Extreme Couponing Class: Week 3 (April 25, 2011)

Welcome!

We’re now in week 3 of the ten week “extreme” couponing course. Go here to learn more about the free couponing course. Also, make sure to brush up on the week 2 assignment.

This week we’re going to get over $25 in items at Walgreens for FREE (we’ll actually make some money!) using the premise of coupon match-ups. We’ve talked about this before, but let’s refresh:

What are Coupon Match Ups?

Week 3 is all about starting the more complex process of matching up coupons or “coupon match-ups”. Coupon match-ups are when you pair up different types of coupons and use them together.

There are two main types of coupons:

  • manufacturer’s coupons
  • store coupons

Manufacturer’s coupons are the coupons that come in the Sunday newspapers, or perhaps in a magazine you are reading, or inside the box of a product you buy. They are made by the manufacturer of the product and say so on the coupon.

Store coupons are coupons that a particular store puts out. Walgreens and CVS have weekly fliers with weekly deals and coupons you can use for that week.

One of the keys to saving big money and getting hundreds in free toiletries and household items every month is in matching up manufacturer’s coupons with store deals. When you learn how to do this, you can start getting amazing amounts of freebies each week! This is what we will be doing this week – doing coupon match ups at Walgreens to get free items and even make money on certain items!

So by now you should have been saving the coupon inserts that come with each Sunday newspaper. Either you are subscribing to this newspaper, or picking up somewhere. If you need to find a Sunday paper that has the coupon inserts go here to this website.

These are the different coupon inserts:

Coupon Insert 1: Smart Source (called “SS” for short in blogs)

Coupon Insert 2: Red Plum (called “RP” for short in blogs) or Valassis (called “V” in blogs) (Check to see if your area still receives this in the Sunday papers here (thanks I heart wags)

Coupon Insert 3: P&G (info on distribution here)

When you get them, put the inserts each week, in a drawer or box devoted to your couponing. Some weeks, like this one, there may be only one insert – and not both – in the the papers.

Here is a schedule of which weeks of the year have which inserts. Again: don’t bother cutting any coupons out of the inserts until you have read on a blog like Saving Money Plan which coupon you need for a particular deal. Just keep them in your drawer or box. So the way you save big money with coupons is combining all the methods we have learned so far on individual deals. This allows you to consistently pick up free or very cheap products on a monthly basis. You have already learned that you can combine an internet printable coupon with a weekly or monthly store deal. Now, we are going to ad in the manufacturer’s coupons that come in those Sunday inserts, because those are a massive source of potential freebies!

Also make sure to stock up on printable coupons below!

Picture 7

At Walgreens this week you can get the following things FREE, and even make some money on your purchases (!) :

Buy 2 Splenda products, get $3.00 Register Rewards (RR)

  • Buy 2 Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (100 count), $2.99
  • Get $3 Register Rewards Back
  • Use two $3/1 Splenda 80 count or larger coupon from the 4/17/11 Smart Source in last Sunday’s paper OR use $2.00/1 coupon HERE

= FREE plus up to $3.03 overage

Nexcare Bandages 20-30 pk. $2.99 (Mail-in Rebate on Package)
Use $0.55/1 Nexcare Product coupon from the 4/3/11 Smart Source insert in the Sunday paper
Submit Rebate on the Package
= FREE plus $0.55 overage

Stayfree Maxi Pads 14, 16 or 24 ct. $2.99, get $3.00 RR
Use $1.00/1 Stayfree Product coupon from the 3/27 Red Plum insert in the Sunday paper
Get back $1.00 RR
=FREE plus $1.01 overage

Luster White 7 Toothpaste 2.6 oz. $4.99, get $4.00 RR
Use $1.50/1 Luster White 7 (Power White or Sensitive) coupon form the 4/3/11 Smart Source insert in the Sunday paper
Get back $4.00 RR
= FREE plus $0.51 overage

Tilex 32 oz. 2/$5.00
Buy 2, Use 2 $1.00/1 Tilex coupons from HERE
And Use $2.00/2 Tilex Walgreens store coupon from the April Monthly Coupon Booklet
= $0.50 ea.

Steps on How to Get the Items:

1. At home, print out all the printable coupons you need or look for the coupons in the past Sunday newspapers as explained above.

