Walmart, Act 1

Early on in my couponing journey, I tried using a lot of free coupons at Walmart. I wasn’t prepared for the battle we sometimes face at the register. Most trips to the store are pleasant and go well. However, there will be times when you will need a bit of a thick skin. If a cashier tells you something that you don’t think is right, don’t feel embarassed or ashamed to ask for the manager. And if you know for a fact a store policy is something different than what the customer service manager is telling you, ask for the store manager. And if they still won’t follow corporate policy, call their corporate office! I’ve done that many times at Target and often the store has learned something new about their own policy. I wish it wasn’t that way, but it has been in the past. Like I said, most trips are smooth and easy. But not always.

Here’s one amusing story from early on in my days of couponing. I had one coupon for the free polly pocket, and one for free juicy juice back in October before all the hoopla….and had a few other items in my order. Both coupons were directly from their manufacturer website–and I even had a letter from Nestle saying that the coupon was authentic and I was free to use it. The cashier stood there telling me she could only take it if it scans–without actually scanning it. Here’s the conversation, and I do not exaggerate in this one.

Cashier: I can only take it if it scans
Me: Sure. I understand. Can you try scanning it.
Cashier: Hmmm. I can only accept it if it scans. Lisa (neighboring cashier), can I take them if they don’t scan?
Lisa: No, we can’t.
Cashier: That’s what I thought. (hands back coupons, without scanning them once.) I can only take them if they scan.
Me: Can you try scanning them?
Cashier: Well, I can only take them if they scan. (goes over to confer with Lisa)
Lisa: Try scanning them.
Cashier: Well, I can only take them if they scan. Besides, you’d get those things for free.
Me: Well, yes, that’s kind of the idea. The companies want that.
Cashier: but you’d get them for free.
Cashier: (after a minute of staring at me like I was some sort of weird thief): See, I can only take them if they scan.
Me: (rapidly losing any semblance of patience since the ice cream is now melting and she’s not even attempted to scan them) But can you just TRY to scan them?
Lisa: Just try to scan them, see if they work.
Cashier: I need to ask my manager first.
(On goes blinking light.)
CSM: What do you need help with?
Cashier: I was telling her I can only accept her coupons if they scan.
CSM: Maam, we don’t accept coupons that don’t scan.
Me: Yes, I fully understand that. However, she hasn’t tried scanning them yet.
CSM: Have you tried scanning them yet?
Cashier: No, because I can only take them if they scan. And they’d make those items free.
CSM: That’s not a problem. (rolls eyes at cashier) Scan them. (walks away)
Cashier: Well, you heard her, I can only take them if they scan. (Hands me back the coupons.)
Me: Can I scan them for you? Or just give me my things and I’ll go through Lisa’s line.
Cashier: No, we can’t do that. See, we can only take them if they scan.
Me: Fine, give me the coupons and I’ll go to another line.
CSM reappears, noticing me still there.
CSM: Did they not scan?
Me: No, she still hasn’t tried them.
Cashier: They are for free items!
CSM: That’s none of your concern. Move.
CSM scans, everything works wonderfully. Polly pops up for price, cashier jumps in and points out the coupon is for $5 and the cars are only $2.99–CSM gives me the full $5 since I’d been through such an ordeal.
CSM: there, coupons scanned, take her money and wrap this order up.
Cashier: grumble, grumble…..that will be .49.

End Scene.

I want to add that often when a store is asking you questions about a coupon you’re using, their intent is not to embarass you. Often its just that they’ve had problems in the past and are being cautious now. Unfortunately, coupon fraud does happen. And stores must protect themselves. Unless they are being insulting, remain polite and courteous while they investigate the source of the problem. Often coupons beep without any fault on your part–but they need to run down just why it beeped to protect the store. I’ve also found that even when they are not as polite as they could be, that if you remain calm but insistent, you often get better results than if tempers start to flare.


