Tag Archives for " TLC’s Extreme Couponing "

May 2, 2012

Couponing for the Extremely Normal: I Won’t Pay Full Price

Welcome to Couponing for the Extremely Normal!

My daughter decided she wants to play lacrosse this year.  Fortunately, her school received a grant and those players without sticks and goggles were given loaners for the season.  The only problem is she can’t carry the lacrosse stick on the bus unless it’s in a case.  I priced out carrying cases on the internet and learned it was going to cost about $30 to buy a new one.  Now lacrosse is something she is just trying out and I’m not going to spend $30 for something which may end up in the back of the garage by summer.  I set out to town and found a lacrosse bag for only $10.  Bonus!  … and it was even in my daughter’s favorite color.

Where do you find the best bargains?  Generally, I find the best deals in resale shops.  Consignment shops, Goodwill, Plato’s Closet, and Play It Again Sports are some of my favorites.  I’ve found brand new clothing with tags at consignment shops and Goodwill and have paid a very small percentage of the original cost for something no one has ever worn.  Plato’s Closet is my daughter’s favorite clothing store.  We’ve been able to outfit her for a whole season for less than half what it used to cost to go to the big box stores.

Many resale stores offer loyal customer cards and discounts.  Sign up for their mailing lists, friend them on Facebook, and give them your email address.  The discounts abound.  You just have to “make friends” with these stores.

Tell us where you find your best bargains!

Let us know how your extremely normal coupon journey is coming along.  We love to hear from our readers!

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April 4, 2012

Couponing for the Extremely Normal: Check Your Groupon Account

Welcome to Couponing for the Extremely Normal!

One of my favorite ways to save money is buying daily deals from sites like Groupon.  To name a few, I’ve enjoyed the savings on movies, dinner and discounted gift cards.  I make a point of recording expiration dates and reminders to use my daily deal coupons before they expire.  However, a number of times they have expired before I could use them.

Good news came out this week when Groupon settled a class action suit.  The highlight is:

Customers who bought Groupon vouchers before Dec. 1, 2011 can either redeem these past their expiration date or, if they are unable to do so, obtain a refund from the $8.5 million fund, according the proposed settlement filed March 29 in federal court in San Diego. Residents in some states can seek refunds only for vouchers sold after Aug. 22, 2010, according to the filing.

Check this out and let us know what you think!  Check your Groupon account to see if you have any expired vouchers which may still be valid or for which you may be entitled a refund as part of the settlement.

Let us know how your extremely normal coupon journey is coming along.  We love to hear from our readers!

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January 25, 2012

Couponing for the Extremely Normal: Considerate Couponing

Welcome to Couponing for the Extremely Normal! Have you watched the new TLC series “Extreme Couponing“? If so, you must realize how extreme these couponers can be.  It has only taken a few episodes for stores to look at their coupon policies and start revamping them.

This week, as I was surfing for ideas for this week’s post, I ran across a very informative post about “considerate couponing” on the Coupon Information Center (CIC) website.  Here are a few points from the post which stood out:

1.  “Take advantage of every available, legitimate tool to maximize your savings. It’s a win-win situation for everyone when a consumer can purchase a product on sale, use a coupon and obtain even more savings by participating in a rebate/refund program.”

2.  “Please don’t try to use expired coupons. No, you won’t be arrested if you do, but your store very well may not be paid when it accepts expired coupons. Cutting the expiration dates off to try to sneak them through is dishonest and will likely further decrease the chance the store will be paid for the coupons.”

3.  “Set an example. Most couponers are simply smart shoppers who know a great deal when they see it. Unfortunately, the inappropriate actions of a few extreme couponers inaccurately portray couponers in a bad light. Try to raise the bar by following the rules, and being a courteous shopper.”

Take a look at the CIC post and let us know what you think!

Let us know how your extremely normal coupon journey is coming along.  We love to hear from our readers!

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January 18, 2012

Couponing for the Extremely Normal: Bending the Rules

Welcome to Couponing for the Extremely Normal! 

I have a very simple request this week … Please use coupons responsibly.  If everyone decided to follow the rules and not look for ways to bend them, couponing would be so much easier.  Just this week, I read an article about an extreme couponer who paid “just $36 for $800 worth of P&G products.”  The way she did it was by bending the rules.  Read the article and let us know if you agree.

