Saturday, November 14, 2009

I belong to Refund Cents

I belong to the greatest money saving site, without it I wouldn't save money like I do.  The site now has a blog.  All the deals of the day come right to your email box.  I can't be sure if this is a public blog or if you have to subscribe.  The subscription isn't free, but it's well worth it.  You earn back the subscription fee in no time, through coupons, rebates and the know how to find good prices on things you need and want.

Refund Cent Subscription

My story starts back 16 years ago when my son was 3.  I would see ladies on the news buying a weeks worth of groceries for penny's and wanted to know how do they do that.  Well without even trying I found Refundcents.  I bought one of those coupon wallets and inside there was a mini version of Refundcents.  I read it through and thought wow I can do this.  So I ordered the monthly magazine.  The pay off was quick and I was hooked.  I found 2 double coupon stores and the thrill of the hunt kicked in.  So I collected every coupon I could find.  I saved all the upcs off of every item I bought.  Traded for every refund form I could.  And I mailed in refunds like mad.  I would pulled in $2,000 a year in using coupons and refund forms, thats in each!!  Not to mention the premiums that came along too.  I still have the 24 inch Energizer bunny and the Pillsbury Doughboy talking cookie jar.  I also got a color Gameboy for my son through Kool Aid.  It was the glory days of refunding.  Now refund forms are harder to find and more difficult to do....  dated receipts makes it harder.  But coupons have come front and center.  There are coupons out there for just about everything you buy (excluding fresh fruits, vegetables and meat... not impossible to find but close).  Double coupon stores are around, you just have to ask around, you might have one closer then you think and didn't know it.  It all starts on Sunday.  Sit down with the ads from your local Sunday paper.  Make a list of all the sale items you would like to buy for the week.  I have 5 or 6 stores I hit every week for deals.  Then find the coupon inserts from the paper.  Cut all the coupons for all the items you buy.  Don't be brand loyal, for example frozen pizza, however don't buy a brand no one will eat.  Brand loyalty will make this harder.  Cut all coupons for frozen pizza...  check the sales and match up the coupon with the sale.  The best of all worlds would be the store that has double coupons has that brand pizza on sale.  However if they don't maybe next week they will.  So file your coupons, I use the binder method.  Examination of my binder will come soon. Any how, your saying but I need frozen pizza this week.  Well buy just what you need, until the pizza is on sale...  then stock up.  That is the magic words.  You need to buy as many as either have coupons for or will use until the next sale.  Items go on sale in rotation.  Most items go on sale every 4 to 6 weeks.  Start a price book, write everything down and the price for about 2 or 3 months, until you see the cycle each store uses.  Then you know exactly how many coupons you will need to collect for each item.  Your asking how do I get coupons.  Ask family and friends to save them for you.  Most people just recycle the Sunday inserts with the rest of the newspaper.  That leads to if you have a local recycling center that takes newspaper.  Ask the person in charge if it would be ok to go through the stacks to remove the inserts.  Most will say yes, but keep it neat.  Also you can buy extra papers just for the coupons.  Some weeks have free coupons (latest one that comes to mind, was a few months ago for the Glade 2oz soy candle) then it's well worth buying the extra papers.  Remember you will get the free coupon and all the others for that week in every paper you buy!!  The week or so before a big holiday... like Thanksgiving there will be coupons for all the baking items and holiday cooking foods.  Make sure you get many coupons and stock up!!!  Also another source of coupons is eBay.  You can get up to 20 alike coupons for a small fee and shipping cost.  You will need a Paypal account for that.  Back to stocking up on holiday foods.  Thanksgiving and Christmas many of the same items will be greatly discounted... stock up during this period on sugar, flour, chocolate chips, marshmallow fluff, crackers, etc..  Because they won't be deeply discounted again until Easter.  And between Easter and Thanksgiving is a long wait.  I have a chest and a upright freezers to store many of these items.  Collect all coupons for items that you use.  It doesn't mean you have to use every single coupon that you file.  But knowing they are there when you stumble upon a great unadvertised deal or clearance you will be ready for the even better deal.  Learn where your stores keep their clearance items and check it every time you shop, you never know what you will find.  But the biggest rule is even if it is a good deal..  don't buy it unless your family will use it, or if you can donate it.  Over buying more then your ever going to use and you throw it away, it's not a good deal.  Remember prepackaged items can be donated at your local shelters.  They also take unused health and beauty aids.  You will find good deals from shampoo to razors.  I can stock up on these things like this where if I lived to be 100 I would never see it all used.  So I donate and sell whatever I can't or won't use.   Give over stock to friends and family that save their coupon inserts for you.  It's an incentive for them to keep up with saving them for you.  Oh I almost forgot you can print coupons at many sites like this one  there is a 2 coupon limit on each coupon.  These coupon sites can get you started now.  The goal with stocking up is, not to buy the same item every week, when it's not on sale.  You want to stock up with the free or very cheap items until the item goes back on sale and you have coupons to go along with the sale.  Some times my cart will only have toilet paper, cereal, canned soup and some fresh fruit or vegetable for the week.  But I will buy 6 toilet paper and 5 cereals, 12 cans of soup and whatever fruits or vegetable is in season and on sale, but only have paid $10 for all of it.   That week we'll eat off of our stock pile of food in the freezer and cupboards.  The next week might be #2.5 bags of frozen chicken breasts so I will buy as many as I can depending on store limits and freezer space.  Usually there won't be a coupon for frozen chicken breasts, but when they are on sale for $3.99 a bag, which is rock bottom for this area.  I will buy many bags and put them in the freezer.   So I never buy them because I don't have any in the freezer and the bags are regular price at $7.99 or more.  I wouldn't even consider a #2.5 bag of frozen chicken breasts at that price. 

Refund Cent Subscription

I will try to remember when I cut and file my coupons this week to take pictures of my coupon binder.  I will also explain other ways to file your coupons.  You will have to try a few different ways to find the best way for you.  Take care until next time!!!

No comments: