From Extreme Newbie to Extreme Couponer; A guide.

Learn the basics of Extreme Couponing the easy way. Get inside tips, help and resources to make your Extreme Savings a reality.

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Get Gift Cards with Added Bonuses

Since we will be seeing gift card deals coming very quickly because of graduations happening.  The strategy of buying up gift cards at this time of year saves us a bundle of money everyday through the year. I share my strategy below and I want to make sure you know about how to get great deals and gift card promotions.

How to Get Gift Card Promotions And Deals:

Recently, Tip Resource reader Jennifer E. asked a great question.  She asked “Do you know of any stores doing promotions for buying gift cards? I need itunes, visa and barnes and noble gift cards.

Find a deal on everything you buy!  I love Jennifer’s question because when buying anything – and I mean anything always find a bonus, a deal, a discount or savings –that’s how you can start to live an “Almost Free” lifestyle like we do in our house.

So where do I find gift card bonus promotions to stretch my money?

Let me answer her question about where to find those bonus gift card deals.  I shared a Gift Card Bonus post that gives you some details, so check it out.   Have you seen the gift card sections in the drug stores and grocery stores for all kinds of major companies?  When  purchasing a gift card at certain times the store will give some additional freebie when you buy selected gift cards.  Generally, the freebie is in the form of a “free” dollar amount to spend in the store where you purchased the gift card, called a catalina.  Usually it is for $10 – $20 bonus!

Find current gift card offers & catalina offers. Follow this link (Coupon Network) and look under the “Your Bucks” Tab there will be a listing of all those current deals!

You can get to this link easily by looking under the “coupons” tab above and looking for Coupon Network link.

Strategies for more savings when buying gift cards.

Extra Reasons To Buy Gift Cards and Why! I buy gift cards for birthdays, graduation, baby showers and weddings, but I try to buy these when there is a bonus deal.  It makes my gift giving frugal and gives me a chance to give a bigger gift card because of the savings.

Buy gift cards for Lowes, Home Depot, Amazon, iTunes etc!  This is my fav way to get a discount or bonus on things that never go on sale or have a coupon…like the filters for my refrigerator.  For example:  My fridge filters are $44 at Lowes.  If I buy $100 in Lowes gift cards and get a $20 bonus catalina it’s like paying $80 for $100 value!  That makes my filters 20% off!!

For an added bonus, when redeeming the $20 catalina at the store where you purchased the gift card & offering the bonus, use the catalina coupons toward your shopping order after using coupons to reduce your total first.  This savings strategy gives an even greater savings!!  Turning that $20 into a $40 or more savings depending on how low you can get that total using coupons!

The secret to turning around your families finances to a positive number — get bonuses and savings in areas you never even dreamed!!


Where To Find Baby Coupons – Couponing 101

11:11 am

by Jennifer Freeman

baby coupons

Where to find free baby coupons 


Baby coupons are in high demand because, let’s face it, those cute yummy little bundles are just expensive to provide for.   Always sign up for Baby Club Savings — Huggies moms clubs.

When I have been asked where to find free baby coupons I share my favorite place and it’s the pediatricians office (and maternity ward too).

When the twins were young I would get many free baby coupons from them.  The pads of  free baby coupons are left at their offices by sales reps.    The baby coupons generally have very long expiration dates (usually a year)  and are high value coupons, too.   In the past I have been given $5 off formula coupons, Tylenol coupons, Desitin coupons, diaper coupons and so many more.   Also they have shared rebates on over the counter medicines.

So the next time you are at the pediatricians office, ask if they have any coupons they can share with you.   Don’t be shy in asking.  Ask the nurse, Dr. and staff because each one has a different access.   I find they have been very happy to empty those pads out of their desk drawers!


Where to find free baby coupons


Question Mark

Couponing Question:  How do you break down this deal?

Reader Carla Asked:  “I have a question about a Rite-Aid Deal and coupon. It’s the Loreal deal. I don’t understand how to get the deal.  Could you give me your breakdown explanation please. Thank You”

Great question Carla!   Couponing can be confusing at first.  It is like learning a new language. Let me breakdown how the drugstore deals are written.  To get the Loreal deal shown below from Rite Aid you are stacking coupons.  To learn more about stacking, what it means and other basic coupon terms, check out the coupon terms page and also the Rite Aid 101 section.


Here is a Rite-Aid Loreal Deal:

L’Oreal Preference or Feria Hair Color – 2/$17.98
Use $5/2 In Ad Coupon
And use $3/1 L’Oreal Preference Printable (click to get coupon when active)
Or use $3/1 L’Oreal Feria Printable (click to get coupon when active)
Final Price: $3.49 each

Basically, you are stacking a STORE (Rite Aid) coupon and a manufacturer coupon to get the total price. To get this deal, use the coupon that comes in the Rite Aid weekly ad and stack it with 2 of the $3 Loreal printable coupons listed.

You will  Buy 2 Loreal products at $17.98 each
Use 1 $5 off 2 items coupon from Rite-Aid circular ad  (-$5.00)
And use 2 of the $3 off coupons, 1 for each item purchased (-$6.00)
Final Total Paid is $6.98 when you buy 2 or $3.49 each.