A little trouble today

Well, it seems the traffic from the news links is overloading the site a bit. Hang with us, we’re working to get it up and running again! But there are 12,000 of you trying to view the site!!! A big welcome!! Hang tight, we’ll have it fixed ASAP!!!

I’ll get to all the comments as soon as I can–I’m getting kicked out a lot!


Hot Week coming up!

I haven’t had a lot of time to look at next week’s deals yet. However, I have had a good look at this weekends coupons, and boy, oh boy, is it a good week!

There is $1 off ANY Tide, B1G1 on Covergirl products, $1.50 off Pampers, Mr Clean coupons, Kellogg’s coupons, and much more! This would be a week to buy several papers and stock up on these coupons! And remember to always buy in even numbers to make buy one get one deals a lot easier!

I do know of two deals that match up with the upcoming coupons. CVS will have a sale on Covergirl products next week that will be Buy One get One free. I haven’t actually seen the wording on the coupon, but its possible that you could get two foundations for free. At worst, the deal will be buy one foundation get one free, and get two “face” products for free as well! CVS will also have Tide on sale, and after coupon it will be $3.49 per bottle. Not bad! Especially when you consider the upcoming 16% price hike on all P&G products!


LittleMissKnowitAll in the news

WOW!! The response to the news stories has been HUGE! I want to give a big welcome to all the newcomers we have here!

I know a lot of people are blown away by the low totals they saw on the news. They are real–I promise, I do that kind of thing all the time! But I will say that I didn’t learn it overnight, and neither will you. It can be done–there are hundreds of us “Queens” in this city–I am by far not the only one. We all work together, sharing deals and helping each other learn. We each learned a little at a time, and so will you. There are working moms, stay at home moms, single women, married women, grandmothers and mothers of newborns. Anyone can do this!

My advice to those who want to learn–start slow and get organized. I don’t walk into a store with an envelope full of coupons cruising the aisles, looking for good deals. No, I’ve done lots of preparation beforehand, and I go in armed with a list of exactly what I’m going to buy, how much it will cost, and what coupons I will use. I know before I enter the store what I should be shopping for–and I’m only shopping for items on sale. I NEVER pay full price, unless its one of my “treats.”

Some common myths about coupon shopping that I want to break–I eat real food, I don’t eat a lot of processed or junk foods, I don’t buy things I won’t use, and I still save BIG MONEY. I feed my family of four on $200 or less a month–that’s all three meals, seven days a week. We eat meat at every dinner, and most lunches. By planning ahead, and shopping and stocking up when prices are at their lowest point of the season, we are able to save $600-$1000 a month!

Want to do it to but don’t know where to get started? Start reading! I give lots of tips and tricks here on the blog. Mommysnacks and Moneysavingmom, both in my blogroll, are huge helps to me. I’ll be announcing further classes in the next week or so. But if you want a step by step guide on how to get started, check out my ebook. Its $10 and covers almost every area of planning and couponing. And every penny raised goes straight into a mission fund for missions to Guatemala and Africa.


Want to print some online coupons? Head to coupons.com using the ad links below. You’ll help support this blog with every coupon you print!

Missed the WLWT story?  See it here:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/Gp5QCv9_pNA" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

And can I say just how impressed I was with Michelle Hopkins?  She was GREAT!!!

Welcome! Make yourself at home and let me know if you have any questions!


Free Cereal!

Need some free cereal?  Malt-O-Meal is happy to give it to you!

Malt-O-Meal deals abound, if you don’t mind generic brand cereal.  Many Meijers are reported to have buy 2 get 2 bags free sales on right now.  That means that for every 2 coupons you can print, you get 4 bags of cereal for free!  (Cereal is $1 a bag, minus $1 coupon=free!)  Walmart also frequently runs Malt-O-Meal cereals for $1 a bag–meaning its free there too!  Walmart prices vary from store to store, so its a YMMV.  But worth a look!

Print out Malt-O-Meal coupons at their site, and here.


Cheerios printables

Get 6 $1/1 coupons for Cheerios at this site. Hold onto them–I’ll bet there’s a sale coming up!

