Category Archives: couponing with kaseface

couponing with kaseface part 4

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First, I have to apologize for the tardiness of this post. I will blog about what has been keeping me so busy next, but for now let’s get into some more couponing!

So we are finally going to talk a little bit about Target.  Target is such an easy place to coupon, in part because they allow you to “stack” (use one manufacture’s coupon and one store coupon per item).  You can use coupons on clearance items as well, making them even cheaper and sometimes even free!

In case you are wondering where to find Target store coupons, they can be found straight from Target’s website.  I have also had some luck finding Target coupons in Sunday inserts and in products sold at Target, such as toothpaste.

To prepare for my trip, I make a list of what the best deals are.  How do I find the best deals?  Remember that weekly ad we set aside?  Thumbing through the weekly ad with my binder handy can give me an idea of what is on sale and what can be made even  cheaper by the coupons that I have on hand.

In addition, there is an awesome website called Totally Target.  This website always has the latest price cuts and they even keep a rolling list of  the cheapest finds in the store.  I usually check out the cheap finds, then look at the best deals of the week.  This list also includes the gift card deals.

From there, I start building my shopping list.  My list is organized by transaction number and section of the store (if I’m feeling fancy that day).   Below I will show you an example of my list, as well as include which coupons I used to get the deal, and how much I ended up paying.

Transaction #1

(4) Colgate Action Pacs Trial Size  (@$0.97)

Used (4) $1.00/1 Cascade Complete,   P&G exp. 9/30/11 (Limit 4 coupons per transaction)

FREE

(2) Schick Hyro Razor (@$6.49)

Used (2) $2.00/1 Schik Hydo Razor exp 9/18/11

Paid 8.98 Received $5 gift card wyb 2 Schick Razors

(1) Sally Jensen Nail Color (@$1.27)

Used (1)  $1.00/1 Sally Jensen Nail Color Target Web Coupon (Limit 1 coupon per transaction)

Paid: $0.27

Once I got to the store, I found Sally Jensen nail color on clearance for $1.27. We will talk about where to find the clearance items in a bit.

(1) Colgate Optic White Toothpaste (@$2.99)

Used (1) $1.00/1 Colgate Optic White Target Web Coupon and

(1) $1.50/1 Colgate Optic White manufacture’s coupon

Paid $0.49

My total out of pocket for this transaction was $9.62 and I received a $5 gift card toward Transaction #2.

Transaction #2:

(4) Colgate Action Pacs Trial Size  (@$0.97)

Used (4) $1.00/1 Cascade Complete,   P&G exp. 9/30/11 (Limit 4 coupons/transaction)

FREE

(8) Trial Size Degree Women’s Deodorant (@$0.97)

Used (8) $1.00/1 Degree Antiperspirant, no size restrictions 

FREE

(1) Colgate Optic White Toothpaste (@$2.99)

Used (1) $1.00/1 Colgate Optic White Target Web Coupon and

(1) $1.50/1 Colgate Optic White manufacture’s coupon

Paid $0.49

(1) Sally Jensen Nail Color (@$1.27)

Used (1)  $1.00/1 Sally Jensen Nail Color Target Web Coupon

Paid: $0.27

(2) Bounty Basic Paper Towel Singles (@$1.02)

Used (1) $1.00/2 Bounty Towels P&G exp 9/30/11

Paid: $1.04

(2) Tide Singles, Trial Section (@$0.97)

Used (2) $1.00/1 Tide Detergent exp. 12/31/11

FREE

In the clearance section, I also found a really awesome Venus Embrace razor set that included 1 Venus Emrace razor, one refill razor, and one travel size shave gel all for only $4.98.

(2) Venus Embrace razor sets (@$4.98)

Used (2) $2.00/1 Venus Embrace Razor P&G exp. 9/30/11

Paid: 5.96

Total for this transaction was $8.23, using the $5 gift card it turned out to be just $3.23.

The deals I got on the nail polish and the Venus Razors are definitely why I like to have my coupon binder with me as opposed to just pulling the coupons I need ahead of time.  I got the last two razor sets. and those were a great deal with the refill and the shave gel for barely $3 each.

I suggest that you go to the Krazy Coupon Lady’s website and click on the section “Target 101” and read it thoroughly.  She offers up some great tips for success at Target, it really helped me.

