Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 3 - Learn how to coupon

Find me on Facebook - Couponrori or Living Paycheck 2 Paycheck - I have lots of deals, freebies and coupons on there also.
So today, we are going over how to use coupons. To save the most money, you need to look for sales and promos to match your coupons up with. For a example...Let's say Crest Toothpaste is 2.50 a tube, on sale for .99, and you have a coupon for 1.00 off crest. That means its free! You will start to learn that there are things you will never pay for again. - Toothpaste being one of them! Make a price chart. When you see a good deal and use a coupon, how much you paid for it. So you know the next time if it is good or not.
You can also Stack coupons. This means you can combine a manufacturer coupon with a store coupon. Target, Albertsons, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Safeway and Fred Meyers to name a few have coupons to do this with. Remember you can stack a manuf. coupon with a store coupon but you can NEVER have 2 manuf. coupons on one item. Always remember that - I went to the store so many times when I first started and have 2-3 coupons thinking I could save so much money and then they would say no, we can't take this and I would not save very much.
Make sure when before you head out to the stores you get organized ahead of time. Before you leave your house, make your list up. Look through the adds, figure everything out. It makes it less stressful at the stores if you are not fumbling around trying to figure out how much of what and how big and so on.
Be sure when you are headed up to the checkout you are nice to your checker! There are a few ways to make it easier on yourself and others. 1. Have your coupons ready when you get in line. (If you have more then one for each item, make sure they are in stacks accordingly.) 2. Ask the checker if they would like them before, after or with each item. You will also want to ALWAYS have a copy of the store coupon policy with you. You will get to the point where you probably have it memorized but remember that saying, "You learn something new everyday." Well more chances then not, you will be the one teaching some checkers something new. Sometimes, I don't know if they don't read the coupon policy, or they just don't know but some checkers will argue with you so you have to have the policy there with you so you can show them. Bring along an extra copy, if you have to show them something then give them a copy to have too =). Last, I know this sounds really funny. But once you start going to stores, you will learn who to go to and who not to go, and chances are they will know you, your name and so on in no time. Until then, I have had the best luck with the younger guy checkers (and have heard this from many other people too.) For some reason they just don't mind your coupons and don't give you a hard time about anything.
With all that being said, I hope this is starting to make more and more sense to you. Do you have your binders done? Here is some store coupon policy's to print out and stick in there.
Also don't forget to print out your coupon lingo to have in your binder - this was in day two.
Hope that these tips are helping you. Again, please let me know if you have any questions. And if you have a facebook, pop on over and find me. There are lots of good deals on my pages.
Enjoy your evening!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Learn How To Coupon - Series - Day 2

So your ready for day 2? Did you get all your "homework" done? Your new email? Your binders? Etc...? Remember to set these things up!!
Today I wanted to show you where and how to get coupons. And also give you a run down on Coupon Lingo.
When I first started to coupon I saw coupon lingo on websites that looked like they were talking in code. After about a month though - I was talking that way too.
Here is what you may start to see. And yes, you soon will be writing and talking like this. I find myself at store texting friends about great deals!
Here is a list that you can print out of basic coupon lingo. I would recommend sticking it in your binder so you can reference it from time to time.

Coupon lingo:
P&G: Procter & Gamble Sunday insert
RP: Red Plum
SS: Smart Source
GM: General Mills
IE: Internet Explorer
All You: All You Magazine (coupon magazine)
$1/1, $1/2: One dollar off one item, one dollar off two items, etc.
2/$1, 3/$2: Two items for one dollar, three items for two dollars, etc.
B1G1: Buy one item get one item free
B2G1: Buy two items get one item free
BOGO: Buy One Get One
Beep: Sometimes the register will beep when a coupon is scanned to indicate that the cashier need to take an action, like entering a price.
Blinkies: Grocery/drugstore coupon dispensers with blinking lights
Catalina: Catalina coupon, prints from a separate machine when your receipt prints
CRT: Cash register tape, usually used when referring to CVS coupons that print with receipt
DND: Do not double
Ea.: Each
ECBs: ExtraCare Bucks, CVS loyalty rewards system (albertson's)
ETS: Excludes trial size
Exp.: Expires
GC: Gift card
IVC: Instant Value Coupon, Walgreens' store coupons found in ads and monthly booklet
MIR: Mail-in rebate
MM: Money Maker
OYNO: On your next order
OOP: Out of pocket
OOS: Out of stock
Printable: Coupon Printed Online
Peelie: Peel-off coupon found on product packaging
PSA: Prices starting at
RRs: Register Rewards, Walgreens' Catalina coupons
Q: Coupon
SCR: Single Check Rebate, Rite Aid monthly rebates program
Stacking: Using both a manufacturer's coupon and a store coupon on one item
UPC: Universal product code, bar code
Tearpad: Pad of coupons attached to a display, shelf, or refrigerator door.
+UP Reward: Rite Aid reward program
WYB: When you buy
YMMV: Your mileage (or manager) may vary, meaning some stores might give you a deal but others might not