2. At the store, make your purchases and hand the cashier your printable coupons. If you buy all these items, you will spend out about $11 + taxes after the printable coupons you give the cashier plus taxes.

3. The cashier will ring you up and will give you $10 in Register Rewards.

4. Go home and send in the mail-in rebates to get another $2.99 back!

That’s it!

After making your purchases, makes sure to ail in any necessary mail-in rebates based on which items you purchased and wait to receive those checks back!

Congratulations!

Week 2: Extreme Couponing Class (4/18/11)

Are you entered to win $150 from Saving Money Plan by liking us on Facebook? Do it now!

So we’re now in week 2 of the ten week couponing course. This week you’ll be getting more than $23 of items at Walgreens for just $1 – so make sure to take part! Want to learn more about this course? For a review of week 1, go here. If you haven’t yet joined, sign up here! The couponing class is delivered every Monday to your inbox.

Week 2 Assignment

Walgreens uses a system called Register Rewards, which are similar to ECBs at CVS. Register Rewards print out when you make your purchases and the cashier gives them to you when you get your receipt. You can use them on your next transaction as if they were cash. However, if you use a register reward to buy something, you do NOT get change back.

The biggest difference between a register reward and an ECB is that a register reward cannot be used for the same product – or the same brand. So, let’s say you do a deal where get $2 in Register Rewards for buying Nivea lotion. You cannot then use that same Register Reward to buy more Nivea. Instead, you’d have to use it to buy another product. It can be confusing, but we’ll start simple this week.

At Walgreens this week, pick up the following things:

NasoGel Drip Free Gel Spray 1 oz. $4.99, Get $5.00 Register Rewards
=  FREE after RR


To do this deal, and any of the Register Rewards deals, you will pay the cashier and then get your Register Rewards back in the form a coupon that the cashier prints for you at check-out. You cannot use Register Rewards for Brand A to then buy another Brand A product. However, you can use Register Rewards from Brand A to buy Brand B.
Keep this in mind because it would allow you to split up these purchases into many different transactions so you could keep using the Register Reward you just got to make your next purchase! For instance, you can use the RR you earn on the NasoGel deal to buy the Goody hair elastics!

Keep in mind that you also will not get change on a Register Reward, so if you hand the cashier $5 Register Rewards for a $3 item, you have “lost” the extra $2.

Goody Ouchless Hair Accessories $3.00, Get $3.00 RR
= FREE

Always LeakGuard Plus 20-22 ct. or Always Dri-Liners Plus 30-34 pk. 2/$6.00, Get $4 RR
Use 2 $1.00/1 Always any coupon from the P&G Everyday Solutions Coupon Book
(OR Use $1.00/1 Always Pads, Clean, or Feminine Cleansing Cloths coupon from the 4/3 Proctor and Gamble Coupon Insert if you have that old Sunday Paper)
Get back 4.00 RR
= 2 FREE

Reach Total Care Toothbrush or Floss 30 yds. $2.99, Get $2.00 RR
Get back $2.00 RR
= $.99 (There is a coupon for this that makes this FREE + an extra dollar you “make” but it’s from the 10/10 Red Plum coupon insert in the Sunday paper, so none of you newbies will have this coupon stored!)

Colgate Total Advanced or Gum Defense Toothpaste 4 oz., 360 or Total Toothbrush 2/$6.00=$4.00 RR
Use 2 $1.00/1 Colgate Max Clean, Max Fresh, Max White, Total, Sensitive, or ProClinical Toothpaste (4.0 oz or larger) coupon from the 4/10 SS insert
Or Use 2 $1.00/1 Colgate Toothpaste, any 4.0 oz or larger coupon form the 4/3 SS insert
Or Use 2 $1.00/1 Colgate Total Toothpaste coupon from Diabetes & You Spring issue
Get back $4.00 RR
Final Cost 2 FREE
Steps on How to Get the Items:

1. At home, print out all the printable coupons you need.

2. At the store, make your purchases and hand the cashier your printable coupons. If you buy all these items, you will spend out about $19 after the printable coupons you give the cashier plus taxes *IF YOU BUY THEM IN ONE TRANSACTION. However, I recommend splitting these transactions up into as many individual purchases as you’d like to keep your out of pocket cost low.

