4 Easy Ways to Coupon Without a Printer

Can you coupon without a printer? The answer? Yes! You can definitely learn to use coupons without owning a printer. Be sure to read this post to learn how to maximize your coupon savings without using printable coupons. Coupon Without a Printer

I’ve often been asked if it is possible to coupon without a printer. The answer is YES! Definitely! You can definitely coupon without a printer.

I have to be honest and admit that you won’t be able to snag EVERY deal without a printer, but you can still save plenty of money!

1. Buy Multiple Newspapers

The best way to find coupons is the old fashioned way. Buy a Sunday paper! In fact, I suggest if your budget allows, buy 3 Sunday papers.

(I go into why I think 3 papers is the “magic” number here)

Some of the BEST coupons available are in the Sunday paper. Now you won’t have access to every awesome coupon, but oftentimes the coupons in the paper are higher value than the ones you can print online. You can easily coupon without a printer if you just buy the Sunday paper each week!

2. Download Savings Apps to Your Smartphone

First off, these all require you to have a smart phone or a tablet with a data plan.

Target Cartwheel – Target Store coupons do require printing. However, there is ANOTHER way you can save at Target, and that’s via the Target Cartwheel app (for those of you that CAN print coupons…you can stack coupon deals with Target Cartwheel! I give a full Target Cartwheel explanation here). FYI, this app does NOT require you to have a smartphone. You can print the barcode and take it into the store to redeem these offers as well. For the purposes of this blog post though, we’re assuming you do not have access to a printer.

Target Mobile Coupons – These are different than the Target Store Coupons that have to be printed. These coupons are sent directly to your phone. Just show the code to the cashier when you checkout.

Ibotta – Ibotta is not actually a coupon app. Instead, Ibotta is a rebate site. You first go in and claim any offers you  might want to use. Then purchase at a store and upload your receipt to the app. You’ll receive your rebate a few days after your shopping trip.

Checkout51 – Another rebate app. Works pretty much the same as Ibotta.

SavingStar – SavingStar is hooked up to your store savings card. When  you sign up, they will prompt you to add any store savings cards  you have. Then this app works just like Ibotta and Checkout51. Just add your offers, shop and you’ll receive money in your account a few days later (no need to upload a receipt with SavingStar since it is tied to your savings card).

Your Local Stores – Most grocery stores nowadays have an app that is either tied to your savings card or has a scannable barcode. Do a quick browse through the coupons and offers and compare them to your list. Add the ones that you need and when you give them your savings card at checkout, those coupons/offers will automatically discount your bill!

3. Request Coupons from Retailers

Do you love Sabra Hummus? Can’t handle going a day without your beloved Silk milk? Write the company and simply let them know! Ask for coupons and 9 times out of 10 they will send you some via snail mail (sometimes they’ll send you freebies WITH coupons! Total win!). You can find most businesses email or mailing addresses on their website contact pages.

4. Store Coupons

In addition to downloading the apps for your favorite stores (as mentioned above), I also recommend picking up the store coupons when you are physically in the store as well! Some stores have their coupons in a booklet (for example, the drugstores often have a monthly coupon booklet that you can find either in the front of the store or near the pharmacy).

Some stores (like HEB) have coupons on product shelf tear pads throughout the store. Be kind and only take as many as you need. No need to use these coupons right away, you can take them home and hang on to them until a great sale comes along that you can stack them with (of course, pay attention to expiration dates!).

You also might receive store coupons in  your  normal household mail. Hang on to these as well!

(Read my post on various coupon organization methods here)

5. Buy an Inexpensive Printer

Printers can be purchased for as low as $19.99 nowadays. I can regularly find a printer for less than $30 at any given point in time. These are ink jet printers, so the ink will go quickly and likely will be expensive to replace (in some places more expensive than the actual printer!), but with your coupon savings, you’ll more than make up the cost!