You will notice that she mentions the famous orange clearance stickers.  They are pretty amazing.  In order to find the clearance items at Target this is what you need to do.  When you walk in, look at the red lines on the floor.  Now get away from them.  All the clearance items are going to be found away from those red lines on the back end caps in the various sections of the store.  I usually just head straight to the back of the aisles to check out the end caps and that’s how I find awesome deals like  the nail polish and the Venus Razors.  Easy enough, right?

Now, you will notice some of the items on my list turned out to be free after the coupons.  These items are now things that I stock up on every time I go to Target.  Colgate trial size action pacs, Degree deodorant, and Tide detergent singles are all items that are free at least once a month when the coupon comes out. The cheapest I have found paper towels is at Target, for around $0.50/roll. It also seems silly to pay more than $0.50 for toothpaste.   The Colgate dish detergent, Tide, and Bounty coupons are all in the P&G Brandsaver that comes the last Sunday of every month.  I always stock up with at least eight.

I also  want to mention that coupon denominations vary by region. I have noticed in Texas the coupons are generally for $0.50 less than in Baltimore.  However, if you have a store near you that doubles coupons under $0.99, I would hit up the travel section and see if you have any coupons with no size restrictions for what that store is offering.

I hope this helped you see how I am able to save money at Target, and why I have so much fun when I go.  I’ve found the best thing I can do for myself before I go coupon shopping is to be prepared!  Being frazzled at the register isn’t that fun.  Feel free to share how you do on your shopping trip! I want to see your savings too.

Next time I am going to share what I do with all my expired coupons and coupons that I clip but don’t plan to use.  It turned out to be a really great experience for me and I can’t wait to share it with you. Til next time (which I promise will be sooner than this time)!

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couponing with kaseface part 3.5

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It’s been a while, friends!   I hope you had a chance to organize your binders because I am ready to go shopping! Before we do though, I want to share with you a few things I’ve learned along the way about shopping with coupons  so you can know before you go!

  • You can’t catch every sale:  Once you feel the rush of getting out of the store with twenty name brand items that you paid little to nothing for, you will want to feel it again.   Just remember, there will be other sales.  If you miss one, it will come around again.  Sometimes, if you miss one, the very next week the item turns out to be even cheaper anyway.  Sales cycle, on average, in 12-week increments.
  • Don’t buy what you don’t need:  Don’t waste your money on items you won’t use just because you have a coupon for it.  The great thing about couponing is that it will allow you to be able to try lots of new products so you can see what you like and what you don’t like.  Definitely test the waters before stocking up so you don’t end up wasting money you were trying to save.
  • Set a budget:  It’s a pain, but it’s also fun to see if you can stick to it.  Gone are the days of aimlessly roaming around the store grabbing this and that.  It’s time to shop with a list!  Money management is the name of the game.
  • Know your coupon policy, and carry a copy of it with you:  This way, there are no surprises. If there’s a problem,   you will be equipped with your knowledge and the official policy to back you up!

Perhaps the most important thing you should know before you shop, however, is that there is a learning curve.  There have been many times that  I have found a mistake on my receipt once I got home,  or a sale didn’t work out like I thought it would, or I spent more money than I intended.

When I mess up, I get super frustrated with myself.  What I try to keep in mind is that I am still a beginner, and I am still learning.  In the end, I’m still saving a ton of money. Plus, returns were invented for a reason!  If you don’t think I’ve returned 11 boxes of My Little Pony fruit snacks to Safeway because they didn’t turn out to be as cheap as I expected, you would be sadly mistaken!

Now that you a little bit about what to expect, let’s go to Target.

couponing with kaseface part 3

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So now that you know where to get your coupons and how to cut them out, it’s time to get organized.  This is a great weekend to do it because there are no inserts on holiday weekends, so you can get organized without being overwhelmed by tons of new coupons.

There are a lot of different ways that coupons can be organized.  People use envelopes, mini file thingies (I think that’s the technical term for them), index card holders, etc.  Couponers like kaseface, however, use what coupon nerds call the binder method.

My binder is my best friend when I’m at the store. Let’s just go ahead and address the question right away. Is it embarrassing to walk around with a huge binder full of coupons? No, my friends. It’s embarrassing to pay full price for something that the store is clearly giving away for free with coupons!  It happens, people.  More often than you would think.

I got my sweet binder at Pottery Barn Teen. I use a zip binder so coupons don’t go flying out when I drop it(I’m all thumbs). Inside my binder you will find coupon sleeves of all shapes and sizes.