3. The cashier will ring you up and will give you back your Register Rewards.

Write me at savingmoneyplan(at)gmail(dot)com.

Did it work for you this week? Did it not work for you? Let me know! I’d love to post your stories and pictures with a link back to your blog!

Free “Extreme” Couponing Class: Week 1 (4/11/11)

Are you entered to win $150 from Saving Money Plan by liking us on Facebook? Do it now!

Welcome to week one of the Free Coupon Class at Saving Money Plan! If you stick with this Monday course for 10 weeks, I can promise you that you will be able to bring the joys of free toiletries, household goods, and non-perishable items into your house on a regular basis. Just a couple years ago I had no idea about any of this, and now I almost never pay for any toiletries or household items. And I am hardly alone. Thousands of Americans are doing this every day, and I want to teach you how. Turns out – it’s not so hard at all!

Haven’t joined the free course yet? Go here.

To start, I want to review some of the things I talked about in the Introduction last week.

Why should you do the Free Coupon Class?

Couponing is one of the best budgeting secrets out there, and the stuff you can get regularly for free or for pennies on the dollar will amaze you. The premise of a coupon is simple = a coupon lets you save a bit of money off the purchase price of an item you buy. However, many people believe you can’t really save much money with coupons. I say they are dead wrong – and that if you don’t think you can save much it’s because you aren’t using coupons effectively! This free coupon class will teach you to start reaping the rewards that thousands of Americans are enjoying – hundreds of dollars in free toiletries and household items on a regular basis.

What you need if you want to participate:
1. You need to want to do this.
To me, this is fun. It’s also one of the best kept secrets about saving tons of money every month to free up your budget. I love getting tons of toiletries, face washes, make-up, razors, toilet paper, candy, non-perishable food and regular household products free. Now that I hardly ever pay more than pennies for things at Rite Aid, CVS, or Walgreens, it’s painful to see how many thousands of dollars people waste each year by not learning a simple system. However, if this sounds boring to you – this is not the class for you!

2. You need these items:

  • A box or drawer you will devote to this project
  • A notebook and pen
  • Sunday newspaper each week that has coupon inserts inside (there are other options, and you can do it without this – but I highly recommend this)
  • Somewhere to print Printable Coupons (optional)

3. You need to commit to doing these things every week if you want to see success:

Come to www.savingmoneyplan.com at least once a week to read what your directions are for what you need to do this week to get your free items. Or, if you’re signed up for the class it will come automatically to your email address.

So, are we ready to dive in?

This Week’s Assignment: CVS and Walgreens

If you learn nothing else from this couponing course, let it be that every single month you can pick up multiple free or very low cost items at Rite Aid and CVS and Walgreens without clipping any coupons at all. Although I am here to teach you why clipping coupons is so worth it (in later steps in the course), for now you should be amazed that in weeks 1 and 2 there are many deals that don’t require any actual clipping.

However, just because I’m not yet asking you to start clipping coupons doesn’t mean that I don’t want you to start saving them! As of today, please start saving the Sunday papers you receive every week and put them in a box or drawer you have devoted to the project. Over time, those many coupons will prove to be a gold mine for you – and we’ll start using them next week;)

The CVS Extra Care Bucks (“ECB”) Program

The CVS system is based on the idea of the “extra care buck” or “ecb”. One ECB is worth one dollar, but ECBs are only good at CVS. So the key to CVS freebies are that you only get money back in the form of ECBs (coupons which are printed at the bottom of your receipt). If you buy something advertised as a product that will give you back ECBs those ECBs will print at the bottom of your receipt. These printed receipts are your money for you to use on the future at items at CVS. Thus, it is critical that you don’t throw out your receipts with ECBs printed on them!

If you buy something advertised as “free after ECBs”, then you will have the money in the form of an ECB coupon as soon as you leave the register. Many couponers *love* this because it means that then you can immediately use those free ECBs in a second “transaction” (purchase).

We’ll talk a bit more about that in later assignments, but here’s an example:

For instance, I walk into the store to pick up a $4.99 tube of lipstick that is advertised as “free after ECBs”. I purchase the lipstick (making sure they scan my ECB card) and immediately the $4.99 is printed out. So I can go back in the aisle, pick up some milk, come back to the cash register, and use the ECB coupons I received in the last transaction to pay, instead of paying with cash.