Here are some inexpensive printers that you might consider:

Epson Expression Home XP-320 Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner & Copier
Canon PIXMA MG2920 Wireless Inkjet All-in-One Printer/Copier/Scanner

If you are able to spend a bit more (and plan to print a lot of coupons), you might also consider an inexpensive laser printer:

Brother HL-L2340DW Compact Laser Printer, Monochrome, Wireless, Duplex Printing
Pantum P2502W Wireless Monochrome Laser Printer
Canon imageCLASS LBP6030w Wireless Laser Printer

Bonus NOTE: In SOME cases, you can request a printable coupon be mailed to you! Bricks Coupons can often be mailed to your house! When you click on the coupon link, you will see “Help” in the bottom right hand corner. Click on that and follow the steps to have the coupon mailed to your house.

Finally, if you want to learn how to coupon strategically to get the most bang for your buck, read my series on Strategic Shopping here!

How to Price Match and Save!

Do you skim the sale papers for the best prices? Do you know your grocery store’s price match policy? Why not!?

Now, I’ll be honest. I always *knew* that Walmart matched prices, but I’ve never asked them too! I am the type of person who dislikes asking someone to do something for me (yep, I’d rather just do EVERYTHING myself and not inconvenience someone else.), so sometimes, I run in CVS/Walgreens and Walmart in the same shopping trip to avoid having to ask Walmart to price match. I know, I know….

Well, Sunday I did my meal planning for the week and got my list together (I hope you all make a list before going to the store!!!) and went online and skimmed the other store ads for my area (CVS, Walgreens, Harvey’s). I found a few items that were on my list that I knew were cheaper than Walmart’s prices. I went to Walmart.com and printed their price match policy, because the last thing I wanted to happen was to get a cashier that wasn’t familiar with their policy!

I was price matching Harvey’s 2/$10 Tide sale and CVS’s 2/$5 Cheerio sale. I stacked savings with coupons on each! This is an example of what we call strategic shopping, if you’re not familiar with the term.

I grabbed an envelope, wrote my list on the outside, the store prices I was matching, and highlighted those items that would be price matched. I stuck my coupons inside (I had a lot from coupons.com and a few from the recent newspaper inserts). I was organized and ready!

I loaded my buggy with my groceries, tried to keep my toddler from opening the cereal boxes & eating the turkey dogs, and headed to checkout. I’ll admit, I was a little nervous! I had a bundle of coupons AND I was price matching. Both things that go along with Walmart’s policy, but I was asking someone to do something EXTRA for me. What if the cashier didn’t know the price match policy and had the call the manager over? What if it took a few extra minutes and the people behind be got irritated? I was nervous (I know, ridiculous!).

I unloaded my groceries and kept the items I needed to price match towards the back. Well, guess what? I told her the items I was matching….the store name and their price….and she scanned, matched the price, and bagged the item, no questions asked. She knew Walmart’s price match policy and the coupon policy and made everything easy! It did take an extra minute or two, but the man behind me in line actually commented on my savings and said he was impressed. 😉

I walked out of the store confident that I’d purchased my items at the best possible prices AND saved myself from having to make a stop at another store and get the kids in and out of the car. That’s a successful shopping trip for me!

Now, there are some instances where you DO NOT want to price match! Those deals where you can earn Register Rewards at Walgreens or Extra Care Bucks at CVS are those cases. Some times it’s worth it to make the extra stop!

I hope this has encouraged you to check your store’s price match policies and get the lowest prices possible!

 

Strategic Shopping without Coupons! My Supermarket Shopping Trip

If you’ve been around Family Friendly Frugality very long, you’ve heard the term “Strategic Shopping“. Strategic Shopping isn’t limited to just using strategy with your coupons. You can still shop strategically WITHOUT coupons and see big savings!

As you know, I’m more of a part-time couponer. I don’t always have coupons on hand, but still look for sales and have success at saving money WITHOUT coupons!

We only have two local grocery stores, Harvey’s and Walmart. The Harvey’s sale paper comes to my mailbox on Tuesdays and the sales start on Wednesdays. I made a small list and had BIG success today! These sales will run through next Tuesday, 3/6, so there’s still time for you to shop THIS sale if you have a local Harvey’s!