ETA:  The printable coupons come in an email titled Cheerios Challenge, Week 1!  There will be a link to print a coupon–one each week.  Actually, don’t forget that with Bricks/Coupons.com coupons you can hit the back button and print it a second time!  There is a limit of two prints per computer…but next week you’ll be getting more!  Now, to find a Cheerios deal….


Coupon Binder for easy coupon storage

I get a LOT of questions about how I store my coupons.  So I thought I’d show everyone some photos and describe the system I use.

I find coupon boxes to be infinitely frustrating.  I’d buy one thinking I’d finally gotten one large enough to hold all my coupons, only to have it filled within the month.  Trying to find the q you want when you want it is a hassle as well.  No matter how many categories I had, there was always 10 q’s that I had to sort through to get to the one I wanted.  And anyone with kids knows the agony that comes when one of them accidentally knocks the box over–coupons everywhere and Mommy in tears over the hours of work gone in a pile on the floor.  No, not the most efficient method.

I had a brainstorm one day–why not in a binder?  And why not use some sort of card organizer to hold them?  I had an old Mead Five Start zipper binder laying around, and I ran to the store to see what kind of divider I could find for it.  Photo holders, business card holders….no, no….wait!  Baseball card holders!  I can get 9 coupons to a page and see them all at the flip of the page!  The coupons stay in place…and I can see them all in a matter of seconds!

Here’s how my binder is laid out and why:

First, I have a zipper pouch to hold all of my recent store receipts, store coupons, catalinas, ECB’s, etc.  Second I have five dividers with 4-6 baseball card holder pages per section.  The dividers have pockets too, so if I have loose q’s but not time to file them, I can stuff them in there until I get around to them.  Behind all the q’s I have 3 page protectors, in which I file any emails or store coupon policy printouts I may need.   The front of the binder has several spots for holding small scissors, a few pens and a note pad, along with a small calculator.  The back has a large pocket for a notebook or for loose inserts that I may be in the process of clipping.

I do NOT clip every coupon that comes along.  My goodness, that would take hours!  Instead, I only clip the ones each week that I KNOW I will use.  From there I put the inserts into a hanging file for that month, whole, spine out. That way if a deal comes up and I need to find my insert, I can locate it quickly.  I keep 2-3 months, and toss them after that.

I also buy coupons on Ebay and other online coupon sellers.  (See the blog below for more information on reliable sellers.)  My baseball card holders are invaluable for holding those 10-20-30 coupons at a time!  I do fold some coupons–if they need it I will fold them so the face amount is visible from the front, and the expiration date is visible from the back.

I can’t  tell you how wonderful it is to have every coupon at your fingertips…If I’m in the store and see a deal, I can flip through my binder in only seconds and get right to the coupon I need!  I also know that if I drop it, the coupons are going to stay put!  Last, I can prop it open in my cart to the section of the store I’m shopping in.  Health/Beauty, canned goods, dairy/frozen, etc.  I can see all my coupons with a glance!

One last coupon storage/shopping tip.  As you’re shopping, when you pull an item off the shelf, go ahead and grab its coupon too–put it in a separate area (either the front of the box, the front of the envelope or in a pocket in the front of the binder) so that when you get  to the checkout ,your coupons are ready to hand to the cashier!


This week’s deals

Normally I would put together a list of everything you can get for $10 this week.  Unfortunately this week just isn’t that great for deals.  There are several, and I will point you towards them.  However, the deals are various and it really depends on your family’s needs as to what you should buy.  Therefore I won’t be putting together a $10 list this week.  Here’s some of my favorites:

–Free Lifesavers and GummiSavers at CVS:  This week CVS has Lifesaver and Gummisaver bags on sale buy one get one free.  (BOGO)  Combine with the BOGO coupon from June (available online via coupon clipping sites or ebay) to get two bags free!  Buy $10 worth of bags and get $5 in ECB’s!  Limit 5 or $25 in ECB’s per household.  MONEYMAKER!

