Mikaela's Wake Up Call

Paying Homage to the Queen

Before you think, I’m talking Royal Wedding for the upteenth time… think again.

You can consider this blog entry as a curtsy to the Queen.  The Coupon Queen!

A lot of you had questions for Tammy Meek after we aired her story on couponing earlier this week.  And I have the answers to those questions, courtesy of the Queen!

Q:  With the changing coupon policies at retailers like Kroger and Meijer how do you plan to still go to those stores and get good deals?

A:  You can still get some great deals. Most Kroger stores still double and are unlimited. If yours limits the amount of doubles then plan your trip accordingly. You can also take some friends with you and they can help you get some extras by doing an order for you.

The removal of allowing the EQ and the MQ together at Kroger is really not an issue. This was like using 2 Manufacturer coupons at the same time and that is never allowed. You can still save an enormous amount of money at Kroger and Meijer.

Make sure you keep track of each store’s policy - Some Meijer stores only double the first 4 of the same like coupon. Some Kroger stores are limiting the doubling and some only double to 50 cents - mine doubles up to 99 cents. So just be aware of the store’s policy.

Also, it is up to Manager’s discretion -so if you have an issue with the coupon policy of your store - speak to the manager and please do not yell at the cashiers.

Q:  How do you incorporate places like CVS and Walgreens into your shopping trips?

A:  I usually get all of my Health and Beauty Aids at CVS and Walgreens, but don’t limit yourself to those items. You can get some groceries at great prices, too. I purchased two packages of Domino’s sugar there with coupons the other day for $1.50 a bag and used my RR’s (Register Receipts - Walgreens) to purchase the sugar.

ECB’s - Extra Care Bucks at CVS are great to use to purchase items - you can roll them to the next transaction-so if you earn $10 ECB in your first transaction -use it on your next transaction. Be sure you need the items and that you don’t overspend trying to earn ECB’s or RR’s - that is not the purpose -you want to get items you need at a great savings and earn the additional RR’s and ECB’s on top of the savings.
Both of these stores have awesome sales and should be taken advantage of each week.

Q:  Where can you get coupons for fresh produce, eggs, or meat?

A:  These are very rare. You may get store coupons (Kroger sends out coupons every six months to their Store card holders based on what you bought over the previous six months) - I usually get free eggs, and $3 off some meat. But you can also use the savings from your other groceries that you do have coupons for and use that savings towards your meat and eggs and produce. If you save $50 on your other items -then that $50 can be applied to your meat and you are still saving, because you need to get meat, produce, and milk. Just remember if the store has a great meat sale -stock up on it. BOGO-Buy One Get One free meat sales are wonderful -take advantage of them.  Also, Walgreens and CVS usually run milk and egg specials. Use your RR’s from Walgreen’s or your ECB’s from CVS and get your milk and eggs.

Q:  Where can you get coupons for organic products?  Are they out there?

A:  These are very rare - they are starting to have more of these coupons-you just have to look in the inserts. The best thing to do is go to an organic products website and e-mail them. Explain to them that you love their product and need some coupons. They will send them to you.

Q:  Where does Tammy get her copies of the various store policies?

A:  Everything is on the web - search Yahoo or Google for store policies by the name of the store - make sure to print all of them out and take them with you. Remember location of the store is a key - the coupon policy in Ohio for Kroger can be different than Kroger stores in Texas. Search by store and location.

Q:  I have been doing the “coupon” thing lately, have done great at Kroger and Walgreens, but was wondering if I have a store coupon, can it be used and a manufacturer coupon also?

A:  Yes - definitely take advantage of the store coupon. Walgreens has their own little book with multiple coupons in it and the coupons that are in their daily ads. Target has store coupons on-line - print them out and use them with your Manufacturers coupons to save more money. I always try to match up the two coupons and get the best savings I can.

Q:  How much do you spend on ink, from printing coupons?

A:  Ink can get costly -so the coupons I print off have to justify the amount I am spending on ink. You can get an ink refill kit which is cheaper. Always, print in black and white - those cartridges are cheaper. Also, make sure that you stock up on cartridges and paper when it goes on sale - like back to school sales - Best Buy and Staples - places like that will run good sales. Grab it up when it is cheap. I try to buy or refill only once a month.

Q:  Where can you get coupons for healthy items?

A:  Contact the companies that make the healthy products - their websites will usually have coupons on them - Facebook them - they usually have promotions to try their products and will have coupons for you. Also, e-mail the companies they will send you coupons to try their products. It is hard to find coupons on healthy items -but remember if you save money on your Health and Beauty stuff and other stuff at your house - then you can afford to pay regular price for the healthy stuff.

Q:  When you take a good look at your entire binder, where do you get all these coupons? 

A:  I get several Sunday papers a week - you can check Weusecoupons.com for coupon previews and that will let you know whether you want to buy 2 or 10 Sunday papers - it has to be worth it to get that many. I also get coupons from my family - we do a coupon sharing - where we trade coupons. Coupon clipping services are great - you can get bulk coupons shipped to you at a cheap price. Also, eBay is a great site to get whole inserts really cheap.

Q:  How do you get your hands on so many inserts? 

A:  I get a lot of them through friends, family, and coupon clipping services. eBay has some great coupon services too - you can get inserts really cheap. Also, a lot of people do what you call “dumpster diving” - I do not recommend this unless you ask the store/church/ or school that has the green/yellow recycle bin in their lots. They may be willing to trade you coupons for your other recycling. Always remember if you take some out of the recycle bin you should be putting something back. A lot of people get the Sunday paper and do not use the coupons - if you can find out from your friends who do this - then they can start saving you the coupon inserts. Be willing to take all of their recycling to the bin for them and then you can have the coupons.

Thanks Tammy for all of your insight and for answering these viewer questions!

A couple of viewers shared their great couponing websites with us too.  They include:

http://www.Stretchingabuckblog.com:  A blog/information feed about spending wisely and living well.  She seems like she’s a Target gal, lots of information about Target policies and coupons on her website as well as the big grocers in our area.
http://hip2save.com:  This website was started by the wife of a US Marine and mother of three.  She began blogging in the summer of 2008 as a way to help herself, family, and friends save money.

http://www.jillcataldo.com/:  She’s appeared on several major networks to talk about her saving strategies.  Jill Cataldo is the founder of Super-Couponing workshops and author of the nationally-syndicated newspaper column and video series “Super-Couponing Tips.”  She claims 20 million people enjoy those tips each week.

http://www.afullcup.com/:  A team of wives and moms (one which hails from here in the Buckeye state!) are the moderators and administrators for this website.  There are lots of tips on deals and it looks like there’s a place to add your own blog.

Just a side note for all of you, I am not directly suggesting these websites.  These are ideas that have come from Tammy or viewers who enjoy saving money and love to use coupons.  Before you download ANYTHING, from any website, make sure you have your security settings on your computer updated.

And with that… you’re off!

Good luck and let us know how much money you start to save! 
I’d love to hear about it.

Posted by  on 05/20 at 07:20 AM



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