Harvey’s Transaction

  • Ritz Crackers, B1G1 FREE; Final Price 2/$3.98 (savings of $4)
  • Family Pack Bone-in Chicken Breasts, $0.99/lb (was $2.89/lb);  Final Price $3.74 for 4 large chicken breasts (savings of $7.18)
  • Bananas $1.61 (not on sale, I just needed some!)
  • Strawberries, B1G1 FREE; Final Price 2/3.98 (savings of $4)
  • Angel Soft TP 12 Double Rolls, 2/$10; Final Price 2/$10 (savings of $4.98)
  • Store brand freezer bags (for chicken!), $2.19
Total Spend OOP (including tax)=$26.75 and saved $20.16 with sales!

*I should add that this is my “stock up” price on chicken breasts, but didn’t have any more room in the freezer!

Want to learn more about strategic shopping or how to play the drug store game? Check out our “Start Here” section!

Did you save BIG at the supermarket or drug store? Share your success with us on our Facebook page!

 

My CVS and Walgreens Couponing Trip!

 

As you may have read, I am NOT a big coupon clipper. I do what I can to save and find coupons for the items I plan to buy, but I simply do not have the time with a husband, 2 small children, and a house to keep tidy, to spend clipping, organizing, and planning shopping trips. You can see my previous articles about part time couponing here and here.

Sunday, I grabbed a newspaper, knowing there would be 4 inserts in my paper. One was a Proctor & Gamble insert, which I always look out for. CVS and Walgreens (the only two chain drugstores in my area) each had deals that went along with these coupons. CVS has a great deal going on this week–purchase $30 of specially marked items and receive a $10 CVS Cash Card! So, I planned my purchases and off I went!

Here’s my CVS trip. I purchased my items in two transactions.

Transaction #1

Transaction #1:

  • Pantene Shampoo & Conditioner–3/$9.99; $3 off 2 coupon from Sunday’s paper; Final Price 3/$7 ($2.33 each)
  • Charmin TP–$5.49; $0.25 coupon from Sunday’s paper; Final Price $5.24
  • Crest Toothpaste–$3.74; $0.75 coupon from Sunday’s paper; Final Price $2.99
  • Pampers Baby Dry Box–$18.99; $1 coupon from Sunday’s paper; Final Price $17.99
  • I paid $35.89 OOP and received a $10 CVS Cash Card, plus I received $1.50 ECB from my prior purchases.

Taking into account the CVS Cash Card, it’s like spending $25.89! Next came transaction #2, where I used the ECB and CVS Cash Card.

Transaction #2

Transaction #2:

  • Tide–$5.94; $2 coupon from Sunday’s paper; Final Price $3.94
  • Tampax Tampons–$3.99; $2 coupon from Sunday’s paper; Final Price $1.99
  • Using $1.50 ECB and Cash Card, I paid $0 out-of-pocket and have $4.98 left on my CVS Cash Card!

Total spent OOP=$35.89, saved $29.18 (sales + coupons), and have $4.98 left on my CVS Cash Card! 

A successful couponing trip!

There was one sale at Walgreens that I was interested in and it was for Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereals. You may have noticed these cereal coupons posted yesterday here on Family Friendly Frugality. If you are interested in shopping this deal, go on over and print these out

Transaction:

Want to learn more about strategic shopping or how to play the drug store game? Check out our “Start Here” section! Also, be on the lookout for our weekly coupon match ups each Sunday.

Supermarket Couponing Trip!

If you remember my article from last month, entitled  Part-Time Couponing, you know that I do NOT buy a newspaper each week and I don’t spend a lot of time clipping & organizing coupons. Surprisingly, none of the coupons I used on my supermarket couponing trip today came from a newspaper insert, but I was able to score some big bargains at Harvey’s today!

Each Tuesday, the Harvey’s ad comes to my mail box and I plan for a trip the next day. They have a few items on sale that is Wednesday only, then the rest are on sale for the week. Here’s the breakdown of what I got!

Here’s what I did to save big this trip!

Tide detergent (50-70 oz.) –2/$10; $2 off 1 coupon from Tide’s FB page, $1 off 1 coupon from P&G mailer; FINAL PRICE=2/$7 or $3.50 per bottle

Harvey’s or My Essentials Cubes, Chunks, or Shredded Cheeses (8 oz)–3/$5; FINAL PRICE=$1.67/bag

Mueller’s Pasta Regular or Thin Spaghetti or Elbows (16oz)–Buy 1 get 1 free (B1G1); two $0.55 off 1 coupons from Mueller’s website; FINAL PRICE=2/$2.48 or $1.24/box

You can see below that the GRAND TOTAL OOP was just $13.85 and savings of $17. 84.

If you watch your supermarket sale papers, you will notice a pattern to the products on sale and can plan your supermarket couponing trip accordingly. For example, I know that Harvey’s will have their cheese on sale every 4-6 weeks, so I try to stock up when it’s on sale (you can freeze shredded cheese). I also look out for B1G1 sales on products that I use and try to find coupons for those items. The product website is a great place to look for coupons! And of course, I always buy Tide when it’s a bargain.

Want to learn more about strategic shopping or how to play the drug store game? Check out our “Start Here” section! Also, be on the lookout for our weekly coupon match ups each Sunday.

Strategic Shopping: How to Stockpile

Photo Credit:  Tammra, Source: Flickr

I’ve been working on a series entitled Strategic Shopping for awhile now.  The first part of this series was devoted to coupons:

  1. How to speak the coupon language
  2. Where to find coupons
  3. How to organize coupons
  4. How to use coupons effectively

Now we’re going to discuss stockpiling.

Wait, let me rephrase that…now we’re going to discuss realistic, sane stockpiling. We won’t be taking out insurance policies on our stock piles and we won’t infringe on our day to day living with our stockpiles.

So far, I have posted why we would want to stockpile. This article will cover how you can start a stockpile.

Where to Start?

If you are already pinching your pennies together, you might be wondering where you are going to find the funds to start adding 6 boxes of oatmeal to your pantry every week to build a stockpile. Let me tell you, you can do it.

For years, I didn’t play the drugstore game. First, I didn’t really get it. Second, I knew that I had to initially spend a bit of money to start rolling ECB’s and RR’s and honestly I just didn’t think I had it to spend!

The best place to start stockpiling is simply to begin gathering coupons. Educate yourself on how coupons work and slowly you’ll start to see your grocery bills decrease. Before  you jump for joy and immediately adjust down  your grocery budget, start using those extra funds to start a small stockpile.

Say you generally have a $150 a week budget for all groceries and household goods. With coupons, you have brought that total down to $100 a week. Eventually, you can re-adjust your weekly budget to only allot $100 for groceries and household goods,  but first let’s build up a stockpile!

Try For Free, But Remember Cheap Works Too!

When building up your stockpile, the hope is that you can fill it with as much free stuff as possible. Never pay for toothpaste! With coupons and the drugstore game, you should never need to pay for toothpaste. Chicken breast though? You’ll always have to pay for chicken breast, so just wait until the price is at rock bottom and stock up! Every week, focus on something else.

Remember that a stockpile is not made overnight. It needs to be built upon and it takes time. You don’t get stockpiles like you see on TV overnight or even in a month (unless you run yourself ragged driving all over the state!). Stockpiling is not a one time deal either, you constantly have to be watching and making sure that you are replenishing before you are depleted of an item. Remember 6-8 weeks worth of most things is more then sufficient.

We are not hoarding, we are stockpiling and there is a BIG difference.

Slowly but surely,  you’ll start to notice that you have built up a decent sized stockpile and you can start dropping your budget lower and lower. Some weeks, you might only have to go to the store to buy fresh produce and milk!

Do Not Go Overboard

Here are some things to look out for when stockpiling:

  • If your stockpile is physically impinging upon your lifestyle (meaning you open your bedroom closet and 50 boxes of cereal fall out), you’ve gone too far.
  • If you are spending more time building your stockpile then with your family, you’ve gone too far.
  • If items start expiring before you’ve used them,  you’ve gone too far.

Remember, sales cycles run 6-8 weeks…beyond that, you don’t need it! If you do purchase above your 6-8 week stockpile needs, please consider donating.

Speaking of Donations

The most fabulous thing about having a stockpile is being able to pay the fruits of your labor forward! Once you have your family well stocked, start couponing for charity! Help a family member in need by sending over some personal care items and canned food. Remember, we are saving wherever we can so we can spend wherever we want, but also so we can give freely!

I encourage you to read the first few installments of Strategic Shopping if you haven’t already. Looking for a quick how-to guide to the world of couponing? Check out my Free E-Book, Save Money In 7 Days!

Be sure to check out the ENTIRE Strategic Shopping Series today!

5 Things To Consider If You Want To Become A Stay At Home Mom

Consider THIS before you become a stay at home mom!

Are you considering becoming a stay at home mom? Maybe you are currently pregnant and you are trying to decide if being a stay at home mom is right for you. Or maybe you are currently a working mom who desperately wants to spend more time with your children? Either way, here are 5 things you MUST consider before you make the decision to become a stay at home mom.

 

We made the decision for me to be a (mainly) stay at home mom pretty easily. Both of our mothers stayed home with us when we were younger and we really felt like we benefited from that. We were aware it would require some sacrifice, but the sacrifices were worth it to us.

Plus daycare is SO expensive.

Staying at home full time is not for everyone. Some people simply can’t afford it and others simply don’t want to. That’s fine. But if you feel in your heart that you would like to stay home and just aren’t sure if you can swing it, here are some points to ponder:

Like I said, daycare is expensive.

How much are you really taking home after you factor in daycare, gas to and from work, clothing for work, work lunches, etc? I had a friend one time sit down and calculate all of that and realized her take home pay PER MONTH was only $150.

Related: 5 Simple Tips To Create Wiggle Room In Your Budget

They made the decision to cut out cable and just like that she was able to stay home with pretty much no impact on their income. The kicker is, that about 2  months in, they realized that there were so many more work related expenses they hadn’t factored in and they actually had more of an income with her staying home.

They didn’t even need to turn off their cable or sacrifice anything.

When you sit down and write down ALL of the costs related to working and having your children in childcare (include those $5 pitched in for birthday parties, baby showers, coworkers getting married etc), you might find that you really aren’t coming out that far ahead.

Maybe you calculate all of that and you realize that your income…no matter how much it is, is absolutely necessary with the way your current expenses stand.

Get creative. Do you need two cars?

Trust me, we prefer having 2 cars. We went several months last year as a one car family and there were times (specifically when I was needing to make dr appointments for the kids) that I thought I’d go crazy.

But maybe you live in a more walking friendly area than we do. Everyone has some fat in their budget. Maybe your food and household budget is what is eating at your income.

If so I encourage  you to read my posting on how to shop smarter. I’ve cut our grocery and household bill in half and it’s still going down currently.

With some strategic shopping, you might just negate the use for your income in that area alone!

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

I work a part time job during the school year. To be quite honest, it doesn’t bring in much income, but I get to take the kids with me. I work at a local church Mother’s Day Out.

It’s two days a week, my kids get to go for half price and we all get out of the house for some socialization. Maybe you can work part time for your current employer, or freelance in your field.

Everyone has a marketable talent, even if you think you don’t.

If you sew or craft, set up an Etsy shop or an Ebay store. Maybe you are really computer savvy, make up some business cards and hand them out to friends and family so if they know someone having computer problems, you can help them out.

Related: How To Earn Money From Home

Start up some childcare in  your home.

You get to stay home and make an income from the comfort of your own home.  (be sure to check the laws for your state on how to set up an at home daycare) Plus you get to help other moms!

Finally…

Think long and hard before you quit your job to stay home. Depending on your field, you might set yourself back in your career a number of years if you leave.

Also, staying home is not for everyone. In fact, it’s not even for me! The Mother’s Day Out program I work at is a MUCH needed break for me. During the summer, I go a bit stir crazy!

I truly admire stay at home mom’s that do not have an outside job or who never get a break AND do it all with a smile on their face. I personally could not do that.

If you truly have the desire to stay home with your children, really sit down and evaluate these things. You don’t want to look back and realize you could have done it and you didn’t. You don’t get those early years with your kids back.

And remember, it’s all temporary. In the grand scheme of life, how long are our kids  young?

You might have to give up something now, but it’s not forever.

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