I get my coupon sleeves from thekrazieqponlady on ebay.  I started with a sampler pack, and then ordered more as I went along and got more into it.  Once you start, you will find out which kind of sleeves come in the most handy for you.  I think you can also find just the basic 9-pocket sleeves at hobby stores, as they serve a dual purpose for organizing trading cards.

There are many different ways in which to organize your coupons within your binder.  You can go by aisle, alphabetically, category, whatever way works the best for you.  It’s your binder, think about what will be easiest for you and organize it that way.

I use dividers with pockets to separate my categories.  The pockets are really helpful, especially if you run out of space in your coupon sleeves, or can’t file a coupon right away.  I bought some dividers without pockets and I still regret that purchase.

I have two different binders.   I have a food binder and I have an everything else binder.  My food binder is organized into broad categories like:

  • refrigerated/dairy
  • pantry
  • frozen food
  • drinks

Within those broad categories, I group my coupons together.  For instance, in the pantry section all the cereal is together, all the snacks are together, all the chips are together, etc.  I separated my food binder from everything else because my original binder was really heavy and the sleeves would come out of the rings– it drove me nuts! So, I ordered another binder and split it up.

My “everything else” binder includes everything that isn’t food.  The categories aren’t as broad in this binder but they work for me because everything fits somewhere.

  • teeth
  • body/face
  • cosmetics
  • detergent
  • cleaning
  • paper
  • hair
  • miscellaneous
  • Target Q’s

Something else that I like about my binder are the many pockets and pouches at my disposal.  The zip pouch at the front of the binder is great for when I pull all the coupons I am going to use before I go to the store.  I can store them all in one place and not have to worry about losing anything.

The pouch can also be used to hold pens in case you have to mark something off your list, scissors, in case you have to pick up an ad with coupons at the store and don’t want to risk tearing off the barcode or expiration date.  It’s multi-functional and for that, I am thankful.  There is also a little pocket in the front of the binder that can be used similarly:

front pocket closed

front pocket opened up

There are also various pen holders and pockets in the inside of the front cover.  Like I said, there are dozens of uses for all these compartments and I use mine for all kinds of things. The binder is just convenient, plain and simple.

Since I rely on my binder so much, it’s crucial that it makes it with me to the store!  I have been known to put my binders in a reusable shopping bag and set that bag by the door, or to put my bags/binders in the car ahead of time to help myself remember. I have found doing that helps me remember my binders AND reusable bags.

I think the real reason I like my binder, as “OCD” as it sounds, is because it’s something I can control. When it’s all in order, I like to sit down and flip through it just admiring how pretty it is and how much money it’s going to save me.  I’m sick, I know!

Go get your binders in order and grab those weekly ads because in the next couponing w/kaseface post I’ll be talking about why I like to coupon at Target.  It’s the only store that has a coupon section in my binder and there’s a reason for that!   I think it’s one of the easiest, if not the easiest store in which to get great deals using coupons.  I will show you some scenarios that have worked for me and also share which items that I always find for pennies or free at Target, and therefore refuse to pay for anymore, anywhere else.  Ever! So get organized, it’s almost time to shop!

couponing w/kaseface pt. 2

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I hope you’ve had enough time over the past few weeks to study up a little on coupons, because I am about to delve into where I get my coupons and how I cut and sort them. If I don’t feel like I’m rambling on too much, I’ll also give you a sneak peak into how I actually organize the coupons so I can always see exactly which coupons I have.

So, where do I get the coupons? Once you start looking for them, you will find them everywhere! I use some internet sites like coupons.com, if you “like” your favorite brands on Facebook, they usually give away coupons. Coupons can be found on packaging, in magazines, you’ll be surprised how many coupons you find by simply increasing your awareness of them.

The vast majority of the coupons I use arrive in the Sunday Paper(The Baltimore Sun delivers the inserts a day early so I get mine on Saturday). I had to invest in a subscription, but it paid for itself within the first three weeks of couponing. It is way more expensive to buy a paper at the store, unless you want to buy it on Monday at a discount. It’s up to you, but I have a weekend subscription for 16 weeks and it was only like $16 bucks.

So when you open up the paper you will see the huge section of weekly ads.

These weekly ads include valuable coupons that can really help you save big when you “stack” them with a manufacture’s coupon. I usually set all the weekly ads I want to save aside. We will come back to them later. In the meantime, look for the SmartSource, RedPlum, or P&G Brandsaver inserts.