Now, finding your coupons to start your "collection" You have a few great ways to find them each week. Your first way is your Sunday newspaper.  The point of couponing is to stockpile items at a low to free price, so when you need them you will not have to pay full price for them. With that being said, when you find an item for free to a little amount, you will want to "stockpile" it. In order to do this you will need to have multiple coupons to use. That is why I recommend getting 3-6 Sunday Papers. This way you get multiple coupon inserts. I know that sounds like a lot but the money that you spend on your subscriptions but it will pay for itself on your first shopping trip savings. If you do not want to subscribe to that many papers you have a few other options. One is asking friends, neighbors, and family if you can have their coupons. Also some convince stores give them away if you ask.
Another way to get coupons is to print them from your computer. This is free. There is a limit on the amount of coupons that you can print though - this varies from site to site. There are a few key sites that you can get them from.
You can also find coupons to print out on a lot of company sites, (i.e., A lot of companies have facebook pages now and they give out coupons on them - this is why I recommended getting a second facebook because you will be "liking" a lot of companies.
You can also just buy the coupons that you need. A few good sites to do that one are,
You can also find "coupon databases" on a lot of coupon sites. (We hope to have one up and going on here soon!) But a few good ones are,
Don't forget about the in store coupons that you should always pick up too. I refer to these as "blinkies." They are the dispensers in the store with red blinking lights.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Learn How To Coupon - Series - Day 1

I have had so many questions about how to start couponing, where do you go, what do you stock up on and so many others. So I decided to start a series to get you into couponing step by step. Each day you will get a bit more info and soon you will be the pro! So grab a pen and paper and lets go!