Let us know how your extremely normal coupon journey is coming along.  We love to hear from our readers!

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January 11, 2012

Couponing for the Extremely Normal: When a Deal Doesn't Work

Welcome to Couponing for the Extremely Normal! 

Even though you carefully plan your deals, they may not always work out.  Never fear … here a few tips for ensuring you receive the savings you planned for.

1.  Know what you should be saving before you get to the register.

2.  Watch the register as the cashier rings up items and coupons.  The store computer is not always right.  There are times when sale items don’t ring up properly.  Have the sale flyer with you so you can show the cashier what the price should be.  If need be, ask the manager to take a look at the issue.

3.  Check your receipt before you leave the store.  If anything is wrong, go to the customer service desk and politely try to straighten the issue out.

4.  If the store manager cannot resolve the issue, go home and call the customer service number for the store.  The phone number is usually printed on your receipt.

This week I went to Food Lion with a plan to buy items which were part of a Box Tops for Education (BTFE) promotion.  The deal worked … sort of.  It ran like this:  buy five participating products, receive $2 off your order instantly, and receive a catalina coupon for 20 Box Tops for Education which can be donated to your local school.

I bought ten participating items, received $2 off my order and the catalina coupon printer jammed.  The cashier could do nothing to issue me a catalina for the 20 Box Tops for Education.  However, the store manager at the customer service desk was able to issue a catalina for 20 BTFE.  However, I expected to receive $4 off my order since I bought 10 participating items.  The store manager said I should have done two transactions with five participating items in each transaction.  However, he was willing to refund the $2 for the second set of items.

When I got home, I called Food Lion Customer Service and they kindly offered to send me a catalina for the 20 Box Tops for Education I didn’t receive at the store.   Lesson learned … fix what you can at the store and then call customer service when you get home.  The most important thing to remember is “be nice.”

What has been your experience with customer service when a deal goes awry?

Let us know how your extremely normal coupon journey is coming along.  We love to hear from our readers!

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January 4, 2012

Couponing for the Extremely Normal: Crockpot Essentials

Welcome to Couponing for the Extremely Normal! 

It’s that time of year when the weather is cold and our family wants nothing more than a hot bowl of something for dinner.  Our crockpot gets a workout from November through March.  Using the crockpot requires me to think about those staples which generally end up in the crockpot.  Among these are canned tomatoes, beans (a wide variety including black and kidney), onions, carrots, celery, taco seasoning mix, dry onion soup mix, broth (cans and cartons), inexpensive cuts of beef, and chicken leg quarters or thighs.  It is so easy to grab a few ingredients, pop them in the crockpot in the morning, and have a delicious meal for dinner.

A friend gave me my favorite crockpot cookbook, Fix-it And Forget-it 5-ingredient Favorites:  Comforting Slow Cooker Recipes, a few years ago.  Since then, I have adapted many of these recipes to suit our family’s tastes and the contents of my stockpile.  One of our favorites is crockpot chili.

Crockpot Chili

3/4 lb ground beef (browned)
1 large onion (diced)
3 – 14 oz cans diced tomatoes (preferably a variety with green chilis, onions and/or garlic)
2 – 14 oz cans beans (light or dark kidney)
1 packet taco seasoning or chili seasoning mix

I dump all the ingredients in the crockpot, cook it on high for four hours or low for six hours, and serve the chili over white rice.  We put out small bowls of chopped onions, shredded cheddar cheese and chopped chili peppers along with our favorite bottled hot sauce so everyone can “doctor” their chili to their own taste.  A few years ago, we invited a dozen friends over to enjoy this chili.  We asked everyone to bring an easy appetizer or dessert and a favorite beverage.  It was an easy way to entertain on a cold winter afternoon without spending any time in the kitchen.

Tell us about your favorite crockpot meals.  We always love to try new recipes and might even feature a few of them in an upcoming post!  You can email us at [email protected], subject CROCKPOT IDEAS.

Let us know how your extremely normal coupon journey is coming along.  We love to hear from our readers!

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