It helps to have more than one copy of a coupon on hand. Sometimes, an item that I need ends up being free with a coupon. When that happens, I like to get multiple copies of the paper or inserts so I can stock up until the next time it’s free. When I say stock up, I mean I usually buy about four of an item at a time, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the price, coupon restrictions, and what the item is.

To get multiple copies of coupons you have several options including but not limited to:

  • Ebay: you can buy multiple copies of inserts by searching, for example, “smartsource 8 21 11”
  • Buying discount Sunday papers on Mondays
  • Asking your friends/family who don’t coupon to save the inserts for you instead of recycling them or throwing them away
  • Walking around the block and picking up papers that are delivered to houses that you are sure nobody lives in.
How you get your coupons is up to you. I have done a combination of them all, depending on the week. After I gather all the inserts I need it’s time to actually do the clipping. Today I am starting with 4 copies of SmartSource.

I separate the insert by page, I will have a different pile for each page. After the insert is separated by pages I cut the coupons out. The reason for separating before you start cutting is to save time, so you don’t have to cut out each coupon more than once. It’s time consuming in the beginning, but saves a lot of time in the end.

Side Note: You may also want to start recycling if you don’t already! The amount of paper is borderline obscene…So grab a paper bag to throw the scraps in!

As I’m cutting out the coupons, I try to pay attention to where I set them. I try to put all the food next to each other, all the personal care together, all cleaning together, etc. I can also go ahead and start a pile to send to my military family in Japan (more on that later!) because there are lots of things that I know I’ll never buy, no matter how cheap, that I still clip the coupons for.

After I cut up all the coupons, I go through them once again to filter out which ones I think I will use and which ones I can let go. The ones I can let go of are placed in an envelope and set aside for later. The ones I am going to use are now ready to be filed in my binder.

There are several ways to organize your coupons. I have found that the binder method works best for me. I’ll show you in the next post how I put together my binder(S). Get busy clipping!

couponing w/kaseface pt. 1

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Hey friends, how’s it going? I’m doing really great at the moment because I’m so excited about the great deals I got at Safeway. I walked away with all this for only $12.04.

The retail value of this stuff was around $40 so I think I did great considering I went to the store on a whim to see if I could get any deals with my coupons that expired that day.

The savings are very encouraging:

  • Two boxes of cereal .50 cents each
  • Gallon of organic milk 3.09
  • Two boxes of popcorn .75 cents each
  • Detergent FREE!
  • Carefree FREE!

The bread was by far the most expensive thing I bought for $3.39 (I felt bad about it, but it’s my favorite and Safeway is the only grocery store in walking distance), the deodorant was 2.99, and the People magazine was only 2.99! I had coupons for everything , but the cereal and popcorn were on clearance, and combined with the coupon worked out to be a really nice deal. I was able to get the free items because my Safeway doubles coupons with denominations under $1. I had three .50 cent off coupons for Carefree with no size restrictions, and one .50 cent coupon for Tide with no size restrictions. Since I was only trying to get rid of the coupon, not spend any money, I headed to the travel section and found trial size packs for .99 cents. The coupons doubled to $1 and viola, FREE!

So how did I learn how to do this? Well, there are all kinds of websites about couponing. I started with The Krazy Koupon Lady. By going to the beginners section, I started to learn terminology, rules, and general guidelines. Many, many other sites offer a plethora of information to people who are new to the process. The Coupon Wizards even have live webinars going on this week, I plan on attending the one tonight.

In addition to offering general information about couponing, these sites are an invaluable resource in reducing the amount of time it takes to find deals. Literally, all you have to do is click on the store you plan on going to and all the big deals are already put together for you. However, they cannot possibly find all of them! I find that to be half the fun of going to the store. I love the clearance section. If I’m lucky enough have a coupon for something in the clearance section to make it wildly cheap or free, it’s on like Donkey Kong!!

As I was writing this, I realized that the topic of couponing is going to have to be a series of posts. When I write about couponing, I’ll always label it “Couponing w/Kaseface.” Anything else will be titled accordingly. In the next part of Couponing w/Kaseface, I’ll start to explain how I gather and organize my coupons. Hopefully by then you will have had a chance to get familiar with some of the verbiage so you know what I’m talking about! It’s easy to get overwhelmed but just take it as slowly as you need to. The posts aren’t going anywhere and it’s easy to start small then, once you kinda get the hang of it, do more and more. ‘Til next time…