(Had I bought the milk and the lipstick all at one time, I would have paid out money for both, and had more ECB coupons to spend next time I come to CVS.) However, if you have an ECB for $4.99 and you only purchase $4 of stuff with it – you WON’T get a refund! So you want to always buy something worth a little more than the value of the ECBs you have.

Every month, a number of items at CVS are completely free after ECBs. The key to getting your feet wet in the ECB system is to pick up these items first. They are easy as pie and no coupons needed. This week, you will have to actually hand the cashier extra coupons to get the items totally free – but I promise it’s very easy!

First, you need to know how to hear about the CVS deals for the month and the week. You can sign up to get your CVS weekly store circular delivered to your email here. They also come in your Sunday newspaper, and you can also find the circular at the front of the store. Finally, many couponers these days don’t even both to look at the circulars and simply make sure to log into a blog like this one to see the list of deals for that week. Then you can print that blog post and just take it with you to CVS.

Simple!

This week, the first thing you will need to do is sign up for the CVS Extra Care Buck program. Although you can do this online, I recommend going into your store to do so, because you will get your card immediately, and won’t have to wait a few weeks for it to get sent to you. Ask for an application at the register if you don’t see one out.

Make sure your card is registered with your email address. You can do this on the original form, at CVS.com, or call 1-800-SHOP CVS. Eventually they will send you a $4/20 purchase coupon.

Now that you have your ECB card, you can start making your purchases.

These are the (super easy!) deals I want you to pick up this week:

The Deals:

Russell Stover Chocolate Bunny or Single Egg – $0.74, Get $0.74 ECB (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday only!)
= FREE

So you will just hand the cashier your ECB card when they ring you up. You will pay $.74 out of pocket and then immediately get $.74 in a coupon to use on anything at CVS right back. Free!

Super Miracle Bubbles – $1.99, Get $1.99 ECB (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday only!)
= FREE

So you will just hand the cashier your ECB card when they ring you up. You will pay $1.99 out of pocket and then immediately get $1.99 in a coupon to use on anything at CVS right back. Feel free to use the $.74 coupon you just received on the first purchase if you want to do purchases!

BONUS DEAL:

Do this deal only if you have access to Recycle Bank coupons online. If you are new to Recycle Bank, just skip this deal for this week.

Buy 3 Honest Tea, Fuze, Smartwater, Vitaminwater – $1.33,  Get $1 ECB (Limit 4)
Use three $1/1 printable coupons (50 points on Recycle Bank)
= FREE

    1. Steps on How to Get the Items at CVS:

    2. Go to your local CVS to sign up for your ECB card.
    1. Pick up the deals above.
    2. Make sure the cashier scans your ECB card before ringing you up.
    3. Your total will be about $3.72 + tax Out Of Pocket (“OOP”) if you buy all the products. In return, you will get $3.72 in Extra Care Bucks!

Now let’s head to Walgreens!

This week we’re going to get over $25 in items at Walgreens for FREE using the premise of coupon match-ups.
What are Coupon Match Ups?

Coupon match-ups are when you pair up different types of coupons and use them together.

Here is a video describing a coupon match-up:

There are two main types of coupons:

  • manufacturer’s coupons
  • store coupons

Manufacturer’s coupons are the coupons that come in the Sunday newspapers, or perhaps in a magazine you are reading, or inside the box of a product you buy. They are made by the manufacturer of the product and say so on the coupon.

Store coupons are coupons that a particular store puts out. Walgreens and CVS have weekly fliers with weekly deals and coupons you can use for that week.

One of the keys to saving big money and getting hundreds in free toiletries and household items every month is in matching up manufacturer’s coupons with store deals. When you learn how to do this, you can start getting amazing amounts of freebies each week! This is what we will be doing this week – doing coupon match ups to get free items and even make money on certain items!

At this point in the coupon course we are still not cutting any coupons, so these are all easy to print off the internet coupons for this week. However, I want you to start saving the Sunday papers you received every week and put them in a box or drawer as I explained in the Introduction. We will start using them next week!

Also make sure to stock up on printable coupons below!