–Free Revlon at CVS:  Buy Revlon Limited Edition Product at $9.99 and use $2/1 coupon from the 07/20 SmartSource insert.  Get back $9.99 in ECB’s, meaning this is a MONEYMAKER!

–Schick Intuition Razors, also at CVS.  Normally $10.99, the razor starter packs are on sale for $3.99.  Last week had $2 off coupons, making them only $1.99 each!  That’s a 90% savings!

–Kroger has its Buy 10 get $5 off your total order Mega Sale still going on this week!  Look at Mommysnacks for Andrea’s complete rundown of the best deals.  I’ve been stockpiling Edwards pie singles, Kroger brand instant oatmeal, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, Lean Cuisine meals, Betty Crocker frostings and Brawny paper towels.  Remember, its Mix and Match, so pay attention to your receipts.  You are limited to 3 $5 discounts per transaction.  Make sure you get all you are due!  Some of the stores are having difficulty–one quick way to add up your eligible purchases–each one has a + sign next to it.  Do not let them try to tell you you have to buy 10 of the same item or 10 items within the same price range–its just not true.  The ad clearly says Mix and Match ANY and Kroger’s corporate office says the same.  Also, all the prices minus $5 making your head spin?  An easy way to figure out final price with this deal–simply subtract .50 off each item when you buy ten.  Makes your math a lot simpler!

–While you’re at Kroger taking advantage of the Mega Deals, make sure to pick up your free Speed Stick deodorant.  Sunday’s paper had a coupon for $1 off, and the deodorant is priced at $1.50 this week.  Buy it as a part of a 10 item transaction, and save the additional .50 off per item–making it free!

–Kroger also has eggs 10 for $10, an excellent price right now.  (Normally around $1.47/doz)  My suggestion?  You can’t freeze eggs whole, but you can break them open and freeze those!  If you frequently use egg whites, separate the eggs and  freeze them that way.  Or mix them together and add your flavorings for scrambled eggs–then freeze!  Its a great way to make the most of a good sale.  Oh for the days when eggs were .79/doz!

Check back, this week I’ll be adding a basic how-to guide, and later some school supply sales you don’t want to miss!  And Pardon the Dust, we’re still settling in…


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Get Your Coupons Here!

Looking for online coupons?  Coupons.com is the #1 coupon printing site in the U.S.  Click on the ad below to go to their site.  Great coupons there this week--Malt O Meal (get 4 bags free after you use 2 of these coupons at Meijer), Cheerios snack mix, Bic stationary products (great on school supply sales!), Fiber One (match with Shortcuts.com q at Kroger) and even some great Tofutti coupons for the health food lovers out there.  Plus, LittleMissKnowitAll has just become an official affiliate for coupons.com--so always check here for the latest coupons.com offerings!


Walgreens Friday, July 25th!

Wow, this is going to be one heck of a day!  July and August’s Easy Saver books overlap, meaning you can use coupons from both books on the same item!  There are two deals–one on Walgreens brand diapers, and one on All detergent!  See below for details!

For diapers, buy 3 packages, use a diaper coupon from both July and August books for $15 off ($7.50 per coupon–even though it says off 2 pkgs, it will automatically adjust to 3).  Then you get back a $5 Register Reward!

Now, since you cannot use the $5 RR on diapers, turn around and use it on All detergent!  Starting Friday the 25th, there is a Register Reward deal.  Buy any two All, get a $3 RR.  Several stores are reported to have All for $2.60 each, meaning they are $5.20 for both.  Use two of the $1 off coupons from the paper, or the internet printables, to get both for $3.20.  Add in some filler items (items you need but don’t want to pay for) to bring your total above $5, give them the RR from the diapers, and get back a $3 RR for the All!  Turn around and use the $3 RR on the diapers.  Rinse, and repeat!

All RR deal fine print:

Buy All Laundry During Purchase Dates and Save $3 with coupon off your next order.

Buy participating All laundry detergent between 7/25 – 8/30.
Buy 2 or more and get a $3… coupon off your next order.