries and paid absolutely nothing.  I had a coupon for everything and also had a few catalinas that I used – so it is possible.  However, most of the time you will pay at least a little.  The key is to have many coupons when something does end up being FREE after coupon so you can stock up.

It still is fun to see how little out of pocket we couponers can spend at the store, but I try to look at the overall total.  Last year, I tried to spend about $500 a month on all food (including eating out), toiletries and newspapers.  This is for a family of 5 (kids are 10, 14 & 15).  Some months I would keep better records, but for the most part I stayed around this number.  I think I can get this a little lower this year but for right now this is what works for me.  Before couponing I would spend at least $900 or more a month and I would get a lot less stuff.  So even without going to extremes, I’m saving at least $400 a month which is about a car payment or money to spend on other items!

I guess what I am trying to say is that everybody’s savings is going to be different. As long as you are spending less than you did before using coupons and getting more stuff at the same time, then I think it’s working for you. There will also be times that you have a buggy full of great deals and spend very little and the shoppers behind you will be wondering how you did it ;-)

*****

I have written a few posts for Beginners (or anyone ;-)).  If you would like to read them, just click on the links below:

 

Beginner Tips – Getting Catalinas by Shelf Price at GE

Saving Money & Time – How to Organize Those Coupons!

Beginner Tips – How to Spot a Fake Coupon

Beginner’s Tips & My Blown Budget!

Beginner Lesson- Saving Money by Stockpiling

WHERE TO GET COUPONS???

Money-Making Catalinas!

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN??

Search our Coupon Database to find more coupons!

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  • Belinda Chang January 15, 2011, 3:16 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks for this post! :) It was super useful for a newbie couponer. I didn’t know about the other e-coupon sites! :) Thanks for the links to the beginner tips as well! I appreciate it!

    Reply
    • Lady Savings January 15, 2011, 3:38 pm

      Thanks Belinda!

      Reply
  • Sunshine January 15, 2011, 6:11 pm

    Thank you very much for the reply. Now I’m going to print it and try to remember it all.
    It all gets kind of complicated when you’re up to your eyes in coupons and flyers..Lol !
    I seem to have become addicted to couponing, and I’m already well stocked up on most things.
    What do people like myself do with all of those deals they couldn’t pass up, when their pantries are full, and there is nowhere to put any more?
    I really don’t want to open a store or get a vendor’s license! (Sorry for being so full of questions!) Sunshine

    Reply
  • Jenn January 16, 2011, 10:28 am

    Tammy, Such a great post!! Awesome information!! You got me started couponing and I have been saving ever since. thank you so much!!!

    Reply
    • Lady Savings January 16, 2011, 12:57 pm

      Jenn- Thank-you :-)

      Reply

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