Another way you will see a drugstore deal written:

L’Oreal Advance Therapy Shampoo or Conditioner – $4.99
Use Rite Aid store coupon  $1/1 L’Oreal Advanced item (RA Video Values, Jan)
And stack $2/1 L’Oreal Advanced Shampoo or Conditioner, exp. 3/2/13 (RP 01/06/13 #2)


The store coupon is coming from watching the Rite Aid video values and the second coupon (RP 01/06/13 #2) means Red Plum newspaper insert from January 6, 2013 (and there 2 Red Plum inserts from that day)



Tabitha Asked:  “I am wanting to give couponing a try. How do you use inserts from six months ago or longer when the coupons expire within a month or two?” 

“Tabitha that is a great question!  Proctor & Gamble (PG) inserts have the shortest expiration date of 30-60 days.  The Red Plum (RP) and Smart Source (SS) have longer coupon expiration dates at times.  Coupon dates range from 30 – 180 before expiration. On occasion one or two coupons will not expire for 12 months.  So my rule of thumb is: Save inserts for 6 months, but double check and clip any last remaining unexpired coupon before donating to the military for use (Want a place to send your expired coupons? click on the military about page to see an address). Remember the military can use coupons for up to 6 months past expiration date.”  Jennifer


Frugal Fatigue, Part 2

4:45 pm

by Jennifer Freeman

Sick Pippy Bank

Frugal Fatigue

Let’s combat Frugal Fatigue today.   Yesterday, in part 1 of Frugal Fatigue you were challenged to step back and refocus.   Once you have worked through steps 1-3, you should have a better focus.  Now,  lets get on with combating Frugal Fatigue Part 2.

1. Concentrate your time/savings based on your thoughts about Frugal Fatigue, Part 1.

Here are some specific ideas:

  • Just grocery store savings? Concentrate on deals and coupons to get your savings. Or maybe your grocery savings comes from searching for frugal recipes, and have fun finding & making new less expensive dishes based around sales.
    • Food On The Table will help you plan easy meals using weekly grocery sales. Get the service Free by using promo code SPRINGFREE
  • Come to our FREE Coupon Classes, this will help! — see the couponing class schedule or host one!
  • Entertainment saving, search the internet for free things in your area or discounts through GroupOn or, or fun thrifty date ideas.
  • Could giving up your expensive cellphone and plan and go back to the basics be enough?
  • Quit buying health and beauty aids and sign up for every health & beauty freebie you can find — those freebies go a long way!

Once you master one area, then think about moving onto another area.

2. Make room for splurges. If you are saving overall, make one area in your life a splurge. Getting your hair done, or a pedicure, how about keeping a coffee budget or …?

3. Pick an area and conquer! If you need over all savings, then work on one area at a time. I have been saving for years, but it started with one area at a time. And slowly over time I have conquered one spending area and then found another area where I could start saving. Recently I added back in my splurges at Starbucks – I have found savings in a few other areas, so now I have a coffee as my splurge!

4. Look for alternate sources of income instead. How about online surveys — there are gift cards & cash payouts as rewards. It can amount to several thousand dollars a year! That could be where you spend some time and give up the time saving in other areas. I have a list of legitimate survey companies you can join for free. Buy and sell on Craigslist? Open an Etsy store? Summer is coming, be a pet sitter or house sitter, how about a newspaper route?

If you are feeling frugal fatigue, step back, refocus and move forward with a defined purpose.



Couponing 101 – Anatamy of a Coupon

11:26 am

by Jennifer Freeman

coupons image

Kelly of TLC’s Extreme Couponing Season2 is going to be around Tip Resource sharing her vast coupon knowledge!  So let’s start with…

The anatomy of a coupon and explaining fine print

On a coupon, there is a lot of microscopic writing that probably makes no sense to the average consumer.  So you may wonder to yourself: what does it mean?  Well, here are a few highlights:

  • -The little yellow box at the top of the coupon is the expiration date.  That means that the coupon is available to use up to AND INCLUDING that date.
  • -The Redemption Value and Terms are how much money the coupon is going to save you, and what you have to buy to get those savings.  For example, say you have coupon that states “Save $1.00 when you buy 2 bags of Doritos”.  The coupon has a redemption value of $1.00, and the terms are that to save that $1.00, you have to buy two bags of Doritos.
  • -Retailer Terms and Remit To is part of the little writing at the bottom of the coupon.  Basically, it just tells the store where to send the coupon after it is used, as well as any other information the store might need to know.
  • -Consumer Terms is where you get involved!  This tells you how to use the coupon, and how many you can use.  This is where things can get a little confusing: If the coupon says one coupon per transaction, it means that you can only use one “like” coupon per transaction, but you are allowed to use other coupons for other products.  For example, say I am buying 4 packages of Similac formula and 2 packages of Oreos.  I have four coupons for Similac formula and two coupons for the Oreos. Each coupon says “One coupon per transaction”, therefore, I will be allowed to use only one Similac coupon and one Oreos coupon.  If I want to use the other ones, I need to do a separate transaction.  Now, do not confuse this with the “One coupon per purchase”.  This verbiage means that you can use one coupon per item purchased.  If you purchase eight items, you can use eight coupons – even if you are buying multiples of the same item.  Have I thoroughly confused you yet? 🙂
  • -Usually coupons have a fancy little picture showing what you can use your coupon on.  While this helps you find the item you want, don’t think that you are limited to only buying what is shown in the picture.  As long as you follow the terms of the coupon, it’s fine.  If the coupon picture shows Spicy Nacho Doritos, but the writing says “Save $1.00 when you buy 2 bags of Doritos”, then buy whatever flavor you want!  If it doesn’t have specifics, then you’re find to pick and choose flavors.

Get to know more about Kelly HERE~

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