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My Frugal Life: Coupon Class

I recently went to a couple of Coupon Classes locally and was sort of surprised that my brother's wife was very interested. She had no idea that there was such a thing. So since she was interested, I wrote down a few things that I learned and then after reading it a few times decided I should share what I learned.

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Below is my written response and keep in mind different areas of the country, cities, etc. have their own networks. Another thing to keep in mind is the location of the larger retail, chain stores. We don't have a Bilo or Whole Foods where I live, but the Coupon Lady raved about them.

Anyway, here's my message to Cindy:

Check your area and see if anyone is offering one. Both classes were free and they fill up quickly. One of the things that I learned and was fascinated by was rain checks. I saw Kroger had a sale on broccoli for $1 a bag, and by the time I got to the store they had all been sold out. I was really quite disappointed and halfway home, remembered about the rain checks and went back. A week later I went back to the store, got 10 bags of Broccoli, presented the Rain Check and got them for $1 each, instead of their regular price at $1.99.

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I also taught the Coupon Lady something, and she now uses it in her presentations. All cities have peak hours for electricity and during those peak hours customers are charged a surcharge. I called Huntsville Power and learned our peak hours are Monday Friday 11 AM - 8 PM. I do not use the washer, dryer or dishwasher during those hours. Also, when I first wake up, I lower the A/C to 75 degrees F. At 11 AM, I turn it up to 79 degrees F and our house is actually cold. Also my rule of thumb is, if I touch the glass and it's warm, I close the blinds until very late in the afternoon. My electric bill last month was for $180, compared to my neighbors whose bills ranged from $225 - $400.

Kroger and Publix in my area both double coupons up to 50 cents, but the Publix where my sister lives in South Florida doesn't. Both grocery stores compete for customers and there are a ton of sites that have coupons. If you like a certain brand of mustard, e-mail the company and ask if they have any coupons. I also learned that you can only use one coupon per an item and can only print 2 coupons for the same item if you go to assorted coupon sites and I was amazed at how many there were.

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The last class I was in went over all the drugstores. Walgreens was the best for coupons followed by CVS. Rite Aid has it's customers practically jump through hoops for any sort of discount. If you have a .50 cent coupon for a Mounds Bar at Walgreens (and only Walgreens, at least here), I could buy 35 candy bars and each one would be discounted .50 cents.

Also, find out if you can order an extra Sunday paper so you can get double the coupons. The Coupon Lady worked out a deal with the local paper for customers to get an extra Sunday paper for a $1. She also said if you have 5 people in your family, you should have 5 Sunday papers.

The class was very, very interesting. You should see some of the ladies who keep huge binders with their coupons in little plastic sleeves. The Coupon Lady also has a Facebook account, and she posts all the assorted stores, sale items, faithfully every Sunday. Her Facebook page is MoneyWiseShopper but it's for our area, but nothing says you don't have something like that in your own city. Even though it's from here, you can learn a lot by just seeing it. Click on LIKE and whenever the Coupon Lady posts something it will go to your Facebook page.

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She covered other ways to save money. Costco provided breakfast and gave their pitch about memberships. Costco and Sam's both have their strong points, depending on what your family eats. We also have GasBuddy.com to find the cheapest gas, Groupon, Swagbucks, and so many others. Walmart's is okay but as far as coupons go it's not all that great. Sure they'll match prices, but always have the information with you from their competition. Also the PetSmart near us has discounted shots every Thursday and you don't have to pay for an office visit, though you do need to make an appointment. I also order all my Frontline from Petshed.com, I get a 6 month supply for $60 and with shipping it came to $72 something or another. They are a lot cheaper than the local Vets and PetMed.com

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Hopefully, I didn't bore you. I just wanted to share.

By Pritchard C. from Madison, AL

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 398 Posts
August 21, 20110 found this helpful

You did not bore me, in fact I really enjoyed reading what you wrote. Thanks and I am going to use my appliances really early and late at night.
Blessings,
Robyn

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August 22, 20110 found this helpful

I enjoyed your article very much, not boring at all. Can apply part of your lessons, but not all because we are so rural. Thanks.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 167 Feedbacks
August 22, 20110 found this helpful

Good ideas, except, there's really no excuse for turning the A/C below 79 degrees ever, unless you have a severely overactive thyroid. $180 is a ridiculously high A/C bill, unless you live in the desert states, or have a huge house. Ours is 1700 sq. ft, and the only time we had a bill of around $140 was during a prolonged heat wave.

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Light clothes are there for a reason, wear them. :)

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August 27, 20110 found this helpful

You can also use the copy feature on your printer for coupons you get off the internet.

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August 27, 20110 found this helpful

Great article. Thanks so much for taking the time to post for the benefit of others.

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August 28, 20110 found this helpful

This was a very NOT boring article. Thanks for the tips; I learned some new tricks.

@ wildirish - FYI Gas prices are regional and there are many factors involved in the pricing structure. Humidity has a large part in the comfort-ability of your home - being in Chicago I know this for a fact. Pritchard C. is paying over 50-75% less than her neighbors so that's something to be admired.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 104 Posts
August 28, 20110 found this helpful

All cities don't have peak hours. My electric company charges the same no matter what time of night or day. Wish they did. My electric bill in the hot summer never runs over $150 and that's keeping the thermostat around 72 degrees. I can't stand to be hot and sweaty. It's lower than that in the winter because I have gas heat. My water bill is another story; if I don't conserve it will go over the roof. I'm in West Texas and it gets really hot and usually lots of snow during the winter months. I love it!

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 190 Feedbacks
August 28, 20110 found this helpful

Some great advise here, and not at all boring. My Walgreens would not let me take the amount off multiple items, just one. Either the cashier didn't know you could OR not all Walgreens are alike. Too bad it's not uniform all over. Also, for whatever reason, I cannot print coupons on line at any of the coupon sites. It keeps tellng me my printer is not set up correctly or whatever. I have tried to download what I need to for the bar codes, but then I got a virus and it cost me $100 to get my computer repaired. So, I'm a little gun shy of printing coupons on line. If anyone knows the secret, please let me know.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 696 Feedbacks
August 28, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks for all the great info. I love to watch Extreme Couponing. I won't ever be like that but I've clipped and used coupons for years. I used 12 coupons last week at Wal-Mart saving me $10 off the bill and I felt great. I'm not doing a lot of couponing like some but every penny saved that stays in my pocket is a good thing!

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 696 Feedbacks
August 28, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks for all the great info. I love to watch Extreme Couponing. I won't ever be like that but I've clipped and used coupons for years. I used 12 coupons last week at Wal-Mart saving me $10 off the bill and I felt great. I'm not doing a lot of couponing like some but every penny saved that stays in my pocket is a good thing!

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May 27, 20140 found this helpful

I was glad to see this in my mail box.Know it was 2011. But still interesting, didn't know could email a co. and ask for coupon. It seemed just as good information today as in 2011. Thanks to thrifty fun and to the articles author.

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May 29, 20140 found this helpful

I notice you use frontline. I dont know what size dog you have but...fyi... if you have smaller dogs, you can order from ebay. They have special sales for buying the biggest size frontline. Then you get a guide and syringes to use so you get more uses cheaper. I have little dogs that weigh 4 lbs. so I buy the med for 133 lb dogs, or the biggest the sell and I get like 9 doses out of one vial.It has been lots cheaper this way. Something you may want to check out.

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September 15, 20200 found this helpful

In Logan, OH, Kroger does not offer raincheck since COvid. They also haven't doubled coupons for years.

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