Picture 7

At Walgreens this week you can get the following things FREE or nearly FREE:

Carefree Pantiliners 20 or 22 ct. $0.99
Get back $1.00 RR
= Free

Luster White 7 Toothpaste 2.6 oz. $4.99
Use the $1.50/1 Luster White 7 Power White or Sensitive coupon from the Smart Source insert in the April 3 Sunday Paper (Ignore this step if you don’t have last week’s Sunday paper)
Get back $4.00 RR
= $1 or FREE + Overage (You Make $.50 if you have the coupon!)

Biore Strips 6-14 pk., Scrub or Cleanser 5 oz. $5.99, Buy 2
Buy 1 Cleanser & 1 Strip pack and use the Biore Cleanser (1) Free when you buy Biore Pore Strip coupon from the Smart Source insert in the March 6 Sunday Paper (ignore this step if you don’t have this coupon)
Get back $5.00 RR
= $0.99 for two

Mars Easter Candy – $0.29
Buy 2 and use $1/2 printable
= Free after coupon

Buy 2 Always Products at $3 Get $4 Register Rewards

Use two of the $1/1 coupons from the P & G Insert in the April 3 Sunday Paper (Ignore this step if you don’t have last week’s Sunday paper)
Get back $5.00 RR

= $2 or FREE if you have the coupons!

Steps on How to Get the Items at Walgreens:

1. At home, print out all the printable coupons you need.

2. At the store, make your purchases and hand the cashier your printable coupons. If you buy all these items, you will spend out about $15.18 + taxes after the printable coupons you give the cashier plus taxes.

3. The cashier will ring you up and will give you $15 in Register Rewards.

That’s it!

So – that was week 1;)

I hope you had fun testing a very easy example of how the coupon game can work at drugstores. If you have any questions at all about anything, make sure to email me at savingmoneyplan (at) gmail (dot) com or leave a comment on the blog and I’ll be sure to get back to you. I’m so looking forward to hearing your stories – the good stuff and the challenges – about how this worked for you this week!

Tell Everyone About Your Experiences Couponing

If you did your couponing this week, tell us about it in the comments section so that others can read about your experiences learning and mastering the art of couponing!

Extreme Couponing: The Basics

With the full series of Extreme Couponing starting tonight, I know I’ll be getting a lot more questions than usual about how to coupon, why to coupon, and what on earth Extreme Couponing is.

If you want to learn, I’ll be starting a new Coupon Class to teach folks how it works. Check out the introduction and sign up here.

In the interim, here are two videos that give an overview:

Video 1: The Basics of Couponing: How to Save Big Dollars, Not Pennies

Video 2: Why You Coupon — The Freebie Stockpile

Extreme Couponing How to Class Introduction: Class Starts Monday, April 8

The next round of the free coupon class here at Saving Money Plan is here! Today I’ll be giving an introduction to what this all is about:

The Introduction:

What is the purpose of the 10-step Couponing Course?

The premise of a coupon is simple. You get a coupon, you use it to save money. However, many people believe you can’t really save much money with coupons. These naysayers, you see, simply don’t know how to use them correctly. It’s time that you start reaping the rewards that thousands of thousands of Americans are enjoying – free toiletries and household items.

What you need if you want to participate:

1. You need to want to do this.

To me, this is fun. It’s also one of the best kept secrets about saving tons of money every month to free up your budget for fresh food items and other things on your list. I love getting tons of makeup, toiletries, face washes, razors, toilet paper, candy, non-perishable food and regular household products free. Now that I hardly ever pay for anything at CVS or Walgreens, it’s almost painful to watch all those people shelling out 20 bucks for shampoo. But heck, this whole couponing thing might sound like the most boring thing on the planet. If that’s you – don’t do it!

2. You need these items:

– A box or drawer you will devote to this project

– A marker or pen

– A notebook

– Envelopes

– A calculator

– A Sunday newspaper every Sunday

3. You need to commit to doing these 2 things every week if you want to see success:

– Come to this blog at least once a week to read what your directions are for what you need to do this week to get your free items.

– Go to Walgreens or CVS (or both, if you get excited by all the free stuff you are getting) that week following the directions.

Are you ready? Sign up here! You’ll get the first class sent to you Monday morning!