Day 1 - How To Start Couponing

First thing to do when you start to learn how to coupon is Forget Everything you ever knew about grocery shopping!! I remember going with my Mom once a week to go shopping with her list. And that is what I did for a long time too. - Forget it.... Not going to happen anymore. You will learn how to make your list based on what coupons/deal are going on. You will go to the stores a lot more - but remember it is not a big shopping trip like you use to do. Now when you make that trip to the store it is more then likely for 10 or less items, so you are in and out in no time.
Next, before you start shopping find a place in your home where you can store your stocked up items. Do you have a large pantry? A large linen closet? Have a small home? Get creative... buy some bins, stack items on top of closets where you have room that you are not using and so on. We are very blessed to have a home that I have "Costco" size closets and pantry, so we can stock up on lots of things. Here is the items we have in our bathroom for us. I store my kids items in their bathroom, cleaning things in the laundry room and so on.
You will find that within a few months you will have a years supply of toothpaste, deodorant, etc. If you have a smaller home and can not stock up on much, that is OK too. Just buy for a few months ahead of time instead of a year or more.
Last thing you will need to get is a place to keep your coupons. I tried many ways of trying to keep them organized before I came across the binder I use now. It seems to be the quickest and easiest way for me to flip through and find something I need while shopping with 3 little ones. If you choose to get a binder going, I suggest a 1 1/2 to 2 inch binder. You will need dividers (I like the ones that have the clear pockets in them.) I now use 2 sets of dividers in mine (one to divide by category, and others to divide by stores - But I will get to that in a second.) You will also want to buy some baseball card protectors. They are perfect to store your coupons in!!
I divide my binder in categories as follows....
  • Fresh Foods (Produce, bakery, meats)
  • Dry Foods (Grain, boxed, jars, cans)
  • Refig / Frozen (Dairy, veggies, dinners etc)
  • Household (Cleaners, pets, batteries)
  • Paper goods (towels, TP, bags, wrap)
  • Beverage (Juice, water, pop)
  • Health (Meds, Body, Hair, Baby)
  • Other (Misc, dinning out, retail)
Remember there is no right or wrong way to set up your binder. Label and divide it the way that will work best for you and your family.
At the front of my binder I have it divided into stores and info.
  • Freebies / Rebates (items I need to send in for rebates or I am waiting on the check)
  • Target/ Walmart (I keep their coupon policy and any store coupons here)
  • Drug Stores ( RiteAid, Walgreens ect. Same here -I keep their coupon policy and store coupons also)
  • Fred Meyers, Albertsons, Safeway, and Winco (again, their coupon policy and coupons)  
  • Catilina (These are the coupons that you get from stores when you check out. We will get into them later.)
Here are a few pictures to give you an idea on how to set your binder up.
Take a second to search the web to see if there are other ways that might be better for you to organize your coupons.
Last thing for today... I would highly recommend getting a second email address and maybe even a second facebook page. When you sign up for free items and coupon lists most of the time they want your email. I found that my home email was getting back loaded with lots of emails from stores, coupon databases ect. Sign up for a free one at Hotmail and just use if you coupons and freebies. I chose to get a second facebook page also (Coupon Rori) because there a lot of companies that if you "like" their page, you get coupons and giveaways. So your personal facebook pages starts to fill up with companies and your friends start to get hidden.
With these tips, I hope that you can start to get your couponing off to the right start. I will be back tomorrow with more info. By the end of this week think of how much money you will be saving.
Remember to tell a friend about this. In this economy everyone could stand to save a few bucks, and couponing is a lot of fun with a friend!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

How much does the USDA think you should be spending on groceries? Find out!

Our family's monthly food budget is around $300 per month, that is for 2 adults and 3 kids - 12, 9 and 3. I knew that I was pretty "thrifty" when it came to spending on groceries but I had no clue how off it would be from what the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) calculates that our family should be spending on food, on a monthly basis. They calculate it at four different rates -
  • Thrifty plan
  • Low-cost plan
  • Moderate-cost plan
  • Liberal plan
On their "Thrifty Plan" (their lowest plan) our family should be spending $694.20 per month. On their "Liberal Plan" (their highest priced plan) our family should be $1362.80, (for Jan. 2011).
How much does your family spend per month on food? Have you started to coupon?
Tomorrow I will be starting a series on how to start couponing and saving your family money. With that being said, don't forget to grab your Sunday paper tomorrow and save those coupons and adds! I hope by the end of this series you can cut your monthly food budget in half.
If you know someone who could be saving money on their food, don't forget to let them know about Living Paycheck 2 Paycheck. You can also check out our page on Facebook - Living Paycheck to Paycheck

My Bumpy Take Off

Blogging? What is a Blog asked my husband. I had told him that I wanted to start a blog to help other Mom's cut corners and save money. He looked at me pretty puzzled. I smiled, and said, "I just hope I can figure it out."  
I had started couponing about a year ago. I loved it! It is AMAZING to me that I was spending so much money before I ever knew how to do this. The only problem was I could take a whole day to find deals. I would literally sit down to the computer at 9am and not get up till 4pm, just to find deals, (ok maybe my facebook addiction had some time in there also.) Yeah it saved us money, but I now had no time. I would go from this money saving site to this freebie site to this coupon site and hoped that I didn't miss anything in between. That is when I realized that there needed to be a site with EVERYTHING on it. And after searching long and hard for it, I decided that I would just make one. So that brings us here. I hope to bring you everything you need to save money and time for your family. I also hope the more followers we get one here the more you can help me find deals.... if you see something, please let me know. I will get it up for others asap. (Thanks in advance!!) This may be a bumpy take off but I hope to get the hang of it soon. If any other "Bloggy Peeps" have any advice they would like to offer up to me, please feel free! - Email me anytime with anything @ Thanks again! Here come the deals.....!!!